Cornet Case

Cornet Case

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This cornet case was made by an unknown maker in the United States, 1878. It is made of wood, cover with brown stained leather, with metal fittings, and green plush interior. Accessioned with Henry Distin cornet (1981.0425.02).

This cornet case was previously owned by Walter F. Smith (1859-1937), cornetist in the Sousa Band (1893-1896) and the United States Marine Band (1885-1893 and 1898-1921).

Walter F. Smith joined the Sousa Band in 1893 and was made acting leader. In this role, Smith conducted Washington, D.C. concerts, various touring concerts, and also went with the band to perform in the inaugural ceremonies for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This experience was a huge success and an article from the Stanley Barney Smith Collection in the Western Michigan University Archives states:

“Played to an audience of 50,000… Although the hour set for appearance of Sousa’s old organization was 3 o’clock, the crowds began pouring into the great playground after luncheon… By 2 o’clock the crowd extended from Van Buren Street to Harrison, lined the East side of Michigan ten to twenty deep. Conductor Smith began his part without any delay and without any preliminaries… Every number was enthusiastically cheered and it is scarcely necessary to say the program was as near perfection as may be.”

Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Smith, Walter F.
place made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
leather (overall material)
metal (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
overall: 5 7/8 in x 13 1/4 in x 10 5/8 in; 14.9225 cm x 33.655 cm x 26.9875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Edna M. Smith
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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