Custom Conn Trombone

This very interesting trombone came in for repairs a few years ago.   It is a Conn Model 62H from the early 1920s (not to be confused with the more common bass trombone of the same model number made by Conn in the 1960s).  This was also called the Simons Duo Bell Model.  Gardell Simons had been soloist with the Sousa Band and Played with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  

This trombone has the .485" bore, the same as the most popular Conn Trombone from that era, the 4H, but a larger bell taper and flare.  This gave the instrument a darker sound than the 4H and the larger alternate flare made the bell almost as large as the 8H Symphony model.  The small bell flare has a rim diameter 6" and the larger 7 1/2".  

This is a very rare model and I've only seen two in my career.  It has the most expensive finish that was offered by Conn with burnished gold plating and extensive custom engraving the length of the bell.  Both bell flares have very well executed American bald eagles engraved on them as seen in the second photo to the left.   Another very desirable feature of this model is the very compact carrying case, seen in the last photo.  This is much smaller than a typical trombone case that holds only one bell flare.  The only other mass produced example of a removable bell flare and compact case that I know of is the Holton Model TR256 and 258 Symphony bore and TR280 bass trombones made in the 1970s.  These trombones were so much more convenient to transport, that it's hard to imagine that it isn't a popular option today.

After this model was discontinued in 1925, a Simons model trombone was made by Keefer in Philadelphia.  It was a very close copy of the 62H, but lacked the detachable bell flares.  In the late 1930s, it was re-introduced once again, made by H.N. White (King) in Cleveland.  These latter two versions shared another unique design feature; the hand slide braces were knurled, presumably for a better grip.