That was just 45 minutes south of where we were staying in Laguna Beach, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see that horn for myself. Actually, I took my Dad along with me, as he played Souspahone in his high school band back in the 1940s. Here's what we saw:
The engraving suggests that the horn was built in 1893, but I'm not so sure. The idea for the horn was given to Pepper by Sousa in 1892, but, as far as I can tell, Pepper didn't publicize the new instrument until a number of years later (more on that shortly). And the engraving of Sousa on the bell, seen below, shows him in the uniform for the 1895 season (more on that shortly as well).
Just below the engraving of Sousa himself is a ribbon that contains the two words "SOUSA" and "PHONE" - just not together as one word. Is it possible that this is the earliest use of this term? Here's the first word, with the second just beginning to start on the lower part of the ribbon:
Other parts of the horn feature beautifully stamped brass, as shown in the two photos below:
Again, you can currently see this historic instrument for yourself at the Museum of Making Music (in the NAMM building) in Carlsbad, CA. It's a great little museum!