That tour didn't launch until April 30, 1900, but before they set sail, Conn, who expected to wow Europe with his instruments (which he generously donated to the band for that very purpose!), explained that "The bass section is magnificent, comprising the great Conn Sousaphone, played by Mr. Herman Conrad, the monster American Model and Wonder Double Bb Basses, played by Messrs. Helleberg, Seavey and Del Negro" (C. G. Conn's Truth, April 1900, vol. 4, no. 8, p.17).
Here is the band at the Paris Exposition, either in May or July of that year. The Sousaphone and tubas can be seen in the upper right:
|Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress|
Photo courtesy of Paul Bierley, John Philip Sousa: American Phenomenon, p. 11
Getting a closer look at the Sousaphone in that photo, we can see that it appears to be the same "upgraded" version shown a few posts below. The valve section matches, and there is even the hint of the "Sousa" engraving on the bell:
Upon returning from this tour in September, many of the prominent members of Sousa's Band sent a letter to Conn declaring the superiority of his instruments. Conn, of course, loved it, and posted the letter in his December 1900 Truth magazine (vol. 4, no. 10), adding that his "Wonder Instruments shone in magnificent splendor to the surprise and admiration of the musicians of the old world."
I have yet to come across any of that "surprise and admiration" in my research - at least from that tour. But a year later, from October 4 through December 13, 1901, Sousa and his Band toured England and Scotland, and the trip caught the attention of London's Illustrated Mail. Here's their article, dated October 12, 1901:
|Image courtesy of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University|
Conrad is then featured in a photo, emphasizing his height. But notice that the horn, once again, matches the modified version that Conn built in 1898: