Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sousaphones and World War II

The Conn factory in Elkhart, Indiana (postcard from the 1930s)
According to the article titled "Conn" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (second edition, 2001):
During World War II, C. G. Conn Ltd. retooled the Elkhart plant to manufacture products for the government. No musical instruments were produced for civilian use in 1942-6. The resulting loss of sales, as well as a delayed reconversion of the plant in 1946, caused a serious decline in Conn's status as the leading band instrument manufacturer in the USA.

One has to assume that other companys were similarly diverted from producing musical instruments for the public during those challenging years. But in the January-February 1950 edition of The Instrumentalist (vol. 4, no. 3, p. 8), this brief notice appeared:

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