Friday, December 28, 2012

The plastic Sousaphone arrives!

The year 1961 brought what is arguably the most significant devolopment in the history of the Sousaphone. Here's what was reported in the Wednesday, July 26 edition of Variety that year (p. 51):

While I don't know if the very first fiberglass Sousaphone can be identified today, the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA has one of the earliest ones on display, having been built in 1962:

Photo taken by author
Of course, other instrument companies immediately began producing their own fiberglass Sousaphones, as they knew they would be a hit with school bands (being so much lighter and much less easy to damage). For example, here is an ad from September 1961 for the RMC/Reynolds Contempora version:


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