Antique Musical Instruments/18H Director Trombone
GBay wrote at 2013-01-31 11:42:46
I collect instruments and have a similar Conn 18H Director trombone with a serial number of 316xxx (which would make it 1937 according to the Conn serial number lists) that has been a bit of a puzzle to me as well. I have been searching the internet for more information, and your horn is the only similar one I have been able to find. You did not describe your instrument in detail, and Mr. Scott "assumed" you might have one with a Coprion (copper) bell. Mine has a brass (gold/yellow) bell, not a copper/Coprion (pinkish/orangeish red) bell. Also, the 18H Director with the Coprion bell has a 7.5" bell, but mine has an 8" bell. So what gives? My best guess is these horns are very early 18H Directors, dating to around 1954 or 1955. Around that time, Conn eliminated their "Pan American" student model brand, and renamed it "Conn Director." The Pan American line had its own serial numbers, and a PanAm serial number of 31xxxx would be consistent with the mid 1950s. Also around that time Conn consolidated their woodwind and brass serial numbers (which had been separate until then), as well as consolidating the PanAm line (and its serial numbers) into Conn. In short, I think your horn and mine were made to be Pan Americans and were stamped with PanAm serial numbers, but were not engraved until after Conn decided to eliminate the PanAm brand and rename it the "Director," so what we have are transitional models that were intended to be Pan Americans but ended up being the first "Directors" and engraved as such.
Ormand Jones wrote at 2016-04-07 22:40:50
Conn frequently re-uses model numbers. There have been at least 4 quite different models that have carried the "18H" number. They have also used several quite different serial number series at different times. The oldest 18H was made from about 1919 to 1924, and was known as the "Tait" model. The second was made from about 1924 to 1931, and was known as the "Frisco Artist" model. These were likely based on the same design, but with more features and options added in 1924. The third 18h was the "Director" model with the "coprion" bell made from about 1954 to 1970. None of these models actually had the model number stamped on the instrument. The fact that yours does indicates that it is the 4th incarnation which was made between about 1985 to 1995. This model was still called the "Director". It was replaced in the mid '90s by the 22H Director which continued until 2005. There was a short-lived 27H Director model made for Conn in Taiwan beginning in 2005. At this time, the 22HDirector was replaced by the 23H which was the same horn with (mainly) cosmetic upgrades, but which was not called "Director". The Director name was dropped with the model 27H. Conn, King and Bach are now all part of the same parent company, and the King 606, Conn 23H and Bach Soloist models share many of the same parts and design features.