I have recently acquired a trumpet or cornet that has the Elk on the horn with the inscription, Built by Buescher, Elkhart, IND U.S.A.
The model number is 57C and the serial number is 55944. The original paperwork on how to take care of the instrument is still in the case and states it is from the Elkhart Band Company.
With your experience, could you give any further information? I have been searching on-line and haven't found this series within the serial numbers listed on other sites. I also do not know if it is a trumpet or cornet. Thank you.
Your Elkhart 57C is a cornet. There isn't a serial number list available for Elkhart, unfortunately. Usually, that instruction book has a date code on it, either on the back cover or inside back cover. It was made after World War II's return to civilian production, and probably sometime between 1946 and 1950, and likely closer to 1946 than 1950.
The Elkhart line was offered as a value-pirced instrument compared to the Buescher-branded line. Some will say "student instrument" and snear but in reality, while plenty of students played the value line, that doesn't mean it's a bad instrument, and aside from the lack of adjustment for low D (which it doesn't need) and low C# (which it does need), they play as well as anything in the Buescher line at the time.
These instruments don't sell for much, so I hope you didn't pay a lot. That said, their quality is a lot higher than you might expect based on that price.
Terrific for your daughter to start on!