The Conn New Invention
There was a fire on May 22, 1910 that destroyed the Conn plant. The plant was rebuilt in short order, though, and Conn produced a limited editon of horns for the rest of the year (and through some of 1912, it seems) to celebrate their rebirth: the New Invention model1. Please also note that Conn serial number and model data may have been destroyed, as well2: this makes serial number charts for this period a bit suspect (e.g., the baritone example I have above has a serial number that translates to 1909 on most serial number charts, but the horn obviously is of completely different manufacture than other 1909 baritones. Either the serial number is incorrect or the charts are off a bit -- or Conn had some older baritone bodies that they custom engraved and added customized keywork and a microtuner to).
- Single octave key and Eb vent key, as on the Wonder models.
- Pearl keys are introduced for this series only. They disappear after 1912 (again) and are then reintroduced around 1917.
- Straight tone holes.
- Models were probably available only in gold plate or silver-plate body with gold keywork or gold highlights, keeping with the "limited" idea.
- Horns may have some additional pearl keytouches (on one or more of the following: side keys, altissimo keys, G# cluster, etc.).
- Note that curved sopranos do NOT have the Mercedes-Benz-logo low C keyguard.
- All examples of these horns have exquisite engraving and possibly each horn had unique engraving.
- (All) models may have an early version of the microtuner neck. There are at least three versions of this neck throughout the years: the one found on these horns, the one found on New Wonder horns and the one found on the "Transitional" 6M and later -- I've found only one of these patents so far (the one for the 6M), but that's due more to the fact that patents before 1920 are inaccessible without a patent number.
The microtuner on the bari looks like it COULD be an aftermarket addition, but that's a violation of copyright and it'd be hard to cut-and-paste just the microtuner assembly from a newer alto or C melody -- and make the bore the right size.