Conn 18B Director with Coprion Bell
Date: 1956. Original owner: Laurence Jigolyk
Notice the coprion bell. This is an 18B Director, early model. Notice the unusual diagonal tuning slide brace, which also appears on the 14B (the non-coprion version of this instrument). Also notice the lack of a third valve slide and hence a finger ring on the third slide. From the picture it would appear that there is a small, removable slide at the end of the third valve for cleaning purposes. A 1959 catalog shows a picture of a 18B that has straight cross braces and is equipped with a 3rd slide finger ring. The 1959 version also has the (what I call) 60's style valve caps, making it very difficult to tell the difference with the later 17B Director. As far as I can tell the only (easily) visible difference is in the style of the 3rd slide finger ring, which on the 1959 18B is a bit "clunkier" than is common on other Conn cornets and trumpet. Possibly the 1959 18B is a transitional model between the "classic" 18B Director pictured here and the later 17B Director which appeared in 1960.
The difference between the 1955 model 18B Director and the 1956/1957 models is mostly in the style of valve caps. Interestingly, the 1955 catalog has the 18B weighing 2 lbs 10 oz., while the 1956 catalog gives it as 2 lbs 13 oz. Perhaps the difference is in the valves?
What Conn said in 1955:
World's first and only low-price trumpet with seamless COPRION bell and famous Crysteel valves. Gives the student advantages formerly available only on higher-priced Conn instruments. Rich tone, accurate intonation, professional bore. Length: 21½", weight 2 lbs. 10 oz., bell diameter 4 5/8". In handsome Spanish grain pyroxylin coated, plush lined case, with mouthpiece and music lyre. Highly polished brass, beautiful nickel trim, with seamless Coprion bell, clear lacquered overall.