Date: 1932 Owner unknown.
As is obvious from the picture, the 8A is longer than your average short model cornet. It is not mentioned in the 1931 Conn catalog but since the instrument pictured here has a serial number dating it to 1932 production must have started in either 1931 or 1932. The 8A was definitely still in production in 1940, and probably 1941 although it isn't listed in the 1941 catalog. Production of the 8A was not restarted after the war as far as I can tell. It is a 0.468" (#2) bore. The main tuning slide is a dual bore, apparently starting out at 0.438" and widening out to 0.468". That makes it tighter than the 80A. Not only is the 80A a larger bore, but the leadpipe on the 80A widens out from 0.348" to 0.468" at the start of the main tuning slide. The 8A leadpipe goes from the same 0.348" to 0.438" over a longer distance.
I have learned that the third slide without the finger ring to adjust the pitch of a low D and C# is slightly longer than it is on modern instruments. On modern instruments the low Eb is in tune, but the low D and C# are quite sharp. On these older cornets with the longer third slide and no finger ring the Eb is a bit flat and the D and C# are slightly sharp, but not as sharp as they are on later instruments. It was thought that the flat Eb and slightly sharp D and C# were within the abilities of the player to lip into tune.
As far as I can tell at this point, all Conn cornets built before 1958 take a short shank cornet mouthpiece as opposed to the 2¾" "Bach-style" long shank cornet mouthpiece. The long shank cornet mouthpieces won't properly fit a pre-1958 Conn cornet and won't give the proper intonation or playing characteristics of a short shank cornet mouthpiece. All of Conn's "Connstellation" cornet mouthpieces are long shank mouthpieces. The "Improved Precision" Conn mouthpieces such as the Conn 4 are long shank if there is a "ridge" halfway down the shank, and short shank if there is no ridge (in which case it is a "Precision" mouthpiece). All Conn cornet mouthpieces built before the "Improved Precision" series (ridge), such as the "Precision" series (no ridge) are short shank mouthpieces.
What Conn said in 1933:
Here we have the famous Conn Victor cornet with slender, racy lines of the trumpet. The same easy blowing, amazingly accurate scale, glorious tone, patented tuning wheel, but in slightly smaller bore and styled for the modern player in the modern manner. Note the trim streamlines, the beautiful balance and symmetry, the smart, sporty appearance of this new Victor. Bb and A, springs in bottom of valves.
What Conn said in 1938:
In the 8A we have the famous Victor cornet with the slender, racy lines of the trumpet. The same easy blowing, amazingly accurate scale, glorious tone, patented tuning wheel, but in slightly smaller bore and styled for the modern player in the modern manner. Note the trim streamlines, smart, sporty appearance of this new Victor. Long a favorite with leading dance and radio stars, the new 1938 model has improvements in response and intonation which make it even more popular. Ni increase in price. Bb, A, Clickless Crysteel valves.