"Proper Care of Your Conn Instrument": 1958 Conn brochure
Conn used to include a brochure with all of its instruments titled "Proper Care of Your Conn Instrument" or "How to Take Care of this Instrument" or something similar. You may have seen this brochure on pictures of Conn instruments being sold on e-bay. Ever wondered what those brochures say? I was lucky to find one in the compartment of an instrument I had bought. Here is the complete text of that brochure, dated 1958.
CUP MOUTHPIECE INSTRUMENTS
CLEANING After each time you play, clean the outside of your instrument with a lint-free cloth wrung out of warm water. Give special attention to those parts HELD BY YOUR HANDS because lacquer is affected by perspiration. After cleaning the outside thoroughly with the wet cloth, wipe with a dry cloth to prevent water spots.
At least once a week, wash the inside of your instrument. Run Approximately a cup of warm water into the instrument through the bell to help loosen particles of dirt. Shake carefully while the water is in the instrument, then drain. A very small quantity of liquid detergent helps clean the instrument faster. (If soap is used, be sure to rinse the instrument thoroughly to prevent gumming of valves or slides.) The same cleaning procedure is used on trombones, except that the bell and slide sections must be cleaned seperately.
Use only soap and water to clean the outside of silver plated instruments. Avoid polishes with abrasives or a "scratchy" feel. (Scouring powders will damage silverplating!) If you use soap and water only, your instrument will retain its brilliant finish. A good lacquer polish is fine for lacquered instruments; try Conn Lacquer-Life for best results.
CUP MOUTHPIECES The mouthpiece is a very important part of an instrument; keeping it clean is important to you. The mouthpiece should have a thorough washing with soap and water every week. Also to try to keep it free from nicks and scratches. Your mouthpiece is as personal as a toothbrush, so allow no one else to use it. If several players are expected to use the same instrument, insist that each person use his own mouthpiece.
CLEANING THE INSIDE OF SLIDES AND CROOKS The most satisfactory method of cleaning the inside of slides and crooks of valve instruments is the use of a small lead weight (same as used on fishing line) attached to a piece of strong fishing line. For all valve instruments, use a line of approximately 24 inches long. Tie a lint-free 1" square of cloth on one end of the line and the lead weight on the other end. Carefully remove slides from instrument, one slide at a time. Rinse with soapy water, then with clear water. Drop the weight into one end of the slide at A [picture omited] and tip so the slide weight will follow the inside of the slide around to B [picture omited]. Pull the cloth through and the slide will be clean. If the instrument is extremely dirty, repeat the operation. Use this method on tuning slides, first valve slides, second valve slides and third valve slides.
TROMBONE SLIDES For cleaning trombone slides, use the same method but use a 75-inch line because of the greater length of the slide.
Follow this procedure carefully: Remove the outside slide, being very careful not to touch or bump it against anything. This will prevent dents and keep your slide operating satisfactorily. Next, drop the lead weight into the outside slide at A [picture omited] and feed it through the slide so the weight will come around to B [picture omited]. Simply pull the weight and cloth through the slide. The ramrod type of cleaner can be used by expert repairmen, but because it is made of steel it can very easily damage or bend the slide. Use of the softer materials such as the cloth and the lead weightprotects your instrument and adds life to the slide. Be sure to rinse slides with cold water after cleaning, to remove any trace of lint or corrosion.
OILING AND LUBRICATION For a smoother valve action, use special valve instrument oil ONLY. Apply sparingly before each performance. Just a drop or two is sufficient for fast, smooth action. This adds life to your valves, too. (Conn Valve Oil is specially designed for your Conn instrument.)
Trombone slides Slides must be oiled properly for satisfactory operation. Wash slides often and apply fresh oil or Conn Slide-Creme. A small amount of oil or creme at a time will contribute greatly to better slide action and longer life.
Tuning slide and all valve slides These should be greased at least once a week with vaseline or petroleum jelly. These materials keep the slide operating easily and prevent sticking. A very small amount of either of these lubricants, applied to both sides of the slide, will keep it in fine condition.
French Horns Use only the finest valve oil on rotary valves. (Do not try to dismantle the valves.) Pour a small quantity of oil into each valve slide, hold the horn upside down, and then work the valves so that the oil will reach the bearings. Because of the nature of rotaty valves, the more oil used at each oiling the fewer applications are required. (Always use Conn oil.) Extra care of the valves on your horn will help you play better and easier.
1. Be careful when putting the instrument in the case.
2. Clean outside of instrument with soap and water only. Be sure to rinse all soapy water from instrument. Avoid abrasives which will ruin the action and finish.
3. If the mouthpiece is stuck, forcing it can easily damage your horn. See a repairman.
4. Unless you have a special compartment in your case, do not cary books, bottles, or other items which are likely to damage your instrument.
5. Fresh air is good for your instrument. When you reach home after playing, open the case so the horn can dry thoroughly.
6. A dented slide or a sticking valve should be examined and repaired by an expert. These are delicate parts, fitted to very close tolerances, and should not be repaired by an inexperienced person.
7. If you have a special problem concerning your instrument or if it is not working satisfactorily, write the factory for advice.
YOUR NEW CONN instrument will play better and last longer if you follow these simple, easy steps for proper care:
1. Keep it clean (inside and out).
2. Keep it oiled (but use oil and grease sparingly).
3. Keep other articles out of your instrument case (to avoid scratching or dents).
4. Keep instrument away from people who know nothing about it. (Many instruments are damaged because uninformed people handle them.)