Conn New Invention Circus Bore
Date: 1911. Owner unknown
When Conn was still owned by Col. Conn himself models cornet that resembled each either very closely: the Perfected Wonder, and the New Invention Circus Bore. For a long time I thought these were the same model. However, the cornet expert and collector H.M. Lewis has explained to me how to tell the difference.
The Perfected Wonder model was built between approximately 1906 en 1910. The "Wonder" models, which include the Wonder, New York Wonder, Wonderphone, Perfected Wonderphone and the Perfected Wonder have in them patent number 343888, which is a patent for valve design. The easiest way to see this is to look at the short tube that connects the 3rd valve to the 2nd valve: in these models, following the patent, this tube is angled up from the 3rd valve to the 2nd valve. I am told by H.M. Lewis that all the Perfected Wonders he has played had "fairly severe intonation problems."
In 1911 the Conn factory was destroyed by fire. It is reasonable to assume that as a result a redesign of certain models took place; afterall, they had to restart from scratch anyway. This is where the new Invention Circus Bore came in: visually extremely similar to the Perfected Wonder, except that the tube between the 3rd and 2nd valve is horizontal. Contrary to the Perfected Wonder, the "Circus Bore" model, as the name suggests, was only made in a #2½ (0.485") bore. The Circus Bore model was produced from 1911 to about 1920.