The Conn Research Department Page
For many years Conn invested a lot of effort in research. In 1928 Conn's "Experimental Laboratory" was setup directed by L.B. Greenleaf and Chief Engineer Allen Loomis. In 1940 it was replaced by the "Division of Research, Development and Design" led by Dr. Earle Kent. In 1960 Conn ended the research department, presumably to save money.
Conn's research led to many innovations, such as the Vocabell and the Coprion bell as well as a number of electrical devices such as the Stroboconn and the Dynalevel as well as advances in electronic organs. Conn applied for and received well in excess of 100 patents during its Elkhart period.
Another aspect was what is now called the "model department". It is said that in those days this model department could make you anything you wanted. Instruments with a star next to the serial number are special order, probably from the model department.
However, after C.G. Conn Ltd. was sold to MacMillan in 1969 the decision was made to move the factory from Elkhart, Indiana where it had been for 95 years to Abilene, Texas. During that move huge amounts of information and research collected over the years, as well as countless prototypes and one-off experimental instruments were destroyed and lost forever. A few of those experimental models and prototypes "escaped" the destruction and have survived. These instruments range from slight variations of standard models to the very unusual and completely different.
Index of pages
The Patent list
This is a list of all patents assigned to C.G. Conn Ltd. with application dates no later than 1969. Undoubtedly there are more patents than on this list.
What do the prototypes and models look like?
Here is a look at some prototypes and models. Some merely slight variations, others quite unusual.