Conn 16V Contra-Bass Sarrusophone

Date: 1921. Instrument owned Indiana Soldiers' & Sailors' Children's Home

This Sarrusophone is filed under saxophones for lack of a better place, but strictly speaking it should be in a category of its own. They were made in 1921 and 1922 only. Apparently Conn had intended to make an entire range of sarrusophones, but it never came to that. They only produced this Contra-Bass model. It was advertised in Conn catalogs for several years during the 1920's though, presumably to get rid of excess stock. It weighs 11 Lbs., is 50" long and has a 7" bell.

What Conn said in 1927:
At the request of the United States Government, C.G. Conn Ltd., built the first Sarrusophone ever constructed in America, just a few years ago, as the government band instrumentation now calls for the Bass Sarrusophone as a regular member of the reed section. The government inspectors were highly pleased with the Conn product, and although the Sarrusophone is practically unknown on this side of the Atlantic, it was introduced as part of the regular Conn line with very satisfying results. It should be remembered that the first saxophone built in American was also a product of the Conn factories.

This new instrument, despite its unusual appearance, is not difficult to master, especially for one who has played a saxophone. The fingering is almost identical, and although the sarrusophone is properly played with a double reed mouthpiece, the Conn designers have perfected a mouthpiece similar to that of a soprano saxophone which gives perfect results on the Sarrusophone. The Contra-Bass Eb is the only member of the family now being built, but others will be added from time to time. This model is by far the most important of the Sarrusophone group, and takes the place of brass Basses, being much easier to play and weighing appreciably less.

Although comparatively new in this hemisphere, the Sarrusophone as produced by Conn has already established itself in America, and its popularity is assured.