Date: 1962. Owner unknown, picture by G. Scott Hansen.
Notice the coprion bell. This is the coprion version of the 15A Director.
The 17A Director should be about 17" long, and has bottom spring valves, and was built between 1961 and at least 1968. Late models 18A closely resemble the 17A in that they have the same valves, valve caps and the straight braces as opposed to the early 18A's diagonal braces. The only way I have found so far to tell the difference between a late 18A and a 17A is too look at the length of the slide/curve coming out of the third valve going into the bell. On the 18A this is somewhat longer than on the 17A.
What Conn said in 1962:
Completely New, these Conn Directors offer new and greater heights of performance for the aspiring young musician. Even the untrained embouchure can easily play each note right on the button due to the remarkably centered response. Every minute detail has been specifically designed and created with the student in mind so that he may quickly progress to the best of his ability. The new Conn Directors are acoustically, mechanically, and musically superior... without doubt the finest value in this price range!
Special features of the new Directors: "Anti-Bounce", positive, quiet valves. Bell thickness graduated for finest tone. Newly calibrated bore for easier high register. Brilliant, longer lasting "Lustre-Conn" finish.
What Conn said in 1966:
The [15A and 17A are the] most widely used cornets in beginning band programs. Acoustically designed to allow students to "center in" on notes more easily and to be free blowing. 15A has brass bell; 17A has a Coprion bell for darker, more centered tone. Many Conn exclusive features, including Lustre-Conn, slotted bottom valve caps, telescopic right angle braces, calibore design. Length 16 11/16". Bell 4 3/4".