Dr. Banks continues to conduct research concerning the more than 1,200 different instrument models produced by the Conn Company from 1874 to the present. This research is complicated due to the fact that all of the company's early records were destroyed in two factory fires in 1883 and 1910. Furthermore, the company's records since 1910 were systematically destroyed in the early 1970s, when the corporate headquarters were moved out of Elkhart for the first time in the company's history.
Reconstructing the Conn story and a comprehensive listing of their products, then, has focused upon the location, collection, and examination of various types of source material including 1) the actual instruments and accessories produced by the company; 2) published company catalogs, periodicals, photographs, films, copies of patents, and related documents; 3) interviews and correspondence with former Conn employees; 4) court and other legal records; and, 5) Elkhart city newspapers, trade periodicals, and other publications. Donations of research materials to the Conn Archive at the National Music Museum will be acknowledged by the NMM and qualify as tax-deductible donations to a non-profit institution (for additional details about donating items to the NMM, click here).
More than 500 musical instruments and accessories made by the Conn Company have been collected by the NMM (an accredited, non-profit institution). A major exhibition of approximately 50 of these instruments is on permanent display in the Everist Gallery.
If you have a Conn instrument and are willing to provide specific information about it for use in Dr. Banks' comprehensive database of Conn instrument models, please click here for further information.
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