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NMM 6887.  Over-the-shoulder cornet in E-flat by Elbridge G. Wright & Co., Boston, ca. 1860. 
Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection of Brass Instruments, 1999.

NMM 6887.  Over-the-shoulder cornet in E-flat by Elbridge G. Wright & Co., Boston, ca. 1860

While Elbridge G. Wright of Boston was best known for his keyed bugles and, in particular, for his fine presentation instruments such as NMM 7059 and NMM 7060, he also experimented with valved brasses in the 1840s. When he entered into the production of string-operated rotary valves, he varied, over time, some of the small details in his design. For example, this instrument shows a rotor stopping device with two pins, while an earlier over-the-shoulder cornet by Wright, NMM 7334, has only one stop pin. Originally an over-the-shoulder cornet, this instrument was converted into a bell-forward cornet at an unknown date. The over-the-shoulder configuration was reconstructed in the late 20th century.

Makers' signature engraved on bell

Engraved on bell:  Made by / E. G. WRIGHT & Co" / Boston.

Body:  German-silver body:  leadpipe with telescopic tuning slide, valve cluster, bell bow, replaced conical tube segment, and bell. Overlapping tab seam (sloping tabs 5 mm wide and 17 mm apart). No garland; French rim. Original ferrules with one engraved line adjacent to each edge. Bell to the left of the leadpipe.


Rotary Valves

Valve detail

Click on image above to see a larger image

Reciprocal driver pivot stopped by two pins; left valve in off position, right valve in on position.

Valves:  Three top-action, string-operated, rotary valves. Coil-spring return mechanism; reciprocal driver pivot in the shape of a figure 8, with cork buffers stopped by two pins. First and third valves with internal slide tubing, second valve without slide. Windway: first, second, third valve.


Accessories and Sounding Length

Accessories:  none

Sounding length (including inserted tuning slide):  947 mm; internal diameter, leadpipe: 10.8 mm; internal diameter, telescopic tuning slide: 10.2 mm; bore diameter (inner valve slides): ca. 10.9 mm; bell diameter: 119 mm.


Literature: Robert E. Eliason, "D. C. Hall and the Quinby Brothers, Boston Music Industry Leaders: Makers of Brass Instruments with Flat, Round, Square, and Piston Valves," Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, 34 (2008), p. 92.

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