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Notable employees who left the firm to pursue their own businesses were composer W. Olds, and the founder of the Martin Band Instrument Company Henry Charles Martin.Paris Chambers, the founder of the Seidel Band Instrument Company William F. Conn's second factory burned on , a loss estimated between 0,000 and 0,000.

The company's product line now centered around the 'Wonder' cornet, but in 1885 Conn began importing French clarinets and flutes. Lefebvre, a well known soloist with both Patrick Gilmore's and John Philip Sousa's bands.

Conn started production of the first American-made saxophone in 1888, after being shown an Adolphe Sax saxophone by his employee Ferdinand August Buescher and agreeing to produce copies of it. Conn's instruments were endorsed by several leading band directors, including Sousa.

In 1969 the company was sold in bankruptcy to the Crowell-Collier-Mac Millan publishing company. In 1850 he accompanied his family to Three Rivers, Michigan and in the following year to Elkhart, Indiana.

Conn was divested of its Elkhart production facilities in 1970, leaving remaining production in satellite facilities and contractor sources. Little is known about his early life, other than that he learned to play the cornet.

It was in 1874 when Conn converted a discarded sewing machine frame into a simple lathe and started to turn out his mouthpieces and was soon in full production (Subsequently, Conn and Del Crampton became best of friends, and when Conn embarked on his political career, he was a staunch advocate of temperance). By 1877, Conn's business had outgrown the back of his grocery store, and he purchased an idle factory building on the corner of Elkhart Avenue and East Jackson.

Conn patented his rubber-rimmed mouthpiece in 1875 (with patents to follow through 1877) described as "an elastic face [i.e., a rubber rim] where the mouthpiece comes in contact with the lips, the object being to prevent fatigue and injury to the lips." About this time Conn met Eugene Victor Baptiste Dupont (b. Conn's partnership with Dupont was dissolved by March 1879, but he was successful in attracting skilled craftsmen from Europe to his factory, and in this manner he expanded his operation so that by 1905, Conn had the world's largest musical instrument factory producing a full line of wind instruments, strings, percussion, and a portable organ. Armstrong, Joseph Jones, and Emory Foster to manufacture a twin-horn disc phonograph called the 'Double-Bell Wonder' that was produced in two iterations briefly in early 1898 before a lawsuit by the Berliner Gramophone Company caused production to cease.

Fiske's operation was considered to be the best in its time.

Conn operated it as a company subsidiary, and in this way he achieved his objectives.

Brick-red 'Wonder' records were also pressed for the 'Double-Bell Wonder' talking machine by the Scranton Button Works from pirated Berliner masters.

Fewer than fifty 'Double-Bell Wonders' were produced of both iterations combined.

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