How old is my trombone?

I am often asked by interested parties, customers or friends how one can actually find out how old a certain instrument is.

The best answer is usually to look for the serial number.

Typically, every professionally made instrument has a serial number engraved on it somehow (often in really small type). This is usually near the point of contact between the bell and the trombone slide. With Conn trombones it is often only engraved on the outer slide.

Once you’ve found the serial number, it’s time to google it.

With the formula “(manufacturer) trombone serial number” you will usually find what you are looking for.

Here are a few lists of serial numbers:

Conn

King

Stream

Martin

Olds

 

But there are always trombones that do not have engraved serial numbers.

A part may have been replaced, it may have been a custom job, a prototype, or someone just forgot.

In this case you can try to determine an approximate year of manufacture based on the design, engraving, condition of the instrument or paintwork. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!

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