This Salvation Army Horns Collection started with a single Trumpet.
This trumpet was handed to my Grandfather in the 1950's in poor condition, riddled with dents, with the water keys soldered up and parts of it held together with tape! During my early childhood I developed an interest in music, and was allowed to play the trumpet while visiting my Grandparents (at that stage in my musical learning, I use the term "play" quite loosely).
Years later as my interest in brass music and instruments continued to develop, I returned to the trumpet and noted a few things.
Firstly, it was old! Bell stamps indicate the year of manufacture was prior to 1917. Exact records are not available from The Salvation Army, however comparisons to other instruments confirm this. The model is a Salvation Army "Triumph". The Triumph instruments are not the earliest Salvation Army brass instruments, as they commenced manufacture around 1896, but were replaced with the Triumphonic brand not long after 1917.
Secondly, it was a trumpet! Salvation Army brass instruments were made for use in the Salvation Army, which were brass bands. Brass bands use cornets, not trumpets. So why did they make trumpets, and were there any others out there? Years of web browsing, research and eBay searches have only found one other Salvation Army trumpet (which is also now in this collection). One suggestion is that these two trumpets were built for ceremonial use, not band use. I would certainly be very interested to hear more about the origin and use of trumpets made by The Salvation Army.
In the early 2000's, this trumpet was fully restored by Better Sounds Australia. By restored, I don't just mean the dents were taken out. The valves were rebuilt to micro tolerances, the instrument was fully stripped and re-plated, and it was effectively rebuilt to an as-new standard. The original case, if there ever was one, is long gone, and it now lives in a custom made hard case.
Over the years, a number of other early Salvation Army brass instruments popped up on eBay and other sites. Later models, such as The Bandmaster, I have largely ignored, but I have added a number of The Triumph and The Triumphonic models to the collection, including the cornets, soprano cornet, flugelhorns and tenor horns feature on this site. Some have been restored or repaired, and one has even been heavily customised!
Eventually, the second trumpet turned up, proving that the original trumpet was not a once-off. Who knows the true story of these Salvation Army trumpets!?
The following timeline shows each of the instruments by manufacture date. Further details of each instrument are available elsewhere on this site. Dates are listed as latest year of manufacture due to some uncertainty in offical records.
- 1908 - Trumpet - "The Triumph" - S/N 9xxx
- 1908 - Soprano Cornet - "The Triumph" - S/N 12xxx
- 1912 - Euphonium - "Class A" - S/N 12xxx
- 1914 - Trumpet - "The Triumph" - S/N 13xxx
- 1916 - Flugelhorn Compact - "The Triumph" - S/N 14xxx
- 1921 - Cornet - "The Triumph" - S/N 15xxx
- 1923 - Cornet - "The Bandmaster" - S/N 16xxx
- 1924 - Flugelhorn - "The Triumph" - S/N 17xxx
- 1924 - Tenor Horn - "The Triumph" - S/N 17xxx
- 1925 - Baritone - "The Triumph" - S/N 18xxx
- 1926 - Flugelhorn - "The Triumphonic" - S/N 19xxx
- 1927 - Flugelhorn - "The Triumphonic" - S/N 20xxx
- 1931 - Flugelhorn - "The Triumph" - S/N 20xxx
- 1962 - Tenor Horn - "The Triumphonic" - S/N 30xxx
- 1967 - Baritone - "The Triumphonic" - S/N 32xxx
- 1968 - Tenor Horn - "The Triumphnic" - S/N 33xxx