Sometimes, a trumpet is more than a trumpet
WaPo has a pretty interesting article on the efforts of the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command as told through the horn of a Conn Trumpet.
The old, bent trumpet is dripping with water as Shanna Daniel lifts it from its basin in the conservation lab at the Washington Navy Yard.
It’s a B-flat horn, made around 1934, with a bell that was smashed in battle, a missing mouthpiece, and brass tubing that is split and pitted.
Daniel, in a white lab coat and lavender rubber gloves, rests it on a layer of hard foam and lowers a magnifying light over it. She picks up a surgical scalpel and begins to scrape deposits from the surface.
She is very careful. The object has traveled a great distance, and sealed inside may be the DNA of the sailor who played it.
The trumpet arrived at the lab 21/2 years ago, handed over by an Australian diver who found it in the wreck of the USS Houston, a World War II cruiser, off the coast of Java in Southeast Asia.