Another "colossally costly" pocket trumpet (a cornet, actually) was offered by the Holton Company, their Model C-150. It was only 7 inches long, but cost $1340 in 1984.
The liner notes to the Crystal LP (S 450) on the cornet solos of Herbert L. Clarke show a photo of a Distin pocket B-natural/B-flat presented to Mr. Clarke after his performance of Levy's "Whirlwind Polka" in a solo contest in Evansville, Indiana in 1886, at age 19. The cornet had an oval bell, and was only 6 1/2 inches long and 5 inches high. It was made by the Henry Distin Company. Clarke's autobiography, quoted in the liner notes, says:
"On reaching the bandstand I was greeted with a degree of applause which almost staggered me. ....One of these [judges] made a nice speech complementing me on my playing and stating that I had won first prize. Turning around he introduced me to dear old Henry Distin, a celebrated instrument maker, who coming forward and shaking me by the hand then presented me with the award, a baby cornet, one of his own make -- the smallest B-flat cornet ever made measuring only 6 1/2 inches long, 5 inches high with an oval bell and gold plated and elabortately engraved. Mr. Distin, enthused over my playing as being remarkable for a boy, asked me to play some suitable song on the small instrument. Again, completely staggered and unable to open my mouth in response, I took the cornet and endeavored to play on it. I was astonished by the power possessed by the mininature instrument; it made a hit with everyone, both audience and bandsmen. It was the only one of its kind that Henry Distin ever made, and I still have it by me, a carefully cherished possession."
In the late 1800's, instrument makers made "pocket" versions of E-flat
cornets, B-flat cornets, and E-flat alto horns, in both piston and rotary
valve types. I have a Boston pocket solo (bell-forward) alto horn in E-flat
alto from 1890, which has its tubing wound around and its valve slides
folded back, so that the horn is only 13 1/2 inches long, slightly longer
than a shepherd's-crook B-flat cornet. Lots of ingenuity in the old