He continued refining the process and began selling the instruments, until, in 1937, he was able to manufacture and assemble trumpets using parts solely made in his home workshop. In 1939 he started to advertise the Benge Company, and he continued making trumpets in his Chicago home until 1953. In part due to a severe case of spinal arthritis, he moved to Burbank, California, where he continued to make “The World’s Finest Trumpet” until his death on December 13, 1960.
After Elden Benge's death, the company was run by his son Donald Benge. The company enjoyed a very strong reputation among professional players in the Los Angeles area recording industry during the 1960s. In general the company did very little advertising and sold trumpets mostly to professionals and serious students through a network of professional players. In December 1970, Donald Benge sold the company to Leisure Time Industries and production was moved from the Benge garage to a small shop in downtown Los Angeles in the back of Lockie Music, also owned by Leisure Time. In 1972 the company was bought by H. N. White Co. who moved production to Anaheim, California, and increased production substantially.
Advancing the art of brasswind manufacture: since taking over the venerable Schilke company three years ago, Andrew and Julie Naumann have managed to double production while preserving a five-decade tradition of product quality. Retailers looking for an alternative high-end trumpet are taking notice.(SCHILKE TURNS 50)
Jul 01, 2006; Using a steady hand and a sharp, square-edged chisel, skilled craftsmen at the Schilke plant in Melrose Park, Illinois,...