Using Besson serial numbers it is possible to deduce the year and location of fabrication of Besson Meha brass musical instruments. Original vintage Besson Meha instruments are classified in two eras: prewar and postwar. As an example, the serial numbers of pre-World War II trumpets go up to approximately 90,000 and are more collectible.
Dating a French Besson Meha instrument by the serial number is challenging, due to poor record-keeping post-World War II. It is known that serial numbers 001 to 10000 correspond to the years 1869 to 1874 and the serial numbers 87001 to 92000 correspond to the years 1934 to 1947.
The Besson brand’s company was formed in 1837 by Gustave Auguste Besson at the age of 18 with his revolutionary new cornet design. He is credited with more than 50 inventions.
Three models of Besson Meha trumpets were made in France prior to World War II: the “Brevete” Meha, the Meha with no "Brevete" designation and the Brevete with no "Meha" designation. There is also a new generation of Besson Meha instruments, which the company Buffet Crampon now owns. As of 2015, Besson produces a range of brass instruments, including cornets, euphoniums, tubas, tenor horns, baritone horns and French horns.