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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

KING MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

KING MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS has been responsible for redesigning and improving the tonal and playing quality of more than 28 instruments, including the slide trombone, cornet, trumpet, and clarinet. It also invented the Trombonium, the valve trombone used widely by high school marching bands. Its products were used by Big Bands and soloists such as Benny Goodman and Paul Whiteman, as well as by instrumental groups of the 1960s and 1970s. King Musical Instruments was started in 1893 as the H.N. White Co. by Henderson White, a music engraver and instrument repairman, whose sensitive ear was troubled by the imperfections of instruments of the day. With the collaboration of Thos. King, a solo trombone player at the old LYCEUM THEATER, White perfected and marketed a trombone named after King that was an overnight success. Later, White designed and patented a new silver cornet, followed by redesigned trumpets and baritone and double-bell euphoniums at the factory located at E. 53rd St. and Superior Ave. In 1935 King Stringed Instruments were introduced with a big bass viol. In order to make working conditions as pleasant as possible and to detect imperfections as well, White sponsored a band that provided noon concerts for factory workers 3 days a week. White died in Mar. 1940, leaving the business with his wife as president. The company's name was changed to King Instruments when Nate Dolin became owner in 1965. To meet increased demands, the company moved to a location at 33999 Curtis Ave. in Eastlake. In 1985 it was purchased by Bernhard Muskantor and became the manufacturing division of United Musical of Elkhart, IN, as it remained in 1995.

White, Mrs. H. N. Fifty Years of Achievement in the Band Instrument Industry (ca. 1943).

Last Modified: 17 Jul 1997 03:41:21 PM

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