Buescher History

The company was founded by Ferdinand August "Gus" Buescher (born Elk Township,Noble Co. Ohio 26 April 1861; died Elkhart Indiana 29 November 1937). He accompanied his family to Goshen Indiana and then to Elkhart in 1875.

In 1876 he found employment with C.G. Conn's fledgling band instrument factory, and in 1888 he was promoted to foreman. In 1890 while still employed with Conn, he began producing band emblems at home and was setting up his own shop.

In the fall of 1894 he opened the Buescher Manufacturing Company at 1119 N. Main Street which made band instruments and other metal products, in partnership with John L Collins, a clothing merchant, and Harry L Long, a salesman. In March 1901 he patented a cornet unusual in that the valves were of unequal lengths.

In 1903 there was a disastrous bank crash which affected Buescher's factory and a number of other local businesses. In 1904 the business was reorganized and renamed the Buescher Band Instrument Company. After the reorganization, the company limited itself to producing band instruments. In 1916 Buescher sold a major share of his company to six businessmen including Andrew Hubble Beardsley. Buescher remained president until 1919 when Beardsley assumed that title. Buescher was vice-president and general manager of the company until January 21st 1929 when he resigned these positions, remaining on staff as a consultant engineer.
In 1926 Buescher Band Instrument Company was joined with the Elkhart Band Instrument Company (some claim that Buescher was bought by Elkhart Band Instrument), a company founded two years previously by Beardsley.

In 1963 Buescher was sold to H. A. Selmer. After the sale Selmer restricted the use of the Buescher trademark to selected products, and rebranded some instruments with other names. The quality level of the Buescher horns gradually decreased after the Selmer buyout as Selmer USA began to concentrate on the student horn market. The Buescher line eventually faded and became the Bundy line.

Though Buescher manufactured many kinds of brass instruments, the company was known primarily for its saxophones which competed successfully with Conn and Martin. It is believed that Buescher was the first company to produce them in America. It also produced some flutes and clarinets between 1910 and 1920, the Saxonette (also known as the "clariphon" and the "claribel"), a clarinet with a curved metal barrel and a curved metal bell pitched in A, Bb, C or Eb. They were produced with the Albert system, and later with the Boehm System . Similar instruments were also produced by Gretsch and Supertone, although these could be stencils of the Buescher.

Buescher Bb Truetone (Professional) was their main line of instruments during the 1920 until the 1940s. There were a wide variety of Truetone models many custom made for the professional musician. Louis Armstrong recorded with a Buescher Truetone 10-22R Trumpet in the late 1920s.

The Aristocrat was a Truetone professional trumpet previous to the Selmer buy out and became a student horn sometime after 1963. It was a step down from the Truetone. After the traditional Truetone line of trumpets came the Buescher 400s. These are more modern sounding and good for big band jazz. There were three styles available: Brass with nickel, Silver plate, and silver plate with nickel bell called Super 400.

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