BUESCHER's History

Last Updated: Nov 30th, 2011


Conn's band instrument manufactory was not to remain the sole musical instrument manufacturer in Elkhart for very long. Sane of his most skilled employees left his company to start their own operations, and the flourishing business climate for the industry attracted other companies on the outside to come to Elkhart. The second of EIkhart's music companies to appear was Gus Buescher's band instrument company.

Ferdinand August Buescher was born in Ohio on 26 April 1861. As a child his family moved to Goshen, Indiana, and then in 1875 they removed to Elkhart. Upon arriving there the young Buescher was anxious to find employment and to help out with the family budget. He learned of Mssrs. Conn and Dupont and was able to get a job with their fledgling horn making company. From the time Gus was a fourteen-year old he would be active in the industry for the next sixty-two years.

In 1890 while he was still working for Conn he started producing band emblems at his home. By 1893 he attained a foreman position with Conn. Mean­while he was setting up his own machine shop. He began to tool for making band instruments, and in the fall of 1894 he quit Conn and opened his Buescher Manufacturing Company. In the beginning Buescher made not only band instruments but also other metal products. In March of 1901 he patented a comet unusual for having piston valves of unequal lengths.

In 1903 there was a disastrous bank crash which affected Buescher's factory and a number of other local industries. The company was reorganized in 1904 and renamed the Buescher Band Instrument Company. After the reorgan­ization the company limited its production solely to band instruments. A second reorganization occurred in 1916 when Buescher received a substantial infusion of capital from Andrew Hubble Beardsley. Buescher retained his position as president until 1919 when Beardsley assumed the title. Buescher became vice-president and general manager of the company until 21 January 1929 when he resigned as general manager but was retained as a consultant engineer.

There was a short period from 1929 to 1932 when Gus Buescher was president of Johnson and Biddle Tool Company. Then on 23 July 1932 Buescher in partnership with Harry Pedler, Sr. formed a brand new company called the Art Musical Instrument Company, Incorporated. He was president of Art to the time of his death on 29 November 1937.

The Buescher company offered a full line of brass instruments and saxophones. In 1963 the company was sold to Selmer. The Buescher trademark virtually disappeared except for limited use on instruments marketed overseas