KING

The H.N. White Company was founded 1893 in Cleveland, Ohio by Henderson White, an engraver and instrument repairman. White started out working for McMilin's Music Store. He often hung around the theater acquainting himself with the musicians and looking for repair work. Described in the 1943 King 50 Years of Achievement in the Band Instrument Industry, "For many months the two men collaborated, pooling their experience as artist and mechanic. Frequently Thomas King went from the theatre to White's shop to the the model trombone in its various stages of development. After long and painstaking effort the first of the famous line of King band instruments... the King trombone... came into being." [in 1894] with the first King trombone which featured different model bells, bores, and mouthpipe than any horn before it, later developing other brass instruments. The article goes as far as to say, "Every professional trombonist in Cleveland bought one." Henderson White chose the brand King as a symbol of superiority and leadership in 1893.

In 1904, White paired with F.A. Reynolds, and started offering woodwinds in 1908, importing saxophones from Evette & Schaeffer (Buffet) marketed as student friendly pricing compared to American made horns. After that V. Kohlert saxophones. The first world war enhanced White's desire to make American made instruments using the supplier Cleveland musical Instrument Company. In 1916, many horns were made for military bands. During World War I the company built another building and began experimenting with designs in woodwinds. In 1917 and 1918 all saxophones were made for the government, and they are mark for which branch they were sent to. A 1935 H.N. White Catalog of Woodwind Instruments lists everything from flutes to bassoons, including both Boehm and Albert system metal clarinets.

The development of the King "Saxello," an innovation to the soprano saxophone, featured a tilted neck and bell, which White felt it improved the tone. The Zephyr featured better key design and improved bore. In 1925, H.N. White acquired the Cleveland Musiacl instrument company. Foster Reynolds left and made his own company, four years later Henderson White died in March 26, 1940 at the age of 65. His brother Hugh White, widow Edna White, and daughter Cathryn White-Ludwig all acted as president after his death. After World War II (1946) H.N. White developed the famous "Super 20," one of the companies most famous horns, which has a rich and mellow tone that blows easy throughout the range of the instrument. A year later they offered the silver model of the Super-20 (named after the twenty improvements made on the Zephyr) with solid sterling silver bells and necks that cut more than the brass models. During the 1950's, the Woodwind department employed 50% women due to the intricate and complex parts of the smaller instruments. In 1965, the company sold to Seeburg Corporation of Eastlake, Ohio and the name was changed to "King Instruments." Lower production cost led to cheaper instruments and in 1985 once again the company sold to United Musical Instruments along with Conn becoming part of the Conn-Selmer company. Instruments included slide trombone, cornet, trumpet, clarinet, Trombonium valve trombone, baritone, flutes and saxophones.

Innovations
1920's Silver bells sharper sound
brazed-on tonehole chimneys
TheKing Saxello (soprano saxophone) both tilt neck and bell
King Voll- True II 1934 first saxophone with both bell keys on the right side

Famous Players
Charlie Ventura
Tommy Dorsey
Charlie Parker
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
Roland Kirk
Yusef Lateef
Arnie Lawrence
James Moody

More on King H.N. White Company
hnwhite.com
dannychesnut.com/Music/Trombone/King/
1943 King 50 Years of Achievement in the Band Instrument Industry
White Way News no 14 1947

[less]

The H.N. White Company was founded 1893 in Cleveland, Ohio by Henderson White, an engraver and instrument repairman. White started out working for McMilin's Music Store. He often hung around the theater acquainting himself with the musicians and looking for repair work. Described in the 1943 King...   [more]

KING Models

H.N. White Model

Years: 1915 - 1928 Serials: 35000 - 109999 (9 specimens)

Voll-True

Years: 1928 - 1932 Serials: 110000 - 145199 (2 specimens)

Voll-True II

Years: 1932 - 1935 Serials: 145200 - 178999 (3 specimens)

Zephyr series I

Years: 1935 - 1945 Serials: 179000 - 271999 (7 specimens)

Zephyr Special series I

Years: 1937 - 1945 Serials: 209000 - 271999 (4 specimens)

Zephyr series II

Years: 1945 - 1975 Serials: 272000 - 511750 (5 specimens)

Super 20 series I

Years: 1945 - 1950 Serials: 275000 - 304999 (10 specimens)

Super 20 series II

Years: 1950 - 1955 Serials: 305000 - 338000 (3 specimens)

Super 20 series III

Years: 1955 - 1962 Serials: 340000 - 379999 (6 specimens)

Super 20 series IV

Years: 1962 - 1967 Serials: 380000 - 425999 (7 specimens)

Super 20 series V

Years: 1967 - 1976 Serials: 426000 - 520000 (5 specimens)

Super 20 series VI

Years: 1973 - 1998 Serials: 500000 - 800000 (5 specimens)

Super 21

Years: 1994 - 1996 Serials: 731000 - 736000 (No Specimens)

KING Serial Numbers

  • Year Range

  • Serial Range

H.N. White Model
1915 - 1916 35000 - 35999
1916 - 1917 36000 - 38999
1917 - 1918 39000 - 41999
1918 - 1919 42000 - 44999
1919 - 1920 45000 - 47999
1920 - 1921 48000 - 50999
1921 - 1922 51000 - 53999
1922 - 1923 54000 - 57999
1923 - 1924 58000 - 64999
1924 - 1925 65000 - 74999
1925 - 1926 75000 - 85999
1926 - 1927 86000 - 97999
1927 - 1928 98000 - 109999
Voll-True
1928 - 1929 110000 - 116399
1929 - 1930 116400 - 125999
1930 - 1931 126000 - 132999
1931 - 1932 133000 - 145199
Voll-True II
1932 - 1933 145200 - 146999
1933 - 1934 147000 - 153999
1934 - 1935 154000 - 178999
Zephyr series I
1935 - 1936 179000 - 185999
1936 - 1937 186000 - 199999
1937 - 1938 200000 - 211999
1938 - 1939 212000 - 224999
1939 - 1940 225000 - 238999
1940 - 1941 239000 - 253999
1941 - 1942 254000 - 263999
1942 - 1945 264000 - 271999
Zephyr Special series I
1937 - 1938 209000 - 211999
1938 - 1939 212000 - 224999
1939 - 1940 225000 - 238999
1940 - 1941 239000 - 253999
1941 - 1942 254000 - 263999
1942 - 1945 264000 - 271999
Zephyr series II
1945 - 1946 272000 - 276999
1946 - 1947 277000 - 286999
1947 - 1948 287000 - 296499
1948 - 1949 296500 - 301499
1949 - 1950 301500 - 307999
1950 - 1951 308000 - 316499
1951 - 1952 316500 - 321999
1952 - 1953 322000 - 329999
1953 - 1954 330000 - 336999
1954 - 1955 337000 - 339999
1955 - 1956 340000 - 345999
1956 - 1957 346000 - 351999
1957 - 1958 352000 - 357999
1958 - 1959 358000 - 363999
1959 - 1960 364000 - 369999
1960 - 1961 370000 - 377299
1961 - 1962 377300 - 384599
1962 - 1963 384600 - 391899
1963 - 1964 391900 - 399199
1964 - 1965 399200 - 406499
1965 - 1966 406500 - 416719
1966 - 1967 416720 - 426939
1967 - 1968 426940 - 437159
1968 - 1969 437160 - 447379
1969 - 1970 447380 - 457599
1970 - 1971 457600 - 468429
1971 - 1972 468430 - 479259
1972 - 1973 479260 - 490089
1973 - 1974 490090 - 500919
1974 - 1975 500920 - 511750
Super 20 series I
1945 - 1946 275000 - 276999
1946 - 1947 277000 - 286999
1947 - 1948 287000 - 296499
1948 - 1949 296500 - 301499
1949 - 1950 301500 - 304999
Super 20 series II
1950 - 1951 305000 - 316499
1951 - 1952 316500 - 321999
1952 - 1953 322000 - 329999
1953 - 1954 330000 - 336999
1954 - 1955 337000 - 338000
Super 20 series III
1955 - 1956 340000 - 345999
1956 - 1957 346000 - 351999
1957 - 1958 352000 - 357999
1958 - 1959 358000 - 363999
1959 - 1960 364000 - 369999
1960 - 1961 370000 - 377299
1961 - 1962 377300 - 379999
Super 20 series IV
1962 - 1963 380000 - 391899
1963 - 1964 391900 - 399199
1964 - 1965 399200 - 406499
1965 - 1966 406500 - 416719
1966 - 1967 416720 - 425999
Super 20 series V
1967 - 1968 426000 - 437159
1968 - 1969 437160 - 447379
1969 - 1970 447380 - 457599
1970 - 1971 457600 - 468429
1971 - 1972 468430 - 479259
1972 - 1973 479260 - 490089
1973 - 1974 490090 - 500919
1974 - 1975 500920 - 511749
1975 - 1976 511750 - 520000
Super 20 series VI
1973 - 1974 500000 - 500919
1974 - 1975 500920 - 511749
1975 - 1976 511750 - 522937
1976 - 1977 522938 - 534125
1977 - 1978 534126 - 545313
1978 - 1979 545314 - 556501
1979 - 1980 556502 - 567689
1980 - 1981 567690 - 578877
1981 - 1982 578878 - 590065
1982 - 1983 590066 - 601253
1983 - 1984 601254 - 612441
1984 - 1985 612442 - 623629
1985 - 1986 623630 - 634817
1986 - 1987 634818 - 646005
1987 - 1988 646006 - 657193
1988 - 1989 657194 - 668381
1989 - 1990 668382 - 679569
1990 - 1991 679570 - 690757
1991 - 1992 690758 - 701945
1992 - 1993 701946 - 713133
1993 - 1994 713134 - 724321
1994 - 1995 724322 - 735499
1995 - 1996 735500 - 752999
1996 - 1997 753000 - 770499
1997 - 1998 770500 - 800000
Super 21
1994 - 1995 731000 - 735499
1995 - 1996 735500 - 736000