Home  |  Articles  |  Search  |  Enroll  |  Equipment  |  Mello Chest  |  Souvies  |  Links  |  Updates 


compiled by Scooter Pirtle (email)

Through the years many companies have manufactured, imported, and distributed bugles (or field trumpets) in North America. This listing represents a narrow search for companies that were known to be active in the bugle market in North America after the year 1900.

Nearly every brass instrument and band instrument manufacturer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century manufactured or distributed bugles. Technically, any company capable of producing a trumpet, cornet, trombone, or horn would subsequently be able to manufacture the bugle. It is for this reason there is such an abundant number of band instrument companies included in this listing.

It was very common for instrument companies to hire manufacturing firms to produce their wind instruments, particularly percussion manufacturers. For instance, Ludwig contracted various manufacturers to make bugles bearing the Ludwig name. So, even though the bell stamp reads “Ludwig,” the Frank Williams Company of Chicago, Illinois or Frank Holton & Company, Inc. (also of Chicago and later Elkhorn, Wisconsin) may have actually manufactured the instrument. There’s even evidence to suggest that some early Ludwig soprano bugles were manufactured in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Italy.

One may peruse this listing in hopes of seeing familiar brands from years past. If a particular manufacturer eludes discovery, please perform a search on this page with your browser's “find” function or scroll down the heading entitled “Trade Name.” The particular brand being sought may be in this column. Often, trade names will be the only identification on the bugle’s bell flare. These brand names do not necessarily denote the instrument’s manufacturer and may simply be trade names or even distributor’s names. Please note that many imported bugles often had no markings whatsoever. Generally, these instruments were imported from Japan, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Bohemia, and Czechoslovakia.

The year 1900 has been selected arbitrarily as the beginning of the time frame encompassed by this listing. Some manufacturers included in this listing will have instruments cited during the late 1800s. These are included if there is sufficient reason to believe that the instruments offered in catalogs prior to the turn of the century would most likely have been offered during the early 1900s.

Please visit our article on the evolution of the competition bugle for a more detailed narrative regarding the instrument's use in North America.

For all practical purposes, the widespread evolution of the bugle temporarily ceased during the 1890s. The formation of a nationwide network of American Legion drum and bugle corps following World War I (1914-1918) set in motion a new era in bugle innovation and design that continues to this day. The purpose of this list is to recognize these manufacturers.

This list was gathered from an exhaustive search through old product catalogs, advertisements, serial number listings, personal archives, private bugle collections, museum instrument collections, wind instrument manufacturing indexes, interstate rest stops, historical texts, and interviews with manufacturers. A great deal of the information was gleaned from the detailed text of The New Langwill Index, A Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors. Special thanks are also extended to bugle scholar Jack T. Carter and Randy Rach for their combined help in compiling this data. Robert Hazen, author of The Music Men: An Illustrated History of Brass Bands in America, 1800-1920, unselfishly gleaned information from his listing from his copious collection of antique instrument catalogs. Zigmant Kanstul and Dave Peterson graciously reviewed this listing and provided much needed verification and additional information.

Inevitably, some manufacturers and distributors will be unintentionally excluded from this listing. You are invited to disclose the names of such companies to the author (email) so that it can be added to this listing.

Note: Exact dates sometimes proved to be elusive. If a small case “c” precedes a date, it indicates “circa” or an approximate date. If a small case “p” precedes a date, it indicates that manufacture or distribution occurred past the date. If a “b” appears before a date, it indicates that manufacture or distribution most likely occurred before this date, but verification has not been sufficiently documented.

Manufacturer and/or Distributor Trade Name Description

Abott Manufacturing Company


New York c1920-c1940, Brass instrument importers. Featured various voices of “G” bugles with and without a single piston. Abott bugles featured in Buegeleisen and Jacobson Catalog #170 (c1930).




Allied Supply Corporation


See "D.E.G."




American Heritage Corporation

"American Command"

Anaheim, California, Offered a two piston "G" soprano bugle in 1976 that was designed and built at the Benge facility. Trademark for this instrument was "Superhorn of the Seventies." Prototype instruments in soprano, piccolo soprano, mellophone, and baritone voices were produced. These instruments were sold to H.N. White Co. and design modifications led to the popular "King" line of two piston bugles. See "H.N. White Company."




Boston Musical Instrument Manufacturer


Boston, MA 1869-1919. Manufactured "Fire Department and Officer's Bugles" as well as infantry bugles that were featured in c1895 catalog.





"Regulation," "True Tone"

Elkhart, IN 1894-present. Bugles advertised for Boy Scouts and for Legionnaires.




Buglecraft, Inc.

"Boy Scout," "Drum Major," "Rex," "Rexcraft," "Rexcraft/Official Bugle,"U.S. Regulation"

New York 1930-present. Brand name called "Rexcraft" is believed to have originated in the early 1930s. Imported regulation bugles for military, bands, corps, etc. Evidence also exists of domestic bugle manufacture. Distributor of "Official" Boy Scout Bugle. In 1985, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) discontinued its approval of the "Rexcraft" model in favor of a new "U.S. Regulation" model. In 1986, the BSA chose to discontinue any official bugle for scouts. As of 1996, located in Long Island City, NY, the company still sells brass bugles, whistles, fifes, and drum shells.


C. Bruno and Sons, Inc.


New York, NY 1834-Present. Importers of brass instruments 1834 thru 1950s. Featured valved Signal Horns in 1888 catalog.




C.F. Zimmermann and Sons


Philadelphia, PA. Catalog c1890 featured Officer’s Bugles. U.S. Regulation Trumpets in keys suitable for Cavalry and Infantry.




C.G. Conn Ltd.

"Conn Wonder Bugle," "Conn Little Scout Trumpet," "Official Bugle"

Elkhart, IN 1879 to present. A preeminent brass manufacturer. Conn manufactured bugles for military and also an "Official" bugle licensed by the Boy Scouts of America. Considered today by many as some of the best playing bugles ever made in the U.S., evidence exists of standard patter bugles and an interesting single vertical piston model called the "Wonder Little Scout Trumpet" in "B-flat" in several voices also manufactured for the Marine Corps. May have temporarily manufactured single piston "B-flat" bugles for Ludwig during the early 1930s. Click here for images. Click here for a great recap of Conn bugle model numbers.




Callery Rhodes

Callery Rhodes

A G signal trumpet (possibly ceremonial) encountered with engraving for American Legion Post #491. Little more known about this potential manufacturer or distributor. Pic 1, Pic 2


Carl Fischer


New York 1872 -p1950. In 1910 catalog: Officer's Bugle in "C/B-flat," English style Infantry Bugle in "C/B-flat," Cavalry and Infantry Bugles in "G/F," Bicycle Bugles, and Post Horns. Early pattern U.S. Navy and Marine Corps "F" Trumpets also manufactured.




Chicago Musical Instruments Company


Chicago, IL 1920 thru 1979. Frank Aman designed and produced plastic bugles for CMI during 1940s. CMI owned "F.E. Olds."




Continental Music Company


San Francisco, CA. Catalog published in 1932 features American Legion bugles in "G," Regulation Army Bugles, Officer's Bugle in "G," and French style "Clarion" Bugles in "B-flat" also offered. Plastic bugles sold during the 1940s (see "Aman").




David G. Monette Corporation


Portland, OR. One copy of a B-flat field trumpet was prepared by Monette for an art festival in Portland in September 2007. This instrument included art work commemorating the Bugles Across America organization. The instrument was donated to Thomas Day, founder of Bugles Across America.



"Dynasty," "Dynasty I," "Dynasty II," "Dynasty III"

Eklhorn, WI 1964 to present. Named after Donald E. Getzen, D.E.G. was formed after Getzen was sold to H.M. Knowlton. D.E.G. has created three lines of bugles: Dynasty I, II, and III (the numerals denote the number of pistons). Dynasty II and III lines were distributed simultaneously. Three valve bugles were available for European corps as early as 1979. Outsource fabricators of D.E.G. instruments have included Weril (Brazil), Wilson (Switzerland), Allied Supply Corporation (U.S.A.) among others.




Dynasty Bugle Corporation


See "D.E.G."




E. Benge Company


Anaheim, California. See "American Heritage Corporation."




Emil Karl Blessing


Elkhart, IN 1910-present. A three valve "G" trumpet intended for orchestral use was offered during the 1970s. Blessing intended for these instruments to be adopted by drum corps, but competition rules forbade their use.




Eugene Domage


Philadelphia, PA brass maker 1899 thru 1930. Evidence of bugle manufacture during 20th century.




 F. Millard Company


Detroit, MI 1914-a1920, Plymouth, MI 1920-c1931. Brass instrument manufacturer “F. Millard Co.” in Detroit, “F. Millard Band Instrument Company” in Plymouth. Millard bugle from 1917 encountered denoting “Philadelphia” as its origin. Evidence of shared components with “Weymann” of Philadelphia. “G” bugles contracted by U.S. Navy dated 1918 also encountered.




F.E. Olds & Sons

Ultratone I, Ultratone II

Los Angeles, CA c1908-present. Evidence of bugle manufacture as early as 1942. Began producing “G-F” piston-rotor bugles in February 1968 under management of Zigmant Kanstul, evolving into two-valved bugle production in 1976. Manufacture of bugles ceased around 1979.




 Frank D. Osborn


Greenfield, MA. Catalog from c1890 featured Officer’s Bugle, Cavalry Trumpets, Infantry Trumpets, Boat Horns, Post Horns, and Hunting Horns.




Frank Holton & Company

"The Legionnaire," "Classic," "Frank"

Chicago, IL 1907-1918, Elkhorn, WI 1918 thru present. Manufactured "G" Bugles under the name "Holton," and for other distributors (including "Ludwig" and "Slingerland"). Some "B-Flat" piston bugles also manufactured.




Fred Gretsch Manufacturing Co.


Brooklyn, NY 1883-present. Noted more for woodwind instruments and percussion, was known to distribute "G-D" bugles as early as 1935. An American Legion straights "G" bugle also encountered. Catalog from 1936 featured three voices of piston bugles in "G."





"Titleist," "Eklhorn," "Deluxe"

Eklhorn, WI 1946-Present. Formed by A.J. Getzen who worked with "York," "Wurlitzer," and "Holton" before producing instruments independently in 1946. Produced bugles through the 1970s. "Titleist" "G-D" bugles dominated junior corps market during the 1960s until the Olds "G-F" was introduced in 1968. "B-flat" Field Trumpet available since 2004 with optional crook changing pitch to "G."




Grand Rapids Band Instrument

"U.S.A. Line"

Grand Rapids, MI. Associated with "York Band Instrument Company."




Grossman Music Corporation


Cleveland, OH 1921 thru present. Evidence of a "Champion" line of bugles produced.




H.C. Barnes


Boston, MA, 1891 catalog shows a variety of bugles including Officer's Bugle, Bicycle Bugle, Infantry Bugles in "B-flat," Cavalry Trumpet in "F," Boat Horns, Post Horns, Hunting Horns, Signal Horns, and Coaching Horns.




H.H. Slingerland

“Professional,” “Howard C. Knobel Model”

 Chicago, IL 1916-present. Percussion manufacturer that began to include bugles in product catalogs.




H.N. White Company

“H.N. White,” “King,” “Official Bugle”

Cleveland, OH 1907 thru present. Began manufacturing a full line of band instruments in earnest by 1907 under direction of F. Reynolds. Acquired Cleveland Musical Instrument Company in 1925. U.S. Army Officer’s Bugle in “C” (spec. 1152) encountered with Philadelphia denoted as the contract location. “Official” bugle manufactured for Boy Scouts of America during the 1920s. Eleven models of “King” “G-D” bugles with horizontal piston offered in 1930 and in. 1940 catalog showed 10 models with single pistons available in vertical or horizontal position. Produced a successful line of two piston bugles during the late 1970s through the mid 1980s. See “American Heritage Corporation.”




Henry A. Weymann

“Keystone State”

Philadelphia, PA 1864-p1942. Became “H.A. Weymann & Son” by 1885. Incorporated in 1920, closed p1942. Brass instrument manufacturer. Evidence of a single piston “G-D” bugle in several voices encountered. A regulation trumpet in “G” also manufactured.




Henry Coleman

"Coleman," "Missenharter"

New York, 1895-1917. Coleman purchased Missenharter facility in 1892. Offered a full line of brass instruments under the names "Coleman" and "Missenharter." "G" bugles were made for the military. See "Missenharter."




Hollerbach, Kent


Belleville, IL Late 1960s. Hollerbach sold instruments with "K-Bach" trade name that were manufactured in Germany and imported to the U.S. A "G-F" valve-rotor circular mellophone encountered.




J. La Rosa & Co.


Long Island City, NY. Firm known to have distributed instruments c1940. Bugles by "La Rosa" encountered.




J.W. Jenkins & Sons Music Company


Kansas City, MO Early 20th Century, "B-Flat" Army Bugles, U.S. Regulation bugles in "G," Clarion Militaire in "B-Flat," and long model Post Horns.




J.W. Pepper

“The J.W.P. Premier (U.S. Reg) Trumpets” & “The J.W.P. Standard Trumpets”

Philadelphia, PA 1876-1919. Manufactured brass instruments under numerous trade names. Also produced instruments for other distributors. Manufactured 2,980 Military Trumpets for U.S. Army prior to 1903.




John F. Stratton


New York, NY 1859-1912. Producer of military bugles during the Civil War and prominent military instrument manufacturer after the war.




John Heald Cornet Co.


Springfield, MA 1887-1927. Became "Springfield Band Instrument Co." in 1927. Evidence exist of bugle manufacture.




Joseph Rogers

“Rogers Bugle”

Cleveland, OH c 1910-p1950. A percussion instrument manufacturer that developed a “G” bugle specifically for use by North American junior corps.




Kaiser & Kohler


Cincinnati, OH 1857-1893. Supplied "Wurlitzer" and "Peters" with brass instruments, including some bugles.




Kanstul Musical Instrument Company

"Kanstul," "Custom Class"

Anaheim, CA 1986-Present. Zigmant Kanstul designed instruments for "F.E. Olds," "Benge," "Burbank," "King," "Boosey & Hawkes," and others. Introduced "G-F" piston-rotor bugles in 1968 for Olds significantly impacting competitive drum corps. Kanstul three piston bugles available beginning in 1990. Kanstul also produces field trumpets in B-flat and G, as well as a wide array of custom work, including a full set of two-piston G-bugles for the U.S. Marine Corps Commandant's Own Drum and Bugle Corps.




Keefer Band Instrument Company


Williamsport, PA 1909-1942. Purchased from Henry Distin Mfg. Co., Keefer manufactured a line of brass instruments that included bugles.




King Band Instruments


See "White"




Lawler Trumpets, Inc.


Orlando, Florida, later Decatur, Tennessee. Lawler fabricated custom three piston G sopranos for FutureCorps and assisted in converting King two piston contrabasses into four piston instruments. Roy also produced horizontally-valved bugles for the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps of Washington, D.C. These instruments were eventually replaced with piston bugles by Kanstul.




Leedy & Ludwig


See "Leedy"




Leedy Manufacturing Company, Inc.

"Solo-Tone," G-D piston bugles, "Professional"

Indianapolis, IN 1895-1930, Elkhart, IN. 1930-1955. Major percussion manufacturer that was purchased by C.G. Conn, Ltd c1930. Ludwig merged with Leedy in 1930 and moved to Elkhart. Leedy sold straight valveless bugles in several voices as well as piston bugles in its 1937 catalog.


"Professional," "Regulation," "Courterier"

Chicago, IL 1909-present. Independent percussion manufacturer that merged with C.G. Conn, Ltd in 1930. Manufacturing facilities were moved to Elkhart and merged with "Leedy." Ludwig began contracting firms to manufacture bugles such as "Frank Williams Co.," "Holton," "Conn," and others. Some bugles bearing "Ludwig" were imported from Europe.




Lyon & Healy

"Champion," and "Scout Master"

Chicago, IL 1864-present. Dominant mail-order percussion instrument company. Sold wide array of equipment needed to fully supply drum corps of the 1920s and 1930s. Several bugle styles in 1881, 1886, and 1891 catalogs. In 1923 set up "E.A. Couturier Band Instrument Co." Manufactured instruments between 1923-30, afterwards contracted out manufacture of brass instruments. As of the mid-1990s, Lyon & Healy is a noteworthy manufacturer of harps.




McCormick’s Enterprises, Inc.


Elk Grove Village, Illinois and later Arlington Heights, IL. Initially known as Percussion Enterprises during the early 1960s, the company was an influential distributor of bugles and percussion equipment. Sole distributor of Olds bugles during the 1960s and 1970s. Provided specialized services for drum corps, including service technicians and supplies available to corps at competition sites. Also provided corps music arrangements, instructional personnel, and instructional media. Still in operation.




Metropolitan Music Company


New York, NY. Catalog #10 from 1935 featured American Legion bugle in “G,” Boy’s Bugle, Cavalry Bugle, Bass Bugles in “G” and “F.”






New York 1870-1917, Charles Missenharter migrated from Germany. Manufactured a full line of brass instruments including “G” bugles. Bought by Coleman in 1892. See “Henry Coleman.”




Moses Slater


New York, 1865-c1920. In association with Henry Distin, manufactured brass band instrument. Officer’s Bugle available in 1875 catalog. Production likely continued afterwards.




Oliver Ditson Company


Boston, MA 1888 thru 1931. Not to be confused with Henry Ditsin, the Oliver Ditson Company was one of the larger musical instrument dealers. Ditson manufactured brass instruments that likely included bugles. Purchased smaller companies including Lyon & Healy.




Percussion Enterprises


See “McCormick’s Enterprises, Inc.”


Progressive Musical Instrument Company

 "American Artist," "American Victory," "Perfacktone," "20th Century," "A. Feullard," "Professional,"

New York, 1920 thru 1950. Importer and dealers of string, woodwind, and brass instruments (low to moderate price range). Baritone G-D bugle with "American Artist" engraving encountered. Pic




R.A. Kaemph & Sons

"R.A. Kaemph & Sons"

New York 1878-1911. Military bugles from this retailer were encountered.


 Ralph E. Kenny & Co.


Minneapolis, Minn. b 1907-1911. Evidence exists of bugles manufactured or contracted by this firm for manufacture. Ralph Kenny was a trombonist with the Minneapolis Symphony. Cornets, trumpets, and trombones also encountered from this period. Click here for an image of bell engraving from a trombone. Initial info reported by Ellen Stekert, Univ. Minn.

 Reiffel & Husted

“R&H,” “Royal,” “Star”

Chicago, IL 1916-1930. Brass instrument manufacturer that produced a variety of military bugles (2,000 by 1927). Afterwards, bugle manufacturing was sporadic. An Officer’s Bugle also encountered.





“Rexcraft Official Bugle”

New York b1919-1933. Rexcraft was a bugle importer that began distributing “Official” bugles for the Boy Scouts of America in 1919. In 1933, Rexcraft was purchased by “Buglecraft.”




Rudolph Wurlitzer Company

“Boy Scout,” “American Legion”

Cincinnati, OH 1856-1920. Dominant supplier of band instruments. Also produced several types of Military Bugles. Catalog from 1913 featured Regulation Army Trumpets in “G” and “B-Flat,” and an “F” Trumpet for the Navy. Catalog of early 1920s featured Regulation U.S. Army Trumpet in “F,” Regulation Trumpet in “B-flat” Coaching Horn, and Post Horn. Common “long” design “G” Bugle for American Legion also available during the 1920s and 30s.




S.R. Leland & Son


Worcester, MA 1883-1915, L&S was a piano manufacturer that began manufacturing brass instruments in 1883. Evidence exists of bugle manufacture.




Sears Roebuck & Co.


Chicago, IL 1893-present. Mail-order instrument importer and distributor. Catalog from 1904 features Regulation Cavalry Trumpet, Infantry Bugle in “B-flat,” Cavalry Bugle in “F,” Officer’s Bugle in “C,” Artillery Bugle in “B-flat,” and Hunting Horn.




Selmer Company


Boston, MA 1904-1927, Elkhart, IN 1927-present. Manufacturer of brass instruments. Has manufactured military bugles in “B-flat” under the “Vincent Bach” trademark.




Smith Music Company


Chicago, IL c1960s. Glenn Smith imported and distributed instruments manufactured in Germany and other European countries. Circular French horn bugle and mellophone bugles evident during the 1960s. Glenn is noted for several innovative bugle designs including a four-quarter size contrabass bugle during the 1960s.




Snyder & Hannold


Philadelphia, PA. Catalog published in 1900 features Bicycle Bugles, Officers’s Bugles, Cavalry Bugles, and Infantry Bugles.




Thomas Acuna


San Antonio, TX, Boy Scout bugle shown in 1940 catalog.




U.S. Regulation


Trade name employed for domestic and imported bugles meeting or surpassing military specifications. Numerous manufacturers and importers utilized this common identification for their instruments. Occasionally, imported bugles will identify the nation of origin on its mouthpiece receiver.




Vincent Bach Corporation



New York, NY 1919-1953, Mt. Vernon, NY 1953-1965, Elkhart, IN 1965-present. "G" "Military Trumpet (bugle)" advertised in 1925/26 catalog, Apollo bugles were manufactured for the general public and for the Army. During the 1950s, several sets of Apollo bugles and at least one "Stradivarius" model built for the U.S. Army (the famous instrument that was used to render taps for President Kennedy's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery in '63). Update: The U.S. Army received a shipment of Stradivarius signal trumpets in 2005. It's believed 30 were produced and a few of these new horns made it onto the public market.

Updated 01/12/2017 - G-D single piston baritone bugle encountered alleged to have been fabricated in 1959 for the Commandant's Own Drum and Bugle Corps. This specimen possibly previously owned by Who bassist John Entwhistle.

Whaley Royce & Company

“Imperial,” “Ideal”

Toronto c1910-1960s. Large instrument and music distributor that also served as a custom bugle manufacturer that introduced a durable rotary valve for bugles in 1930. “B-flat” bugles with a primary piston lowering the pitch to “F” were manufactured for Canadian corps. Several new “G” bugle types introduced during 1950s and 1960s including mellophone, euphonium and contrabass bugles. Experimental “C” contra used in Canada during the 1960s. “Ideal” trade name used for the firm’s economy line of bugles.




William A. Pond Company


New York, NY. 1890 catalog featured bugles including a Boosey & Co. (London) Duty bugle with a three-valve attachment. Also had Duty Trumpets and Bicycle Horns.




William Frank Co.


Chicago, IL. 1910-p1950. W. Frank initially worked for "Holton," allegedly produced first valved bugle for "Ludwig" in 1927. Produced "G-D" piston bugles in soprano, tenor, and baritone voices that were featured in Buegeleisen and Jacobson catalog c1940.




William John Dyer & Brothers

"W.J. Dyer & Bro."

St. Paul, MN 1882-p1941. Noted as one of the largest music stores west of Chicago during the late 1800s, Dyer imported brass instruments. A Boy Scout bugle was distributed.




York Band Instrument Company


Grand Rapids, MI. Began producing bugles in 1882. Established in Grand Rapids, MI in 1882 as importers, began manufacturing in 1885. Assisted by “Holton” for one year as “York & Holton,” In 1900 became “J.W. York & Sons.” During 1926/27 became “York Band Instrument Company.” Several single piston horns in various voices encountered in 1932 catalog. Company sold to “Carl Fischer” in 1940. Regulation “G” bugles also sold to U.S. Army.








Home  |  Articles  |  Search  |  Enroll  |  Equipment  |  Staff  |  Souvies  |  Links  |  Updates