For many years, the operation was quite small. Blessing produced cornets, trumpets, and trombones for other companies. One of Emil’s early customers was Vincent Bach who purchased valve assemblies as he was developing his own line professional of trumpets and cornets. By 1926 the operation was officially known as the Emil K. Blessing Company. Throughout the 1920’s and 30’s, Blessing produced a full line of brass instruments but soon stream lined to concentrate on the
demand for his popular cornets, trumpets, and trombones.
His sons, E. Karl, Jr. and Fred, both accomplished musicians, joined their father in the family business. Their old-world craftsmanship and tooling expertise gained momentum… a momentum which would catapult Blessing to a place of preeminence in the music world during the coming decades.
During World War II, Blessing helped the war effort by producing parts for planes and artillery. With the dawn of the Big Band Era, Blessing was producing instruments to meet the demand of growing wind instrument culture in America. In 1940, the Blessing factory was erected at its West Beardsley Avenue location in Elkhart, and master craftsmen were now making instruments in a progressive manufacturing environment with modern precision capabilities.
The Blessing name had become a hallmark of the music world in America. Big Band luminaries such as Muggsy Spanier, Bob Crosby, Horace Heidt, Ted Lewis and others endorsed Blessing trumpets and comets. The Blessing professional model “Super Artist” trumpet was introduced and later became the preferred trumpet of choice of legendary jazz trumpet artist, Clifford Brown. Blessing built professional model brasswinds during this era but saw an early opportunity and developed as a leading student and step-up manufacturer.
The 1950’s marked a period of accelerated production, enabling Blessing to manufacture trumpets and cornets for other musical instrument companies under various brand names -giving some present-day competitors their start in the brasswind business. Emil Blessing ran the company until his passing in 1954 and was succeeded by his son, E. Karl Blessing, Jr.
Virginia, daughter of E. Karl Blessing, Jr., married Merle Johnson in 1955. Johnson spent his entire career in Elkhart’s thriving instrument manufacturing scene working for Gemeinhardt Flutes before joining the Blessing team. The declining health and subsequent retirement of Virginia’s father prefaced the purchase of the company by Merle Johnson in 1964. Dramatic expansion of product offering over the next twenty years brought center stage focus to the popular Blessing B88
trigger trombones and marching brasswinds.