Welcome to our F.E. Olds Trumpets Page
The F.E. Olds name may not be familiar to you. The company that makes the horns we sell went out-of-business 30 years ago. (A Westfield, NJ company now has the rights to the F.E. Olds name. ) Here’s a brief history.
Frank Ellsworth (F.E.) Olds started making trumpets in Los Angeles, California in the early 1900’s. The Super Olds line was introduced in the 1930’s.
By 1941, Olds held at least 6 patents for trumpet and trombone design. Olds was first to use professional-type valve springing on student trumpets and cornets.
World War II interrupted the production of trumpets. Shortly after the WWII, the company was acquired by Chicago Musical Instruments with a eye towards the school band market. Shortly thereafter, Olds introduced the famous Olds Ambassador line of trumpets and trombones.
The Recording and Super models became popular with professionals.
In 1950, the Fullerton plant was opened. As production was increased, quality suffered, and today some collectors prefer an ‘LA Olds’ versus a ‘Fullerton Olds’. (The distinction may be ‘bragging rights'; we’ve seen many fine Fullerton horns.)
In 1960, F.E. Olds died unexpectedly while on a cruise and was buried at sea. In 1964, Olds merged with the F.A. Reynolds Company. In 1978, the Olds company folded and its equipment was auctioned.
A New Jersey company now has the rights to the F.E. Olds name. It is based in Westfield, NJ.