The most enduring mystery in doing this research was confirming the time period during which
Elden Benge moved his operation from Chicago to Burbank. Differing sources gave both 1952
and 1953 as dates for the move; even Donald Benge gave both of those years at different times,
but he was, admittedly, away at college during those years. Until receiving this letter from the late
I had no hard evidence that Elden Benge was still in Chicago
On March 19, 2007 I received the scan of a letter from Elden Benge to Eldon Engle,
who was then a student of Bill Adam's at Indiana University. In this letter, dated
June 4, 1953,
Benge mentions his target moving date as August 1, 1953.
The letter is addressed to "Eldon Eagle," which is consistent with Elden Benge's
lack of detail in letter writing. On June 14, 1953 Eldon Engle visited the
Morse Avenue location and picked up Chicago Benge #3317. Benge mentioned
that it was one of the last seven trumpets that were left. It is not likely that #3317
was one of the last seven Chicagos made, as all horns numbered to #3350
have turned out to be Chicago Benges.