Letter to Eldon Engle
June 4, 1953


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
Eldon Engle, I had no hard evidence that Elden Benge was still in Chicago during 1953.

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.


Since the scan is a bit faint,
here is the text, errors and all.

June 4,1953

Mr. Eldon Eagle
Indiana University

Dear Mr. Eagle;

I have recieved your letter and
I shall have a trumpet ready
for you by June 14th. Have
been quite behind on orders
due to several circumstances,
one of which is making
preparations for moving my
trumpet shop to California
around August 1st.

I am also writing Mr. Adam
about this and I imagine that
it will be somewhat of a
surprise to him because of his
having lived in Los Angeles.
My shop will be located in
Burbank- a suburb of Los
Angeles .

In case you want to suggest
any special feature you desire
on your trumpet you might
drop me a line immediatly.

With best regards, I remain,

Sincerely yours.

Elden Benge

(letter courtesy of Eldon Engle)
Click here to return to the Chicago Benge home page.