Chicago Benge #522:
The Grimes Trumpet

(photos courtesy of Mark Koehl)


Maurie Grimes was a well-known Chicago theater musician.
In the 1930s he played 1st Trumpet for the Chicago Theater
Orchestra; the 2nd Trumpet was Frank Anglund, who was
the original owner of Chicago Benge #526. In the Benge
advertisement from the November 1, 1939 issue of Down Beat
it is stated that the theater trumpeters had been exclusively
using Benge trumpets since 1937.

SPC Mark Koehl is currently in the 98th Army Band, based in Fort Rucker, Alabama. He relates the history of #522:

"As far as history of the horn goes, it belonged to Maurie Grimes, who played for the Chicago Theater Orchestra. In the case that the horn came in was a handwritten biography about Maurie, as written by his brother Sheldon dated, 7 Oct 1932. The biography speaks a great deal about Maurie's playing ability as well as his travels that music had made possible for him. I know that the horn was passed on to Maurie's cousin, Roy Bodie, a local musician from Angola, IN. From there it went to his brother-in-law, Ben Weldon, who happens to be my great-uncle. Now the horn has been passed on to me."

Alterations (according to Mark Koehl):
Repairs have been made on the 1st and 2nd valve slides. Also, the leadpipe has been replaced and lacquer has been restored.

Serial number-#522

Serial number on valves-#522
  I believe that the bell was also replaced, most likely by Elden
Benge himself, as the original bell would have had the "Hand-
Tempered" hallmark. Benge often replaced bells from the
earliest trumpets, as he believed that, within a few years of
starting to manufacture trumpets, he had greatly improved his
bell-making process. He continued to experiment in this area,
with the 5X bell being an innovation that he spoke of before
moving to Burbank, then put into production once he got settled
and had sufficiently trained his new workers.

Interestingly, this bell does NOT have the staff logo, which
leads me to think that Benge replaced the original bell with this
one @1943, as the only other trumpets with Resno-Tempered
Bells without the staff logo ranged from #1008 to #1021, which
are estimated to have been made during that year.


Valve Block-#522


Click here to return to the Chicago Benge home page.

Click here to return to the Questions & Theories page.