A Brief History of Hite / Otto Link / Meyer

JJ Babbitt Company, Inc. claim to be the industry’s oldest known manufacturer of mouthpieces for clarinet and saxophone. During its 100-plus years in business, JJ Babbitt has produced millions of mouthpieces and remains a prolific manufacturer of these products.

The firm was founded in 1919 by Jesse James Babbitt and his brother Rollie, who set up shop in Jesse’s garage in Elkhart, Indiana. The workforce consisted of five men and their mascot—a Bulldog named Chopper. JJ Babbitt quickly established a reputation for excellence in the manufacture of mouthpieces.

As the years passed, JJ Babbitt expanded its regular product lines to include custom designs and private labelling for individuals who wanted to design and market their own line of mouthpieces. In 1950 the growing company moved out of Jesse’s garage to a larger facility nearby and—in 1981—took up residence at its current location at 2201 Industrial Parkway in Elkhart, Indiana, a city once known as “The Band Instrument Capital of the World”.

Over some years, the company acquired various other manufactures and is now responsible for the brands Hite, Otto Link and Meyer, all of which are made from the Elkhart facility.