A Brief History of Holton


Holton was acquired by Leblanc in 1964, but the story behind this pioneering brassmaker began in 1898 in Chicago. The original company consisted of one small room and a modest assortment of tools. The real capital of the venture, however, lay not in these humble surroundings but in the enthusiasm, perseverance, and skill of Frank Holton, a man of many musical and technical accomplishments. Holton, who had been first trombonist in John Philip Sousa’s band, sought to perfect the band music he loved and played so well. He wanted instruments that would meet his own rigid standards, and that desire led him to manufacture his own. His efforts were quickly rewarded. The best players came to play Holton instruments, and the best craftsmen came to work for Frank Holton. This led to expansion in a new plant in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where the fame and fortune of the Holton name continued to grow.

Holton is now a subsidiary of Conn-Selmer and offers a complete range of artist and student model instruments. Holton oils for valves and slides are leading products in their field. Frank Holton’s own formula is still followed and is a closely guarded secret. Other popular Holton accessories include Holton artist-quality mouthpieces for brass instruments, replacement parts, and an extensive range of accessories for wind instruments.