Early Benge C Trumpet
This Chicago Benge C trumpet, now in Boyde Hood's collection, had belonged to Bernard Adelstein, although I don't know if he was the original owner or how extensively he played it. We do know that Adelstein also had a Benge Bb that he used professionally. With serial number 2459, it was made in the late 1940s and is the earliest in a batch of about ten valve sections made for C trumpets at that time.
Only two Benge C trumpets are known to have predated this one and the first appears to have been made by Benge with a modified Bb valve section. Elden Benge designed his "French bell" for C trumpets very similar to the Besson and Courtois equivalents. These all have a very bright, clear sound favored in the French symphony. Benge also offered C trumpets with larger "Orchestra" bells, more like the larger Bach C trumpets that were becoming more popular in US orchestras. The final flare of this is very similar to the 2X Bb bell, but is smaller through most of the taper.
This trumpet almost certainly started life with a French bell, but was rebuilt with the orchestra bell after Benge moved to Burbank. The stamp on the bell is the same as we see on most Benge trumpets made in Burbank. The overall length is 18 1/4" and the rim diameter is 4 5/8". The bore measures .460".
For more Benge history and facts, see Joe Lill's Chicago Benge Resource Site.
At this time I want to make a selfish plea for an original Chicago Benge C trumpet bell. A number of the French bells were replaced with larger bells and I'm hoping that they weren't all discarded. I own another early Benge C trumpet (#2610) that I know originally had a French bell that was discarded in the 1990s in favor of a 3X bell and I would love to rebuild it to its original configuration.