Some time in 1908 King began importing Evette & Schaeffer saxophones and selling them as a less expensive alternative to American made saxes. Then in 1910 Carl Fisher Instruments became sole distributor of Evette & Schaeffer saxophones and Mr. White was forced to look elsewhere. Mr. White chose to import V. Kohlert saxophones while he built up the King facilities to enter into his own production of saxophones. Finely around 1916 Mr. White began producing his own saxophones and by 1925 he introduced a new series of horns eight (C soprano, straight and curved Bb sopranos, Bb saxello, Eb alto, C melody, Bb tenor and Eb baritone) horns made in Cleveland. From 1917 to 1918 the entire production of saxophones was made for the government during World War I. Saxophones produced during the War are engraved with U. S. or some other type of engraving which tells which branch of the military it went to. (U. S. N. =Navy, U. S. M. C.=Marine Corps) These saxophones featured many new improvements by King associate Mr. Henry Dreves. The most interesting of these improvements was the introduction of the King "Saxello" in the early 1920's. The saxello was a curved neck and a bell tipped at a right angle on a straight soprano. In 1918 the company was incorporated and "Co" was added to the engraving of all instruments, before 1918 the engraving read simply as "H. N. White."

King saxophone production in my opinion did not hit full stride until the "Zephyr" models were produced. Zephyrs featured better key design and improved bore. The Zephyr Special represents the culmination of Mr. White's work, which would lead to the development of the world famous "Super 20" after World War II. The list of H. N. White super 20 players is impressive including: Mr. Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Mr. Georgie Auld, Mr. Sam Donahue, Mr. Charlie Ventura, and the great Charlie Parker Jr. The H. N. White Company made the following brands: King, American Standard, and Cleveland saxophones.

To see makes and models of Saxophones click here!

Large numbers of women were employed at The H. N. White Company to assemble woodwind instruments because of their complexity and large number of parts. This was first implemented by H. N. White, Edna White took the employment of women to all new highs. By the early 1950's women made up 50% of the Woodwind department, the highest of any other department. The Super 20 saxophone was one of the best saxophones ever made but it had a down side in that it was labor intensive and very difficult to work on, and it was thought that women (with there smaller hands and fingers) would be better able to deal with the difficult assembly process.




1924 King Catalog

1. Making the body.

2. Fitting the keys.



1927 King Saxophone Catalog

1. Setting the pads.

2. final Assembly.

1945 Special Edition


1948 King Catalog

Charlie Ventura

1951 King Catalog
1958 King Catalog


1963 King Catalog

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