Kohler & Son were established about 1780 and in 1790 were based at Whitcomb Street, London.
By 1835 they were manufacturers and contractors for all military instruments to the War Office, the British Army, Navy and India office.
In 1851 John Kohler (b 1804 Middlesex) was manufacturing musical instruments and living at 35 Henrietta Street with his wife Elizabeth, four children and two servants. 10 years later he was employing 6 men and 4 boys at the same address but was now living next door at #33 with two more children. They manufactured for other specialist suppliers including Harper’s Slide Trumpets and McFarland’s Cornopeans and won prizes for their brass instruments.
They moved from 35 Henrietta Street, Convent Garden to 116 Victoria Street, Westminster about 1881. In 1899 they also had offices round the corner in in 12A Gt Chapel Street London. Then in 1902 to 167 Edbury Street, Eaton Square and by 1914 had moved to 183-5 Piccadilly.
During the banjo boom they imported what appear to be Buckbee instruments marked “Hero trademark” yetcertainly had the skills to manufacture their own.
Images courtesy of Richard Evans
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