Mr. Willie Berg founded our company in 1935 over 65 years ago. Willie was a struggling musician working in Chicago. He would go to all the clubs in the area and sell the band members valve oil, reeds, cymbals, and many other supplies out of a bag he carried with him. He also played jobs whenever he could get work.
Many famous musicians took a liking to Willie, great names like Duke Elington, Harry James, Count Basie, Woody Herman, The Dorsey Brothers and the list goes on and on. The real inspiration came from Glen Miller who encouraged Willie to make mutes for brass instruments so that he could blend the brass section. Willie then invented Stonelined Mutes. He and his wife Faye would make the mutes in their small apartment on the south side of Chicago and Willie would sell them to the musicians that traveled through town.
In 1941 Willie was drafted. One evening when Glenn Miller was in Chicago he mentioned to Glen that he would not be coming around any longer to supply the members in the band with mutes as he was drafted. Mr. Miller told him that he was going to stay home and make STONELINED MUTES for all the Armed Services Bands throughout the world.
Willie borrowed from relatives and friends so he could open a small shop to begin making mutes full time. From STONELINED MUTES came other items that musicians needed and asked him to make.
In 1948, the small factory was moved to its present location in East Chicago, Indiana. It is still located here today, although additional acreage was purchased over the years to make it the sprawling campus it has become.
In 1962, the small factory in East Chicago burned to the ground leaving nothing to salvage. Because Willie was a dedicated person to his business, and so did love the Music Industry, he wanted to continue his life?s work. His son Irwin was just finishing his hitch in the Military when the fire occurred. Irwin, seeing his father needed help offered to help him rebuild the business. The two of them continued to work closely together to rebuild the business. Their close association throughout the following years produced many new products, which are known throughout the world for their QUALITY unsurpassed by anyone in the industry.
In 1992, Mike Berg (Irwin\'s son, Willie\'s grandson) came to work at the company. Willie passed away in 1996. Irwin and Mike, with so many of their dedicated staff, run the company today.
Humes and Berg products are supported by our network of over 3,000 Dealers in the USA and are distributed in nearly 50 countries worldwide. Our goal is to supply you with quality products for your perfect performance, designed with durability and innovation and always at a fair price. Our entire staff is dedicated to your complete satisfaction at all times.