Salvation Army UK Territorial departments: The Musical Instrument Factory

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

These papers are the surviving records of the Musical Instrument Factory (MIF) 1893-1972.

The factory began making and repairing instruments for Salvation Army bands in 1889, and continued until the lease was transferred to Boosey and Hawkes Ltd in 1972.

No original order is evident, so the arrangement represents a logical grouping of the factory registers, catalogues and other administrative papers.

The arrangement of the records is as follows:

MIF 1: Administrative papers, 1893-1972

MIF 2: Registers, 1925-1972

MIF 3: Catalogues

MIF 4: Photographs

Administrative / Biographical History

The Salvation Army's Musical Instrument Factory began at the Trade Headquarters, 56 Southwark Street, in 1889, with a staff of 2 men and a boy, and moved with the Trade Headquarters to 98-102 Clerkenwell Road in 1890. For the first three years, the factory only assembled cornets and did repairs. The factory began making valves and manufacturing all brass band instruments c1893. The first full set of instruments was made for Luton 2 corps in 1894 and the first plated set for Derby 2 (or Oldham 2) band in 1896. In 1897, the factory again moved with the Trade Department to 79-91 Fortess Road, Kentish Town, but in 1901 the instrument factory moved with the printing works to St Albans. The factory won Gold Medals at exhibitions in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1906 and 1907 and at the Franco-British Exhibition in London in 1908. The lease of the factory transferred with 8 employees to Boosey and Hawkes Ltd on 24 February 1972.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research. The reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre is open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. It is advisable to make an appointment. Tel: 0207 326 7800; email: heritage@salvationarmy.org.uk.

Open