Henry John Distin

Biography

Henry (John) Distin was the second eldest son of John Distin (the founder of the Distin Family Quintet and Distin & Sons). He studied music at the Royal Academy of Music and in 1850 took over the family business. He presided over the expansion of the business and the publication of band music within a series called 'Distin's Brass Band Journal'.

Henry Distin applied for 19 patents and won a prize medal at the 1867 World Exhibition in Paris. In 1868 he sold the family business (which continued as Distin & Co. until 1874) to Boosey & Son and moved to the USA in 1877.

Whilst in America, he worked with Moses Slater of New York and then J.W. Pepper of New York and Philadelphia - during which he produced an alto horn with echo attachment, which he named the 'melody horn'.

Following a move to Philadelphia in 1882, Henry Distin established a firm and later a factory in Williamsport, Pennsylvania with his son William Henry Distin, before retiring in 1890.

Brief biography

instrument maker, musician and publisher (1819-1903)

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk