Henry John Distin


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

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