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Our story

Our history is very much tied to our namesake, Verne Q. Powell. A jeweler by trade, Powell fashioned himself a flute in 1910 from whatever Silver he could get his hands on, including Silver Dollars, watch casings, and spoons. This incredible feat of metal working landed him a job at another flute company in Boston. He worked there until 1926, leaving to create his own company. His goal was to be able to produce the world’s finest French flutes. Creating his own company gave him the freedom to devote himself to detail and artistry.

The instruments were immediately recognized as the very best a flutist could play and endorsements flowed in from flutists around the globe. In 1928, he completed his first all 14K Gold flute; soon piccolos and alto flutes were added. By 1930 the brand had representation in the Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Baltimore, and New York Orchestras. There were flutes which had a life of their own; #365 the “World’s Fair” Platinum flute of William Kincaid, #900 the only flute ever made entirely of 14K White Gold, #1142 the “Signature” Flute.

Over the decades, innovation became a hallmark of the Powell company. The first company to commercially make the Cooper Scale, the first company to mix Silver and Gold with the Aurumite Flute, the first to make 19.5K Rose Gold.

The 2100 and 3100 series flutes were developed in the early 90’s, ultimately leading to the debut to today’s Conservatory flutes. The first Conservatory flute was unveiled in 2002 to celebrate the company’s 75th Anniversary, alongside another new instrument, the Powell Sonaré flute. A year later the Signature Flute was launched. 2005 and 2006 saw brand new headjoint styles: the Soloist and the Venti. In 2007 Powell patented a new method for extruding tone holes which is still being used today. The only handmade flute to be played in Space, NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman brought her Powell flute on the International Space Station in 2011.

In 2016 Verne Q. Powell Flutes, Inc. was purchased by Buffet Crampon, joining nine other brands of wind instruments to complete the largest group of wind instrument manufacturers in the world.

2017 marks the 90th Anniversary of this characteristically American flute making company. Started in 1927 by Verne Q. Powell himself, the past 90 years have been marked by innovation, modernization, and a dedication to artistry.


1927

1927

Verne Q. Powell Flutes is incorporated and opens for business on Huntington Avenue in downtown Boston.


1928

1928

Powell completes his first all 14K Gold flute; soon piccolos and alto flutes are added to the catalog.


1930

The instruments are immediately recognized as the very best a flutist could play and endorsements flow in from flutists around the globe. By 1930 the brand has representation in the Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Baltimore, and New York Orchestras.


1937

The first Powell Platinum flute is produced, #301.


1939

1939

Powell is asked to create a Platinum flute for the 1939 World’s Fair Metallurgy Competition. The flute wins 1st prize and is immediately purchased by William Kincaid, principal flute of the Philadelphia Orchestra.


1942

75 Silver Piccolo are produced to date for the war efforts of the US Military.


1950

1950

The first and only entire 14K White Gold flute is made, #900.


1961

1961

Powell sells his company to four managers, Ed Almeida, Elmer Waterhouse, Ed Machon, Richard Jerome.


1974

Powell Flutes is the first company to commercially produce Cooper Scale flutes.


1982

Powell Flutes is sold to two managers, Robert J. Viola and James Phelan.


1986

Steven Wasser becomes sole owner and President of Powell Flutes.


1987

The first Aurumite flute is made, a combination of gold and silver layers into one tube. The first flute of its kind to bridge the gap between the two traditional flute materials.


1993

1993

The 2100 Flute is launched. In celebration of the upcoming Millennium, an art deco key cup design is created. The 3100 Aurumite 9K flute is launched two years later.


1997

Powell introduces the first Grenadilla Wood Flute.


2002

75th Anniversary is celebrated with the new Conservatory Flute, replacing the 2100 and 3100 series, and the first Sonaré Flutes.


2003

The Signature Flute is launched as well as the first 19.5K Rose Gold Flute.


2005

The Soloist headjoint style is created.


2006

The Venti headjoint style is created.


2007

2007

Powell patents a revolutionary new technology for drawing tone holes from Sterling Silver, Aurumite and Gold.


2009

Pinless mechanism is added to the Conservatory line.


2011

NASA Astronaut Col. Cady Coleman takes her Powell flute on a mission on board the International Space Station.


2014

The first Ruby Aurumite flute is made.


2016

Verne Q. Powell Flutes, Inc. was purchased by Buffet Crampon, joining nine other brands of wind instruments to complete the largest group of wind instrument manufacturers in the world.


2017

2017

2017 marks the 90th Anniversary of this characteristically American flute company. Started in 1927 by Verne Q. Powell himself, the past 90 years have been marked by innovation, modernization, and a dedication to artistry.

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