The History of Artley Flutes


The Artley name goes back to the 1930s, when Indiana-born Donald A. Artley and other members of the Artley family started the Artley Flute Co. in Elkhart, Indiana, a city known worldwide for band instrument manufacturing. With innovative design, cost-effective production techniques and attention to detail, Artley flutes became popular with school band programs as well as professional musicians.


  • Donald Artley spent most of his early career in the Elkhart music instrument industry before forming Artley Flute, which started out supplying flutes to a New York firm. The company was renamed D. and J. Artley Inc. in 1953, after its reputation had spread. Richard W. Bosse became president and general manager of the company after Donald Artley's death in 1955. The company's name was changed to Artley Inc. in 1958. In 1960, C. G. Conn, a fellow Elkhart-based company famous for its brass instruments, became Artley's exclusive distributor. Artley introduced clarinets, oboes and bassoons during the 1960s, becoming famous for crafting affordable student-quality woodwind instruments.

Series of Ownership

  • Artley was purchased by C. G. Conn Ltd. in 1969. During the 1970s, C. G. Conn, attempting to cut costs, moved Artley's manufacturing facilities to Nogales, Arizona. In 1980, Daniel Henkin purchased C. G. Conn Ltd. and all its subsidiaries from MacMillan, returning Artley to Elkhart. Henkin's health forced him to sell the company in 1985 to a Swedish company, forming United Music Instruments with Artley as a subsidiary.

Steinway Aquisition

  • Steinway & Sons, the world-famous piano maker, aquired UMI in 2000, later merging it with the Selmer Co. in 2003 to form Conn-Selmer, Inc. Although Conn-Selmer no longer makes flutes under the Artley name, its flutes continue to be passed down to second- and third-generation musicians.

Flute and Metal Piccolo Serial Number Information

  • Artley flute and metal piccolo owners can find the manufacturing date of their instrument from 1952 to the present using the information below.
    Serial number/date:
    214000/1968 (Bass Flutes 0043-0059)

    295325 to 322854/1971
    322855 to 356526/1972
    356527 to 396152/1973
    396153 to 438130/1974
    438131 to 472995/1975
    472996 to 498126/1976
    498127 to 523041/1977
    523042 to 553155/1978
    553156 to 587764/1979
    587765 to 618788/1980
    618789 to 643979/1981
    643980 to 656814/1982
    656815 to 677772 and prefix 33/1983
    677773 to 687751 and prefix 34/1984
    Add 50 to the serial number prefix to find the year of manufacture from 1983 to the present.

Plastic and Wood Piccolo Serial Number Information

  • Owners of Artley plastic and wood piccolos can find their instrument's manufacturing date from 1961 to the present below.
    Serial number/date:
    100 to 137/1961
    138 to 277/1962
    278 to 327/1963
    328 to 417/1964
    418 to 466/1965
    467 to 584/1966
    585 to 727/1967
    728 to 847/1968
    848 to 979/1969
    980 to 1081/1970
    1082 to 135/1971
    1136 to 1425/1973
    2057 to 2573/1974
    2574 to 3702/1975
    3703 to 4456/1976
    4457 to 4703/1977
    4704 to 5304/1978
    5305 to 5782/1979
    5783 to 6191/1980
    6192 and higher/1981
    prefix 33/1982
    Add 50 to the serial number prefix to find the year of manufacture from 1983 to the present.

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  • Photo Credit Photo: Sara Björk
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