Robert Johnson served as a sales manager for Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) when the company first acquired the noted violinmakers William Lewis & Sons. As a salesman, he worked closely with Harry Benson, who was also interviewed for the NAMM Oral History program thanks to Robert. William Lewis established a small shop and later expanded it in 1898 to include his son in the business. The company was sold to CMI in the 1960s and was purchased by Selmer in the 1980s. Today the Conn-Selmer Company continues to produce the violins.