Robert Johnson served as a sales manager for Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) when the company first acquired the noted violinmakers William Lewis & Son. 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 sold to the On-Site Music Group in the 1980’s. By the 1990s, it was sold to Steinway and Sons who made it a division of the Gemeinhardt Company until 1996 when it was sold to Conn-Selmer where it continues to reside today.
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