Factory Bands

In the early 1900s, local factories began sponsoring bands for employees in much the same way they sponsored sports teams. This was done to boost morale and increase worker satisfaction at the factories. Because they were owned by businesses, the bands were often limited in the locations they could play and the types of events at which they could play. Sometimes, musicians played with factories bands for company-sponsored events and with semi-professional bands to make extra income.

Eclipse Machine Company Band


In 1919, the Eclipse Machine Company started a band composed of both union and non-union employees. The band played at factory league baseball games and marched in local parades. It was active until 1930.

Eclipse Machine Company Band, 1921

Willys-Morrow Band

From 1919 to 1920, Willys-Morrow sponsored a forty-piece band. The band played noontime concerts once a week in the factory’s cafeteria, and evening concerts in its assembly hall to entertain employees and their guests.

Willys-Morrow Band, 1919