One of the greatest twentieth century American violin makers, Carl Becker was born in 1887 to a family of luthiers in Chicago, and joined the firm of Lyon & Healy in 1908, where he was taught by John Hornsteiner. In 1908 Hornsteiner established his own shop, where he was joined by Becker until 1923, when he moved again to join William Lewis & Sons, becoming the leading maker, restorer and expert with that company. His own instruments were made at his home in Pickerel, Wisconsin during the summer months. In 1949 he established his own business with his son Carl junior, and although Carl Becker senior died in 1975, Becker & Son remains one of the leading houses in America. His violins, violas and cellos have in common a consistently high quality of workmanship and finish, based on a close understanding of classical Italian work. He made beautiful oil varnish of various shades of deep orange and red-brown.