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John R. Anderson Piano Trade Literature and Ephemera Collection

Source:
Anderson, John R.  Search this
Names:
John Broadwood and Sons Limited  Search this
Mason & Hamlin  Search this
Sohmer & Company  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Weber Piano Company  Search this
Wm. Knabe & Co.  Search this
Former owner:
Anderson, John R.  Search this
Extent:
6 Cubic feet (14 boxes, 1 map folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Notes
Pamphlets
Manuals
Ledgers (account books)
Ephemera
Brochures
Advertising cards
Advertisements
Price lists
Photographs
Trade catalogs
Trade cards
Date:
circa 1700-2011, undated
Content Description:
The addendum consists of trade literaure and ephemera on the subject of pianos.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1: Piano Trade Literature and Ephemera, 1850-1990, undated

Series 2: Photographs, undated

Series 3: Research Notes, 1700-2011, undated
Biographical / Historical:
A retired government employee, Anderson is a piano enthusiast and collector. He conducted extensive research on early piano makers.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Pratt, Read Corporation Records (NMAH.AC.0320)

Sohmer and Company Records (NMAH.AC.0349)

Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers (NMAH.AC.0178)

Wurlitzler Company Records (NMAH.AC.0469)

South Carolina Historical Society

Siegling Music House Records, 1820-1972
Provenance:
The collection was donated by John R. Anderson in 2011.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Occupation:
Musical instrument makers  Search this
Topic:
Piano -- History  Search this
Organ (Musical instrument)  Search this
Musical instruments  Search this
Harpsichord makers  Search this
Harpsichord  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Research  Search this
Postcards  Search this
Genre/Form:
Notes
Pamphlets
Manuals
Ledgers (account books)
Ephemera
Brochures
Advertising cards
Advertisements
Price lists
Photographs -- 20th century
Trade catalogs
Trade cards
Citation:
John R. Anderson Piano Trade Literature and Ephemera Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1257
See more items in:
John R. Anderson Piano Trade Literature and Ephemera Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1257

Dowd Harpsichord Collection

Creator:
Dowd, William R.  Search this
Extent:
33 Cubic feet (81 boxes, 6 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Design drawings
Date:
1949-1997
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents Dowd's career as a maker and scholar of harpsichords through correspondence, photographs, drawings, notes, and financial materials. The collection contains templates and drawings for harpsichords built or restored by Dowd. The collection also documents the activities of small business and its owner in Boston from 1959-1988.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1: William Dowd (Boston Office), 1958-1993

Subseries 1.1: Background Matreials, 1965-1993

Subseries 1.2: Desk Calendars, 1982-1989

Subseries 1.3: Wall Calendars, 1964-1985

Subseries 1.4: Address Books, undated

Subseries 1.5: Telephone Logs, 1985-1988

Subseries 1.6: Catalogs, 1962-1988

Subseries 1.7: Shop Books, 1949-1986

Subseries 1.8: Maintenance, 1981-1993

Series 2: General Files, 1949-1993

Series 3: Design Notes and Drawings, 1952-1990

Subseries 3.1: Drawings, 1952-1990

Subseries 3.2: Design Notes, 1959-1987

Series 4: Suppliers/Services, 1958-1988

Series 5: Owner's Files, 1960s-1980s

Subseries 5.1: Owners Files (alphabetical)

Subseries 5.2: Former Owners (alphabetical)

Series 6: Antique Files, 1949-1979

Series 7: Financial Records, 1961-1987

Series 8: Photographs, 1949-1988

Series 9: Publications, 1969-1994

Series 10: William Dowd (Paris Office), 1971-1985

Series 11: Newspaper Clippings, 1949-1993
Biographical / Historical:
William Richmond Dowd (1922–2008) was an American harpsichord maker. Dowd graduated from Harvard University (1948) and apprenticed with John Challis, a harpsichord maker in Detroit. In 1949, Dowd partnered with Frank Hubbard (1920-1976), a fellow Harvard classmate and harpsichord maker to form Hubbard and Dowd in Boston, operating the Boston School of Harpsichord from 1949-1958. Dowd and Hubbard built harpsichords based on historical principles and dedicated themselves to research and restoration techniques of historical keyboard instruments. The first harpsichords built by Dowd were based on the 1637 Johannes Ruckers single harpsichord. In 1956, Charles Fisher joined the firm as a third partner.

Dowd formed Dowd Harpsichord Shop in 1959, building the Pascal Taskin model of harpsichord. Taskin (1723-1793) was a French harpsichord and piano maker. In 1972, Dowd established an office in Paris in association with Reinhard von Nagel. The Paris office closed in 1985. Dowd closed his workshop in Boston on September 1, 1988 and died in November 1988.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Culture and the Arts contains two harpsichords built by William Dowd. See accessions 1980.0274.1 (Compass: FF - f3. Copy of 1730 Blanchet instrument) and 2009.0229.01 (double manual, serial number 336-75).
Provenance:
The collection was donated by William R. Dowd and Pegram Dowd on June 12, 1997.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Musical instrument makers  Search this
Musical instruments  Search this
Harpsichord  Search this
Harpsichord makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records
Design drawings
Citation:
Dowd Harpsichord Collection, 1949-1997, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0593
See more items in:
Dowd Harpsichord Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0593
Online Media:

Chickering & Sons Piano Company Collection

Creator:
Chickering, Jonas, 1798-1853  Search this
Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Names:
Chickering & Sons Piano Company  Search this
Wurlitzer Company  Search this
McKay, John, Captain  Search this
Stewart, James  Search this
Former owner:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
16 Cubic feet (37 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilms
Trade literature
Photographic prints
Papers
Place:
Boston (Mass.)
Date:
1864 - 1985
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 51 volumes of Chickering & Sons piano registers, documenting piano production (May 1823-September 1985); correspondence related to the hundredth anniversary of Jonas Chickering's presidency of the Handel and Hayden Society; publications on the history of the Company and sales literature (1854-1984); newspapers articles about the company (1847-1876); photographs (1926-1966); advertising and management forms (1938-1968); and a copy of a letter by Jonas Chickering to his father dated January 27, 1838. There are also ten documents related to the construction, mortgaging and insurance of Chickering Hall in New York City (1876-1886). Chickering Hall opened with great acclaim in 1875 and was an important musical center in New York City in the last quarter of the 19th Century. Some grand pianos from turn of the century onward are not listed in the ledgers. It is thought that Chickering may have had a duplicate set of serial numbers for grand pianos but this collection lacks that volume.
Arrangement:
This collection organized into seven series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1950

Series 2: Publications, 1854-1884

Series 3: Company history and records, 1838-1940

Series 4: Newspapers, 1847-1876

Series 5: Photographs, 1924-1966

Series 6: Management forms and material, 1938-1968

Series 7: Microfilm of ledger books, 1823-1985
Biographical / Historical:
Chickering & Sons pianos are an old line that came into being in April 1823 in Boston. Jonas Chickering, the founder, was a youthful cabinet maker. He learned piano making from John Osborn, a true master of the trade. The division of labor in Osborn's shop was not very extensive and Chickering was compelled to study every part of the instrument and to make himself acquainted with all the details. This exposure to the full range of tasks would served him well when he became a master in his own right. During his four years with Osborn, he became acquainted with Osborn's partner, James Stewart, who was awarded a patent for a "detached" soundingboard that was incorporated in the partners' pianos.

When Osborn and Stewart severed their business relationship, Stewart and his new partner, Chickering, opened a small shop on Tremont Street near King's Chapel on February 15, 1823. The partnership lasted three years until Stewart withdrew and left for London. At the age of 28, Chickering became the sole owner of the small but prosperous manufactory. The firm's annual output climbed over the next three years and reached 47 instruments in 1829.

In early 1830, Chickering made Captain John McKay, an experienced, aggressive, and successful merchandiser a partner in Chickering & Company. Captain Mackay made frequent trips to South American ports with ships laden with pianos. Returning home, the hold was filled with fragrant rosewood and richly grained mahogany. Chickering's first invention was patented in 1837 the first practical casting of a modern iron frame built to sustain the great tension of the strings of the piano so that it would stay in tune for a considerable period. In 1845, another important patent was secured, representing the first practical method of overstringing for square pianos, and in 1849 he applied the same principle to uprights. These contributions and others have become standard with all piano manufacturers.

The Chickering firm made pianos in a new way, employing production strategies that paralleled developments in other trades undergoing industrialization. "When he first commenced business for himself about 15 instruments a year were turned out while in the later years Mr. Chickering's business finished between fifteen and sixteen hundred instruments a year and at least one grand piano worth about a thousand dollars every week." (Richard G. Parker, A Tribute To The Life and Character of Jonas Chickering "By one who knew him well" (Boston: William P. Tewksbury, 1854.)

He was a long time President of the Handel & Hayden Society of Boston, this Country's oldest oratorio, founded in 1815.

On December 1, 1853, a fire swept through the Washington Street factory. Rather than rebuild on Washington Street, plans were made to erect a new factory on Tremont Street in the South End of Boston. Chickering, however, never saw the new plant in operation as he suffered a stroke and died December 8, 1853. The large Chickering factory built in 1853 was described at that time as the largest building in the United States outside the U.S. Capitol, and as "... the most perfect and extensive pianoforte estblishment in the world."

Chickering's death in 1853 left the business in the hands of his sons. In 1867, Emperor Napoleon III of France bestowed the Imperial Cross of the Legion of Honor on Frank Chickering at the Paris World's Fair that year.

With the passing of C. Frank Chickering in 1891, the company lost headway; and it was purchased by the American Piano Company in 1908 (Chickering Brothers pianos, which were made for several years following 1892 were in no way related to Chickering & Sons, though this family of boys was trained in the Chickering & Sons Boston factory).

From 1905 to 1911, the firm alone among American builders supported the revival of early instruments by hiring the English musician and craftsman Arnold Dolmetsch to build harpsichords, clavichords, and violas.

Chickering & Sons continued manufacturing pianos in Boston until 1927, when the plant and its personnel were relocated to East Rochester, New York. The Chickering was the foremost piano of the time Longfellow had one and there was one on the stage at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. the night Lincoln was assassinated. In 1932 the Company became part of the Aeolian American Corporation.

William Knabe of Kreutzburg, Germany, trained as a piano manufacturer, established his business in Baltimore, Maryland in 1837, and controlled the market in the Southern states by 1860. The Civil War and economic pressures may have contributed to the death of Knabe in 1864. The Company was eventually purchased by the American Piano Company in 1908, shortly after Chickering became a part of the organization.

The Wurlitzer Company, a major musical instrument manufacturer, acquired the Chickering firm in 1985 and continued to produce instruments with the Chickering name. The Wurlitzer Company was later purchased by the Baldwin Piano Company; Baldwin was subsequently purchased by Wurltech, Inc., of Houston, Texas.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by the Wurlitzer Company, May 17, 1987.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
advertising  Search this
Keyboard instruments  Search this
Business -- History  Search this
Musical instruments -- 1860-1990  Search this
Musical instrument manufacturing  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Microfilms
Trade literature
Photographic prints
Papers
Citation:
Chickering and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1864-1985, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0264
See more items in:
Chickering & Sons Piano Company Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0264
Online Media:

Wurlitzer Company Records

Creator:
Wurlitzer (Rudolph) Company  Search this
Names:
All-American Mohawk Company  Search this
Apollo Piano Company  Search this
Beach-Carlisle Violin Company  Search this
Caldwell Piano Company  Search this
Central Discount Company  Search this
Dayton Photo Products Company  Search this
DeKalb Piano Company  Search this
Dekleist Musical Instruments Company  Search this
Deutsch Wurlitzer  Search this
Eagle Radio Company  Search this
Everett Piano Company  Search this
Fox Theatres Corporation  Search this
Lyric Piano Company  Search this
Milner Music Company  Search this
Morsatti, Inc.  Search this
North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Company  Search this
Robert L. Loud Music Company  Search this
Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Company  Search this
Southern Ohio Radio Corporation  Search this
Western Industries Corporation  Search this
Wunderlich Piano Company  Search this
Wurlbild Corporation  Search this
Wurlitzer Acceptance Corporation  Search this
Wurlitzer Company  Search this
Wurlitzer Company of California  Search this
Wurlitzer Grand Piano Company  Search this
Youngstown Music Company  Search this
Rolfing, R.C.  Search this
Wurlitzer, Farny  Search this
Wurlitzer, Rembert  Search this
Wurlitzer, Rudolph  Search this
Extent:
56 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Minute books
Account books
Financial records
Stock records
Reports
Advertisements
Sales records
Audits
Cashbooks
Ledgers (account books)
Annual reports
Photographs
Journals (accounts)
Price lists
Trade catalogs
Publications
Employee records
Marketing records
Commercial catalogs
Place:
DeKalb (Ill.)
North Tonawanda (N.Y.)
Corinth (Miss.)
Cincinnati (Ohio)
Date:
1860-1984
Summary:
The collection documents the history and development of the Wurlitzer Company and consists of company publications, business records, employee files, manufacturing records, sales and marketing records, product information, publicity, advertising, photographs, audiovisual materials, and organ installation drawings.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the history and the development of the Wurlitzer Company. Materials include company publications, business records, employee files, manufacturing records, sales and marketing records, product information, publicity, advertising, photographs, audiovisual materials, and organ installation drawings. The material in the collection spans from 1856-1986, although information prior to 1899 is sparse.
Arrangement:
The Collection is arranged into fourteen series.

Series 1: Wurlitzer Company Histories, Company Events, and General Business Materials, circa 1880-1987; undated

Series 2: Publications, 1910-1989; undated

Series 3: Advertising and Promotional Materials, 1911-1978

Series 4: Product Information, 1860-1984; undated

Series 5: Photographs of Wurlitzer Manufacturing Plants, Employees, Stores, and Dealerships, 1869-1970; undated Series 6: Photographs of Wurlitzer Products and Product Sales Promotions, 1900-1978; undated

Series 7, Photographs Used in Wurlitzer Advertising and Public Relations, 1904-1970; undated

Series 8: Wurlitzer Employee Records and Related Materials, 1909-1961; undated

Series 9: Production and Shipping Records, 1905-1987

Series 10: Shipping and Sales Records for Wurlitzer Dealerships, Wurlitzer Retail Stores, and Rembert Wurlitzer, Incorporated, 1917-1952

Series 11, Records of Stock Certificates, Meeting Minutes, and Related Financial and Legal Documents, 1907-1972

Series 12, Rudolph Wurlitzer Company Financial Records, 1893-1986

Series 13, Maps and Charts, 1931-1976

Series 14, Organ Installation Drawings, 1920-1931; undated
Historical Note:
The Wurlitzer Company began in 1856 when Rudolph Wurlitzer, a Cincinnati bank clerk, sold seven hundred dollars worth of musical instruments he had bought from family and friends in Germany. The busi¬ness was incorporated in Ohio in 1890 under the name the Ru¬dolph Wurlitzer Company." For the first fifty years, Wurlitzer was primarily a retail instrument business operating out of its Cincinnati Store headquarters. Although fire destroyed the com¬pany's headquarters in 1904, a new building was completed in time to celebrate Wurlitzer's fiftieth anniversary in 1906.

In 1908, the Wurlitzer Company bought the DeKleist Musical In¬strument Manufacturing Company in North Tonawanda, New York. The Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Company continued produc¬tion of automatic musical instruments including player pianos, military bands and pianorchestras. In 1910, the Wurlitzer Company bought the Hope-Jones Organ Company and began to manufacture unit-or¬chestra pipe organs at their North Tonawanda plant. These were pipe organs equipped with bells, gongs, horns and sirens. They became known as Mighty Wurlitzers and provided the musical back¬ground in silent movie houses all over the world and were also built for churches and private homes. In 1919, Wurlitzer bought the Melville-Clark Piano Company of DeKalb, Illinois. Wurlitzer pianos were then manufactured at the DeKalb facilities under a variety of names: the Apollo Piano Company, the DeKalb Piano Company and the Wurlitzer Grand Piano Company. Each name des¬ignated a different quality, price range and style.

With the decline of sales during the 1920s and 1930s, pro¬duction of automatic musical instruments ceased until the manu¬facture of the first jukebox in 1934. In 1930, the Julius Bauer Piano Company was purchased and continued to build pianos in that name until shortly before World War II. For a brief time, radios and refrigerators were made by the Wurlitzer controlled Air-Amer¬ican Mohawk Corporation. It was not a successful venture and ended in the mid-1930s. Many of the Wurlitzer retail stores were, at that time, in bad locations and needed repairs. The solutions to these problems came about with a reorganization of the company in 1935. With the reorganization, many retail stores were sold, piano manufacturing was consolidated in DeKalb and many subsidiaries were dissolved or absorbed completely into the Wurlitzer Company.

During World War II, Wurlitzer halted production of musical in¬struments. The company's defense production efforts were rec¬ognized in 1943 and 1944 when it is North Tonawanda and DeKalb plants received the Army-Navy "E" Award. In 1946, peacetime production resumed and the Wurlitzer Company introduced two new instruments: the electric organ in 1947 and the electric piano in 1954. In 1956, the Wurlitzer Company celebrated its centennial. That same year a new plant at Corinth, Mississippi, was completed. Later, plants were opened in Holly Springs, Mississippi (1961), Logan, Utah (1970) and Hullhorst, West Germany, (1960). The new facilities replaced those at North Tonawanda and DeKalb. The North Tonawanda plant ceased production of jukeboxes in 1974, becoming the company's engineering and research center. In 1973, the DeKalb plant ended production of pianos maintaining only mar¬keting and administrative offices. In 1977, the Wurlitzer Com¬pany's corporate headquarters moved to DeKalb, including the en¬gineering and research center from North Tonawanda.

Wurlitzer's three sons had assumed leadership of the company after his death in 1914. Each son acted as president then, chair of the board, successively. The company hired R.C. Rolfing in 1934 as vice-president and general manager. His re¬organization helped the company through the Depression years. Rolfing succeeded the last of the founder's sons in 1941 as pres¬ident of the company and in 1966 as chair of the board. Farny Wurlitzer, Rudolph's youngest son, died in 1972. A.D. Arsem succeeded Rolfing in 1974 as chair of the board. George B. Howell succeeded W. N. Herleman as president of the company.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers, 1857-1919 (AC0178)

Chickering & Sons Piano Company Collection, 1864-1985 (AC0264)

Sohmer & Company Records, 1872-1989 (AC0349)

William J. Lenz Piano Tuning Collection, circa 1903-1955 (AC0511)

Janssen Piano Company Records, 1901-1929 (AC0512)

John R. Anderson Piano Trade Literature and Ephemera Collection, circa 1850-1990 (AC1257)

Warshaw Collection of Business America's Piano and Organ related materials (AC0060)
Provenance:
Collection donated by Northern Illinois University, and Regional History Center, 1994, November 11.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Violin -- Manufacture  Search this
Radio -- Receivers and reception  Search this
Coin-operated machines  Search this
Accordion  Search this
Jukeboxes -- Manufacture  Search this
Harp -- Manufacture  Search this
Piano -- History  Search this
Player organ  Search this
Accordion -- Manufacture  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Organ -- Manufacture  Search this
Organ -- History  Search this
Wurlitzer organ  Search this
Musical instrument makers  Search this
Mechanical organs  Search this
Mechanical musical instruments  Search this
Musical instruments  Search this
Genre/Form:
Minute books
Account books
Financial records
Stock records
Reports
Advertisements
Sales records
Audits
Cashbooks
Ledgers (account books)
Annual reports
Photographs -- 19th century
Journals (accounts)
Price lists
Trade catalogs
Publications
Employee records
Marketing records
Commercial catalogs
Citation:
Wurlitzer Company Records, 1860-1984, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0469
See more items in:
Wurlitzer Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0469
Online Media:

Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Names:
CBS  Search this
German Presbyterian Church (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Lehman, Lilly  Search this
Steinway, Fred T., 1860-1927  Search this
Steinway, Henry (Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg), 1797-1871  Search this
Steinway, John  Search this
Steinway, Theodore (C.F. Theodore Steinweg), 1825-1889  Search this
Former owner:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
6 Cubic feet (12 boxes, including photographs and microfilm)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Diaries
Catalogs
Correspondence
Microfilms
Photographs
Minute books
Business letters
Love letters
Letters
Letter books
Date:
1857-1919
Summary:
Records of the Steinway & Sons piano company and a daily diary of William Steinway, a key figure in the rise of the company to international prominence in the nineteenth century. The records document overall operations of the company, individual piano serial numbers, and the business and personal life of William Steinway, a prominent figure in New York business, politics, and musical life.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of an original diary (and microfilm copies) kept by William Steinway and microfilm copies of nineteenth century business records of Steinway & Sons. There also are business and family photographs and some miscellaneous documents.
Arrangement:
Series 1, William Steinway Diary, 1861-1896

Series 2, Steinway Business Records, 1858-1910

Series 3, Steinway Family Materials, 1877-1882

Series 4, Rev. Bartholomew Krüsi Materials, 1857-1919
Biographical / Historical:
Heinrich Engelhard Steinway (Steinweg) (born 1797, Wolfshagen, Germany; died 1871, New York City) made his first piano in 1836. In 1850 he immigrated to America and settled in New York City with his wife, three daughters, and four of his five sons. He and his sons Charles, Henry, Jr., and William at first worked for various New York piano makers until 1853 when they formed the partnership of Steinway & Sons. One year later Steinway & Sons' square pianos won first prize at the Metropolitan Mechanics Institute Exhibition (held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.) and in 1855 won the Gold medal for the best piano (an over-strung iron-frame square piano) in the American Institute Fair at the Crystal Palace in New York City. In 1859, Henry, Jr. patented (patent no. 26,532, December 20, 1859) a design for a one-piece over-strung iron frame for the grand piano that won praise, a gold medal, and international recognition at the 1867 Paris Exposition.

The firm faced a crisis in 1865 when two of Heinrich's sons died: Henry (born 1831), who was responsible for the first seven patents, and Charles (born 1829). The family prevailed on the eldest son, C. F. Theodor (1825 1889), to sell his partnership as a piano manufacturer in Braunschweig, Germany, and to join his family in New York City. Not eager to sever all his ties in Germany, Theodor spent time in both countries until his death, contributing technical innovations that resulted in forty-one patents. One of these patents was for the duplex scale in 1872. Several of the following generation worked with the firm, including Fred T. Steinway (1860-1927), son of Charles, who served in London, Hamburg, and New York City.

C. F. Theodor Steinway's technical skills were matched by the entrepreneurial skills of his brother William (1835 1896). William was a creative businessman who played the piano, sang tenor, and supported the musical life of New York City. His promotional and marketing techniques, and his cultivation of eminent musicians and association with aristocratic patrons, helped to make Steinway & Sons so successful. William Steinway was prominent in New York City social and political life.

In 1880, Steinway & Sons opened a Hamburg branch. The firm was sold in 1972 to CBS. Subsequent owners include the Birmingham Brothers (Steinway Musical Properties, 1985-1995) and Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. (1995-).
Related Materials:
The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY is the largest repository of Steinway materials. It holds extensive business records as well as personal papers and photographs. The Steinway family loaned seventy folders of Steinway family correspondence to the National Museum of American History in October, 1984, and a program of transcription and translation was begun by the Steinway Diary Project. The original correspondence was transferred to the Archives Center in August 1985 and, at the request of Henry Z. Steinway, transferred to the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives in March, 1990. Additional Steinway materials are at the New York Historical Society, the University of Maryland Performing Arts Library, and other repositories. The control file for this collection has further information on the location of Steinway materials.

The Archives Center's N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records contains advertising proof sheets for Steinway & Sons from 1900 through 1963. The Piano series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana contains five folders of material on Steinway. The Industry on Parade Film Collection has a short, 1953 film (reel #156) on Steinway's manufacture of pianos in its Long Island plant. The Sohmer & Company Records contain three folders of trade literature from Steinway. These include catalogs, pamphlets, and booklets on the Steinway family genealogy and on the Steinway piano used at the White House. Sohmer, also a New York City piano manufacturer, collected copies of competitors' sales catalogs and other publications.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Culture and the Arts holds several Steinway and Sons pianos.
Provenance:
Henry Z. Steinway donated the William Steinway diary on April 2, 1996.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Keyboard instruments -- Manufacturing  Search this
Travel  Search this
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865  Search this
Politics -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
Church Interiors  Search this
Piano  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records
Diaries
Catalogs
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Microfilms -- Negative
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Minute books
Business letters
Love letters
Letters
Letter books
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1900-1910
Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0178
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0178
Online Media:

Pratt, Read Corporation Records

Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Extent:
84 Cubic feet (104 boxes, 28 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Financial records
Employee records
Advertisements
Minute books
Sales records
Design drawings
Manufacturing records
Legal documents
Annual reports
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Labels
Stock records
Place:
Ivoryton (Conn.)
Date:
1839-1990
Summary:
Records documenting Pratt, Read and Company; its early competitor and later partner, Comstock, Cheney and Company; and a number of predecessor, subsidiary and related companies. Other topics include the late 19th century African ivory trade and Pratt, Read's production of troop-carrying gliders during World War II.
Scope and Contents:
Pratt, Read & Company, located in the Essex area of Connecticut, was once the world's largest producer of ivory products. Beginning with the manufacture of combs, collar buttons, and toothpicks, the company moved on to the production of piano and organ key veneers, and soon dominated the field. Eventually, it began to produce complete piano and organ keyboards and actions, becoming the major supplier to the American piano industry. The records in this collection document Pratt, Read & Company; its early competitor and later partner, Comstock, Cheney & Company; and a number of predecessor, subsidiary, and related companies. Other topics of interest dealt with in this collection include the late nineteenth century African ivory trade and Pratt, Read's production of troop carrying gliders during World War II.
Arrangement:
The Collection is divided into six series.

Series 1: Predecessor and Miscellaneous Companies, 1839-1870s

Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company, 1863-1936

Series 3: Pratt, Read and Company, 1863-1988

Series 4: Gould Aeronautical Division, 1941-1977

Series 5: Subsidiary and Related Companies, 1859-1980

Series 6: Information on Related Companies, 1977-1992
Historical:
Pratt, Read & Company is one of the oldest companies in the state of Connecticut. The firm traces its origins to 1798, when an Essex goldsmith and clockmaker named Phineas Pratt invented a circular saw to cut the teeth on ivory combs. In 1809, George Read and his brother in law, Phineas Pratt II, dammed the Deep River in the nearby town of Deep River and constructed a waterwheel to power ivory cutting machinery. Read left the partnership in 1816, and Phineas Pratt II joined with Alfred Worthington to manufacture ivory combs under the name of Pratt Worthington & Company. When Worthington died in 1830, two of Phineas Pratt II's sons, Ulysses and Alexis, took over the business, operating as U & A Pratt. The name was changed in 1844 to Pratt Spencer & Company, when a new partner was added, and changed again in 1850, to Pratt Brothers & Company. In 1856 the company erected a much larger factory in Deep River.

In the meantime, Julius Pratt, another of Phineas Pratt I's sons, had joined with Thomas Howard to set up an ivory comb factory in the town of Meriden. This firm was known as Howard, Pratt & Company. After Howard's death in 1822, it became Julius Pratt & Company. In 1854, the firm began to produce wooden piano keyboards, which then were fitted with keys of ivory. One half interest in this firm was owned by George Read.

When Read left his original partnership with Phineas Pratt II in 1816, he joined with Essex comb maker Ezra Williams to set up a new ivory working factory in Deep River. This new firm was known as Ezra Williams & Company. In 1829, Read became the senior partner and the company's name was changed to George Read & Company. This company later secured a very important contract to supply ivory keys for the first American manufacturer of pianos, Chickering & Sons of Boston.

In 1863, the firms of George Read & Company, Julius Pratt & Company, and Pratt Brothers & Company, were merged to form Pratt, Read & Company. The new company further enlarged its factory in Deep River in 1866. In 1871, the old Julius Pratt & Company factory in Meriden was closed and its operations moved to Deep River. Though this factory was destroyed by fire in 1881, a larger factory was quickly rebuilt and the company was back in business early in 1882.

With the election of George L. Cheney as president in 1892, Pratt, Read & Company began a period of continued expansion. In December of that year the company joined with another Connecticut piano component manufacturer, Comstock, Cheney & Company, to organize a midwestern manufacturing branch, under the name of the Piano & Organ Supply Company. This firm was to serve the territory west of Toledo, Ohio, operating in competition with its parent companies. In 1929 Pratt, Read and Comstock, Cheney combined to buy out the Piano & Organ Supply Company and it was dissolved.

In 1910 Pratt, Read & Company decided to begin the manufacture of piano actions. An independent manufacturer of piano actions, New York based Wasle & Company, and its subsidiary, the Wasle Unique Player Action Company, were acquired that same year. In 1914, Pratt, Read built a second factory solely for the production of player piano actions in Deep River. Wasle & Company was dissolved in 1919 and its production was continued under the Pratt, Read name. The company soon acquired two additional keyboard and action manufacturers: the Sylvester Tower Company of Cambridge, Mass., was purchased, dissolved, and all its equipment was moved to Deep River in 1924; and Strauch Bros. Company of New York was purchased in 1926. The Deep River player action plant operated until 1928, when business declined and production of player piano actions was discontinued in favor of manufacturing small motorboats. This line of business also soon declined and the project was abandoned by 1932.

COMSTOCK, CHENEY & COMPANY. Meanwhile, other manufacturers of ivory products had been at work in the Essex area. Chief among these was the firm of Comstock, Cheney & Company of Ivoryton. The dominant figure in this company was Samuel M. Comstock. He had learned the ivory cutting trade while working in his older brother's Saybrook area ivory cutting shop, known as Joseph A. Comstock & Company. By 1838, Samuel had left his brother's shop and joined with Edwin Griswold to set up Comstock & Griswold Company further west up the Falls River in Centerbrook. In 1848, the company moved its operations to a new factory in the Ivoryton area, where combs, toothpicks, and other ivory products were made. At the same time, the firm's name was changed to S. M. Comstock & Company, reflecting Samuel's sole ownership.

In 1860, Samuel Comstock allied his firm with George A. Cheney to form Comstock, Cheney & Company. Cheney had invested in Comstock's firm and was one of the principals in the important New York based ivory importing firm of Arnold, Cheney & Company. The new firm began production of thin slices of ivory for mounting on wooden piano keys. It also had its own agents buying ivory in Africa, most of which went toward production of piano keys. The company was formally incorporated in 1872 and in 1873 it opened an even larger factory in Ivoryton.

1936 MERGER. On December 31, l936, Pratt, Read & Company of Deep River was consolidated and merged with Comstock, Cheney & Company of Ivoryton. The resulting corporation was titled Pratt, Read & Company, Inc. By l938, all manufacturing operations had been consolidated in Ivoryton and the Deep River factory closed. During World War II, both the Deep River factory and the Ivoryton factory were used to produce CG 4A "Waco" troop carrying gliders for the U.S. Army Air Forces, along with LNE 1 training gliders and the GLOMB experimental plane for the U.S. Navy. Production of piano keyboards and actions was sharply curtailed for the duration of the war, and was slow to resume afterward. In l946 the Deep River factory was sold.

From 1948 to l957, the Ivoryton factory was enlarged and modernized on a large scale. During the Korean War, the company contracted to make helicopter blades for the Kaman Corporation of Bloomfield, Conn., and this partnership lasted for fourteen years. In l958, Pratt, Read transferred all of its piano action manufacturing operations to a newly built plant in Central, S.C. This move was made primarily in order to modernize production facilities at a lower cost than would have been possible through continued renovation of the Ivoryton plant.

With the election of Peter H. Comstock (a great grandson of one of the founders of Comstock, Cheney & Company) as President in 1954, the firm began an ambitious plan of diversification. The Cornwall & Patterson Company of Bridgeport, Conn., manufacturer of piano hardware, was purchased in l957. In 1959, Pratt, Read joined with six British Commonwealth firms to acquire British Piano Actions, Ltd., of Wales. Keyboards, Inc., a Chicago based producer of keyboards for electronic organs, was acquired in 1960. The Tech Art Plastics Company of Morristown, N.J., a custom molder of plastics materials especially for the piano industry, was acquired in 1961. The F. Kelly Company of Derby, Conn., which specialized in the production of small metal parts, was acquired in l964, and operated as a division of Cornwall & Patterson. In l966, Pratt, Read purchased the Allen Rogers Corporation of Laconia, N.H., which produced wooden furniture and piano components.

MERGER WITH VOCALINE COMPANY. In February l968, Pratt, Read & Company, Inc., was merged into the Vocaline Company of America, Inc., of Old Saybrook, Conn. Peter H. Comstock became chairman and chief executive officer of Vocaline Corporation, while remaining president of Pratt, Read. Vocaline was then organized into two major divisions the Vocaline Division and the Pratt, Read Division. The Pratt, Read Division concentrated on the production of piano keys and actions. It operated three subdivisions: the Ivoryton Division (keyboards, wooden and plastic moldings, and unfinished furniture); the Action Division (piano actions); and the Lund Division, formerly Keyboards, Inc., (electronic organ components). Both of the latter divisions operated out of the Central, S.C., plant. The Lund Division was known as the Electronics Division by 1970.

The Vocaline Division produced and sold electric motors, timing devices, and other small electromechanical mechanisms through its Electronics Section and its Bristol Motor and Timer Section. Another subsidiary of the Vocaline Division Altron, Inc., based in Westerly, R.I. produced wire coils. Through its Research and Development Center in Waldboro, Maine, Vocaline conducted antisubmarine warfare research for the U.S. Navy. By 1970, the Vocaline Division had been streamlined into four divisions: the Allen Rogers Corporation (small shaped wood products); Altron, Inc. (wire coils); the Bristol Division, later known as the Bristol Saybrook Company (electric motors and timers); and the Cornwall & Patterson Company (piano hardware and small tools). In addition, research for the Navy had been expanded and combined with other oceanographic research under the control of a subsidiary company, VAST, Inc., with operations in both Maine and the Caribbean.

PRATT READ CORPORATION. In October 1970, the Vocaline Corporation changed its name to the Pratt Read Corporation. This was done partly to increase identity with its oldest traditions and partly to reflect a shift away from the early emphasis on the Vocaline side of the corporation. The new corporation continued to refine its interests under the direction of Peter H. Comstock, who became company president in February 1970. The Tech Arts Plastic Company was sold off in May 1972, although it remained a source of supply for custom molded parts. In 1974 Pratt Read purchased the Atlas Plywood Company of Morrisville, Vt., in order to use its mill and kilns in the preparation of lumber for the Ivoryton factory, whose own facilities were overburdened. This company was operated as a subsidiary of Pratt Read.

By 1976, the Pratt Read Corporation was organized into five operating divisions. The Allen Rogers Corporation produced toys, golf tees, spools, knobs, and other turned and shaped wood products. Altron, Inc., produced bobbins and coils of copper wire. The Bristol Saybrook Company produced small electric motors and timers. The Cornwall & Patterson Company produced piano hardware parts, screwdriver blades, and other small hand tools. Pratt, Read & Company produced wooden components for pianos and other musical instruments. The company's ownership of VAST, Inc., was sold off in March 1976. Later that year, the company acquired Sight Line Corporation, a Freehold, N.J., manufacturer of golf clubs. This subsidiary, operated as the Sounder Sports Division, was sold in May 1979.

In October of 1979, James H. Tucker replaced Peter H. Comstock as president of Pratt Read; Comstock remained chairman of the board and chief executive officer. His nephew, Harwood B. Comstock, became the next president in October 1982. In June 1982, the Ivoryton factory was severely damaged by flooding after two dams burst upstream during a torrential rainstorm. Although the administrative offices were destroyed and the plant filled with several feet of mud and debris, the facility was back in production within two weeks. In August 1982, Pratt Read acquired the Sohmer Piano Company, a 111 year old Long Island based manufacturer of pianos, and in December 1982 Sohmer's production facilities were moved into the Ivoryton factory. By July 1983 Sohmer was producing about six upright pianos a day in its new location.

By the early 1980s, the American piano industry had entered a period of decline and even Peter Comstock's diversification efforts could not keep it out of trouble. A major blow came in 1984 with the loss of a large contract to manufacture keyboards for Mattel Electronics's Intellivision home video system. This was exacerbated by a slump in the piano industry in mid year. The increased import of Japanese and Korean pianos further undercut the American industry, resulting in slowdowns and profit losses for Pratt Read. Attempting to compete on the same basis with this foreign competition, Pratt Read joined with the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company in May 1985 to establish the Pratt Win Corporation. This joint venture resulted in the closing of Pratt Read's Central, S.C., piano action manufacturing plant and the transfer of its operations to a new Baldwin plant in Juarez, Mexico. Pratt Read sold its interest in Pratt Win to Baldwin in October 1986.

Piano sales continued to decline, however, and Pratt Read continued to suffer losses. In March 1986, the company was acquired by Crescent & Company, a corporation controlled by Harwood B. Comstock, president of Pratt, Read & Company. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Crescent & Company, but retained the name Pratt Read Corporation. In April 1986, the company sold its Sohmer piano subsidiary together with the Ivoryton factory where it was housed; Sohmer & Company continued to produce upright pianos under independent ownership in Ivoryton until December 1988. In December 1986 the Bristol Saybrook Company was sold off. By 1990, the company had sold off all remaining assets except for a sawmill in Vermont and the Cornwall & Patterson Company in Bridgeport, Conn., where the remaining corporate staff relocated.

Sources

Deep River Historical Society, Inc. A History of Pratt Read & Co. 1973.

1899 Souvenir of Essex, Connecticut. Rpt., The Ivoryton Public Library, 1979.

Johnson, Curtiss S. "From Ivory Combs to Carnegie Hall and Today:The History of the Pratt Read Corporation." [Unpublished history in the collection.]

Moore, Ernst D. "History of Pratt, Read & Company." [Unpublished history in the Ernst D. Moore Collection, Archives Center Collection #321.]

Newspaper Clippings in the collection.

Pratt Read Corporation. Annual Reports.

Vocaline Corporation. Annual Report, 1970.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History:
Records relating to Pratt, Read and to Comstock, Cheney can be found in a number of other collections, both within the Archives Center and in other repositories. The Wood & Brooks Company Records (Archives Center coll. #457) contain significant information on Pratt, Read's operations and an important record of production statistics gathered by George Wood while he was factory superintendent and taken with him when he set up a rival firm in Buffalo. While the Ernst Moore Collection (Archives Center coll. #321) primarily documents the purchase of ivory in Africa (much of which was ultimately used by Pratt, Read), it also includes a history of Pratt, Read written by Moore while he was employed by them. The Sohmer & Company Records (Archives Center coll. #349) document the piano manufacturing firm that Pratt Read acquired in 1982.
Separated Materials:
The Pratt Read Corporation also donated a number of objects to the National Museum of American History at the same time as their 1988 donation of archival records. Included were combs and letter openers and other examples of products made from ivory; piano components, such as gauge boards, key actions, and keys; and such diverse items as tools used in the factory, World War II employee I.D. badges, and a uniform from the company sponsored basketball team.
Provenance:
Donated by Pratt, Read Corporation in 1989. In addition to the papers donated by the company, several individuals donated Pratt, Read materials in their possession.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Piano  Search this
Ivory industry  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Ivory  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Financial records
Employee records
Advertisements -- 20th century
Minute books
Sales records
Design drawings
Manufacturing Records
Legal documents
Annual reports
Publications
Photographs -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Labels
Stock records
Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0320
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0320
Online Media:

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Pianos

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, d. 1969  Search this
Extent:
4.59 Cubic feet (consisting of 8 boxes, 2 half boxes, 5 folders, 7 oversize folders, 2 map case folders, 2 flat boxes (partial), plus digital images of some collection material. )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Ephemera
Business ephemera
Date:
undated
1842-1965
Summary:
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Pianos forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists primarily of advertising cards, business cards, bookmarks, printed advertisements, scattered correspondence on letterhead stationery, pamphlets, bills/receipts, trade catalogs, fans, photographs, patents, song books, articles and books from manufacturers and distributors of pianos and piano parts. There is a substantial amount of materials for each company especially for the bigger and better known piano manufacturers. A number of these companies also sold organs. Among the materials there is a small number of programs, hymn books and music books.

A large amount of the materials are images. Most of the images are of pianos and organs found primarily in the trade catalogues and on printed advertisements. The images on the printed advertisements are similar to those in the trade catalogues and include the same information such as dimensions of the piano, style name, price, type of wood frame, and attractive features. The piano is shown as a focal point of family life. Pianos are considered as important furnishings for the home. Manufacturers advertised pianos as companions and the source of inspiration, pleasure and entertainment. Images depicting women and family life are also particularly strong in this collection.

There are a number of publications which discuss the history of piano manufacturing companies. These publications are included with the company related materials. Other publications include primers, early American hymn books, instructions on how to play piano and old favorite songs.

The material is organized alphabetically by name of company. There are seven folders of material grouped by type: business cards, patents, shipping documents, clubs, schools, general images and shipping documents.
Brand Name Index:
Brand Name :: Company Name :: Type of Product

Beckwith :: Sears Roebuck & Co. :: Piano

Bijou :: Calenberg & Vaupel :: Piano

Bradbury :: F. G. Smith & Co. :: Piano

Capen :: Brockport Piano Mfg. Co. :: Piano

Conover :: Cable Co. :: Piano

Crown :: Geo. P. Bent Mfg. Co. :: Piano

Kingsbury :: Cable Co. :: Piano

Orchestrella :: Aeolian Company :: Piano

Pianola :: Aeolian Company :: Piano

Separable :: Calenberg & Vaupel :: Piano

Weber Pianola :: Aeolian Company :: Piano

Wellington :: Calenberg & Vaupel :: Piano
Materials in the Archives Center:
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)
Forms Part Of:
Forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana.

Series 1: Business Ephemera

Series 2: Other Collection Divisions

Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers

Series 4: Photographic Reference Material
Related Materials:
Researchers interested in other collections in the Archives Center that relate to the manufacture of pianos and piano parts should consult the following collections:

Sohmer & Company Records, 1872-1989, Collection #349

Steinway Piano Company Collection, 1850-1906; 1953, Collection #178

Pratt-Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Collection #320

Chickering & Sons, 1823-1985, Collection #264

Wood & Brooks Company Records, ca. 1900-1960, Collection #457

Wurlitzer Company Records, 1864-1984, Collection #469

William Lenz Piano Tuning Collection, Collection #511
Provenance:
Pianos is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
pianos  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Ephemera
Business ephemera
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Pianos, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.Pianos
See more items in:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Pianos
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060-s01-01-pianos
Online Media:

Music

Collection Creator:
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Department of Anthropology  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. Department of Anthropology  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. United States National Museum. Department of Anthropology  Search this
Container:
Box 52
Type:
Archival materials
Scope and Contents:
Includes a catalog descriptions of specimens, a list of donors to United States National Museum collection, and a list of piano makers.
Collection Restrictions:
Some materials are restricted.

Access to the Department of Anthropology records requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Department of Anthropology Records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Department of Anthropology records
Department of Anthropology records / Series 17: Division of Ethnology / 17.1: Manuscript and Pamphlet File / Music
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-xxxx-0311-ref15082

William Steinway Diary, Volume One

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Donor:
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collector:
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Volume
Container:
Box 1
Type:
Archival materials
Volumes
Diaries
Date:
1861-1869
Scope and Contents:
Volume One of The William Steinway Diary records the author's activities from April 20, 1861 - May 31, 1869. .
Arrangement:
Subseries 1: Diary, April 20, 1861 - May 31, 1869.
Series Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Due to fragility, researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary, or the on-line version of the Diary expected to be available in 2011.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 1: William Steinway Diary
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref33
Online Media:

William Steinway Diary, Volume Two

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Donor:
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collector:
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Volume
Container:
Box 1
Type:
Archival materials
Volumes
Diaries
Date:
1869-1873
Scope and Contents:
Volume Two of The William Steinway Diary records the author's activities from June 1, 1869 - December 31, 1873.
Arrangement:
Subseries 2: Diary, June 1, 1869 - December 31, 1873.
Series Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Due to fragility, researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary, or the on-line version of the Diary expected to be available in 2011.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 1: William Steinway Diary
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref34
Online Media:

William Steinway Diary, Volume Three

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Donor:
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collector:
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Volume
Container:
Box 1
Type:
Archival materials
Volumes
Diaries
Date:
1874-1875
Scope and Contents:
Volume Three of The William Steinway Diary records the author's activities from January 1, 1874 - December 31, 1875.
Arrangement:
Subseries 3: Diary, January 1, 1874 - December 31, 1875.
Series Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Due to fragility, researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary, or the on-line version of the Diary expected to be available in 2011.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 1: William Steinway Diary
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref35
Online Media:

William Steinway Diary, Volume Four

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Donor:
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collector:
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Volume
Container:
Box 2
Type:
Archival materials
Volumes
Diaries
Date:
1876-1877
Scope and Contents:
Volume Four of The William Steinway Diary records the author's activities from January 1, 1876 - December 31, 1877.
Arrangement:
Subseries 4: Diary, January 1, 1876 - December 31, 1877.
Series Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Due to fragility, researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary, or the on-line version of the Diary expected to be available in 2011.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 1: William Steinway Diary
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref36
Online Media:

William Steinway Diary, Volume Five

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Donor:
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collector:
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Volume
Container:
Box 2
Type:
Archival materials
Volumes
Diaries
Date:
1878-1880
Scope and Contents:
Volume Five of The William Steinway Diary records the author's activities from January 1, 1878 - December 31, 1880.
Arrangement:
Subseries 5: Diary, January 1, 1878 - December 31, 1880.
Series Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Due to fragility, researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary, or the on-line version of the Diary expected to be available in 2011.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 1: William Steinway Diary
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref37
Online Media:

William Steinway Diary, Volume Six

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Donor:
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collector:
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Volume
Container:
Box 3
Type:
Archival materials
Volumes
Diaries
Date:
1881-1885
Scope and Contents:
Volume Six of The William Steinway Diary records the author's activities from January 1, 1881 - December 31, 1885.
Arrangement:
Subseries 6: Diary, January 1, 1881 - December 31, 1885.
Series Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Due to fragility, researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary, or the on-line version of the Diary expected to be available in 2011.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 1: William Steinway Diary
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref38
Online Media:

William Steinway Diary, Volume Seven

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Donor:
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collector:
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Volume
Container:
Box 3
Type:
Archival materials
Volumes
Diaries
Date:
1886-1889
Scope and Contents:
Volume Seven of The William Steinway Diary records the author's activities from January 1, 1886 - December 31, 1889.
Arrangement:
Subseries 7: Diary, January 1, 1886 - December 31, 1889.
Series Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Due to fragility, researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary, or the on-line version of the Diary expected to be available in 2011.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 1: William Steinway Diary
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref39
Online Media:

William Steinway Diary, Volume Eight

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Donor:
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collector:
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Volume
Container:
Box 4
Type:
Archival materials
Volumes
Diaries
Date:
1890-1893
Scope and Contents:
Volume Eight of The William Steinway Diary records the author's activities from January 1, 1890 - December 31, 1893.
Arrangement:
Subseries 8: Diary, January 1, 1890 - December 31, 1893.
Series Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Due to fragility, researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary, or the on-line version of the Diary expected to be available in 2011.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 1: William Steinway Diary
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref40
Online Media:

William Steinway Diary, Volume Nine

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Donor:
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collector:
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Volume
Container:
Box 4
Type:
Archival materials
Volumes
Diaries
Date:
1894-1896
Scope and Contents:
Volume Nine of The William Steinway Diary records the author's activities from January 1, 1894 - November 8, 1896.
Arrangement:
Subseries 9: Diary, January 1, 1894 - November 8, 1896.
Series Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Due to fragility, researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary, or the on-line version of the Diary expected to be available in 2011.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 1: William Steinway Diary
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref41
Online Media:

[Exterior view of Steinway factory with telegraph pole obstructing view. b & w photograph]

Photographer:
Pach Brothers  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (7.4" x 12.0")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1861
Scope and Contents:
Charles G. Steinway is in the carriage left of the telegraph pole; other Steinway family members are standing by the entrance. Photograph taken from the NW corner of 53rd St. and 4th Ave. intersection, New York City.
Arrangement:
In Series ?, Box 8, Folder 2.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Factories  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1860-1870 -- Black-and-white photoprints
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 2: Steinway Business Records / Photograph of new Steinway factory, 52nd-53rd Street, New York, 1861
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref601

[Steinway & Sons' Piano Forte Manufactory, exterior view : black & white photoprint.]

Collector:
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (8.3" x 10.7")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
Circa 1860
Scope and Contents:
Street view with carriages and pedestrians.
Arrangement:
In Box 8?, Folder ?
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Piano makers  Search this
Streets -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
Piano  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1860-1870 -- Black-and-white photoprints
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 2: Steinway Business Records / Photograph of Steinway houses adjacent to factory, 1861
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref604

[Steinway Piano store, exterior view : black & white photoprint.]

Collector:
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Collection Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Collection Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (12.4" x 9.3")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
New York -- 1870-1900
Date:
Circa 1860
Scope and Contents:
Street view with carriages and pedestrians. "Steinway pianos" sign is prominent. "82-84 Walker St." in ink on mount board, lower right. An enlarged photographic copy print of a heavily retouched copy of this photograph is in Box 10, with typed notes, indicating the date and that the unretouched photograph attirbutes the image to Pach Bros. Albert Steinway is shown in the carriage at the left and William Steinway is in the next carriage. Henry Steinway, Jr. is standing with an arm on the carriage. On the stoop, hatless, is Charles G. Steinway.
Arrangement:
In Box 8?, Folder ?
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Carriages -- New York  Search this
Streets -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Piano  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1860-1870 -- Black-and-white photoprints
Collection Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers / Series 2: Steinway Business Records / Photograph of Steinway and Sons Ware Rooms, Walker Street, New York, 1858
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0178-ref605

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