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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:

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:

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:

320/2/13 Ivory factory

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1900
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Pratt, Read Corporation Records / Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company / 2.11: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref1415

320/2/13A Ivory Factory, (Enlargement of 320/2/13)

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1900
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Pratt, Read Corporation Records / Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company / 2.11: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref1416

320/2/10 View of original factory from Ivoryton Heights

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Scope and Contents:
Note All Saints Episcopal Church, Shailer house, and Ivory Lake, as well as absence of Hotel d'Ivory. [SI Neg. 89 15619]
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Pratt, Read Corporation Records / Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company / 2.11: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref165

320/2/12 Bracket shop behind original factory

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Pratt, Read Corporation Records / Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company / 2.11: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref167

320/2/51 Ivory tusks outside of ivory vault, [SI Neg. 89 1463 and 89 15087]

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Pratt, Read Corporation Records / Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company / 2.11: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref208

320/2/73 "Our Boarding House," anonymous poem, a satirical ode to the management of the Hotel d'Ivory. [SI Neg. 89 15623]

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Pratt, Read Corporation Records / Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company / 2.11: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref230

320/2/39 Keyboard factory, [SI Neg. 89 15084]

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Pratt, Read Corporation Records / Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company / 2.11: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref195

320/2/63 Employees in winter clothes

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Pratt, Read Corporation Records / Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company / 2.11: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref220

320/2/64 Employees, Horse Shed gang.

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Pratt, Read Corporation Records / Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company / 2.11: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref221

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