Irmler had achieved a good profitable export business, particularly to North America, and they also had a steady home market. However, as other German makers were invading their home territories, Irmler quickly had to develop more aggressive tactics in selling their pianos and keep apace with the most advanced ideas of the time. In 1861 … Read more How Old is my Irmler Piano?
In 1980 a 300,000-square-foot factory was built, capable of producing sixty grand pianos a day. In 1989 the company presidency was passed to Shigeru’s son, Hirotaka Kawai, who has since invested millions of dollars to introduce robotic technology into the production process. In the last ten years, production sites have been established outside Japan, in … Read more How Old is my Kawai Piano?
In the early 1980s Kemble came within the whisker of closing, but at the last minute won the biggest contract to build pianos in the U.K. industry, making the Dietman range of pianos for Ibach. In 1984 Kemble fund itself in difficulties once again and once more Yamaha heavily invested … Read more How Old is my Kemble Piano?
In 1959 the Jasper Corporation, a manufacturer of office furniture, bought the company and later changed its name to Kimball International. Its staff had no previous experience of producing pianos, and this showed, with over half of all the piano produced being returned to the factory. Production techniques did improve and were further aided … Read more How Old is my Kimbal Piano?
Despite the takeover and the formation of the Knabe Brothers Company, Knabe continued to sell their pianos and by 1916 production had reached 3,000 pianos a year. The American Piano Company became part of the Aeolian Corporation in 1932, and continued to produce upright and grand pianos until Aeolian’s collapse … Read more How Old is my Knabe Piano?
The Knight iron frame offers twice the strength of those in an average piano. It is a full-perimeter frame built on a girder principle that is secured to a four-post beech back. The pin block is fitted in a pocket cast into the frame for exceptional tuning stability. There is no treble stress bar in … Read more How Old is my Knight Piano?
Ronisch prospered between the wars, but the company’s Dresden factory was destroyed in bombing raids in 1945, and production was moved to Hupfeld’s Leipzig factory. The following year Leipzig Pianofortefabrik was born, and by 1986 annual output stood at 8,600. Following German Reunification in 1990, the production process was reorganized and the range redesigned. … Read more How Old is my Leipziger Pianofortefabrik Piano?
In 1985, after the demise of Aeolian, Mason & Hamlin was acquired by the Sohmer Company, which was in turn acquired by Falcone Piano Company in 1989. In 1995, Mason & Hamlin Companies (including Knabe, Falcone, and Sohmer), which had emerged after the buyout in 1991, filed for bankcruptcy and was rescued … Read more How Old is my Mason & Hamlin Piano?
New factories were built, first in 1970 to increase production of upright pianos, and then in 1989 a second plant to concentrate on the grand piano market. By 1990 serial numbers had reached 450,000. Petrof currently produces around 12,000 uprights and 1,750 pianos a year, and employs 1,000 people. Tovarna na piano, established in 1997, … Read more How Old is my Petrof Piano?
In 1934 Pleyel acquired the firm of Antoine Bord. In 1961, facing financial difficulties, the firm merged with the combined firms of Erard and Gaveau. This conglomerate was acquired in 1971 by the Shimmel Company, which produce a small number of Pleyel pianos each year. Then in 1994, the Rameau company bought the names … Read more How Old is my Pleyel Piano?
Founded in 1958 by chairman Hyo Ick Lee, the company swung into full production of upright pianos under the brand name Horugel. This name would be used until the 1970s, when the Samik brand was introduced. A leading light in its domestic market, Samik became, in 1964, the first Korean company to export pianos, sending … Read more How Old is my Samik Piano?
The company’s reputation was firmly established by the time Carl Sauter III took charge in the 1960s. But he was dissatisfied with the notable differences in repetition speeds between the upright and grand actions, and he led the development of an improved action known as the R2, for the upright range. A new factory was … Read more How Old is my Sauter Piano?
A reputable clavichord maker, Balthasar Scheidmayer is reported to have made his first grand piano in 1735 at Erlangen in Germany. To the end of the century both Schiedmayer firms would continue to build on their success of their forefathers, independently achieving recognition for their fine instruments. In 1969 the two branches merge and produced … Read more How Old is my Scheidmayer & Sohne Piano?
Nikolaus Wilhelm Schimmel’s succession to the company’s leadership in 1961 saw the traditions of this fine German house pass on seamlessly to the third generation. A new factory was built in 1966 and a decision was taken to erect a new plant containing a concert hall and exhibition area; this grand project was finally completed … Read more How Old is my Schimmel Piano?
The company is still owned by members of the Seiler family, Ursula and Manuela, who are dedicated to preserving this make’s individual sound. Over the last five years, Seiler have re-analyzed their range of pianos to improve the quality of sound and the manufacturing process. Seiler’s Membrator System (a specially tapered soundboard) and Tonal … Read more How Old is my Seiler Piano?
The Steinway family sold the firm to C.B.S. in 1972. In 1985 it was sold to Steinway Musical Properties, Inc., who brought in engineers from non-piano-making backgrounds to find the right balance between modern engineering and traditional handcrafted methods, in an effort to streamline the manufacturing process. This … Read more How old is my Steinway & Sons Piano?
Heinrich Hermann, Burkhard’s son-in-law, became head of the firm in 1920 and his nephew Heinrich Schmidt took the reins in 1951. The Schmidt-Steingraeber family still runs the company today. In 2002 Steingraeber & Sohne unveiled a new concert grand, in celebration of their 150-year jubille, with the serial number 44000. Steingraeber & Sohne make custom-made … Read more How old is my Steingraeber & Sohne Piano?
All Stuart pianos are custom-made by Piano Australia Pty Ltd, who also manage the sales and the service. With each handmade piano taking about a year to complete, output is small, and most of the instruments are built to order. Production of Welmar upright pianos continued at the London factory until 2000, when the Whelpdale, … Read more How Old is my Stuart & Sons Piano?
In 1987, to celebrate its centennial, Nippon Gakki change its name to the Yamaha Corporation. Today it is the largest musical instrument manufacturer in the world, producing about 130,000 pianos a year. Dates and serial numbers when the pianos were manufactured 1920 2100 1930 10163 1940 31900 1950 44200 1960 122000 1970 980000 1980 … Read more How old is my Yamaha Piano