Rudolph Wurlitzer

Rudolph Wurlitzer

Rudolph Wurlitzer


Rudolph Wurlitzer established a substantial music trade and manufacturing company, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, which sold a wide range of goods, including musical instruments for marching bands, violins, harps, and pianos.


Rudolph Wurlitzer (born February 1, 1831 in Schöneck, Saxony; died: January 14, 1914 in Cincinnati, Ohio), who immigrated to America in 1853, established a substantial music trade and manufacturing company in the second half of the nineteenth century. From the start, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company sold a wide range of goods, including musical instruments for marching bands, violins, harps, and pianos. By the turn of the century, it manufactured automatic musical instruments such as barrel organs and coin-operated pianos. The theater organ known as the “Mighty Wurlitzer” was one of the company’s most famous products. Introduced in 1910, the “Mighty Wurlitzer” was an orchestrion that could simulate a variety of musical instruments. For this reason, it was extremely popular in silent movie theaters. Rudolph Wurlitzer set his company on a course that allowed it to continue expanding under the direction of his three sons. One key to the business’s later success was the development of the jukebox, which eventually became an icon of twentieth-century American consumer culture. While the history of the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company can be reconstructed in most instances, relatively little is known about its founder.


Rudolph Wurlitzer was born on February 1, 1831, in Schöneck, a small town in the Vogtland region of Saxony. His future career in the musical instrument industry was anything but a coincidence. At the time of Rudolph’s birth, the Wurlitzer family could already look back on a long and successful history of producing and selling musical instruments. It was a tradition that stretched back to the seventeenth century, when Nicholas Wurlitzer (b. 1659) began making lutes.

The musical instrument trade was one of the most important economic sectors of the Vogtland region and had been growing since the seventeenth century. Through each successive stage of industrialization, the manufacture of musical instruments maintained its character as a cottage industry. Craftsmen built instruments at home or in small manufactures with apprentices and sold their goods to wholesale dealers.[1] The center of the trade branch was Markneukirchen, located about eight miles from Schöneck. In the second half of the nineteenth century, especially after the 1851 World Fair in London, Markneukirchen became increasingly well known for the export of stringed and wind instruments.[2] An 1883 report from various U.S. consuls emphasized the city’s central role in the manufacture of musical instruments and pointed to its “flourishing industry.”[3] In 1896, the U.S. government opened its own consulate in Markneukirchen and later declared: “It [Markneukirchen] is, in fact, the center of the German musical instrument trade and its products have always been regularly bought by purchasers in the United States.”[4]

By the time this report was issued, Rudolph Wurlitzer had already established himself as a successful businessman in the United States, and this success was largely attributable to his ties to the musical instrument trade back in Saxony. The relationship between Wurlitzer and the Vogtland region, however, was one of mutual advantage. Just as Wurlitzer benefited from his home region, his home region benefited from him as well, for he was among those American importers who played a significant role in Vogtland’s regional economy.[5]

Rudolph Wurlitzer’s life is not easy to reconstruct, and at times one is left to speculate. Moreover, no detailed biography of the company founder has been written. In fact, most of the existing research on his life was sponsored by the Wurlitzer Company on the occasion of its 1956 centenary. Rudolph’s life story, as told by the company, follows the typical trajectory of the American dream – he begins as a poor immigrant and rises to the rank of millionaire.

Rudolph attended schools in Schöneck and Plauen. It is possible that he also studied business in Schweinfurt, Bavaria.[6] He spent his free time learning about the family business from his father, Christian Gottfried, who was a musical instrument distributor. After graduating from school, Rudolph joined the family business. According to the company account, Rudolph’s desire to go to America was a source of conflict between father and son. But other evidence suggests that Rudolph’s decision to immigrate was actually a response to – and not the cause of – a disagreement with his father. In a 1964 interview, Rudolph’s son, Farny Wurlitzer, stated that Christian Gottfried wanted his youngest son, Constantin, who was still a small child at the time, to succeed him as company head.[7] This knowledge may have prompted Rudolf to start a new life in America.

According to company legend, one of Rudolph’s uncles gave him $80 for his passage to America. The 22-year-old boarded a ship in Bremen and docked in Hoboken, New Jersey, in June 1853. Apparently, he arrived penniless and with no knowledge of English.

To earn money, Rudolph started working at a grocery store but then decided to move to Cincinnati, where he became part of the city’s large German immigrant population. His first job in Cincinnati was as a door-to-door salesman. After that, he worked in a department store, where he earned four dollars a week. The owner of the store let him sleep in a packing crate on the premises, and this allowed Rudolph to save twenty-five percent of his earnings. He eventually used these savings to realize his goal of starting a business. By 1854 – only one year after his arrival – his position had improved markedly. He was working at Heidelbach & Seasongood Bank in Cincinnati, where he earned about twice his previous salary and lived in a loft above the bank.

Business Development

Nineteenth-century Cincinnati was an ideal milieu for Rudolph, who, having trained in the family business back in Germany, had considerable knowledge of the musical instrument market. At the time, instruments were extremely expensive, and the typical business model involved a long supply chain. Generally, a retail store owner did not buy directly from the producer, but rather from a wholesaler who had purchased the instrument from an importer. The importer had bought the instrument from a broker who had bought it from a European purchasing agent. The agent, in turn, had bought it from a European manufacturer. To achieve any profit in this trade, a high retail price was needed to offset the transaction costs incurred along the lengthy supply chain. Rudolph’s connections gave him a clear market advantage. The key to his success lay in eliminating the middlemen. He bought the wares directly from the producers – his family – and made them available for retail. This allowed Rudolph to offer lower prices than most of his competitors.

By 1856, Rudolph had managed to save $700 (approximately $18,600 in 2010 U.S. dollars)[8]. How he amassed such a large sum in such a short time remains unclear. In any case, he sent the money to his father in Germany and received a selection of musical instruments, mostly woodwinds, in return. He sold the goods to a music trader in Cincinnati for a $1,500 profit. Rudolph rented a small room on the corner of 4th and Sycamore Streets, where he was able to store more imported instruments. During his first four years in the distribution business, Rudolph only worked part time. In 1859, he quit his job at Heidelbach & Seasongood to devote all his attention to his new enterprise.

While his company was still in its infancy, Rudolph began integrating himself into his new homeland. He became an American citizen on October 8, 1859.[9] By 1860, he had a retail store, offices, and stockrooms operating at 123 Main Street in Cincinnati. Around that time, Rudolph signed his first contract with the U.S. Army. As a result, many of the drums, trumpets, and bugles played by Union soldiers in the Civil War and by U.S. troops in the later Spanish-American war bore the Wurlitzer name. Most of the instruments were imported from Germany, but some were produced in a small factory that Wurlitzer built when he took over the entire Main Street building in 1861. His army contract allowed him to expand his business and open an additional retail store in Chicago in 1865.

Rudolph’s brother, Anton, who had also immigrated to the United States, joined the enterprise as a partner in 1872. The company was called “Rudolph Wurlitzer and Brother,” and was incorporated as the “Rudolph Wurlitzer Company” in 1890 with an initial capitalization of $200,000 (approximately $4,940,000 in 2010 U.S. dollars). For its first fifty years, the Wurlitzer Company was primarily a wholesaler, distributor, and retail instrument business that operated out of its Cincinnati headquarters. The company’s production increased but still played a minor role.

America’s growing nineteenth-century music industry helped Wurlitzer become a success. The company advertised a growing selection of instruments in its 200 page-long catalogs.[10] Wurlitzer expanded and kept moving his headquarters to larger and larger spaces in Cincinnati. In 1906, the year of Wurlitzer’s 50th anniversary, the company’s offices and some of its import, wholesale, and retail operations occupied a six-story building. “The first floor display rooms featured glass display counters, tall showcases, sound-proof demonstration rooms, and piano display rooms. Wurlitzer’s Player Piano library was carefully organized and cataloged, thousands of collections were racked along the wall. Individual phonograph listening rooms were also featured.”[11]

In the early years, most of the company’s efforts focused on “conventional” musical instruments. Near the end of the century, however, the firm became increasingly cognizant of the demand for automatic music devices. This shift might have been attributable to the second generation, namely Rudolph’s three sons, Howard, Rudolph, and Farny, who entered the family business in 1889, 1894, and 1904, respectively.

The market for musical instruments had changed in the fifty years since Rudolph’s arrival in America. At the turn of the century, substantial progress was being made in the development of automatic instruments, which were becoming increasingly important in the entertainment and leisure industries. Barrel organs were popular at fairs, and coin-operated automatic pianos filled bars with ragtime music. Moreover, the era witnessed the dawn of silent movies, which were accompanied by orchestrions (mechanical organs that imitated the sounds of an orchestra).

All in all, the Wurlitzer Company participated in and profited from these developments. The company’s breakthrough really came with its partnership with the DeKleist Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company in North Tonawanda, New York, which became Wurlitzer’s first large-scale production plant in 1908. Eugene DeKleist was born in Germany with the family name von Kleist, but he changed his name after spending time in England. He built barrel organs for carnival rides and merry-go-rounds for amusement parks. In 1897, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company became the sole distributor of DeKleist’s products. The highpoint of their partnership was the development of the Wurlitzer Tonophone, which went on the market in 1899. The instrument was a coin-operated, automatic piano played by a pinned cylinder. Instead of being operated by direct mechanical linkages, it was pneumatic. Wurlitzer placed an initial order for 200 instruments, at a cost of $200 each (approximately $5,420 in 2010 U.S. dollars). The Tonophone was a great success and inspired the development of additional coin-operated pianos, which were built by DeKleist and distributed by Wurlitzer. In the following years, Eugene DeKleist lost interest in his business. After extensive bargaining, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company bought his factory and founded a corporation, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Company. The new firm was capitalized with $1,000,000 in 1909 (approximately $24,700,000 in U.S. dollars). The North Tonawanda factory produced player pianos, military bands, and so-called pianorchestras. More plants were established in the coming years.

Wurlitzer’s flair for advertising was a major factor in the success of the coin-operated piano. In brochures, advertisements, and other promotional materials, the company sold not only the machine itself but also the entire concept of coin-operated music.[12] “Good Music makes the Drinks Taste better. Drop a Nickel. There’s a Wurlitzer Instrument here.” This is how one Wurlitzer advertisement tried to lure customers into an establishment. Other Wurlitzer advertisements targeted the owners of public bars and restaurants by stressing the Tonophone’s potential to attract business and increase revenue.[13]

In 1910, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company made great progress in the related field of mechanical organs. That year, it bought an insolvent enterprise owned by the organ builder Robert Hope-Jones. His work for Wurlitzer led to one of the company’s greatest successes. Looking back, Farny Wurlitzer described Hope-Jones as quite a character: “He had a most unusual crop of hair. It was pure white and I’ve never seen one like it before nor since. His hair stood up straight, and he really enjoyed walking down Fifth Avenue or Broadway holding his hat in his hand and everyone turned to look at him because he was so unusual.”[14] In the Wurlitzer factory, Hope-Jones worked meticulously on a special organ that went down in film history as the so- called “One Man Orchestra” – the “Mighty Wurlitzer.” It was a pipe organ equipped with brass trumpets, tubas, clarinets, oboes, chimes, xylophones, drums, and many other sound effects. With the advent of silent movies, the “Mighty Wurlitzer” became an instant success, since it brought entertainment to a new level by giving films a musical soundtrack. In subsequent years, these organs were exported to various countries, especially to the United Kingdom in the 1920s. Unfortunately, Robert Hope-Jones suffered from depression and committed suicide in 1914. Rudolph Wurlitzer also died that same year, on January 14, in Cincinnati. He was eighty three. His life’s work, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, was taken over by his three sons and continued to grow over the next 50 years.

With the onset of World War I, Germany’s influence on the American import market faded, and U.S.-based production became more important. In 1919, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company purchased the Melville Clark Piano Company and started manufacturing pianos at the Clark facilities in DeKalb, Illinois. (The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company had been Melville Clark’s sole distributor since 1914.) In 1921, the capitalization of the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company stood at $6,000,000 (approximately $73,100,000 in U.S. dollars). Over its sixty-five-year history, the company had built up a nationwide chain of more than 100 retail stores.[15] Its most important stores were in Buffalo, Cincinnati, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. During the 1920s and 1930s, the depression brought a drop in sales. Furthermore, coin-operated and conventional instruments started being eclipsed by the expansion of radio and sound films. By 1934, Wurlitzer retail stores were not only selling musical instruments but also radios, refrigerators, and washing machines produced by the Wurlitzer controlled Air-American Mohawk Corporation. It was an unsuccessful venture that ended in the mid-1930s in the course of a company reorganization. Many of those retail stores were subsequently sold.[16]

With the advent of “talkies,” or talking movie pictures, in the early 1930s, the silent film era ended, and so, too, did the era of the “Mighty Wurlitzer.” The Great Depression also posed challenges for the enterprise. In 1934, Farny Wurlitzer hired R.C. Rolfing as a manger. Rolfing steered the company out of the crisis and eventually succeeded Farny Wurlitzer as company president in 1941. Farny Wurlitzer remained chairman until 1966. Before Rolfing was hired, the company was managed by members of the Wurlitzer family; thereafter, non-family managers played the leading role. The integration of internal managers into top executive positions proved successful. Unprofitable production lines, as mentioned above, were stopped and a clear division of responsibilities was established. In 1941, the company’s new headquarters were built in Chicago. While the DeKalb division focused on pianos, the North Tonawanda factory produced the company’s new bestseller, jukeboxes, which made the name Wurlitzer more famous than ever before.

In addition to the company reorganization, this new product helped Wurlitzer survive the depression. The rise of the jukebox went hand in hand with the end of prohibition in the early 1930s. After prohibition was lifted, countless bars opened throughout America, providing seemingly endless opportunities for the burgeoning music-box industry. Jukeboxes in the United States enjoyed their greatest popularity in the years from 1934 to 1948.[17] During that time, Wurlitzer was the market leader. “Wurlitzer manufactured 60 boxes a week that year (1934), adding another 3,000 units to the 1934 total. For the years 1935 to 1937, Wurlitzer produced annual totals of 15,000, 44,397, and 40,000 units, respectively. By the end of 1937, sources told the company that half of the jukeboxes in America were made by Wurlitzer. [ . . . ] In the late 1930s and through the 1940s, (the competitors) Seeburg and Rock-Ola would contend for the number two spot.”[18] After World War II, jukeboxes were exported to Europe in growing numbers. More importantly, they were also found in almost all of the music halls and bars of 1950s America. Even today, they symbolize that period, the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll. “Put a nickel in it” was the slogan – and that’s all it took to hear the music that millions of people danced to. By the time the Wurlitzer Company stopped producing jukeboxes in 1974, it had sold more than 750,000 of them.

In 1956, the Wurlitzer Company celebrated its centennial. New plants opened in Corinth, Mississippi (1956), Holly Springs, Mississippi (1961), Logan, Utah (1970). These new facilities took over production for the North Tonawanda and DeKalb plants, which closed in 1974 and 1973, respectively. In 1960, the company opened a subsidiary, Deutsche Wurlitzer, in Hüllhorst, Germany. In 1985, the Nelson Group, a privately owned organization based in Australia, bought Deutsche Wurlitzer. At approximately the same time, the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company of Loveland, Ohio, purchased the Wurlitzer Company. The company had been struggling for years on account of foreign competition, high interest rates, and a weak economy. The rise of the electronic keyboard industry, which was dominated by Japanese companies, also played a considerable role in the company’s decline. After Wurlitzer was bought by Baldwin Piano and Organ, it stopped producing musical instruments and began making other wood products such as billiard tables. In 2001, Baldwin Piano and Organ was purchased by the Gibson Guitar Corporation, an American corporation with a long and storied history in the musical instrument industry. Five years later, Gibson Guitar also purchased Deutsche Wurlitzer from the Nelson Group. Deutsche Wurlitzer, which is still headquartered in Hüllhorst, employs over 260 people worldwide and has branch distribution and sales offices in the United States and the United Kingdom. Jukeboxes are still produced there. There is an interesting symmetry, or even irony, in the fact that Rudolph Wurlitzer migrated to America in the nineteenth century and started a firm whose production remigrated to Germany in the twentieth century.[19]

Personality and Social Status

While it is possible to reconstruct the history of the company, it is difficult to find information on Wurlitzer himself. The company history described him as having the stereotypical characteristics of an entrepreneur – ambition and intelligence.[20] It also made reference to his strong work ethic, something frequently mentioned in publications about German immigrants. “Hard work, with long hours and short pay kept body and soul together.”[21] Rudolph Wurlitzer was also known for being exceptionally frugal. According to one of his descendants, Rudolph often cut envelopes he received in half, and used them for notes to save money on paper.[22]

In America, Rudolph met Leonie Farny (1842-1931), whose family had emigrated from Alsace. They were married on September 19, 1868. It was a “quiet ceremony at the bride’s home [ . . . ] performed by Pastor August Kroell of the German Lutheran Church.”[23] Presumably, Rudolph relied on German networks in both his business relations and his private life, and his choice of pastor suggests a connection to the German community in Cincinnati.

Leonie and Rudolph had six children: Sylvia (1869-?), Howard Eugene (1871-1928), Rudolph Henry (1873-1948), Leonie (1875-1947), Percival (1877-78), and Farny Reginald (1883-1972). The Wurlitzer sons, who were active in the business, occupy the foreground of the family history. The women were responsible for the household and acted in a background or representative capacity. On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, the Wurlitzer women published a cookbook with recipes from three generations. Recipes for German dishes like Spätzle point to the family’s ongoing interest in German culinary traditions. Likewise, Howard Wurlitzer and Helen Billing’s celebration of Polterabend in 1895 suggests the importance of German cultural traditions. According to custom, on the night before the two were wed, guests broke porcelain to bring the couple good luck.[24]

The Wurlitzer home was located on Franklin Street in Cincinnati. From time to time, the family entertained guests with music performed on company instruments. On the whole, Wurlitzer’s everyday life was calm and modest. “About the only luxury Rudolph permitted himself was a fine horse and carriage.”[25] On January 20, 1914, Rudolph Wurlitzer was buried in an unassuming grave in Cincinnati. Although he had retired years earlier, he is said to have visited the company headquarters almost every day up to his death.[26]

In the 1950s, Helene Wurlitzer, the widow of Rudolph’s son Howard, established a foundation to support artists in New Mexico, where she lived.[27] The Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation in Sycamore, Illinois, which was established to promote musical education, also bears the Wurlitzer name.

Immigrant Entrepreneurship

On the one hand, much of Rudolph’s success derived from his thorough integration into American society: the company’s contracts with the U.S. Army during the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and both World Wars being one case in point. On the other hand, however, the cornerstone of the company’s success was the craft tradition and know-how transmitted by generations of Wurlitzers in Germany. This technical knowledge, in combination with Wurlitzer’s German connections, gave him direct access to goods, and this shorter value chain gave the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company a clear market advantage, because it could sell instruments, through its own retail channels, for lower prices than many of its competitors. Furthermore, the company was flexible and responded quickly to new market developments in the music and entertainment industry. The company took advantage of new opportunities, and this translated into entrepreneurial success.

Rudolf Wurlitzer carefully maintained his network of contacts in Germany throughout his life. He took frequent business trips to his old homeland. He also stove to maintain that connection for his sons, all of whom were born in America. Rudolf saw to it that all of them learned to speak German. Howard entered the family business in 1889 at the age of 18 and joined his father on many trips to Germany. He took annual trips to Europe from 1902 on. Howard became vice-president of the firm in 1899, president in 1912, and chairman of the board in 1927.

Chart: Wurlitzer Family Members' Role in the Company

Entered the Company



Rudolph Wurlitzer


1890 – 1912

1912 – 1914

Howard E. Wurlitzer


1912 – 1927

1927 – 1928

Rudolph E. Wurlitzer


1927 – 1932

1932 – 1942

Farny R. Wurlitzer


1932 – 1941

1942 – 1966

Outside of work, he was active in the community and belonged to the Civic Center Commission of the city of Cincinnati.[28] Rudolph, Jr., visited Germany in 1891 and studied music in Berlin. He eventually became the company’s violin expert and founded the Wurlitzer collection of rare violins. Like Howard, Rudolph, Jr., was also engaged in public affairs; he belonged to the University Clubs of Cincinnati and Chicago.[29] Rudolph’s youngest son, Farny, graduated from the Technical Institute of Cincinnati in 1891. He spent time in Europe and acquired technical expertise by working for enterprises in Switzerland (Paillard Company), Germany (Phillips), and France (Pellisson). All of the brothers occupied leadership positions in the company at various times. Nevertheless, each brother had a unique area of focus: business in the case of Howard, music (especially violins) in the case of Rudolph, Jr., and technical know-how in Farny’s case.

It seems that many of the family’s German traditions were confined to the private sphere. Their marketing strategy was geared towards the American consumer and did not feature any particularly German attributes after the outbreak of World War I. They assimilated to the American market. Nothing, for example, seems more quintessentially “American” than 1950s jukeboxes. However, the company was internationally active and had access to the global market.[30]


Some aspects of Rudolph Wurlitzer’s biography remain vague. Ultimately, the exact reasons for his immigration and the nature of his activities during his first years in America remain unclear. One thing is certain, however: Rudolph was a businessman who knew how to respond to particular circumstances and market fluctuations. Direct access to the German musical instrument trade was Wurlitzer’s advantage in the American market, and he made good use of it. The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company started as a small retail store and grew to a multimillion dollar company with a capitalization of $10,000,000 in 1943[31] (approximately $126,000,000 in 2010 U.S. dollars). In addition to manufacturing, it was also active in the import and export trade.

The history of the Wurlitzer Company mirrors the development of the music and entertainment industry as a whole. With the technological advances of the late nineteenth century, automatic musical instruments became increasingly important. Barrel organs were played at fairs, coin-operated automatic pianos entertained customers at bars and restaurants, and the “Mighty Wurlitzer” entered movie theaters. Later, jukeboxes became popular at music halls and bars. All of those products could be found in the Wurlitzer line. Though the era of the jukebox belongs to the past (and the age of the “Mighty Wurlitzer” is even farther removed), these times remain in people’s memory, and the products themselves have acquired emblematic status.


[1] Unser Vogtland. Heimatkundliche Lesestuecke für die Schulen des sächsischen Vogtlandes. Bearbeitet von einer Kommission Plauenscher Lehrer (Leipzig: Verlag der Dürrschen Buchhandlung, 1908), 47.

[2] Hartmut Berghoff, Zwischen Kleinstadt und Weltmarkt: Hohner und die Harmonika 1857-1961: Unternehmensgeschichte als Gesellschaftsgeschichte (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1997), 70.

[3] United States, Commercial Relations of the U.S. Contents of and Index to the First Twenty-Six and a Half Numbers of the Reports from the Consuls of the United States on Commerce, Manufactures, Etc., of Their Consular Districts (Washington: G.P.O., 1883), 515.

[4] United States, Germany Trade for the Year 1907 (Washington: Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of Manufactures, 1908), 95.

[5] The musical instrument industry remains an important economic sector in the Vogtland region. Information on this regional tradition can be found at the Museum for Musical Instruments in Markneukirchen.

[6] John Skolle, The Lady of the Casa. The Biography of Helene V. B. Wurlitzer, (Santa Fe: Rydall Press, 1959), 47.

[7] Farny Wurlitzer, “The Wurlitzer Address”, The Cipher, 1964, in Wurlitzer Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 1, folder number 7

[8] All current values (in 2010 USD) are based on Samuel H. Williamson, “Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to present,” MeasuringWorth, 2011, using the Consumer Price Index.

[9] This information was taken from U.S. passport files dated April 27, 1898. Information accessed through

[10] Rudolph Wurlitzer & Bro. Catalogue and Descriptive Price List of Musical Merchandise and Strings. Cincinnati: Rudolph Wurlitzer & Bro, 1880. [electronic resource]

[11] A Special Section. 100 Years of Wurlitzer. Highlighting Early Developments in Coin-Operated Music,” The Billboard, August 25, 1956, 87.

[12] Kerry Segrave, Jukeboxes: An American Social History (Jefferson [NC]: McFarland, 2002), 24.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Farny Wurlitzer, “The Wurlitzer Address,” The Cipher, 1964, in Wurlitzer Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 1, folder number 7, 4.

[15] Wurlitzer 1856 – 1956. World of Music. 100 Years of Musical Achievement, in Wurlitzer Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 1, folder number 8, 9.

[16] See the description of the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company Collection at the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History, Washington, DC.

[17] See Segrave, 2002.

[18] Ibid., 48.

[20] Wurlitzer 1856 – 1956. World of Music, 1956, 3.

[21] Ibid.

[22] See Bayerische Rundfunk’s television documentary Wurlitzer (From the Series Das Familienalbum); 45 minutes; Director: Angelica Ponnath

[23] Skolle, 1959, 50.

[24] Ibid., 34.

[25] Ibid., 56.

[26] N.N.. Impressive Funeral of Rudolph Wurlitzer, The Music Trade Review, January 1914.

[28] Alfred Dolge, Pianos and Their Makers. Development of the Piano Industry in America Since the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, 1876 V. II (Vestal [NY]: Vestal Press, 1913), 212.

[29] Ibid., p. 214.

[30] In 1956, Wurlitzer products were shipped to more than 40 countries.

[31] Exhibit III. Chronology of Important Events in the History of the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company 1856 – 1956, 5.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Rudolph Wurlitzer
  • Coverage 1831-1914
  • Author
  • Website Name Immigrant Entrepreneurship
  • URL
  • Access Date June 13, 2024
  • Publisher German Historical Institute
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update August 22, 2018