Entries in Musical Instruments

Albrecht, Charles
Charles Albrecht was one of the most important musical instrument makers in early America. He immigrated to Philadelphia in the mid-1780s and by 1789 went into business as a piano maker. His business thrived for nearly thirty years in a very competitive market, as more instrument makers settled in Philadelphia and imported pianos became increasingly common. By 1825, Albrecht had earned sufficient wealth to retire from the instrument-making business and became a leisured gentleman. Continue Reading »
Gemünder, George
August and George Gemünder pioneered high-quality violin making and trading in the United States and were responsible for establishing violin making as a respected craft in the U.S. and also for facilitating the flow of classical violins into the country. Continue Reading »
Hohner, Hans
In 1857, Matthias Hohner established a harmonica workshop that would become the world-leading producer of this small musical instrument. Founded in Trossingen, a small town in rural southwest Germany, the company soon expanded into the American market through Matthias Hohner's son Hans, who was partially educated in the United States and supervised the first foreign branch of the company, founded in New York in 1901. Hans' nephew, Matthias (Matthew) Hohner, later took over the American branch from Hans in 1927. Continue Reading »
Martin, Christian Frederick
C.F. Martin and Company closely resembles a classic German Mittelstand enterprise set down in Pennsylvania’s lush and rolling Lehigh Valley. Founded in 1833 by German immigrant Christian Frederick Martin, today the acoustic guitar manufacturer is run by the the sixth generation of his family. Continue Reading »
Steinway, Heinrich Engelhard
At the time Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg and his family left the Duchy of Brunswick for the United States in 1850, he was an independent craftsman of modest means, similar in many ways to others leaving the German states during that era. Within less than twenty years, the woodworker-turned-piano maker from the Harz Mountains in northern Germany established the Steinway firm, together with his sons, as one of the leading piano brands in the world. Continue Reading »
Wurlitzer, Rudolph
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. Continue Reading »