Ernst Pauer.

A Dictionary of Pianists and Composers for the Pianoforte : With an appendix of manufacturers of the instrument online

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Meyer (b. Marburg, Hesse-Cassel)
went (1819) to Baltimore, where he
was an apprentice in the factory of
Jos. Hiskey. About 1830 he estab-
lished himself in Philadelphia. Great
differences of opinion exist about his
being the first to introduce the full
iron plate, and some judges maintain
that the priority of this invention
belongs to Babcock {see this name).
One of Meyer's pianos was exhibited
(1878) in Paris, where it attracted
considerable attention.

Miller, Henry F., and Sons, of Boston,
Mass. The founder of the firm was
born Sept. 4, 1825, Providence, and
died Aug. 14, 1884, Wakefield, Mass.
He first intended to become a pianist
and organist, but later studied piano
making, and joined the firm of Brown
and Allen (Boston). Having worked
for five years with Emerson, he started
( 1 862) his own business , being associated
with N. M. Lowe and J. H. Gibson.
After a comparatively short time, he
became sole proprietor, and at present
his five sons represent the very
successful and greatly respected firm.


•Neumeyer, F., of Berlin, manufacturer
of grand pianos and uprights . The firm
was founded (i86i)by F. Neumeyer (b.
April 4, 1837, Eilhausen, Waldeck)
and employs 150 workmen; up to 1893
had sold about 19,300 instruments.
The factory is worked with steam
and turns out about 1,200 instruments
per year. Branch establishment in

Newman and Brothers, of Baltimore.
1850-60, the firm was, with those of
Charles M. Stieff and J. T. Stoddard,
highly respected in Baltimore. Founded
(1850) by Joseph Newman, who, after
1853, was associated with W. R. Talbot,
took out a patent for improvement in
sounding-boards. Talbot died 1884,
after having assisted to bring the firm
into greater repute.



New York Piano Manufacturing
Co., The, began business between
1837-38. Haines Brothers were
apprentices in the Company, which
was started by some twenty of the
best workmen of Nunns and Clark.
The firm soon changed into that of A.
H. Gale & Co.

Nunns and Clark, of New York (1838).
See Nunns, Robert and William.

Nunns, Robert and William, of New
York, arrived ( 1 821) from England and
started (1824) in business. 1831, a

patent was granted them for a square
action ; they had already bought (1827)
the " scale " of Charles S. Sackmeister,
1833, they admitted John Clark as
partner, the firm's style then being
Robert Nunns, Clark and Co. William
Nunns withdrew from the business
and began a factory of his own,
later associated with J. and C. Fisher.
1 85 1, Nunns and Clark purchased the
hammer covering invention, patented
by Rudolf Kreter, and greatly improved
by Alfred Doige.


Pape (Johann), Heinrich, of Paris (b.
July I, 1789, Sarsted, Hanover; d.
Feb. 2, 1875, Paris). He was one of the
most prolific inventors of recent times.
After having visited England in 181 1,
he went to Paris ; assisted Ignaz
Pleyel [see this name) in the formation
of his factory ; started his own estab-
lishment in 1815, and produced almost
every year something new, without,
however, obtaining a lasting success
or influence by his decidedly interesting
innovations. An exhaustive account
of his inventions and innovations is to
be found in " Notice de M. H. Pape"
(Benard, Paris, 1862). He received
the Legion of Honour and other
French distinctions. See Grove's
Dictionary, Vol. II., page 647.

Peck and Son, of New York. They
opened their business in 1851. Since
1878 the firm has made great strides,
and now enjoys general confidence.

♦Pleyel, Wolff and Co., of Paris.
Founded by the composer, Ignaz
Pleyel (pupil of Jos. Haydn). 1824,
his son, Camille (husband of the
celebrated pianist, Marie Pleyel, nee
Moke), succeeded him as principal,
and was much assisted by Kalk-
brenner. Camille, who died May 4,
1855, was succeeded by Auguste
Wolff (principal from 1855 until his
death in Feb., 1887), who brought out
the "Pedalier" and "Clavier trans-
positeur." Since 1887, Gustave Lyon
has been Director of the firm, now
formed into a company. Under his
direction were introduced : La Pedale
harmonique ; Balance digitale (Taffanel-
Pleyel); le Molliphone and le Durcisseur.

The firm makes pianinos, semi-grands,
and concert grands ; employs 600
workmen. 1889, their ioo,oooth in-
strument was sold. Distinctions and
rewards : 1810, Ignaz Pleyel was made
manufacturer to the King of West-
phalia ; 1827, Louis Philippe, Due
d' Orleans, conferred the title of
" Fabricant de Piano a queue " ; 1829,
King Charles X. conferred the title of
" Fournisseur de sa Majeste " ; 1831,
King Louis Philippe conferred the
same title. Gold medals : 1827, 1834,
1839, 1844, 1855, 1878 (all from Paris);

1861, Metz; 1875, ChiH; 1881, Milan.
The firm was hors concours, 1849 and
1867, Paris ; 1872, Lyons ; 1873,
Vienna ; 1883, Amsterdam ; 1887,
Toulouse; 1887, Havre; 1888, Brussels;
1888, Melbourne and Copenhagen.
Grand Prix, 1889, Paris. Diplomas of
honour: 1861, Metz; 1875, Blois ;
1885, Antwerp. 1834, Camille Pleyel,
Knight of the Legion of Honour;

1862, Auguste Wolff, Knight of the
Legion of Honour. Gustave Lyon
received the Belgian Order of Leopold,
Legion of Honour and Danebrog,
Branch establishments in London,
Brussels, and Moscow.

♦Pohlmann and Sons, of Halifax, York-
shire. Founded (1786) by Johannes
Pohlmann, who was, it is believed,
the maker of the first pianofortes
constructed in England. The firm in
Halifax was opened (1823) by Henry
Pohlmann, the firm being Pohlmann
and Pohlmann, later Pohlmann and
Son . The present principal is Frederick
Pohlmann. The firm possesses a
great number of valuable patents and
has received nine medals.




•Rachals and Co., of Hamburg. This
well-known firm was established by
Matthias Ferd. Rachals (b. June 4,
1801, Milan; d. Sept. 6, 1866, Ham-
burg). He worked (1821) as apprentice
with Brix (St. Petersburg) ; 1827, with
Sachsossky (Cassel) ; 1828-31, with
Wagner (Hamburg). 1832, he estab-
lished (with one workman) his own
factory, and had the satisfaction of
selling (1845) his i.oooth instrument.
His son, Adolph Ferd. Rachals, who
studied in the principal factories of
North America, succeeded (1866) his
greatly esteemed father. The firm
makes grands, obliques, and squares.
Among their specialties is a piano
packed in four cases a 80-90, or in six
cases a 60 kilos weight. The Jury of
the Chicago Exhibition (1893) published
a highly flattering report about the
tone and action of these pianos, and
the ingenuity of facilitating transport,
which was declared "an entirely new

Raven and Bacon, of New York. On
the death of George Bacon (1856), his
son, Francis, became a partner until
1871, when the partnership was dis-
solved, and Karr took his place ; but
retired in 1880, whereupon Francis
re-entered the firm. "Their instru-
ments are well spoken of" {see Francis

*Ritmuller,W., and Sohn, of Gottingen.
Established (1795) by Andreas Georg
Ritmiiller. Hisson.Wilhelm, succeeded
him, and was joined by his sons,
Wilhelm and Martin, the firm being
W. Ritmiiller and Sons. When the
elder son left (in i860) it was altered to
W. Ritmiiller and Son. Another son
became partner of W. Ritmiiller, sen.,
and was, until 1891, sole proprietor.
Since 1891, the business has belonged
to Bernhard Schroder. For their
grand pianos and uprights twelve
medals and diplomas were received in
Germany and (1884 and 1885) in
London. The instruments are solidly
constructed and enjoy a merited and
considerable popularity.

♦Romhildt, L., of Weimar. Tlie busi-
ness was founded by Ludwig Romhildt
(b. Sept. 7, 1817, Elsterberg, Saxony ;
d. Feb. 20, 1864, Weimar). He was
succeeded by his son, Ludwig (b.
April 28, 1849, Weimar ; d. there

May 31, 1890). Up to 1855 only
squares were built, and, owing to
bad health, Romhildt almost entirely
gave up piano making, devoting
himself to selling other makers' instru-
ments ; but when the son took the
business (1869) he began to make
instruments, and had the satisfaction
of selling, up to 1880, 500 pianos,
which number was increased, in 1883,
to 1,000. After the death of Ludwig
Romhildt, jun., his cousin, Theodo'r
Vetterling, became director of the
manufactory, in which 100 workmen
are employed. Ten to eleven pianinos
are finished per week. The firm
received ten gold medals, and possesses
testimonials from the most celebrated
artists. The instruments are sent to
all parts of the world and enjoy a
most excellent reputation.

*R6nisch, Carl, of Dresden (b. 1814,
Goldberg, Silesia; d. July 21, 1894,
Blasewitz, near Dresden). He founded
(1845) his factory, which grew rapidly
into large dimensions. He was the
first to build short grands in Dresden.
Up to 1892, 20,000 of his instruments
had been sold ; 300 workmen are
employed, and the business is steadily
increasing. He was manufacturer to
the Court of Saxony, Royal Counsellor
of Commerce, Knight of several orders,
and the recipient of first-class medals.
The yearly production is 1,500 instru-

*Rogers and Son, of London (60,
Berners Street). Founded (1843) by
George Rogers. Turns out: i. Cupola
steel frame, allowing great freedom
and richness of tone. 2. Stud-top
bridges, helping to give clearness and
penetration of tone. 3. Sound-boards
of large size and great reflecting free-
dom, given them in the adaptation of
the strengthening ribs or bars. 4. Front
escapement check-action, combining
great delicacy and power in the touch
and perfection of repetition. 5. Over-
stringing, so as to obtain the greatest
length of string. They are now
building horizontal grands.

Rosenkranz, Ernst, of Dresden, The
firm was founded 1797. Has received
fifteen prize medals, and produces
grand pianos of different sizes and
pianinos with the usual and "Janko"
keyboards. Their smallest horizontal
instruments enjoy great favour.




♦Scheel, Carl, b. Feb., 1812, Cassel ;
d. there Jan. 25, 1892. Son of a poor
cabinet maker. After having served
his apprenticeship with his father, he
left (1832) his native town, after old
German fashion, with knapsack on
back, and walked to Frankfort o/M.,
where he served for nine months as
assistant in the business of the cabinet
maker, Wulff. Being very fond of
music, he turned his attention to the
manufacture of pianos, and went to
Darmstadt, where he was (1833-37)
assistant of the piano maker, Vier-
heller. He then proceeded on foot
to Strassburg, as his modest means
only allowed him to take from there
the "Diligence" to Paris, where, being
an excellent tuner, he soon found
employment. Erard's firm detected
the great gifts of the young German
and (1837-46) employed him as a work-
man. A few years after his entrance,
he was promoted to the responsible
post of " Chef d'atelier." 1845, when
on a visit to Cassel, he determined to
start a business on his own account,
and began at Easter, 1846, to build his
first pianino. Soon the remarkable
excellence of his instruments became
known and (1854) he was able to
move to a much bigger house. 1859,
his factory was burnt down ; but his
great energy and general assistance
from his townsmen enabled him to
conquer all obstacles, and, with even
greater success than before, he enlarged
his factory. 1877, the Crown Prince
of Prussia (Emperor Frederick) named
him manufacturer to the Court ; 1880,
his son, Carl Heinrich, and (1888) his
son, Fritz, were admitted partners.
The solidity and general excellence of
the "Scheel" pianinos are proverbial,
and in Germany and adjoining
countries are unconditionally recog-

Schiedmayer, of Stuttgart. This firm
was started (1854) t>y Julius and Paul
Schiedmayer, for the manufacture of
harmoniums; i860, for that of pianinos
also ; and, somewhat later, of grand
pianos. Julius Schiedmayer died Jan.,
1878, and the firm now consists of
Paul Schiedmayer and his son-in-law,
Oscar Forster. Their instruments
enjoy a good reputation and are, like
those of Schiedmayer and Sohne, well
known in England. The firm holds

the patents of manufacturers to the
Queen of England, the German
Emperor, and the Kings of Wiirtem-
berg and Italy. Julius Schiedmayer
acted as juror at the Exhibitions of
London (1862), Paris (1867), Vienna
(1873), Philadelphia (1876), Stettin
(1865), and received for his services
as such Orders of Knighthood from
Austria, Italy, Wiirtemberg, &c. Paul
Schiedmayer acted as juror in the
Exhibitions of Ziirich (1883) and
Antwerp (1885).

♦Schiedmayer und Sohne, of Stuttgart.
Founded (1781) by Johann David
Schiedmayer, at that time in Erlangen.
The business was continued by his son,
Johann Lorenz (b. Dec. 2, 1786, Er-
langen ; d. March, i860, Stuttgart).
1809, he associated himself with Dieu-
donne (d. 1825), afterwards remained
sole proprietor till 1845, when his sons
entered the firm. These were Adolph
(b. 1819, d. Oct. 17, 1890) and Hermann
(b. 1820), the firm now being Schied-
mayer und Sohne. 1842, the firm
began to make pianinos. 1854, ^^^
King of Wiirtemberg conferred on it
the great gold medal for art and
science, whilst a gold prize medal
was received at the London Exhi-
bition (1851) and in Munich (1854);
1873, diploma of honour at the
Vienna Exhibition, and (1881) the sarne
distinction at Stuttgart. 1881, the
eldest member of the firm, Adolph
Schiedmayer, received the title of
" Counsellor of Commerce," whilst the
patents of Court manufacturers to the
Kings of Wiirtemberg and Roumania
were obtained (1877 and 1888). After
the death of Hermann Schiedmayer,
jun. (1891), his brother, Adolph (b.
1847), became the principal of the
house. In all, the firm received six
diplomas, nineteen medals, and took
out six patents. It is the oldest firm
in Wiirtemberg.

Schomaker (Schumacher) & Co., of
Philadelphia. Founded (1838) as
Bosert and Schomaker (Schumacher, b.
1800 in Germany; d. 1875, Philadel-
phia). Bosert retired (1842), when the
firm took its present name. 1846, the
business was formed into a stock com-
pany in Philadelphia, U.S.A., with
Colonel H. W. Gray (b. 1830, Ephrata,
Lancaster County) and H. S. Scho-
maker, jun., as principal officer and



secA-etary. The chief specialty of the
firm is the use of electro-plated piano
strings in gold (patented 1876). A
similar patent was taken out (1851) by
H. J. Newton, of New York, and
(1862) by Martin Miller. Colonel Gray
admits that coating strings had been
tried previously, but not "wrapped

* Schroder, C. M. (piano manufactory at
St. Petersburg). Founded by Johann
Fr. Schroder (b. 1785, Stralsund; d.
1852, St. Petersburg) ; succeeded by
his son, Michael (b. 1828, St. Peters-
burg; d. there 1889) ; succeeded by the
present head of the firm, Carl Nicolai
Schroder (b. 1862, St. Petersburg). In
order to recognise the importance of
the firm (then seventy-five years old),
the Czar conferred on C. N. Schroder,
in 1893, the title of " Manufacturrath."
The grand pianos are made in six, the
uprights in three, different sizes. The
grands are built after the American
system, seven and one-third octaves,
repetition action, &c. The firm em-
ploys 250 workmen and turns out
1,000 instruments per year. Gold
medals: Moscow, 1872; Paris, 1878;
London, 1885. Silver medals : St.
Petersburg, 1839 ; Moscow, 1865.
Hon. diplomas : St. Petersburg, 1861 ;
Cassel, 1870 ; Antwerp, 1885 ; Chicago,
1893. Medal for progress : Vienna,
1873. Orders of knighthood : Francis
Joseph (Austria) ; Legion of Honour
(France) ; Leopold (Belgium) ; Im-
perial Eagle (Russia) ; St. Stanislas
(Class III.), St. Anna (Class III., 1877,
Class II., 1883), Vladimir (Class IV).
Manufacturer to the Emperors of
Russia, Austria, Germany, and the
Kings of Denmark and Bavaria.

*Schwechten, G., of Berlin, manufac-
turer to the Court. Founded 1854,
and employs at present 120 workmen.
The specialty is uprights, of which
(1893) not less than 22,000 have been
sold. Medals have been awarded in
London, Paris, Vienna, Philadelphia,
Melbourne, &c.

*Schweighofer, J. M., und Sohne, of
Vienna. Founded (1792) by Michael
Schweighofer (b. about 1765, in
Bavaria ; d. 1809, Vienna) ; succeeded
by his widow, and, 1832, by his son,
Johann Michael (d. 1852) ; the busi-
ness was then left to the latter' s sons,
Carl and Johann. The excellent
qualities of their grands (three models)
and pianinos have been generally
acknowledged. The firm received

many medals and diplomas, and, at
the date of the centenary of the
foundation (1892), the Emperor of
Austria conferred on the senior partner
the title of Imperial Councillor and
the Golden Cross of Merit with the
Crown, whilst the Vienna magistrate
declared the brothers " tax freie
burger" (tax-exempted citizens). The
firm was also honoured with the
patent as manufacturers to the
Imperial and Royal Court of Austria.

*Shoninger (Schoninger ?), B., and Co.,
of New Haven. Founded March (1850)
by B. Schoninger (b. 1828, in Bavaria).
"Their piano has many special im-
provements and patents ; is especially
adapted to withstand all climatic
changes; is of the greatest durability."
Medals awarded by: New England
State Agricultural Society, 1868 ;
Philadelphia, 1876 ; Paris, 1878 ;
Rotterdam, 1883; New York State
Fair, 1886; also many State Fairs.
The firm has warerooms in Chicago
and New York.

Silbermann, Gottfried, originally an
organ builder (b. 1683, d. 1753), of
Kleinbobritzsch, near Frauenstein,
Saxony ; settled at Freiberg, 1709, and
subsequently Dresden. As early as
1726 he submitted two pianofortes to
the judgment of J. S. Bach. About
1746 he supplied pianofortes to
Frederick the Great, three of which
are still preserved at Potsdam, in the
Stadtschloss, Sans Souci, and the
Neues Palais. Mr. A. J. Hipkins's
examination of these instruments in
1 88 1 proved them to be built upon
Cristofori's model. Silbermann has
the credit of being the earliest German
pianoforte maker. His instruments,
from the specimens above-mentioned,
were undoubtedly good.

Sohmer and Co., of New York. The
founder and principal of the firm is
Hugo Sohmer (b. 1846, in the Black
Forest , Baden) . He received a classical
education, studied piano playing as
well as piano making, and went (1862)
to America, where he worked as
apprentice in the factory of Schiitze
and Ludolf, of New York ; paid, 1868,
a temporary visit to Germany, where
he studied piano making from the
European point of view ; returned,
1870, to New York and opened, in
1872, his business, with Joseph Kuder
as partner, the new firm being
successors to J. H. Bornhaft, who in
his turn had succeeded the old house



of Marschall and Mittauer. Kuder is
a native of Bohemia. 1876, the Cen-
tennial Exhibition authorities awarded
high honours to the firm. 1883, an
additional factory was taken and was
enlarged in 1886. The firm has taken
out fifty-one patents. The Sohmer
"pianissimo" pedal is an improved
attachment for producing refined and
artistic piano effects, and is used in
combination with the ordinary soft
pedal. Their pianos are held in high

♦Sprecher-Wirth, Theodor (formerly
Sprecher and Sons), of Zurich. Founded
(1847) by Christian Sprecher (b. 1810).
Makes grand and upright instruments.
Received fifteen diplomas and first
medals, and is the principal firm of

Steck, G., and Co., of New York. The
founder of the firm, George Steck (b.
July ig, 1829, Cassel), was apprenticed
m the factory of Carl Scheel {see this
name). 1853, he arrived in New York,
and ' ' worked for four years in the
best shops," until he started (1857)
his own business. 1865, he opened
the "Steck Hall." 1884, the business
was formed into a company (Rob. C.
Kammerer, Fr, Dietz, and Nembach).
Popular nicknames of his instruments
are "The Little Giant" (upright) and
"The Steck Baby Grand." His
pianette, a novel instrument, is said
to "weigh only 178 pounds, and is
considered to have a grand future
before it."

Stein, Johann Andreas, of Augsburg (b.
1728, Heidesheim (Palatinate) ; d.
Feb. 29, 1792, Augsburg). Pupil of
Silbermann. 1758, he was in Paris,
and remained there for some years.
On his return he settled as an organ
builder in Augsburg, and began also to
make pianos, introducing several im-
portant improvements, about which
Mozart speaks in a letter (Oct., 1777)
to his mother. Stein is really the
founder of the Vienna School of piano-
forte making, and if not the absolute
inventor, certainly the improver of a
mechanism, generally called the
" Vienna mechanism." He intro-
duced the " genouilliere," or knee-
pedal for raising the dampers. In one
of his pianos, described by Gerber, he
applied the Saitenharmonica (1789), a
pedal shifting the keyboard, and thus
carrying the hammers from three
strings to one {una corda). He called
this instrument iiie "Spinettchen."
He had two sons and a daughter —

Matthaeus Andreas, Friedrich, and
Maria Anna, generally called Nanette
{see Streicher). Matthaeus Andreas (b.
Dec. 12, 1776, Augsburg; d. May 6,
1842, Vienna) succeeded, with his
sister, to the business of his father,
accompanied her to Vienna, and
established himself there in 1802 ; his
son, Karl Andreas (b. Sept. 4, 1797,
Vienna; d. there Aug. 28, 1863), was
his pupil in piano making, but dis-
tinguished himself also as a pianist
and composer. He devoted, however,
his chief energies to the factory, took
out a patent in 1829, and was made
Manufacturer to the Court in 1844.
He pubHshed a book " On the Playing,
Tuning, and Preservation of Stein
'Steinway and Sons, of New York,
Hamburg, and London. This world-
renowned house was founded by
Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (the
name Steinway was taken when estab-
lishing the business in New York), b.
Feb. 15, 1797, Wolfshagen, in th«
Hartz Mountains, Brunswick, Ger-
many; d. Feb. 7, 1871, New York.
He had learned cabinet making and
organ building in Goslar ; tried,
later, his luck in making guitars and
cithers. Opened a piano business
(1835) at Seesen, but, having settled
in Brunswick, resolved to build square,
upright, and grand pianos. The busi-
ness soon increased ; but, owing to the
political events of 1848, he was obliged
to emigrate (1850) to America, with
his four sons: I., Charles (b. Jan. 4,
1829, Seesen, Brunswick ; d. there,
March 31, 1865, while on a trip to
Germany). II., Henry, jun. (b. Oct.,
1829, Seesen; d. March 11, 1865, New
York). III., William, present head
of the house (b. March 5, 1836, Seesen).
IV., Albert (b. June 10, 1840, Seesen;
d. May 14, 1877, New York). The
eldest son, Theodore (b. Nov. 6, 1825,
Seesen; d. March 26, 1889, Brunswick),
remained in Europe, in order to con-
tinue the Brunswick business; but
transferred it (1865) to Grotrian,
Helfferich, and Schulz, the firm be-
coming Theodor Steinweg Nachfolger
(see Steinweg) . The New York house,
founded 1853, after Steinway and
several of his sons had worked in
other American factories, soon took
the lead in New York — indeed, in
America. A factory of grand dimen-
sions, to which was added the Steinway
Hall for concerts, was built, but soon
found insufficient, and at present the



different factories are : Steinway,
Astoria (opposite New York), covering
twelve acres, and employing 650 work-
men ; the factory of New York, covering
the square between the Park and Lexing-
ton Avenue, where about 60 instruments
per week are finished and 650 workmen
employed; the Steinway Hall, which
had room for 2,400 seats, but since
1890 has been used for purposes of
manufacture; and the warerooms,
offices, Sec, where about 250 persons
work. 1880, a factory was opened
in Hamburg (Neue Rosenstrasse, 20-24),
in which 300 workmen are employed ;
the pianos sent from New York are
finished there. Of the five sons of
the founder, Theodor and William
took the most important part in
furthering the progress of the firm.
Theodor was Member of the Academies
of Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm ;
whilst William is the founder of
different institutions for the benefit of
his workmen. He built a school, in
which 800 children are taught ; opened
a library ; erected a fine church, with
a good organ ; opened bath-rooms ; and
laid out a fine garden. Among the
rewards given to the firm are — Gold
medals: 1854 and 1855, for squares.
Prize medal, with particular mention
of excellence, London, 1862 ; Paris,
1867; Stockholm, 1868; Philadelphia,

Online LibraryErnst PauerA Dictionary of Pianists and Composers for the Pianoforte : With an appendix of manufacturers of the instrument → online text (page 30 of 32)