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Steinway and Sons Corporate Papers
SDASM.SC.10137  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Steinway and Sons was a piano manufacturer who built wooden gliders during the Second World War.
Background
Born February 5, 1797, in Wolfshagen, Germany, Henry Engelhardt Steinweg was known for making the first square piano. At the age of 15, Henry was orphaned and lived solely on his own without any family. At 18, he was drafted for the army and took part in the Battle of Waterloo. At 21, he left the service on June 23, 1822 and worked as a carpenter for a cabinetmaker and later as an apprentice organ builder in Seesen. Henry became intrigued with building organs and enjoyed playing them at the local church. With his new found passion, he wanted to use his carpenter tools to make musical instruments and started making pianos. In 1825, he married Juliane ___ and presented her with the first piano he built. In 1839, he exhibited one grand and two square pianos at the fair in Brunswick and was awarded a gold medal. His reputation as a master piano builder was now established. With orders pouring in, his sons Theodore, Charles, and Henry joined him in the business. In 1848-49, political upheaval and revolution paralyzed business throughout Germany and on June 9, 1851, the entire Steinweg family, except for Theodore, arrived in New York and worked in other piano factories to gain business experience. On March 5, 1853, Steinway & Sons was launched, and in step with the new career, came a change in the family name from Steinweg to Steinway. Henry E. Steinway passed away on February 7, 1871 at the age of 74.
Extent
0.64 Cubic Feet 15 ½ X 10 ½ X 7” box
Restrictions
Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.
Availability
The collection is open to researchers by appointment.