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Steinway and Sons Corporate Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Scope and Contents
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
    Title: Steinway and Sons Corporate Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.10137
    Physical Description: 0.64 Cubic Feet 15 ½ X 10 ½ X 7” box
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1945
    Abstract: Steinway and Sons was a piano manufacturer who built wooden gliders during the Second World War.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item], [Filing Unit], [Series Title], [Subgroups], [Record Group Title and Number], [Repository “San Diego Air & Space Museum Library & Archives”]

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The materials in this Collection were donated to the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

    Scope and Contents

    The Steinway & Sons collection is housed in one 15 1⁄2 X 10 1⁄2 X 7” box and contains Xerox copies of company correspondence and memos dated from 1942-1944. The scope of the collection is focused on the conversion of the piano factory into space available for production of wing and tail parts for the CG-4A glider. Another topic is the production schedule for the Victory Vertical upright pianos and concerns for available raw material.

    Biographical / Historical

    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.
    In this collection, detailed information is listed about the General Aircraft Corporation during 1943. Information and detailed paperwork on Frank Walsh during 1943. In this collection we also have Steinways War Order form and banking documents (1942-1944).

    Related Materials

    Gliding and Soaring Subject Files.
    Related Research Institutions: La Guardia and Wagner Archives

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gliders (Aeronautics)
    World War, 1939-1945
    General Aircraft Corporation
    Waco (OH) G-4C Hadrian
    Frank Walsh
    Steinway & Sons