AEOLIAN/AEOLIAN - AMERICAN Est. 1903 - New York, N.Y.
facilities at East Rochester was comprised of a series of separate and
individual factories planned so that manufacturing of the various
instruments was carried on in an entirely individual and distinct
manner, and by separate organizations, each under direction of men who
had been associated with each respective make for many years, thus
preserving, unimpaired, the individual and distinctive qualities of each
piano. Combined they made a great and powerful contribution to the art
of music, for each of the great instruments they produced will continue
providing magnificent music for generations to come. Name brands built
in East Rochester include Chickering & Sons, J & C Fischer, Wm. Knabe,
Mason & Hamlin, and George Steck.
H. B. Tremaine was
a business genius who brought about the commercial exploitation of the
piano player on a big scale. Tremaine's father had built a successful
small business making and cranked table-top-sized mechanical organs, a
very popular item in homes in the late 1800's. He founded the "Aeolian
Organ and Music Company" around 1888; the firm achieved considerable
success with larger instruments and organs. His son took over in 1899
and immediately set about to apply his own business acumen to the
company's affairs. With the newly perfected "Pianola,' he launched an
aggressive advertising campaign which was entirely new to the stodgy
piano business. With four page color advertisements (almost unheard of
in that day) published in the popular magazines, he literally stunned
the piano industry with the message that here, indeed, was the answer to
everyone's prayer for music in the home! Tremaine and Pianola built an
enormous business empire over the next thirty years. It wasn't long
after the turn of the century that it was deemed desirable to
"miniaturize" the clumsy Pianola and other similar, instruments so that
they could be built directly inside the pianos. Within a few short
years, the push up"players disappeared from the scene. By this time
everyone got into the act, and every piano maker so manufactured a
player of some sort.
This name is known
the world over in connection with musical instruments, It is applied to
some of the various products of the Aeolian Company of New York which
instruments of renown included the Duo Art Pianola, Weber Pianola, Steck
Pianola, Wheelock Pianola, Stuyvesant Pianola, Steinway Duo Art Pianola,
Stroud Pianola the Aeolian Orchestrelle and the Aeolian Pipe Organ; it
also controlled the Meludee Music Co., Inc., and the Universal Music Co.
1903-1900 1904-3000 1905-5400
1907-12000 1908-15000 1909-19000 1910-23000
1911-27000 1912-31000 1913-35000 1914-39000
1915-43000 1916-47000 1917-51000 1918-55000
1919-59000 1920-30000 1921-70000 1922-70000
1923-73000 1924-76000 1925-78000 1926-80000
1927-82000 1928-85000 1929-88000 1930-91000
1931-94000 1932-97000 1933-98000
DIVISION OF AEOLIAN CORP.
controlled and manufactured by this Division listed alphabetically
include Chickering & Sons, Wm. Knabe & Co., Mason & Hamlin and Weber.
The manufacturing facilities at East Rochester consist of over 250,000
sq. ft. of space situated on over eight acres of land occupied and
devoted exclusively to the manufacture of only pianos since 1906.
Aeolian was one of America's largest producers of grand pianos.
Instruments made by Aeolian American Division enjoyed an unquestioned
reputation throughout the world
AEOLIAN - AMERICAN
CORPORATION - Founded 1932
Aeolian - American
was the consolidation of the American Piano Company, Aeolian Piano
Company formerly Winter & Company, and Weber Piano Company. Factories
were located at East Rochester N.Y., Worchester Ma. and Memphis, Tenn.
produced more instruments than any other company in the U.S. Founded as
Heller & Co. in 1899, later incorporated as Winter & Co. in 1903, the
firm became affiliated with Sears Roebuck and Co. In 1941 William G.
Heller, Henry R. Heller and associates acquired the Sears interest and
devoted the production to defense work during World War II. Faith in the
industry and the conviction that the piano industry needed someone to
keep the venerable manufacturers in operation, Aeolian has acquired
companies which would not otherwise have survived.
During 1960 the
work force included only excellent craftsmen under the direction of
people who had been associated with these fine makes for many years,
thus preserving unimpaired the Individual and distinctive quality of
each piano. The affiliation of the various houses that formed this large
and powerful contributing force to the art of music, insures for each a
wider scope for musical activity in that each of its units was of the
highest quality in its grade, which had an extraordinary economy of
production. This company's purchasing power contributed immeasurably to
the integrity and value of instruments that were made in the various
Corporation, which in 1982 owned over 40 registered brand names, the
product of merger and acquisitions over the years combining 16 domestic
piano producers and the largest Canadian producer. Recognition was given
by the trade to the various Aeolian lines is the best evidence that
Aeolian Corporation pianos manufactured in Memphis and East Rochester,
fulfilled every requirement in grands, studios, spinets, consoles and
players in a variety of scales and finishes, as well as case designs.
Aeolian produced not only the concert and beginners piano, but also for
the artist and leisure time musician.
ceased in 1982 and 1985 there are countless thousands of Aeolian
-American pianos still in use throughout America, in private homes,
schools, churches and rental fleets. They were not always the most
expensive, and some of their designs were, while aesthetically correct
they weren't always perfect, but they did and still do provide students
with the perfect entry level piano ever made at a price that most
families could afford.