Saturday, May 21, 2011

Henry E. Steinway

Country of origin: Germany

Henry E. Steinway (February 15, 1797 – February 7, 1871) made pianos in Germany and the United States. He was the founder of the piano company Steinway & Sons.


Because of the unstable political climate following the revolutions of 1848 in the German states, Steinweg decided to leave the country. He emigrated from Braunschweig to New York City in 1851 with four of his sons, but before leaving he gave the company to his son, Christian Friedrich Theodor Steinweg. Later in New York, he anglicized his name to Henry E. Steinway upon advise from friends, who concluded, that the German surname Steinweg would be disadvantageous for doing business. Steinway and his sons worked for other piano companies until they could establish their own production under the name of Steinway & Sons in 1853.

The overstrung scale in a square piano earned the Steinway Piano first prize at the New York Industrial Fair of 1855. In 1862 they gained the first prize in London in competition with the most eminent makers in Europe; and this victory was followed in 1867 by a similar success at the Universal exposition in Paris. According to Franz Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, and other high authorities, the Steinways have done more to advance the durability, action, and tone-quality of their instruments than any other makers of Europe or America.

To read the fascinating story of Henry E. Steinway, see his page on Wikipedia, as well as the page about the company he founded.

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