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AEOLIAN / AEOLIAN - AMERICAN Est. 1903 - New York, N.Y.

The manufacturing 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 1906-9000
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


Piano lines 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 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.

Aeolian probably 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 divisions.

Aeolian 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.

Although production 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.

See individual names for numbers not listed.

Aeolian distinguished itself as a piano maker, not merely an assembler. Aeolian plants produced pianos that were quality assured, one of the reasons that over the years many of the largest school systems in the United States have selected their pianos exclusively. In addition, broadcasting stations, colleges, music schools, universities, operas, and symphonies have countless Aeolian pianos in constant service, this was during the time that American Institutions purchased pianos on limited budgets, not as commercial endorsements or University and College Piano Sale locations .


1901-280001922-71000 1948-82000 1969-120000
1902-310001923-72100 1949-830001970-121900
1907-42000 1928-765001954-86200 1975-137500
1908-44000 1929-770001955-863501976-140900
1909-46200 1930-775001956-865501977-142800
1912-518001933-78100 1959-887611980-148000
1913-530001934-78300 1960-91014 1981-150500
1915-579001936-78600 1962-94370 1983-156400
1917-62500 1938-794001964-1004421985-Discontinued


1900-26000 1918-65000 1936-77500 1958-88500
1901-29000 1919-871001937-776001959-89816
1902-32000 1920-68900 1938-777001960-92800
1903-35000 1921-700001939-778001967-119400
1904-37000 1922-710001940-779001968-132800
1905-38500 1923-720001941-780001969-140300
1906-40000 1924-732001942-78200 1970-146000
1907-42000 1925-745001946-78300 1971-153400
1908-44000 1926-757001947-78400 1972-166600
1909-46200 1927-760001948-78500 1973-167600
1910-48100 1928-765001949-78800 1974-171800
1911-50000 1929-767001950-81000 1975-177000
1912-51800 1930-768001951-82000 1976-185900
1913-53000 1931-769001952-83400 1977-189000
1914-55000 1932-770001953-84600 1978-194000
1915-57900 1933-772001954-85300 1979-201500
1916-60000 1934-773001956-88400 1980-208700
1917-62500 1935-774001957-87490 1981-214200