Straube Piano Company

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Straube Piano Company
IndustryPianos
FounderWilliard Naramore Van Matre, Sr.
William Straube
HeadquartersHammond, Indiana,
Area served
North America
ProductsPianos

The Straube Piano Company (1895–1937) and its successor Straube Pianos Inc. (1937–1949) were American piano manufacturers of uprights, grands, players, and reproducing grands.

History[edit]

1901 Straube Cabinet Grand in a house (c. 1901, Bellingham, Washington)
Market perspective

The years 1875 to 1932 were a golden age of piano making, a time when pianos had few competitors for home entertainment. Straube manufactured pianos for the last thirty-seven of those years. Industry-wide, nearly 364,545 pianos sold in the United States at the peak in 1909, according to the National Piano Manufacturers Association.[1] By comparison, in 2011, 41,000 were sold, along with 120,000 digital pianos and 1.1 million keyboards, according to Music Trades magazine.[2] The Straube Piano Company had its own golden era, from about 1904 to 1935, from several perspectives. The company flourished as an innovator of player pianos, rapidly grew into a high-volume producer of premium and affordable pianos, and earned acclaim for its concert grands.

Straube Piano Company developed influential business models based on innovative management, promotion, advertising, and pricing. Its company executives and plant superintendents, particularly E.R. Jacobson (president) and William G. Betz (superintendent and inventor/innovator), were influential industry exponents who held leadership roles in industry organizations. The company produced premium pianos under the Straube name—but also manufactured Hammond, Gilmore, and Woodward brands, some of which sold at lower prices, but were still of high quality. It distributed all models nationally, and its players internationally, particularly in Australia.

Founders – Van Matre & Straube

The Straube Piano Company was the outgrowth of Van Matre & Straube (aka Straube & Van Matre), a partnership formalized in February 1895 by Williard Naramore Van Matre, Sr. (1851–1939), and William Straube (né Straub;[MTR 1] 1857–1928). That same month, Van Matre and Straube leased a factory near Chicago at Downers Grove, Illinois, on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad,[MTR 2] at the present intersection of Warren and Forest Avenues.[3] The original wareroom was at 24 Adams Street, Chicago.[MTR 3]

Straube manufactured its first piano in June 1895 at that factory,[MTR 4][MTR 5] which was also the factory of Van Matre & Co.[i][4][5] W.N. Van Matre & Co. was a music dealer at 105 State Street in Rockford, Illinois. Around July 1896, Van Matre and Straube dissolved the partnership, after Straube purchased Van Matre's share. Straube continued the business under his own name.[MTR 6]

Alternate founding years attributed to the Straube Piano Company
1901 Straube Cabinet Grand with a engraving "ESTABLISHED 1878".

In 1907, Straube Piano Company executives publicly recognized 1895 as the founding year. However, in 1911, Alfred Dolge published an influential reference book, Pianos and Their Makers, that gave 1878 as the founding year.[6] The December 19, 1914, issue of Music Trade Review began using the 1878 founding date.[MTR 7] At some point, Straube Piano began casting the numerals "1878" in the piano plates (aka iron frames). Straube Piano in 1924 attributed 1879 as the founding year.[7] In 1996, a book author provided 1859 as the founding year.[8]

Incorporation of Straube Piano Company

William Straube, an investor, not a piano expert, incorporated Straube Piano Company in 1897 as an Illinois entity.[MTR 3]

Initial executives

James (Jim) Francis Broderick (19 August 1854 Philadelphia – 17 November 1920 Chicago) became president on January 1, 1898,[Presto 1] and served in that role until March 1911. Before joining Straube Piano, Broderick had been a traveling salesman for Steger & Company and the B. Shoninger Co.[MTR 8]

William Straube (1857–1923)[Presto 2] had sold all his interest around 1901[9] and signed a 5-year non-compete agreement.[MTR 9] But in 1901, Straube, his two brothers, Herman Charles Straube (1867–1921) and Martin Straube, Jr. (1869–1934), and an associate, Charles Jacobsen (no relation to the Jacobsons of Straube Piano Company), formed another piano manufacturing company and leased the Club Block in Downers Grove, Illinois.[MTR 10] The Straube Piano Company challenged and won an injunction on December 16, 1901, in Cook County Circuit Court forbidding the Straubes and Jacobsen from using the Straube name in the manufacturing of pianos.[MTR 11][MTR 9]

Ernfrid (Ernest) Reinholdt Jacobson (25 December 1877 Gothenburg, Sweden – 19 June 1976 Chicago) – who began at Straube in August 1898 as a bookkeeper and stenographer – purchased the entire interest of the remaining partner and became president in March 1911.[10]

In 1901, Straube Piano Company was one of 31 Chicago area piano manufacturers that were recognized nationally.

New factory, Hammond, Indiana
Straube Piano Factory, Hammond, Indiana, 1904[MTR 12]

In 1904, the Straube Piano Company moved its manufacturing and executive offices from Chicago to a newly built piano factory in Hammond, Indiana – in the Calumet Region – on five acres served by the Monon and the Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville railways. The new factory was custom designed and owned by the company.

It was a 3-story facility, with a basement, with 34,000 sq. ft. of factory space.[11] The exterior of the building was a light gray colored brick, made in Michigan City, Indiana, known as Oehlmacher brick. The factory was of mill construction. The main structure was 160 x 50 feet, two stories high. The engine house was 50 x 35 feet, detached, and the boiler house was 60 x 45 feet and detached. The Monon dry kiln was 35 x 65 feet and held 20,000 feet of lumber over six days. It had shipping facilities. And it was equipped with automatic fire doors and fire walls. It had standpipes throughout the structure with separate hose attachments and concrete floors in the basement engine and boiler rooms.[12][MTR 12][11] At full capacity, the new factory required 200 employees and was capable of producing 3,000 finished pianos a year.[12]

Straube Piano introduced its first player piano in November 1909.

Straube Piano under the leadership of E.R. Jacobson

After initially purchasing a small interest in the company, Ernfrid Reinholdt Jacobson became secretary, and continued to acquire stock from time to time. When Ernfrid Reinholdt Jacobson became president in March 1911, he appointed his brothers as executives: Charles (Carl) Herman Jacobson Thorby (1875–1946),[ii] vice-president; and James Frithiof Jacobson (1885–1968), secretary, who all became owners and were actively involved with the further development of the business.

According to Fred E. Cooper, contributor to the Presto-Times, prior to E.R. Jacobson presidency, the Straube Piano Company was just an ordinary piano manufacturer. But under Jacobson and his associates, Struabe Piano became one of the most successful contenders in the high quality piano field.[Presto 3]

Third addition to the factory

In 1913, construction began on the 3rd addition to the original Straube factory erected in 1904 at 205 Manila Avenue. On January 30, 1930, the Hammond City Council enacted dozens of street name changes – including the change from Manila Avenue to Wildwood Street.[13] The architect was J.T. Hutton (Joseph T. Hutton; 1861–1932) and the contractor was Mahlon Abraham Dickover (1856–1932)[14]

Straube re-incorporates in Indiana

In late 1914 or early 1915: The Straube Piano Company was incorporated in Indiana by E.R. Jacobson, J.F. Jacobson, and C.H.J. Thorby with $150,000 (equivalent to $3,751,993 in 2018) capital stock.[15][16] Around that time, the factory was producing about 12 finished pianos a day worth about three-quarters of a million dollars a year (equivalent to $18,759,967 in 2018) and employed about one hundred and fifty men, paying them combined wages of about $125,000 (equivalent to $3,126,661 in 2018) a year.[11]

1916

Around 1916, the Straube Piano Company was manufacturing ten to twelve finished units a day.[17]

Record monthly production

The company reached a new all-time high monthly production volume in November 1922, surpassing its previous monthly high in March 1920.[18] It has been estimated that, of the some 360,000 pianos produced in America in 1909, 56% were players.

Fifth addition to the factory

In 1925, construction began on the fifth and largest addition to the original Straube factory. The architect was J.T. Hutton & Son, the son being William Sturgeon Hutton (1890–1975). The structure was four stories with a basement. The new addition was devoted largely to the manufacturer of grand and re-producing grand pianos.[19]

June 1925, Straube moved into the new plant. The new plant added 70,000 square feet of manufacturing space and provided a suite of new executive offices. The total floor-space, including the addition, was about a hundred and sixty thousand square feet. The new space was especially designed for a new unit that could produce 2,500 Straube grands a year to meet demand. William G. Betz – Straube's plant superintendent since 1917, piano design engineer, and inventor who was highly regarded by the industry – had spent several years perfecting the construction and design of the new Straube grands. Straube also hired William David McIlwrath (né McIlwraith; 1872–1931), a veteran piano factory superintendent and piano engineer with years of experience in the production of grands, to take charge a department in the new unit.[Presto 4] McIlwrath had been the manufacturing superintendent of Jesse French & Sons Piano Co. of New Castle, Indiana, since February 16, 1920, and had been employed there since 1913. McIlwrath learned the profession in Canada, having been associated with many of the leading factories in the East.[MTR 13][Presto 5]

Straube enters radio manufacturing

In 1929, Straube began producing radios.[Presto 6]

1930 advertising

In 1930, Straube was using the advertising firm of Lamport, Fox & Co., Irvin Sylvester Dolk (1891–1981), ad executive of South Bend, Indiana.[Presto 7]

1935 friendly receivership

Sales of pianos and player pianos, industry-wide, began to slip in the early 1920s, due partly to the rising popularity of radio as an alternative for home entertainment[20] and due partly to the rising popularity of automobiles, which cost about the same as premium Straube pianos ($325; equivalent to $5,939 in 2018). And, like pianos, automobiles were commonly purchased on installment. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and into the Great Depression, sales declined further and Straube began to struggle financially. In 1925, 80% of pianos sold by the retail trade were done so on installment plans.[MTR 14]

In an attempt to survive, the Straube Piano Company sold its Hammond factory in 1931 to the J.L. Metz Furniture Co. for $125,000 (equivalent to $2,059,354 in 2018) and leased back a large portion of the building. In May 1934, the Straube Piano Company went into a friendly receivership. Roy Francis McPharlin (1893–1980) was appointed as receiver.[21] On January 4, 1935, McPharlin distributed a "first and final" dividend of 8/10 of 1 cent of one dollar (i.e., 86¢ for $100) to the creditors.[Presto 8] During the summer of 1935, the company reorganized. By then, it was still producing pianos, but occupied only a portion of the factory it once owned. The remainder of the plant was occupied by J.L. Metz Furniture Co. In 1935, the Straube Piano Company was being operated by the Fidelity Security Company, John Leonard Keilman (1867–1946), president. Fidelity Security was the finance arm of Straube Piano – dealing in piano paper and other securities.

When Straube went into receivership, all of its officers departed, including E.R. Jacobson, president; C.H.J. Thorby, vice-president; and Alfred Theodore Schuldes (1892–1981), secretary-treasurer.[21] Also, in 1935, William G. Betz (1871–1957), longtime superintendent with over 50 patents, left the company. In the interim, after the departure of Betz and before the appointment of Charles Henry Bartolomee as plant superintendent, Alvin Detloff Meyer (1879–1970), a Straube purchasing agent and longtime employee, took charge of manufacturing.

Around June 1936, Straube Piano Company moved its offices from the First Trust Building in Hammond to the Straube factory at 5049 Columbia Avenue in Hammond. And its board of directors elected Lemuel (Lem) Kline (1868–1945) as secretary-treasurer.[Presto 9][22]

1937 adjudicated bankruptcy
On January 19, 1937, the Straube Piano Company was adjudicated bankrupt in United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. In March 1937, the receiver for the Straube Piano Company sold all remaining assets for $4,655 (equivalent to $81,128 in 2018) to individuals who planned to continue the business. The dividend amount is not known. The assets consisted of the name and goodwill of the business, unfinished pianos – about twenty in process of construction – thirty piano cases unassembled, and various supplies of finished and unfinished materials and parts used in the construction of pianos, along with piano strings and wire and other parts for piano manufacturing.[Presto 10]
Reorganization

A new company was formed in Indiana on March 27, 1937, as Straube Pianos Inc. located at 5049 Columbia Avenue and production of Straube pianos resumed in the leased portion of the Hammond factory that the former company once owned. The 1937 executives were

Walter Ernst Schrage (1912–1982), president, whose father, William Ernst Schrage (1884–1941), was president of the Bank of Whiting, Hammond, Indiana
Max B. Pattiz (1890–1979), vice-president and general manager (former president of Lauter Piano Company, maker of the Lauter-Humana player piano, Newark, New Jersey)
Harry E. Powers (1899–1954), secretary and treasurer;[Presto 11] Powers was a lawyer from nearby Whiting, Indiana
1940 move to Chicago

On May 1, 1940, Straube Pianos Inc. moved to Chicago Heights to occupy 48,000 sq. ft. of a warehouse owned by National Tea.[23]

1940 executives
Walter Ernst Schrage, Jr., president
Charles Henry Bartholomee (1874–1960), who began as superintendent in 1935 and became Vice President of Straube Pianos Inc. in July 1940[MTR 15]
Penfield Emory Mason (1875–1963), sales manager (sales manager many years with the Haddorff Co.)
Charles Roy Arnold (born 1900), Atlanta manager (later, president) of Continental Music Inc., a division of C.G. Conn
1941 executives
Charles Henry Bartholomee, vice president Straube Pianos Inc.
Herbert A. Koehlinger (1902–1955), vice president and New York manager (Eastern Manager of the Continental Music Co.); Koehlinger later was sales manager of the Fred Gretsch Manufacturing Company
Paul M. Gazlay (1896–1966), president of Continental Music Inc.; Gazlay was president of C.G. Conn from 1949 to 1958
Sale of Straube to C.G. Conn

C.G. Conn acquired Straube Pianos Inc. in October 1941. For the previous two years, Continental Music Co. of Chicago – a subsidiary of Conn – had been the sales representative for Straube, with P. E. Mason as sales manager.[24][25][26][27][28] Mason, in the mid-1920s, had been vice president of the Cable-Nelson Piano Company before it had merged with the Everett Piano Company in 1926. C.G. Conn extended the relationship with Continental and kept Bartholomee as the head of manufacturing.[MTR 16] Mason, who for many years had been the sales manager for the Haddorff Piano Co., Rockford, Illinois, joined Continental when C.G. Conn acquired Haddorff in November 1940.[MTR 17]

World War II

Sometime before May 12, 1942, the U.S. War Production Board restricted piano production by C.G. Conn, Ltd., to 120 pianos a month. On May 12, 1942, C.G. Conn, Ltd., announced that it would consolidate its piano manufacturing by moving its Straube manufacturing from Chicago Heights to its Haddorff Piano manufacturing plant in Rockford, Illinois, at Railroad Avenue and 9th Street—a leased facility that Haddorff shared with the Rockford Chair and Furniture Company. Haddorff had sold its original Rockford plant on Harrison Avenue in 1940. In December 1940, a month after C.G. Conn's acquisition of the Haddorff Piano Company, Conn moved the Haddorff's manufacturing operations into the Railroad Avenue plant, which it had modernized.

On May 30, 1942 – a few weeks after C.G. Conn consolidated the manufacturing of Haddorff and Straube pianos at the Haddorff plant in Rockford – the War Production Board (WPB) ordered that manufacturing of pianos at the Rockford plant cease by July 31, 1942. Under a war contract between C.G. Conn, Ltd., and the U.S. War Department, the Rockford plant produced parts for gliders and trainer planes from 1942 to 1946.[29]

Cessation of production of Straube pianos

The last published reference to the sale of a Straube piano was in July 1946, when the Haddorff Piano Co. of Rockford, Illinois, exhibited a complete line of Haddorff and Straube grands and spinets at the Palmer House in Chicago during the Convention of the National Association of Music Merchants.[MTR 18] Production of Straube pianos ceased in 1949.

Dissolution of the Straube corporate entities

C.G. Conn retained ownership of Straube Pianos Inc. until 1969, when C.G. Conn was acquired by the Crowell-Collier MacMillan Company. The assets of Straube Piano Inc. included those acquired from the March 1937 receivers sale of the former Straube Piano Company. The Indiana corporate charters of (i) Straube Pianos Inc. (incorporated March 25, 1937), (ii) Straube Piano Company Inc. (incorporated November 14, 1941), and (iii) Struabe Piano and Music Company (incorporated October 24, 1922) expired January 1, 1970.

Straube Piano & Music Company[edit]

The Straube Piano & Music Company was the retail division and subsidiary of the Straube Piano Company. It was launched around 1920.[Presto 12] Also, in 1920, the retail division purchased a two-story building on S Hohman Street in Hammond, Indiana for $75,000. The building housed four stores and six office suites yielding rental income of about $9,000 a year. The building was made of brick and terra cotta and had frontage of 100 feet on South Hohman Street. The directors of Straube Piano Company incorporated its retail division in 1922.[30]

Brands and models[edit]

Straube brands[edit]

  • Straube
  • Hammond – Hammond pianos and players were an outgrowth of the Hammond Piano Co., organized in Hammond, Indiana, in 1904, by James F. Broderick. The Straube Piano Company held a controlling interest in the company. The objective was to produce medium grade pianos, with comparable quality, at lower prices than the premium Straubes.[MTR 19] The Hammond Piano Co. launched its first two pianos in 1905, Style 21 and Style 23, both full uprights. Hammond pianos were made in the same factory as Straube and Gilmore pianos, but the Hammond Piano Co. business was kept separate. The Hammond Piano Co. was originally chartered in 1903 Illinois as the Chicago Electric Piano Co. by the Straube Piano Company. The incorporators were James T. Broderick, E. R. Jacobson and W. G. Martin, all of the Straube Piano Co. The purpose was to market a nickel-in-the-slot piano player known in the East as the Autoelectra.[MTR 20] The name-change to Hammond Piano Co. was filed in Indiana in February 1905.[MTR 21]
  • Gilmore – Gilmore pianos began production in 1904 as a private label for a retail customer in Philadelphia, the customer being Gustave Herzberg (1835–1924), father of Edward Herzberg (1870–1931), who ran the piano department at the Snellenburg Store. Edward left Straube as vice president in 1904 to join his father. The Gilmore line ran until about 1927.[31] Earliest reference to a Gilmore Piano is 1900[32]
  • Woodward – manufactured after 1910

Straube models[edit]

Straube models and prices (f.o.b.) Hammond
Grands
  • The Conservatory – (1926 – $950; equivalent to $13,445 in 2018)
  • The Artist – (1926 – $795; equivalent to $11,251 in 2018)
  • The Italian (1926)
  • The Sonata Florentine (1926)
Reproducing
  • Model C – (1926 – $2,575, equivalent to $36,442 in 2018, and up) – "An instrument which recreates with absolute fidelity the playing of the world's master pianists, a combination of the superb Straube Conservatory model grand with the famous Welte Mignon (Licensee) reproducing action. Its amazing range of expression imparts a realism which makes it impossible to distinguish the reproduction from the personal playing of the artist. A library of more than 4,000 rolls puts the world's greatest music at the disposal of the owner of a Straube Model C. R."
Players
  • Style A (introduced in 1912) – Louis XV casing
  • Style B (introduced in 1917 or prior)
  • Style E
  • Style 15 (introduced in 1917 or prior)
  • Style T (introduced in 1922 or prior) – with Artronome Player Action
  • The Arcadian – (1926 – $750; equivalent to $10,614 in 2018)
  • The Imperial – (1926 – $675; equivalent to $9,553 in 2018)
  • The Colonial – (1926 – $625; equivalent to $9,553 in 2018)
  • The Puritan – (1926 – $595; equivalent to $8,421 in 2018)
  • The Dominion – (1926 – $550; equivalent to $7,784 in 2018)
  • Style 20 (1914)
Uprights
  • (1926 – $395, $425, $525)
  • Style J – Cabinet Grand (introduced in 1901 or prior)
  • Style K – Cabinet Grand (introduced in 1901 or prior)
  • Style L – Cabinet Grand (introduced in 1898)
  • Style M – Cabinet Grand (introduced in 1898)
  • Style B – Cabinet Grand (introduced in 1906) – "Elegant double veneered case, in fancy mahogany, Italian walnut, American burl walnut or oak; heavily cross banded with y8-inch stock; all carving hand work; all moldings cross veneered; hand carved trusses of natural woods; new cabinet grand scale with Capo 'dAstro bearing bar in bass section; patent improved double repeating action with brass capstan regulating screws in keys; improved double roll fall board; nickel-plated hammer rail and continuous hinges; ivory keys, noiseless pedals; nickel-plated tuning pins, fully bushed, copper wrapped bass strings. The inside of this case is lined throughout with bird's-eye maple, finished in keeping with the balance of the instrument. Dimensions: 7 1-3 octaves; height, 4 feet 8 inches; with, 5 feet 3 inches; depth, 2 feet 4 inches.
  • Style C (introduced in 1905 or prior)
  • Style I (introduced in 1905 or prior)
  • Style D (1914)
  • Style O (introduced 1912) – double veneered case, with full extension music desk, new grand scale with capo D'Astro bearing bar on bass section, nickel plated tuning pins, brass strings wrapped with copper, patent improved double repeating action with brass capstan regulating screws in keys, bushed tuning pins, nickel plated hammer rail, continuous hinges, improved double roll fall board, ivory keys and patent noiseless pedals. It is 4 feet 8 inches in height
  • Style S – similar to the Style O
  • Style F (introduced on or before 1925)
  • Style G (introduced on or before 1925)
  • Style H (introduced on or before 1925)
1901 Straube Cabinet Grand (SN 9788)
Pin block, hammer rail
Pin block, hammer rail
Full console
Full console
Pedals, treble bridge, bass bridge, metal frame, hitch pins, soundboard
Pedals, treble bridge, bass bridge, metal frame, hitch pins, soundboard

Hammond models[edit]

Players
  • Hammond Style 10 (1914), made of mahogany & oak
  • The Artronome player action, introduced on Straube player pianos in May 1921,[MTR 22] included patented pendulum valves, one for each note, a tenpoint customized motor, and an automatic ball-bearing roll adjuster for the tracking.[MTR 23]
The valve, according to the company, became the heart of the Artronome action. According to Straube literature, it was frictionless, non-corrosive, and eliminated 90 percent of all player problems caused by friction and corrosion in the mechanism. By 1922, over one million Straube pendulum valves had been installed in player pianos of various makes.
The valves were three-tier and horizontal, but not the more common type found in horizontal valve actions, which were usually the wire i-pin variety. Each valve pivoted between two ears that extended from each metal plate.
Each valve was a wood disc with leather facing on both sides. One face had a center hole leading to a pocket of a larger diameter in the wood. The valve was supported only by a lever between the valve plate pivot and the pouch lifter disc, with a right angle dowel extension that "plugged in" the center hole of the valve button. The pivotal lever is easily removable because it was not cemented to the valve, rendering a loose valve button in the valve well behind the valve plate that was screwed onto the valve chest with white sealing compound.[33]
  • The Straube Style L was a short upright – only 3 ft 7 inches tall, introduced in 1926 – that incorporated Straube's patented Duplex Overstringing. Straube claimed that the Duplex Overstringing enabled the piano to produce the sound of a full upright.
  • The Melo-Harp was a patented pneumatic-controlled attachment for Straube pianos.
  • The Straube Grands[34] offered in 1927 included lengths four-foot-four, five-foot-two, six-foot, and six-foot-two in various styles.
  • Straube Reproducing Grands were automated player pianos that used a Welte-Mignon action manufactured under license by the Auto Pneumatic Action Co. of Manhattan, New York.

In 1924, Straube introduced individual names for its players rather than alpha letters in an effort to stimulate retail sales. A year earlier, Straube introduced a uniform national pricing policy. In 1923, Straube also launched a national advertising campaign.

Explanation of the term Studio Grand: A tall upright piano – 50 inches or taller, one that a person of average height can't see over when seated at the bench – is sometimes referred to as an "upright grand". Straube branded it as a "Cabinet Grand". Use of the word "grand" with uprights should not be confused with concert grands. Upright grands can be of high quality and – short of concert grands – are often the choice of serious pianists, recording studios, and performance venues. A mid-high upright – one that one can barely see over – is often used in dance studios, where an accompanist can see the dancers. A short upright, one that rises less than a foot above the keyboard, is referred to as a spinet. Serious pianists typically regard spinets as inadequate because the soundboard is too short to produce a full sound with full overtones.

Sample Straube serial numbers[edit]

Straube serial numbers run from 1895 to 1949[35]
SN: 6692 (1896–1897) – upright
SN: 7370 (1898) – upright
SN: 7371 (1898) – upright (engraved wood casing)
SN: 7381 (1898) – upright (exported to Liverpool, England)
SN: 8311 (1898–1899) – Gabriel W, grand
SN: 9058 (1900) – upright
SN: 9547 (1901) – upright
SN: 9577 (1901) – upright
SN: 9788 (1901) – upright
SN: 10028 (1901) – upright
SN: 10606 (1902) – upright
SN: 11271 (1903) – upright
SN: 11428 (1904) – upright
SN: 11552 (1905) – Cabinet Grand (upright) ("Est 1878")
SN: 13962 (1907) – upright
SN: 13992 (1907) – baby grand
SN: 18629 (1912)
SN: 19051 (1912) – upright ("double repeating action")
SN: 19373 (1912) – upright
SN: 19382 (1912) - Upright
SN: 23588 (1915)
SN: 26145 (1916) – upright
SN: 23588 (or 45756) (1919) – Melo-Harp, full upright
SN: 25077 (1916) – Cabinet Grand (upright)
SN: 28336 (1917) – player
SN: 29582 (1918) – Upright Grand
SN: 33346 (1919) – upright
SN: 34619 (1920) – upright
SN: 37784 (1921) - player - w/French Repeating Action. Manufactured for the Wm.H.Elsinger stores in St. Paul Minnesota.
SN: 38173 (1921) – player
SN: 39876 (1922) – upright
SN: 41441 (1923) – upright
SN: 41953 (1923) – baby grand
SN: 44412 (1923) – player
SN: 45813 (1924) – player
SN: 46026 (1924) – player
SN: 47555 (1925) – upright
SN: 47715 (1925) – player
Patented vertical Grand French Repeating Action Piano"
"new improved"
"scale with patent double repeating"
SN: 49041 (1925) – upright
SN: 49339 (1925) – upright
SN: 50066 (1925) – baby grand
SN: 50224 (1925) – upright
SN: 50839 (1925) – full upright
SN: 53477 (1926) – player, French Repeating Action
SN: 54624 (1927) – player
SN: 54873 (1927) – upright
SN: 55030 (1927) – baby grand
SN: 55857 (1927) – upright (National Piano Manufactures Assc. Certicificate #858800)
SN: 56002 (1928) – grand
SN: 57098 (1928) – Sonata, baby grand video on YouTube
SN: 57447 (1928) – player, style H, ID 58558
SN: 59314 (1938) – upright
SN: 59384 (1929) – Vertical Grand French Repeating Action
SN: 59577 (1930) – Vertical Grand French Repeating Action ("Est 1878") ("CW Lindsay, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
SN: 60001 (1931) – upright
SN: 61593 (1938)
SN: 61953 (1938) – spinet, 38' x 59' x 23
SN: 62937 (1939) – spinet
SN: 63593 (1941) – upright
SN: 63703 (1941) – upright
SN: 64165 (1941) – upright
SN: 64232 (1941) – spinet
SN: 64396 (1941) – spinet
SN: 65065 (1949) – upright
SN: 66090 (1949) – Sonata, baby grand

National Music Museum No. 14434. Upright piano with player mechanism (Hammond Melo-Harp) by the Straube Co., Hammond, Indiana, manufactured 1916, serial no. 26494. AAA-c5 (7+ octaves). Three pedals: half blow, "Melo-Harp" (tabs with staples for a jarring, "honky-tonk" tone), dampers. Purchased by Perry Fulton Pinkerton (1873–1952) for his wife, Isadora Edna (née Rouff; 1876–1923), in 1918. Delivered by train and wagon to the family farmhouse in Quimby, Iowa, where it remained until coming to the NMM, this player piano filled family events with music and provided accompaniment for dancing. Gift of Edward and James Pinkerton, grandsons, in memory of their parents, Ross Cavanaugh Pinkerton (1913–2009) and Arlene Jane (née Bugh; 1919–2009) late of Quimby, Iowa.

Woodward
SN: 16170 (1910) – upright
SN: 16298 (1910) – upright
SN: 21937 (1914) – Cabinet Grand (upright)
SN: 22883 (1915) – Cabinet Grand (upright)
SN: 26096 (1916) – upright
SN: 35355 (1920) – player
SN: 36715 (1921) – upright
SN: 41441 (1923) – player
SN: 57908 (1929) – upright
Hammond
SN: 8743 (1900) – upright
SN: 15972 (1909) – Cabinet Grand (upright)
SN: 17868 (1911) – upright
SN: 20401 (1913) – Cabinet Grand (upright)
SN: 22759 (1915) – upright player
SN: 23414 (1915) – upright
SN: 23707 (1915) – Cabinet Grand (upright)
SN: 24488 (1915) – Cabinet Grand (upright) (price in gold lettering $650)
SN: 25340 (1916) – Cabinet Grand (upright)
SN: 27297 (1917) – full upright
SN: 28895 (1917) – Cabinet Grand (upright)
SN: 29761 (1918) – Cabinet Grand (upright)
SN: 41297 (1923) – upright
SN: 43381 (1923) – upright player Melo-Harp with Artronome player action
SN: 43908 (1923) – upright (vertical grand French repeating action)
SN: 44689 (1924) – upright player
SN: 49853 (1925) – upright player
SN: 58809 (1946) – upright (vertical grand French repeating action, about 52" high)
Playtona mfg by Straube for Grinnell Brothers
SN: 49381 (1953) – 1953
Straube Piano Company & Straube Pianos Inc. serial numbers
1895: 6500
1900: 8700
1901: 9400
1902: 10300
1903: 10900
1904: 11400
1905: 11900
1906: 12600
1907: 13500
1908: 14300
1909: 15100
1910: 16000
1911: 17200
1912: 18400
1913: 19600
1914: 21000
1915: 22500
1916: 24500
1917: 27000
1918: 29500
1919: 31700
1920: 34000
1921: 36900
1922: 38400
1923: 41200
1924: 44600
1925: 47000
1926: 51000
1927: 54000
1928: 56000
1929: 57800
1930: 59400
1931: 59995
(no data for 1932–35)
1936: 60000
1937: 60500
1938: 61000
1939: 62000
1940: 62500
1941: 63500
1942: 64500
1949: 65021[35]

Notes: In 1954, the Hammond Organ Co. acquired the Everett and Cable Nelson names and also started building Hammond pianos. These Hammond Pianos are of no relation to those once produced by Straube. Hammond pianos were discontinued around 1965.

Selected owners, executives, and managers[edit]


James Francis Broderick

James (Jim) Francis Broderick (19 August 1854 Philadelphia – 17 November 1920 Chicago) became president on January 1, 1898,[Presto 1] and served in that role until March 1911. Before joining Straube Piano, Broderick had been a traveling salesman for Steger & Company and the B. Shoninger Co.[MTR 8]

Ernfrid Reinholdt Jacobson

E.R. Jacobson was the son of Charles Frithiof Jacobson (1852–1906), and Helena (née Nicholson; 1845–1910). Ernfrid Jacobson, with his parents, immigrated to the United States in 1882 and settled in Chicago. Jacobson received his public school education in Chicago. He began his career as an office boy, then a bookkeeper and general office utility man for various concerns until August 1898.

In addition to being president part owner with his brothers of Straube Piano Company and Straube Piano & Music Co., which operated several music stores; E.R. Jacobson also was president of the Fidelity Security Co., dealers in piano paper and other securities, and treasurer of the Hammond Machine and Forge Works.

Politically, E.R. Jacobson he was a Republican. He was a member of the Bethlehem Swedish Lutheran Church of Englewood, Illinois, where he had been a trustee since 1898, and was also the treasurer of the church. He resided at 5754 Fifth avenue.[17]

William Straube

William Straube, before 1894, had been president of the Schaeffer Piano Company,[36] which in 1896, had a sales room on the second floor of 236 Wabash Avenue, Chicago.

After Straube sold his interest in the Straube Piano Company in 1901, he focused on his real estate development business in Downers Grove, Illinois. In 1902, Straube became a director of the Cerro Mojarra Plantation Company, a ranching and agricultural firm operating in Oaxaca, Mexico.[37]

The Schaeffer Piano Company, founded by William Schaeffer (1832–1888) in Württemberg, Germany, around 1872, was established in New York in 1877. Schaeffer had factories at 472 West 43rd Street, and 456 West 37th Street, Manhattan, New York. Then, in 1889, after Schaeffer's death, the company was established in Illinois and incorporated on December 31, 1891, in Illinois, by Charles M. Herman, Isaac Newton Rice (1847–1929), and Samuel Ringgold Huyett (1946–1911).[38]

In 1892, the Schaeffer's piano factory, located in Oregon, Illinois, had 90 employees and was producing 20 pianos a week.[39]

In the fall of 1894, Scheaffer Piano Co. (William Straube, president), moved its manufacturing operations from Oregon, Illinois, to River View – on the Wisconsin Railway, two miles from the Chicago city limit. The new facility had twice the floor space.[40]

Under financial duress in 1896, the assets of Schaeffer Piano were assigned its assets to the creditor, Floyd E. Jennison (1857–1920), in the Cook County Court.[41][MTR 24] The goodwill and patents were sold to Thomas Edwin Dougherty[Presto 13] who, in 1895, re-established and re-incorporated the company as Schaeffer Piano Manufacturing Company.

In 1902, while Thomas Edwin Dougherty (1856–1943) was president, the Schaeffer Piano Company manufacturing plant in River View[42] had a fire. The company subsequently erected a new plant in Kankakee, Illinois.[MTR 25]

In 1891, William Straube went into partnership with Alfred Roland Heckman (1859–1914),[43] a brother of his wife, Jessica Fremont Heckman (1857–1944), both of 8 Heckman siblings. Their firm, Heckman & Straube, sold land lots in Downers Grove beginning 1891.

Martin Straube

The 1910 Census shows Martin living in Oregon, Illinois, perhaps working for the Schiller Piano Company sometime before 1910. In 1940, he was living in Los Angeles, still working in the piano business.

James Frithiof Jacobson

James (Jimmy) Frithiof Jacobson (5 February 1885 Chicago – December 1968 Hammond, Indiana) attended public schools in Chicago. After leaving school worked in a warehouse for two years, then spent eight years with the Crerar-Adams Company, a railway supply firm. Following that, he and his brother, Ernfrid Reinholdt Jacobson, became associated in a music store at Indiana Harbor.[MTR 26]

Others

Clinton Wilson Howe (born 1875), bookkeeper at Straube Piano from 1895 to 1897[44]

Directors and executives[edit]


  • January 4, 1901: Straube Piano Company
James F. Broderick, president
Edward Herzberg, vice-president,
E.R. Jacobson, secretary[MTR 27]
  • 1902: Straube Piano Company
24 Adams Street, Chicago
E.R. Jacobson, Secretary & Director
William Straube, Manager & Director
James F. Broderick, Secretary, Treasurer, Director
Edward Herzberg (born 1859), Vice-President & Director;[45] he left Straube in 1904 to join his brother Harry and father Gustave in Philadelphia to run the piano department of the Snellenburg Store.[MTR 28]
  • 1905: Straube Piano Company
24-26 Adams Street, Chicago (Stevens Building)
James F. Broderick, President, Treasurer, Manager and Director
Mary D. Broderick (1862–1932), Vice-President and Director (wife of James F. Broderick)
Edward Herzberg (43), Vice-President and Director
Ernfrid Reinholdt Jacobson, 43, Secretary and Director
William Straube, President, Manager and Director[46]
  • April 1905
James F. Broderick, president[12][Presto 1]
William P. Parker (1843–1907), vice president[47][MTR 29]
Ernfrid Reinholdt Jacobson, secretary
James Frithiof Jacobson (born 1885), secretary[48]

Superintendents and foremen[edit]


  • 1906–19??: Gunnar G. Lindstrom (1870–1949), became superintendent in 1906.[49] He became the superintendent at the Haddorff Piano Company and in 1923, moved into sales at Haddorff
  • 1917–1935: William G. Betz (1871–1957), superintendent from 1917 to 1935, (over 50 patents), left the company in 1935. After leaving Straube, Betz patented several piano action mechanisms and assigned them to Pratt Read and Company Inc., maker of piano mechanisms.
  • 1935–1942: Charles Henry Bartholomee (1874–1960) began as superintendent and was superintendent in July 1940;[20] in 1940, Bartholomee became Vice President of Straube Pianos Inc.[Presto 14][MTR 15] Before joining Straube, he had been superintendent of the Smith Barnes Piano Factory for several years and superintendent of the P.A. Starck Piano Co., Chicago, also for several years.
  • 1925–1930: William David McIlwrath (1872–1931), foreman, under Bartholomee's direction, of the manufacturer of Straube Grands
  • 1942–1949: Carl Leopold Haddorff (1895–1952), son of Charles A. Haddorff (1864–1928), co-founder of the Haddorff Piano Company
  • Roy Hilmer Olsen (1888–1965), in 1920, was a foreman for Straube; in 1930 he was a clerk for a candy manufacturer in Chicago; and in 1942 he was working for Carnegie-Illinois Steel Company. His father, John Olsen, a Norwegian immigrant, was a piano maker.

Wholesale and retail sales[edit]


  • Charles W. Smith (1861–1932), appointed manager in 1920 of Straube's retail division
  • Alfred Theodore Schuldes (1892–1981)[Presto 15][Presto 16]
  • 1923–1926: James Randolph Adams (1898–1956), 1960 posthumous inductee into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame[50] Adams credited his success to his first job, which was with Straube as advertising and sales promotion manager.[51]
  • William S. Robertson (1860–1924), joined Straube around 1913 and was its Eastern representative until he suffered a stroke in October 1923[MTR 30]
  • W.J. Robertson (born approx 1898), nephew of William S. Robertson, joined Straube at the end of 1920
  • James Newton England (1882–1956), Atlanta sales representative
  • Roy Solomon Dunn (1877–1932), joined Straube at the end of 1920; on January 1, 1927, Dunn became Western sales manager of Brinkerhoff Piano Co. of Chicago; Dunn became the Western sales manager for Splitdorf Radio Corp. in January 1928,[MTR 31] the year that Thomas A. Edison, Inc., acquired the firm[52]
  • James Alfred Terry (born 1889) – After working with Straube, Terry co-founded the James A. Terry Piano Co. in 1913 in Duluth, Minnesota, operating as a piano retailer under the name of Terry-Gulliuson Piano Co.
  • Leroy Jovst Viersin, Sr. (1878–1959)
  • J. Roy Huckins, traveling salesman – central and northwestern wholesale representative from 1922 to 1926[MTR 32]
  • Henry Anthony Erikson (1884–1949) – salesman, Straube Music Store
  • Armon C. Harper (born 1894) – salesman, Straube Piano Company
  • Oscar Andrew Lindholm (1884–1932) – piano salesman, Staube Music Store
  • George Burl Simpson (1887–1954), based out of Chillicothe, Missouri, started May 1921 as a traveling salesman for Straube, covering Missouri and Eastern Kansas[53]
  • Hugh Alexander Stewart (1890–1963), began as a sales, advertising, and promotion manager in September 1927[MTR 33] In 1936, Stewart was sales manager for Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, and in 1938 he ascended to vice president. He retired from Wurlitzer in 1958.
  • David Lord Sterling (1882–1949), formerly a traveling salesman for Poole Piano Co. of Boston
  • R.A. Rasmusson
  • William H. Rasmusson (born 1883)
  • Charles A. Clinton (1902–1986), sales manager at Straube from about 1939 to 1942[54]
  • Lemuel (Lem) Kline (1868–1945), general sales manager beginning around 1936
  • Robert Edward Lauer (born 1891) joined Straube's traveling sales force in 1927 to cover Ohio and West Virginia.
"In the retail piano business today, conditions have changed materially from what they were a few years ago. Instead of simply considering old names and traditions as an asset, we are now obliged to treat with modern forms of merchandising, both buying and selling. We have to think in terms of dollars and cents and it is from this angle that the Straube line is particularly interesting. Any merchant who adopts the Straube system of retail piano business operation is bound to make money with it."[Presto 17]
  • Joseph Edward Albineau (1886–1961) became general representative for Straube in 1927, covering Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.[Presto 18]
  • W.E. Gillespie, was a traveling representative in Missouri and Illinois for Straube from before 1915 to 1927, when he moved on to become special representative for W.W. Kimball Co. In 1931, based in Seattle, Gillespie was representative for Starr Piano. In 1934, he was a representative for Haddorff.
  • C.E. West
  • Simien Myers Wessel (1873–1947) had been the treasurer for R.K. Maynard Co. until about 1912, when the company went bankrupt. He then founded a piano company that produced pianos bearing his name, "S.M. Wessel". By 1915, Wessel was a wholesale rep for Straube.[MTR 34]

Others[edit]


  • Alvin Detloff Meyer (1879–1970), a Straube purchasing agent and longtime employee who served as an interim superintendent in 1935 after its first reorganization and subsequent departure of William G. Betz, was, in 1928, instrumental in developing a more sustainable solution for fastening legs to the cases of Straube Grands. Blackhawk Foundry & Machine Co. of Davenport, Iowa, designed more sturdy plates in response to a design request letter that Meyer had sent to several manufacturers.[Presto 19] Straube Piano announced the innovation to its competitors and by the end of 1928, Blackhawk was making the plates for 13 of the largest piano manufacturers in the country.[55]

Addresses[edit]

Retail sales[edit]

1898–19??: 24-26 East Adams Street, Chicago
1911: 59 Adams Street, Chicago
1915: 209 South State Street, Chicago
190?–1922 (and longer?): 631 Hohman Street, Hammond
5247 Hohman Avenue, Hammond

Factory: 252 Wildwood Road[edit]

  • 205 Manila Avenue at Havanna Street, Hammond, Indiana (Manila Avenue was renamed Wildwood Road in 1930)[13]
  • Frontage is at 252 Wildwood Rd., service entrance on Kenwood St. (parallel to Wildwood), property is bounded on the north by Wildwood, east by Monon Trail, the south by Kenwood. The property is an L-shape, turn counterclockwise 90 degrees – the most northern border is bounded by Conkey Street. On Kenwood, across the street, is the Oak Hill Cemetery.
  • Factory: Wildwood
  • 1913: Showroom at 59 East Adams Street, Chicago
  • 1919: Straube purchased a 2-story brick and terracotta building on South Hohman Street, where the firm had been located for years.[Presto 12]

Straube photo archives[edit]

  • "Cutting up" – President Rick Ricketson, Al Young (Peerless Printing), Duke Melody (pianist); (1955); OCLC 55122989

Videos[edit]

Other Straube names in music not related to Straube Piano[edit]

J. Straube & Co., Berlin

Straube Piano Company was not related to J. Straube & Co., in Berlin, an organ maker founded in 1869 that endured until 1972. In 1903, its founding owners were Johannes Straube (1843–1906) & Karl Straube (1873–1950), father and son. Johannes, an organist, was the superintendent. Johannes was also the son of J.C.F. Straube, a violin maker. In 1923, Otto Pappe (1882–1972) became the owner. Otto's son, Reinhard Pappe (1908–1972), succeeded him as owner until his death in 1972, when the firm was dissolved. William Straube (de), the German painter, was also a son of Johannes. None of the Straubes from this family were directly related to William Straube of the Straube Piano Co.[56]

William J. Straub, organ builder

William J. Straub (1859–1946), who is listed in the 1901, 1902, and 1904 Syracuse City Directories, was an organ builder. This Straub is unrelated.

Alois Straub, organ builder

Alois Straub (1826 Baden, Germany – 1883) was a manufacturer of reed organs. He learned cabinet making and worked with the manufacturing of musical instruments in Germany before emigrating to the United States in 1849. Straub settled in Akron, Ohio, and, from about 1852 to 1856, made organs for H.B. Horton (Henry Bishop Horton; 1819–1885). Straub then worked as a traveling salesman for Horton & Rose (Ira Rose; 1820–1891) from 1857 to 1861. Straub opened Akron's first music store 1861 at 148 (later 163) S. Howard Street. Straub was a manufacturer of reed organs under his own name from about 1870 to 1875.[56][57][58]

Affiliations[edit]

  • National Piano Travelers Association, E.R. Jacobson, et al.
  • National Piano Manufacturers Association, Straube Piano Co.
E.R. Jacobson, past president
  • Hammond Manufacturers Association
E.R. Jacobson, elected president 1925
  • Chicago Piano & Organ Association

Selected patents[edit]

In the mid 1920s, Straube Piano had some patents that influenced the industry. In 1926, Straube introduced its patented Duplex Overstringing system[MTR 35] – US Patent No. 1769284 – claiming that it enabled smaller Straube uprights to produce the sound of full uprights and Straube's smallest grand, the Sonata Grand, to produce the sound of a full concert grand. The Straube Artronome player piano had many patented innovations, including one that improved pumping power from the foot pedals.[Presto 18]

  • Roy Hilmer Olsen:
Patents
1916: US 1205561 A – "Tone Modulating Device"[a][MTR 36]
Assignments to Straube
1916: US 1205561 A – assigned to Straube Piano Company
  • William G. Betz during his tenure with Steger & Sons Piano Manufacturing Company:
Patents
1907: US 867002 A – "Piano" (strengthening how an agraffe is mounted)[b]
1911: US 1024174 A – "Tracking Device for Pneumatic Action"[c]
1911: US 1037584 A – "Hammer-Rail Construction for Pneumatic Pianos"[d]
1912: US 1023613 A – "Pneumatic Action"[e]
1912: US 1021502 A – "Pneumatic Action"[f]
1912: US 1048486 A – "Pneumatic Action"[g]
1914: US 1197596 A – "Pneumatic Action for Pianos"[h]
1916: US 1174807 A – "Pneumatic Action"[i]
Assignments to Steger & Sons
1911: US 1037584 A – assigned to Seger & Sons
1911: US 1024174 A – assigned to Seger & Sons
1912: US 1023613 A – assigned to Seger & Sons
1912: US 1021502 A – assigned to Seger & Sons
1912: US 1048486 A – assigned to Seger & Sons
  • William G. Betz during his tenure with Straube Piano:
Patents
1914: US 1335476 A – "Pneumatic Action for Pianos"[j]
1917: US 1344574 A – "Music-Roll-Controlling-Mechanism"[k]
1918: US 1389290 A – "Piano Action"[l]
1921: US 1444364 A – "Automatic Music-Roll Carrier and Centering Device for Pneumatic Musical Instruments"[m]
1922: US 1574863 A – "String Plate for Grands Pianos"[n]
1925: US 1686726 A – "Grand Piano" (frame construction)[o]
1926: US 1174807 A – "String Plate" (string mounting construction)[p]
Assignments to Straube
1920: US 1335476 A – assigned to Straube Piano Company
1920: US 1344574 A – assigned to Straube Piano Company
1921: US 1389290 A – assigned to Straube Piano Company
1921: US 1444364 A – assigned to Straube Piano Company
1922: US 1574863 A – assigned to Straube Piano Company

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ In 1906, W. N. Van Matre and M.F. Van Matre were directors of the Schumann Piano Co. W. N. Van Matre was president; Director of Directors in the City of Chicago, Audit Company of New York (1906), pg. 468
  2. ^ Charles (Carl) Herman Jacobson Thorby (11 July 1875 Göteborg, Sweden – 2 September 1946 Saugatuck, Michigan) was a full brother of Ernfrid (Ernest) Reinholdt Jacobson and James Frithiof Jacobson. His surname, Thorby, is a derivation of a longer, discarded Swedish surname (Thorbjornsen?) prior to immigrating with his mother and younger brother, Enifred in 1882. Charles was the oldest sibling. His father immigrated to the U.S. in 1880.
Patents
Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office:
  1. ^ Gazette, Vol. 232, November 1916, pps. 770-771
         Roy Hilmer Olsen, assignor to Straube Piano Company
         "Tone Modulating Device for Pianos"
         US 1205561 A, filed June 1, 1915, serial no. 31,402, granted November 21, 1916
  2. ^ Gazette, Vol. 130, September 3 to October 29, 1907, pg. 1177
         William G. Betz
         "Piano" (strengthening how an agraffe is mounted)
         US 867002 A, filed January 17, 1907, serial no. 352,703, granted September 4, 1907
  3. ^ Gazette, Vol. 177, pg. 909
         William G. Betz, assignor to Steger & Sons Piano Manufacturing Company
         "Tracking Device for Pneumatic Action"
         US 1024174 A, filed June 12, 1911, serial no. 632,586, granted April 23, 1912
  4. ^ Gazette, Vol. 182, September 1912, pg. 137
         William G. Betz, assignor to Steger & Sons Piano Manufacturing Company
         "Hammer-Rail Construction for Pneumatic Pianos"
         US 1037584 A, filed June 12, 1911, serial no. 632,585, granted September 3, 1912
  5. ^ Gazette, Vol. 177, April 1912, pg. 694–695
         William G. Betz, assignor to Steger & Sons Piano Manufacturing Company
         "Pneumatic Action"
         US 1023613 A, filed April 11, 1910, serial no. 554,850, granted April 16, 1912
  6. ^ Gazette, Vol. 176, March 1912, pg. 960
         William G. Betz, assignor to Steger & Sons Piano Manufacturing Company
         "Pneumatic Action"
         US 1021502 A, filed January 7, 1911, serial no. 601,450, granted March 26, 1912
  7. ^ Gazette, Vol. 185, December 31 1912, pps. 1064–1065
         William G. Betz, assignor to Steger & Sons Piano Manufacturing Company
         "Pneumatic Action"
         US 1048486 A, filed March 13, 1911, serial no. 614,236, granted December 31, 1912
  8. ^ Gazette, Vol. 230, September 1916, pg. 345
         William G. Betz
         "Pneumatic Action for Pianos"
         US 1197596 A, filed May 8, 1914, serial no. 837,130, granted September 12, 1916
  9. ^ Gazette, Vol. 224, March 1916, pps. 284–285
         William G. Betz
         "Pneumatic Action"
         US 1174807 A, filed May 20, 1914, serial no. 839,724, granted March 7, 1916
  10. ^ Gazette, Vol. 272, March 1920, pg. 841
         William G. Betz
         "Pneumatic Action for Pianos"
         US 1335476 A, filed May 8, 1914, serial no. 837,130
         Divided – US 1335476 A application filed June 1, 1916, serial no. 101,145
  11. ^ Gazette, Vol. 275, June 1920, pg. 763
         William G. Betz, assignor to Straube Piano Company
         "Music-Roll-Controlling Mechanism"
         US 1344574 A, filed February 7, 1917, serial no. 147,136, granted June 22, 1920
  12. ^ Gazette, Vol. 289, August 1921, pg. 895
         William G. Betz, assignor to Straube Piano Company
         "Piano Action"
         US 1389290 A, filed April 15, 1918, serial no. 228,631, granted August 30, 1921
  13. ^ Gazette, Vol. 307, February 1923, pg. 148
         William G. Betz, assignor to Straube Piano Company
         "Automatic Music-Roll Carrier and Centering Device for Pneumatic Musical Instruments"
         US 1444364 A, filed February 12, 1921, serial no. 444,446, granted February 6, 1923
  14. ^ Gazette, Vol. 344, March 1926, pg. 111
         William G. Betz, assignor to Straube Piano Company
         "String Plate for Grands Pianos"
         US 1574863 A, filed July 17, 1922, serial no. 575,554, serial no. 51,690, granted March 2, 1926
  15. ^ Gazette, Vol. 375, October 1928, pg. 318
         William G. Betz, assignor to Straube Piano Company
         Grand Piano (frame construction)
         US 1686726 A, filed August 21, 1925, granted October 9, 1928
  16. ^ Gazette, Vol. 396, July 1930, pg. 215
         William G. Betz
         "String Plate" (string mounting construction)
         US 1769284 A, filed September 30, 1926, serial no. 138, 762, granted July 1, 1930
Citations
Music Trade Review (digital access courtesy of The International Arcade Museum Library, Pasadena, California)
  1. ^ "The Name of Straube", Vol. 33, No. 8, August 24, 1901, pg. 12
  2. ^ "In The West: New Firm, Straube & Van Matre", Vol. 20, No. 9, March 2, 1895, pg. 1
  3. ^ a b The Straube Piano Co.", Vol. 25, No. 23, December 4, 1897, pg. 23
  4. ^ "The Trade in Chicago", Vol. 46, No. 11, pg. 51, March 14, 1908, pg. 51, col. 1
  5. ^ "Reorders for Straube Players", Vol. 50, No. 1, January 1, 1910, pg. 35
  6. ^ "In The West", Vol 23, No. 3, August 8, 1896, pg. 1
  7. ^ "Who's Who in the Piano Industry", Vol. 59, No. 25, December 19, 1914, pg. 18
  8. ^ a b "Broderick's New Move", Vol. 25, No. 26, December 25, 1897, pg. 21
  9. ^ a b "Straube Co. Get Injunction", Vol. 18, No. 21, November 23, 1901, pg. 1
  10. ^ "Incorporation of Straube Bros.", Vol. 18, No. 2, July 13, 1901, pg. 28
  11. ^ "Straube Piano Co. Win", Vol. 33, No. 25, December 21, 1901, pg. 1
  12. ^ a b "The New Straube Factory Dedicated", Vol. 39, No. 16, October 15, 1904, pps. 23 & 25
  13. ^ "New Superintendent Appointed", Vol. 70, No. 8, February 21, 1920
  14. ^ "Criticism of Installment Selling Is Because of Abuse of Plan", Vol. 82, No. 9, February 27, 1926, pg. 21
  15. ^ a b "Building Pianos for 55 Years", Vol. 100, No. 9, September 1941, pg. 17
  16. ^ "Conn buys Straube Pianos Inc." Vol 100, No. 10, October 1941, pg. 14
  17. ^ "Conn Interests Buy Haddorff", Vol. 99, No. 11, November 1940, pg. 23
  18. ^ "Exhibits", Vol. 105, No. 6, July 14–18, 1946, pg. 16
  19. ^ "To Make the Hammond Piano", Vol. 39, No. 11, September 10, 1904, pg. 30
  20. ^ "Trade Conditions in Chicagio", Vol. 36, No. 8, February 21, 1903, pg. 24, cols. 2-3
  21. ^ "Trade Happenings in the West", Vol. 40, No. 5, February 4, 1905, pps. 23 & 25
  22. ^ "The Secret of Dependability in Straube-Made Player-Pianos" (illustrated advertisement), Vol. 75, No. 7, August 12, 1922, pg. 10
  23. ^ "Straube Piano Co.", Vol. 72, No. 20, May 14, 1921, pg. 101
  24. ^ "Hallet & Davis Interest Assign", Vol. 23, No. 1, July 25, 1896, pg. 13
  25. ^ "Trade Happenings in the Western Metropolis", Vol. 36, No. 9, February 28, 1903, pg. 25
  26. ^ "A Trio of Able Young Men", Vol. 53, No. 11, September 16, 1911, pg. 17
  27. ^ "Straube Officers", Vol. 32, No. 2, January 12, 1901, pg. 9
  28. ^ "The 'Commission' Question in Philadelphia", Vol. 38, No. 16, April 16, 1904, pg. 13
  29. ^ "Death of Capt. Parker", Vol. 44, No. 20, May 18, 1907, pg. 25
  30. ^ "Death of W.S. Robertson", Vol. 80, No. 2, January 10, 1925, pg. 28
  31. ^ "Dunn Western Sales Manager of Splitdorf", Vol. 86, No. 86, February 4, 1928, pg. 16
  32. ^ 1928 "Straube Piano Co. Holds Its Annual Sales Meeting", Vol. 86, No. 4, January 28, 1928, pg. 7
  33. ^ "H.A. Stewart Joins the Straube Piano Co.", Vol. 85, No. 10, September 3, 1927, pg. 16
  34. ^ "Straube Co. Sales Force Meet", Vol. 60, No. 3, January 16, 1915, pg. 45
  35. ^ "New Straube Small Upright Piano Offers Radical Scale Development", Vol. 83, No. 13, September 25, 1926, pg. 19
  36. ^ "A Tone Modulating Device", Vol. 63, No. 26, December 23, 1916, pg. 25
Presto, Presto-Times, and Presto Music Times (digital access courtesy of The International Arcade Museum Library, Pasadena, California); OCLC 29805477
  1. ^ a b c "James F. Broderick Has Passed Away", Presto, Issue 1791, November 20, 1920, pg. 11
  2. ^ "William Straube Dies", Presto-Times, Issue 2205, November 3, 1928, pg. 9
  3. ^ "Straube Piano Co.'s Production Sustained", Issue 2207, November 17, 1928, pg. 11
  4. ^ "Straube Piano Co. Occupies New Building", Issue 2027, May 30, 1925
  5. ^ "Appointed Superintendent of Straube Grand Factory", Issue 2026, May 23, 1925, pg. 4
  6. ^ "Straube Radio Merits", Presto Times, Issue 2225, April 15, 1929
  7. ^ "Trade Glances and Observations", Presto-Times, Issue 2246, May 1930, pg. 9
  8. ^ "Whew! 86/100 of 1 Per Cent!" Presto-Times, Issue 2275, March–April 1935
  9. ^ "Who, What & Why", Presto-Times, Issue 2279, June–July 1936, pg. 18
  10. ^ "The Straube Sale and Start Over Again", Presto-Times, Issue 2282, June–July 1937, pg. 22
  11. ^ "Straube Piano Prospects Become Decidedly Encouraging", Presto-Times, Issue 2283, November–December 1937, pg. 18
  12. ^ a b "Straube Company Buys Building", Presto, Issue 1749, January 29, 1920, pg. 27; OCLC 29805477
  13. ^ "Jude Rice Dies at Dallas, a Victim of Pneumonia", Presto, Issue 1751, February 12, 1920, pg. 12
  14. ^ "Charles H. Bartholomee Made Vice President of Straube Pianos Inc.", Presto Music Times, Issue 2295, September 1940, pg. 20
  15. ^ "Meet the Straube Forces", Presto, Issue 1922, May 26, 1923, pg. 24
  16. ^ "Conference of Straube Forces", Presto-Times, Issue 2165, January 28, 1928, pg. 12
  17. ^ "Robert E. Lauer Joins Straube Road Forces", Presto-Times, Issue 2152, October 29, 1927, pg. 4
  18. ^ a b "New Representative For The Straube Piano Co.", Presto-Times, Issue, 2150, October 15, 1927, pg. 8
  19. ^ "New Straube Piano Improvement Announced", Issue 2202, October 13, 1928, pg. 17
General citations
  1. ^ "US Piano Sales History from 1900 to Present", Bluebook of Pianos (2012)
        1900 to 1959
        Piano Shipments reported by the National Piano Manufacturers Association
        1960 to 2012
        Piano Sales reported in MUSIC USA published by the American Music National Piano Foundation and Conference and the National Association of Music Merchants
  2. ^ "For More Pianos, Last Note Is Thud in the Dump", The New York Times, July 29, 2012
  3. ^ Historical Context, Downers Grove Architectural and Historical Society (1913), pg. 41
  4. ^ "Talk of the Town", Rockford Morning Star, June 21, 1895, pg. 4
  5. ^ "Straube Pianos", Rockford Morning Star, September 5, 1895, pg. 3
  6. ^ Pianos and Their Makers, by Alfred Dolge, Dover Publications (1972 reprint of the original 1911 edition), pg. 362; OCLC 1631260
  7. ^ Advertisement: "Straube Pianos", Reading Eagle, August 28, 1924, pg. 14, col.2 (bottom)
  8. ^ A History of Midwestern Piano Manufacturing, by Jack Greenfield, Kansas City, Missouri: Piano Technicians Foundation (1996); OCLC 57622992
  9. ^ "Investigations of Mexican Affairs: Preliminary Report and Hearings – Testimony of William Straube", U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, April 8, 1920
  10. ^ Certified List of Illinois Corporations (1902), pg. 229; OCLC 3095751, 12015854
  11. ^ a b c The Standard History of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet Region: "Staube Piano Plant" (Vol. 1 of 2), William Frederick Howat, MD (ed.), Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company (1915) (sic) pg. 303; OCLC 4145224
  12. ^ a b c Hammond Historical Society Presents the Famous 1904 Edition of the Hammond Daily News – "Straube Piano Factory", pg. 41 (1966)
  13. ^ a b "Hammond Street Name Changes", Lake County Times (Hammond, Indiana), January 30, 1930; OCLC 15306883, 15538454
  14. ^ "Contracts Awarded: Hammond, Indiana", The American Contractor, March 8, 1913, pg. 66
  15. ^ "Machinery Markets and News of the Works: Indianapolis", The Iron Age, New York: David Williams Company, Vol. 93, No. 3, January 21, 1915, pg. 226
  16. ^ "Incorporations", Hagerstown Exponent, January 14, 1915, pg. 1; OCLC 12962155
  17. ^ a b The Swedish Element in Illinois, by Ernest W. Olson, Chicago: Swedish-American Biographical Association (1917), pg. 403; OCLC 6656848
  18. ^ "Factory Smoke Shows Straube Activity", The Music Trades, December 9, 1922, pg. 18
  19. ^ "Begin New Addition to Big Piano Plant", Gary Evening Times, Vol. 18, No. 209, February 23, 1925, pg. 1
  20. ^ a b "Radio Slows Piano Manufacturer, But Now Boosts Demand", The Hammond Times, July 30, 1939, pg. 13
  21. ^ a b "Straube Piano to Reorganize This Summer", Hammond Times, July 15, 1935, pg. 1
  22. ^ "My Life in the Furniture Trade", by Jerry Metz, Wood & Wood Products, December 1995
  23. ^ "Hammond Will Lose Straube Piano Factory", Hammond Times, April 14, 1940, pg. 3
  24. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians: "Conn"
  25. ^ "Musical Instrument Manufacturing in Elkhart, Indiana", by Dean E. McMakin (born 1948), unpublished typescript (1987), Elkhart Public Library; OCLC 24154971
  26. ^ "Obituary: C.G. Conn", The Elkhart Truth, January 6–9 & 14, 1931
  27. ^ "About Conn-Selmer, Inc.", Conn-Selmer website www.conn-selmer.com
  28. ^ Elkhart city directories (available at Elkhart Public Library)
  29. ^ "Thayer Action Closes; Waits Plane Orders – Music Goods Ban To Mean Conversion at Haddorffs", Rockford Morning Star, May 31, 1942, Sec 2, pg. 17
  30. ^ "New Music Stores and Changes", The Music Trades, November 25, 1922, pg. 24
  31. ^ Presto Buyers' Guide to Pianos, Player Pianos, and Reproducing Pianos, Chicago: Presto (1926), pg. 42; OCLC 2776045
  32. ^ Advertisement: "Knight-Campbell Music Co." Colorado Springs Gazette, November 28, 1900, pg. 3
  33. ^ "Straube", by John A. Tuttle (born 1948), Brick, New Jersey: www.player-care.com (retrieved August 22, 2014)
  34. ^ Straube Grands, Players, Uprights, Straube Piano Company (1922); OCLC 41110448
  35. ^ a b Pierce Piano Atlas, 10th ed., Bob Pierce (ed.), Long Beach, California: Bob Pierce (1997); OCLC 36521790; ISSN 0733-429X
  36. ^ "Purely Personal", Daily Illinois State Register, November 17, 1894, pg. 6
  37. ^ "Company Formed", Rock Island Argus, January 21, 1903, pg. 7
  38. ^ "New Corporations", Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago), Vol. 19, No. 282, Part 1, January 1, 1891, pg. 3
  39. ^ "Oregon", The Morning Star (Rockford, Illinois), August 24, 1892, col. 3, pg. 8
  40. ^ "Will Move to Fair View", Rockford Morning Star, August 24, 1894, pg. 3
  41. ^ "Schaeffer Piano Company: An Assignment to F.E. Jennison by the Chicago House", St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri), Vol. 89, No. 19, Part 4, July 19, 1896, pg. 29
  42. ^ Chicago: The Book of Its Board of Trade and Other Public Bodies, by George Washington Engelhardt, (1900), pg. 240; OCLC 6647651
  43. ^ "Tribute to the Memory of A.R. Heckman", Republican-Northwestern (Belvidere, Illinois), May 1, 1914, pg. 2
  44. ^ The Book of Chicagoans: A Biographical Dictionary, A.N. Marquis (1911)
  45. ^ Directory of Directors in the City of Chicago, Audit Company of New York (1902)
        James F. Broderick: pg. 28
        Edward Herzberg: pg. 111
        E.R. Jacobson: pg. 125
        William Straube: pg. 241
  46. ^ Directory of Directors in the City of Chicago, 5th ed., Audit Company of New York (1905); OCLC 32971548
  47. ^ "Trade Notes: W.P. Parker Obituary", Piano, Organ & Musical Instrument Workers Official Journal Vol. 9, No. 6, May 1907, pg. 8, col. 2
  48. ^ (title and author of book unknown) "Biographical Sketchs of Jacobson, Nicholson, Krochel, and Anderson", transcribed and posted by Lora Radiches (born 1956), Jacksonville, Florida, ancestry.com (2003)
  49. ^ "Piano, Organ & Musical Instrument Workers Official Journal", Vols. 9-10 (1904), pg. 15
  50. ^ This Fascination Advertising Business, Harry Lewis Bird, The Bobbs-Merrill Company (1947)
  51. ^ "News of Advertising and Marketing Fields", The New York Times, February 1, 1953
  52. ^ Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound (see entry under Edison, Vol. 1 of 2), Frank W. Hoffmann (ed.), Routledge (2005), pg. 703; OCLC 53903601
  53. ^ "On the Road for Piano Company", Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune, Vol. 31, No. 95, May 9, 1921, col. 4, pg. 1
  54. ^ "C.A. Clinton", Radio News, July 1946, pg. 149
  55. ^ "Blackhawk Foundary Expands in 1928", Davenport Democrat and Leader December 30, 1928, pg. 8
  56. ^ a b Gellerman's International Reed Organ Atlas, 2nd ed., by Robert F. Gellerman (born 1928), Lanham, Maryland: Vestal Press (1998) pg. 233; OCLC 882769237, 13181282
  57. ^ A Portrait and Biographical Record of Portage and Summit Counties, Ohio, A.W. Bowen & Co. (compiler) (1898), pg. 454; OCLC 4120866, 318390955, 318390955
  58. ^ History of Summit County (in part 2 of 2), William Henry Perrin (ed.), Chicago: Baskin & Battey (1881), pps. 175–176; OCLC 8227777

External links[edit]