W H I L Ethe piano had its beginnings in late seventeenth-century Europe, it was in the United States that the piano as we know it today was invented. The man responsible for this invention was Henry Englehard Steinway (pictured at left), a German immigrant to America. Steinway's company developed the cast-iron frame for the piano, which made the instrument louder (very important in the days before electronic amplification) and more durable.
A Sgrand piano design evolved, the strings got longer. Henry Steinway's brother Theodore improved the design of the metal frame so that it could withstand the thirty-five tons of tension that the longer strings exerted on the piano's frame.
T H E company also perfected the manufacture of the piano in large quantities and was so successful in marketing the piano that by the beginning of this century the piano had become a staple of American home life.
S T E I N W A Y ' Scompany has thrived for fourteen decades as a leader in worldwide piano manufacturing and design. Inventor Thomas Edison recognized the Steinways' expertise in 1890: "I have decided to keep your grand piano. For some reason unknown to me it gives better results than any so far tried. Please send bill with lowest price."
T H Ecompany has long advertised its pianos as "The Instrument Of The Immortals." The prominent pianist Artur Rubinstein (1887-1982) objected to one of these advertising campaigns, which mentioned Paderewski, Hoffmann, and Rachmaninoff as the immortal Steinway artists. Rubinstein "felt that it was not up to Steinway to decide who the immortals were!" (Steinway, by Robert B. Ratcliffe).
F O R M O R Einteresting information on Steinways:
www.steinway.com, the official Web site of Steinway & Sons|
The book Steinway, by Robert V. Ratcliffe (Los Angeles: Perpetua Press for Chronicle Books, 1989) is an invaluable source of information on Steinway pianos and an extremely enjoyable read. |
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