Piano Makers Brands

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1781, German Action

“German action,” or Prellmechanik, ascribed to Johann Stein, first conceived as early as 1769 and refined during the 1770s. By 1781, hammers mounted directly on the keys.

1785, Érard Dispensation

The Luthiers of Paris—losing business due to Érard’s success—tried to shut him down as a nonmember of the guild. As a result, Érard was awarded a special dispensation from Louis XVI to continue making instruments.

Today on the 5th of February, 1785, the King of Versailles states, that sir Sebastian Érard is permitted to enhance the quality of the piano-forte, by means of by him invented methods, which has already resulted in this instrument being favoured above the ones made in England […]

Signed: Louis XVI, Co-signed: Baron de Breteuil 1

Page Sources

Janmaat, Fritz.  "About Erard."  Maison Erard.  Maison Erard, n.d.  Web.  15 Sept. 2015.

1792, Érard London

Due to the French Revolution, Érard moved to London in 1792 and opened a shop (though records showing he began doing business as early as 1786); along with pianos, he began manufacturing harps in which he made many improvements and was awarded many patents.

Page Sources

Additional References:
  • "Sébastian Érard (1752)."  Butchoff.  Butchoff Antiques, 2012.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.

1795, Ritmüller

Ritmüller, since 1795 – logo.
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Ritmüller piano company established by Andreas Georg Ritmüller (b. Unknown – c. 1800) and his son, Gotlieb Wilhelm Ritmüller (1770 – 1829) in Gottingen, Germany, originally produced guitars and harps before eventually devoting much of their production on pianos in 1795.

1796, Érard

Érard returned to Paris.

C.1800, Brodmann

Brodmann company logo.
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Brodmann piano company established by Prussian born Joseph Brodmann (c. 1771 – 1848) began producing pianos, borrowing from the influence of Ferdinand Hofmann and Anton Walter.

1807, Pleyel

Pleyel piano with its nameboard plaque.
Pleyel Nameboard Plaque. 1

Pleyel and Company, Pleyel et Cie, established by Ignace Joseph Pleyel (1757 – 1831) in Paris.

Page Sources

_RoScO_.  "Piano Pleyel."  Photograph.  Flickr.  Flickr, a Yahoo Company 3 Feb. 2014.  Web.  5 Feb. 2016.  CC BY-SA 2.0.

1808, Érard Patent

Érard granted a patent for the agraffe.

1809, Érard Patent

Érard granted a patent for pinblock bushings.

1821, Érard

Érard granted a patent for the double-escapement “repetition” action.

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