‘Dwight Hamilton Baldwin started the Baldwin Piano & Organ Co. in 1862. He originally worked as a music teacher in the Cincinnati area. He first opened the Baldwin Piano & Organ Company as a retail store selling piano brands like, Steinway and Chickering. He began manufacturing pianos in 1890 when he lost the Steinway franchise. ‘(Fine, Pg. 95)
‘By 1900 his instruments were built so well that the company received the grand prize at the International Exposition in Paris, and four years later in St. Louis. In 1873 Lucien Wulsin, the companies bookkeeper, became a partner with controlling interest. After Mr. Baldwin’s death in 1899, Mr. Wulsin took over.’(Fine, Pg. 95)
‘In 1962 Baldwin purchased the C. Bechstein piano company out of Berlin, Germany. In 1980 the piano company became part of a publicly owned insurance firm. In 1985 the company was sold to its top executives. In 1988 they purchased Wurlitzer and acquired the Chickering brand name. In 1997 the piano company produced its ConcertMaster electric player system. In 2001 Gibson bought the Baldwin piano company. ‘(Fine, Pg. 95) ’ In 2008 Gibson ceased most of the production of their pianos in Arkansas and bought two manufacturing plants in China, where they are now manufactured. ‘(Wikipedia, Baldwin Piano Company)
Throughout the late 1800’s and mid-1900’s Baldwin became a staple for American piano companies. Their quality and attention to detail made them one of the best pianos in this time period. Sadly the company lost most of its recognition due to hard times that fell during the 1980’s, and even bankruptcy in 1983. ‘Their billings totaled $9 billion – one of the largest bankruptcies at this time.’ (Wikipedia, Baldwin Piano Company)
Dates in History:
Fine, Larry. The Piano Book. 4th. Boston: Brookside Press, 2001. 95. Print.
Wikipedia, . “Baldwin-Piano-Company.” n.pag. Web. 11 Mar 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin_Piano_Company