Chickering and Sons is a Boston-based piano manufacturing company which is known for their award-winning pianos and music instruments of topnotch quality.
The company experienced changes in ownership and manufacturing management throughout the years although never failing to produce high quality musical instrument that the company name is best associated with.
The company was founded in 1823 by Jonas Chickering and James Stewart. However, their partnership was dissolved four years later. In 1830, Chickering became partner with John Mackay under the name Chickering and Company and later changed to Chickering and Mackays until the death of senior Mackay in 1841.
The company was reorganized and renamed to Chickering and Sons in 1853 following the destruction of the company’s factory in December 1852 in a massive fire. The company became part of American Piano Company (Ampico) in 1908. Today, the name Chickering and Sons continues to be used as a piano brand under the Baldwin Piano Company, which bought the company’s assets and rights.
Recognition and Contribution to the Field of Piano Development Technology
The most notable contribution of Chickering and Sons piano manufacturing, to the development of piano technology, is their introduction of a one-piece cast iron plate to support the greater string tension of larger pianos.
Jonas Chickering also invented a new deflection of the strings and in 1845 the first convenient method for over stringing in square pianos. Instead of setting the strings side by side, the company introduced substituting an arrangement of the string in two banks, one over the other. This does not only save space but also brings the powerful bass strings directly over the most resonant part of the sound-board, the principle which completes to this day in the construction of all pianos, both grands and uprights.
In 1850, Henry Steinway (Steinweg), founder of Steinway and Sons pianos, showed interest and admiration to the Chickering piano after he saw the piano used during a musical tour in Boston.
In 1867, the brand received the Imperial Cross of the Legion of Honor, one of the world's most prestigious non-military awards, given by Emperor Napoleon III for services to the art of music. The honor was only one of more than 200 awards Chickering has received over the years.
In 1908, the firm was sold to the American Piano Company.
The Aeolian Corporation bought the American Piano Company and formed Aeolian-American in 1932.
The Chickering Quarter Grand was introduced in 1901, whereas the Chickering AMPICO was introduced in 1911.
The Chickering factory located in East Rochester New York closed on July 22, 1985. The remaining assets of the company were sold and a few incomplete Chickering pianos were sent to the Falcone factory for completion in Haverhill, MA.
Gibson Guitars ended up acquiring the Chickering name in 2001, when they purchased the Baldwin Piano Company.
Locate the age of your Chickering and Sons Piano within the chart found below:
1824 - 100
1905 - 105000