The Story & Clark Piano Co.

The Story & Clark Piano Co

By James Grebe           Hampton L. Story, a Chicago piano dealership owner known as Story & Camp, in 1868, had also been a partner in Story & Powers in Vermont, a firm  that built pianos.  In 1884 he retired from the retail establishment and he and his son, Edward H. Story, along with Melville Clark, founded a firm that began manufacturing reed pump organs. In 1892 and 1893 they opened factories in London and Berlin.   In 1895 the firm began manufacturing pianos.  In 1901 a new plant was built in Grand Haven, MI.  In the earlier 1900’s, reed organ production ceased.  In 1900 Melville Clark left the company to found his own, Melville Clark Piano Co.  Story & Clark owned these piano names:  Irvington, Storygrand, Tennyson, Story-Tone.  In 1961 the company was sold to the Chicago Musical Instrument Co.  In 1963 again resold to Norlin Industries.  By 1965 some stock was still owned by the Story family.  In the mid 1970’s Yamaha built some models of the Story & Clark grands and were of good quality.  In 1984, the Bergsman Furniture Co bought them and moved them to Grand Rapids, MI and ceased production and Lowery Industries produced vertical pianos for them, a prominent electronic organ manufacturer In 1991 the firm became the property of the Classic Piano Co. of Seneca, NY.  QRS Music then purchased it in 1993.  The Samick Piano Co then began building the pianos for them and continues to present.  A Story & Clark upright piano was the first piano I worked on in apprenticeship training at Piano Service Associates. in June of 1962 and when completed, sold for $175.