The Hardman, Peck Piano Company

The Hardman & Peck Piano Company

By James Grebe

           In 1815, Hugh Hardman was born in Liverpool, England.  At the age of 25 he came to New York in America to build pianos.  His son, John, was admitted into the company in 1874.  His firm was the first to develop good commercial grade upright pianos.  Leopold Peck bought into the company in 1880 and the company name was changed to Hardman, Peck, and Co.  The company rose from good commercial grade pianos to high-grade. As so often the case, after the turn of the century, the Aeolian Corp bought out the company.  The name was continued, but quality went down.  Later. the factory in the 1950’s   was moved to Memphis,TN and a new line of small foot powered player pianos were produced.  The smaller, shortened keyboard pianos were called Pianolas and the larger full compass pianos were marketed as Hardman Duos. , This meant they could be hand played or with rolls.  Just a short time later they were able to played electrically.  It seems that after the option of electric powering the player interest died out in them because you might as well put on a recording since owner participation was not required.  In 1982 the company was folded.  In more recent times (1987) the company name of Hardman, Peck, and Co. has been re-introduced and manufactured by the Chinese firm of Dongbei, a huge Chinese piano company.  The Hardman is one of a few identical pianos produced by the firm.

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Copyright, 2008, Yesterday Once More Publications. James Grebe

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