- Cynthia Adams Hoover
American firm of piano makers. Heinrich Engelhard Steinway [Steinweg] (b Wolfshagen, 25 Feb 1797; d New York, 7 Feb 1871) established with his sons a piano firm that has dominated the industry from the late 1860s to the present. Precise details of Heinrich's early years are scarce. Family tradition claims that after having served in the army against Napoleon until 1818, and being prohibited by the strict guild system to work as a cabinet maker in Goslar, he assisted an organ builder in the nearby town of Seesen. In 1825 Heinrich was permitted to become a builder and cabinet maker (without the benefit of guild approval) to help rebuild the town of Seesen after it had been destroyed by fire. That year also marked the beginning of what became the Steinway dynasty, with Heinrich's marriage to Julianne Thiemer (1804–77) and the birth of their eldest son C.F. Theodor (...