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date: 23 January 2020

Stewart, Jameslocked

  • Cynthia Adams Hoover


(b >?Scotland, late 18th century; d ?London, after ? 1860). British piano manufacturer, active in the USA. He trained as an organ builder in London, and went to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1812 to join the piano manufacturing business of his brother Adam Stewart (who had learnt his trade with the London Clementi firm). When this partnership ended in March 1813 James continued to build both pianos and organs in Baltimore until June 1819, when the Philadelphia newspapers announced the establishment of the piano rooms of ‘James Stewart from London, late of Baltimore’. The Philadelphia city directories list James in business there from 1820 until 1822, along with a Thomas Stewart. Although some sources place James in the Boston piano shop of John Osborne as early as 1820, little mention is made of him there until November 1822, when the periodical The Euterpeiad praised a piano ‘at the manufactory of Messrs. Osborn and Stewart’ which had an improved, detached soundboard invented by Stewart (‘recently arrived in this City from Philadelphia’) and patented by him on ...

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