Lyon & Healy
- revised by Annette Fern
- and Arian Sheets
- Joan Laurel Ferguson
American firm of instrument manufacturers and music dealers. Founded in 1864 in Chicago by George Washburn Lyon and Patrick Joseph Healy as a Midwest outlet for the publications of the Boston company of Oliver Ditson, the firm rapidly expanded to include retail distribution of music from publishers and musical instruments of all types, some of which were manufactured by the firm itself. Under Healy’s direction (Lyon retired in 1889) the store became widely known in Chicago and throughout the United States for its broad range of merchandise and advanced advertising and selling methods. It was one of the first businesses in the United States to appraise instruments.
In 1883, Lyon & Healy began manufacturing their own high-quality guitars under the george Washburn marque. Mandolins and zithers were added to the line by 1885, banjos by 1892, and ukuleles in 1915. In 1890, Lyon & Healy also began importing and marketing fine antique violin family instruments and accessories, for which they became widely known in the first half of the 20th century. The firm also imported European instruments such as bowed and plucked stringed instruments, band instruments, and drums. Starting in the late 1880s, they produced lower-grade stringed instruments under brands such as American Conservatory, Arion, College Line, Columbus, Jupiter, Lakeside, and Marquette. Lyon & Healy acquired the assets of the bankrupt Regal Manufacturing Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, and its operations were moved to the Chicago facility; Regal was spun off in ...