Walter Piano Co. [Charles R. Walter Piano Company]
- Edwin M. Good
American firm of piano makers, founded by Charles R. Walter (b Watseka, IL, 8 May 1927). Walter was trained as an engineer and joined the C.G. Conn Company in 1964. He became head of the piano division in 1967. Conn at that time produced Janssen upright pianos, which it discontinued in 1969. Walter took over the production of Janssens in Elkhart, Indiana. He began to produce console pianos under his own brand—Charles R. Walter—in 1975, making two models, of 43 inches and 45 inches in height. They remain the foundation of the company’s output and are characterized by very strong back posts, actions by the Louis Renner Company (Germany) with longer keys than in most consoles, and soundboards imitating the design in grand pianos. The company has also brought out grand pianos of 5 feet 7 inches and 6 feet 3 inches in length, designed by Delwin Fandrich. Like the consoles, the grands are available in a variety of styles....