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date: 18 November 2019

Gulbransen, Axel G. locked

  • Hugh Davies
  • , revised by Laurence Libin


(b Christiana, Norway, Dec 20, 1860; d Chicago, IL, May 14, 1935). American piano manufacturer. His father was a cabinet maker and organ builder; the family came to America about 1869. After training with his father, Gulbransen worked initially for the Tewksbury & Carpenter reed organ company in Mendota, Illinois. At age 17 he reportedly went to work for the E.P. Carpenter company in Worcester, Massachusetts, and for some years alternated employment between these two firms before going to Story & Clark, where he rose to become superintendent. He next moved to the Melville Clark piano company in DeKalb, Illinois, and finally established the Gulbransen-Dickinson company in Chicago in 1904. In 1915 his firm took over the H.P. Nelson plant and by 1917 it had supposedly become the world’s largest manufacturer of player pianos. Gulbransen patented significant improvements to player pianos between at least 1911 and 1925. On the verge of bankruptcy in ...

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