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Hinners  

Barbara Owen

American firm of organ builders. It was founded in Pekin, Illinois, in 1879 by John L. Hinners (b Wheeling, WV, 11 Aug 1846; d Pekin, IL, 24 Aug 1906) for the manufacture of reed organs. Hinners had previously worked as a foreman for Mason & Hamlin. J.J. Fink became his partner for a short time in 1881, and in 1886 he was joined by U.J. Albertsen, the name changing to Hinners & Albertsen. Around 1890 they began making pipe organs, the first recorded instrument being installed in 1892 in the German Evangelical Church of Huntingburg, Indiana. In 1902 the firm incorporated under the name of Hinners Organ Co., with John Hinners, his son Arthur, Jacob A. Roelf and Heilo J. Rust as principals. Arthur Hinners (d 1955) became director of the firm on the death of his father. Although the company's output was considerable, and 97 employees are recorded for ...

Article

Hohner  

Hugh Davies and Christoph Wagner

German manufacturer of harmonicas, accordions, keyboard instruments and guitars. It was founded in 1857 in Trossingen by the clockmaker Matthias Hohner (b 1833; d Trossingen, 1903), who was not so much an innovator as a perfector of other people’s inventions, which he then marketed successfully. He learnt how to make his first harmonica after visiting a friend’s workshop. For almost half a century he focussed on this single product, which was exported to more than 100 countries around the world. The biggest market was the USA, which in 1890 absorbed more than 90% of the firm’s production. Hohner was the unrivalled market leader and the company name became almost synonymous with the harmonica (see Harmonica). After Matthias’s death his five sons took over the business. They began also to make accordions, and contributed greatly to their technical and musical advancement. The Hohner ‘Gola’ piano accordion, which is still produced, is seen by many as the ‘Stradivari’ of accordions. By the 1920s the company had become the world’s largest producer of musical instruments, employing a workforce of nearly 5000. In ...

Article

Barbara Owen

American organ building firm. It was founded in 1827 by Elias Hook (1805–81) and George Greenleaf Hook (1807–80), under the name of E. & G.G. Hook. The sons of William Hook, a cabinetmaker of Salem, Massachusetts, they had apprenticed with William M. Goodrich in Boston. After building a few organs in Salem they moved to a workshop in Boston where in 1833 they built their first three-manual organ for the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island. In 1845 they built what was considered the first concert organ in Boston for Tremont Temple. When this was later destroyed by fire the Hooks built their first four-manual organ in 1853 for its successor, and in the following year they built a large new steam-powered factory. By the 1850s the firm had become the leading organ-building establishment in Boston and was producing an average of between 15 and 20 organs a year in this period, largely for locations in the northeastern United States....

Article

(Jap.: Hoshino Musical Instruments)

Japanese manufacturer of musical instruments. Matsujiro Hoshino founded the company in 1908 as a book and sheet music store (Hoshino Shoten) that from 1929, as Hoshino Gakki Ten, also sold guitars by Salvador Ibáñez imported from Spain. Under direction of Hoshino’s son Yoshitaro Hoshino, the company began manufacturing Ibanez-brand guitars in 1935, after Ibáñez’s workshop had been destroyed in the Spanish Civil War and the brand sold to Hoshino. In turn, the Japanese factory was destroyed in 1945, and in 1955 the Hoshino company moved to Nagoya. From that time most of their products were exported, including, from 1957, a line of newly-designed Ibanez guitars. Under Yoshitaro’s son, Junpei Hoshino, the company opened the Tama Seisakusho factory in 1962 to produce amplifiers and electric and acoustic guitars, including copies of classic American guitars that eventually led to lawsuits. Star-brand drums were added to the Tama product line in 1965, and from ...

Article

Ibach  

Margaret Cranmer

German firm of piano and organ makers. In 1794 Johannes Adolph Ibach (b Klausen bei Lüttringhausen, nr Barmen, 1766; d 1848) founded the firm in Beyenburg and built his first square piano. At about the same time he restored the organ of the monastery at Beyenburg.

In the Westphälischen Anzeiger of 14 October 1800 Ibach advertised ‘all kinds of fortepianos, including grand pianos of the highest quality and in the finest taste, as well as large and small pipe-organs’. The firm grew and by 1816 he had a workshop in the Alleestrasse, Unterbarmen, producing 40 to 50 instruments annually. Ibach's sons, Carl Rudolph Ibach (1804–63) and Richard Ibach (1813–89), joined the firm in 1834 and 1839 respectively; it subsequently became known as ‘Adolph Ibach Söhne, Orgelbauanstalt und Pianofortefabrik’. Richard took over the organ building part of the firm in 1869, and Carl's son P.A. Rudolf Ibach (...

Article

Arian Sheets

American manufacturer of bowed and fretted string instruments based in Columbus, OH. It is significant as one of the first factory-based producers of bowed string instruments to use machine carving for the fabrication of such components as the front, back, and scroll. An announcement was made in Music Trade Review (30 December 1916) that the Guldan Violin Company was established at 171 West Main St., the first known information about the company. Beginning in 1920 advertisements for Jackson-Guldan Violin Company appeared in The Violinist, some of which offered the production of violins for stencil, or secondary company, branding. Some such Jackson-Guldan instruments survive, notably with the decaled logos of music schools on the back, such as the First National Institute of Allied Arts, South Bend, IN, or with the paper label of Slingerland’s Correspondence School of Music, Chicago, the predecessor to the Slingerland Drum Company, inside the body. The establishment of this line of work was related to the end of the dominant supplies of mass-produced violins from Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, and Japan due to World War I. By the time that these foreign suppliers resumed exports to the United States, Jackson-Guldan was sufficiently established to compete with these larger-volume producers. Nevertheless, in the 1930s the company also produced toys in addition to musical instruments. Jackson-Guldan instruments were offered in various grades ranging from machine-carved and spray-finished student instruments to hand-finished examples which, unlike most foreign violins, were still handmade, although often of poor quality....

Article

Sabine K. Klaus

Firm of brass instrument makers in Cincinnati, Ohio. Franz Gotthold Kaiser (b Schöneck, Germany, 30 Aug 1825; d Cincinnati, 25 May 1890) trained with Carl Heinrich Beuthner, the brother-in-law of Carl August Zoebisch, in Neukirchen (today Markneukirchen); he emigrated to the USA in 1852 or 1853 and is first listed as musical instrument maker in Cincinnati in 1855. William Kohler (b Saxony, c1823, d Cincinnati, 13 Jan 1894) is first listed there in 1858. The partnership apparently began in 1859 and the company name Kaiser & Kohler appears from 1860 to 1890.

Kaiser initially made brass instruments in the European style. By 1860 Kaiser & Kohler had adopted rotary valves with string linkage, employing a special system with arched push rod that is otherwise not recorded. During the American Civil War the firm switched to producing standard string-rotary-valve instruments in over-the-shoulder, bell front, and turning bell configurations. It is likely that Kaiser & Kohler mainly supplied unmarked instruments to the trade, notably to the Wurlitzer firm. Rudolph Wurlitzer (...

Article

Karn  

Barbara Owen

Canadian firm of reed organ, piano and organ manufacturers. Dennis W. Karn (b North Oxford Co., Canada West, 6 Feb 1843; d Toronto, 19 Sept 1916), an amateur musician, joined the reed organ firm of John M. Miller around 1867, buying out his employer in 1870 and continuing under the name of Karn & Miller in Woodstock, Ontario. The firm was also known at various times as the Woodstock Organ Factory and the Woodstock Church Organ Co. In the late 1880s the firm began making pianos, and after a merger in 1896 with the firm of Warren continued the latter's pipe organ business in Toronto under the name of Karn & Warren. The first Karn player piano was made in 1901, and by the first decade of the 20th century the firm had branches in several major Canadian cities as well as London and Hamburg. Karn retired in ...

Article

Kemper  

Hans Klotz

German firm of organ builders and string keyboard instrument makers. Adolf Kemper (1811–80) became a citizen of Lübeck in 1839. His son Emanuel (1844–1933) took over the workshop of Theodor Voigt in 1868 and founded the present firm, which has remained under the control of the original family, from Kempringen, Westphalia. Emanuel’s son Karl Reinhold (1880–1957), well known for his collaboration with H.H. Jahnn, took over the firm in 1910. Karl’s son Emanuel Magnus (b Apenrade, 30 Sept 1906; d Lübeck, 17 March 1978) entered the firm in 1944, and greatly broadened its interests to include clavichords, spinets and harpsichords. On 1 January 1974 Emanuel Reinhold (b Lübeck, 8 Jan 1947), son of Emanuel Magnus, became head of the firm. It is uncertain whether Peter Kemper (b Menden, bap. 18 April 1734; d Bonn, 24 Oct 1820) was a member of this family. He was an organ builder in the tradition of Balthasar König, and his work included the organs in Bonn Minster and Aachen Cathedral....

Article

Kilgen  

Barbara Owen

American firm of organ builders. It was founded in New York by George Kilgen (b Merchingen, nr Osterburken, Germany, 19 March 1821; d St Louis, MO, 6 Dec 1902), who had been apprenticed to Louis Voit (1802–83) in Durlach, Germany. Kilgen emigrated to the USA with a group of political refugees in 1848, finding employment with the Jardine firm before he established his own firm in 1851. In 1873 he moved his company to St Louis, where it prospered. In 1886 the firm became George Kilgen & Son when Charles Christian Kilgen (b New York, 22 April 1859; d St Louis, 6 May 1932) joined as a partner. The firm's most distinguished work dates from the period of the latter's presidency, and includes instruments for St Patrick's Cathedral, New York (1928), and St Justin's Church, Hartford, Connecticut (1932).

After the death of Charles Christian, dissension broke out between his sons Alfred (...