The Aeolian-American Piano Corporation (AAPC) is a significant part of the history of the Rochester area, due in part to the Foster-Armstrong Company, which built its Piano Works in East Rochester in 1905 and became part of AAPC in 1908. The factory closed in 1985 and in 1986 was transformed into the Piano Works Mall, a shopping mall and office complex.
In 1908 Wm. Knabe & Co., with Chickering & Sons and the Foster-Armstrong Co., of East Rochester, New York, formed the American Piano Co.1
In 1932 the American Piano Corp. merged with the Aeolian Company, Aeolian-Weber's piano subsidiary, to form the Aeolian American Corporation which consolidated the control of more than 20 piano brands, as well as action manufacturing and plate casting divisions. In 1936 it ranked as the fourth largest producer in the country, after Kimball, Baldwin and Winter & Co
In 1942 the East Rochester factories were contracted to manufacture military aircraft parts, keeping the plants and personnel in operation, but by late 1949 piano production returned to full capacity.
... August 1932. Continued to make Chickering & Sons, J. & C. Fischer, Wm. Knabe & Co., Mason & Hamlin, George Steck, Weber, and other piano brands. The company installed Ampico and Duo-Art reproducing mechanisms in these pianos on a very limited basis until the late 1930s. The last Ampico mechanisms were installed in spinet pianos known as "Baby Ampicos," introduced in 1938. The last Ampico rolls were made at the factory in 1941. Several other firms have made recut and new Ampico rolls since then. Aeolian-American was acquired in 1959 by Winter & Co., owner of many other old piano brand names, which had resumed production of spinet player pianos in 1957. Renamed the Aeolian Corporation, and then Aeolian Pianos, Inc. in 1980, it continued to make pianos and spinet player pianos under a variety of brand names until its bankruptcy in 1985. The Chickering brand name was then acquired by the Wurlitzer Co. 2
Library Industry Page - photos and linked info
1950 Aeolian-American PIANOLA - keytop piano playing on YouTube.com
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