Estey Piano Corporation

Estey Piano Corporation History 

The company history of Estey Pianos is full of acquisitions and trading between various ownerships throughout the 20th century. Established in 1869, Jacob Estey was the founding president along with several business partners, Levi Fuller, John Boulton Simpson and Julius Estey. Simpson was the owner of Arion Piano Company. Once in partnership with Estey, the piano company name was changed to Estey Piano Company. The factory was built in New York City for the manufacturing operation of their upright and grand pianos. [1]

Jacob Estey had started Estey Organ Company in 1846, alongside Levi Fuller, in Vermont. The reed and electric organs they produced were known as an early-American brand built from a factory located on a river with a Grist mill and water dam. The merging of the Estey Organ Company and the Arion Piano Company to form the Estey Piano Corporation meant the expertise and established customer base from both companies combined. In, 1901 the company was producing large church organs as well as their pianos. [1]

In 1917, many of the founding members, including Julius Estey himself, had died, leaving the firm to the sons of Estey: Jacob and Harry. At this time, George W. Gittens purchased the company. Not even a decade later, the company was bought by BK Settergren, and operations were moved Bluffton, Indiana. Several buy-outs occurred up until 1982 when the factory was struck by lightning, and a fire destroyed the entire building. [1]

About Estey Pianos

Some of the brands Estey pianos produced in the 20th century included:

- Alexander

- Anderson Bros

- Chase & Baker

- Lancaster

- Malcolm Love

- Metropolitan

- N.W. Nelson

- Schumann

- Settergren

- Vough

- Wegman 

- Drachmann

- Meldorf

- Bellman

- Soward

- Purcell

- Wanamaker 

As one of the older American piano production companies, Estey pianos gained a reputable name throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Known for some elaborate case designs and high-quality materials, Estey pianos were made in a variety of period and modern styles. [2]

Restoring an Estey Piano

Determining whether or not to restore a piano is a big decision. At Lindeblad, we work with our customers who have older, unrestored pianos to decide on whether to restore them or not. Estey pianos were built with top-of-the-line materials in their day. They are also some of the oldest-awarded American pianos at the World Fair in the mid-1800s for their quality of craftsmanship.

Thus, restoring an Estey piano, depending on the year of production and the type of piano, can increase the value of the piano significantly.

Contact us today to learn more about restoring an Estey piano!


[1] Pierce, W. Robert. Pierce Piano Atlas: Anniversary Edition, 2017 Our 70th Year. Albuquerque: Ashley, 2017. Print.