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Krakauer Brothers

Krakauer Bros. Company History 

Founded in 1869, by Simon Krakauer and his son David, the Krakauer Brothers piano company was based in New York City. Originally from Kissingen, Germany, Simon Krakauer was violinist and orchestra conductor prior to moving to America as a Jewish immigrant in 1854 to start his company. Learning under some of the great piano masters at the time in A.H. Gale and the Haines Brothers shops, Simon was an educated musician turned piano maker. Once he opened his own shop, he focused on creating pianos with the best musical tone quality. [1]

In 1867 when Julius and Daniel Krakauer joined, the name became Krauer Brothers. Years later in 1903, the company was incorporated around the time Simon and his son David both died. In the early 1900s, Krakauer Brothers also made Felder and Madison pianos. Some of the models included Felder Krakauer Brothers, Madison, Vertichord, and the Lyrichord. Throughout the Great Depression, Krakauer Brothers continued to produce pianos without being forced to sell out to a larger manufacturer. [2]

In 1977, Howard Graves bought the company and relocated operations to Berlin, Ohio. Becoming a division of Kimball Piano Company in 1980, Krakauer Brothers pianos were still produced until Kimball went out of business in 1985.

About Krakauer Brothers Pianos

Unlike many of the smaller piano brands in the early 1900s, the Krakauer Brothers were making pianos of exceptional, high-end quality. They were focused on improving the tonal qualities of their pianos, similar to how Steinway and Chickering were approaching piano making. [3] Known for many of their elaborate case designs, each Krakauer Brothers piano was handmade with individual attention as opposed to many contemporary piano companies with mass production facilities. 

Krakauer also patented the closed back case for upright pianos to be displayed in an open setting without having to be placed against a wall. Similar to their grand pianos, the Krakauer Brothers spinets could be put on display, appealing to many pianists who desired the upright look and feel without the limitations of sound and location. Their “Serenade” spinet model was by far the most popular of these. [4]

Restoring a Krakauer Brothers Piano

Due to the smaller scale of production and the private nature of the company until the late 1900s, many Krakauer Brothers pianos are in relatively good condition today. The unrestored value of a Krakauer Brothers Piano can range. At Lindeblad, we’ve had the privilege of restoring many early-American piano brands like Krakauer Brothers Piano Co. pianos. Contact Lindeblad today to discuss having your Krakauer Brothers Piano restored today!

References: 

[1] Dolge, Alfred. Pianos And Their Makers. London: Forgotten Books, 2015. Print.  

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

[3] http://antiquepianoshop.com/online-museum/krakauer-brothers/ 

[4] http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/agesk.htm#KRAKAUER