The Wegman Piano Company History

The Wegman Piano Company was established in Auburn, New York in 1882. Henry Wegman, the founder and owner of the company, was born in Switzerland but moved to New York and found employment with Steinway. In 1882, he branched off on his own to start the Wegman and Hanning Piano Company at Ithaca. With his partner, Hanning, he later decided to relocate the company to Auburn five years later. His business partner, Christian Hanning, was also a Swiss immigrant. They produced six pianos per week at their new factory location. [1] While it sounds like a small volume, that level of production was impressive for the late 1880s before the rise of the piano popularity in America. 

After the turn of the century, they stopped making organs, which they were known for producing alongside their pianos in their early manufacturing days as a company. They also built pianos under the Chase & Baker and Vough brand names. In later years, the company was affiliated with Estey Piano Company, and the Wegman name was discontinued in about 1956. [3]

About The Wegman Pianos

Wegman was known for making quality pianos that were modern for their time. Their designs were thought to be very beautiful and the instruments had exceptional tone quality. A patented tuning pin fastener was among the special features of the Auburn-made pianos. The Wegman had a reputation for staying tuned longer and better than most pianos. They were also priced moderately, which made them more popular in the west. [2] [3]

An 1895 advertisement reported that the Wegman Piano Company had been recognized by World's Exposition judges, who said the following:

"First, the tone quality which is very good. Second, the duration and singing qualities are excellent. Third, the scale is well-balanced. Fourth, the action is light and prompt to respond. Fifth, the cases of artistic design. Sixth, a new feature is locking of the tuning pins by reason of the eccentric holes in the iron frame exclusively, in which they are well-fitted; a point of construction highly recommendable as securing the power of remaining in tune. Seventh, workmanship and materials are both excellent." [2]

Restoring a Wegman Piano

The Swiss-American heritage of the Wegman pianos is significant to many Wegman owners today. As a part of the early American piano production movement in New York, the Wegman pianos are significant in the history of the piano in the U.S.; therefore, they do retain their value and may be a worthwhile investment for restoration. To restore a Wegman piano, contact Lindeblad today for a consultation.


[1] http://auburn13021.blogspot.com/2009/03/wegman-piano-company.html

[2] http://auburn13021.blogspot.com/2009/03/wegman-piano-company.html

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

2017. Print.