The Cornish Piano & Organ company was established in Washington, New Jersey in 1879. The Cornish Piano & Organ Company was a huge mail order house, selling their organs and pianos directly to the consumer from the factory through elaborate sales catalogs, advertisements, and word of mouth. This allowed Cornish to sell their instruments at a lower price than most, and their aggressive financing plans helped them become a major player in the American piano industry. Both Cornish pianos and organs were usually very elaborately carved, and they were generally very good quality overall.
Since Cornish sold their pianos and organs from mail order catalogs, they sent their instruments to the most rural parts of the country, usually by wagon and train. Instruments would go to both extreme hot and cold climates, dry and moist climates, and the manufacturer had to guarantee them to hold up in these harsh conditions! Many people think since an instrument was sold by mail-order catalog that it must be of average quality at best. In fact, these instruments were exceedingly well made with substantial tone quality and excellent workmanship. Sadly, the Cornish factory burned to the ground in 1922 and the firm never recovered
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?
Late 19th Century Illustrated Sales Catalog for Cornish Piano & Organ Company, Circa 1890
Late 19th Century Illustrated Sales Catalog for Cornish Piano & Organ Company, Circa 1895
Late 19th Century Illustrated Sales Catalog for Cornish Piano & Organ Company, Circa 1903
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