Hinds & Son
The firm of Hinds & Sons (also Hinds & Son) was established by Silas P. Hinds in New York in 1844. Hinds New York firm was a small family-owned firm, and their instruments were built in small numbers. In 1867, S. P. Hinds changed the name of his firm to Hinds & Son after admitting his son William H. Hinds into partnership. That same year the firm was expanded and relocated to 21 and 23 Bank Street, Newark, New Jersey. Hinds admitted his second son, Alpheus R. Hinds, into partnership in about 1870 and the firm became Hinds & Sons. Based on surviving instruments, it appears that Hinds & Sons specialized in building square grand pianos, although it does appear that the firm offered at least a couple of upright piano models in their catalogs. Perhaps Hinds & Sons is best known for their Telephone model pianos. These Telephone Pianos were literally equipped with a cymbal-like device made of Chinese and Turkish Gong Metal attached to the piano soundboard which would reverberate in sympathetic vibration with the piano soundboard. This device would create a unique tone quality in unison with the piano strings, giving the piano an almost amplified tone quality. In essence this device was one of the first amplified pianos ever built! Though ingenious in theory, the amplified Telephone Piano proved to be far ahead of its time and was not successful in the marketplace. Telephone Pianos are exceedingly rare today. Like so many other small 19th Century firms, Hinds & Sons was slow to shift production from their successful square grand pianos to more popular upright and grand pianos as the 20th Century approached. It appears that the waning demand for square grand pianos caused Hinds & Sons to go out of business before 1900.
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?
19th Century Illustrated Sales Catalog for Hinds & Son “Telephone Pianos”, Circa 1869