James & Holmstrom
The James & Holmstrom Piano Company was originally established in 1860 as the Holmstrom Piano Company by Anders Holmstrom. In 1874, L.C. James became partners with Holmstrom, and the name of the firm was changed to “The James & Homstrom Piano Company”.
The firm was known for building very good instruments, with their most popular contribution being their “transposing piano” offered right around the turn-of-the-century era. These transposing pianos had a lever underneath the keyboard that would allow the pianists to shift the internal mechanisms up or down on the musical scale so that a piece of music could be played in any key without changing the actual key the pianists played it in!
In 1900, the firm was purchased by The Jacobs Brothers Piano Company and their factories were moved to 132nd Street in New York City. Jacobs Brothers continued to build the James & Holmstrom name until the 1920’s era. There is no mention of the firm after about 1929, indicating they were out of business before the Great Depression.
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Late 19th Century Advertisement From The James & Holmstrom Piano Company Featuring Their “Transposing” Grand Piano, circa 1887
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