Perhaps the most famous of all piano manufacturers in history was the W.W. Kimball Piano Company of Chicago. William Wallace Kimball founded what was to become one of the largest piano companies in the world in 1857. W.W. Kimball was an amazing entrepreneur and sales genius, and was able to promote his pianos on a nationwide basis that was very much ahead of its time. Prior to about 1880, most pianos sold by Kimball were actually built by other manufacturers such as Hallet & Davis, Emerson, Chickering, and H.P. Hale. By the turn-of-the-century, Kimball was manufacturing around 20,000 pianos annually! Kimball produced a handful of other brand names including Hinze, Dunbar, Whitney, and Harrison. In 1959, Kimball was sold to The Jasper American Corporation under the name of Kimball International. Kimball pianos were discontinued in 1996.