Horace Lehr established the “H. Lehr Piano & Organ Company” in Easton, PA in 1890. H. Lehr & Company primarily built parlor organs and chapel organs as well as a modest number of pianos. Their instruments were often very elaborate and expensive, and they were known for being extremely well made.
By the end of the 19th Century, the firm was affected by the continued decline of the organ’s popularity in favor of the piano. H. Lehr & Company was one of the first firms to manufacture and market the “piano cased organ”, essentially a parlor organ in an upright piano cabinet. It was speculated that the introduction of the piano cased organ would revive the parlor organ market. While fine in theory, the piano cased organ was never a commercial success. By 1910, H. Lehr & Company found it necessary to stop building organs and increase their piano production in order to remain competitive.
In addition to the “H. Lehr” brand name, the firm also manufactured pianos under the “Lafayette Piano Company” brand name. H. Lehr & Company continued to build instruments with modest success until going out of business with the onset of the Great Depression.
Surviving instruments by H. Lehr & Company that have come through our restoration shop are consistently of superior quality and fine craftsmanship. H. Lehr & Company never built pianos in large numbers, and instruments by H. Lehr & Company are a bit rare today.
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
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