The 'Little Gem' brand name was a line of upright pianos manufactured by the illustrious Marshall & Wendell Piano Company during the last quarter of the 19th Century. (The firm also manufactured upright pianos under the name of "Boudoir Gem" and square grand pianos under the name of 'Parlor Gem'). The firm originally began as Marshall & Traver in 1836 and their factories were in Albany, New York. The name was changed to Marshall, James & Traver in 1855 when Mr. A.C. James was admitted to the partnership. 'Marshall & Traver' and 'Marshall, James & Traver' specialized in building higher end square grand pianos, and these instruments are quite rare today. Sometime around 1870 James & Traver withdrew from the firm. Mr. Wendell was admitted into partnership, and the name of the firm was changed to Marshall & Wendell.
During the late 19th Century, Marshall & Wendell built several lines of square, grand, and upright pianos, all of superior quality. In 1900 the firm moved headquarters from Albany to Rochester, New York. After the turn-of-the-century, Marshall & Wendell instruments continued to be considered top quality and extremely durable. The firm was absorbed into the Aeolian-American Corporation in the Great Depression era, and Marshall & Wendell pianos continued to be manufactured until the mid 1950s.
Little Gem Advertisements
Late 19th Century Advertisements For The "Little Gem" Brand Upright Piano, Manufactured By Marshall & Wendell Piano Company
Parlor Gem Advertisement
Late 19th Century Advertisement For The "Parlor Gem" Brand Square Grand Piano, Manufactured By Marshall & Wendell Piano Company