The “Malcolm Love” brand name was built and sold by The Waterloo Organ Company of Waterloo, NY. The firm was originally established in 1861 with their original factory was located on Virginia Street. The Waterloo Organ Manufacturing Company built a small but successful line of parlor organs and chapel organs and melodeons. The company was purchased by Malcolm Love and Alexander C. Reed in 1881 after the factory was destroyed by fire. Love and Reed incorporated the firm as “The Waterloo Organ Company” in 1888.
Malcom Love and Alexander C. Reed recognized the waining popularity of the organ in favor of the piano in most American homes. In 1889 the firm hired master piano builder Seebald Mennig to design and build a line of upright pianos to their product line. By 1890 the firm was producing several successful lines of upright pianos under the “Malcolm Love” and “Alexander” brand names. In 1897 the factory burned once again, and a new 3-story factory was built on Washington Street.
In 1903 The Waterloo Organ Manufacturing Company was purchased by partners William Becker, Chauncey L. Becker and William C. Vough and was reorganized as “The Vough Piano Company” with William C. Vough as President. The Vough Piano Company continued to build pianos under the “Malcolm Love” and “Alexander” brand names and significantly reduced the production of organs. The firm also produced “Vough Changeable Pitch Pianos”, a designed that was patented by William C. Vough. The firm enjoyed continued growth, building as many as 700 pianos annually, and quickly earned a reputation for building very fine instruments.
The firm was purchased by The Wegman Piano Company in 1913, and Wegman continued building instruments under the Malcolm Love, Alexander and Vough names until The Great Depression period. The firm was absorbed into The Settergren Piano Company in 1929, and Settergren continued to build the “Malcolm Love” brand name until World War II.
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Malcolm Love Trade Cards
Late 19th Century trade cards featuring the Malcolm Love Piano Company
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