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    Mathushek

    One of the greatest innovators in piano design and construction was Frederick Mathushek. Perhaps the best way to describe Mathushek was 'unconventional'. Mathushek established his firm in 1863, but records indicate he was building pianos as early as 1852 in New York. In these early years, he was building pianos in partnership with Driggs under the name of Matheuschek. In 1866, Mathushek moved his firm to New Haven, Connecticut. In the 19th Century, Mathushek built a line of square grands that were very different from their contemporary competitors. These square pianos were known as the Colibri and the Orchestral models, and they were sold with much success. The mechanical design of these square pianos was radically different from the norm, and they were praised and endorsed by high profile pianists, musicians, and singers of the era. Today, Mathushek square grand pianos are a treat to restore and hear; they are truly amazing pianos. After the turn-of-the-century, Mathushek moved his factory to New York, at which time he admitted his son into partnership. The name of the company was then changed to "Mathushek & Son". By this time, Mathushek & Son was building a more conventional line of high quality uprights, players, and baby grand pianos. In the 1930's era, the Mathushek firm once again went against the norm and introduced a line of tiny square grand pianos called the 'Spinet Grand'. These contemporary instruments were based on the same general design of Mathushek's 19th Century square grand pianos, but they were redesigned in style and appearance so that they would fit well with modern décor. The Spinet Grand piano enjoyed moderate success during the 1930s and 1940s, but was never a substantial seller. The Mathushek Piano Company went out of business in the late 1950s after a spectacular century of history, innovation and success.

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