Moline was an active builder of parlor organs and church organs during the last quarter of the 19th Century. The company was established by Johannes Peterson in 1871 shortly after he immigrated to America from his native Sweden. In 1881, Moline established his firm as 'Moline Cabinet Organ Company', and then changed it to 'The Moline Organ Company' in 1888. By this time the popularity of the parlor organ in the home had suffered a sharp decline because of the increasing popularity of the piano as the instrument of choice. As the organ market for the home all but disappeared, Moline began building pianos in order to keep up with market demands. The firm was reestablished as 'The Moline Organ & Piano Company' in about 1894, and then renamed again in 1899 as 'J. Peterson & Company'. Peterson was known for building exceptionally well made instruments, and his organ manufacturing company grew to huge proportions. Moline organs were found in churches and larger homes all over the country by the first part of the 20th Century. Moline put the same effort in quality and craftsmanship in their pianos that they were famous for in their organs, but their pianos were never built in large quantities compared to other manufacturers. It appears that the firm went out of business just before the Great Depression era.
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