Chickering & Sons (not to be confused with Chickering Brothers) was the first actual piano factory in America, established in Boston in 1823 by Jonas Chickering with partner James Stewart. Originally called Stewart & Chickering from 1823-1826, the name was changed to Chickering & Sons in 1826 when Chickering brought in his three sons, Thomas, Frank and George, as partners. From about 1830-1840, Chickering built some pianos under the name of Chickering & Mackay. John Mackay was a sea captain, and he would export Chickering pianos to South American, and in return, would bring back ships full of sweet smelling rosewood and mahogany for piano building. Mackay was lost at sea in 1841, and we have seen only a handful of pianos bearing the name Chickering & Mackayâ¦apparently they are very rare today. Jonas Chickering died in 1853, and the firm was taken over by his son Thomas. Thomas Chickering died in 1871, and the firm was taken over by Frank Chickering. The remaining brothers died in the 1890s, as the firm continued to grow and thrive. In 1908, Chickering was sold to the American Piano Company, makers of some of America's better brand names. In 1932, the Aeolian Piano Company and the American Piano Company merged to create the Aeolian-American Corporation, and they continued to build the Chickering name for decades.
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