Timothy Gilbert is one of the oldest and most historical piano makers in American history. Timothy Gilbert began building pianos in Boston in about 1829. (At the same time, his brother, Lemuel Gilbert, was also building pianos in Boston, although Lemuel left the business for several years during the 1830’s.)
Timothy Gilbert established himself as “T. Gilbert & Co.” in 1834. He was an innovator in piano design and evolution, building a number of “Cocked Hat” grands and Square Grand Pianos equipped with the “Aeolian Attachment”. In essence, the Aeolian Attachment was a bank of organ reeds that were built into the piano cabinet and couple with the piano keys to give both piano and organ accompaniment at the same time. The organ was powered by the pumping of an extra foot pedal.
T. Gilbert & Co. was discontinued in 1868, but his name was used by successors for many years. Instruments bearing the label of Gilbert, T. Gilbert & Co., Timothy Gilbert, and Gilbert & Co. continued to be manufactured well into the 1920’s era.
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?
Timothy Gilbert Sales Flyer featuring Square Grand and Cocked Hat Grand Pianos, circa 1850
T. Gilbert Advertisements
19th Century Advertisements Featuring Pianos By Timothy Gilbert
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