Brothers Alpheus and Lewis Babcock began manufacturing instruments in Boston in about 1810. In 1812, the brothers brought organ maker Thomas Appleton into partnership to establish the firm “Babcock, Appleton & Babcock”. This firm was first located at 18 Winter Street, Boston, but the firms success soon required them to move to a new factory at 6 Milk Street, Boston.
Lewis Babcock died sometime before 1815 at which time brothers Charles and Elna Hayt were brought into the firm. The firm was then reorganized as “Hayt, Babcock & Appleton”. Archives suggest that this partnership was dissolved in 1816 at which time Alpheus Babcock began working for the Franklin Music Warehouse in Boston which was financed by Captain John Mackay (later of Chickering & Mackay).
By the 1820s, Alpheus Babcock is listed at Parkman’s Market on Cambridge Street, Boston. During this period, Babcock built pianos which where retailed by members of the Mackay family including John Mackay, George D. Mackay (nephew of John Mackay) as well as for a Boston retailer by the name of James A. Dickerson.
Alpheus Babcock moved to Philadelphia in 1829 to work for John G. Klemm of Klemm & Brothers. In 1832, Babcock left Klemm Brothers to take a job as foreman at William Swift’s Piano Manufactory in Philadelphia. Babcock returned to Boston in 1837 where he worked for Jonas Chickering and John Mackay of Chickering & Mackay. Alpheus Babcock died in 1842.
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