Mr. F. O. Evans is first listed as a sales representative in his native Des Moines for The Story & Clark Piano Company in about 1895. Mr. Evans’ initial success allowed him to expand into a chain of retail music stores in the midwestern region in a few short years. Mr. Evans was so successful that he was elected to the board of directors of Story & Clark in 1904.
In about 1908, F. O. Evans established “The Evans Art Piano Company” of Des Moines. F. O. Evans was listed as President and his brother, W. H. Evans (previous of Russell-Evans Piano Company of Chicago) as Vice President. Mr. Evans partnered with Story & Clark to manufacture pianos and player pianos which were sold under the “Evans Art” brand name. While the majority of these instruments were manufactured at Story & Clark’s Chicago factory, a small-scale piano manufactory was set up in Des Moines as well.
The Evans Art Piano Company offered a full line of upright and grand pianos which were primarily distributed throughout the midwestern United States. During the ‘teens the firm introduced a successful line of player pianos and phonographs which were sold under the “Artrola” brand name.
Mr. F. O. Evans was elected secretary and general manager of The Story & Clark Piano Company in 1916. F. O. Evans finally retired from the piano business in 1920 at which time the firm was taken over by F. H. Evans. There is little mention of The Evans Art Piano Company after the early 1920s, indicating the firm was out of business well before The Great Depression.
Surviving instruments by The Evans Art Piano Company are consistently well-made, durable instruments. They tend to be of higher quality and craftsmanship than the average.
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