Hallet & Cumston
The Hallet & Cumston Piano Company (also spelled “Hallett & Cumston” in earlier years) was one of America’s more historical and illustrious makers. The firm was originally established as “Brown & Hallet” in 1835, and their factory was located on Washington Street in Boston. In 1843, Brown retired and George Davis joined the firm. Davis retired in about 1847, and Hallet became part of “Hallet, Cumston & Allen”. Allen resigned from the firm, and in 1850 he formed the “Brown & Allen Piano Company”. With Allen gone, “Hallet & Cumston” formed partnership, building pianos under both the Hallet & Davis and the Hallet & Cumston names.
In about 1879, the business was incorporated as Hallet, Davis & Company and the Hallet & Cumston name was dropped. Hallet, Davis & Company was known for building very high quality, expensive pianos during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. They offered a full line of square, upright and grand pianos until about 1890 when they discontinued the square piano and increased production on the ever more popular upright.
In 1905, brothers E. E. Conway and C. C. Conway took control of the Hallet & Davis Piano Company of Boston. That same year, the Conway family established The Conway Piano Company, selling the “Conway” brand as an affordable alternative to the costlier Hallet & Davis brand name while maintaining similar quality. In addition to the successful Hallet & Davis brand name, Conway also reintroduced the “Hallet & Cumston” label on a limited number of pianos in the early 20thCentury.
After the turn-of-the-century, Hallet & Davis built a full line of high-quality player pianos under the brand names of Virtuolo, Underwood & Sons, and Bowen. After the Great Depression, Hallet & Davis became part of the large Aeolian American Corporation, and the Hallet & Davis name was built by Aeolian until the 1980s era. Today, the Hallet & Davis name is being applied to Asian import pianos.
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?
Hallet & Cumston Illustratred Sales Catalog, Circa 1878
19th Century Advertisement For Hallet & Custom Piano Company, Boston
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