The Hardman name is one of the more illustrious names in American piano manufacturing. Hugh Hardman is first listed in New York’s piano industry as early as 1842. Mr. Hardman built pianos under his own name until entering into partnership with his son John Hardman to form “Hardman & Company” in 1877. Hugh Hardman retired in 1879, leaving the firm to his son John who continued to operate with great success. In 1880, John Hardman went into partnership with Leopold Peck and a piano dealer by the name of Dowling and the firm was changed to “Hardman, Dowling & Peck”. During this partnership, the firm was granted several patents for improved piano building, and their instruments were known to be of superb quality and design.
Dowling withdrew from the firm in 1884 and the firm was reorganized as “Hardman, Peck & Company”. In 1905, the firm officially incorporated as Hardman, Peck & Company and was known thereafter simply as “Hardman-Peck”. The firm built a variety of upright, grand and player pianos in the early 20th Century. They were known for building superior quality, expensive instruments.
Hardman-Peck manufactured several other brand names including Standard, Harrington and Minipiano. The firm also produced several successful lines of player pianos under brand labels including Autotone, Playotone, and Hardman-Duo. Industrial giant Aeolian took over the firm during the Great Depression. Aeolian continued to build the pianos under the Hardman brand name until the 1980’s.
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