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The Lauter Company was founded by Solomon D. Lauter as “S. D. Lauter & Company” in 1862.  The firm was incorporated in January 1905 as “The Lauter Company” in Newark, NJ with Charles E. Cameron, Sr. as President.

Lauter produced a full line of upright pianos and grand pianos under the brand names of Lauter, Llewellyn and Lenox.  The firm also produced a very successful line of player pianos under the “Lauter-Humana” brand name.  The Lauter Company enjoyed international success by exporting their instruments throughout South America and Europe.

Lauter and Thomas A. Edison: (Special Thanks to Mr. Philip Carli for the following historical information)

The Lauter concert grand was an instrument of choice for recording at Thomas A. Edison, Inc., whose New York studios were at 79 5th Ave. Edison also kept at least one Lauter grand at the experimental studio at their West Orange, NJ plant.  Lauter even built several pianos made of concrete for Edison’s experimental studio!  It is possible that the proximity of Edison’s works and the Lauter factory in Newark may have accounted in part for the relationship, though Edison’s staff pianist Ernest Stevens thought highly of the Lauter in reminiscences he gave at the end of his life. Edison took pride in its piano records in company advertising, and though they released relatively few piano discs, some were very important. Sergei Rachmaninoff’s first records were made for Edison on the Lauter (those were acoustic recordings), as were those of the prominent French pianist E. Robert Schmitz and the titanic Moriz Rosenthal. Both of these artists were recorded electrically, and their Edison discs are fantastically rare.

Lauter after the Great Depression: (Special thanks to the daughter of Mr. Charles E. Cameron, Jr. for this historical information)

Mr. Charles E. Cameron, Jr. operated the Lauter Piano Company from 1936 – 1966. Mr. Cameron took over control of the Lauter Company in 1936 from his father, Charles E. Cameron, Sr.  The Cameron family states that Lauter did not close with the Great Depression as our archives suggest, but that the firm continued to build pianos on Sussex Avenue in Newark, NJ until 1962 – 1963.  The last Lauter showroom closed in 1966. The Lauter Company files were disposed of in 1987 by the family.

Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?

Lauter Catalog
Lauter Piano Company illustrated sales catalog, circa 1912
Lauter Advertisement
19th Century Advertisement For Lauter Piano Company, Newark, New Jersey

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