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)
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