Layton Brothers was established in Montreal, Canada sometime around 1890 by brothers Philip E. Layton, Senior Partner, and Herbert A. Layton, Junior Partner. The firm is listed as one of the earliest piano manufactures in Montreal. Philip and Herbert Layton both grew up in and around the piano industry in England, with family roots in the piano industry going back as far as 1837.
Philip E. Layton graduated from The Royal Norman College in London in 1887, then immigrated to Montreal with the promise of employment as a church organist. This job opportunity was rescinded once it was realized that Philip Layton was blind. Having immigrated to Montreal and his employment opportunity withdrawn, Mr. Layton decided to establish himself in the piano industry with his brother, Herbert A. Layton. Their first shop was located at Stanley & St. Catherine Streets, Montreal.
Layton Brothers primarily built upright pianos, player pianos and organs. Although a small, family-owned firm, the company enjoyed modest success and expanded to factories in both Montreal and Toronto while maintaining warerooms and offices at 144 Peel Street, Montreal.
In 1908, Philip E. Layton and his wife Alice Marion Layton established the Montreal Association for the Blind (MAB). Today, 110 years later, The Montreal Association for the Blind continues to provide support and resources for the blind thanks to the good works of the Layton family.
There is no mention of Layton Brothers in our archives after the World War I period, indicating the firm was likely out of business well before the Great Depression.
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