Miller, Henry F.
Born into a privileged family, Henry F. Miller ( not to be confused with S. W. Miller) spent much of his early life working in shops of prominent makers like Brown & Allen, W. P. Emerson, and others. With a superior education and substantial mechanical aptitude, Henry F. Miller left Emerson’s firm in 1863 to start building pianos under his own name.
Henry F. Miller built superior instruments and his firm enjoyed instant success. In the 19th Century, Boston was home to a large population of old world craftsmen who had immigrated to the United States from the old country. These craftsmen possessed amazing skill in woodworking and piano building, and Henry F. Miller was in a position to take full advantage of this amazingly skilled workforce.
Henry F. Miller, Sr. died in 1884 and the firm was taken over by his 5 sons Henry F. Miller, Jr., Walker H. Miller, James C. Miller, Edwin C. Miller and William T. Miller. The firm produced a full line of upright, square, and grand pianos. They also built a line of “Pedal Pianos” which were conventional pianos equipped with a full pedal board to aide in organ instruction and practice. By the turn-of-the-century the firm had discontinued square grand pianos and increased their upright and grand piano production. Player pianos were introduced shortly after the turn-of-the-century as well. The firm also built pianos under the “Trowbridge” brand name. The Henry F. Miller firm enjoyed a reputation for building truly exceptional pianos.
By the 1920s, Henry F. Miller had became part of the Continental Piano Company, ultimately being absorbed into Jesse French & Sons. The firm was again absorbed into the Winter Piano Company in 1945 and the company became part of industrial giant Aeolian-American Corporation. The Henry F. Miller brand continued to be built by Aeolian until the 1980’s. Note: Today, Henry F. Miller is being built in China and marketed in the United States as an Asian import piano.
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?
Henry F. Miller Piano Company Sales Catalog, Circa 1882
Henry F. Miller Piano Company Sales Catalog, Circa 1884
Henry F. Miller Piano Company Sales Catalog, Circa 1886
Henry F. Miller Piano Company Sales Catalog, Circa 1928
19th Century Newspaper Bio About Henry F. Miller Founder, Henry F. Miller Piano Company
Henry F. Miller Advertisements
Period Advertisements From The Henry F. Miller Piano Company, Boston
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