In 1846, Elias Parkham Needham and Jeremiah Carhart established the Carhart & Needham Organ Company of New York. This firm built organs and melodeons and they were immensely successful. In 1855, Samuel C. Swartz was admitted to the firm and the firm was reorganized as “Carhart, Needham & Company”. Swartz died in 1865, and the firm reverted back to “Carhart & Needham”.
In 1869, Carhart died and Needham brought his son into the firm. The firm was reorganized as “E. P. Needham & Son”. As the end of the 19th Century approached, the organ was loosing popularity in favor of the piano in the American home. Needham & Son began building square and upright pianos and began to slow their organ production. E. P. Needham died in 1889 and his family continued to operate the firm under the name of “The Needham Piano & Organ Company”.
The firm continued to grow and increased their piano lines after the turn-of-the-century. By 1910 the firm offered a dozen different styles of upright pianos, player pianos, and baby grand pianos. The Needham Piano & Organ Company enjoyed a fine reputation and their instruments were known to be made of good quality and craftsmanship.The firm was purchased by Kindler & Collins in 1912, and Kindler & Collins continued to build pianos under the “Needham” name until the Great Depression.
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?
Needham Illustrated Organ Catalog, Circa 1885
Needham Illustrated Piano Catalog, Circa 1898
Needham Illustrated Piano Catalog, Circa 1912