The Newhall name is one of the older and more renowned names in the American piano industry.
Dwight & Newhall: David B. Newhall was born in Boston in 1813, and was building pianos by his early 20s. Sometime in the 1820s, archives suggest that David Newhall went into partnership with John Dwight to form the firm of “Dwight & Newhall”. Dwight & Newhall was awarded a patent for an “iron bar” in 1824 which was the forerunner of the cast iron plate used in pianos in later decades.
Wilkins & Newhall: In 1832 David B. Newhall entered into partnership with Levi Wilkins to form the firm of “Wilkins & Newhall”. At first their factory was located at 23 Temple Street, but by the 1840s the firm had moved to the more fashionable location of 355 Washington Street, Boston. Archives suggest this partnership dissolved in 1855 with the death of David B. Newhall.
Alfred Newhall: David B. Newhall died in March of 1855, at which time his youngest brother, Alfred Newhall, took over the firm. Alfred Newhall brought John B. Mullin and Nelson S. Read into partnership, and the name of the firm was changed to “A. Newhall & Company”. Surviving instruments we have restored have been labeled as both “A. Newhall & Company” as well as “Alfred Newhall & Company”.
None of the partnerships listed above ever built pianos in large numbers, but their instruments were exceedingly well made and of superior craftsmanship. Newhall and subsidiaries appear to have gone out of business before the Civil War, and their instruments are exceedingly rare and of museum caliber today.
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?
Early 19th Century Advertisement for A. Newhall & Company Pianos, Circa 1855