One of the most illustrious groups of 19th Century American piano manufacturers was that of Adam Stodart, J. B. Dunham and Horatio Worcester.
Adam Stodart: William Adam Stodart was the son (or possibly nephew) of English piano maker Robert Stodart. “William Stodart” is first listed as a music store owner in Richmond, VA in 1818 where he sold music publications of New York’s William Dubois. In 1819, he moved to New York City as “Adam Stodart” and began importing and selling instruments built by his relatives in London.
Dubois & Stodart: In 1822, Stodart entered partnership with William Dubois, establishing the firm of “Dubois & Stodart”. Dubois & Stodart operated a successful music store and small piano manufactory until the partnership was dissolved in 1834.
Stodart & Currier: In 1835, Stodart joined Nathaniel Currier in a lithography business, producing sheet music under the firm of “Stodart & Currier”. This partnership was short-lived and was dissolved in 1836.
Stodart, Worcester & Dunham: In 1836, Adam Stodart went into partnership with John B. Dunham and Horatio Worcester to organize the firm of “Stodart, Worcester & Dunham”. The firm built superior square grand pianos and was quite successful. Stodart, Worcester & Dunham enjoyed a steller reputation in the American Piano Industry until Worcester withdrew in 1844.
Stodart & Dunham: In 1844, Horatio Worcester withdrew from the firm of “Stodart, Worcester & Dunham” and the company was reorganized as “Stodart & Dunham”. Stodart & Dunham continued to enjoy great success until J. B. Dunham withdrew from the partnership in 1849.
Stodart & Company: In 1850, Adam Stodart headed his own firm as “Stodart & Company”. Though still successful, Stodart & Company built pianos in smaller numbers than previous partnerships, indicating that his firm had scaled down operations considerably from its previous grandeur.
Stodart & Morris: In 1856, Adam Stodart went into partnership with Charles M. Morris, forming the firm of “Stodart & Morris”. Stodart & Morris continued to build well-made instruments, primarily square grand pianos. Adam Stodart retired in about 1870 at which time Morris took full control.
Stodart’s Piano Forte: In 1872, the firm was taken over by David Stanford and reorganized as “Stodart’s Piano Forte”. David Stanford continued to operate the firm as “Stodart’s Piano Forte” until going out of business in about 1875.
Stodart Piano Company: After 1875, the prestigious “Stodart” brand name went through a vague trail of transfers and ownerships. In 1892, “The Stodart Piano Company” was registered with trademark in New York City. The firm was located at Southern Boulevard and Trinity Avenue. The Stodart Piano Company built a full line of upright pianos and baby grand pianos, adding player pianos to their line after the turn of the century. By about 1910, the Stodart Piano Company was one of the largest makers of upright player pianos in New York City, and their pianos were distributed around the country. Stodart pianos were known to be very well made, durable pianos and were sold at affordable prices. By about 1920, The Jacob Doll Piano Company took control of Stodart.
Sadly, after a long and celebrated history, the Stodart name was discontinued in 1931 when The Jacob Doll Piano Company went out of business due to The Great Depression.
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