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In 1859, James C. Marchal and Robert W. Smith formed the partnership of “The Marchal & Smith Piano & Organ Company”, retailers of pianos, organs and related musical merchandise.  The firm was originally located at 47 University Place, NY.  In 1877 the firm was incorporated as “The Marchal & Smith Piano Company” at which time they began manufacturing square and upright pianos under the “University” brand label.  Organs sold under the “University” brand name were manufactured under secret contract by “a prominent New England manufacturer” (speculated to be The Estey Organ Company).

Marchal & Smith continued to enjoy modest success for several years, though the firm never produced instruments in large numbers like other New York firms.  There is no mention of Marchal & Smith after the 1920’s era, indicating that they went out of business before the Great Depression. The few extant Marchal & Smith pianos we have restored in our shop have consistently shown to be of very good quality.


Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?

University (Marchal & Smith) Catalog 1890
Marchal & Smith sales catalog featuring the University brand pianos and organs, circa 1890