The two non-postcard images below show the ell-shaped building that Dwight H Baldwin (1821-1899) opened on the corner of 4th and Elm at 158 West Fourth Street in 1862 to sell pianos and organs. The Baldwin Company gradually became the most prominent dealer of pianos and organs in the South and West. Baldwin began to manufacture pianos, in 1890, inside a converted planning mill on land owned by Eden Park. The Park Board sold all the land west of Gilbert Ave. in 1886 as un-needed and Baldwin bought this portion. Baldwin pianos and organs won many national and international prizes in those early years. The 3rd image shows the offices of the D. H. Baldwin Piano Co. in 1891, the partners are seen seated in the back.
The buildings seen below were completed in 1920. You
can see the structure in the third card behind the newer main building in the second
card. In 1925 Baldwin sold 11,000 player pianos alone, but
radio and the depression essentially destroyed the market for this product. Many
parts of the firms business moved South in the early 60's. The one millionth
piano was completed in 1974. New owners moved the business to Clermont County in
March 1986. In 1987 they bought the Wurlitzer Company seen in a card below.
Wurlitzer was another city landmark founded by Rudolph Wurlitzer in 1862.
The main buildings of the Baldwin Piano Company Factory located on Gilbert Avenue across from the Eden Park entrance. The buildings seen below, or what remains of it, is now owned by Corporex, a real estate development firm. The complex is now called the Grand Baldwin, an office complex. The non-postcard image below show, very clearly, the layout of the factory.
Gilbert Ave. on the right.
Bending Strips of Wood Gluing Strips together Making Sound Boards finishing Cases
Six Private Mailing cards of the Baldwin Piano Co.
Polishing Department Putting Strings on
1899 1909 1910 1911
Present Day Photo
OTTO GRAU PIANO CO.
Otto Grau Piano Co. 222-224 W. 4th St. Back of card on left
Store at 222-224 W. 4th Newspaper drawing
Franz Rudolf Wurlitzer Founded the Wurlitzer Company in 1856 in Cincinnati. The company started out as an importer of musical instruments and then, in 1861, began making violins and other stringed instruments. Later the company began making harps, pianos, organs, and jukeboxes.
These Are Not Postcards
Wurlitzer Building 117-121 E. 4th St.
Rudolph Wurlitzer ad for the Victor Talking Machine Co. Rudolph Drawing
George P. Gross Pianos Smith & Nixon Piano Co. Offices at 126 West 4th St
13th and Main
THE AEOLIAN COMPANY
Main Floor Aeolian Co. 25 W Fourth St. Howard Spear
1904 1906 1906
The George Jaberg Music Co. 115 W. 7th Street