Blasius and Sons: The High Quality Piano Favored by Thomas Edison

By | October 17, 2015

Charles Blasius was a native of Cologne Germany, and he came to America when he was 25 years old.

After working for a number of other piano makers, he established his company in 1855 under the name of Blasius Brothers in Philadelphia on 1006 Chestnut Street. This was a Piano Alley, if you will, with Chickering and Sons, Decker Brothers, and Steinway warerooms on the same street.

In 1857, he parts ways with his brothers as business partners, and Charles changes the name of the firm to Blasius and Sons, with the admission of his two sons Levi and Oscar as partners.

In 1887, Blasius took control of the Charles Albrecht Piano Company, which was one of the oldest piano manufacturers in America. Along with the Albrecht name, Blasius & Sons also built pianos under the "Regent" brand name as an affordable alternative to his costlier Blasius brand.

It is always a good business practice to offer a customer several choices.

Because of their high cost when new, Blasius pianos were never built on a huge scale like many other American piano manufacturers.

Thomas Edison was very fond of and endorsed the Blasius piano, and used them in his experiments. He was conducting an experiment with the piano and phonograph. Here is a letter Edison wrote to Blasius in December of 1894.

"Dear Sirs,

We are still experimenting with your piano in connection with the phonograph. We are not yet satisfied with the phonographic reproduction, but the piano itself is very fine. We shall continue until we have reproduced the original with all it's richness of tone.

Yours Truly,

Thomas Edison "

I can tell you as a piano technician, that Edison probably did not succeed in reproducing the "richness of tone" of the piano with the phonograph.

Charles Blasius dies in 1894, and the company was sold to Preston Rice, and Philip Wuest, owners of the Rice-Wuest piano company,

Around 1916 having trouble keeping up with orders and outgrowing their Philadelphia building, they take on the task of moving to a larger building in Woodbury, New Jersey, relocating over 400 employees and their families.

Woodbury, NJ was offering "no taxes for five years" to encourage businesses to move there. In the meantime, they began leasing the Philadelphia building to various companies.

By 1919 (the ending of World War 1) the company was financially in trouble filing dissolution in New Jersey. They move back to the smaller Philadelphia building, and tried to keep the company going, but they went out of business in 1925.

Note:

The historic building in Philadelphia was destroyed in 1970. The Woodbury, New Jersey building burned down due to a disgruntled employee, who even shut off the sprinkler system before starting one of the worst fires in New Jersey history.

Source by Chris Chernobieff

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