When the Music Stopped: Chickering and the Piano Wars of 1850

The company gets its name from Jonas Chickering, son of a New Hampshire blacksmith. Born in 1798 in Mason, N.H., he was apprenticed to a cabinet maker. In his early days he was hired by a family to repair its piano and he was intrigued. Chickering arrived in Boston in 1818 to pursue his trade and by 1823 he had partnered with James Stewart. The two set up shop on Tremont Street building pianos. The firm of Stewart and Chickering folded in 1827, with Chickering still fascinated with pianos.


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