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    May 16

    Written by: adawson 5/16/2013 2:12 PM 

    Seventy Years of Progress is a booklet issued in 1923 commerating the 70th anniversary of  The Dreher Piano Company of Cleveland, Ohio .The book also heralded the opening of the  business’s  new store on Huron Road,   Dreher had barely made it to their 75th year when president Henry Dreher sold the company in 1928.

     The booklet has been scanned and is available for perusal on  the Cleveland Public Library Fine Arts & Special Collections Flickr page. 

     The Dreher's  musical heritage can be traced back to 18th century Germany. Meinard Dreher  was a noted organ-builder and an acquaintance  of composer Johann Sebastian Bach.  Dreher's son, Joseph Anton, carried on in his father's footstops. Joseph's son, Baptiste (1830-1890),  also served as an apprentice organ-builder and  emigrated to America while still a young man.

    Baptiste first found work as a piano-builder in Cincinnati. Soon, he settled in Cleveland and in 1853, began building melodeons  in the meeting house of the First Baptist Church at the corner of Champlain and Seneca. In 1859, Dreher formed a partnership with William J. Kinnard. and  was also selling organs and pianos from his shop on Superior Avenue. By 1870, Dreher was the sole owner of the company.  In the late 1880's, Baptiste's sons Henry (1864-1929) and Oscar (1860-1921) had taken over the business.  Henry eventually became president of B. Dreher's Sons Co.  and the business was moved to 1028 Euclid Avenue. After ten years the company expanded and  moved to the building at 1226  Huron, which was previously home to  the Winton Motor Carriage Company.

     With the move came expansion.  In addition to musical instruments, the Dreher Piano Company was now selling phonographs, records, piano rolls, and radios. However, Henry Dreher's  health declined and he was forced to sell  business to Chicago musical concern, of Lyon & Healy. 

                                                                                      FURTHER READING 

     Alexander, J. Heywood. It Must Be Heard: A Survey of the Musical Life of Cleveland, 1836-1918, including a Catalogue of an  Exhibition at the Nelson Sanford House, the Ohio City Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society, December 12, 1981  through August 2, 1982. Cleveland, OH: Western Reserve Historical Society, 1981

    "Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: DREHER PIANO CO." Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:DREHER PIANO CO. N.p., n.d.

     Grossman, F. Karl. A History of Music in Cleveland. Cleveland: Case Western Reserve University, 1972. Print.

     Rose, William Ganson. Cleveland; the Making of a City. Cleveland: World Pub., 1950. Print.

     Seventy Years of Progress. Cleveland: Dreher Piano, 1923.

     Witchey, Holly Rarick., and John Vacha. Fine Arts in Cleveland: An Illustrated History. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1994