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PIANO MANUFACTURER INFORMATION: JOHN BROADWOOD & SONS 
 
 
John Broadwood : Piano Manufacturers Information
 
Broadwood patented improvements in the piano..
1774 Broadwood supplied harpsichords to the painters Reynolds and Gainsborough, and Josef Haydn in Vienna ordered one. He was also exporting to Russia, Denmark, Portugal, Italy, France, the West Indies, and America (where his agent was John Jacob Astor).
1783 Broadwood patented improvements in the piano, particularly the brass under-damper that made the square much more stable, and the English double action.
1784 By this date, Broadwood was making more pianos than harpsichords. In this year he sold 38 harpsichords, and 133 pianos, having increased production ten times in twelve years.
1788 Broadwood commissioned scientific research (Royal Society and British Museum) on the improvement of the piano. This resulted in the introduction of the 'divided bridge' on the grand, which improved the bass tone.
1789-94 'Additional keys' were added, increasing the keyboard from 5, to 5 1/2, to 6 octaves.
1793 Last Broadwood harpsichords made. Other makers continued (e.g. Kirkman), but went out of business as pianos took the market.
1795 Firm became 'John Broadwood & Son', with the introduction of John Broadwood's elder son James Shudi Broadwood.
1798 Main production, the grand and square. Not yet the upright, although the 'upright grand' was introduced - a grand on its end, over 8 ft high. Important customers included the wives of Nelson and Wellington.
1808 Firm became 'John Broadwood & Sons', with the introduction of John Broadwood's second son, Thomas.
1812 John Broadwood died leaving an immense estate. His sons increased production.
1821 Grand piano delivered to King George IV at Brighton Pavilion: rosewood with brass inlay, which was now becoming fashionable.
1820-30 Introduction of metal bars to the grand, and metal stringplate to the square, giving greater power and volume.
1842 2,500 pianos a year were being made in the great factory in Horseferry Road, Westminster. Broadwoods were one of the twelve largest employers of labour in London, in an industry that was still craft-based with all parts made in-house. A picture of a Grand circa 1831
1845 H F Broadwood commissioned scientists for advice, leading to the creation of a bolted iron frame for the grand, to rival the introduction of the American cast-iron frame.
Broadwood Piano manufacturer logo
1856 The Horseferry Road factory burnt down. Only about 200 pianos salvaged. Production continued elsewhere until the factory could be rebuilt.
1866 The last square made by Broadwoods - overtaken in the home by the 'cottage upright'.
1867 At the Paris Exhibition, the Emperor Napoleon II presented the Gold Medal to Henry Broadwood.
1888 Broadwood patent for improvements in the metal frame, leading to the 'barless' concert grand, with overstringing (despite challenges from Germany and America).
1919-39 Difficult times for the piano trade generally. Broadwoods diversified (briefly) into gramophones. Production moved to Hendon. A new independent factory was opened on a modest scale in Acton in 1939, under the chairmanship of Captain Evelyn Broadwood).
1990 With the 1990's it new range of Uprights and Grands are introduced.
 
For more information visit: http://www.broadwood.co.uk
 
John Broadwood & Sons Ltd. 30 Barons Court Road, London England. W14 9DT Tel: 44 + (0)20 738 68525 Fax: 44 + (0)20 738 68525
 
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