Steinway & Sons
Laura Lee Smith
Steinway & Sons is a unique entity in American history. Steinway is many things--an iconic piano, an American success story, a symbol of opulence, a metaphor for artistic passion, and a geographic locale. Part of the fabric of two New York City boroughs, Steinway occupies a compelling place in the minds and hearts of the millions of people, from pianists and students to artisans and salespeople, who have been impacted by the brand. From Steinway & Sons' inception in 1853 until today, the company's mission has stayed the same as the one German immigrant Henry E. Steinway articulated upon his arrival in America, "to build the best piano possible." In the late 1800s, Steinway emerged as the standard-bearer in piano design and manufacturing, outshining and outlasting other brands including Chickering and Weber. Today, the Steinway piano is still built by hand in New York City according to the same stringent processes developed by Henry E. Steinway and his sons.