This Week in History
The Piano Man
This story was initially published in 2007
On July 25, 1899, Theodore August Heintzman passed away in Toronto, Ontario. Founder of the Heintzman & Co. piano company, it was said that his name was more familiar throughout the British Empire than that of Sir Wilfrid Laurier!
He married Matilda Louisa Grunow in 1844 and began working, for his wife’s uncle as a piano and an instrument maker. Berlin in the 1840s was awash in political upheaval, so in 1850 the Heintzmans immigrated to New York where Theodore found a job with piano manufacturers Lighte & Newton. Two years later, the Heintzman family moved to Buffalo, New York, where he worked at the Keogh Piano Co. before opening his own company, Drew, Heintzman & Annowski. This venture failed shortly after Heintzman left the partnership in 1857.
In the 1880s, Heintzman & Co. produced more than 500 pianos, pushing him to move to an even larger factory. The popular Heintzman pianos were being shipped throughout the British Empire and across the United States. At the time of his death in 1899, Heintzman’s pianos had won at least 11 awards and had been featured at prestigious exhibitions throughout the world. The Heintzman family business continued to fabricate pianos until the 1980s and many fine quality instruments bearing his name remain cherished possessions in Canadian homes today.
For his contributions to the Canadian music industry, Theodore August Heintzman was designated a National Historic Person in 1974.
- Date Modified: