|Knowing the fair market value of Wurlitzer pianos is useful to sellers, buyers and owners.
This information can help guide you in making important decisions.
The Wurlitzer family were German instrument makers dating back to the 17th century with
Hans Andreas Wurlitzer, a violin maker. Soon after coming from Germany, Franz Rudolph Wurlitzer
established himself in 1856 in New York, importing German pianos. By 1861 a new factory was built in
Cincinnati, Ohio, continuing to sell pianos with the Wurlitzer label, but made by other European
makers. They did not start manufacturing their own pianos until 1880. Since the early 1900s Wurlitzer
became one of the major names in the music business that included the sale of orchestrions, player
pianos, organs and jukeboxes. By the 1900s Wurlitzer had factories in DeKalb, Illinois (grand pianos)
and North Tonawanda, NY (upright pianos). Other names controlled by Wurlitzer have included:
Apollo, Artola, Julius Bauer & Company, Melville Clark, De Kalb, Farney, Ellwood, Kingston, Student
Butterfly baby grand piano, Caldwell, Clavichord, Kurtzmann, Merriam, Milner, Schaff Brothers,
Spinette, Strad and Underwood. In 1985 Wurlitzer purchased the Chickering name and all the assets
of the Aeolian Corp. Memphis, TN factory when Aeolian went out of business. In the 1980s to 1996
Wurlitzer also had a line of upright and grand pianos manufactured by Korean firm, Young Chang;
also a J & C Fischer (and later Kranich & Bach) line of uprights made in China by the Beijing Piano
Co. In 1990 the Wurlitzer factory was located in Holly Springs, and Corinth, Mississippi. From 1990 to
1994 the 5 foot Wurlitzer Grand was manufactured by the Baldwin Piano Co. In 1995 Baldwin
purchased Wurlitzer and Chickering. By 1996 production of Wurlitzer grands were being
manufactured by Samick in Korea. In 2001, the Baldwin, Chickering and Wurlitzer names were
purchased by the Gibson musical instrument company. Wurlitzer upright pianos were then
discontinued in 2003, essentially replaced by the Ellington, and then Hamilton line (made in China) in
2004. Grand pianos were then being manufactured in China by the Sejung Co.according to Baldwin
specifications, using Baldwin and Chickering plate and scale designs.
Baldwin's Wurlitzer line discontinued in the USA in 2008.
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