Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Chappell and Co

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of 50, New Bond Street, London, W.

1811 The company was founded by Samuel Chappell, Francis Tatton Latour, and John Baptist Cramer. Cramer was a highly fashionable pianist, composer, and teacher of the pianoforte. One of the company's first publications was by Cramer, "Studies for the Pianoforte," which has had many editions since the first publication.

1812 Chappell targeted the nobility and gentry for sales of musical instruments. The company opened a special room and called it the "Ware room," which they the advertised in local papers. In this room they displayed cabinet pianos, squares and grands. The pianos sold at this time were not made by Chappell, but they used the fact that Messrs. Cramer and Latour had personally selected each of the instruments; this was a huge advantage over the rival retail outlets.

1813 Cramer suggested to Mr. and Mrs. Chappell that they should invite all their professional friends and colleagues to have a meeting. This meeting took place at 124 New Bond Street in January, and from it the Philharmonic Society was born. Chappell was closely linked to the Philharmonic Society for many years. During the society's first year's concerts Cramer and the old master, Clementi, took turns conducting at the pianoforte on alternate concerts. In the early 1820s, Chappell's were awarded the Royal Warrant.

1834 Samuel Chappell died, leaving a widow Emily, and three sons, William, Thomas, and Arthur. Emily took control of the company. Thomas worked for Chappell's for £26.00 a year. Not until 1840 did he become a partner in the company. Each of the sons did their part in running the company.

1840 Chappell's started producing their own pianos. They opened a factory in Phoenix Street, Soho, and after a short time Chappell pianos grew in popularity so they moved to their new factory at Chalk Farm. The Chalk Farm factory has been enlarged many times.

1850 Thomas financed the building of St. James Hall in Piccadilly. The Hall opened in 1858 with a concert in aid of the Middlesex Hospital. Arthur directed the Ballad Concerts every Monday and Saturday; he ran them for 40 years. Chappell's ran their Ballad Concerts until 1926.

1895 Henry Wood conducted the Promenade Concerts alongside Chappell's Ballad Concerts. Edward Speyer and Henry Wood ran the Proms until the war of 1914-18. Chappell then terminated their contracts and ran the Proms until 1926 when the BBC took them over.

1896 Chappell and Co was registered on 7 December, to take over the business of music publishers and sellers and pianoforte manufacturers of the firm of the same name.[1]

1901 Chappell Piano Co., Ltd. was incorporated as separate company from the music publishing side.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908