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North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works

Dublin Core

Title

North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works

Description

North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works, colorized by the webmaster. North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works factory at 435 Payne Avenue, c1913; photo colorized by the webmaster.
(1906-1919) The North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works produces military band organs, player pianos, organs for (still silent) "moving picture" theaters and more. The factory is the third automatic musical instrument manufacturer in the city, starting about a year after the Niagara Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company. Like Niagara, NTMIW is partially comprised of men who have worked with de Kleist's Musical Instrument Works (president John Birnie had been secretary-treasurer for de Kleist).

According to an article in this set, NTMIW originally operates out of "the Williams plant on the Ellicott Creek." They incorporate in 1906, and in the second half of 1907 build a substantial four-story factory. In 1911 that factory is tripled (articles suggest the work is not completed until early 1912). Although larger than Niagara, NTMIW will always be a distant second behind de Kleist and Wurlitzer. In 1918, NTMIW is acquired by the Rand Visible Records Company. Rand continues the musical manufacturing business, and the former NTMIW leadership at first sticks around. Rand's press officers kick into high gear, founding a monthly internal company magazine, All of Us, apparently aimed at easing the culture change. In spite of this gesture, NTMIW founding officer Stillman C. Woodruff and others leave Rand--and the bones of their former company--around 1920 to try their hand at the band organ game one last time with their Artizan Factories Inc. venture in 1922.

Items

North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works, hi-res map (Sanborn Map Co., 1910).jpg

North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works, hi-res map (Sanborn Map Co., 1910).jpg

The factory's footprint, before the 1913 expansion.

Rand Company, baseball players, Hi-Speed line in distance (All of Us, 1920).jpg

Rand Company, baseball players, Hi-Speed line in distance (All of Us, 1920).jpg

This is likely at present-day Wheatfield Street and Erie, with the elevated mound being the Nash Road course of the Buffalo to Niagara Falls Hi-Speed…