|Knowing the fair market value of Kimball pianos is useful to sellers, buyers and owners.
This information can help guide you in making important decisions.
KIMBALL PIANO USA, INC.
1819 North Major Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60639
The Kimball Piano Co. was established in 1857 by William Wallace Kimball in Chicago, Illinois. W.W. Kimball
was a brilliant salesman who knew how to successfully market and promote across the USA. At first they
sold pianos made by other manufacturers like Chickering & Sons, Emerson, J. & C. Fischer, F. C. Lighte,
Hallet & Davis, J.P. Hale and Hallet & Davis. They began manufacturing their own pianos in 1888. Kimball
continued with success, receiving numerous awards for excellence, and produced 22,000 upright, grand
and player pianos by 1902. Piano manufacturing halted during World War 2 as they were manufacturing
military aircraft parts, but later resumed until the company’s finances began to decline in the 1950s. In 1959
the Jasper Corp., a successful furniture manufacturer in Indiana, acquired Kimball. In 1966 they took over
Austrian firm, Bosendorfer. As of 1969, Kimball was one of the largest piano makers in the world. The
Jasper Corp. changed its name in 1974 to Kimball International in order to strengthen their brand in the
furniture area of their business, as the Kimball name was so recognizable. Kimball International (or Jasper
Corp.) was mainly a furniture maker who mass-produced pianos, and the Kimball pianos made between
1959 and 1996 were generally very average in quality. However, the Viennese Classic Edition grand pianos
beginning in the early 1980s, based on Bosendorfer designs, were good quality instruments. Over the
years, Kimball made pianos under the following names: Charles & Son, Dunbar, Harrison, Hinze, Whitney,
Kimball, W.W. Kimball, Jasper-American, Lindenauer, Becker, Conn, De Voe & Sons, Krakauer, La Petite,
Mason & Kendall, Schuerman, Whitmore, Whittaker. By 1996 Kimball International stopped producing
pianos in the the U.S., selling their piano-making equipment to Chinese manufacturer, Artfield Piano Ltd.
Artfield only made vertical pianos under the Krakauer brand formerly owned by Kimball. Finally in 2002, they
sold their Bosendorfer subsidiary to an Austrian bank and exited the piano business. In 2005, Brighton
Music Inc. acquired the rights to the Kimball name, creating Kimball Piano USA. These pianos were made in
China, using some American components. In 2007, however, Kimball was then run by an American piano
technician who brought Kimball back to Chicago, where it started. The aim was to concentrate on the best
details of classic American design and piano building, with parts and components sourced primarily from
China and Europe, and final assembly and detailing of the pianos performed in the U.S.
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