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Title: Ampico  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Minnetonka, Minnesota, Robert Casadesus, Moritz Moszkowski, Wilfrid Pelletier, Reflets dans l'eau
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American Piano Company (abbr. Ampico) was an American piano manufacturer located in East Rochester, New York, which was known from the beginning for the production of high quality player pianos. The company was established in 1908 under the aegis of Wm. Knabe & Co. of Baltimore as a merger between Chickering & Sons of Boston, Haines Brothers, Marshall & Wendell, and Foster, Armstrong & Company, all of Rochester, New York.

From 1913 Ampico was one of the leading producers of reproducing pianos, the others being Duo-Art (1913) and Welte-Mignon (1905). The player piano and reproducing mechanism was designed by Charles Fuller Stoddard (1876–1958).[1][2] A great number of distinguished classical and popular pianists, such as Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leo Ornstein, Winifred MacBride, and Marguerite Volavy (1886–19??),[3] recorded for Ampico, and their rolls are a legacy of 19th and early 20th century aesthetic and musical practice. By 1929 Ampico was in essential economic difficulties and was finally taken over by the Aeolian Company.

Despite the Ampico's decline, the company did not officially close until 1941, which exceeded past the Great Depression. The last model introduced was the Ampico Spinet Reproducing Piano, which had all the functionality of a reproducing piano, and although having a low cost of $495, still failed in sales.[4]

Rythmodik Music Corporation

In May 1918, The Music Roll Division of the American Piano Company became a separate company and henceforth was named Rythmodik Music Corporation, based in Belleville, New Jersey.[5]


General references

  • Larry Givens: Re-enacting the Artist: A Story of the Ampico Reproducing Piano, Vestal, N.Y.: Vestal Press, 1970.
  • Elaine Obenchain: The Complete Catalog of Ampico Reproducing Piano Rolls, New York: American Piano Co., 1977. ISBN 0-9601172-1-0
  • by The Pianola Institute, London, Accessed April 1, 2009

Inline citations

External links

  • The Reproducing Piano Roll Foundation Ampico Catalog This catalog will be confusing to the novice researcher as the roll numbers have all been truncated and are not exactly as found on the rolls.

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