Story & Clark Pianos have been a quality brand of piano since 1884. The two men behind these pianos were both innovators, and their cooperation has not only built pianos that have lasted the test of time, but built a culture of greatness that lasts even today.
Hampton Story built his first piano in 1857. Its popularity came from its supreme craftsmanship, its incomparable tone, and its inexpensive price. These three hallmarks drove popularity of the Story & Clark, as well as have allowed the survival of pianos as old as pre-1900 to not only be in museums, but also to be used today.
Melville Clark, an astute maker of organs and pianos, was the second half of the company. Clark is generally accepted as the first to make a player piano. It consisted of 58 note playability and had a sliding mechanism that enabled transposition. These player pianos were dubbed the Apollo.
Hampton Story began working in a music store as a salesman, but was able to buy it from the owner. He had several piano companies from 1859 to 1883, but with the addition of Melville Clark, was able to capitalize on their combined talents.
The Story & Clark Company began making pianos as a brand in 1884 in Chicago, Illinois. Their motis operandi was the same as Hampton had developed decades earlier: quality craftsmanship, tone, affordability and the addition of Clark's technological advances. The business did well enough to open additional manufacturing plants in Germany and England.
In 1901, Melville Clark left his partner's company and went to open his own company, which later became notable for player pianos.
The Story & Clark Company has been sold and split up in many different ways. However, pianos are still being sold under their name. Story & Clark pianos are now built with a MIDI strip underneath the keyboard, as well as MIDI and USB connections docked inconspicuously within the unit. On the outside, this is just a regular piano with self playability, but it is as fully expandable as a current electronic keyboard.
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