Chickering & Sons pianos is one of the oldest, American piano companies going back to 1823. In 1850, Henry Steinway attended a concert featuring performance on a Chickering grand piano. He was entranced by the experience and it provided inspiration to start Steinway & Sons pianos.
In the mid 1800’s Chickering was the largest piano manufacturer in the United States. There have been Chickering pianos in the White House. Abraham Lincoln owned a Chickering piano.
Technically, Chickering was responsible for developing the one piece, cast iron plate which became a standard for all pianos up until this day. Unlike the vast majority of American piano companies, Chickering survived the advent of radio and the phonograph, the Great Depression, and WWII. However, the influx of cheap Asian pianos finally dealt a death blow to the esteemed, American company in the early 1980’s.