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Nordheimer. Any information about this brand?
#1327640 12/17/09 05:54 PM
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Mike088 Offline OP
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Could anyone share with me some historical information about the brand Nordheimer?

I saw a Nordheimer grand from about 1930 (didn't play it yet) and I would like to know about the status of this brand during this era. A friend of mine also has a Nordheimer grand and I am sure she would like to know too. I would actually be curious to know when (if at all) Nordheimer made good quality pianos. I noticed that in Larry Fine's piano buyer on page 48 he doesn't list Nordheimer as a brand notable for considering in terms of older higher quality pianos from the past (the early 20th century) and I would like to know if there is a reason for this.

Did Nordheimer build good pianos? When?
Would anyone know which serial numbers might be good to look for?

Thank you,

Mike

Re: Nordheimer. Any information about this brand?
Mike088 #1327655 12/17/09 06:12 PM
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Nordhiemer made fantastic pianos.
The grands I have seen were very well constructed.
By 1910 Nordheimer manufactured 11,000 pianos in Canada ans 21,500 by 1912 When Samuel Nordhiemer died in 1912 his estate was worth 1.5 million dollars. So I guess he was doing something right.
In 1927 Heintzman purchase the company and produced Nordheimers until the mid 1960'a


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Re: Nordheimer. Any information about this brand?
Rod Verhnjak #1328828 12/19/09 04:16 AM
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Mike088 Offline OP
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Thank you Rod,

I found another relevant paragraph of information about Nordheimer pianos and a change in the production of these pianos that may have occured in 1927:

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heintzman_&_Co.)
Theodore Heintzman's nephew, Gerhard Heintzman, was also a piano maker, and when Gerhart died in 1926, Heintzman & Co. continued to operate Gerhard company for several years. In later years they also produced pianos under the Gerhard Heintzman brand. In the 1920s (mikes note: 1927), when many Canadian piano manufacturers were struggling, Heintzman & Co. also took over the Nordheimer Piano Co, and in later years produced pianos under the Nordheimer name. Over the years, Heintzman produced pianos were sold under several brands names, and Heintzman also sold pianos produced for them by other piano manufacturers. Heintzman's top pianos were produced under the "Heintzman & Company" brand, with the "Gerhard Heintzman" brand being next, then the "Nordheimer" brand. Brands that were produced for them, and sold with a "From Heintzman & Company" decal were Gerhard, Weber, Stevenson.


And so, if this information is correct, I suppose one would conclude that after 1927, the Nordheimer piano was not the best piano that Heintzman made - its quality level was two steps below "Heintzman & Company" brand pianos.

Here's a summary of what I think can be concluded from the above quote from wikipeida:

"Nordheimer" name brand:
before 1927: of the highest quality

after 1927:
"Heintzman & Company" brand pianos: best quality pianos
"Gerhard Heintzman" brand pianos: second-best level of quality pianos
"Nordheimer" brand: the third-best level of quality.

Is my conclusion incorrect?

Do you find this to be the case Rod, that Nordheimer's built before 1927 are better quality than those built after 1927? Or do you find that all Nordheimer's where built to top-quality standards regardless of the year they were built?

Second related question: When considering Heintzman or Nordheimer pianos from the earlier part of the 20th century is 1927 an important date to be aware? (i.e. best to find one made before 1927) Or are all Heintzman and Nordheimer pianos, no matter what date they were made, generally considered to be of excellent quality?

Thank you

Re: Nordheimer. Any information about this brand?
Mike088 #1328919 12/19/09 10:22 AM
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Hello Mike,

Nice to have a chat with you on the phone the other day.

The Heintzman & Co. Line of instruments were usually the uprights and grand’s produced with the patented agraffe bridge. This was a very expensive way to cast a piano plate, and then drill each hole at 7 degrees off TDC. Here are some samples photos of this bridge........

http://picasaweb.google.com/silverwoodpianos/HeintzmanCoPatentedAgraffeBridge#

The Gerhard/ Nordheimer lines were manufactured in the traditional way, with the nickel plated pressure bar, instead of the casted agraffe bar. Also, these two lines would not have been fitted with the upright sostenuto assembly. So think of it like these two lines did not have all the options that the Heintzman & Co. Line did. The production values would have been the same; it would have been the same workforce that built the instruments. I have a Nordheimer grand here from 1943, and the quality of build is the same as the 20’s.

The quality of piano building in Canada began to drop in the 50’s with the influx of the first Japanese instruments to land here.

It is always nice to find an A & S Nordheimer, (made by the two brothers Albert and Samuel), but these are a rare commodity now-a-days. This was a very early company (1844). Nordheimer is the oldest name in Canadian music history.

Gerhard Heintzman, who was originally a cabinet maker that switched over, there is not much known about him, even from the remaining members of the Heintzman family that I know.

Re: Nordheimer. Any information about this brand?
Silverwood Pianos #1333026 12/24/09 01:45 PM
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Mike088 Offline OP
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Thanks Dan for this interesting information.
Merry Christmas!

Mike


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