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I tried searching for this but came up short. I'm curious to hear how Steinway & Sons came up with the names Boston and Essex for their lower-level piano lines. Mason & Hamlin started in Boston, MA and are now manufactured out of Haverhill, MA which is in Essex county!

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Why don't you PM Bob Snyder and ask him. He is a sales manager for Steinway and he posts on PW.


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I'm willing to bet that the classy sounding names were selected purely for marketing reasons and have absolutely no relevance to anything. smile


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I thought there was some connection with Steinways to the city of Boston or something, historically, or where one of the investors came from or something, and that's why they chose the name. I could be making this up entirely.

Essex has slightly different connotations in the UK. They should probably have changed the name to something like 'Richmond' (which makes me think of cigarettes and sausages, now that I've said it...)

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Intellectual elite

Sex with es?

They certainly paid a marketing agency to propose names..


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Carey - I'll take that bet. How much?


Bob Snyder
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Micicle Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Olek
Intellectual elite. Sex with es?


Intellectual elite? I don't understand your point, and I doubt it's because it has 'sex' in the name. Essex and Middlesex are county names in MA, NY, and NJ (and probably other places in the North East), which I assume are all named after the counties in England with the same name.

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Originally Posted by Micicle
Originally Posted by Olek
Intellectual elite. Sex with es?


Intellectual elite? I don't understand your point, and I doubt it's because it has 'sex' in the name. Essex and Middlesex are county names in MA, NY, and NJ (and probably other places in the North East), which I assume are all named after the counties in England with the same name.


I was trying to find correlations, Are not Bostonian's known as sort of elite?

SO is it better in middlesex or in essex ? (I am a little obsessive there wink



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Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Carey - I'll take that bet. How much?
Now I'm getting nervous !! ha


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Carey - I'll take that bet. How much?
Now I'm getting nervous !! ha

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They come from Boston, Japan. 😀

Haverhill, where M+Hs are made, is in Essex County, Mass., ironically.

In my pie-anner's case, "Howard" is an old Baldwin name from a company they bought, but there is Castle Howard in England--ah, those swanky UK names!

Maybe we'll see "Downton Abbey" and "Highclere" stencils--er, branding--one day!


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Originally Posted by Carey
I'm willing to bet that the classy sounding names were selected purely for marketing reasons and have absolutely no relevance to anything. smile

It's possible, of course, that all of the above are true:
  • they sound nice,
  • marketing research supports them, and
  • they have some relevant connection
In fact, that would make their selection a good decision, and Steinway tends to make good decisions, especially in the marketing arena.

But, if you're betting that the names were selected simply because they sound "classy," my gut tells me to side with Bob Snyder and take some of that action too. wink


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Come on Bob; we can't take the suspense!! Tell us how the names were chosen.

Remember, in organized gambling, the odds are against you unless you are the house. So if you like to gamble, buy a casino.


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Wow, no one at the Steinway dealer reminded me there was indeed Essex County near Boston. It thought the name an utter irrelevance, thinking only of Essex in England or posh hotels.


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I would guess it was because that at the time the names were chosen, the group that owned Steinway were based in the Boston area.

Or it could be in honor of this Gershwin (he was a Steinway artist) tune:


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Originally Posted by Micicle
I tried searching for this but came up short. I'm curious to hear how Steinway & Sons came up with the names Boston and Essex for their lower-level piano lines. Mason & Hamlin started in Boston, MA and are now manufactured out of Haverhill, MA which is in Essex county!


To distance themselves from the fact that these pianos are manufactured in Japan and China, they place irrelevant American and English names on their Asian manufacture, much the same as the tendency to use German names on Asian manufactured pianos.

Illusion and falsity ... a lot of people buy in to it .... and sell it.

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Originally Posted by Dara
Originally Posted by Micicle
I tried searching for this but came up short. I'm curious to hear how Steinway & Sons came up with the names Boston and Essex for their lower-level piano lines. Mason & Hamlin started in Boston, MA and are now manufactured out of Haverhill, MA which is in Essex county!


To distance themselves from the fact that these pianos are manufactured in Japan and China, they place irrelevant American and English names on their Asian manufacture, much the same as the tendency to use German names on Asian manufactured pianos.

Illusion and falsity ... a lot of people buy in to it .... and sell it.


Yes that may be the most realistic point of view.

And, with all those Chinese products using German type names, you begin to see them in the same list than real German pianos.

Now there are many Technicians and piano builders that came to China, that explain why the quality did change, gross mistakes in design are avoided, the factories workers are trained by good professionals so the level of prep and finishing may have changed.

Still the constitutive elements need to be cheap most often so we have no idea of their future.




Last edited by Olek; 08/23/15 06:45 AM.

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I actually like this break from putting just the manufacturers' (and especially imaginary manufacturers'!) names on pianos. "Pearl River" also sounds like a charming, vague, romantic name of this sort, except that as far as I understand, it is a geographical name where the factory is located and through that, the factory name itself.


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Rivers and the moon are often described poetically in the Chinese language.
The Pearl River flows through the great city of Guangzhou, the commercial powerhouse of south China. The Pearl River piano factory, which was established in Guangzhou in 1956, is said to be the largest piano factory in the world. It also produces Essex pianos for Steinway and Sons; two grand piano models and a number of upright models.

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Nice thread,

I am looking forward to Bob Snyder's explanation. I would like to see how similar it is to the explanation given to me in the past.

(Not from Bob).


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