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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453294 08/23/15 05:23 PM
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I have always thought that the name Boston going on a second line piano was an indirect put down of Mason & Hamlin where pre 1930 there was such fierce competition between Steinway and M&H.


Keith D Kerman
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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453304 08/23/15 06:00 PM
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Incredible.

Carey, you apparently were less than sincere in your "I'm willing to bet" statement. Facts are troublesome at times, aren't they.

Dara, your opinion is amazing. Our clients - including those on Vancouver Island - are bright enough to figure out where a piano is built, regardless of its name. would you be more comfortable if we'd named the Boston "Tokyo" or "Kyoto" - or something like that? That would have been tough, since the manufacturer had yet to be identified when the name was chosen.

I can assure you that no trickery or deceit was intended; it is interesting and enlightening to me to note that this is what your first thought is. As far as "falsity" goes, are you more comfortable with a brand putting its name on multiple tiers / quality levels? In other words, do you think it would be more "honest" for us to put "Steinway & Sons" on all three lines, but perhaps distinguish them by model numbers or letters? A Series, B Series, C Series, etc? something like that?

The explanation is not nearly as complicated or filled with intrigue as some here obviously think. First of all, coming up with a name (that is available and acceptable) - - this is quite a project. Believe me, I was there. At the end of the day, you end up with a choice of three types of names: names representing people, names representing places, or names representing some aspect of music.

The person who said that "Boston" was named based on the location of our worldwide corporate headquarters at the time is correct. Essex was also named after a place - a county in the northeast US, adjacent to the county that the city of Boston is in.

Keith - the suggestion that we came up with "Boston" as a subtle put down of Mason - - that's ridiculous, and it astonishes me that you'd believe such a thing. That someone would even think in those terms is quite revealing, and quite sad. The fact is - people at Steinway and people at Mason have had a long and positive relationship; in my case, I am proud to name one of their senior people as a close and long time (decades) friend. Gary was also a friend. To think that we are a company so petty as to do something like that - - again, it's sad, and frankly, pathetic.

So there you have it.





Bob Snyder
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Steinway & Sons

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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453319 08/23/15 06:59 PM
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Bob, I think some of the speculations about the names Boston and Essex were tongue-in-cheek.

I had a thought similar to Keith's, but with a bit different spin. I wondered whether Steinway chose Boston in tribute to the rich piano manufacturing tradition of that city--kind of a gracious tip of the hat to Chickering as well as Mason and Hamlin.

I also wondered whether a New York company might be making an acknowledgement that the Red Sox, though hated, are worthy opponents😏!


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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Bob Snyder #2453322 08/23/15 07:12 PM
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Thanks Bob!! Great reply. I knew a little about the naming process, but I was hoping you would give it to us straight rather than have me try to pontificate.


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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Bob Snyder #2453330 08/23/15 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Snyder

Our clients - including those on Vancouver Island - are bright enough to figure out where a piano is built, regardless of its name.


Certainly they are. On the other hand, if I had a nickel for every time someone insisted their Boston was made by Steinway in New York, I would have a lot of nickels! I can't imagine where they got that idea! smile

Originally Posted by Bob Snyder

Keith - the suggestion that we came up with "Boston" as a subtle put down of Mason - - that's ridiculous, and it astonishes me that you'd believe such a thing. That someone would even think in those terms is quite revealing, and quite sad. The fact is - people at Steinway and people at Mason have had a long and positive relationship; in my case, I am proud to name one of their senior people as a close and long time (decades) friend. Gary was also a friend. To think that we are a company so petty as to do something like that - - again, it's sad, and frankly, pathetic.


Bob, what's with the act? Bit dramatic, don't you think?


Keith D Kerman
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New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
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check out www.sitkadoc.com/ and www.vimeo.com/203188875
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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Bob Snyder #2453340 08/23/15 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Incredible.

Carey, you apparently were less than sincere in your "I'm willing to bet" statement. Facts are troublesome at times, aren't they.

Dara, your opinion is amazing. Our clients - including those on Vancouver Island - are bright enough to figure out where a piano is built, regardless of its name. would you be more comfortable if we'd named the Boston "Tokyo" or "Kyoto" - or something like that? That would have been tough, since the manufacturer had yet to be identified when the name was chosen.

I can assure you that no trickery or deceit was intended; it is interesting and enlightening to me to note that this is what your first thought is. As far as "falsity" goes, are you more comfortable with a brand putting its name on multiple tiers / quality levels? In other words, do you think it would be more "honest" for us to put "Steinway & Sons" on all three lines, but perhaps distinguish them by model numbers or letters? A Series, B Series, C Series, etc? something like that?

The explanation is not nearly as complicated or filled with intrigue as some here obviously think. First of all, coming up with a name (that is available and acceptable) - - this is quite a project. Believe me, I was there. At the end of the day, you end up with a choice of three types of names: names representing people, names representing places, or names representing some aspect of music.

The person who said that "Boston" was named based on the location of our worldwide corporate headquarters at the time is correct. Essex was also named after a place - a county in the northeast US, adjacent to the county that the city of Boston is in.

Keith - the suggestion that we came up with "Boston" as a subtle put down of Mason - - that's ridiculous, and it astonishes me that you'd believe such a thing. That someone would even think in those terms is quite revealing, and quite sad. The fact is - people at Steinway and people at Mason have had a long and positive relationship; in my case, I am proud to name one of their senior people as a close and long time (decades) friend. Gary was also a friend. To think that we are a company so petty as to do something like that - - again, it's sad, and frankly, pathetic.

So there you have it.


Thanks for the explanation Bob - although I don't know why you seem so "surprised" about some of the assumptions that were being made in this thread.

I should know better than to make a bet about anything (even in jest) particularly when I don't have access to the facts. But I hope you understand that the vast majority of folks on the planet who are even remotely interested in such things most likely still believe that Steinway and Sons is based in New York City and Hamburg and have absolutely no clue that the Steinway Musical Instruments corporate headquarters is in Waltham., MA (a suburb of Boston). [Just curious, were the corporate headquarters ever actually in the city of Boston proper?]

Specifically (and please correct me if any of the following is inaccurate or out date).......

From Wikipedia: "Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. is an American worldwide musical instrument manufacturing conglomerate. Through acquisitions and mergers, the company has acquired a large number of musical instrument brand names and manufacturing facilities. It now owns manufacturers of pianos, brasswinds, woodwinds, strings, and percussion. The company sells its products through a worldwide network of dealers to professional, amateur and student musicians, as well as orchestras and educational institutions, under dozens of different brand names. Its most notable products include Steinway & Sons pianos, Bach Stradivarius trumpets, C.G. Conn French horns, Leblanc clarinets, King trombones, Ludwig snare drums, and Selmer saxophones and woodwinds. It employs a workforce of around 1,700 and operates 11 manufacturing facilities in the United States and Europe."

So yes - the world is indeed becoming complicated, and things aren't always what they appear to be. No surprise, therefore, that some of us here are becoming a bit cynical. ha

As for the names...given that the corporate headquarters were in the Boston area, and you were limited to naming the new instruments after a person, place or some aspect of music, I can understand why the names were selected - although it simply reinforces my original assumption that the names mean absolutely nothing in relation to the instruments themselves (and the Essex County connection is a stretch at best). smile But please don't take offense. The Boston and Essex pianos, for their price points, are very nice instruments, and the fact that they are "designed by Steinway" and built by other manufacturers should be acknowledged and celebrated.



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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453358 08/23/15 11:06 PM
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Bob,

Thank you for your explanation. I was told a different tale by the principal of Philadelphia's Steinway dealership over dinner years ago. Frankly, his was more colorful.

Again, thanks.


Rich Galassini
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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Bob Snyder #2453366 08/24/15 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
The person who said that "Boston" was named based on the location of our worldwide corporate headquarters at the time is correct. Essex was also named after a place - a county in the northeast US, adjacent to the county that the city of Boston is in.


Thanks for the insider explanation, Bob! Very fun to read.

Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453369 08/24/15 12:13 AM
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Thanks, I can say both names ring nothing to the European, as they do not relate to music at all.

So from the name point of view, it can be a fair choice for the US market but here you need all the persuasion of the Steinway dealers to have the public consider those brands. (even if Boston developped some reputation for the grand pianos, the target public is a small audience)
At the times where you made the Boston, it was not as common as today to create a new name in pianos, so it was not so much understood.

Did you consider Steinwai in reference to the maker, or Steinwer for Pearl River ? Not very good ideas, sorry!






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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Olek #2453370 08/24/15 12:17 AM
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How provincial some Europeans are, not to know the city where Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto and Brahms' First Trio were premiered!


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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453445 08/24/15 09:26 AM
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"...I was told a different tale by the principal of Philadelphia's Steinway dealership over dinner years ago. Frankly, his was more colorful..."

And I have been thinking that this would be a perfect time to bring back Piano Madam for a cameo, who would tell us the real backstory. After all, if it's color you want...


Clef

Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453449 08/24/15 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
And I have been thinking that this would be a perfect time to bring back Piano Madam for a cameo, who would tell us the real backstory. After all, if it's color you want...

Ah yes, the infamous PianoMadam...

It appears there is lots of "color" within and throughout the piano industry. smile

Rick


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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453452 08/24/15 10:08 AM
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Yonkers and Hackensack would have been much more interesting names. 😀


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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Bob Snyder #2453459 08/24/15 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Our clients - including those on Vancouver Island - are bright enough to figure out where a piano is built, regardless of its name.

Which is precisely the point. Why should it be up to the clients to "figure" this out on their own? grin Why not simply state the facts up front in all of the marketing materials and be done with it? "Designed by S&S" doesn't really cut it IMO nor does the following language from the Steinway website:

Steinway & Sons provides technical assistance for the production of Essex pianos, to insure that Essex pianos are made to the specifications established by Steinway. And every Essex instrument is inspected by a team of highly experienced Steinway & Sons trained technicians before it leaves the factory. smile

But alas...we've had this discussion many times before.


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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Olek #2453495 08/24/15 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Olek
Thanks, I can say both names ring nothing to the European, as they do not relate to music at all.


Indeed, one absolute requirement in the naming process must have been to choose names that the lawyers could clear as having no trademark problems. Given the thousands of different piano makers that have existed over three centuries, that wasn't a trivial task.



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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Carey #2453511 08/24/15 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Carey

Which is precisely the point. Why should it be up to the clients to "figure" this out on their own? grin Why not simply state the facts up front in all of the marketing materials and be done with it? "Designed by S&S" doesn't really cut it IMO nor does the following language from the Steinway website:

Steinway & Sons provides technical assistance for the production of Essex pianos, to insure that Essex pianos are made to the specifications established by Steinway. And every Essex instrument is inspected by a team of highly experienced Steinway & Sons trained technicians before it leaves the factory. smile



That seems pretty straight forward to me.


Gary
Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Plowboy #2453528 08/24/15 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Plowboy
Originally Posted by Carey

Which is precisely the point. Why should it be up to the clients to "figure" this out on their own? grin Why not simply state the facts up front in all of the marketing materials and be done with it? "Designed by S&S" doesn't really cut it IMO nor does the following language from the Steinway website:

Steinway & Sons provides technical assistance for the production of Essex pianos, to insure that Essex pianos are made to the specifications established by Steinway. And every Essex instrument is inspected by a team of highly experienced Steinway & Sons trained technicians before it leaves the factory. smile

That seems pretty straight forward to me.

Sure it is - except for the production by WHO and WHERE part. ha



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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453561 08/24/15 05:15 PM
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One often does see private sellers of Boston and Essex pianos calling them Steinway in one way or another.

I have never seen or heard of Steinway representatives sending a demand for corrective action or cease and desist regarding encroachment on the Steinway brand to these sellers. They might have done it, but I am unaware of any.

I have seen them take action on people selling pianos that were not from the Steinway family of brands as Steinway made.

It is a fine line for sure but I do think Steinway weighed the brand confusion issue against the benefits and decided to expand the brand with more names. This probably is a better decision than selling lower quality lines under the same brand as Baldwin has done and Yamaha seems to be doing now.

Last edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT; 08/24/15 05:16 PM. Reason: typo, grammer

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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Micicle #2453625 08/24/15 11:47 PM
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An interesting thought,

This thread actually sparked a conversation with a customer today. This customer is an attorney and he brought up the point that the name of a city, county, or country cannot be owned as a brand in the way that a name like "Kleenex" or "Coca Cola" can be owned.

I don't know the law, but apparently one could use the name Boston or Essex in a way that would not infringe on the rights of these pianos distributed by Steinway because it is impossible to own the name of a place.




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Re: Boston and Essex name origin
Rich Galassini #2453627 08/24/15 11:55 PM
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But Kleenex was named for another capital city, Kleenex, Arizona! smile


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