Year that Henry F. Millers ceased to be made in America?

Posted by: Lorna88

Year that Henry F. Millers ceased to be made in America? - 05/05/12 04:20 PM

In approximately what year did Henry F. Miller pianos cease to be made in America?

According to their website, they take great pride in their American-rooted history, which dates back to Henry F Miller establishing his company in the 1880's. This history is very well documented (including pics of their ancient factory, etc.).

The reason I'm asking is that we have in our family a 1963 HFM. (At least it was purchased brand new in 1963.)

Was the year 1963 "pre buy-out," or "post buy-out" of the HFM company? We have no intention of selling this piano, as it holds sentimental value to our family. But can anyone tell me anything about this piano, i.e, in what country it was made, or its general history?

Its serial number is 127677.

Thank very much for any clarification that anyone can provide. :-)
Posted by: BDB

Re: Year that Henry F. Millers ceased to be made in America? - 05/05/12 04:28 PM

Henry Miller was an old company which was absorbed into the Aeolian American conglomerate. Aeolian American ceased operations in 1983. By then Henry Miller was one of dozens of names stenciled onto identical pianos, a process that had begun in the 1930s.
Posted by: Eric Gloo

Re: Year that Henry F. Millers ceased to be made in America? - 05/05/12 05:17 PM

Pierce Piano Atlas lists serial number 127677 as being made in 1967.

Your piano was made by the Aeolian Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee.
Posted by: Lorna88

Re: Year that Henry F. Millers ceased to be made in America? - 05/05/12 05:45 PM

Thanks for your prompt and authoritative reply. Much appreciated!
Posted by: Lorna88

Re: Year that Henry F. Millers ceased to be made in America? - 05/05/12 05:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Eric Gloo
Pierce Piano Atlas lists serial number 127677 as being made in 1967.

Your piano was made by the Aeolian Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee.


1967, you say? Well, so much for the accuracy of earnest, yet foggy, family recollection!
Posted by: Dale Fox

Re: Year that Henry F. Millers ceased to be made in America? - 05/05/12 09:29 PM

Pierce Piano Atlas depends on sometimes foggy records, so don't discount your family recollection too hastily. Besides, from 63-67 it was still just an Aeolian product made to somewhat different standards than Henry had.

I'm currently rebuilding an HFMiller upright player from 1905ish. Fabulously well built piano. Scaling left a bit to be desired. Someone decided a hockey stick would make a good treble bridge design.
Posted by: R Hufford, RPT

Re: Year that Henry F. Millers ceased to be made in America? - 05/13/12 12:48 AM

The great, tremendous pianos built by Henry F. Miller ceased to be produced by what could be called the holders of the original company, that is by people with a reasonable commitment to the quality of the product similar to that of the original Henry F. Miller, who was long dead by this time, when the company was sold in c. 1931. I don't know if the sale was to Aeolian-American or to whom but the result was that the company was now being sold down on the residue of the reputation for quality and originality of the name built up over several generations, as has happened with numerous American companies. This process was certainly regrettable, but perhaps, unavoidable with the drastic decline of both the market and the importance of quality pianos in American life where now, suddenly, too many stunningly high-quality designs had been, and were still being produced. Still, I would say a Henry F. Miller built in the 60's, a few decades later, in an American factory is probably far better an instrument than one made overseas.
This is true of nearly all of the older American companies whose names have been bought up by traders and connivers and are being used by offshore factories to name products which, other than having black and white keys, and, perhaps, 88 of them, and the name, are greatly dissimlar to the output of the earlier American factories who would, in general, proudly affix their name to the best of their lines. This is a legal representation of continuity which has little basis in technical detail. One should wonder what the quality of an instrument is in which the parent factory thinks so little of its name that it uses one from across the ocean or puts different names on the same product. Caveat Emptor.
Regards, Robin Hufford, RPT