William Steinway

William Steinway

American businessman, one of the members of the Steinway family company
Date of Birth: 05.03.1835
Country: USA

Biography of William Steinway

William Steinway, an American businessman, was born in 1835 in Seesen, Brunswick, Germany. He was the fourth son of Henry Engelhard Steinway. After receiving his education and musical training in Germany, William worked as an apprentice at a piano manufacturing factory for a couple of years.

William Steinway

In 1850, William immigrated to the United States with his father and brothers. In 1853, his father opened the company 'Steinway & Sons', and William played a significant role in the family business for many years. Although he became the head of the family business in 1889, he had a well-defined and important role in its prosperity.

By the late 1850s, the company was selling around 500 instruments per year, and by the 1860s, it employed 350 people, mostly German citizens. As the business expanded, the factory constantly moved to larger premises. William represented the public face of the company and was an active member of the Democratic Party, contributing to the success of the business. He opened piano sales halls outside the country and established a subsidiary factory in Hamburg, Germany.

William purchased a large plot of land and built a town called Steinway Village in northern Astoria, New York. This is where the main production and workers were relocated. The town had houses for the workers, a church, a library, a swimming pool, a park, and a kindergarten. The Steinway- Village School provided education in German and music for the children of the factory workers.

The 'Steinway & Sons' company continued to thrive, and by the mid-1870s, its capital reached enormous sums. William was incredibly successful in advertising the 'Steinway' pianos, coming up with innovative marketing strategies. He persuaded famous composers to endorse the brand and published a list of distinguished individuals who owned 'Steinway' instruments.

In 1888, William acquired patents from the 'Daimler' company and founded the 'Daimler Motor Co' in New York. However, many of his ambitious plans remained unrealized. Sadly, William passed away on November 30, 1896. His remaining projects, such as the tramway lines in the East River and Manhattan, were left unfinished. William Steinway was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, and the main street in Astoria was renamed in his honor.

Throughout his life, William Steinway played an active role in the family business and was a highly influential figure in the prosperity of 'Steinway & Sons'. He was a thoughtful and knowledgeable marketing specialist, known for his skills in public relations.