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The Aeolian Company

The Aeolian

The company started out in Meriden, CT., 18 W. 23rd St., New York, NY. Established 1891, and later were known as Æolian Organ and Music Co.

Then they as THE MECHANICAL ORGUINETTE CO. and were located at 11 E. 14th St.; moved in 1880 to 1831 Broadway, New York and to Greenpoint, Long Island, NY in 1883; founded by William Barnes Tremaine in 1878.

The organette was invented in 1878 by Mason J. Mathews, an Englishman who came to the U.S. in 1870, (qv). It was made by the Munroe Organ Reed Co. C.H. Ditson, son of Oliver Ditson, became Treasurer in 1881.

Tremaine later formed The Æolian Co. and acquired the Munroe Organ Reed Co., setting the stage for the massive expansion carried out by his son H.B. Tremaine. The mechanically operated reed organ reached its highest development with the Æolian Orchestrelle, and it was Æolian which made the name Pianola a household word.

The original Pianola was a push-up piano player. For an extensive history see the Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments by Q. David Bowers. Serial number for Aeolian player organ: 1896 - 14164. Serial numbers of the Æolian Orchestrelle:

1898 - 1788 1903 - 8121 1911 - 8899
1898 - 1801 1904 - 7718 1912 - 5952
1901 - 2644 1905 - 8776 1912 - 8952
1902 - 2910 1906 - 7445 1914 - 8892
1903 - 4217 1907 - 7902 1914 - 8988
1903 - 7445 1909 – 8243

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