Schoenhut's Toy Piano is Editor's Pick Among Top 5 Toddler Pianos in 2019
Posted on February 14 2020
Pssst...Did You Know: We Did it First!
As most of you know because we proudly preach our story, Albert Schoenhut (1848-1912) made the first toy piano dating back to 1872, when he opened Schoenhut Piano Company in Philadelphia. It later became known as A. Schoenhut Company and was incorporated in 1897. They established a reputation, based on German handicraft traditions, and created toy pianos along with other musical instruments in the early days. Eventually, they introduced dolls, play sets, games and more and they became the largest toy manufacturer in America. In 1919, Schoenhut patented his “All-Wood Perfection Art Doll” and in 1997, the United States Postal Service issued stamps of Classic American Dolls and included his wooden dolls as part of the collection.
Fast-forward: We’ve Always Stayed at The Top and Part of History
Case in point, Thomas Boxtiger is the Head Music Editor for armchairempire.com, releasing The 5 Best Toddler Pianos of 2019. It has reviews and a guide. Boxtiger says, “The piano is a great introductory instrument for toddlers - I've put together a short list of the best toddler pianos on the market today, so you can kick-start your child's musical involvement in a fun, educational, and affordable way.” His Editor’s Pick: Schoenhut Learn-to-Play Toy Piano with 25-Keys and Patented Play-by-Color Tri-Play Learning System.
More from Boxtiger's reviews include: "The Schoenhut 25 Key earn its moniker of “My First Piano”. It is an educational and fun way to introduce your child to this musical instrument and to music in general. It is designed to encourage creativity in regards to music and improves hand-eye coordination as well.
This toddler piano comes with several helpful features such as the play-by-color method that allows toddlers to learn how to play music in a fun manner."
A Little Schoenhut History
Albert Schoenhut (1848-1912) was born in Wurtenberg, Germany to a toy-making family. His father and grandfather made wooden dolls, rocking horses, and wagons. At a young age, Albert began making toy pianos in his home. The hammers on the early toy pianos struck a sounding bar made of glass instead of the strings used on real pianos. He later exchanged the glass bars for those made of metal, making the instruments more durable. Albert's toy pianos, more than just playthings, stayed in tune and were accompanied by sheet music to encourage children to play.
In 1866, John Dahl, a buyer for Wanamaker's department store, heard of young Albert's talent and brought the 17-year old to Philadelphia where he worked as a repairman on glass sounding pieces in German toy pianos that had been damaged in shipping.
Albert struck out on his own in 1872, founding the Schoenhut® Piano Company. As his toy piano business grew, Albert added other instruments including a ukulele-banjo, xylophone, and glockenspiel. He also expanded his line to include dolls, circus figures, and toys.
By the time of Albert's death in 1912, Schoenhut Piano Company® was the largest toy company in America and the first in the United States to export toys to Germany. The business then passed through a succession of owners located in various parts of the United States. In 1984, Frank Trinca purchased the company. He continued manufacturing some of the toy piano models that had been designed by Albert in the early 1900's. Twelve years later, wanting help with new concepts and in expanding the business, he asked his brother and sister-in-law, Len and Renee Trinca of St. Augustine Beach, Florida, to become partners. Optimistic about the potential for Schoenhut with its excellent reputation and enamored with the small instruments, they jumped at the chance. Len and Renee acquired ownership in 1996. Four years later, they moved the entire contents of the factory from NY to a new facility in St. Augustine.