19 Grove St. ~ PO Box 58 ~ Peterborough, NH 03458 ~ 603-924-3235 

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By September 28, 2014 Read More →

Briggs’ Patent Portable Piano Stools

Briggs’ Patent Portable Piano StoolsThe products of Peterborough’s industrial past form an important part of the Monadnock Center’s collection. This screw- style piano stool was produced by the Brigg’s Piano Stool Company between 1870 and 1891.  Joshua Briggs (b. 1825) began his career as a carpenter and soon produced piano stools as odd jobs for folks in town.  In the late 19th century most middle class America households owned a piano or an organ and Briggs saw the opportunity to manufacture his piano stools on a large scale.  He opened a shop in North Peterborough near the Wilder Thermometer and Barometer Factory.

By 1885, Brigg’s business had grown and occupied a three-story factory building in West Peterborough. His company, Briggs’ Patent Piano Stools, had received awards from the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic’s Association and the New England Agricultural Society. An article in the Peterborough Transcript from 1881 reported, “The reputation of Briggs’ Patent Portable Piano Stools is first class, and his goods are known and are in demand all over the world.”

Briggs produced a variety of piano stool styles in addition to the screw-style shown here. The Monadnock Center has five Briggs stools including the ottoman style with a compartment for holding sheet music. Briggs stools can be found throughout the United States and can be identified by the paper label glued to the underside of the seat.