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

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By December 1, 2014 Read More →

The New York Piano-forte Key Company

Early manufacturing in Peterborough was focused on textiles but by the end of the 19th century, the town was producing a myriad of products ranging from thermometers to baskets to shoes. This was due in part to the increased demand for consumer goods but also to the efforts of the town fathers to bring more industry into the community.

In 1895, the towPost 11 10 14 photon voted to offer a ten-year tax exemption to the New York Piano-forte Key Company to occupy the five-story factory building on Depot Street that had been vacated by the Coffin Shoe Company following the Depression of 1892. Hagen & Ruefer, owners of the New York company were manufacturers of keyboards for pianos and organs but also made upright pianos like this one. The Monadnock Center has two Hagen & Ruefer pianos. The company began operations and brought 50 workers into town. At first it seemed like a good new industry for Peterborough but the freight rates for such large and heavy products proved to be a disadvantage and the company struggled.  In 1905 the factory closed its doors and moved to Middletown, New York.  Six years later a fire destroyed their Middletown factory.