Newcombe Piano Co, Ltd.

Newcombe Piano Co, Ltd. Founded in Toronto in 1878 by Octavius Newcombe (b Hankford-Barton, Devonshire, England, 19 Nov 1846, d Toronto? ca 1905).

Newcombe Piano Co, Ltd. Founded in Toronto in 1878 by Octavius Newcombe (b Hankford-Barton, Devonshire, England, 19 Nov 1846, d Toronto? ca 1905). Newcombe had been a partner 1871-8 with Mason & Risch before establishing his own firm, Octavius Newcombe & Co (incorporated as Newcombe Piano Co, Ltd, in 1912). He was joined in business in 1879 by his brother Henry at premises on Church St. A factory built in 1887 on Bellwoods Ave was destroyed by fire in 1926. It was not rebuilt; the firm acted only as a retailer thereafter until about 1934. Newcombe built all kinds of pianos - squares, grands, and uprights. A silver medal and the Jurors' Report of Commendation at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition (New Orleans 1884-5) are credited with helping to open the US market to the company. At the Colonial and Indian Exhibition (London 1886), Newcombe was awarded a medal and a diploma. There, also, Sir Arthur Sullivan selected a Newcombe grand piano for Queen Victoria; it was housed at Windsor Castle in the Audience Chamber. Another medal and diploma were received at the Chicago World's Fair (1893) and a gold medal at the Paris Exposition (1900). After the firm's demise the Newcombe line was carried on by Willis.


Further Reading

  • Kelly, Wayne. Downright Upright: A History of the Canadian Piano Industry (Toronto 1991)