Lesage Pianos Ltd.
Lesage Pianos Ltd. A piano and organ manufacturing firm established in Ste-Thérèse-de-Blainville (renamed Ste-Thérèse), near Montreal, early in 1891 by Damase Lesage (d September 1923 or 1924). In 1892 Lesage went into partnership with Procule Piché and the firm became Lesage & Piché. Adélard Lesage (1879-1954), the son of Damase, later joined his father, and the name Lesage & Fils was adopted. Production rapidly increased, reaching an output of 500 pianos yearly, and Lesage & Fils became the most important supplier of pianos in Quebec. It produced instruments under its own name but also on behalf of the C.W. Lindsay and Willis companies. Because Willis & Co wanted to manufacture its own instruments, it acquired a majority of the shares in Lesage & Fils ca 1900. Adélard Lesage eventually sold his interest to the Willis family and in 1911 founded his own company, A. Lesage; he was joined by his sons Jacques-Paul ca 1925 and Gérard in 1929. The new concern flourished, and the factory was enlarged in 1916 and again in 1926. In 1930 Lesage bought the Craig Piano Co, which had been established in Montreal in 1856, in 1934 the Bell Piano and Organ Co of Guelph, Ont, and in 1939 the Weber Piano Co of Kingston, Ont. In addition to the pianos bearing his name, Lesage continued to manufacture such brand names as Bell, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Belmont, all well known in Canada.
In 1942 the business adopted the name Lesage Pianos Ltd/Les Pianos Lesage Ltée, naming Jacques-Paul as president, Gérard as vice-president, and the latter's son Jacques as director of marketing. The total production numbered about 2100 up to the year 1900 and rose to over 30,000 for the period 1900-50. Production fell to an annual 500 in 1986 when the Lesage family ceded the firm to the PSC Management Group company of Toronto which attempted a turnaround under the name of Inter-Piano Ltd. In 1987 PSC closed the factory on Lesage St, which had received this name shortly after the 1911 founding of the firm. In 1988 Joseph Rösh and his spouse acquired the firm which was shut down the next year.
The enduring popularity of the pianos made by Lesage was due to their excellent sound as well as to the elegance and variety of their design. Lesage specialized in uprights, although it did make some grand pianos. Although instruments had previously been exported to Europe, South America, Japan and Australia, distribution became exclusively Canadian in the 1970s.