Newcombe Piano Co., Ltd. was founded in Toronto by Octavius Newcombe in 1878. The quality of Newcombe pianos were recognized at several international exhibitions. Following a factory fire in 1926, the Newcombe name was purchased by the Montreal piano retailer and manufacturer Willis & Company Ltd.
Before establishing his own firm, Octavius Newcombe was a partner of Mason & Risch from 1871-78. Newcombe eventually established his own firm in Toronto, Octavius Newcombe & Co. in 1878. The firm was later incorporated as Newcombe Piano Co., Ltd, in 1912. Octavius Newcombe’s brother, Henry joined the business in 1879 at premises on Church St. In 1887, a factory was built on Bellwoods Ave.
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 1884-85) are credited with helping to open the US market to the company. At the 1866 Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London, England, Newcombe Pianos were awarded a medal and a diploma. At the same exhibition, 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 in 1893 and a gold medal at the Paris Exposition in 1900.
The Newcombe factory on Bellwoods Ave. was destroyed by a fire in 1926. The factory was not rebuilt. The piano retailer and manufacturer, Willis & Company Ltd., acquired the rights to the Newcombe name and built pianos under the Newcombe name until the 1960s.