Henry Mason and Emmons Hamlin founded their piano company, Mason and Hamlin, back in 1854. Both men had a background in music, although Mason was the musician, as well as a businessman, while Hamlin focused on being an inventor who worked on reed organs. It didn’t take these men too long to become the top-selling reed organ manufacturers in the United States. However, it did take them almost thirty years before they began to design and manufacture pianos.
Their pianos seemed to magically appeal to pianists around the world though and it wasn’t long before they were considered the fiercest competitor of the Steinway piano. Unfortunately, this piano company changed hands numerous times after they received that significant recognition and the company seemed to be in questionable times more often than not. That all changed in 1996 though when the Burgett Brothers purchased this company when it filed for bankruptcy.
The Burgetts already owned PianoDisc, so it was not much of a reach that they could turn this company around and turn it into the extraordinary business it had once been. Since that purchase, Mason and Hamlin has made between two hundred and three hundred and fifty pianos each year in their Massachusetts factory. While that does not seem like a lot, the company prefers to focus on quality over quantity.
Many of the older piano models have been brought back in production, as the new owners decided that they shouldn’t mess with perfection. Six of those models are now available and they are available with finishes that include satin and ebony. The satin finishes are lacquer, while the ebony is more of a polyester. Almost every piano is available in the Monticello case design, although the Chrome art-case design was introduced in 2009.
The Cambridge Collection was introduced in 2014, when this company was celebrating its one hundred and sixtieth anniversary. The models within that collection features two-toned cabinets with hand-rubbed finishes that used ebony. The grand pianos had exotic veneers on the fallboard, the underside of the lid, the music desk, and the inner rim.
Mason & Hamlin pianos may still be considered a rival to the Steinway pianos, although the tone of these pianos has a more powerful base with a clearer treble. The best part is that every one of the models has a consistent sound.
Thankfully, the Burgett brothers rescued this business from bankruptcy, so that pianists can continue to play on these fantastic pianos today.