York, Pa.’s Weaver Organ and Piano Co.: ‘Guaranteed to give permanent satisfaction’

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This image was used to promote Weaver Organ and Piano products made in York, Pa. This card appears to be 1920s vintage. (See sales pitch set to verse on the card’s back below.) Also of interest: Junior Curators exhibit: The name of Lefty York of York, Pa., lives on and The organ: ‘It is a whole orchestra in itself’.

Dan Meckley III’s father was an exec at Weaver Organ & Piano Co. for years before its closing in the 1950s.
So history-minded Dan III has made sure the York community has a musical legacy of that venerable’s company’s products at the York County Heritage Trust’s Historical Society and Agricultural and Industrial museums.
Recently, Dan put forth advertising cards – actually, miniature handbills – touting the company’s organ and pianos, made at its four-story factory on North Broad Street.
Some of the cards are targeted to families, who kids would make prospective users. Others were targeted to upscale market. Those in his collection addressed women suggesting that they were decision-makers on the purchase of pianos and organs… .


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The back of the handbill (above) used to promote Weaver Organ and Piano.
One card implies a lifetime guarantee: “Endorsed by the World’s Leading Musicians, Highest standard of excellence. Guaranteed to give permanent satisfaction.”
Here are some interesting notes from Dan, George Sheets’ “Made in York” and my “In the Thick of the Fight,” about pianos and organs and Weaver:

- The company was found in 1870, and Weaver peaked in 1929 with production of 45 pianos a day, made by a work force of 200 people. Products included player, grand and upright pianos.
- Player pianos were a primary form of home entertainment before radios displaced them.
- Facing the growth of radio makers and a Depression-era economy, Weaver retooled its unsold inventory of player pianos for resell as regular pianos.
- Ivory for use as keys was shipped to York in thin strips, where they were cut to length. Salepeople left behind the tips of elephant tusks, as calling cards.
- World War II actually caused a sales increase because the military ordered pianos, painted olive drab, for use at USO’s and military installations around the world.
- When the company closed in 1959, only 18 American piano makers were still in business. At one time, about 280 companies made pianos.
- The Weaver building stands today on North Broad Street. Will it be developed into condos or housing, as has been the case of so many other big brick factories around York?

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, For photo fans, Local landmarks, Made in York, Mail bag, Nostalgia & memories, People, War, Women's history, World War II. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to York, Pa.’s Weaver Organ and Piano Co.: ‘Guaranteed to give permanent satisfaction’

  1. Thom says:

    I have just purchased an original Weaver Organ that is missing the top part which I’m to believe is a mirror. I can not find one anywhere. Any suggestions?

  2. bob waters says:

    My church has a Weaver organ that we would like to dispose of. Any takers?
    Bob W

  3. Bob Waters says:

    Our church has a 1908 Weaver pump organ,
    style Favorite Oak 30, #57513 that we would like
    to sell. Please contact me at the above email address if you have any interest. Location is
    Towson, Maryland.

  4. Jim McClure says:

    Bob, suggest contacting York County Heritage Trust, 717-848-1587, and see if there’d be an interest there is receiving it. The trust has a Weaver piano exhibit at one of its sites.
    This goes without saying, but I’ll say it: Please don’t ditch it or put it out for large trash pickup. It would have value to someone.
    Thanks for contacting and I’ll put forth a blog post to call more attention to this.
    Jim McClure

  5. Paul Culbertson says:

    We have a Weaver Organ and Piano Co. Piano. It is upright, from looking into the serial number it was made in 1914. It is in pretty good condition, still plays and is in tune. Any suggestions on how to find someone who may be interested in purchasing it? Please let me know.
    Thank you.

  6. Sean Brown says:

    When I purchased my home, I found a Weaver pump organ in the basement, seems to be in very good condition. I would like to learn more about it- year, value, restoration possibilities, etc. Any information would be very helpful, thank you.

  7. Jim McClure says:

    Sean, I’d contact the York County Heritage Trust, specifically Lila Fourhman-Shaull, http://www.yorkheritage.org, as a place to start.
    Jim McClure

  8. Philip Sklad says:

    I have an upright or spinnet Livingston piano, made by the Weaver Piano Company sometime prior to 1946. I found a number stamped on the back 80680 (or B0)680. It is in good shape and holds a tune. I am trying to find some information on the piano so that I can estimate its value.
    Phil Sklad

  9. Jim McClure says:

    Phil, If anyone could steer you in right direction, it would be Daniel G. Meckley III, whose father worked there. You can get contact information for him by googling his name.
    Jim McClure

  10. Susan Larney says:

    I brought a Weaver pump organ with a serial number 65346 on it. I want to learn more about the organ.

  11. Amy says:

    I have an upright piano that is stamped: “PC Weaver, Chicago, USA”
    I have only been able to find info on Weaver pianos from York, PA. Does anyone have any info on Weaver pianos with that label?

  12. Beverly says:

    I recently found an old ledger book with dozens of old postcards glued on the pages. There are many Weaver Organs and Piano Co. postcards in the book along with postcards from other York businesses that closed their doors a long time ago. I’m guessing the scrap book was assembled around 1900. Any suggestions of who I could show it to find out if there is any value? Thank you.

  13. JOANNE CULP says:

    I’VE ACQUIRED A WEAVER PIANO OF YORK PA. DO YOU KNOW OF
    ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO BUY IT? I CANNOT FIND A YEAR WHEN IT WAS MADE OR ANY LABELS ON THE PIANO.
    PLEASE ADVISE ME HOW TO SELL IT.
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION IN THIS MATTER.
    I LIVE IN FROSTBURG MARYLAND-301-689-8567.

  14. Cheryl Bratton says:

    Where can I find the serial number on my Weaver piano? And is there anyone in the Spokane, WA area who has one or who can work on one?

  15. Teresa Fowler says:

    I recently purchased an upright PC Weaver, Chicago, USA piano and it needs some interior work. Several ivories need to be replaced and there are several keys that don’t work (I assume that there are either missing strings or hammers but we haven’t opened it up yet). Should I try to have someone “restore” or simply replace all the strings? I’m having issues finding any kind of information on the maker except I’ve seen that they were only in business for about 25 years. What I have seen in my online searches suggests that the $200 I paid for the piano is about the total value of the piano but I doubt this info. My piano has ornate carved claw feet, carved work going up the sides and on the front with an absolutely beautiful cherry finish which appears to be original. I don’t want to destroy the integrity of the antique but I want to be able to play it and enjoy it. Any suggestions?

  16. Laura Blum says:

    I have an O.D. Weaver & Co. of Chicago pump organ Manufactured for L. Grunewald Co., New Orleans, LA. I would love to sell it and if not to donate it to a museum. I am not sure where to locate the serial number. Also, any suggestions on selling it or donating it would be appreciated.

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