Kimball Piano Company
1857 to 2002

W.W. KIMBALL PIANO CO., Est. 1857 in Chicago, IL.  The first address was on Lake St., but soon moved rear the Julius Bauer store at 99 S. Clark St. about 1858 to 1860. Then to Crosby Opera House on Washington St., which was destroyed by the Chicago fire in 1871. First Kimball Brand of pianos were made in 1888. But Kimball sold pianos prior to 1888 made by Hallet & Davis, Emerson, Chickering and H. P Hale; most of these were square pianos and were discontinued about 1880.

First Recorded  Serial Numbers: 1865-1400 1870-17000 1875-21000 1880-24000 1885-26000.
Kimball sold pianos prior to 1888 made by Hallet & Davis, Emerson, Chickering and H. P Hale.
        
Kimball Square Pianos made by Hale:
1870-40000 and 1875-45000
Kimball Squares made by Emerson:
1870-14000 1880-28000 1888-1500 1890-8500
1875-20000 1885-36000 1889-3500 1891-16000
First Kimball pianos were made in 1888.

The "Kimball" received endorsements from both the public and the professional, on the artistic elements of the piano world and that to an extent that has been rarely equaled. The Kimball received the highest awards at the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, May 1, to October 31, 1893. In 1902 Kimball produced a total of 22000 pianos. Also manufactured Dunbar, Harrison, Hinze and Whitney Pianos. The Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle, 1902, and the Panama-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, l910 and 1912. By 1920 the president of the company was Curtis N. Kimball; offices were in Kimball Hall, Chicago, Ill. and the factory was at 26th Street and California Blvd., Chicago.   

Kimball Serial Numbers

         

1888-1

1890-3200

1891-9000

1892-13000

1893-21000

1894-27000

1895-35000

1896-51000

1897-56000

1898-61000

1899-66000

1900-69000

1901-78200

1902-89000

1903-111000

1904-129000

1905-140000

1906-158200

1907-175000

1908-183000

1909-201000

1910-211000

1911-233000

1912-244200

1913-258000

1914-267800

1915-279800

1916-288000

1917-298200

1918-307000

1919-313000

1920-322000

1921-328000

1922-336000

1923-344000

1924-352000

1925-360400

1926-364000

1927-368000

1928-372100

1929-378000

1930-383000

1931-386000

1932-389000

1933-392000

1934-399000

1935-406000

1936-414000

1937-420000

1938-426000

1939-432000

1940-438000

1941-442000

1942-444000

1946-480000

1947-488000

1948-500000

1949-510000

1950-517000

1951-528000

1952-537020

1953-544200

1954-553000

1955-562300

1956-571300

1957-579000

1958-586500

1959-595500

1960-604000

1961-607400

1962-617900

1963-630500

1964-646800

1965-661300

1966-678500

1967-700100

1968-717900

1969-721500

1970-764200

1971-771000

1972-817000

1973-820000

1974-901000

1975-951000

1976-1000100

         

 Since 1976 some Kimball numbers are preceded by a letter.


Letters stand for:

R= Kimball Brand, J= Jasper American private label, C= Conn, T= Misc. Kimball Production of Grand Pianos stopped early 1996 and Verticals in April 1996.

         

1976-A00100

S00001

1977-A53000

S00716

1978-A92300

B00001

S16236

1979-B32551

S36482

1980-B65951

S54990

1981-B92350

D00001

S74800

1982-D22033

D23575

C03421

S82805

T00001

1983-T00801

D49626

C06451

S88925

1984-T11401

D76126

C09401

J13301

1985-T18233

D96301

C11301

J16901

1986-T29226

J20726

C14176

1987-T50826

J25601

C18001

1988-T68701

J28676

C19951

E03566

1989-T84376

J31676

C23001

1990-R00001

T92901

J34401

C25551

1991-R01251

J36103

C28051

1992-R07301

J36451

1993-R12501

J39901

1994-R17501

J45751

1995-R20401

J49801

1996-R22620

J52351

April 1996

 

Last # R24000

Last # J52990

Sold to Jasper Corp., in 1959. Jasper Corporation made pianos using the names, Kimball, W. W. Kimball, Jasper-American, Becker, Conn, De Voe & Sons, Harrison, Hinze, Krakauer, La Petite, Schuerman, Whitmore, Whitney, and Whittaker. In addition to various private label piano names using Kimball serial numbers until 1984. The Parent company was Kimball International, general offices at 1600 Royal St., Jasper, Ind. Had two piano factories, West Baden, Ind. and French Lick, Ind.

There were 84 Kimball Grand Pianos of this type that were used on stage for the opening ceremony in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Kimball's Bosendorfer division in Vienna, Austria has been the source of major design features of the Kimball line of grand pianos. The Kimball 5'8" and 6'7" grands have plate designs derived from the Bosendorfers of the same size, and the only American-made grands available with the high-gloss polyester finish, as used on Bosendorfer concert grands. Kimball 5'8" and 6'7" grands use tbe Schwander roller concert grand action, often used in Bosendorfers,  renowned for its crisp and articulate response. These actions are built by a Kimball affiliate in England, the world's oldest existing piano action manufacturer, founded in 1810.

Courtesy of The Bluebook of Pianos
http://www.bluebookofpianos.com
 

 The Bluebook of Pianos is an invaluable handbook for anyone who owns or plans to buy a piano. The only book of its kind available, it gives complete, practical guidelines for purchasing and caring for a piano. After an illustrated discussion of piano structure that explains the workings of both grand and upright pianos, the book gives careful advice for purchasing a new or used piano or player piano. Attention is given to important considerations such as price, tone, construction, consumer ratings and brand name recognition. The book goes on to discuss the care and service of a piano, including detailed information about tuning, moving, repairs, and cleaning. The expert advice in this book will help you enjoy your piano more as well as care for it better.

Robert T. Furst, Archivist
Bluebook of Pianos