The Wurlitzer Building
Theme & Features: Original Wurlitzer factory and office complex, world-famous manufacturer of organs, jukeboxes, concert pedal harps, pianos
In the late 19th and the 20th century, the Wurlitzer Co. was known throughout the world as a leading manufacturer of musical instruments. Although their executive offices were in Chicago, the Wurlitzer Co. employed thousands of people in three manufacturing facilities located in North Tonawanda, Corinth, Mississippi, and DeKalb, Illinois. Our North Tonawanda factory was the world's largest musical instrument plant.
Among its many products were pianos, player pianos, concert pedal harps, organs, player organs, phonographs, jukeboxes, and electric keyboards. The “Mighty Wurlitzer” organs were a concert grade and were sold around the world.
Rudolph Wurlitzer came from a European family which was in the musical instrument business. He came to America in 1856 to set up an American company to sell and service the quality instruments made in Germany . He established an American manufacturing facility in 1859. He was associated with a number of joint ventures, especially with three carousel manufacturers Armitage, Herschell, and Spillman.
The North Tonawanda plant, in the Martinsville section of town, was Rudolph Wurlitzer's main plant, probably in large part because of the Erie Canal – Niagara River shipping and delivery capabilities of its location and the skilled German-speaking labor pool. The plant had showrooms, customer and product training areas, public relations reception rooms, employee recreation areas, locker rooms, showers, and cafeterias.
For a photo gallery on the Wurlitzer Building, please click HERE.
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