Stultz and Bauer: The Tale of Two Piano Makers
This is a short story of two entrepreneur piano makers Henry Stultz and Frederick Bauer. Stultz seemed to have one hardship after another, while Bauer seemed to be stable throughout his career and successfully grew his business.
Established in 1882 Henry Stultz Sr. and Frederick Bauer started the well known piano making firm of Stultz and Bauer. Frederick Bauer was related to Jacob Doll, another well known piano maker. The company quickly grew and in order to meet growing demands, the firm raised money by selling stock and incorporating in 1892.
Maybe 16 years is long enough for a partnership, and by 1896, Henry Stultz Sr. leaves the firm and becomes partner in the Dolgeville Piano Case Company.
Bauer remains sole owner of Stultz & Bauer.
But two years later in 1898, the Dolge Piano Case Company goes into bankruptcy, and it sold at auction for $4,006 to the Jacob Brothers Piano Company.
Just a year later in 1899, Henry Stultz Sr. dies of Pneumonia at the young age of 52.
In 1900 Henry Stultz Jr. meets with the well known Piano action maker George Bothner. Henry and George, along with Charles Kretschmann start making pianos under Stultz and Co. Unfortunately, the company was short lived and in 1902 Stultz and Company go bankrupt. The Assets were bought by the large Bjur Brothers piano manufacturing company at auction.
Henry Stultz Jr. goes to work in the case making department of the Kohler and Campbell factory, but a year later in 1905 he again partners with George Bothner, and together they start the firm The Stultz Piano Case Company with $10,000.
The POMIW Union Journal reports the Stultz Piano Case Co. goes backrupt in 1907. Just a three year run.
In 1910, Charles and his brother George Stultz start the Stultz Bros. Piano Company. But the company is short lived because of slow economic conditions and with WW1 in 1914. George Stultz would later buy the Universal Piano Company, but this company too was short lived.
Times sure were changing quickly in the early 1920’s, and in 1922 the Stultz and Bauer company introduce a whole new line of pianos that also included player pianos, but by 1927 went out of business.
Kohler & Campbell purchases the Stultz and Bauer company in 1928. Kohler and Campbell was one of the few companies to survive the Great Depression. Frederick would shortly after pass away in 1930.