Monday, October 19, 2015

Ambridge memorabilia: business card of Wm. C. Ott

Business card, Wm. C. Ott, front

Business card, Wm. C. Ott, back

I've been looking, without success, for information on Wm. C. Ott and Jacob Bros. Pianos ever since I acquired this card many months ago.

I'm not quite sure what the script on the front of the card says. Alma Conkle? Was that person a customer or potential customer? I have no idea.

As to year, maybe pre-1910? The Ambridge Borough once ended at what is now called 8th St., previously called Bryden Rd. Land north of Bryden was called Economy, even after the land had been sold by the Harmony Society. Old ads frequently give the location of a business north of Bryden as "Economy."

[Update October 20, 2015: Butch O'Keefe found some information about Jacob Bros. Pianos at Antique Piano Shop. According that website, the piano company started in 1878 in New York and Boston, selling pianos made by another company. In 1905, they started building pianos in Massachusetts, selling them at both retail and wholesale. "There is no mention of Jacob Brothers after about 1955."

While I now know more about Jacob Bros. Pianos, because that company existed for decades and wasn't local, I still know nothing about Wm. C. Ott, "Sole Agent" in Beaver County for the company.]

[Update October 25, 2015:
Relentless researcher Maria Notarianni has found some information on a Wm. C. Ott, and there's a connection to John S. Duss and his music career. I can't say for certain that this is the same Wm. C. Ott of the business card above. But it's nevertheless interesting:

The Wm. C. Ott Co. of Beaver Falls published some of Duss' music. You can see a scan of the 1895 sheet music for "Lifes Voyage: Waltz Song and Refrain" that's in the Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection held by Johns Hopkins University.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh lists sheet music published by Wm. C. Ott of Beaver Falls in its Pittsburgh Sheet Music Collection, including some composed by Duss.

Good work, Maria!]

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