A comprehensive reference of 219 antique banjo makers for your banjo addiction
Ebenezer Batelle started selling sheet music from his Boston Book Store in 1783.
The book store changed hands several times and came into the ownership of Colonel Samuel H. Parker in 1811. In 1823 Parker employed a trainee called Oliver Ditson and the sheet music business was profitable enough to be separated to its own entity, in 1835, to include music publishing which was then being organized by Ditson. At this time the company became known as Parker & Ditson but following Parker's death in 1842 Ditson acquired the whole business which became known as Oliver Ditson.
The expansion of the company proceeded at pace with the acquisition of the publishing catalogues of, amongst others, William Hall & Son and John Firth & Son and with musical instrument production following the establishment of Lyon & Healy in Chicago in 1864 and John Church Company of Cincinnati Ohio in 1860.
When John C Haynes joined the business in 1857 as a partner it became Oliver Ditson & Co. Ditson ensure tight control of the business by installing familly members in the main offices in New York and Philadelphia. On his death in the company changed its name to Oliver Ditson Company and continued trading until 1937 when the company was sold to Theodore Presser.
Images courtesy of Steve Benson
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