Steinway & Sons Factory Tour

Hi F&F,

When I was a school girl I liked going on class trips. Those trips meant leaving the confines of the classroom to take learning out into the wider world. For me, learning in the classroom sometimes felt like I was wearing an ill-fitting thinking cap. On the other hand, learning on a class trip meant letting my hair down (or in my instance letting my hair up and out). It was freeing and fun.

Recently I had a class trip type experience. My work colleagues and I took a Steinway & Sons Factory Tour.  In our work, we tell the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The narrative is multifaceted; with emphasis on urban industrial innovation, artistry, craftsmanship, and workforce diversity.  Steinway and Sons has a similar story.  Taking the Steinway & Sons Factory tour was a great way to learn about and learn from another torch-bearer of urban industry.

Entrance to the Queens New York Factory

Here are a few photos taken with my cellphone.  Please note, due to safety concerns, we were directed not to take shots in areas where employees were working with dangerous equipment.

The process of handcrafting a Steinway piano is amazingly complex.  A variety of woods, sourced from around the world, is painstakingly worked by the skilled hands of craftsmen from around the world. Raw materials and human mastery in concert; resulting in instruments that can be found in the finest concert halls in the world.

The building of a Steinway is a big story; a story beyond my writing skills; a story best seen.  I encourage you to watch the documentary Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037. The film follows the “birth” of a Steinway grand piano and features Steinway employees and famous musicians.

Additionally, below is a YouTube clip of The Making of a Steinway – A Steinway & Sons Factory Tour Narrated by John Steinway.

I consider opportunities to learn, work and play a windfall. The only thing missing from this class trip was the yellow school bus.




About atreegrowsinbklyn

I’m an analog girl living in a digital world. I’m happy except when I’m sad. I’m serious, smart and sophisticated except when I’m silly, obtuse and crude. I’m ambitious and disciplined; except when I’m apathetic and self indulgent. I‘m thoughtful, generous and honest; except when I’m insensitive, cheap and lying. I’m grateful; I’m grateful; I am grateful.
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11 Responses to Steinway & Sons Factory Tour

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    We absolutely LOVED that documentary. It was amazing how gripping and suspenseful it was.
    What a great “class trip” to actually get to see the real thing!
    And your photos are terrific, Tree. They look like pieces of abstract art. Well done!

    • I agree. The documentary is excellent. Our tour guide makes an appearance in it; inspecting the work of others. 🙂
      I’m glad you liked the photos. I’ve been having a lot of fun using the cellphone camera.

  2. That’s very interesting. As we in Hamburg are also having a Steinway & Sons Factory, I should check if they also do Factory Tours 😉
    Great story 🙂

    • Please do check for a tour at the Hamburg factory. I’m sure you will enjoy the experience and perhaps you will be inspired to share with a post to your blog.

      I’m a little bit of an obsessive researcher so after my tour I went on line to visit a few Steinway forums. There is an ongoing debate as to which factory has the most skilled workers and thus produces better pianos.

      Thank for visiting.

  3. How fascinating! I can’t imagine the craftsmanship imvolved. Thanks for the heads up re: the documentary!

  4. rutheh says:

    Thanks, I felt as if I were right there with you. Very cool.

  5. pix & kardz says:

    so cool! fascinating to see how all those bits and pieces are crafted to become a masterpiece that almost plays itself….

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