20 December 2009

Tracing artifacts

The December meeting of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society started with a presentation by a student award winner, a descendant of the well known Ontario-based Heintzman company.

According to the company information at www.hzmpiano.com/profile.aspx?page=greets Heintzman & Co. Ltd. was a piano manufacturing and retailing business that was based in Toronto from 1866~1978. The company was founded by Theodore August Heintzman who apprenticed in piano building about 1831. In 1978~86 the business was relocated to Hanover, Ontario under the amended name Heintzman Ltd.

If you have a Heintzman piano and don't know much about its history look for the serial number and obtain the date of manufacture from the table at www.hzmpiano.com/techinfo.aspx?page=howold
More detailed records can be found in the company fonds at the Archives of Ontario which include details such as the type of wood used, dates of various stages of manufacture, and where the piano was originally shipped, either to a retailer or original private purchaser.

A bonus in going to the sites above is the background piano music, beautiful but guaranteed to drive most normal teenagers away.

A second presentation at the same meeting was on tracing the history of an upright clock from the early 19th century. Although the clock had no serial number by connecting to a network of local clock enthusiasts distinctive aspects of the construction and face allowed the place and approximate date of manufacture to be established.

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