CWRU Links


S. BRAINARD'S SONS was Cleveland's leading 19th-century musical-instrument dealer and music publisher. SILAS BRAINARD founded the company in 1836 and opened a piano store in the American House hotel on Superior Ave., selling Chickering pianos shipped from the factory in Boston. In 1845 he purchased Watson's Hall, which had been built in 1840, and renamed it Melodeon Hall. In 1860 the name was changed to Brainard's Hall (later Opera House), and in 1875 to the GLOBE THEATER. In Jan. 1864 Brainard began publishing Western Musical World, a monthly journal of articles, hints to musicians, and sheet music. In 1869 the name was changed to Brainard's Musical World. Brainard took his sons, Chas. S. and Henry M., into the business, and in 1871 the company became S. Brainard's Sons. In 1876 they built a new 4-story building on Euclid Ave. near E. 4th St. to accommodate the store and publishing house. Its interior was fitted with massive woodwork, gas light, and a steam-driven elevator. In the 1870s and 1880s, Brainard's published vocal and instrumental music, songbooks, and especially political and patriotic songs. In 1878 S. Brainard's Sons established an office in Chicago; the company left Cleveland altogether in 1889, moved to Chicago, and continued to publish Brainard's Musical World until 1895. Henry M. Brainard remained in Cleveland to operate his own store, an outlet for Steinway pianos.