Æolian Company / Vocalion – Aeolian

The 78rpm-Club

The Æolian Company was a manufacturer of player organs and pianos. They created Vocalion Records and operated the label from 1917 to December 1924.

In 1916 the Æolian Co. started making Vocalion phonographs and in 1917/8 started Vocalion Records, a maker of high-quality discs which in December 1924 was sold to Brunswick Records.

Æolian was first located at 841 Broadway, in the heart (and soul) of the piano district; the company later moved to 23rd Street, and then to 360 Fifth Avenue. Aeolian Hall (1912–13), 33 West 42nd Street, housed the firm’s general offices and demonstration rooms as a recital hall on the 43rd Street side, where many noted musicians performed, and was where the first Vocalions were made. The building was sold by Aeolian in 1924. The firm's pipe-organ factory was in Garwood, N.J., until the merger with the E.M. Skinner Co.

The firm returned to Fifth Avenue in 1925. The firm’s facilities in the new Aeolian Building included a 150-seat recital hall, recording studios for Duo Art piano rolls, offices, design studios, drafting rooms, and a director’s room in the upper stories. The Aeolian Company (as Aeolian American Corp.) remained in the Aeolian Building until 1938, after which it leased half of Chickering Hall on West 57th St.


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