Steinway and Sons Factory
- Historically Known As: Steinway Village
Steinway Village: A Company Town
A desire to remove employees from Manhattan's teeming humanity, particularly organized labor and "the machinations of the anarchists and socialists," inspired William to purchase 400 acres across the East River in a bucolic, sparsely-populated area of Astoria, New York.
With space for much-needed expansion, William set about creating the company town of Steinway where the firm could cast its own piano frames and saw its own lumber. Steinway and Sons pianos are still manufactured at this location. William approached the development of Steinway with characteristic thoroughness, wading through rainy salt meadows in great India rubber boots inspecting property, overseeing street surveys, and assessing employee housing construction later advertised as country homes with city comforts. Diary entries reflect William's pride in creating a company town where workers could own brick homes, drink fresh water, and stroll under shade trees on Steinway Avenue - still the main thoroughfare in this part of Queens. He donated land and built a public school, fire house, post office and churches to further his vision. A network of horse-car railroads, streetcars, trolleys, and ferries provided access to the settlement and brought in additional income. What would become North Beach Amusement Park offered respectable people an alternative to Coney Island and the chance to experience evening festivities illuminated by the novelty of electric lighting. - Smithsonian's National Museum of American History