John Broadwood

1732 - 1812

Piano manufacturer. Born in Cockburnspath, the son of the wright of the village of Oldhamstocks, Broadwood moved to London in 1761 and began manufacturing pianos with a Swiss harpsichord maker, Burkat Shudi (or Burkhardt Tschudi). He made improvements to both the grand and upright piano by adding pedals and extending the range of the keyboard. He married Shudi's youngest daughter, Barbara, in 1769. It was Broadwood who developed the techniques to mass-produce pianos, which previously had been individually hand-made, and his company went on to dominate the trade through the 19th century. Broadwood made pianos for many famous performers and composers, including Beethoven, and his company was later patronised by Chopin and Elgar.

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