Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Steinway, William

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STEINWAY, William, manufacturer, b. in Seesen, Brunswick, 5 March, 1836; d. in New York city, 30 Nov., 1886. He was the fourth son of Henry Engelhard Steinway (q. v.), and came to this country with his father and brothers in 1850. In Germany he received an elementary education, and was also given instruction in languages and music. He then became an apprentice in a piano manufactory, where he spent two years. He was associated with his father and his brothers Charles and Henry in founding in 1853 the firm of Steinway & Sons, and in 1889 he became the head of the firm. He erected Steinway hall, which he proposed making a place for the exhibition of the highest musical skill; and he was a conspicuous figure among the German citizens of New York, wielding great influence for good among them. He was noted for his unostentatious philanthropy, and in this line founded the well-known and progressive settlement of Steinway, at Astoria, Long Island, in which he erected large buildings connected with his piano manufactory, and made ample provision for the religious, educational, and public benefits of the inhabitants. In 1890, on the creation of the New York city rapid transit commission, he was appointed one of its members.