A Look Inside The History Of Cooper Music – V

Just as with any business, there is a history. Where it all started, how it started and how it Player Pianosbecame who they are today. Long before the first "Welcome to Cooper Music" ever chimed the ears of a piano buyer, the history of the Cooper Family began. For the next few months, I will share with you, every Friday a special blog, containing the history of the Cooper family and creation of Cooper Music. We hope that you enjoy reading as Cooper Music is brought to life with memories.



It is a fact in the year 1909 there were more new pianos sold (340,000) nationally than new passenger car (306,000) registrations. Music and a piano in the home were more important to families than a car in their driveway.  Over half of the pianos Cooper Music sold were new player pianos. Some player pianos were more expensive than a new car. But the H P Nelson player piano was value priced at $488.  The desirable easy play Gulbransen, player cost over $1200.

Now, at that price the H P Nelson did have a problem, the foot pedals were stiff and required a lot of hard work to pump. Coopers called on the local Union Spring & Mfg. to make new springs. Instead of replacing the 8pound springs with 4pounders the confused Union Spring sent over a pair of heavy-duty 14pound HPN foot pump pedal springs. Cooper Music concluded the pedal spring problem was corrected, The senior Cooper founder Johnathon and older son Will with stubborn pride demonstrated only the prized easy play $1200 Gulbransen piano, while ignoring the HP Nelson. However a purchase order mistake by Union Spring turned out to be a sales incentive to junior salesman T T Watkins.cooper piano

Families would shop the H P Nelson at Cooper Music, priced at $488, with 12 music rolls included, because of the bargain price. The junior sales person, T T Watkins, would invite their Dad to be seated at the H P N and pedal pump while the family sang along to the popular song of the day. Customer Dad, working the HPN, with heavy-duty pedal pumps, would soon break out in a red faced hard working sweat.

Meanwhile T T Watkins would bring their little girl over to the Gulbransen easy pump player piano. There she would sit and play, effortlessly pumping the $1200 piano, as Dad and the family joined and sang along to  “The Daring Young Man On The Flying Trapeze”.

Customer Dad and family would happily purchase the easy play $1200 Gulbrasen piano.  When young  John Cooper asked T T Watkins, “What do the initials H P on the piano stand for?" With a wink of his eye, TT said, ”Horse Power….I love you." as he kissed the HP Nelson piano on payday.   



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