Henry F. Miller Sr. was a well-educated and respected musician and organist from Providence, Rhode Island.
His passion in the piano manufacturing business led him to accept positions with the prestigious Boston, Massachusetts firms of Brown & Allen in 1850, and then the Emerson Piano Co. in 1857, where he honed his trade of piano making.
By 1863, he had founded the Henry F. Miller Piano Co. with expert scale draughtsman and designer J.H. Gibson, with the plant in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Miller's five sons joined the company, which was incorporated in 1884 as Henry F. Miller & Sons. They were constantly refining their pianos under the guidance of Henry F. Miller, Jr., and by the turn of the century, they had earned the endorsement of artists, musicians, and teachers.
Miller & Sons pianos were used in concert by many outstanding players. The instruments were notable for their attractive case designs as well as their rich, full tone. Trowbridge and Burton pianos were also produced, as were pedal board uprights (an auxiliary foot pedal keyboard that could play the piano's bass notes, comparable to an organ). They became a branch of the Continental Piano Co. of Wakefield, Massachusetts in the mid 1920s, which was later bought over by Winter & Co. of New York in 1945. By 1949, ownership had been passed to the Cambridge, MA-based Ivers & Pond Piano Company. When Aeolian Corp., a big New York corporation, acquired Ivers & Pond, production of both Henry F. Miller and Ivers & Pond pianos was relocated to Memphis, TN by 1951. Mason & Risch in Toronto, Canada later constructed some Henry F. Miller pianos.
The latest known US-made piano serial number is from 1982, when Aeolian went out of business. The Sherman Clay (California) piano store company purchased the name in 2001. The Pearl River piano manufacturer in China created pianos with the Henry F. Miller name for their stores as well as other prominent piano dealers around the United States. Sherman Clay & Co. exited the piano industry in 2013, selling their last location in September of that year.
Henry F. Miller pianos are no longer manufactured.
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