Happy Birthday Henry Steinway!! German, born in 1797, named Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg originally won a gold medal for his grand and square pianos exhibited at the Brunswick State Fair in 1839. But his childhood was marred by tragedy and misfortune. He was orphaned at age 15. He was apprenticed to an organ maker and began to secretly build instruments, starting with guitars. His first grand piano was built in his kitchen, hence the pet name “kitchen piano” and is exhibited at the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York. In 1850 he and his four sons immigrated to the US, changing their family name to Steinway & Sons. They developed the seven-octave piano winning national favor. Their design incorporated a one-piece cast iron frame with overstringing which totally transformed the instrument.