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Subcategory:Musical Instruments
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Keywords:Bjur Brothers, Ivory, decay, ivory, piano, piano, rustic, rustic
Tickled Ivory

Tickled Ivory

Print Title: Tickled Ivory

This is an original print that I photographed. This photo was taken in an abandoned hotel in the town of Sharon Springs, New York.


The Bjur Brothers Piano Company was established in 1887 by brothers William and Robert Bjur. Their factory was located at 705 Whitlock Avenue in New York City. Bjur Brothers built a full line of uprights, grands, and player pianos during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, and they enjoyed a reputation for building instruments of fine craftsmanship and durability. In addition to building pianos under the Bjur Brothers name, they also manufactured pianos under the brand names of Stultz & Company, Bailey Piano Company, Mellotona, and American Player Piano Company. The Bjur Brothers factory also built pianos for the Gordon & Sons Piano Company until 1927 when Bjur was taken over by industrial giant Kohler & Campbell. Kohler & Campbell continued to produce pianos under the Bjur Brothers brand name until about 1957.

History of Sharon Springs:

Thanks to its sulfur, magnesium, and chalybeate mineral springs, Sharon Springs grew into a bustling spa during the 19th century. At the peak of its popularity, Sharon Springs hosted 10,000 visitors each summer, including members of the Vanderbilt family and Oscar Wilde (who gave a lecture at the now-demolished Pavilion Hotel on 11 August 1882). Direct ferry-to-stagecoach lines connected New York City to Sharon Springs, followed by rail lines connecting the Village to New York City and Boston via Albany.
The most famous of the springs in the Village, then as now, was the so-called Gardner Spring, which was owned by the owner of the Pavilion Hotel. As reported in the New York Times on 30 August 1875, “So prodigious is the amount of sulfur-gas in the Gardner Spring that the waters of this creek are rendered as white as milk, and the stones are covered with a thick deposit. All the objects which have been thrown into the stream from above—old shoes, tin pails, and other things of a similar nature—become transmuted by the mineral. Some of them become a snowy white, and others are turned to a deep black. The green weeds that grow upon the sides and bottoms of such creeks are here perfectly white, and at first one can hardly tell their nature, but mistakes them for long films of the sulphur deposit.”

According to an article published in The New York Times (26 August 2000), Sharon Springs lost its fashionable Social Register set to the horse-racing attractions of Saratoga Springs. Wealthy Jewish families of German origin, who were unwelcome at Saratoga due to the prevailing social bias of the time, filled the void and “made Sharon Springs a refuge of their own.” Eventually, these families moved on to other, more modern resorts, and the village began to fade economically. Other factors that exacerbated the village’s early 20th century decline were Prohibition (which reduced the need for the local hop harvest) and the opening of the New York State Thruway (which routed traffic away from the area).

Sharon Springs was also associated with several beer barons in the late 19th and early 20th century. Most American hops were grown in a belt stretching from Madison to Schoharie Counties in upstate New York. Thus this area attracted brewers who summered in the area, two of which, Henry Clausen and Max Shaefer, built homes in the Village. The New York hops trade disappeared after the first world war, due to the combined effects of competition from Oregon, a hops blight, and the coming of prohibition.

From the 1920s to the 1960s kuchaleyans flourished. These were self-catered boarding houses, and in Yiddish the name means “cook-alones.” They were a more affordable alternative to the larger more expensive hotels and were especially popular during the depression and, later, with poorer post-war European refugees.

All 8x10, 16x20, 20x30 prints are produced using use a traditional photographic process. Printing is on real photographic paper which is exposed with light and then run through a chemical process, on Kodak Endura Professional Paper. (Read description on other items)

All prints will be ready for framing. There will be minor cropping on the 20″ x 30″ print.

Item #: 7240-1-Hi-Res