John H Mellor


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Opened Pittsburgh's First Music Store 1831

John H. Mellor along with W.C. Peters, and W.D. Smith opened the first music store in Pittsburgh in 1831.   Prior to its opening instruments and sheet music was sold in general stores.  Open its opening the store sold harpsichords, harmonica, music boxes, sheet music, and pianos.   Originally named “Smith, Peters & Company” Pittsburgh’s first music store was located at 81 Wood Street.   It was renamed the John H. Mellor Company, when W.C. Peters left Pittsburgh   It became C.C. Mellor in 1863 when John’s son Charles C. Mellor took over.  The C.C. Mellor music store existed for 113 years closing the doors of its 601 Wood Street location in 1944.  Theodore Presser who founded the Presser Music Publishing Company got his start at C.C. Mellor where he rose from clerk to the manager of sheet music.  Billed as “America’s oldest piano house” Mellor’s store sold over 85,000 pianos during its existence.

John H. Mellor came to Pittsburgh in 1831 to be the organist of the Trinity Episcopal Church.  Mellor booked and promoted concerts also.  In April 1851 Mellor booked singing sensation Jenny Lind "the Swedish Nightengale" at Pittsburgh's new Masonic Hall.  The engagement was to be for two nights.  1500 tickets at $7.50 were sold.  At the first show a crowd of 7,000 to 8,000 people clogged the streets around the Masonic.  Frightened by the noisy crowd, Jenny canceled the second night's show.

W.C. Peters, a composer/arranger, organist, and music publisher emigrated from England around 1820.   He became a music teacher in Pittsburgh giving lessons to Stephen Foster’s sisters.   Peters moved to Louisville in 1832 to start a music school and music library.  He founded a music publishing business in 1840 and published the songs of Stephen Foster.


Charles C. Mellor


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