H. A. WEYMANN and SON – History Pt 1: The era of H.A. (Henry) Weymann

H. A. Weymann and Son was founded by Henry Arnold Weymann (c.1829 – 1892) who was born in Hanover, Niedersachsen, Germany about 1829.  According to his descendent, Greg Weymann he was christened Heirich, but Henry is the name he used in America.

Henry migrated to America in 1852, arriving in Philadelphia where he lived the rest of his life.  He was naturalized in 1858. In 1864 he commenced a small business and it is from this date that Henry later attributes to the founding of H.A. Weymann and Son. In 1865 he is reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer as having an annual taxable income of $136.

From early trade cards (late 1800’s and early 1900’s) it appears he started out selling diamonds, jewelry, watches and clocks. harmonicas, sheet music, and ‘small goods’, some of which were most likely imported from his birth country, Germany.

H.A. Weymann business cards

By 1864 H.A. Weymann was married to Rebecca Myers (1840 -1914 ) and eventually had 7 children, Harry William (H. W.) Weymann being the eldest boy born in 1866.

When H.  A.  Weymann died in 1892, it was his son Harry who took control of the business, but still retained the name H.A. Weymann and Son.

It appears that when Harry took over in 1892 that the business was a relatively successful retail establishment selling a variety of goods; jewelry, watches, clocks, spectacles, silver ware, sheet music and imported musical instruments. They may have also had a small instrument manufacturing business as well, which I suspect were mainly retailed through the shop.

S S Stewarts 1894

SS Stewarts 1894 Weymann Guitar

The earliest reference I could find to H. A. Weymann and Son manufacturing guitars is from The S. S. Stewart’s Banjo & Guitar Journal of  Feb/March 1894, where 3rd and 4th prizes in a competition were a Weymann and Son Mandolin and Case valued at $35 and a Weymann and Son Guitar and Case valued at $25 respectfully.  “The 3rd and 4th prizes in this class were kindly contributed by Weymann and Son, manufacturers, No. 45 North Ninth Street, and are known as ‘Keystone State Mandolins and Guitars’ “.

Further evidence that Weymann’s were making guitars in the early 1890’s is from an article in the Fretboard Journal No.11 Fall 2008 about talented luthier Carl C. Holzapfel, where the author, Neil Harpe, mentions Carl Holzapfel worked for Weymanns for a short time in the early 1890’s.

It is not until the late 1890’s that further mentions appear in either the Music Trade Review or Stewart’s Banjo and Guitar Journal about Weymann manufacturing instruments.  I suspect that prior to the late 1890s H.A.Weymann and Son were retailing the majority of the stringed instruments they manufactured.  I have not come across any of their instruments from this era.

15 thoughts on “H. A. WEYMANN and SON – History Pt 1: The era of H.A. (Henry) Weymann

  1. Question. I acquired a Weymann banjo with the paten date of Nov. 28.93. Would his refer to 1893?


    1. Yes, but could have been made sometime after that, just means the patent was registered then.

  2. I have ran across a banjo by Weymann. But.i have not been able to find another with the lettering at the top of the stock head. Do you know perhaps when they did that. I can try to send a pic for.you alao. Thanks Shawn Snyder

    1. Hi Shawn, Yes please send me a pic to my email address on the LINKS and CONTACT page. It’s a bit hard for me to visualize what you have there. Best Regards, Charles

  3. I recently acquired a 1931 Weymann guitar. Wanted to say thanks for all of the great info you have compiled here. Hope all is well with you.

  4. A great information source on Weymann Banjos. Their superb craftsmanship, unique patented design features are what attracted me to them when I first started playing tenor banjo. I now have a collection Weymanns from Style #2, 3, a couple of 4’s, 5 (from the Tsumura 1001 Banjo Book) and a couple of 6’s. All are tenors. One is a plectrum. Missing from my collection is a Style #7 and the 6-string banjo. Thanks for posting this valuable information.
    Barry T in Canada

    1. Thanks Barry T, I welcome that comment. Please subscribe to the blog as I have more information about the Weymann company and family to be posted in the next few weeks. All the best..Charles

  5. Charles–
    What a wealth of info on Weymann! I live in Arizona and have a modest collection of Weymann banjos, particularly the small banjos: ukes, mandolins, etc. i love the Weymanns for the quality of manufacture and for their hardware–unsurpassed.

  6. I have a Weymann and Son upright piano! I was told by our tuner that it once was a player piano, but then was converted at some point. It’s a beautiful large old piece, with ivory keys.

    1. I’m pretty sure Weymann didn’t make these even though they carry their label. I seem to have read this somewhere, but cannot remember where. A piano is a pretty specialized instrument so I am inclined to believe that. All the best . . .Charles

    2. Hi C Rudolph, sorry for the late response. While initially thinking that Weymann’s made their own pianos I am now convinced they were outsourced, or ‘jobbed out’ was the term used in the day. They generally only handled the best of instruments so I am sure it plays very well. All the best Charlie

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