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Foote Instruments


New York, NY



John Howard Foote(1833-1896) bought out importers Rohe and Leavitt to establish his own business in 1863. Foote Logo

  • 1833 born in Canton, CT
  • 1850 living in Bristol, CT
  • 1852 moved to NYC, worked as a clock maker and machinist
  • 1853 worked for Rohe & Leavitt, 31 Maiden Ln.
  • 1863 bought out R&L, 31 Maiden Ln.
  • 1864-65 partnered with John Stratton as Stratton & Foote, 31 Maiden Ln and 105 E. 22nd St.
  • 1866 John alone, 31 Maiden Ln.
  • In 1868, he wrote, ...most of my goods, though not of my manufacture, are made to order by different makers from drawings, descriptions, and in come cases models furnished by me.
  • 1868 opened Chicago store, 49 Dearborn St.
  • 1874 Chicago store moved to 154-156 S. Clark St.
  • 1880 Chicago store at 188-190 State St.
  • 1884 Chicago store at 307 Wabash Ave.
  • 1888 article said that the NY store covered six floors and is the oldest and largest store in the country; they sell brass instruments, violins, flutes, cellos, guitars and banjos 1; they are the sole US supplier for Courtois and the sole maker for the ’Challenge‘ and J. Howard Foote ‘Superior’ brands of light piston band instruments; 31-33 Maiden Lane. He used also Excelsior as a tradename.
  • 1892 Howard W. Foote was a manager of the Chicago store
  • 1896 John dies; Chicago store incorporates as Howard W. Foote & Co., 307-309 Wabash Ave. with Howard as president
  • 1904 the J. Howard Foote company went into voluntary liquidation and the business be closed (July)
  • 1910 the Howard W. Foote company no longer listed in Chicago

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