Eilers Music House (or Eilers Music Company) was a West Coast chain in the early 1900s specializing in pianos.

The exact lineage is confusing, but it was started by Hy Eiler in 1899 in Portland, Oregon. 1 There were 3 regions on the West Coast run by 3 corporations until 1910, when 40 stores decided to incorporate. 2 Locally, there was a Pommer-Eilers Music Company based in San Francisco, beginning in 1902. 13,14

By 1904, they had opened a location in Oakland at 473 - 12th St. in the Bacon Block, and put a splashy ad in the Tribune noting that they had just sold 23 pianos to Mills College. 3 Later that same year they moved to 1075-1077 Clay Street. 4 (near 12th St.) In 1906, it is listed just as Eilers Music Company, 12th and Clay. 5 By the end of 1908, they had moved again, this time to nearby 557-559 12th St. opposite the Orpheum Theatre. 6

1911 brought news they were closing the Oakland store, and an ad for a big clearance sale. 7 Despite that, in 1912 they had moved again, this time to 1448 San Pablo (behind the First National Bank Building, next to where Kahn's Department Store would soon be constructed) 8 They were still in business in 1915, when L. Kowalski, the music director of the Orpheum purchased a grand piano from Eilers. 9

What would 1917 bring? Another close out sale, one lasting the rest of the year and into the next. 10,11 Finally, in October 1918, Brillharts was selling off the remaining stock of the now bankrupt Eilers. 12 That was the end of Eilers Music House in Oakland at least, though Eilers-made pianos occasionally appeared for sale.

1904 ad 31912 ad 8

1915 ad 91916 adApril 1917 close out 10December 17 close out 111918 - bankrupt

Links and References

  1. Eilers antiquepianoshop.com
  2. 40 Eilers Stores to Incorporate San Francisco Call April 1, 1910
  3. ad Oakland Tribune May 17, 1904
  4. ad Oakland Tribune August 3, 1904
  5. ad Oakland Tribune February 21, 1906
  6. ad Oakland Tribune December 20, 1908
  7. announcement Oakland Tribune December 6, 1911
  8. ad Oakland Tribune June 16, 1912
  9. ad Oakland Tribune February 3, 1915
  10. close out sale Oakland Tribune April 25, 1917
  11. close out sale Oakland Tribune December 7, 1917
  12. Brillhart Buys Up Stock of Eilers Oakland Tribune October 11, 1918
  13. Prices Take Another Tumble San Francisco Call February 10, 1902
  14. Piano Company Incorporates San Francisco Call January 30, 1902