History of How the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG) Came to Be
Attempts to organize piano tuners and technicians began in Chicago during the Columbian Exposition of 1893 with the founding of the National Tuners Association. This organization was short-lived, as was a similar group founded in New York during 1904.
On January 9, 1910, a group of four technicians, Julian Elliott Diez, Albert Endress, Basil Britain Wilson and William Braid White, formed an organization known as the American Guild of Piano Tuners (AGPT). Its first meeting was in June of that year and attracted 50 technicians from around the United States. It continued to grow, reaching a membership of nearly 2,000 and was instrumental in the establishment of A-440 as standard pitch.
According to White, that organization, which had changed its name to the National Association of Piano Tuners (NAPT) in the 1920's, began to disintegrate during the Depression. In 1941, seceding members formed yet another organization, the American Society of Piano Technicians (ASPT). Both NAPT and ASPT continued to operate until 1957, when a committee of representatives from both organizations worked out details of a merger. The new organization became the Piano Technicians Guild, with Erroll P. Crowl and John Travis as Co-Presidents and Allan Pollard as its first Executive Secretary. The merger was confirmed July 10, 1958 during the new organization's first convention in Washington, D.C. and a commitment was made to promote the highest possible service and technical standards among piano tuners and technicians.
The earliest technical publication for piano tuners was issued by Sumner L. Bales as The Tuner's Magazine in January 1913. This monthly magazine soon became the official AGPT publication. Both NAPT and ASPT continued to publish technical journals until the merger, when they were combined into The Piano Technicians Journal. The Journal is now published monthly from PTG's Home Office in Kansas City and features articles on tuning, repair, refinishing and restoration of pianos.
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