Harry D. Low

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Harry D. Low (b. circa 1858 in England; d. March 15, 1921, at his home in Mount Vernon, NY) (3)(4)(5) joined Steinway & Sons in 1875. By 1887 he was confidential secretary to William Steinway. (2) Low provided a wide range of business and personal services for William.

“Mr. Low was in charge of confidential financial matters for the Steinway organization and his forty-six years of service had rendered him a most valuable factor in the progress of the concern.” (3) Harry Low acted as intermediary in many of William’s business activities. He filed legal and financial papers, bought and sold stock for William, facilitated real estate purchases, arranged and cancelled loans. William entrusted him to deal with the banks and sent him more than once to Albany to obtain proper signatures. (Diary, 1881-05-24; 1883-01-22; 1889-09-25) Low was elected as an officer of the Broadway & Bowery Bay R.R. (Diary, 1884-05-30) also was elected Treasurer of the Steinway Railway Company of Long Island City. (Diary, 1892-03-30) On William’s behalf he signed a one-year contract with the Amberg Theater (Diary, 1893-04-30) and renewed the lease of the Irving Place Theatre for 3 years with Conried (Diary, 1894- 05-10) and for another 3 years, 1887-1900. (Diary, 1896-04-29) Harry Low joined William on many a boat ride and met him at the train station or docks when returning from his travels.

In 1887 Harry Low accompanied Henry W.T. Steinway, known as Harbuckle, William’s troublesome nephew, to the Northwest and Sitka, Alaska. (2). William was increasingly put off by H.W.T. Steinway’s “renegade views and rude behavior,” which must have seemed “inexplicable, if not actually insane,” relates Fostle. (2) It was Low who delivered “the Dividend check for $14.4000 to Harbuckle this morning.” (Diary, 1895-04-05)

Harry D. Low was also one of three witnesses to the will that William executed on July 12, 1895--the other two men were Charles Lohman and Frederick Reidemeister. (Diary, 1895-07-12) That will was filed for probate by nephew Charles H. Steinway after William’s death in November 1896. (7)  Low was one of the speakers in 1904 when Charles H. Steinway was presented with a gold loving cup to commemorate his thirtieth anniversary with the family firm. “Harry D. Low spoke feelingly about his long and pleasant connection with the house and his experience with ‘ultra vires’ suits and what it cost to master this subject.” (1)

Harry D. Low died of pneumonia at his home in Mount Vernon, NY, on March 15, 1921. He was 63 years old and had worked at Steinway & Sons for more than four decades. He had married  Miss Kathryn Ford.(5)(Diary, 1889-10-16)  They had 2 children. Low was a charter member of the Siwanoy Country Club and a member of the Mount Vernon Lodge of Elks. (6)



  1. "Charles H. Steinway Gets Gold Loving Cup." The Music Trade Review XXXVIII no 4 (1904), p. 19, available from http://www.arcade-museum.com/mtr
  2. Fostle, D.W. The Steinway Saga: An American Dynasty. Scribner: New York and London, 1995, p. 331.
  3. "Harry D. Low Passes Away," The Music Trade Review LXXII no 12 (1921), p. 26, available from http://www.arcade-museum.com/mtr
  4. "Obituary Notes," The New York Times, March 16, 1921, p. 9.
  5. "October Marriages," The New York Times, October 18, 1889, p.8.
  6. "Old Mount Vernon Resident Dies Following Pneumonia," The Evening Telegram, March 16, 1921, p.5.
  7. "Steinway's Many Bequests," The New York Times, December 11, 1896, p. 9.