IMPORTANT: Always call the business before going to take the factory tour. We try and keep our data s up-to-date as possible but you should always check first.
Walter Piano Company
25416 Country Road 6,
Elkhart, IN 46514
Latitude: 41.724122 Longitude: -85.955489
Email Address: N/A
This tour is free
The story of Walter Piano Company is the story of a man and his family. Born in 1927, Charles R. Walter grew up in the rural American setting of Watseka, Illinois. His early life was that of a baker's son, but young Charles soon showed interest in things technical and scientific.
In 1947 Charles entered the University of Illinois. Four years later he graduated from the School of Engineering Physics with a Bachelor's Degree and a new bride at his side, the former Barbara McCullough also of Watseka, Illinois.
In 1964 Mr. Walter joined C.G. Conn, Ltd. and three years later was appointed Head of Piano Design and Development Engineering under Dr. Earle Kent, Director of Research and Engineering. Dr. Kent saw in Charles a man well-qualified in engineering and science but not indoctrinated into the usual and traditional approaches to piano design.
During the years at Conn (1964 to 1969), Mr. Walter began to assimilate his engineering background, talents, and experience with the peculiar demands of piano acoustical design. In 1969, when Conn decided to discontinue their Janssen piano division, Charles and his wife were quick to pursue the opportunity to fulfill a growing dream - the dream to build an all new console and studio piano of the very finest sound and quality.
During the following few years, Mr. Walter continued to produce Janssen pianos of recognized quality. Then, in 1975, he introduced the 43" Charles R. Walter Piano to the keyboard market. In the years to follow, Charles R. Walter pianos grew in popularity as their quality and sound became more widely recognized.
With his wife by his side, the early days were filled with sweat and long hours, yet God gave the strength. A family was growing up in the piano factory! Kevin Charles, thirteen years old and the only son amidst three sisters, was receiving a steady diet of love, Christian faith, and pianos! From floor sweeping, to stringing, to finishing, to final inspection, Kevin learned the art and science of building fine pianos.
Since then, three sons-in-law have joined the company: Richard A. Counsellor, a graduate engineer of LeTourneau, Virgil W. Weso, an engineering and business and masters graduate of Purdue University and Stephen P. DeMercurio, Ball State University. A growing number of grandchildren are now joining the ranks of those who have a very "personal" interest in the Charles R. Walter piano.
The Charles R. Walter piano incorporates the finest and most advanced design that technology can provide. Careful attention was given to full bass performance through the use of long strings and a large solid spruce soundboard. Extensive work in scale design has provided smooth sound continuity across the keyboard, a singing treble, and a smooth precise tuning.
The piano has become so well recognized for its design superiority that Mr. Walter has become a frequently requested speaker on the topic of piano design and construction at piano technician seminars and state conventions throughout the United States.
Among modern pianos, the Charles R. Walter is unique for its superb blend of that which is the most advanced in modern technology and that which is the finest in old world craftsmanship.
The tour covers our showroom featuring the Walter Grands and computerized player pianos and the entire manufacturing facility which employs about 35 craftemen and technicians.
Tours are offered to the public on Mondays at 1:00pm. Other tours are by appointment for groups of 10 or more. Walk-in tours are not allowed, you must make a reservation.
It generally lasts 35-50 minutes depending on the interest level of the group and questions.