Lewis Eady Ltd has always been a family operated business and all of Lewis' sons and many of his grandsons were involved at some stage in their lives. It is now the oldest family owned and operated music business in Australasia and probably the Southern Hemisphere. It moved into its fourth generation at the beginning of 2006 when John Eady (Jnr) purchased the Company from his father - John Eady (Snr).
The company has always focused on the sale of quality pianos, print music and classical instruments but the Eady family have also been innovators in many facets of the music industry.
In the 1920's the Company manufactured the then famous Goldentone record players and was one of the first to press records. It established and operated one of Auckland's first private radio stations - 1ZR (until it was closed by Government regulation in 1930). Through this experimental station, it introduced to the airwaves such famous names of the day as Uncle Tom, Aunt Daisy, Scrimmgeour, Dudley Wrathall and many others. It sold famous radio brands such as Gulbransen and was one of the first shops in New Zealand to sell television sets.
For over sixty years the Company has been and still is, the New Zealand agent for Steinway & Sons as well as Steinway's subsidiary, Boston and Essex Pianos and has, for more than 40 years, been the largest supplier of Kawai pianos in New Zealand.
Lewis Eady Ltd is known as "The Acoustic Shop". It continues to specialise in selling quality acoustic pianos, classic and acoustic guitars and print music. It is also the only shop in New Zealand to import harps.
Generations of Aucklanders, and indeed New Zealanders owe their love of music to Lewis R Eady and his devotion to the music industry. The Company has been generous to Auckland. It has given four grand pianos to the city including one new concert grand piano to the Auckland Town Hall, two baby grand pianos to smaller Centres and a magnificent old circa 1880 grand piano to the Auckland Museum.
It established the music section at the Auckland Central Library and has, over the years, given hundreds of music books to the Lewis Eady Music Library - as it was known. In 2005 it provided generous sponsorship for the Library's purchase of a grand piano and continues to sponsor and finance orchestras and emerging musicians and to organise music competitions for senior and junior schools.
WHO IS LEWIS EADY?
Lewis R Eady arrived in New Zealand on the 24th August 1865 having set sail from England on the "Andrew Jackson" with his parents and two brothers, Arthur and William. Lewis showed an early interest in music and played both the piano and double bass.
At first Lewis worked in his brother Arthur's music business and it was Arthur who encouraged Lewis to set up his own music business to specialise in selling pianos.
Consequently, in 1884 Lewis opened his music shop in his own home on the corner of Mill Lane and City Road (behind Karangahape Road) where he and his wife Rosina worked at repairing, tuning, importing and selling second hand pianos.
Lewis' eldest son, Alfred, joined him in the business in 1906 and by 1910 the Company had become so successful that it was able to move to a proper shop in Liverpool Street and later, in 1912, to Karangahape Road.
With Queen Street fast becoming the retail centre of the city, Lewis and Alfred decided to move to Queen Street. In 1918 they opened a second shop in rental premises at 162 Queen Street and in 1928 moved to their elegant, purpose built music shop on the site of the old Hippodrome Theatre at 192 Queen Street. This building remained the home of the Company until 1980.
Lewis Eady would be proud to know that his great-grandson, Alan John Lewis Eady, is continuing the legend of Lewis Eady Ltd. As a musician himself (DipRCM London), John is committed to continuing the Company's history of providing outstanding service and quality musical instruments to the New Zealand community.