Pratt Read Company

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Pratt Read is one of the oldest companies in the United States, having been founded in 1798.

In 1958, the Pratt Read Company, a distinguished maker of piano parts, and recognized as the largest producer of keyboards and piano actions in the world as of the 1970s, moved its Piano Action Division to Central, South Carolina from Ivorytown, Connecticut. The home plant continued to produce the keyboards.

Situated on a large tract of land on the western edge of town, the plant employed many Central residents. In 1963, an addition to the plant was added for construction of the newly developed Electronics Organ Components Division, occupying the new space in 1964.

During World War II, the Pratt Read Company applied its wood-working skills to constructing WACO CG-4 troop gliders under contract for the War Department at their Eddystone, Pennsylvania location. This design was utilised during the invasion of Festung Europa.

Pratt-Read eventually shifted its business away from piano manufacturing to focus exclusively on producing screwdrivers, and in the late 1980s it completely shut down its piano action operation.

In 2009, Pratt-Read filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. On March 22, 2010, Ideal Industries announced the acquisition of Pratt-Read from bankruptcy and will continue domestic US production under the name Pratt-Read Tools, LLC.

The former Pratt Read facility was later taken over by American Home Spinning, Inc.

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Reference

  • Allen, Mattie May Morgan, "Central Yesterday and Today", Faith Printing Company, Taylors, South Carolina, 1973, no Library of Congress card number, no ISBN number, page 71.

Address

Pratt Read Company
356 Mauldin Road
Central, South Carolina 29630-3716