Silas Brainard (Feb. 14, 1814-April 8, 1871) opened a retail music shop in partnership with Henry J. Mould in Cleveland, Ohio in 1836. In 1845 the firm, now known as S. Brainard, began publishing sheet music. Around that time (1840s) Silas' brothers George Washington and Joseph Brainard established a music shop in Louisville, while his other brother Henry opened one in Chicago in 1848.
From the 1860s there was steady growth managed by the founder's family. In 1864 Brainard's sons Charles Silas and Henry Mould Brainard joined his firm, which was renamed S. Brainard's Sons. The sons, operating the business after Silas' death, acquired the plates of Root and Co. of Chicago in 1871. A branch office was established in Chicago in 1879 and in 1889 the firm relocated to that city. A Brainard retail presence remained in Cleveland with the H.M. Brainard Company, which continued, with the name S. Brainard's Sons until 1931.
Brainard began publishing the monthly journal Western Musical World: A Journal of Music, Art and Literature in January, 1864, renamed Brainard's Musical World in 1869. The journal continued to appear until it merged with Theodore Presser's Etude in 1895.
Brainard specialized in the publication of popular songs with piano accompaniment, piano pieces, and religious music.
Imprints, Addresses, Agencies
- S. Brainard or S. Brainard & Co. (1845-1864)
- G.W. Brainard & Co. (1850s?)
- S. Brainard's Sons or The S. Brainard's Sons Co. (1864-1931)
- Cleveland (1836-1889)
- Chicago (1878/9-1931)
- New York
- Louisville (117 and 109 4th St., in the 1850s)
G. W. Brainard (Louisville)
G. W. Brainard's plate numbers were issued in a fairly regular chronological fashion. Plate numbers are in the format of ####.
Plate Composer Work Year 363 Eckel Fancy's Flight Mazurka 1854? 529 Strakosch I Turn to Thee 1852 586 Abbott The Colored Orphan Boy 1852 601 Kappes Evenings at Science Hill, 1st Series (5. Eleanora Polka) 1853 851 Allen Suffer Little Children to Come unto Me 1854 853 Kappes When Night's Dark Shades Are Stealing 1853
S. Brainard/S. Brainard's Sons (Cleveland/Chicago)
Brainard's plate numbers were issued in a fairly regular chronological fashion. Plate numbers are in the format of #####.
- Russell Sanjek, American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundres Years. Volume II, From 1790 to 1909 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).
- William Osborne, Music in Ohio (Kent: Kent State University Press, 2004).
- Stanley Sadie, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (New York and London: Macmillan Publications, 1980).
- "Brainard, Silas" The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.
- "S. Brainard's Sons" The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.