Bought a vintage baby piano today at the flea market. Though it wasn't in tip top condition, I love its bright red colour and logo with roses. Even though the keys were faded, they still played reasonably well. This baby toy piano has been around for at least 40 years, considering that it was very popular as toys for kids in the 60s and 70s. I had one too while I was growing up though I can't remember whatever happened to mine. Shanghai, the place where it was made was also the first city in China to set up a piano factory in 1895 called the Shanghai Piano Company.For a city with a strong Western influence back then, it is not surprising that the piano first gained its popularity in China in the city of Shanghai.
Famous piano brands in the West are of course the Steinway and Baldwin but in the 60s and 70s, Japan and China began mass producing the piano as well. Kawai and Yamaha were the earliest piano brands to emerge from Japan . Similarly for the Pearl River brand in China. Today, the Pearl River piano factory in Kwangzhou is the largest piano manufacturer in the world. It is sad that many businesses in the West had to move their factories to China due to high labour costs including some very established piano names. There is a level of pride for a country to have its products made in the place of origin but competitively, well that's another story.