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Rowland Hill Mayland (1848-1916)
Rowland H. Mayland was the third and youngest child
of silversmith George Mayland, who emigrated from England to the USA about 1841,
accompanied by his wife (Sarah) and their firstborn child.
A daughter was born to them in Connecticut, but by the time Rowland was born,
they had settled in Brooklyn, New York, where they remained.
(See Residences, below.)
George carried on the silversmithing trade there until at least the mid-1880s,
but his date of death and place of burial have not yet been found.
None of his children followed the silversmithing trade, at least not directly,
and the fate of the older two has not been discovered.
(See Genealogy, below.)
Rowland H. Mayland married young, and about that same time he went into business
as a manufacturer of musical instruments.
(See Business History, below.)
Business directories of the day give no clue as to what types of musical instruments
he made, but other evidence shows that there was quite a variety.
(See References, below.)
At some point, he became the first American manufacturer
of what are now called English handbells,
and that may be reflected in the later business directories which list his occupation
as "musical bells".
Rowland's wife, Julia, had the distinction of having been born at sea
while en route to America.
The only certainty about her family is the fact of their being English.
However, it is possible that they immigrated through Canada,
because in the 1880 US census
Julia gave her place of birth as Canada rather than "At Sea."
It is also possible that their family name was Stanley
(see Mayland & Stanley under Business History, below);
if that is correct, then the names of her parents and siblings are also known.
Rowland and Julia had two sons and a daughter,
in the same order as his parents had done.
The older son became an engineer, and seems to have moved around quite a bit
before settling in California.
The daughter lived at home, and did not marry until after her
But she must have been a great favorite of her parents, because she was always
known by her nickname rather than her given name until after she married.
Only the younger son followed his father into the musical instrument business.
In addition to being an artisan and businessman, Rowland was a musician.
As a youth during the Civil War, he enlisted in the 56th New York Volunteers,
where he served as drum major.
(Many years later, this service entitled his widow to a veteran's pension.)
Possibly he continued service with this band after the war,
because later he was described as having been its bandmaster.
As a young man, he played the flute in several different minstrel groups in
Brooklyn, and was sufficiently well known to be able to contribute significantly
to the writing of a book on minstrelsy many years afterward.
In his middle years, he was sometimes a flute soloist at more genteel
musical entertainments, accompanied by his daughter at the piano.
Rowland seems to have been of an inventive turn of mind, because he was issued
four patents over the course of a decade, as follows:
He was also the assignor of a patent issued to Robert J. Carson of New York City
in 1903 (No.741,625, Oct.20) for a "Strength-testing or punching machine,"
which was evidently intended to be coin operated, as in an entertainment arcade.
- No.531,323 (Dec.25, 1894) - Musical instrument
(composed of vibratory bars of wood, metal, etc., with resonators)
- No.578,253 (Mar.2,1897) - Bell
(a striker/damper combination for handbells, chimes, etc.)
- No.663,085 (Dec.4, 1900) - Clock-chime
(tubular bells with weighted top ends)
- No.770,437 (Sep.20, 1940) - Bell
(tap bell with internal resonator chamber)
Rowland was also quite civic minded.
He became well known as a volunteer fireman, and eventually was
a key figure in the establishment of a firemen's home in Hudson, New York,
and thereafter a trustee of it.
After moving his family from Brooklyn to Freeport, Long Island, he became
Vice President of the Freeport Board of Education, and also served as
President of the Board of Health.
He was one of the organizers of the Freeport Lodge of Elks.
In 1909, Rowland H. Mayland was one of three directors of the Eaton-Hough Company
of New York City, a firm which seems to have had some involvement with calculating machines.
Rowland Mayland died at his home in Freeport, at the age of 68.
The cause of his death and the place of his burial have not been discovered.
He was survived by his wife and all three of their children,
and the results of his long-lasting business have survived to the present day.
George Mayland, patriarch of this family
- b.c.1816 in England; d.1884 or later in NY?
- m.c.1838 in England + Sarah ? (c.1818-18??)
- Immigrated to USA c.1841; naturalized in New York City, 4 Nov 1845
- Occupation: silversmith
- George Mayland, b.c.1840 in England, d.?
- Sarah E. Mayland, b.c.1842 in Connecticut, d.?
- Rowland Hill Mayland
- b.16 Feb.1848 in New York; d.6 Oct.1916 in Freeport, NY
- m.c.1868 + Julia Alferetta Stanley (c.1850-1935)
- Occupation: manufacturer of musical instruments
(see Business History below)
- George A. Mayland (c.1869-1926)
m. + Irena C./Lura ? (1870-?), no issue?
Occupation: electrical engineer, consulting engineer
- Elizabeth S. (Bessie) Mayland (1873-1956)
m.Nov.1916 + Sidney D. Smith (1872-1944), no issue
- Edwin Stanley Mayland
- b.2 Aug 1876/7; d.1959
- m.1907 + Evaline Fletcher (1881-1955) of Lodi, IL
- Occupation: manufacturer of musical instruments
(see Business History below)
- Edwin Stanley (Stan) Mayland, Jr. (1914-2005)
m.after 1940 + Ethel M. ? (1915-1995)
Issue: 2 sons, probably both still living.
Occupation: Real estate, manufacturer of musical instruments
Mayland Business History
- Rowland H. Mayland, proprietor
These occupational identifications and addresses were attached to
personal entries for Rowland H. Mayland (occasionally Roland):
(Brooklyn city directories after 1913 are not available online.
Those which are available rarely include classified sections.)
- 1868 - musical instruments, 68 Fulton
- 1869 - musical instrument maker, 63 Fulton
- 1870 - musical instrument maker, 189 Fulton (at residence?)
- 1871 - piano tuner, 191 Fulton
also classified as Morocco Manufacturer (possibly an error)
- 1872-74 - musical instrument maker, 24 Myrtle avenue
- 1875-88 - musical instruments, 24 Myrtle avenue
(1885: also at 227 Fulton)
- 1889 - manufacturer, 24 Myrtle avenue
- 1890-91 - musical instruments, 24 Myrtle avenue
- 1892 - musical instruments, 331 Adams
- 1893 - musical instruments, 351 Adams
- 1894-1900 - musical bells, 351 Adams
- (1901 directory missing)
- 1902-03 - musical instruments, 351 Adams
- 1903-12 - musical bells, 351 Adams
- 1913 - musical bells, 54 Wilby [probable typo for Willoughby]
- Mayland & Stanley
This partnership appeared in the city directories only once, in 1885.
The name was in boldface type, and the business description was
"musical instrument makers."
Its address was 227 Fulton, which was (as noted above) a second business address
for Rowland H. Mayland in that year.
So he must have been one of the partners.
Brooklyn city directories, unlike those of many other cities,
rarely included the names of principals in partnership or corporate entries,
and personal entries for such principals rarely included the name of the partnership
or company in which they were involved.
That makes it difficult to trace the management of such businesses.
In this case, however, there is additional supporting evidence.
From at least as early as 1878, Edwin J. Stanley had been working
in the same business and at the same address as Rowland H. Mayland.
They even had the same residence address at least once.
In 1885, Edwin's business address was that of the Mayland & Stanley partnership,
leading to the obvious conclusion that he was the other partner in this venture.
Furthermore, in subsequent years he continued in the same business at the same
address, even though Rowland H. Mayland was no longer involved at that location.
Eventually he moved his business to other addresses, but he continued in the same
line of work until about 1896, after which he disappeared from the city directories.
There is circumstantial evidence that Edwin J. Stanley
was Rowland H. Mayland's brother-in-law.
Edwin had a sister named Julia, who disappeared from U.S. census records
about the time that Rowland acquired a wife named Julia, of about the same age.
Furthermore, Rowland and Julia named their second son Edwin Stanley Mayland.
(See Genealogy, above.)
Also, Edwin and his brother Franklin and his widowed mother Annie may have been living
with the Maylands in 1880.
For these reasons, Julia's maiden name has been shown as Stanley.
in the Genealogy, above.
- American Bell & Chime Company
This business name appears in the Brooklyn directories only in 1900 and 1902,
both times at the same address as Rowland H. Mayland (351 Adams).
The first year, its business is "Automatic Slot Machines;"
the second year, it is simply "bells."
But note that this is also about the time that a patent for a coin-operated machine
was assigned to Rowland (see above).
This seems to indicate that his business interests were somewhat diverse.
- R. H. Mayland's Son
After the death of Rowland H. Mayland, if not before,
the name of the firm was changed,
and it was advertised as such in trade journals.
(See cut below).
The name R. H. Mayland & Son, which is occasionally seen
in various writings of others,
is probably a misinterpretation of the rather unusual actual name.
The firm remained at the Willoughby Street address in Brooklyn
throughout the lifetime of Edwin Stanley Mayland.
- Mayland Chimes
At some point, the name of the firm was changed to this final form.
It is well known that Mayland supplied sets of tubular chimes to clockmakers
for use in longcase ("grandfather") clocks with Westminster quarter-chime
Mayland also supplied sets of rod chimes for similar use in shelf or bracket clocks,
and these are equally well known among clock enthusiasts.
However, aside from the two Mayland tower chimes which are listed in these pages,
there seems to be no substantive evidence of Mayland's work in this field.
Undoubtedly, much remains to be discovered.
The Meneely/Troy bellfoundry supplied a 159-pound bell to R.H.Mayland's Son of Brooklyn NY
on Apr.13, 1905.
Presumably this would have been a factory bell.
It is not known whether the year is a typo or whether this is evidence that Mayland,
now nearly sixty years of age, had effectively turned the business over to his son.
However, up to 1913 this business name did not appear in the Brooklyn city directories.
The business was relocated to Lakeside, Connecticut, in the late 1960s
by Edwin Stanley Mayland, Jr.
It has been reported that in 1977 the business was sold to the Verdin Company
of Cincinnati; but whether that is correct, and what happened thereafter,
are unclear, because other evidence indicates that at least part of the business
continued until the death of Edwin Stanley Mayland, Jr.
Nowadays, both Mayland and Deagan organ chimes are being sold by Organ Supply Company
of Erie, PA, and OSC's literature indicates that they have been doing so since 1993.
For an index to pages about all of the known tubular tower chimes made by Mayland,
The following advertisement appeared in an organ-related publication
in the year of Rowland H. Mayland's death:
In view of what's known about the one surviving Mayland tower chime recorded here,
it is quite possible that the catalogue might have included both indoor and tower chimes.
Where there are gaps in the following sequences, they are caused by absence
of residence information from the city directories unless stated otherwise.
All addresses are in Brooklyn, New York, unless stated otherwise.
Directories before 1862 were published but are not available online.
Directories after 1913 probably were published, but are not available online.
- George (I) Mayland & family
1863-69 : corner of Sumpter and Ralph avenue
1870-74 : (G.M. absent from city directories)
1875-76 : 258 or 259 Bainbridge
1877-79 : (G.M. absent from city directories)
1880-84 : 251 or 258 or 259 Bainbridge
- Rowland Hill Mayland & family
1869 : 187 Front
1870 : 189 or 191 Fulton
1877 : 97 Dean
1878-86 : 106 Dean
1887-92 : 157 South Portland avenue
1893-1916+ : Freeport, L.I.
about Mayland handbells mentions a few of the other kinds of musical instruments
that he manufactured, though not tower chimes.
from the Percussive Arts Society discusses Mayland's work and pictures
a two-octave set of orchestral tubular chimes.
But it doesn't mention his tower chimes.
The NYC AGO Website has specifications for many of the organs
in and around that city.
Among them are 13 instruments which contain Mayland chimes.
Those which are fully identified have 20 or 25 tubes, but there is also a set of "clochettes"
(small bells?) by Mayland and a 49-bar Harp rank from the same company.
of a "Rowland H Mayland & Son Vintage Metal Marimba", c.1930,
which is part of the Grainger Musuem Collection, University of Melbourne.
In view of the date of this instrument, one might wonder whether the maker's inscription
has been transcribed correctly.
A small pipe organ
installed in a home has a 21-note set of Mayland organ chimes, which is shown in a photo.
Purchasers (actual or prospective) of organ chimes from Organ Supply Company
can download a set of
instructions (PDF) "for Deagan or Mayland organ chimes,
manufactured by Organ Supply Co. since 1993."
The first page includes a small logo of "Mayland chimes / est. 1866 / Erie, Penna.",
but that must have been designed (or adapted) by OSC, since the Maylands themselves
never operated in Erie.
The Organ Historical Society database
lists many instruments containing Mayland ranks, which may be summarized as follows
(as of August 2012):
Mayland chimes (25 notes from tenor G) - 18
Mayland chimes (21 notes from tenor A) - 95
Mayland chimes (20 notes) - 1
Mayland chimes, solid tubular - 1
Mayland chimes, unspecified - 4
Mayland 4' Celesta - 1
Mayland Harp (61 note) - 1
Mayland & Son Harp - 1
Mayland electronically amplified chimes (1956) - 1
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This page was created 2012/08/25 and last revised 2013/12/30.
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