J. W. Pepper®
J. W. Pepper®began teaching instrumental music lessons in 1875, became a publisher in 1876, and by 1877 had opened the first Pepper® retail store at 832 Filbert Street in Philadelphia.
One of J. W. Pepper®'s most noteworthy early efforts included the "Musical Times" and "Brass and Reed Band Journal."
In the early 1880's, Pepper® moved aggressively into the instrument manufacturing and importing business. This was to lead to the manufacture of the first Sousaphone. The Sousaphone was named by J. W. Pepper® out of gratitude to John Philip Sousa, who gave him the idea for the instrument.
During these years, Pepper® continued to build a strong publishing business. The company's most prolific composer/arranger was Mackie-Beyer, whose Conservatory Collection is pictured here.
Pepper® relocated in1890, to a seven story structure at 8th and Locust Streets in Philadelphia. The building housed printing and manufacturing operations, along with a retail store, mail order operation, and management offices.
Pepper® developed a strong business relationship with the United States Government. In 1894 they were contracted to outfit 17 U. S. Navy ships with complete sets of band instruments. The Navy bought music too-- take a look at this order for 35 tons of music ordered by the U. S. Naval School of Music!
In 1909 Pepper® moved to a new location at 33rd and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia. While the manufacture of instruments was discontinued at this time, the sale of exclusively imported instruments continued.