27 - Karl Robert RODEWALD (1814 - ) [1]

RODEWALD was married to Susanna OHLIG from Koblenz. The couple had their first child in 1838, in Koblenz, and the second child was born in 1840, in Trier.

RODEWALD is reported having started building pianofortes in Trier in the year 1843 [2]. He designed new “capsules” for the piano mechanics and obtained for this invention on 6 October 1845 a Prussian patent for 

Konstruktion der Kapseln für die Mechanik der Fortepianos und Pianinos

On 29 October 1845 RODEWALD filed an application for a brevet d’importation of 6 years [3] for that same invention in Luxembourg under the title:

Amélioration aux pianofortes et pianinos

He used Guillaume PESCATORE as his representative and address for service.

The introduction to the patent application reads as follows:

Meine Verbesserung an der Mechanik des Flügels, Pianino und Tafelklavier besteht im wesentlichen in der besonderen Einrichtung der Kapseln des Hammers, der Brücke und der Dämpfung, wodurch eine leichtere oder schwerere Bewegung der betreffenden Achsen in den Zapfenlagern ganz nach Belieben reguliert werden kann. 

In der Zeichnung, Anlage N° IV stellen Fig. 3 und 4 die alte Einrichtung, Fig. 1, 2 und 5 die verbesserte Einrichtung, und Fig. 7 den zu letzteren gehörigen Schraubenzieher dar.

Bei der neueren wie bei der früheren Einrichtung wird die Schraube oder leichtere Gang der Achse in dem mit Tuch gefütterten Zapfenlager durch bloßes Anziehen oder Nachlassen diese Schraube ganz beliebig reguliert.

Conseiller LIPKENS in La Haye examined the patent application and concluded on 18 January 1846:

Après avoir examiné les pièces …, j'ai l'honneur de vous informer, qu'on pourrait accorder la faveur demandée, vu que l'invention susdite n'est pas encore décrite par voie de l’impression; sauf la remarque que les brevets peuvent s’accorder pour 5, 10 ou 15 années, mais non pour 6, ainsi que le désire le pétitionnaire. Quant aux droits à payer, je suis d'avis, qu'en considération de la médiocre importance de l'invention, on pourrait les fixer au terme moyen.

The patent application proceeded to grant on 17 May 1846 for a term of 5 years, at a grant fee of 30 florins.

On 6 May 1846 [4], prior to the date of grant of the Luxembourg patent, he appropriately referred only to his Prussian patent when he decided to set up business in Luxembourg-city.

More advertisements appeared on 30 May 1846 [5] and 23 September 1846 [6] .

By February 1848 RODEWALD actually lived in Luxembourg-city, in 45 rue Capuziner Strasse, when his daughter Johanna Margaretha was born. In December 1848 he offered for sale his large mansion in the centre of Trier [7] and in May of 1849 moved all his belongings to Luxembourg.

In October 1851 he announced that he had set up his piano factory in Mondorf a year earlier, i.e. around October 1850.

He lived in Altwies (house: a Medingesch), near Mondorf, with his wife and his two sons Frédéric and Charles.

The 1861 Altwies Census reveals that son Frédéric, aged 22, had become a fabricant de pianos and that son Charles, aged 11, had been sent to a boarding school in Trier (“un fils de Rodewald a été placé dans un pensionnat à Trèves, dans l’intérêt de son éducation”).

In July 1865 RODEWALD sold his house in Altwies (by auction) and moved back to Trier. He kept a showroom in Luxembourg-city and in 1868/1869 embarked on an extensive advertising campaign for selling his pianos in Luxembourg, first in the rue des Remparts and subsequently in rue Philippe.

In the 1867, 1871 and 1875 Altwies Census no reference to the RODEWALD family is to be found any longer, although son Frédéric apparently still possessed a house in Altwies since he put it up for sale in 1878. In the same year, Carl junior, now aged 28, offered his services for tuning pianos in Luxembourg. He got married in 1875 in Trier and probably took up residence in Trier.


[1] FamilySearch database (G7CZ-61Y)

[2] Florian Speer, 2000, Dissertation, Wuppertal

[3] Rodenwald’s Prussian patent had been granted for 6 years

[4] Courrier du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, 6 May 1846, p. 4 

[5] Courrier du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, 30 May 1846, p. 4

[6] Courrier du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, 20 September1846, p. 4 

[7] Der Volksfreund, 31. Dezember 1848, p. 4