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On April 1, 1859, August Förster opened a small piano workshop in Löbau, Germany, expanding to a factory on Löbau’s Jahn Street in 1862. Still in use today, this facility has been enlarged and modernized by the Förster family and remains the exclusive site for the manufacture of the original August Förster piano.


In 1897, Caesar Förster succeeded his father August as manager of the company, and opened a second factory in Georgswalde (Jiříkov), Bohemia (later Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic) in 1900.


In 1937 the company manufactured one of the first electric pianos, the “Vierling-Förster” piano, developed by Oskar Vierling at the Heinrich Institute for Oscillation Research at the Technical University of Berlin using electromagnetic pickups.


In 1945 the factory in Georgswalde was nationalized. Under new state-sanctioned management many pianos of good quality were produced, but since 1945 the Czech-made pianos have had no connection or relationship to the German August Förster piano. This “other” August Förster is currently produced in the Czech Republic by the Petrof (also rendered “Petroff,” “Petrov”) Piano Company, and sold in Canada and certain European countries.


In 1972, the final phase of East German nationalization transformed the company into the state-owned “VEB Fluegel-und-Pianobau Loebau.” Although still under the management of Wolfgang Förster, the company was annexed as part of the German Piano-Union, Leipzig. The family name was added back into the official company name in 1976, resulting in instruments branded “VEB Förster Pianos Loebau.” Also in 1976, the company began its first exports to the United States.