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Sherman Clay & Company
 
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Sherman Clay & Company opened its first music store in San Francisco in 1870, selling music and musical instruments. The company was a manufacturers representative for several organ companies including Aeolian, Estey and Kimball. A number of early theatre instruments were sold including a 2/9 Estey to Seattle's Dream Theatre in 1908.
 
By 1910, Sherman Clay had stores in Tacoma and Seattle as well. An early employee of Sherman Clay was Sandy Balcom who went on to form his own company Balcom & Vaughan Pipe Organs.
 
Sherman Clay later moved its downtown Seattle store from Second Avenue to its current Fourth Avenue location near Macy's (formerly The Bon Marche). By the late 1940s, the company was also selling radios, record players, and television sets. Today, Sherman Clay sells only pianos.
 

http://www.shermanclay.com
 

 
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Postcard view of 2nd Ave looking North from Union Street, c.1912
 
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2nd Ave looking North from Union St. with a glimpse of the Sherman & Clay store signage on far right, pre-1908.
 

View during a parade showing signage for the Bellingham store, date unknown
 
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Signage for the Bellingham store c.1973, photo courtesy Jeff Fox
 
According to Jeff Fox, The building shown above "...was the McLeod Hotel on State Street (originally called Elk Street). In later years it was called the Columbia Hotel. A point of interest was: "Victor Talking Machines and Records" at the bottom of the sign. Not long after the black and white photo of the same sign above was taken, the Alaska Building was built along side, hiding the sign. Eiler's Music was located in the Alaska building on the Holly Street side and they sold the Kimball organ to the Bell Theatre. The Alaska Building burned circa 1970 and when it was demolished the Sherman Clay sign appeared looking as it did many years ago. Unfortunately, about 1974 the sign was painted over with another ad for a cafe in the McLeod building. That building also burned down on December 31, 1974.
 
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Promotional celluloid pinback, photo courtesy Eric Swanson 2006
 
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Promotional celluloid mirror, photo courtesy Eric Swanson 2006


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