C.W. Lindsay & Co. Retail chain selling pianos, phonographs, and sheet music. The enterprise originated in 1877, when Charles William Lindsay (b Montreal 6 Apr 1856, d there 7 Nov 1939), who had been blind since adolescence, returned from Boston after studying piano tuning and repair at the Perkins Institute for the Blind. He started practising his trade but soon began to sell reconditioned pianos. He became the agent for Heintzman
in 1883 and then obtained contracts with two Boston companies, Miller and, in 1896, Chickering. Lindsay bought the local branch of A. & S. Nordheimer
in 1897, De Zouche & Atwater
of Montreal some time afterwards, and C.A. McNee of Ottawa in 1905. In 1902 the business became a limited liability company, and Lindsay built his own seven-storey building on Ste-Catherine St West. He bought out other enterprises: part of Orme & Son of Ottawa (1909), Cordingly of Brockville, Ont (1910), the Montreal branch of Nordheimer Piano & Music Co (1911), Foisy Frères of Montreal (1914), Riggs of Belleville, Ont (1916), and in 1917 J.-A. Hurteau and the Compagnie générale des phonographes de Montréal. In 1915 he also had built a five-storey building in Quebec City on the corner of St-Jean and St-Eustache streets, managed by C. A. Hurteau. In 1928 C.W. Lindsay & Co Ltd was reorganized as a public company with its shares listed on the stock exchange, and the founder sold his shares and withdrew from the business. J.-A. Hébert became president and general manager.
Besides selling player-piano rolls, phonographs, sheet music, and records, the Lindsay Co bought pianos, particularly those manufactured by Lesage and Craig, and sold them under its own name. The Woodhouse department store in Montreal bought out C.W. Lindsay & Co in 1944 and gradually acquired the different branches by the 1950s. An advertisement dated 1947 mentions three stores in Montreal as well as branches in Kingston and Ottawa, Ont, and in Quebec City, Trois-Rivières, and Verdun, Que.
C.W. Lindsay was made a KBE in 1935. Sir Charles was a philanthropist who generously supported hospitals and charitable organizations. He also created prizes for musical achievement, in particular an annual scholarship of $100 (1928-after 1944) given by the Ladies' Morning Musical Club. In 1932 a street in Montreal was named in his honour.
'Brillante inauguration du nouvel édifice "Lindsay",' Quebec City Action sociale, 26 Apr 1915
'Sir C. Lindsay, philanthropist, dies aged 83,' Montreal Star, 7 Nov 1939