Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars. Formally known as STL Amateur Luthier

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Tony J Placht blue label from a 1940s Regal guitar Anton Joseph Placht was born in 1867 in Germany to luthier Joseph Placht (b.1840, d. 1896...

Tony J Placht Musical Instruments and Repairing

Tony J Placht blue label from a 1940s Regal guitar

Anton Joseph Placht was born in 1867 in Germany to luthier Joseph Placht (b.1840, d. 1896) and his wife Francisca. He was the third of seven children [1][2].

J. Placht & Son

J. Placht & Son was established by Joseph Placht and sold a variety of band instruments with a smaller line of stringed instruments. It is unclear if Joseph Placht continued to build instruments after moving to the United States. 
  • Shop Located at 113 South Broadway [3]
  • 1896 - Owner and father Joseph Placht passes away
  • 1898 - Currently employed: Frances and Joseph Jr [3]
  • 1908 - Changed names to J. Placht & Bro [5]
  • 1916 - Shop moved to 613 Pine Street [15]
  • 1925 - Opened a branch store at 6311 Delmar Blvd [11]
    • Advertised York band instruments and Washburn stringed instruments
    • Lyon and Healy commended the store's billboard for the Washburn line of instruments as the first "out-of-door" sign for their lines [13][16]

Tony J. Placht

Anton Placht Americanized his name to Anthony and began going by Tony as early as 1897. He lived at 1703 Cora Avenue [3]. He married native Missourian Emelia (or Emillie) Placht (nee Dieckmann) [4]. They had two children, Margariete (b. 1900, d.?) and LeRoy Anthony (b. 1905, d. 1970) [17 p.73]
  • 1897 - Shop opened (approx) at 1002 Olive Street [12]
    • Carried Washburn instruments and sheet music
    • Had been in business with his father for a number of years prior
  • 1908 - Shop moved to 920 Pine Street [6]
  • 1917 - Shop moved to 1001 Pine Street (its final location) [8]
    • The move was influenced by proximity to the "Piano Row" on Pine Street [14]
    • Newspaper advertisements were looking for "secondhand musical instruments" and advertising repair services. 
  • 1940 - Anthony's son LeRoy wrote "manager" of a "retail music store" in his census [18]
  • 1944 - Anthony J Placht dies aged 77 [4]

L. Tony Placht 

The son of Anthony, LeRoy took over the music shop after his father's death in 1944 and ran the store until 1959 when he put out an advertisement looking for work [19]. 

Its tragic as the guitar market was on the edge of another boom with the Beatles and he could've gotten another decade's worth of business. 

Present Day

The Placht family was responsible for distribution of an untold number of instruments to St Louisans and residents of the bi-state area. Their legacy and history deserves to be remembered as instruments bearing their labels can still be found like the Regal guitar I found that led me down this quest. 

Broadway has been extensively redeveloped so Joseph's original building no longer exists. The J. Placht & Bro building on Delmar Boulevard is still standing. Pine Street has also been redeveloped but Tony's location at 1001 Pine still exists and is currently a bank. The building at 1002 Olive Street may also still be standing. Tony's home is still standing, sorta, but it is in a dangerous area of town.

Sources:

[1] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBV-2CW?i=1&cc=1417683&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AM6FJ-3CF
[2] http://genealogy.mohistory.org/genealogy/name/88198?a=1
[3] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C37H-6JMX?cc=3754697&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3ADD7N-Y2T2
[4] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/47760342/tony-j-plach
[5] https://www.newspapers.com/image/138901007/
[6] https://www.newspapers.com/image/138901007/?terms=tony%20anthony%20joseph%20placht&match=1
[7] https://www.newspapers.com/image/572159460/?terms=tony%20placht&match=1
[8] https://www.newspapers.com/image/138256321/?terms=tony%20placht&match=1
[9] https://www.newspapers.com/image/573281652/?terms=tony%20placht&match=1
[10] https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1908-47-2/index.php?page_no=38
[11] https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1925-81-3/35/
[12] https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1897-25-3/21/
[13] https://presto.arcade-museum.com/PRESTO-1925-2019/22/
[14] https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1914-59-2/36/
[15] https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1916-63-18/37/
[16] https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1925-80-10/29/
[17] https://dnr.mo.gov/shpo/survey/SLCAS039-S.pdf
[18] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89MB-18QQ?i=14&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AK74B-663
[19] https://www.newspapers.com/image/570728186/?terms=%22tony%20placht%22&match=1

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