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1922 Rivola Advertisement Image Source Angelo Mannello & Sons Angelo Mannello was born October 11th, 1859 in Italy where he undoubtedly ...

Rivola Manufacturing Company - New York

1922 Rivola Advertisement
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Angelo Mannello & Sons

Angelo Mannello was born October 11th, 1859 in Italy where he undoubtedly studied joinery or musical instrument construction. He arrived in the United States on April 8th, 1885 and began the manufacture of instruments under his name in 1888. He lived at 680 Eagle Avenue in Chicago [1]. He won numerous awards at fairs and expositions across the United States including the 1904 St Louis Worlds Fair. He was noted for spending four months making a mandolin with intricate pearl inlay detailing the figure of a woman surrounded by flying butterflies. His mandolin won first prize at the 1900 Paris Fair [2].

He married Filomena (b. 1868) in 1888 and had seven children: Filomina, Anna, Martin, Ida, Fiori, Antoinette, and Jennie [3]. In 1910, George, aged 15, began working at the instrument factory as an office boy [4]. Angelo's occupation was listed as being a "mandolin manufacturer". By 1920, Martin, aged 20, was also working in the factory as an apprentice [5]. Their youngest son, Fiora, did not appear to join the trade.

In 1894, Angelo's factory was located at 260 Bowery and employed 3 men working 66 hours a week. By 1898, he employed 38 employees [8][9]. The staffing went up to 45 in 1899 [10]. 

Angelo Mannello filed for bankruptcy in 1905 which gives an incredible insight into his life. His factory at 553 East 140th Street in New York manufactured "mandolins, guitars, etc". He had been in the business of instrument manufacture for 17 years prior to the bankruptcy. In February of 1905, his factory at 476 Eagle Avenue was destroyed by fire. He also owned a "liquor saloon" for 7 years prior at 550 Courtland Avenue. He had $90,773 in liabilities and $9,078 in assets. He was listed as being the treasurer of the Bell Piano Company and owed $33,941 to the company. He also owed money to tuning machine manufacturer Louis Handel, Grubb-Rosegarten Brothers, and the Strouch brothers [7].


In 1921, Angelo passed his business onto his sons George and Martin who turned their eyes onto expansion of the business and incorporated the Rivola Manufacturing Corporation. They had developed a reputation for their Rivola brand instruments under their father and decided to embrace the brand for their company. They expanded their instrument lineup to include banjos, banjo mandolins, banjo guitars, tenor banjos, bowlback and flat back mandolins, ukuleles, and guitars. All carried the "Rivola" brand. Their factory, office, and show rooms were located at 565 Courtlandt Street in New York City [6]. 




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