Ear: Astor

A nugget from The Daily Astorian, May 13, 1876:

The First Pianos — In a New York paper printed on Jan. 10, 1789, may be the first piano-forte advertisement ever published in that city.

It reads: "I, Jacob Astor, at 81 Queen St., next door but one to the Friends' Meeting House, has for sale an assortment of piano-fortes of the newest construction made by the best makers in London, which he will sell on reasonable terms.

"He gives cash for all kinds of furs, and has for sale a quantity of Canada beaver, and beaver coating, raccoon skins and raccoon blankets, muskrat skins, etc., etc."

Note: Well, we know how one of this famous entrepreneur's most well-known fur trading ventures began … with the founding of Fort Astoria in 1811.

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.