Lyon & Healy Harp, Model 175, 1896<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Lyon-Healy-Harp.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Lyon & Healy Harp, Model 175, 1896<div class="ExternalClass9772D43FEA244E4C9EA94E43013B0006"><p>"Let's build a harp that will no longer worry its owner because of its liability to get out of order easily; let us build a harp that will go around the world without losing a screw," declared George W. Lyon in the 1870s, when he noticed his company's repair shops received a constant stream of harps frequently requiring a great amount of work. At the time, Lyon & Healy was in the piano business, and the sole Chicago-area representative of Steinway & Sons. The firm had been operating since 1864, when a Boston music publisher dispatched Lyon and Patrick J. Healy to Chicago to start a sheet music shop to sell his publications.</p><p>After years of research and development, Lyon & Healy built its first harp in 1889. At the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, the company's exhibition of harps received a supreme diploma by the jury of awards for its many improvements to this ancient instrument. The company's earliest harps highlighted the woodworking skill of its artisans with delicately inlaid marquetry and highly embellished floral carving gilded with gold leaf, as many still do today.</p><p>Although styling evolved over the years, Lyon & Healy harps continue to combine the latest tech-nology with old-world craftsmanship. Both the woodworking for the harp and metalworking for the mechanism have been executed in-house by skilled craftsman in the company's Chicago factory since the 1890s. Sitka Spruce, noted for strength, resilience and rich resonance, is used for the frame of the body and, most importantly, the soundboard of the harp. Hard Maple forms the column, neck, and body—chosen for its visual distinctiveness as well as for its structural vitality. Because the strings pull with up to 2,000 pounds of pressure, the harp's structural foundation must be extremely strong Lyon & Healy artisans have maintained Healy's commitment to a practice of old-world craftsmanship while embracing new-world innovations to build "the finest harp in the world" for154 years.</p></div>GP0|#18f0c57b-37f7-4e98-89ef-bc987a3460fc;L0|#018f0c57b-37f7-4e98-89ef-bc987a3460fc|Lyon & Healy;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#b8008031-8d86-41bf-8c8c-657f66f046d4;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Music;#Instrument;#TemporaryWood;#Chicago, IllinoisHard Maple frame, Sitka Spruce soundboard, 70 × 38 inches Courtesy of of Lyon & Healy Harps, Chicago