Pleyel pioneered the player piano with the Pleyela line of pianos. These were often very small pianos of a very unusual design.
Pleyel was the first to introduce the upright piano to France, adopting the best features of pianos built in Britain. They introduced these pianos by 1815. Their pianos were such a success that in 1834 the company boasted 250 employees and an annual production of 1000 pianos.
The company’s success led them to invest in experiments, resulting in the Double Piano in 1890. Although not the first company to experiment with building two pianos into the same frame, Pleyel (who patented it as “Duo-Clave”) was by far the most successful and produced the largest instruments. A very small number of Double Pianos were manufactured in the 1890s and continued to be made until the 1920s.