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MMD > Archives > December 1998 > 1998.12.02 > 01Prev  Next

Strange Lightweight Pianos in Transportation
By Mark Kinsler

Did the following pianos exist or are they mis-remembered details
of news articles and/or fictional?

* The S.S. United States, which was built in around 1952, was designed
to be exceptionally fireproof.  It was said that the only wood in the
ship was the chopping blocks in the kitchen and the sounding board in
the piano.  It seems to me that this piano was something special in
this regard.  Does anyone know anything about it?

* One of the big German passenger airships -- perhaps the Hindenburg
or Graf Zeppelin -- might have had an aluminum piano in it.  True,
false, or what?

* There was a short article in Popular Science magazine circa 1960
about an airliner in which an electronic organ had been installed for
the entertainment of the passengers.  The instrument was bolted to the
floor in the front of the cabin, and I suppose you had to sit there and
listen to Vaya Con Dios, My Darling whether you wanted to or not.  Must
have been great when you were stacked up over LAX.

Now, somewhere in my increasingly fuzzy memory is an image of a piano
in that passenger lounge that was installed in the first of the Boeing
747 jet airliners.  You might recall that there was a spiral staircase
in the cabin that went up to the lounge.  I know there was some sort
of bar there, but I think there might have been a piano, presumably of
lightweight construction, there as well.  This could well have been
some sort of artist's conception of what the lounge would look like,
of course.  Does anyone know?

Mark Kinsler
Interpretation and instruction of physical science and technology
Athens, Ohio, USA.

(Message sent Tue 1 Dec 1998, 06:13:19 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Lightweight, Pianos, Strange, Transportation

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