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MMD > Archives > November 1996 > 1996.11.06 > 06Prev  Next

Re: Mfg Date of Piano
By Bill Maxim

Michael -

I am a bit limited in making an accurate reply, as I am answering from different location and do not have access to your original query. Do I remember that the serial number you mentioned was approximately 136,000?

One bit of background I may not have included is that in the 1970's I was the recipient of many requests to tune upright pianos, referred by a local dealer who did not have sufficient tuners to deal with the old pianos any more. A good percentage of these were what we call "stencil pianos," i.e. the name was not cast into the plate but applied with a decal. A few standard items would be cast, such as "fully warranted" and so forth. In some cases, separate cast piece might even be screwed on, with the stencil name that would appear on the fallboard. You mention such an extra piece, evidently not including the Orth name.

I remember in searches I made years ago in the old Michael's Piano Atlas that Jacob Doll was listed as the manufacturer of certain pianos made under other names. I checked the atlas, and found that 136,000 coincides with 1919 for Jacob Doll numbers. You said 1919 was cast into the plate (it would have been at the bottom). A few pianos I have tuned with the Jacob Doll name on them have had these words cast into the plate: "Noted for tone, touch and durability." That would not be necessary of course.

I hope this helps.

Bill Maxim, RPT, Piano Technicians Guild
Serving South Carolina from Columbia and Greer

"It is better to keep the mouth shut and seem a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" Chinese Proverb

Key Words in Subject:  Date, Mfg, Piano

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