Tim Mattice wants to know about the manufacture date of a Lauter-Humana
piano. If the plate was made by Kelly, there is a number embossed on
the plate about a foot above and to the left of the bottom right hand
corner. From what I understand, the date is written in the
Year-Day-Month format (but it might be Year-Month-Day).
Having seen six more Lauters since I last wrote about them in the MMD,
four of them had the Kelly plate and the embossed numbers. All of them
were marked with the year 1924 or 1925. However, when using the Pierce
and the serial number on the pin block, the years reference to 1914 or
Further, as I think I may have already mentioned, I recently received
some information from the Howe Collection at the University of Maryland
which makes it clear that Lauter was still in business in 1926.
Based on all the above, it is now my feeling that the numbers in the
Pierce are wrong. However, I'm not sure if they are all off by exactly
ten years. If you're lucky, the person who made the piano keys might
have hand-scribed the date on the edge of one of the keys near the left
end of the key board. I've found a few such markings, and they
corroborate the ten-year difference between the serial numbers on the
piano and the embossed date on the plate during in the mid twenties.
John A. Tuttle