Hi all, As an apprentice at the Tusting Piano Co., in Asbury Park,
New Jersey, I had the privilege of knowing and learning many things
about the piano industry from Phil Tusting, the last of the three
Tusting brothers. Phil was 89 when I met him, and he told me many
interesting facts and taught me almost all of the finer aspects of
grand piano action regulating that I know today. Phil was a serious
man who was not known as a jokester or a 'story teller'.
The first time a Lauter-Humana player piano came into the shop for
rebuilding (while I was there), it was noted by the movers that the
piano was much heavier than most other upright player pianos. That's
when Phil told us the story of the "cement" Lauter.
Seems that when 'old man' Lauter turned the business over to his son,
the young man came up with the brilliant idea of making a piano that
would have excellent tubing stability and be much less expensive to
manufacture. So, the frame of the piano was made out of cement.
Evidently, a number of these pianos were actually sold. The only
problem was, they were extremely difficult to move. According to
Phil, it took nine men to move the piano. Phil also said that the
misadventures of the son ultimately led to the demise of the Lauter
Whether any of this is true or not, I do not know. I believe
Phil was telling the truth. Tusting pianos were made by Lindeman
in New York, and Phil grew up in the piano industry.
John A. Tuttle
Brick, NJ, USA