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MMD > Archives > October 2006 > 2006.10.25 > 09Prev  Next

Unusual Aeolian-Weber Themodist Upright
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  Information continues to flow in about the Weber with the
Aeolian Themodist player action.  However, I believe that one important
correction is required at this time.

After determining that the instrument has a 65-note stack and certain
other common components of the time, it can be said with almost
absolute certainty that the piano was not made in 1919.  In fact, it is
much more likely that the instrument was manufactured in 1907.

The differences in manufacture date come from the Pierce Piano Atlas,
pages 13 and 367.  Page 13 is for the Aeolian-Weber and page 367 is for
the Weber & Co.

It has also come to light that positioning the Themodist and
Play/Rewind levers above the fallboard was not uncommon in the early
Themodist models.  However, by 1910 it seems that locating the controls
in front of the keys became the common practice. (Mind you, these are
opinions, and not necessarily facts.)

It's also beginning to look like the piano was 'modified' at some time
in the very early 'twenties.  Although there is no proof of this as
yet, certain things like the cabinet style (which was identified by one
respondent as "Manx") and Macassar (wood) were only popular in the
middle part of the Art-Deco/Art-Nouveau period.  However, there still
remains the possibility that it was custom made in 1907.

(At this point, I'd love to tear the instrument apart and check for dates
and names on all the pieces.  It seems to me that if the piano was custom
built or modified in the early part of the 1900's, there are signatures
and perhaps dates on the parts, somewhere...  For your information, the
piano is located about 5 miles north-west of Hollywood, California.)

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Wed 25 Oct 2006, 21:10:50 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Aeolian-Weber, Themodist, Unusual, Upright

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