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MMD > Archives > November 2016 > 2016.11.03 > 02Prev  Next

Debut of the Ampico Spinet Reproducing Piano
By Mike Walter

Hi all,  I am fortunate to be working on a 1938 Fischer Ampico spinet
piano, serial number 177316.  It has had some major work done to it,
but still needs additional work to get to run properly.

A friend of mine has asked me if I knew for certain how long the
Aeolian American Corporation made these pianos.  He had heard that
one had been made earlier, such as 1935.  I checked in the trade
publications that are listed on the AMICA website but there were no
publications that went into the 1930s.  There were only about 100 of
these spinets manufactured during this period of time.  How many are
still around?

Does anyone have a Fischer spinet, or other Aeolian American product
from the 1930s that has the Ampico player mechanism in it?  Would you
share the serial number, for historical and curiosity sake?  Thanks
very much!

Mike Walter

 [ The tiny spinet upright was manufactured from the mid-1930s until
 [ recent times.  The low position of the hammers required the use of
 [ a "drop action" to preserve a reasonable keyboard height [1].
 [ According to piano historian Arthur Loesser (1954), the first
 [ spinet piano was offered to the public in May 1935, by an American
 [ manufacturer Loesser does not identify[2].
 [ MMDigest articles mention the Ampico system in spinet pianos branded
 [ as Geo. Steck and Fischer[3].  Douglas Henderson wrote, "I've never
 [ owned or worked on the Ampico spinet from the end of the decade,
 [ reaching up to 1940.  These often had the Geo. Steck decal on them,
 [ since Aeolian-American was now the builder of these instruments[4]."
 [ References:
 [ 1. 
 [ 2. 
 [ 3. 
 [ 4. 
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Thu 3 Nov 2016, 23:48:06 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Ampico, Debut, Piano, Reproducing, Spinet

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