William Dodson London piano

Ask questions on piano history and the age of your piano.

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Alice Piano
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William Dodson London piano

Post by Alice Piano » 15 Sep 2020, 13:58

I've been given this piano by a good friend who's moved house and has no space for it. I'm no piano expert (this is my first one) but managed to fix four broken hammers (luckily found inside) and put it all back together, tried some amateur tuning with Pano Tuner app and it sounds pretty much OK well it's playable, although way lower than modern A440 Hz, it was A341 and all keys matched so I left it that way. What is unusual I was tols is that higher notes use 4 strings rather than popular 3. I'm curious about piano's age, looked on the internet but only found one record of Dodson which was was a newer looking piano listed on ebay. Any info much apreciated.
Will post some photos next.
Tom, Poland
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Alice Piano
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Re: William Dodson London piano

Post by Alice Piano » 15 Sep 2020, 19:50

Couple of photos with numbers I found
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Alice Piano
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Re: William Dodson London piano

Post by Alice Piano » 15 Sep 2020, 20:47

wooden pillar inside and handwritten number underneath the keys bar
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Alice Piano
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Re: William Dodson London piano

Post by Alice Piano » 15 Sep 2020, 20:52

better photos before delivery
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Alice Piano
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Re: William Dodson London piano

Post by Alice Piano » 15 Sep 2020, 20:58

hammers repair and action view
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Re: William Dodson London piano

Post by Alice Piano » 15 Sep 2020, 21:01

more shots
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Bill Kibby
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Re: William Dodson London piano

Post by Bill Kibby » 16 Sep 2020, 11:43

My initial guess is that it was made around 1902, so have a look at
http://www.pianohistory.info/edwardian.html
Dodson was established in 1867, but did not appear in the London directories up to 1870. By 1875, the first reference to Dodson in my London lists of Pianoforte makers is Wm.Dodson, 22A, Bryan Street, Caledonian Road, N.
He remained at Bryan Street into the 1920s, but seems to have finished in the 1930s.
Can you tell me what the wording immediately above the keys says?
The serial number is 6469, but although this is interesting to me, it doesn't help you with a date. The same number is pencilled onto the woodwork. Other numbers such as action and keys are not traceable.
It's very interesting that he experimented with 4 strings per note, as others had done much earlier, but the consensus is that they don't produce any useful effect. Do they sound very different to the trichords?
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email via my website.
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, they should refer to pianohistory.info

Alice Piano
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Re: William Dodson London piano

Post by Alice Piano » 16 Sep 2020, 13:53

Thank you for quick reply, I'll have a look at your piano resource page tonight. The wording on key bar says: Uncorn Works, Bryan Street, Caledonian Rd, nr Kings Cross, London. , you can see it on the second photo when enlarged. As to four string per note setup I'm probably the last person to tell the difference, but sound is similar with one of four string muted, maybe 5% richer/louder with four.

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