It was quite a job getting it moved again. I'm now trying to find out if there is any information out there such as company records, etc., that might tell when it was first sold. I have no idea where the lady got the piano, and don't remember her name. It would be nice to have some idea of the history behind it.
I've thought of another question concerning this. I've read about players and reproducing pianos, but never realized the distinction until now. I was reading that a regular player (at least in years prior to when this was made) had rolls that were cut by hand, as compared to a reproducing player, which cuts the roll as the piano is played. I had previously thought that the rolls were cut for a regular player on the piano itself, but apparently some were cut by hand. Is this correct?
As for this piano, I'm not sure what kind of mechanism was in it originally. It has the door for the pedals, but could it have possibly been electric, also? Something I missed in the original reply was that the box that i had found could have been a contact for an electric motor, although it looks like a vacuum box. Is it possible that this could have had an electric motor at one time? Enough of the mechanisms are gone to prevent me from seeing any place to mount a motor.
Here's some pictures of the piano and the serial number:
I would appreciate any information on this. I have posted on other forums, with little to no response. I received a response here when I first posted, so it makes sense to ask again.
Thanks for your time,
- Colin Nicholson
- Executive Poster
- Posts: 1839
- Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
- Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
There are quite a few references to this make of piano in the Reblitz "Player Piano Servicing & Rebuilding" book - and a 2-page write up with some images on pages 106 - 107. Mentions a bit about affiliated companies, history etc., and a diagram showing the lower panel's pumping pedals, air chambers, bellows and lots of parts numbered, but no reference to those numbers.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0911 ... 1_2&sr=8-2
Unfortunately, (frustrating as it may seem), you will never get any personal historic information about your own piano.... even serial numbers don't open a 'blue print' book to previous ownership, how many owners etc. The only way to receive info like this is to rely on previous owners giving you the info.... but usually well lost by now, as you have mentioned.
The photo of the piano doesn't really do you any favours.... we see a box-standard player piano frontage -- Millions of them looked like this. Some interest may be created here if we could see the workings inside by completely removing the front panel, and also lifting away the fallboard (lid that covers the keys). If the player unit/ stack/ spool bar/ bellows/ pumping pedals etc are missing, there is nothing to add here.
The serial number is right - 1911 (ish) .... but that just gives a date, no history.
Also look up Kohler and Campell who were involved with these pianos.
Sorry, don't anything about how the paper rolls were produced.
I doubt if there was an electric motor to drive the bellows - maybe later DIY models?; it contained a Autopiano pump, motor governor and pedal pneumatics (which were more deluxe than standard models), and restoring these parts presents the usual problems with millions of screws and gaskets.
Most are still able to be tuned and played like a normal piano, but many now gather dust and don't work because removing the stack each time to tune it causes damage to the stack gasket each time.
Hope that helps
Here's a link to the pictures. I've found some numbers inside, but i don't know that they mean anything. I do see where the mechanisms are supposed to connect to, such as the sustain pedal and the reroll mechanism. I also saw where it looked like the vertical stack was bolted to the inside of the piano.
- Silverwood Pianos
- Junior Poster
- Posts: 25
- Joined: 14 Oct 2011, 16:31
- Location: Vancouver Canada
The fastest way to determine which is look at the rolls boxes to see what type the instrument plays or check the fall board for decal writing.
Reproducing rolls were all marked with the unit they were cut on.
The 1911 Autopiano;
I remember climbing through a bombed out church window after the war with my young pals .The plaster debris was scattered all round but I tried the long wooden lever to work the organ bellows and we had a short musical interlude in the dust .