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Need help learning about a piano please #1161010
03/10/09 10:57 PM
03/10/09 10:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
T
thor62561 Offline OP
Junior Member
thor62561  Offline OP
Junior Member
T

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
Hi,
We recently purchased a home and a piano was left behind by the old owners. I am having a hard time finding out anything about it. Can anyone lead me in the right direction? It is an upright. On the cover in the center it says "Martha Washington Harpinette". On the right side of the front it also says "mirrApiano". Does anyone now anything about this piano and what it might be worth? It is in relatively good shape, just needs tuned?

I appreciate any help I can get.
Thanks,
Spencer

Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: Need help learning about a piano please [Re: thor62561] #1161254
03/11/09 11:40 AM
03/11/09 11:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 83
Canada
M
mike_klein5 Offline
Full Member
mike_klein5  Offline
Full Member
M

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 83
Canada
I did some searching around on Google but was not able to come up with too much. The name does pop up here and there but mostly with people either trying to sell one, or a technician simply having a long list of manufacturers and Martha Washington happens to be in the list. A lot of technicians have the piano atlas so they may be able to find it in there. Unfortunately, I still need to order one so I am not much help. I will keep on browsing around but it does not seem to be a very popular brand.

I am aware that many retail stores in the past sold pianos and had the pianos made by a manufacturer but then stuck a personalized label on the fallboard of the piano. You may be able to find more information if you open up the front or the lid of the piano and look at the sound board. Sometimes there are numbers or manufacturer information. The fact that I am able to at least find something on the make proves that there are others which have the same make so it isn't hopeless, but the piano itself is most likely not worth too much. If it sounds great and it was free than who cares :-) I am sure if someone has a piano Atlas they can tell you more. Good luck!

I was also able to find that MirrApiano was a made/patented in New York as well as Canada

I also found this from an article called, "1940-1949: wartime restriction place a heavy burden on the music industry."

"One of the more creative and successful by-products of war shortages was the Mirra-piano. Throughout the late '40s and early '50s, thousands of used 50" uprights were available, but the majority of customers were interested in the new lower-profile spinets and consoles. Louis Bromberg, an employee of the Wissner Piano Co. of New York, had the idea of placing a mirrored box around the top of an old upright to make it look smaller. He patented the idea and licensed over a dozen manufacturers and rebuilders. Thousands of Mirra-Pianos were sold during and immediately after the war."

So apparently the MirrApiano was just a company which restructured the piano case. They were also known to cut down and modify the case in order to make it smaller and look more like a spinet

Last edited by mike_klein5; 03/11/09 12:05 PM.

Michael Klein
Willis & Co. (MFD: January 1915) & Yamaha YDP-121 (MFD: 2001)
Re: Need help learning about a piano please [Re: mike_klein5] #1161263
03/11/09 11:54 AM
03/11/09 11:54 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Marty Flinn  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Pierce Piano Atlas:

Mirrapiano, Est. 1910, Patentee Louis Brombert, 19 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn New York. Patents held in USA and Canada.

Harpinette, Made by Martha Washington Co. Companies may have merged as was often the case.

There were several hundred piano companies in the US around the turn of the century and into the late 1920's. Likely your instrument is not terribly valuable. Likely built between 1900-1929.


Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

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