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I think I like this better than the factory tour they give now :-)
The Making of a Steinway Piano - Circa 1929
Mr. Baxter, We wanted to tell you about an exciting project currently underway at the La Guardia and Wagner Archives. We recently digitized many of the videos from our collections including several from the Steinway collection. The digital videos are currently being edited with purpose of posting them on YouTube. We are excited to announce that The Making of a Steinway, which is dated on or around 1929, has just been added to our YouTube channel (which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEnuMbyw1eE ). The YouTube version of the video was edited at the Archives by Samuel Lieberman and is in the style of a silent movie complete with interstitial tiles and a ragtime soundtrack. A Super 8 camera follows craftsmen through the heart of the Queens factory, capturing the process of creating the worldâ€™s premier piano, unchanged to this day. In the unedited version, Henry Steinway, a great grandson of the founder, provides voiceover narration.
not really that interesting. society wasnt that open to women. we can all admit that. i dont think adding women into factory would have made things any better or worse either! i personally dont think its good to look back at history and be stuck with it stating that women didnt get to do much. Its almost eqauling*woops i made up a word i think* up today as theres many dis-advantages for men! My mate gets charged %50 more than women just becuase he is a 25 year old male driver. People can say that thats sexist. So feminism shouldnt come into pianos:)
They tell me to practise my swimming. I spend an hour.They tell me to practise piano...I wait until they tell me to stop...
And from before the talkies. With piano accompaniment just like silent film!
If anyone is interested, there are a number of other youtube videos about piano manufacturing. There is one focusing on Mason & Hamlin (part of a PBS series, How Things are Made, with bad soundtrack, but interesting). A couple of the German manufacturers have videos--the Bosendorfer stuff is chopped in little two and three minute segments, the August Foerster one is coherent and well done and the Grotrian piece is a real stitch. Grotrian's offering was put together by the French dealer, and could be an example of French New Wave film making crashing on the rock of German manufacturing. It's my personal favorite so far, but there may be others. I'm not sure to what extent these postings are sponsored, authorized or merely tolerated, but they are all interesting. And they are easy enough to find using the youtube search feature.
Thank you SO much for putting this video up for us. I was intrigued by how ROUND the hammer head shapes were in those days in the scene where the voicer was doing rapid repeated needling. And from the way he was jabbing during his coarse voicing, I'd guess the hammers he was working weren't rock hard.
If Steinway still makes pianos the same way, the pianos REALLY are hand made, aren't they?
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There's also a wonderful DVD "Note by Note" that shows the making of a Steinway D with great interviews of workers, Henry Steinway and various pianists such as Bill Charlap, Pierre Laurent Aimard, and others (I think Helene Grimaud is in there too) as well as footage of the building process. It's very well done.
I wish I could hear an interview with each of the workers. It would be very cool to get some perspective on their thoughts - the job they do and how it relates to the piano as a whole.
Rich Galassini Cunningham Piano Co. Phila, Pa. (215) 991-0834 direct line email@example.com Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration: http://www.cunninghampiano.com/how-its-made/
The film starts and ends with a print ("The Making of a Steinway") which comes from a brochure produced by Steinway at around the same time (I happen to own a copy, which is why I recognised it). Steinway commissioned the Art Deco master Winold Reiss to produce a series of woodcuts following the making of a Steinway. That brochure and this promotional film pretty much follow the same story and seem to have been the product of the same marketing drive.
The film is dated 1929 so I assume it was put together before the Wall Street Crash. Perhaps that calamitous event was the reason the film was never released?
Great movie... thanks. but "A Super 8 camera follows craftsmen through the heart of the Queens factory..." In 1929? I think not! They may have had 35 mm then but I'm not at all sure, anyway the quality would then have been higher. Perhaps 16 mm? But not, IMHO, 8 mm of any sort! Any film experts out there? Cheers, Roger
An engineer(EE) from Thornhill, near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. General Music PRO1 stage-piano plus very good audio system. "Repair, refurbish, rebuild, reuse, re-engineer, recycle..." Keep the old 'uns playing! Applies to pianos as well as vintage radios (my other hobby!)
Someone should tell Steinway it definately wasn't videotape.
What surprised me was the team of men pouring molten iron without a trace of safety gear save some leather gloves. Men were expected to be careful back then. Today with OSHA and a thousand other government cry-baby agencies -- not to mention 20 million tort lawyers -- I'm surprised anyone is even allowed to make a piano.