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[article] When the Pianos Went to War
#2891067 09/16/19 05:15 PM
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When the Pianos Went to War on Atas Obscura

Thought the forum might be interested in this, an article about the field hardened Steinway made for WWII, the Victory Vertical. They can withstand an airdrop! This is on my "Today I Learned" list smile


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Re: [article] When the Pianos Went to War
Chrispy #2891085 09/16/19 05:49 PM
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We have one of these durable little beauties on display at the Musical Instrument Museum here in Phoenix (where I volunteer). Unfortunately, I can't play it to see how it feels and sounds. I've also seen the one (mentioned in the article) displayed at the museum in Carlsbad CA. .


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Re: [article] When the Pianos Went to War
Chrispy #2891087 09/16/19 05:51 PM
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[Steinway] has a 1943 letter from a Private Kenneth Kranes, stationed in North Africa, to his mother back in New York. “We all got a kick out of it and sure had fun after meals when we gathered around the pianna [sic] to sing,” he wrote, just a week before he was killed in battle. “I slept smiling and even today am humming a few of the songs we sang.”


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Re: [article] When the Pianos Went to War
Chrispy #2891108 09/16/19 06:59 PM
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Very interesting article- thanks for sharing.



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Re: [article] When the Pianos Went to War
FrankCox #2891143 09/16/19 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankCox
[Steinway] has a 1943 letter from a Private Kenneth Kranes, stationed in North Africa, to his mother back in New York. “We all got a kick out of it and sure had fun after meals when we gathered around the pianna [sic] to sing,” he wrote, just a week before he was killed in battle. “I slept smiling and even today am humming a few of the songs we sang.”

That is very moving ! I am glad he had those moments with his friends, singing around the piano.

Re: [article] When the Pianos Went to War
Chrispy #2891147 09/16/19 10:48 PM
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I like the photo with all the pianos in a row. Cool.


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Re: [article] When the Pianos Went to War
Chrispy #2891187 09/17/19 05:51 AM
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Any time I've heard one of these, I thought it had a certain charm. I don't know what it is about them.

Re: [article] When the Pianos Went to War
Chrispy #2891215 09/17/19 07:33 AM
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The part about having 1/10 the metal as a normal piano is fantasy, but almost everything else about the Victory piano is true.

This brings a fun story to mind. About 2 years ago, we were restoring a "model 40" (The model of the Victory Piano) and discovered that, under the black finish that was obviously factory (or at least very professionally done, were signs of the olive drab of the Victory pianos. The family was sure their mother bought the piano new and thought it was right after the war. That all made sense to me.

They were actually considering having us refinish it in olive drab, but in the end, stuck with hand rubbed satin ebony. They thought that the idea was pretty cool, but it just wouldn't be "Grandma's piano" anymore if they did that.

Thanks for posting!


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Re: [article] When the Pianos Went to War
Chrispy #2891270 09/17/19 10:10 AM
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There was a thread here on PW a few months ago around the 75th D-Day Anniversary on the Victory Verticals. See link below.

You'll find links to several articles about them in that thread.

Steinway Victory Verticals Thread

Last edited by GC13; 09/17/19 10:11 AM.
Re: [article] When the Pianos Went to War
Lady Bird #2891342 09/17/19 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by FrankCox
[Steinway] has a 1943 letter from a Private Kenneth Kranes, stationed in North Africa, to his mother back in New York. “We all got a kick out of it and sure had fun after meals when we gathered around the pianna [sic] to sing,” he wrote, just a week before he was killed in battle. “I slept smiling and even today am humming a few of the songs we sang.”

That is very moving ! I am glad he had those moments with his friends, singing around the piano.

Yes, touching story.



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