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How early can a baby grand be?
#2924304 12/18/19 12:07 PM
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What I get from reading is that Krebs in Germany was making 5-ft pianos in the 1880's, but nothing that small in a grand was made in America until the 1910's. So an "1897" baby is spurious and you won't find any with cabriole legs. Am I right?
In looking this up on the Internet, I find that Steinway made the first baby grand with their Model A and whittled it down to the Model O and Model S. I don't think so. That was posted by a Dr. of Musicology, though.

Re: How early can a baby grand be?
edferris #2924368 12/18/19 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by edferris
What I get from reading is that Krebs in Germany was making 5-ft pianos in the 1880's, but nothing that small in a grand was made in America until the 1910's. So an "1897" baby is spurious and you won't find any with cabriole legs. Am I right?
In looking this up on the Internet, I find that Steinway made the first baby grand with their Model A and whittled it down to the Model O and Model S. I don't think so. That was posted by a Dr. of Musicology, though.


I am mildly offended by your inclusion of Steinway A as baby grands smile


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Re: How early can a baby grand be?
edferris #2924382 12/18/19 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by edferris
What I get from reading is that Krebs in Germany was making 5-ft pianos in the 1880's, but nothing that small in a grand was made in America until the 1910's.


Actually, Sohmer built the first 5 ft. grand in America. It was a symmetrical cabinet and I believe it was first made in 1884, but I am going by memory on that fact. I had thought it was the first 5 ft. in the world, but since you have quoted the Krebs company, I cannot say with certainty.


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Re: How early can a baby grand be?
Davdoc #2924398 12/18/19 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Davdoc
Originally Posted by edferris
What I get from reading is that Krebs in Germany was making 5-ft pianos in the 1880's, but nothing that small in a grand was made in America until the 1910's. So an "1897" baby is spurious and you won't find any with cabriole legs. Am I right?
In looking this up on the Internet, I find that Steinway made the first baby grand with their Model A and whittled it down to the Model O and Model S. I don't think so. That was posted by a Dr. of Musicology, though.


I am mildly offended by your inclusion of Steinway A as baby grands smile



Steinway officially referred to the Parlor Scale Model AII short scale made between 1905 and 1913 as a Baby Grand. Later the O, M, L and S were all called Miniature Grands. The term baby came to mean all grands smaller than about 6 feet in length. There is no real definition and because "smaller" meant "baby" it became really confusing when the pianos under 5'1" came into existence


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Re: How early can a baby grand be?
edferris #2924401 12/18/19 03:52 PM
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Quote
There is no real definition and because "smaller" meant "baby" it became really confusing when the pianos under 5'1" came into existence


Thanks for those comments Sally! I always wondered about this because some people say my piano (at 5'8") is a baby grand while others say it isn't. In the context of grand pianos less that 5' long, it makes sense to say 5'8" is a mid-sized grand, while in the context of 9' long concert grands, it makes sense to say a 5'8" piano is a baby grand. crazy

Given the above, it might be time to retire the term "baby grand" for modern pianos... But! The OP was not asking about modern pianos, so apologies for the thread drift!


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Re: How early can a baby grand be?
edferris #2924423 12/18/19 04:31 PM
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Tall 130 sized uprights used to be called "upright grands" but I do not think so anymore.
Perhaps as more people now own grands or baby grands.
A 7' grand is a semi concert .To me however a grand 6' or over is a grand.(not baby grand )
Mid size grand also useful for those just bigger than a "baby"

Re: How early can a baby grand be?
edferris #2924486 12/18/19 07:23 PM
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Well, my wife’s uncle referred to my 7’6” piano as a baby grand. I just smiled.


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Re: How early can a baby grand be?
John305 #2924587 12/19/19 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by John305
Well, my wife’s uncle referred to my 7’6” piano as a baby grand. I just smiled.

Size does matter! ha

Very interesting conversation, by the way, I never even knew that baby grands weren't a thing before the 1880s.

Last edited by Sibylle; 12/19/19 04:59 AM.

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Re: How early can a baby grand be?
edferris #2924644 12/19/19 09:04 AM
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It’s really kinda tough keeping piano sizes straight without additional confusion around descriptions like baby, parlor, full, and concert. I’ve always had to use my metric to feet and inches conversion calculator. And that’s just grand’s. Then there’s uprights. I’ll call it out here and maybe get banned but I guess I could use a bit additional drama around the holidays grin. Why are we so quick to rush to judgement over a piano’s size or lack thereof? The importance of any piano, small spinet or concert grand is to give members of the household a chance to express ourselves musically, relax, have fun, learn, and enjoy. I myself in a different thread mentioned that when I had the rare chance to play a big grand > 7 ff. it made me feel like a concert pianist or a millionaire with a mansion. I’m neither of those things and truthfully I’m quite happy and feel especially blessed to have what I have. Two hands with 10 working fingers, two eyes that can see where my fingers are playing and with readers see the music, two ears with decent hearing for my age, and a brain still capable of learning new repertoire, which by doing so makes me a bit sharper in other areas. I think we need to be cautious because not everyone here has the room, or the money, or even the desire to have a 9 foot grand sitting in their huge entertainment space. And to play along with the double entrendre, it’s not the size that matters, but how you use it.


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Re: How early can a baby grand be?
S. Phillips #2924715 12/19/19 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by S. Phillips
Originally Posted by Davdoc
Originally Posted by edferris
What I get from reading is that Krebs in Germany was making 5-ft pianos in the 1880's, but nothing that small in a grand was made in America until the 1910's. So an "1897" baby is spurious and you won't find any with cabriole legs. Am I right?
In looking this up on the Internet, I find that Steinway made the first baby grand with their Model A and whittled it down to the Model O and Model S. I don't think so. That was posted by a Dr. of Musicology, though.


I am mildly offended by your inclusion of Steinway A as baby grands smile



Steinway officially referred to the Parlor Scale Model AII short scale made between 1905 and 1913 as a Baby Grand. Later the O, M, L and S were all called Miniature Grands. The term baby came to mean all grands smaller than about 6 feet in length. There is no real definition and because "smaller" meant "baby" it became really confusing when the pianos under 5'1" came into existence



Thank you, Ms. Phillips. I always learn new things from reading your posts.

I wonder whether the OP would need to clarify the question, such as "which maker(s) first called their models 'baby grand'?" or "which maker(s) started first to make pianos of 'baby' size?" But given Steinway A-2 were called baby grands, then anything grand pianos at or shorter than 6'2" could be considered "baby grands". I suspect this will push the year much earlier smile

Also now by considering our A as a baby grand, I have one excuse to think about upgrading from purely the perspectives of size smile


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Re: How early can a baby grand be?
edferris #2924717 12/19/19 12:25 PM
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My question was really when did American makers start producing pianos around 5-ft. in size. 5'8" is a small parlor grand. The Steinway A was a parlor grand; I was just commenting on the bad information you can get on the Internet, for free.
I think there was a 5'4" Chickering Quarter Grand, which is on the edge of being considered a "baby". Made from 1904 (at least) into the 1920's.
The report of a piano-tuners' convention in 1917 does not use the term "baby grand", but refers to the 5-ft. piano as a recently introduced product. The industry reps at the convention spent a lot of effort in asserting that the small soundboard really didn't matter.

Re: How early can a baby grand be?
edferris #2924735 12/19/19 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by edferris
My question was really when did American makers start producing pianos around 5-ft. in size. 5'8" is a small parlor grand. The Steinway A was a parlor grand; I was just commenting on the bad information you can get on the Internet, for free.
I think there was a 5'4" Chickering Quarter Grand, which is on the edge of being considered a "baby". Made from 1904 (at least) into the 1920's.
The report of a piano-tuners' convention in 1917 does not use the term "baby grand", but refers to the 5-ft. piano as a recently introduced product. The industry reps at the convention spent a lot of effort in asserting that the small soundboard really didn't matter.

That is fascinating. How did those industry reps respond when the 5 foot pianos they were introducing were played in front of piano technicians? I think their claims would pretty much prove rather silly.


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Re: How early can a baby grand be?
edferris #2924811 12/19/19 04:52 PM
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Here's a link to the 1917 report:
https://archive.org/details/pianotonebuildin12pian/page/n6

I don't think they actually played the instruments, they just talked about them.


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