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Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
#3001360 07/11/20 02:09 AM
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From the 1870s - 1890s, the company of Ed. Westermayer in Berlin created a number of Patent Actions, both for their uprights and their grand pianos.

I have a certain fascination for this kind of thing and I am doing some research, trying to find out as much as I can about the actions and their makers.

Has anyone come across an old Westermayer? Any experiences or picture to share?


JG
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Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3001553 07/11/20 03:48 PM
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Hello, Jurgen, it is nice to hear from you again after all this time!

I have never seen one of those actions, and there may not be any left these days, even if they were ever produced in any kind of numbers. If they ever needed parts, chances are that it would be easier to replace the piano. Are there any patent drawings available?


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Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3001635 07/11/20 09:00 PM
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Westermayer took out patents in Germany as well as the US on a number of different actions which actually went into production. They had some pretty wild ideas, but these actions played (and still play) very well.

http://forum.pianoworld.com//gallery/42/full/13247.jpg

http://forum.pianoworld.com//gallery/42/full/13248.jpg

http://forum.pianoworld.com//gallery/42/full/13246.jpg

[edit - I can't seem to get the images to appear in-line. Someone please remind me how to do that - it has been so long!]

Last edited by Supply; 07/11/20 09:01 PM.

JG
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3001657 07/12/20 12:03 AM
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I like the idea in the second picture, hinging the top action to the keys so you can work on the keys without having to remove the top action.


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Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3001659 07/12/20 12:11 AM
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Yes, the hinging top action is a bit crazy - it gives access to the keys and the capstans, but as well to the repetition springs. Here is a video of a bench regulation of this action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTLn4TNYFiE


JG
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3005310 07/21/20 06:10 PM
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Here is an earlier Westermayer Patent Action, patented around 1870. This piano is from 1872. I finally have some pictures.
This action features an articulated hopper which rests on a repetition lever that is mounted on the key. The curved wooden block on top of the hopper pushes upward against the "knuckle" of the hammer. Complicated, but effective repetition.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


JG
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3005441 07/22/20 05:56 AM
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I can´t share experience with Westermeyer but some pictures I took 10 years ago. As far as I know he was called also Strippen-Ede. When you see the pictures, you will know why....

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3005532 07/22/20 11:20 AM
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Thanks for posting these.

One can sense that these actions were made by organ builders.

The Westernmayer looks like it would be difficult to keep an even hammer line and the other looks like the cords would abrade away rather quickly if you played it much.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3005544 07/22/20 11:54 AM
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Hi Ed,
Westermayer was born the son of an instrument maker in 1824 and grew up n the trade. He worked in several piano factories in different parts of Europe and even the US before starting his own piano factory in 1863. There is no known history of any organ building in the Westermayer's background. But who knows what influenced the action design....

The two actions referred to in this thread are both patented by Westermayer, about 10 years apart, (ca. 1870 and 1880). Gregor, thanks for posting the pictures of the 1880 action with the cords!

Thee are no problems regarding keeping a hammer line that I am aware of. The cords are not touching anything so I do not see much risk of abrasion.

If anyone has any actual experience with either of these actions, as well as more photos, please post them. I am collecting any information I can find on this brand.

Also: if someone can post instructions to search patent databases that would help me as well.


JG
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3005603 07/22/20 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Supply
Also: if someone can post instructions to search patent databases that would help me as well.

Searching for US patents is pretty straightforward. Go to the USPTO site .

Last edited by Roy123; 07/22/20 03:28 PM.
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Roy123 #3006954 07/26/20 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Roy123
Searching for US patents is pretty straightforward. Go to the USPTO site .

That link takes me to the US Patent site, but searching old patents (1800s) by key words eludes me. It seems that I would need to know the patent number in order to call up an image of the patent drawing.
But I don't have patent numbers, only the name of the inventor (Westermayer) and the subject area (Piano or Piano Action). I am stuck.

Any tips?


JG
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3007081 07/26/20 06:39 PM
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By putting "Westermayer" in Field 1, and taking a guess and putting "piano" in Field 2, I got this. This is an 1880 patent. This patent no. 229066 was cited in a patent by Darrell Fandrich, here.

Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3007086 07/26/20 06:55 PM
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There is also something in the Official Gazette of the US Patent Office, dated April 1879, here.

Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
David-G #3007175 07/27/20 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by David-G
By putting "Westermayer" in Field 1, and taking a guess and putting "piano" in Field 2, I got This is an 1880 patent. This patent no. 229066 was cited in a patent by Darrell Fandrich, here.

Yes, exactly what I was saying. It does not lead to a patent by Westermayer, but rather a reference to his patent. I have followed that link previously and had found the 1880 patent, with which I was already familiar.
Thank you for the reference in the Gazette. I was able to follow that and download that Patent which was from 1879. I had previously found that same Patent in German. Having it in English now is great.

This 1879 patent is a further development of the action in my piano (the instrument is from 1872). There must be an earlier patent for my action from around 1870. The 1879 patent actually makes reference to it, however oblique.

So my question still remains: it appears hat the US Patent site is not searchable by name or key words in patents earlier than about 1920 or so. The patents are there, (digital photos) but unless I have a patent number to go to, I can't find anything.

Can someone show me that I am wrong in this? Surely there has to be a way to search early patents?


JG
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
Supply #3007201 07/27/20 04:26 AM
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It does seem a very odd situation. This is probably an obvious suggestion, but is there any kind of guidance page somewhere on the Patent Office site which describes how to find patents?

Is it possible that an on-line index for the early patents has never been compiled? Perhaps you might have to consult printed indices? I have an entirely separate interest in railway signalling instruments from the nineteenth century. In this connection, I have a volume "Abridgements of Specifications relating to Railways", published at the London Patent Office 1884. This has an index of names. So maybe there is something similar which could assist with the Westermayer patents. But it would probably mean a long trip. One would think that in this day and age this would not be necessary.

Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
David-G #3007296 07/27/20 11:12 AM
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Yes it seems that some on-line PDF files (digitized old documents) are searchable in-text with key words, but many are not. Old patents for example and scans of the German music industry trades journals from the 1880s to 1920s.
In the case of these trade journals, I understand someone has painstakingly gone over them article by article, and referenced key words in articles related to the piano trade with the year, volume and page in the journals.

Meanwhile, I quite easily found a reference to Westermayer distributor in a scan of an 1890 Hawaiian newspaper/advertiser. In the scan of that publication, every key word in the text is searchable.

Are there different levels or formats of PDF files, some allowing robotic text reading and others not?


JG
Re: Ed. Westermayer Patent Actions
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Searchable pdf scans use optical character recognition to make an underlying text layer. OCR is very good these days, but still not entirely accurate.


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