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#312928 - 06/16/05 08:23 AM Antique Singer piano???
kebcrouch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Texas
I have an antique upright piano. On the inside it has a molded brass plate that says, Singer Piano Co. Chicago, This instrument is warranted for 25 years by the manufacturs. It has a number that is "branded" into the wood. I have call a lot of people, asked a lot of questions, and done hours upon hours of research and can not find any information on this piano, it's age, or history. Does anyone know anything?

Thanks!!!

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#312929 - 06/16/05 11:30 AM Re: Antique Singer piano???
kebcrouch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Texas
Does anyone know where else I may look on the internet to find out information about my piano?

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#312930 - 06/16/05 02:38 PM Re: Antique Singer piano???
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1904
Loc: El Cajon, CA
the number that's branded into the wood is probably the serial number. Is it in a cutout of the metal frame between a section of tuning pins?
Post that # here, and someone can tell you how old the piano is.
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#312931 - 06/16/05 03:14 PM Re: Antique Singer piano???
ChatNoir Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 1469
Loc: Encino, California
The Singer Piano was made by Steger & Sons in Chicago. Production started in 1884.
_________________________
Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.

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#312932 - 06/16/05 04:57 PM Re: Antique Singer piano???
kebcrouch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Texas
Thanks to all that have replied thus far. The numbers are in a cut out, they are 91206.

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#312933 - 06/16/05 05:47 PM Re: Antique Singer piano???
ChatNoir Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 1469
Loc: Encino, California
Your Singer Piano was made 1911-1912.
_________________________
Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.

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#312934 - 06/16/05 05:48 PM Re: Antique Singer piano???
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 400
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
Factory was near Chicago...# 91206--about 1912.
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Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
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#312935 - 06/16/05 07:52 PM Re: Antique Singer piano???
kebcrouch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Texas
Thanks for the date!!! I am not a piano player and my 15 year old only recently started lessons. I only purchased it because I thought it was a pretty antique piece to add to my collection and look at. Does anyone have an estimated value on it? I'm NOT selling, heck, I like looking at it too much, I'm JUST curious!

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#312936 - 06/17/05 09:19 AM Re: Antique Singer piano???
kebcrouch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Texas
Does anyone have an estimated value on it?

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#312937 - 06/17/05 09:26 AM Re: Antique Singer piano???
kebcrouch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Texas
Do I need to post my previous question on another forum???

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#312938 - 06/17/05 09:35 AM Re: Antique Singer piano???
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1904
Loc: El Cajon, CA
For value - get a local technician to have a look at it.
It's value as a musical instrument versus its value as a piece of furniture might be very different, but I'd guess the musical instrument value would be lower. Then there's sentimental value, too.... and I'm sure there's probably something else I forgot.

Here's where you can search for a technician in your local area: http://www.ptg.org/rptsearch/index.html
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#312939 - 06/17/05 10:18 AM Re: Antique Singer piano???
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Your piano has no value as an antique, and only marginal value as a musical instrument. As a dealer, I used to haul between 10-20 of them a month to the dump. As a rebuilder, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I tried to convince you to spend any money repairing it - and it *does* need repair even though right now it doesn't seem that way to you.

Pianos are machines made of wood. They die, just like any old machine. The cost of bringing your piano back to dependability as a musical instrument could top 10 grand, and yield a piano worth about 1500 bucks. As it is, separating your enjoyment of looking at it from its market value and looking only at its true worth, the piano isn't worth the cost of tuning it. I hope that you don't get too attached to it, because if your child is still playing the piano this time next year, she will need a better instrument.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#312940 - 06/17/05 10:24 AM Re: Antique Singer piano???
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
Larry gives sad and brutal truth, tho I think 10K is a bit high. His final conclusion of the child's playing needs is right on the money.

Singer Piano was the same company as Singer Sewing Machines. Some dealers sold them both but they were commonly sold via Sears catalouge. It is most likely an oak case with some nice carving, right?

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#312941 - 06/17/05 12:18 PM Re: Antique Singer piano???
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1904
Loc: El Cajon, CA
Question, Larry - are there any turn-of-the-19th-to-20th-century large uprights that, assuming they're in good condition, might be worth something as a musical instrument, or at least an improvement over a 1913 56" Ricca with new strings and old totally worn hammers? And, please don't say Mason & Hamlin or Steinway, as I'm not interested in those brands.
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#312942 - 06/17/05 06:47 PM Re: Antique Singer piano???
kebcrouch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Texas
Larry and Sam...thanks for the truth! I bought my child a keyboard to practice on, as she is taking lesson for the "fun-of-it", not to become a professional. Literally the thing is just there for my visual enjoyment only! We never even hit a key on it, heck I think only half of them work anyways. And since I do not know how to even play one, I have no plans to get it repaired. I do thank ya'll for the information on the history of it, it's just nice to be able give someone some info when they ask.

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#312943 - 06/18/05 06:01 AM Re: Antique Singer piano???
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
 Quote:
Originally posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer:
Question, Larry - are there any turn-of-the-19th-to-20th-century large uprights that, assuming they're in good condition, might be worth something as a musical instrument, or at least an improvement over a 1913 56" Ricca with new strings and old totally worn hammers? And, please don't say Mason & Hamlin or Steinway, as I'm not interested in those brands. [/b]
No. The key phrase was "as a musical instrument". Nothing that old is going to be worth much as a musical instrument until it has been restored, and it is rarely worth the cost on old uprights. That said, if you are simply trying to find one better than another old upright, then yes, you might find one better than your 1913 Ricca - but the name isn't going to be all that important, as the condition is what matters.

If you are asking for a list of names of pianos from that era that were quality pianos in their day other than Steinway or Mason Hamlin, there is a long list. My favorite old uprights would include Mathushek, Wing & Sons, certain Ivers & Ponds, Decker Brothers, and others. But at 100+ years old, they all need complete restoration.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#312944 - 06/18/05 10:13 AM Re: Antique Singer piano???
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1904
Loc: El Cajon, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
 Quote:
Originally posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer:
Question, Larry - are there any turn-of-the-19th-to-20th-century large uprights that, assuming they're in good condition, might be worth something as a musical instrument, or at least an improvement over a 1913 56" Ricca with new strings and old totally worn hammers? And, please don't say Mason & Hamlin or Steinway, as I'm not interested in those brands. [/b]
No. The key phrase was "as a musical instrument". Nothing that old is going to be worth much as a musical instrument until it has been restored, and it is rarely worth the cost on old uprights. That said, if you are simply trying to find one better than another old upright, then yes, you might find one better than your 1913 Ricca - but the name isn't going to be all that important, as the condition is what matters.

If you are asking for a list of names of pianos from that era that were quality pianos in their day other than Steinway or Mason Hamlin, there is a long list. My favorite old uprights would include Mathushek, Wing & Sons, certain Ivers & Ponds, Decker Brothers, and others. But at 100+ years old, they all need complete restoration. [/b]
I mainly mean cost of parts to bring an older upright into excellent condition versus buying a fairly new (and smaller) model. Which would probably be better bang for the buck for good tone (I especially like the rich bass that an extra-tall upright with long strings can produce that I haven't found matched on ANY current uprights) and a decent (for an upright) action?

Maybe if I was having a professional technician do the entire job, it might be cheaper to get the newer piano, but since I'd probably be doing the work myself (thereby not factoring in labor costs) would it be cheaper to go with the older piano and fix it up?

And, would ones like Emerson, Krakauer, Needham, Arthur, Jewett, Willard, Gramer, or Behr Bros make that list of ones that were originally well made?
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#312945 - 06/18/05 11:12 AM Re: Antique Singer piano???
wolfindmist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 1478
Loc: In a state full of Volcanoes
I'd add Henry F. Miller; and Bush & Lane...
Larry Fine's "The Piano Book" book is a good resource on buying used uprights and other pianos, and gives history on the companies and the golden era of piano making.

A reputable and long established piano store can be of help sometimes; depending on the sales persons you talk with.

I do think it's a good idea to have a piano tech inspect any used piano before buying it; the 75.00 or so spent on such an examination will be well spent as you don't want to buy a money pit piano.

And if are really lucky and find a nice one in a great reputable piano store; you can get a better deal than buying privately (like with a deal for a trade in for full value if you want to move on to a new piano, warranty, free tuning(s), free piano moving, and support). You'd spend more in a piano store like that then buying from a newspaper ad; but in the end you have a better chance of being happier with your purchase then if you find one in a newspaper and later find out it needs some expensive work or even worse.

I am happy with my 1907 Henry I bought a year ago from a reputable piano store. I still watch the music ads out of curiosity; but will keep my Henry. I don't find too many ads worth calling on in my area. It took a few years to find my 1907 Henry F. Miller 56" upight.
jmo
_________________________
I have my own weapon of mass destruction in the form of a "teenage" German Shepherd. Anything she spies and can get ahold of is fair game.

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#312946 - 03/05/08 08:58 PM Re: Antique Singer piano???
chekoutchik Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 1
Loc: Australia
I just bought a Singer piano and was searching for information. Thanks for the helpful posts of 3 years ago \:\)

I am no expert but have to say that the Singer Piano definately was NOT made by the same company as Singer Sewing Machines. Steger & Co was a reputable business of its time and the Singer pianos were made in a division of that company. I found this link really informative:

http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/il/will/bios/steger2385nbs.txt

and this from http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/ages/agess.htm#STEGER%20&%20SONS

STEGER & SONS
The great industry by which Steger & Sons Grand and upright pianos, player pianos. player grand pianos, reproducing uprights and grand pianos and Steger phonographs are manufactured was established in 1879 and Incorporated in 1892 as the Steger & Sons Piano Mfg. Co. The factories were at Steger, III., where the Dixie highway and Lincoln highway meet, twenty-nine miles from Chicago, on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad.
The town, which was founded by the late John V. Steger for the purpose of establishing there the great industry, has developed into a place of importance generally speaking, and of vast importance in its relation to piano manufacture. The town occupies a tract of 1,500 acres and the land was purchased by the company for development along the lines which have given to it a conspicuous place. Steger is a community of intelligent, progressive citizens, the larger proportion of whom are workers in the piano factories controlled by Steger & Sons Piano Mfg. Co.
Most of the workers own their own homes, which were built by the company and sold to employ on easy payments at cost of erection. The town is supplied with all of the conveniences of a modern city and the school system is a matter of local pride. Owing to the relations which exist between the piano industry and its employees there never arises any of the unrest which sometimes interferes with the progress of industrial communities. Strikes are never known there and the policy long ago adopted has insured not only the prosperity of individuals by the advancement of the Steger & Sons instruments throughout the entire country. Steger & Sons pianos, possessing beautiful tone and artistic excellence, have attained to a place of distinction in the musical world. From the first it has been the policy to insist upon the most careful workmanship and first cost has not been considered in any of the parts or processes which go to the creation of these instruments.
They are represented and sold by a very large proportion of the prominent and progressive piano merchants of the United States. They are found in many of the leading musical colleges and conservatories, and are bought by discriminating lovers of music. A feature of the Steger & Sons' pianos is the artistic case designs, and to this end a special art department is maintained in which are employed noted experts in the creation of original effects.

Go Steger! \:\)

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#1443294 - 05/25/10 10:48 AM Thompson and Company Piano [Re: kebcrouch]
adrianc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 2
I picked up a Thompson and co piano serial # 19713. I have yet to find any info on this piano other than Thompson and Co. was a division of Steger & Sons Piano Mfg. Co. I would appreciate any info.

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#1443493 - 05/25/10 04:03 PM Re: Thompson and Company Piano [Re: adrianc]
M.O.P. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 981
Loc: Ocala, Florida
Please check your other posting, there's a bit of info.
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