I posted this in the Piano Forum, but didn't get any responses so I just thought I might solicit some comments from this kind group.
I went to see this beautiful 1902 Hazelton Bros grand piano yesterday, completely unexpectedly and without any tools---not even a tape measure. (I guess that should show me I should always keep those supplies in the car in case a beautiful opportunity pops up, but that's another topic.) The piano case was professionally refinished in 2001 by a local shop, C.A. Geers, and it was a stunningly beautiful job. Something was "updated" on it in the early 1960's, but that was before the current owner's mother purchased it. Peeking through the strings, it looks like it may have been the hammers, at least, but I didn't have any tools to pull the action and check it out.
I am certain, however, that the piano is not as big as the owner indicated, but I didn't have a tape measure with me and I didn't want to sound rude by asking her to measure it with me, anyway. She believes it is 7'9", but there is no way it's that big. I think it was really about 6'4 which then matches some of the older Hazeltons I found on the web. I really don't believe it's a 7-footer, but does anyone know if they even made one that big?
It did have some soundboard issues, as you can see in the picture, but I couldn't find any ribs that had separated from the soundboard, and there wasn't any buzzing anywhere. However, it certainly did lack power which I thought might also be due to the bass strings still all being the originals.
The other interesting thing I noticed was how the 3-string unisons were strung. No string "covered" 2 notes, which made for numerous tied-ends at the hitch pins which you can see in the third picture. The hitch pins are so close together for each specific note, that I wonder if it would even be possible to re-string it with the modern method. My guess is that that would actually pull the "shared" string out of parallel with its neighbors, perhaps make it over a slightly different position over the hammers, and even make it look kind of odd.
One more thing it did have that was stunningly beautiful was its ivory keyboard. It was in perfect condition and very, very impressive.
Amazingly, I was the first person to play the piano in the 12 years since it had been back from the cabinet re-finisher.
I am pretty sure I will go back to see it again, to pull the action and check on that. The owner actually wants me to come back to do that because she thought it would be interesting to see, herself.