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#2044799 - 03/07/13 09:46 PM 1902 Hazelton Bros Grand. Wasn't 6'5 their biggest piano??
Steve in Cincy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/11
Posts: 88
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
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.

Steve Schutte
1979 6'7 Kimball Grand
1902 6' Hazelton Bros. Grand (project piano)

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#2044817 - 03/07/13 10:24 PM Re: 1902 Hazelton Bros Grand. Wasn't 6'5 their biggest piano?? [Re: Steve in Cincy]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 389
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
I've got one in my shop being refinished, Hazelton brothers, it measures out at 7.8 ft. similar year but different legs
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

#2045834 - 03/10/13 09:53 AM Re: 1902 Hazelton Bros Grand. Wasn't 6'5 their biggest piano?? [Re: Steve in Cincy]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2528
Loc: Maine
"However, it certainly did lack power"

It's sitting on what looks like a carpeted floor with drapes and soft furniture nearby. That may have something to do with the perceived lack of power also.

Edited by David Jenson (03/10/13 09:55 AM)
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service

#2045862 - 03/10/13 10:47 AM Re: 1902 Hazelton Bros Grand. Wasn't 6'5 their biggest piano?? [Re: Steve in Cincy]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2544
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
If you restring it, I'd stick with the original style of stringing, due to the hitch pin spacing between the notes. JMHO...

I agree with David re the sound. That room looks fairly muffled.
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician

Piano & Music Accessories
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#2046253 - 03/10/13 11:20 PM Re: 1902 Hazelton Bros Grand. Wasn't 6'5 their biggest piano?? [Re: Steve in Cincy]
Steve in Cincy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/11
Posts: 88
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks for the information, J. When I couldn't find a reference online to one that size, I just thought that the owner was perhaps mistaken. My own piano is a 6'7 and I just didn't think it even looked that big. I'll make sure to take a tape measure along with me on my next visit---and conveniently measure all kinds of things. ;-)

Thanks also, David and Jim. My first fear was that the lack of power was due--at least partly---to the soundboard problems, although as I mentioned, I couldn't find any separated ribs nor hear any buzzing. It just seemed so dead to me.
Checking its sustain was also confusing since it seemed to have much less than mine, when I expected one that was supposedly 7'9 to have much more. But, you're right---that might also be due to its surroundings. Of course, what immediately came to my mind was the soundboard issues.

When I head back this week, I'll make sure to have some tools and some good flashlights so I can really check it better.
It sure is a tempting instrument with a case and keyboard already in absolutely perfect condition.
Steve Schutte
1979 6'7 Kimball Grand
1902 6' Hazelton Bros. Grand (project piano)


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