Apr. 16th, 2009


Apr. 16th, 2009 04:16 pm
helen99: piano (piano)
So my newly acquired piano (I still can't believe that phrase is real) is a Huntington.  It's in pretty good condition, so I thought it might be some relatively unknown but recent company, still in existence.  I did a search on Huntington, and found this site:


"The property that the new Shelton Senior Center sits on was once the site of the old Huntington Piano Factory.  The Huntington Piano factory was initially a five story building built in 1894.  It was a huge factory, and apparently owned or bought out the Huntington Piano Company.  There was a fire in 1922, and it took off the top two floors.  In the 1930s, it became the Boys and Girls club.  Some years later, a youngster used a match to set fire to the building and it burned down."

So this piano is an antique.  It had been in its previous family for possibly over a century. 
helen99: piano (piano)
From http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Forum/1/topic/000164/Number/0/site_id/1#import

"Per the Piano Atlas, Huntington Piano Co.(est. 1896) was indeed controlled by Sterling. Serial numbers for Huntington pianos stop in 1960, so it is a good bet that is when the company either became part of someone else or ceased to exist. If you use the Huntington serial number, the piano dates to 1931. Newer than you think, but there is a wrinkle...

Some Huntington pianos used Winter serial numbers. If yours is a Winter numbered piano, the serial number dates it to 1904, which is more in keeping with your estimate of it's age."

The Huntington Piano Company was associated with the Sterling Piano Company.  I'm not sure what the relationship was -- Merger?  Sterling owned Huntington?  They acquired Huntington after the Factory burned down?  (still researching).

Also, on http://www.plumblibrary.org/researchsterlingpiano.htm
there are beautiful images of pianos, original Huntington literature, and sheet music. 

From Images Images of America -- Shelton by the Shelton Historical Society: "Caption on pg. 40 reads: A Shelton saying was that along the canal everything was produced from "pins to pianos." The Huntington Piano Company, a subsidiary of the Derby-based Sterling Piano Company, was founded in 1894 to produce a more affordable piano. The building burned in 1922, forcing the company to close."

This website provides some answers on how much it would have been worth on the open market ($0-200, unless it was in immaculate and highly tuned condition).  Of course, then again, here's a Huntington Spinet for over $1200.

This one has more information about what the Huntington Piano Factory was - a branch factory of Sterling.

"In 1893, a branch factory was built across the Housatonic River in Shelton, called the Huntington Piano Factory. The pianos made here were less expensive than the Sterlings. Many of them were player pianos, which could play by themselves using "drums". This was one of the first American examples of "canned" music, which has evolved from the drums all the way to today's compact disks. Like the Sterling Pianos, the Huntington Pianos were noted for their quality.

  In 1896, Sterling Piano was one of the largest factory concerns in Connecticut's Lower Naugatuck Valley, composed of 16 buildings fronting 640 feet along the canal and railroad, several drying kilns, and two waterwheels. Its capital that year was $210,000. A spur track maintained by the New York, New Haven, and Hartford railroad ran long the rear of the complex. Sterling and Huntington Pianos were shipped across the country, and all over the world, especially South America. Some even found their way onto American battleships.

Company literature described the construction of the pianos as: “…made with a full iron frame covering the entire wrest plank, giving perfect solidity and firmness. The sounding boards are from carefully selected spruce, no soft pine of any other material being allowed to enter into this important part of the instrument. The backs are built up very strongly, and the instruments are constructed with every regard for durability. The scales used are the most perfect and thoroughly tested and thoroughly even throughout, and the tone produced in the Sterling is noted for its long sustained or singing quality. It is by superior tone, easy action, beauty of design, and honest make, that the Sterling has made a favorable debut in all the large cities of the United States, Mexico, and Central America, while agencies have been established in several European cities”.

helen99: piano (piano)
I believe this is the kind of piano I was given:  Huntington Spinet
It looks just about identical to this. 

The listed price is for one in absolutely mint, fine-tuned condition.  Mine (I still do a double take when I say that) can probably be restored to that point, since everything works and there is nothing seriously wrong with it.  All the strings work, none of the keys stick, the pedals work, and the finish is almost scratch free.  There are a couple of scratches and an area where someone set something hot on it, but nothing that can't be repaired.  It is out of tune and the sustain pedal squeaks, though.  I want to take care of that as soon as possible, since it drives me nuts when I'm trying to play it.  I'll also see about what kind of effort or expense it will take to restore the finish.  It doesn't look at all bad as it is, though, so that can wait until later.

helen99: 42 (42)
Testing the HTML editor. For some reason, this defaults to RTE, which I don't particularly like. If I save a post while in the HTML editor, will it then default to the last saved option (HTML) or always go back to RTE?

EDIT: Success! It now defaults to HTML where I last saved it. I don't want to hard code fonts, but I do have the habit of inserting tags myself instead of clicking buttons, and I can see the large courier type of the HTML editor much better than the tiny type of the RTE. I also sometimes use the STRIKE tag when editing so the sequence of edits is preserved.

SO testing the username thingy: [personal profile] rialian

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