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How Old Is My Piano?

Just as it is interesting to explore our own ancestory, It is fun to find out some history about our vintage pianos. Piano manufacturing in America has a rich and colorful past. From the turn of the last century until about 1930, there were approximately 700 companies making pianos, compared to just a handful today.  Many of the records from the past have been preserved and if you have a piano that you believe was made before 1980, then I may be able to provide you with a bit of information about the manufacturer as well as the exact year it was made.


In order to do this, I just need you to provide me with the make of piano and the serial number.  The brand name is always on the fallboard (key cover) unless the piano has been refinished without replacing the decal. If this is the case, the name is usually molded into the cast iron plate and can be seen on the treble end of the piano. If you also see a date, this is not the year the piano was made but rather the year the company was established.


On grand pianos the serial number can be found in the space on the plate between the bass and tenor strings. It can also be toward the treble end or stamped onto a plate strut. They are usually not hard to find and the pictures below illustrate the locations.

On vertical pianos the number is most often seen in the upper right hand corner of the plate above the tuning pins and can be seen when you lift the top lid. It may also be stamped into the top ledge under the lid. Occasionaly you may find it on the frame on the back side.


Because some records were lost in fires or otherwise destroyed, we sometimes hit a dead end, but if you are interested in finding out more about your piano, go to my contact page and email me the information and we will see where it leads.

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