Babcock Square Piano

Description (Brief)
This square piano was made by Alpheus Babcock in Boston, Massachusetts in the late 1820s. Babcock’s invention of a one-piece iron frame allowed piano makers to use higher-quality string, ultimately of steel, which provided the basis for greater depth of sonority and more volume, and the metal, being unaffected by changes in humidity, helped greater stability of tuning. This piano bears a plaque that reads “For R. Mackay, Boston.“ The Mackay family bankrolled Babcock, and their names are often found on his pianos. This piano is serial number 278, and has a compass of FF-c4, English double action, leather, basswood core hammers, double-strings throughout, 2 pedals: damper and harmonic swell, and a mahogany veneer over pine case with rosewood cross banding.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
piano
date made
1825-1829
maker
Babcock, Alpheus
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
ID Number
1982.0434.01
catalog number
1982.0434.01
accession number
1982.0434
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Pianos
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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