Newman Square Piano

Description (Brief)
This square piano was made by Joseph and Elias R. Newman in Baltimore, Maryland around 1851-1852. There was a sizable group of Newmans in Baltimore between 1828 and 1860. The founder was Joseph Newman, who was in various partnerships with his brothers and sons throughout this period. It is unusual to find an instrument with a compass of only 6 octaves as late as the early 1850s. This piano has a compass of FF-f4, Viennese action, felt hammers, single-strings for the first 11 notes, triple-strings for the last 17 notes, double-strings for the rest, tuning pins in the front, 2 pedals: dampers and moderator, metal hitch-pin plate frame, and a rosewood (?) case.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Joseph and Elias R. Newman
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Hugo Worch
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

3/22/2014 6:58:36 PM
Betsy Ansel
My ancestor Joseph Newman built this piano. I've been looking for information about this piano for ages. My mother told me there was a Newman Piano in the Smithsonian when I was a child. My grandfather (also named Joseph) was an avid piano player also. My mother and I also ended up with musical talents. My mother relayed to me that Joseph Newman was also the inventor of the second sounder keyboard. Thank you for displaying this online.
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