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.

Date Made: 1825-1829

Maker: Babcock, Alpheus

Location: Currently not on viewCurrently not on view (screws; wood element)

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, Boston

See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments, Music & Musical Instruments, Pianos


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of The Julliard School

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1982.0434.01Catalog Number: 1982.0434.01Accession Number: 1982.0434

Object Name: piano

Measurements: overall: 32 in x 67 in x 26 1/2 in; 81.28 cm x 170.18 cm x 67.31 cm


Record Id: nmah_605830

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