Hawkins Upright Piano

Description (Brief):

This upright piano was made by John Isaac Hawkins in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1801. Hawkins patented an ingenious small upright piano with a folding keyboard, of which the Smithsonian’s is an example. Other piano experiments were an upright instrument, the Claviol, which bowed the strings, a system of attaching the strings to a nut on a threaded rod, and the use of springs as strings in the bass. Only three of his instruments are known to survive. This piano is serial number 6 and has a compass of FF-f3, Hawkins upright action, felt hammers (originally leather), double-strings, 2 pedals: moderator and swell (which opens shutters in the case below the keyboard), wood frame with iron bars behind the soundboard, straight-strung, and a mahogany veneer case with metal carrying handles.

Date Made: 1801

Maker: Hawkins, John Isaac

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Hugo Worch

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MI.313619Catalog Number: 313619Accession Number: 64802

Object Name: piano

Physical Description: felt (originally leather) (hammers: material)wood with iron bars (frame: material)mahogany veneer (case: material)Measurements: overall: 109.85 cm x 90.17 cm x 38.6 cm; 43 1/4 in x 35 1/2 in x 15 3/16 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a4-475d-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_605881

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.