I noticed an abandoned piano in my condo’s foyer this past Monday afternoon. The piano was still there when Tuesday morning rolled around, so I took it upon myself to ask the leasing office if I could have first dibs. You can never act too quickly when someone is ditching this type of hardware. I was told that the owner tentatively intended to remove the piano. Eventually. Maybe. On Thursday when the piano was still there, I walked Chewster around to the office upon my return from work and restated my offer of sanctuary. I was informed how lucky I was (really?) as someone else in the building had also inquired about the piano — after me. I’d lucked out in being an E.D. (early dibber). Good times. The office made one last attempt to call the owner and got voicemail. I rolled that heavy M.F. into the hallway and into my condo right away. It’s currently sitting in the short hallway leading to my spare bedroom. All keys work and the condition is good. I found a serial number in the case and did some Googling. One minute later I learned that the Binkerhoff Piano Co. of Chicago manufactured the piano back in 1913. The piano’s serial number 82525 matched up with serial numbers produced that year. Wow! 95 years old! I’m thinking about calling it Old Betsy, only problem being that I have an old girlfriend named Betsy that I’m still friendly with and I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate the gesture. That being said, check it out!
Here’s a really odd description of the piano from the seldom heard of (try never) Blue Book of Pianos web site:
Instruments manufactured by the Brinkerhoff Piano Company included pianos, player-pianos, grands and reproducers are the products of a responsible Chicago organization, at the head of which was Mr. William T. Brinkerhoff. They are instruments of unquestioned merit, great durability and tone quality of fascinating character being marked features. The case designs are graceful and varied from the elegant plain to the highly ornamental Brinkerhoff pianos are sold by enterprising houses throughout the country and always with most satisfactory results. They are pianos in which the advantages of advanced method of manufacture have the force of experience to guide them’ and the personal energies and standing of Mr. Brinkerhoff add greatly to the enthusiasm which mark the sale of these instruments. The Brinkerhoff upright reproducing piano can be played either manually as a regular piano, or as a foot powered player piano, or as a reproducing instrument, in which the exact interpretations of the foremost artists of the world are reproduced. It is a combination of a player piano with special patented devices that automatically regulate the expression. The Brinkerhoff Grand pianos are noted for their tonal qualities, and they are so constructed that they meet the approval of the most critical musicians. This company specializes on Miniature Grands, which are only 5 feet in length, but possess the qualities of a larger Grand. [Source: Blue Book of Pianos].