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 Performing - Studying - Exhibiting - Conserving

A 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation    email contact

        Bill Shull, RPT, M.Mus.  Founder and President

       610 Amigos Dr C,  Redlands, CA  92373  909 796-4226     PERIOD PIANO CENTER SINCE 2006                       

We seek to rediscover the art of the piano as the composer heard it on the instruments of the time;  to collect and study the instruments themselves, conserving many for history, and performing on many, so we might rediscover history’s magic.  We exhibit and curate instruments, tell the great stories of piano and society, and study the history of the piano, its technology and its builders.






Schomacker 6’ Grand probable #38051  Steinway “A1” 88 note near-perfect copy, but with gold strings, silver plate and iron rim posts.

Dozens of builders from the 1890s to the 1920s built grand pianos which looked very much like Steinway pianos.  This unusual copy of a Steinway piano even uses the tubular-metallic action frame with the rosette flanges.  But the company one-upped the great builder with its gold-plated strings.

Music Trade Review 6/20/1881 Ad, page 153

This links to the MTR ad copy, in which the text below is found

Broadwood Square 8

GOLD STRING Schomacker Pianos! THESE ROYAL INSTRUMENTS UNRIVALED FOR SUPERIOR TONE AND DURABILITY. Combine every practical improvement known to the modern piano, and with the introduction of our patent Gold Strings it is the most highly improved and very leading piano of the world. Received the highest honors at the Centennial and wherever in competition, The Electro Gold Wires used in our instruments produce a decidedly more brilliant, enduring tone, with a refined musical quality so much desired in the piano, the coating being of pure gold of the highest standard and done by Cold process, will last forever, and is an absolute security against rust or atmospheric action, and at the same time imparting elegance of appearance found in no other make. All other makers still have to use the common annealed iron wire wrapped strings, coated with Nickel by Hot process, which impairs the tone quality of the steel wire, and is no security against rust, or snapping of wires. Our claim is for an improved Piano String. The Commissioner of Patents, says: " The Gold Coating serves to unite the contiguous coils of the wrapped wires to each other, and more than this because of the character of the metal selected for coating, a very superior improvement in the tone quality of the wire in a musical sense is noted, which makes it distinguishable from all other wires of like structure and purpose, common to the trade." These Gold String Pianos need only to be seen and heard to convince the most skeptical of their great superiority. Too much cannot be said ia their favor. An immense demand has already sprung up for all our styles, Grands, Squares and Uprights. Our prices moderate. Illustrated Catalogues, giving full description, with styles, prices, &c, mailed free on application. UNQUESTIONED AUTHORITY. BOSTON, August 10, 1880 Having bad the pleasure of seeing and hearing the GOLD STRING PIANOS, I heartily recommend them as being the fluent-toned instruments with which I am acquainted. MYRON W. WHITNEY. BOSTON, September, 25, 1880. I have just had the pleasure of playing upon one of the SOHOMACKER GOLD STRING CONCERT ' GRANDS. The quality of the tone is wonderfully pure and sympathetic, and has all the power | requisite to fill the largest concert hall. I am particularly pleased with the vibrative character of i  the tone and the even and elastic action. I also find in your Squares and Uprights perfection of tone and Action. CARLYLE PETERSILEA., Director of the Petersilea Academy of Music, Elocution and Languages, Boston Mass.

Music Trade Review 6/20/1881 Ad, page 153

Finally, below is from the book Old Pianos by N.E. Michel, whose other excellent book is the predecessor to the Pierce Piano Atlas, “Michel’s Piano Atlas.”  This very early Schomacker has exactly the same leg used on the early production Steinway grands from the 1856-1859 era.

Schomacker 1900 photo in Michel's Old Pianos - cropped
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