Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Webster piano


My husband and I have been given a piano that I know nothing about. First it was made by The Webster Piano Company in New York the serial number is 10163. I was wanting to know how to find the value. Also, it plugs in to an outlet and I was told it has to have distilled water in a pan under it, what is that about?

The pan with distilled water is probably a humidifier, which seems strange in the Carolinas.

There is little historical information about the Webster Piano Company, other that a few facts from a Google search.  I didn't find a list of serial numbers.  There is a book you have to buy or subscribe to that may have it.

The relatively low serial number suggests your piano is old, but pictures would help to date it according to its style.

Old pianos have little monetary value because it costs thousands of dollars to have it reconditioned.  A hobbyist can spend hundreds of dollars for supplies and learn from tutorials on the Internet, which is what I have done with two old pianos.

Truck rental or a moving service costs plus tuning to see what the piano can sound like involve hundreds of dollars.

It sounds like someone wanted to get rid of it by giving it to you.  But someone might see it and offer you something.  Try Craigslist and see what pictures and information others offer for their pianos.

Good luck.  You might invest in some piano lessons to see if you would want to keep it and give it some TLC.

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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Robert James Seeley


I enjoy historical research at the site: mbsi.org for articles in the Music Trade Review, 1880 forward, supplemented by other on-line searches.


After several months of research, I have compiled a multi-chapter history of the Adam Schaaf piano ( mine is No. 58,265) back to the 1860s. In the last week I have compiled a 6-page brochure for the owner of a Compton-Price/Boston Piano Co. upright (No.13,630). I can provide samples of my desk-top publishing skills from these documents, and I would like to share them in entirety with anyone interested. The visual impact of research is important. I am passionate about giving these surviving, obscure instruments the respect they deserve, as well as the people who made them. My piano technician encourages me to submit them to the Piano Technicians Guild in Kansas City.

DMA, Doctorate in Musical Arts, 1980, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; MM, 1969; BM, 1967; both from North Texas State University. I have spent the first full year of my retirement from 44 years of college teaching (Music, English, German) on these and other on-line research projects.

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