Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Question about my piano


Full Pic of the Piano
Full Pic of the Piano  
Inside of Piano
Inside of Piano  
I have an Emerson-Boston piano here that the old owner of the house we just bought left us.  He left us with no info. on the piano and we cannot find a serial number.  All we found was a National Piano Manufacturers assn. # which is 240753.
Would that help you identify what type of piano is it and how old it is?
If not how can we find out info about this piano?


Emerson was eventually bought by the Aeolian-American company. They always used that "National Piano Manufacturers Association tag.

The piano was made in their factory in Memphis, TN even though it says, "Boston". They owned the name and all rights to it.

What I need to date the piano is its actual serial number.

Places to look:

1. on the steel plate near the tuning pins.
2. on the side of the steel arms near the strings.
3. stamped in the wood under the piano.
4. on the back of the key slip stamped in the wood. The key slip is that piece of wood about 2 inches high that sits directly in front of the keys. Some of them just slide off, some are screwed from under the keybed.

So what you have here is not an Emerson, but an Aeolian made piano with the Emerson name affixed.

Find me that serial number and we will know more!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I checked all of those places and all I saw was #185 on the key slip
Isn't the serial number longer than that?


The Emerson serial numbers go from 100 in 1849 to 169000 in 1940.

Looking at the piano...I don't think it's that old.

I can no longer see the picture of the piano...but I'm guessing the 40's or 50's.

In all probability, the number was painted over by a technician performing some work.

Many time pianos are re-strung and the plate and serial number are painted over. Some technicians fail to re-install the number sadly.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: So the piano is from the 1850's?
If that serial number is correct 185...what year would it be exactly?

Hi Amy:

No, I don't think the piano is that old!!!

I think that number is a scale number or something else.

I think from the picture you sent the piano is from the 1940's or 1950's.

Please send the pictures again and I'll take another look.

My feeling is the serial number was covered up and lost forever.

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Ralph Onesti


I am a Registered/tested member of the Piano Technicians Guild (RPT) with 49 years of experience in all phases and levels of the acoustic piano. I will answer any questions regarding acoustic pianos only. All questions and answers are to remain public. Please to not include sensitive material! If they are marked private, I will change them to public. My answers may be of assistance to others. If privacy is an issue, please contact me through my web site: http://www.onestipiano.com Electronic keyboards, organs, and player/reproducing piano mechanisms are outside of my expertise. Anything to do with: Construction, Service, Tuning, Climate Control Systems, Piano Disc, Purchasing, Selling, Insurance Appraisal, Rebuilding, Repairs, Legal issues, Maintenance, Environmental issues, Finish issues with acoustic pianos. My full resume can be found at: http://onestipiano.com/pages/history.html You can like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/onestipianoservice


In business since 1964, Extensive Rebuilding/Repair/Service facility. A certified, tested, member of the Piano Technicians Guild, Member of the Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. Have performed piano service on Concert Stage, Recording Studios, and in the home. Http://www.onestipiano.com. The shop's work comes from all over the world from private clients or other techncians.

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Attented Temple University, Drexel University, Philadelphia Community college all in the areas of engineering and Music. I taught a two semester course in Piano Technology and the related acoustical physics at Temple University. I have taught extensively for the Piano Technicians Guild and the Master Piano Technicians of America.

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