Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/New piano to me, but questions


I just "inherited" a used piano.  I was told it was a baby grand, but when I picked it up, I could tell that it was smaller than the average baby grand piano.  The piano is made by Lester. 25237 is a number stamped on the underside of the piano.  My question(s) for you...How do I go about measuring a piano to tell the size (from what end to what end)?  Is there a way to tell what year this piano was made?  How am I able to tell what the keys are made of so I can safely clean them?  Lastly, (not that I'm interested in selling this, but) approximately how much would a piano like this be worth?

Hi Jennifer:

Ok...question by question:

Size: Measure from the very front end of the piano (where the furniture stops at the key end) to the back of the piano (lid closed to the furthest edge of the lid.

Year the piano was made: 1902 in Lester Pennsylvania just out side Philadelphia.

Keys...if not replaced, they are ivory. Plastic wasn't invented yet. Cleaning ivory is especially difficult as they are bone and very porous. We do it here in the shop by literally scraping off a bit of the ivory, exposing "fresh" ivory underneath. For you, almost impossible to get them back to "white".

To "clean them" use a dilute solution of bleach and water. Wipe thoroughly without soaking!!!!!

Let the solutions stand then wipe clean with a clean damp cloth. This won't get them white, but it will "clean" them.

Even "clorox" wipes would do.

The piano's worth, I'm afraid, is all but gone by now.

I hope that helped.

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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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.

The Piano Technicians Guild, Master Piano Technicians of America, Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. (TASA), IAPBT. The Piano Technicians Guild is the only organization in the US that offers a certification test to become Registered. There are no "factory authorized 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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Service Award for the Rose Tree Media School District in Pennsylvania. Chapter Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild.

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