Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Packard


QUESTION: Hi, I just found a free piano on Craigslist for my daughter to start learning how to play. It's an upright Packard serial number 125242. It looks a little weird, like someone tried to refinish it with a gloss that was too thick or something, but it sounds great. I was just wondering if you could pin the date down for me. I think it's circa 1918-1920, but I don't really know.

I was also wondering if there's anything special I should know about a piano before I try to clean the guts myself. Thanks!


The piano was made in 1918.

They are old uprights, most of which have age related issues.

A quick look by a qualified registered tech may be in order here.

There is nothing special to know about cleaning. What exactly do you mean by "cleaning"?

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

QUESTION: I just meant dusting/vacuuming it out, maybe wiping portions of the inside down. I just wanted to be cautious in case there was something sensitive in there I should be careful not to touch, or parts that I should be especially careful not to get wet if I'm wiping it down, that sort of thing.

I'm going to have a piano tuner come tune it and tell me what they think about it. Thanks. I don't suppose you know how much these weigh do you?

Hi Bob:

No problem...have at it.

You can remove the top and bottom boards. They are held in place with clips or springs.

Vacuuming is not a problem.

You can wipe down whatever you can get to inside with a cloth sprayed with endust or the like.

For the technician, go to http://www.ptg.org. There you can plug in your zip code and get a list of registered technicians to go take a look.

As far as the weight...think 400-500 pounds or so. Those old packards are heavy.

I would strongly suggest professional piano movers.

Let me know how you do.

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".

The Piano Technicians Journal

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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The list is rather extensive. I would suggest you go http://onestipiano.com/pages/testimonials.html where there is a comprehensive list of clients past and present.

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