Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Early Bell Piano from Guelph ON


Is this the SN
Is this the SN  

Wider shot of Bell Piano
Wider shot of Bell Pia  
I've been trying to find clear resources for dating my Bell piano.  What I believe to be the S/N is on the upper right of the plate.  See pictures attached. SN 7093

I've had this piano since 1987. It was purchased from a reputable dealer in Winnipeg, Canada (JJH McLean & Co).  They had done some refurbishing at that time, but I don't have the details on what.(I was too naive to ask)   I'm not looking to sell, nor do I need valuation.  I just want to document as much as I can about the piano for my own records.
I've read several different threads, that all seem to have different guesses on the early S/N for Bell pianos from Guelph.  I haven't been able to confirm the source of some of the "guesses" .  

Can you help with dating this instrument?  And if possible provide any background on the resources used to come up with the dates?

Thanks !

Hi Kim:

My resources show Bell pianos serial numbers from 1895 (5600) to 1896 (7600) puts your piano in the 1895 year.

Yes...that is the serial number.

We use several resources to track manufacturing runs. In this case it seemed pretty simple and the Pierce Piano Atlas, and industry standard had Bell listings from 1894 (4900) to 1924 (33924).

From the pictures you included, it appears that there was action work done...hammers etc, a possible restringing...hard to tell fro the photo, and new plastic key tops (the original would have been ivory) and maybe, again hard to tell from the photo, the "sharps" or black keys were either replaced or refinished...these would have been ebony.

I say it may have been restrung...and I'm leaning toward the positive on that issue.If you look closely, you will see marks in the area on the steel plate around the pins. These marks may have been left by a coil lifting tool during the stringing process, and the strings do not seem to have the amount of discoloration and corrosion I would expect to find on a piano of this vintage.

Also, the piano looks to have been refinished with a new decal replaced.

I hope this 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


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