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Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Storing an Aldrich, New York upright piano in unheated garage


QUESTION: Hi there!

I recently purchased a beautiful upright piano and am moving it into storage in a friend's garage for one year. This garage is in Washington state and is unheated. I anticipate the lowest the temperature will get to be is 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit. Is this problematic?

Additionally, I was hoping you could tell me the age of the piano.

It says Aldrich, New York on the inside and the serial number is 159686

Thank you for your time and any advice you have for me!

ANSWER: Hi Kimberly:

Aldrich was more a passed around name not a manufacturer. It came under Sherman-Clay, Haddorff, and Aeolian.

That number points to Haddorff in 1955.

Storage is more a problem of humidity than temperature generally.

Pianos like to be around 45% RH.

Storing it in an unheated garage, if it's cold, yet fairly dry is ok...moist...not so good.

I'm guessing if it is short term will probably be OK.

If there were a dehumidifier at play here, I would feel better.

In any case, storing a piano in an un-regulated area is always a gamble.

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Serial number
Serial number  

QUESTION: Hi Ralph! Thanks so much for the advice! I ended up moving it indoors to be safe. As for it's age, now that I hav it in my possession i see that it is Sherman, Clay & Co. What does that mean if the serial number points to Haddorff in 1955?

Hi Kimberly:

Haddorff made Sherman Clay Pianos.

This practice is still in existence today.

for instance, Kawai manufactures the Boston for Steinway.

In fact Kimball, Daewoo, Aeolian, and others made Sherman Clay pianos.

Your serial number happens to fit the Haddorff line...the assumption: Haddorff made it.

Good for you finding and indoor spot!

When you retrieve the piano and are ready to put it to good use, go to to find a registered technician in your area.

Congratulations on your acquisition!

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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: 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: You can like us on Facebook at:


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:// 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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The list is rather extensive. I would suggest you go where there is a comprehensive list of clients past and present.

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