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Chappell Glass Rod Piano

Made by: Chappell & Company

19th Century


ca. 1825

This small instrument uses glass rods instead of strings to produce the sound. The key hammer, mounted on a springy shank of whalebone, is thrown against the glass rod by the action of the key. To economize space, both the rods and the hammers are layered out in two rows. This instrument was one of the ways makers tried to overcome the difficulty of keeping an instrument in tune – by substituting some other vibrating material for the strings.

Acquired in 1983

Range 3 octaves c-c