How to Find and Decode Your Kurtzmann Piano Serial Number
If you own a Kurtzmann piano, you might be curious about its age and history. One of the easiest ways to find out more about your piano is to look for its serial number. A serial number is a unique code that identifies when and where the piano was made, as well as other details about its construction and design.
Kurtzmann Piano Serial Number
But where can you find the serial number on your Kurtzmann piano? And how can you decode it to learn more about your instrument? In this article, we will answer these questions and help you discover the value and heritage of your Kurtzmann piano.
Where to Find the Serial Number on Your Kurtzmann Piano
Kurtzmann pianos were manufactured by the C. Kurtzmann & Co., a company founded by Christian Kurtzmann in Buffalo, New York, in 1848. The company produced high-quality upright and grand pianos until 1938, when it was acquired by the Wurlitzer company.
Kurtzmann pianos have serial numbers that usually have five or six digits, depending on the year of manufacture. The serial number can be found in various places on the piano, depending on the type and model of the piano. Here are some common locations where you can look for the serial number on your Kurtzmann piano:
On the cast iron plate, near the tuning pins, as you face the keys. Look to the right or to the left.
On the soundboard, near the treble or bass bridge.
On a metal plate underneath the piano's top lid, near the strings and soundboard.
On the back of the keyslip (the long wooden ledge that runs along the front/bottom of the piano's keys).
On one or both of the cheek blocks (the wooden blocks that are located on either side of the keyboard).
You may need to remove some parts of the piano, such as the music desk or the keyslip, to access the serial number. You may also need to clean out any dust or dirt from the plate or soundboard with a soft cloth or a vacuum hose before you can read the serial number clearly.
How to Decode Your Kurtzmann Piano Serial Number
Once you have found the serial number on your Kurtzmann piano, you can use it to determine the year of manufacture of your piano. This can help you estimate the age and value of your instrument, as well as learn more about its history and quality.
To decode your Kurtzmann piano serial number, you need to compare it with a list of serial numbers and corresponding years that are available online or in books. For example, you can use this list from Bluebook of Pianos, which covers Kurtzmann pianos from 1900 to 1938:
You can use this list to find the approximate year of manufacture of your Kurtzmann piano by matching your serial number with the closest number in the list. For example, if your serial number is 64118, you can see that it falls between 63600 and 64400, which means that your piano was made in 1918.
Note that this list is not exact and may have some errors or gaps. Some serial numbers may have been skipped or duplicated by the manufacturer, or may have been altered or removed by previous owners. Therefore, you should use this list as a guide only and not as a definitive source of information.
The Value and Quality of Your Kurtzmann Piano Serial Number
Finding the year of manufacture of your Kurtzmann piano can help you estimate its value and quality, but it is not the only factor that determines how much your piano is worth. Other factors that affect the value and quality of your piano include:
The type and model of your piano. Kurtzmann pianos came in different types and models, such as uprights, grands, baby grands, player pianos, and reproducing pianos. Some models were more popular or rare than others, and some had more features or innovations than others.
The condition and maintenance of your piano. The physical and mechanical condition of your piano affects its sound quality, performance, and appearance. A well-maintained piano that has been regularly tuned, regulated, voiced, cleaned, and repaired will have a higher value and quality than a neglected or damaged piano that has been exposed to humidity, temperature changes, pests, or accidents.
The market demand and supply of your piano. The value and quality of your piano also depend on how much buyers are willing to pay for it and how many sellers are offering it. The market demand and supply of pianos vary depending on the location, season, economy, trends, and preferences of buyers and sellers.
To get a more accurate appraisal of your Kurtzmann piano's value and quality, you should consult a professional piano technician, tuner, dealer, or appraiser who can inspect your piano in person and give you an expert opinion based on their knowledge and experience.
The History and Heritage of Your Kurtzmann Piano Serial Number
Finding the year of manufacture of your Kurtzmann piano can also help you learn more about its history and heritage. You can trace back the origins and evolution of your piano by researching the history of the C. Kurtzmann & Co., as
well as the history of the piano industry and culture in Buffalo, New York, where the company was based.
The C. Kurtzmann & Co. was one of the oldest and most respected piano makers in America, with a history that spanned almost a century. The company was founded by Christian Kurtzmann, who was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, in 1815. He learned the craft of making pianos in his homeland and emigrated to America in 1848, settling in Buffalo, where he opened his own workshop on Staats Street.
In 1859, he formed a partnership with another piano maker named Hinze, and the company became known as Kurtzmann & Hinze. However, this partnership did not last long, and by the late 1860s, Kurtzmann dissolved it and started building pianos under his own name again. He moved his factory to Broadway and Elm Street, where he gained a reputation for producing high-quality upright and grand pianos.
Kurtzmann was very particular about his pianos and refused to increase his production beyond what he could personally supervise. He only made one piano a week in the early years, and each piano was carefully crafted with the finest materials and workmanship. He also experimented with various innovations and improvements in piano design and construction, such as laminated pin blocks, patented actions, and artistic cases.
Kurtzmann died in 1886, but he had brought his sons, Louis and Charles, into the business at an early age. Charles opened a music and piano store in Buffalo in 1888, while Louis took over the management of the factory. Louis formed a partnership with Alexander Cordes and Adolph Geiger, who helped him expand and modernize the company. In 1899, they moved the factory to Niagara Street, which they claimed was \"peculiarly adapted to the manufacture of pianos, as it is away from the smoke and dirt of the crowded manufacturing district.\"
In 1901, the company incorporated as C. Kurtzmann & Co., and increased its production capacity to meet the growing demand for its pianos. The company also built pianos under other brand names, such as Capen and Brockport Manufacturing Companies. Despite turning out 2,500 pianos a week by 1902, the company maintained its high standards of quality and excellence. The Buffalo Express reported that \"the old motto of thoroughness and honest work is lived up to today as it was a half-century ago.\"
Kurtzmann pianos were widely praised for their \"sweetness of tone\" and durability. They were sold across the country through a network of dealers and representatives. They also graced many concert halls, restaurants, hotels, and private homes of the well-to-do. Some famous owners of Kurtzmann pianos included President Grover Cleveland, composer Edward MacDowell, and singer Enrico Caruso.
In 1935, during the Great Depression, the C. Kurtzmann & Co. was acquired by the Wurlitzer Company, which continued to produce pianos under the Kurtzmann name for three more years. The last Kurtzmann piano was made in 1938, ending an era of piano making that spanned almost a century.
Today, Kurtzmann pianos are considered to be among the finest examples of American piano craftsmanship. They are highly sought after by collectors and musicians who appreciate their rich history and heritage. a27c54c0b2