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Locating the Correct Technical Manual begins Here!!

Foreign-Made Player Piano Makers
and
The Player Actions that They Used
(Listing of 70 Known Player Actions)

This list is far from complete. Please write to me if you have any pertinent information to share. If technical information is available, I am willing to purchase any Service Manual or Diagram for a reasonable price. Click Here to send me your contact information and comments. Signed: John A. Tuttle


Next to each piano manufacturer's name is one or more numbers. Each number represents a different Player Piano Action. Clicking on the number will take you to a 'Systems' page which may have a short description of that action along with pictures or drawings (if available). Compare what is described in the page against the player action in your piano. Every 'Systems' page has a link to the applicable Service Manual or Technical Reprint, if one is available.

In some cases, companies used different player actions in different models and/or at different times during the heyday of the player piano. If you have tried all of the selections that are offered here, and you still can't find a match, I'd like to know. The completeness and accuracy of this listing depends in part on you. As new information comes to light, the list is immediately updated. If it's not in this list, please write to: John A Tuttle

For historical information about a piano company, please visit the Blue Book of Pianos website. For another source of historical information visit the Howe Collection, Piano Series webpage.And for even more information, provided by Bill Kibby, visit "PianoGen.org".

The piano brands in this listing are German, English, French, Austrian and Canadian. At the time player pianos were popular, the UK market tended to look to Germany for top-quality instruments (and rightly so). Some piano makes had many different players fitted, particularly better brands, such as Broadwood, that were not directly tied to a particular player maker.

Disclaimer: This listing is only as accurate as the information that has been provided by numerous sources. It is not possible to verify all of the information. However, if you are positive that something in the listing is in error, please bring it to my attention and it will be corrected.



Instruments made in Europe that used the Ampico system (as fitted by Marshall & Co. in London) mostly used genuine Ampico/Amphion parts, but reportedly sometimes used left-over Angelus stacks.


Allison - (English) - 9, 27
Antpusat - (unknown)
AutoPlayer - (English) - 7 (w/Solodant [Themodist] feature)
Bainsdorf - (unknown)
Beale - (Australian) - 3, 27, (also made own)
Bechstein - (German) - 66 (Original)
Bell - (Canada) - (unknown) Canadian Version of Otto-Higel maybe other actions?
Bents, George P - (English) - 9, 1, some with Themodist
Bluethner - (English) - 62
Böesendorfer - (Austrian) - 60
Boyd - (English) - 70
Brinsmead - (English) - 22
Broadwood - (English) - 60, 22, 9
Canada Piano Co. - (Canadian) - 27, 49, and another player maker called Sterling Action & Keys Toronto (SAK in spoolbox)
Challen - (English) - 60, 22, 9, 27
Chappell - (English) - 60
Chassaigne, Freres - (Spanish) - (see photos)
Collard & Collard - (English) - 60
Crane & Sons - (English) - 27
Crown - (English) - 9, 1, some with Themodist
Danemann - (English) - 61
Doherty - (Canadian) - (maybe Otto Higel??)
Dresden, Carl Rönish (German?) - 65
Easton - (English) - 64
Eastonola - (English) - 64
Eastonola Minor - (English) - 64
Ennis - (Canadian) - (made own) Ennis is made by R.S. Williams,player action is made by Williams for both names R.S. Williams / Ennis came in 2 configs , vertical single valves and horizontal single valves , same head/pump
Erard - (French) - 60
Feurich - (German) - 9, 66 (Original)
Francke, AH - (German) - (Unknown)
Gaveau, Gabriel - (French) -Ampico Late A, also Odéola, and Duo-Art
Gors & Kallmann, Kraut (German) - 9, 62
Grotrian-Steinweg - (German) - 60, 9
Grunert - (German) -
Guelph - (Canada) - (unknown)
Heintzman, Heintzman's version of Metanola stack using Otto Higel Head/pump( seen 4 of these now ,all snakebite Solodant theming)
Hopkinson - (English) - 60, 62, 27
John Ralph (English) - (Unknown)
Kaim - (German) - 9
Kaps - (German) - 9
Kastner - (English) - 9
Kemble - (English) - 61
Kingston - (English) - 61
Langham (English?) - (unknown)
Leader (Canadian) - (unknown)
Lindsay Pianos both conventional Otto Higel & Metanola stacks in 2 samples I've seen
Lipp - (German) - 9
Marque-Ampico - (English) - stencil piano (probably by Eavestaff) - 60
Marshall & Rose - (English) - 60, 22
Mason & Risch, seems to have made their own , possibly others used?, data low for me
Marston - (English) - (unknown)
Martin Orme Pianos Ottawa, Otto Higel Toronto , Possibly others
Monnington & Weston - (English) - 9
Mozart Piano Co. Ltd - (Canadian) - Heintzman label - 1
Murdoch, Murdoch, and Co - (English) - (hybrid system) 02-26-2000
Offer & Son - (English) - 27
Pleyel - (French) - Pleyela (foot pumped), Autopleyela (electric/foot-operated reproducing)
Pratte, L.E.N. - (Canadian) - (unknown)
Rachals - (German) - 9
Raper, John Pianos Ottawa, Otto Higel Toronto , Bear in mind this is a stencil piano
Ritmuller - (German) - 9
Rogers - (English) - 60
Rushworth & Draper - (English) - 69, (Licensee)
Schiedmayer - (German) - 9
Schrapel - (Australian?) - Philipps of Frankfurt, Germany
Sherlock Manning Pianos, Otto Higel Toronto
Squire & Longson -(unknown)
Steinberg - (German) - 27
Steinway - (German) - 27, 66 (Original)
Stems - (Dresden, Germany) - 9
Strohmenger - (English) - 9, 27
Triumph - (English) - 9
Waddington - (English) - 69, (Licensee)
(Canadian) Weber company Kingston , Otto Higel Toronto / Autopiano
Weinberger (Berlin) - (unknown) - (See Pictures)
Welte - (German) - 66 (Original)
Wercker - (unknown)
Wertheim - (Australian) - 9, 1, some with Themodist
Weston, S. & Co. - (English) - (unknown)
W. H. Barnes - (English) - 64
Williams Piano Co. - (Canadian) - 27, 49
Willis Pianos Montreal , Sterling Action & Keys Toronto (SAK in Spoolbox)
Witton - (English) - 27, Themola?
Wormwith - (Canada) - Wormwith By Weber Kingston , Otto Higel Toronto
Zenkers & Schultz - 27



(Still in Work)
9. Phonola (Hupfeld): Bluethner, Ronisch, Grunert (the latter two
eventually becoming own-brands). Many other brands were fitted with Hupfeld
players, either Phonola or Claviola - a bit like a European Standard. I have
records of instruments from Neumann, Niendorf.
http://www.pianola.co.uk/hupfeld%20ronisch.html

10. Pianola (Aeolian, using imported or locally-manufactured actions):
Ibach; Ernst Munck; Broadwood (all early, before the familiar Steinway,
Weber, Steck, Stroud, Farrand and Aeolian brands were used as in America -
the Ernst Munck factory being purchased and renamed Steck).




As well as all these, the PPG list has loads of player pianos that didn't give enough information to identify the player action in them, so there's plenty of opportunity to fill out this list. There are also brands I don't have information at hand for, such as Pleyela, that clearly ought to be added.

When it comes to details of player actions, the worst omission from American-centred literature is probably Hupfeld, who produced massively-engineered works of jaw-dropping build quality and complexity. The majority of the other player actions commonly encountered were derived from American originals, some changed a bit. For instance, Standard actions fitted in Europe were offered with Themodist-like actions which do not appear in the original literature, and special inserts were stuck into the UK versions of the service manuals.



.
70 Known Player Actions
(Click on the name to view Identifying Characteristics of that Action [if available])
1. STANDARD
2. SIMPLEX
3. AMPHION
4. H.C. BAY
5. AEOLIAN
6. GULBRANSEN
7. PRATT-READ
8. KIMBALL
9. AUTOPIANO, (See Note)
10. BALDWIN
11. SCHULZ
12. CABLE CO.
13. STARR
14. STORY & CLARK
15. LESTER
16. PRICE & TEEPLE
17. WURLITZER
18. STRAUBE
19. ARTEMIS (KRELL)
20. MELVILLE CLARK
21. BECKWITH
22. ANGELUS
23. HARDMAN (AUTOTONE, PLAYOTONE)
24. LAUTER
25. JACOB DOLL
26. STRAUCH BROS.
27. OTTO HIGEL
28. WINTER & CO.
29. CHRISTMAN
30. H. P. NELSON
31. SCHUMANN
32. BJUR BROS.
33. HENRY F. MILLER
34. BEHR BROS.
35. WESER BROS.
36. SCHUBERT
37. BEHNING
38. MASTER ACTION
39. FARRAND (CECILIAN)
40. BUSH & LANE (CECILIAN)
41. A. B. CHASE (Artistano)
42. KRELL
43. NATIONAL AIR-O-PLAYER
44. MASON & RISCH
45. VOSE
46. KRANICH & BACH
47. AMERICAN PLAYER ACTION
48. WRIGHT & SONS CO.
49. STERLING
50. PEERLESS
51. UNIVERSAL (MOD.)
52. CLASSIC (MOD.)
53. KOHLER & CAMPBELL (MOD.)
54. STORY & CLARK (MOD.)
55. KIMBALL (MOD.)
56. AEOLIAN 64 & 88 Note (MOD.)
57. WURLITZER (MOD.)
58. KONTROLLIOLE (German)
59. LOWERY (in work)
60. AMPICO (Reproducing)
61. APPA (Automatic Player Piano Actions, small-time successors to Aeolian's UK operation in the 1930s)
62. CAROLA (made by Bluethner, UK, in the early 1930s)
63. CLAVIOLA - see Phonola
64. EASTONOLA
65. HUPFELD
66. WELTE-MIGNON (Original - Reproducing)
67. DUO-ART (Reproducing)
68. PHONOLA
69. WELTE-MIGNON (Licensee - Reproducing)
70. PISTONOLA
71. ODEOLA/PLEYEL
72. PHILIPPS (DUCANOLA) of Frankfurt, Germany

NOTE: American-made actions fitted in the UK by sole agents Kastner & Co.

The majority of the information presented on this web page is here because of the generosity of Julian Dyer, who heads the Player Piano Group in England. (Click Here to read the letter that he sent to Player-Care.) Other information has been provided by those who have visited Player-Care over the years.

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e- mailSuggestions or Comments to John A. Tuttle (site administrator)
This page was created on June 21, 2003.
It will be updated as new information becomes available.
Last Update On: December 24, 2009.

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