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Express Player Piano -MFG Expressly for Daynes-Beebe Music Co., Salt Lake City, Utah (Stack made by Clarendon)

There are numerous things that are presently not known about this player action. The only things that are known for certain is what was found inside the piano. Namely that it is an 'Express' player piano that was manufactured 'Expressly for Daynes-Beebe Music Co., Salt Lake City, Utah' and that the stack was made by Clarendon. After some research, it was found that the lettering (or font) of the name Empress is identical to that of the brand known as 'Empress Electric', which was a brand name used by Lyon & Healy. However, Lyon & Healy, a "well-known musical supply house... in Chicago" has here-to-for only been known for their line of coin operated pianos and orchestrions (see pgs. 494-496 'Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments, by Q. David Bowers, pub. 1972). No mention is made of a regular 88-note player piano in the reference book. Also, according to the Pierce Piano Atlas, 12th Edition, pub. 2008, 'Clarendon' was established at Rockford, IL, by Haddorff Piano Co. Looking under Clarendon in the atlas, the serial number 57792 crosses to a manufacture date of 1913. Looking under Lyon & Healy, the last serial number in 1930 is 39000. However, it also says that Lyon & Healy had "some pianos made by Packard and Schulz, player pianos not included in numbers." Looking under Packard, none of the serial numbers listed fall within the 57000-58000 range. However, looking under Schulz, a serial number of 57792 would have been made in mid-1910. Next, I looked under Haddorf and things started making more sense. According to the atlas Haddorff number 57792 was made in early 1914, but what's more interesting is the information about the various brand names that Haddorff manufactured, including Seeburg, Bush & Gerts, Clarendon, and Steinbach & Dreher. It's interesting because most of those brands were known to have had the Amphion player system installed in the piano. So, one can somewhat accurately conclude that Lyon & Healy had some sort of a deal with Haddorff (or Clarendon) and Amphion to manufacture an 88-note player piano. As you will see shortly, they weren't the only company that made such deals.

A couple of things that are of interest are the air motor and the tracking service. The air motor looks virtually identical to the well-known Amphion air motor. In fact, it is identical! (see Amphion in Adam Schaff player piano) Also notice that the tracker service is virtually identical. Based on those findings, a search through the various Amphion patents verified beyond any doubt that the player system in this Empress player piano was made by Amphion, and it's more than likely that it was made in 1913 or 1914.

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This page was last revised March 6, 2013 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
For The Accuracy or Validity of the Statements and/or Opinions
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