Just poking around the other night, we noticed an interesting and very old decal on the fallboard. It said “Sherman Clay & Co.” (I’ll post a picture here in a bit.) A quick google later and I discovered that they’re one of the biggest piano sellers in the West (and Houston LOL). So I called the founding store yesterday in San Francisco to ask them about this piano. It’s really cool! It was the 290th piano made in 1935, handmade on 57th Street in New York City. Hardman Pianos were incorporated with Mason & Hamlin (to die for), Knabe & (I believe) Steinways. That explains this piano’s huge voice. Without ever having heard a M&H in person, my guess is that there was some influence there. M&H pianos have this thing called a “tone resonator” or something like that attaches to the soundboard and basically acts like a magnifying glass for sound.
All I know is that when the windows and front door are open (the piano’s in the living room), you can hear the piano–easily!–from the street. LOL We’re learning how to make her w h i s p e r and find that the sound is most incredible (and doable in our smaller house) with the lid down. ; )