Dating a square
It is no question Mark Zuckerberg never envisioned Facebook to be this successful when he developed the social networking website 12 years ago.
Harvard is a school full of geniuses and all graduates tend to become successful so a reunion is always a great idea so everyone gets to catch up with their former batch mates...
Invariably we come before a square piano and want to know how old it is.
Generally, the most satisfying answer would take us to an exact year.
Harvard Batch 06 suddenly garnered headlines because the youngest millionaire ever Mark Zuckerberg came from that batch.
They are now having a TED talk in order to in find out who the second most successful person in the batch is since everyone knows who the first is and it is by a wide margin.
Turned legs replaced square tapered legs, and added embellishments of brass collars, turned and reeded, teardrop shapes, etc. 2011, SN 15123, so ~1821, with 4 original legs), returns to four legs, turned or octaganol in shape, which would continue in Europe until the end of square piano production.
American pianos would move into ornate cabriole carved legs, sometimes with astonishing designs.
With the understanding that the information presented here is subject to refinement and updating, we will begin with a few of the better known firms and move to the lesser known pianos as information builds up.
For labels that used multiple builders such as Longman and Broderip, some system of assigning blocks of serial numbers to various builders was in play, so that a lower number may be made after a higher one, based on which shop got which number set, though it is suspected this was maintained up to date within a calendar year.
This aside, some effort has been made to collect dated instruments and use their serial numbers to produce a trend line for dating instruments. Broadwood is unique in having a well maintained and readable pedigree, thanks in part to the records remaining intact and the company still in existence.
Longman and Broderip began numbering in late 1783 or 1784, and infrequent pianos are found dated on a key, under the soundboard, back of name board, residual paperwork, and similar.
From this, the first series of 5 octave instruments can be given as below: The second series, used on 5 1/2 octave pianos by way of the Southwell patent, began in 1795.