Our Glorious National Heritage, The Past is a Foreign...Something

Bigger, Faster, Stronger…Pianos?

Or, Thank God We Solved That Problem


This from a Charleston, South Carolina newspaper:

A New Article of Trade to China, in the shape of Pianos, is about to be tried.

The great difficulty of preserving pianos in the climate of Canton, owing to its extreme dampness has deterred many from importing them. Messrs. Dubois, Bacon & Chambers, however, Piano Manufacturers of this city, have just completed two, which, from the strength of their construction, a better mode of securing the parts, and great care in the selection of the materials, will, they confidently believe, resist the climate.

They are, moreover, instruments of great sweetness, compass and delicacy, and have been pronounced by eminent pianists of superior quality – N.Y. Amer.

~The Southern Patriot (Charleston, SC), 28 May 1838, p.2, col. 3

I’d say this is just more evidence that Americans were interested in East Asia far sooner than we give them credit for, but I think the Southern Patriot and the NY American were motivated more by boredom, than anything else, to run this story.

I say that, partly, because in the former’s case, the entire front half of the front page was taken up with this:


Talk about being the voice of the community. I wonder if they reminded you to pick up some milk at the store, too…

Image cite: Sashamd, “We have a map of the piano,” Flickr, CC License

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