Ingenious Inventions
Portable Upright Piano, 1801
Maker: John Isaac Hawkins
Philadelphia, PA
photo by SI
This very early example of an American upright piano, fully portable, was perhaps
designed for shipboard. Thomas Jefferson owned one of Hawkins's instruments.
Click To Enlarge
Square Piano, 1832-1837
Maker: Alpheus Babcock for
William Swift
Philadelphia, PA
photos by
Robert C.
Lautman
An ingenious craftsman but an unlucky businessman, Alpheus Babcock invented the
one-piece iron frame, one of America's chief contributions to piano development. The
iron frame allowed for larger, more stable instruments that could produce bigger
sounds. One of two known Babcock pianos with an iron frame.
Click To Enlarge
Click To Enlarge
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