National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave., NW
The piano was made by the Blüthner firm in Leipzig, which remains one of the most respected German piano builders. This piano has a version of the ornate Jubilee cast-iron plates Blüthner produced from 1898 to 1907. It also has Blüthner’s Aliquot System which employs an additional fourth string for each of the keys in the instrument’s upper octaves. This string is not struck by the hammers, but vibrates through sympathetic resonance when the other three strings are struck, resulting in an enriched spectrum contributing to the distinctive “Blüthner sound.”
Donated by Fred and Diana Chaffee “in loving memory of Roger G. Kennedy,” director of the National Museum of American History from 1979 to 1992.