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Upright player piano, Mastertouch recording piano No 1, wood / metal, made by Beale and Company, used as a recording piano by Mastertouch Piano Roll Company, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1925

Made 1925

This piano is of particular significance as it was the main recording piano used to make piano rolls at the Mastertouch factory. It is also significant that it is an Australian made piano that has been uniquely adapted by Mastertouch to be a working piano and asset in the business.

The Mastertouch Piano Roll Company was established in 1919 in Sydney and manufactured and sold piano rolls until its closure on 1 July 2005. It is highly significant both to the state of New South Wales and Australia...

Summary

Object No.

2006/151/12

Object Statement

Upright player piano, Mastertouch recording piano No 1, wood / metal, made by Beale and Company, used as a recording piano by Mastertouch Piano Roll Company, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1925

Physical Description

Upright player piano, Mastertouch recording piano No 1, wood / metal, made by Beale and Company, used as a recording piano by Mastertouch Piano Roll Company, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1925

Upright player piano, adapted by Mastertouch as a recording player piano. Piano of 7 1/4 octaves from A in the bass to C in the treble. Beale model No. 5-1. Sliding panel in centre of upper case opens to reveal spool box with capability of playing several different sizes of music rolls with interchangeable spools. Piano has been adapted to include record and effect buttons on left side of keyboard.

Sometimes known as the 'Harbour Bridge' model due to the shape of the panel above the keyboard.

Marks

Serial number stamped on frame '54381'.
Maker and type, cast on metal frame above image of man, 'BEALE / ALL IRON TUNING SYSTEM'
Manufacturer details on fall and behind piano roll mechanism 'BEALE'

Dimensions

Height

1400 mm

Width

1670 mm

Depth

750 mm

Production

Notes

Beale and Company was the largest producer of pianos in Australia from the 1890s through to the early 1960s. Being a Sydney based firm they are of particular significance to the museum's musical instrument collection which has a strong collection of Australian made pianos including the earliest surviving Australian made piano by John Benham of Sydney dating from about 1835 through to the state of the art Stuart and Sons concert grand piano made in 1998-1999.

The Beale Company was founded by Octavius Charles Beale in 1879. The company began by importing sewing machines and later pianos and reed organs. Based in Sydney, they began piano manufacture in 1893. In 1901 they established a large factory at Trafalgar Street Annandale, which was heralded at the time as "an important industrial success" according to the Sydney Mail (18/1/1902 p.166). The factory was opened by the then Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton. At this time it was estimated that the company had already sold 14,000 pianos since being founded. The Beale Company continued piano production until it was taken over in the early 1960s and subsequently closed. It has also been estimated that they had made over 95,000 pianos up to the time they ceased production in Australia.

Priding themselves on making Australian pianos suitable for Australian conditions, they patented a string-locking device in 1902 that attempted to stop pianos going out of tune with changes and extremes in the Australian climate. Having the facility in their factory of making veneered timber they also manufactured furniture and wooden cases for other items such as gramophones in the 1920s and 1930s. This diversification of manufacturing allowed them to become a government industry during World War Two when they manufactured fuselages for De Havilland Mosquito aircraft.

The earliest Beale pianos known as Hapsburg Beales were imported from Germany and then sold in Australia, prior to the company commencing actual piano production in this country. The trade mark name "Hapsburg" was applied for by OC Beale in 1882. After this time the company produced a number of different styles of piano including grands and upright grands. The commencement of player piano production by Beale is uncertain but by the 1920s three models of the Beale Player Piano were being produced. According to a 1920s catalogue these were the Model 5, Model 5-1 and Model 5-3 and were advertised as the New Beale Player Piano.

Made

1925

History

Notes

Part of the Mastertouch Piano Roll Company's collection of keyboard instruments.

Source

Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program by Mr Barclay Wright, 2006
Acquired with the assistance of the NSW Heritage Office

Acquisition Date

20 November 2006

Cite this Object

Harvard

Upright player piano, Mastertouch recording piano No 1, wood / metal, made by Beale and Company, used as a recording piano by Mastertouch Piano Roll Company, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1925 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 June 2019, <https://ma.as/359732>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/359732 |title=Upright player piano, Mastertouch recording piano No 1, wood / metal, made by Beale and Company, used as a recording piano by Mastertouch Piano Roll Company, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1925 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 June 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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