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2006/151/21 Upright player piano, wood / iron / brass, made by Gulbransen, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, 1924. Click to enlarge.

Upright piano player by Gulbransen

  • 1924
The retail music firm EF Wilks and Co. Ltd. operated in Sydney and functioned as the retail outlet for Mastertouch piano rolls from the 1920s. Wilks also sold player pianos and sheet music and later also radios. In particular they had a dealership for the sale of Gulbransen pianos in Australia. This instrument by Gulbransen is an excellent example of the type of upright player piano that the Wilks business sold. It is also representative of the close relationship between the business and the …


Object No.


Object Statement

Upright player piano, wood / iron / brass, made by Gulbransen, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, 1924

Physical Description

Upright piano of seven 1/4 octaves from A in bass to C in treble. Polished timber case with iron frame. Upper front panel has sliding doors which open to give access to spool box. Two brass pedals. Maker's name cast into frame. Retractable pedals for pumping bellows in lower piano behind sliding door.


Serial No: 204609
Nameboard: "Gulbransen"
Frame: "Gulbransen/Makers/Chicago USA"



  • 1924


This instrument was made in Chicago, USA in 1924. Axel Gulbransen established the company there in 1904.



This instrument was originally owned by the donor's aunt and bought new from EF Wilks in Parkes, NSW during the 1920s. It was given by the donor's cousins to him on the death of his aunt. The donor had the piano restored by Kevin Smee in the 1980s. The Gulbransen logo of a crawling baby pushing one of the pedals of a player piano with the slogan "Easy To Play" became a well known image popularising the company and their pianos. Part of the Mastertouch Piano Roll Company's collection of keyboard instruments.


Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government's 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


Upright piano player by Gulbransen 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 June 2021, <https://ma.as/359741>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/359741 |title=Upright piano player by Gulbransen |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 June 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}