SUMMARY: This Kingsbury Carola Inner-Player was manufactured by the Cable Piano Company of Chicago (more below). The piano's serial number is 160255 making it built in 1911. It can be played as a regular piano and I assume as a player piano but I have never seen it operate and suspect it needs work. Hey, if you want just any piano, buy an electronic keyboard from Walmart for $100. If you want a real piano, love the sound, appreciate the wooden beauty of real furniture, dig the idea of bringing a vintage 106 year old player piano back to life and are willing to pay for that, then I'd say this is a good deal for a real antique player piano.
DIMENSIONS: 63w 29d 58h"
CONDITION: This vintage piano is in fair condition and is being sold "as is." It needs to be tuned at the very least and would benefit by some degree of restoration. I do not know if the motor runs. The keys are in fair condition. For being 106 years old, it seems to be in relatively good shape. I've seen photos of similarly aged player pianos in terrible condition, but I recommend having someone knowledgeable look it over.
DELIVERY: You must arrange pickup. I suggest hiring piano movers as I did when I bought it 10 years ago.
RESTORATION: I know little about restoration, but know it is involved, like restoring an antique car. The professionals who restore old pianos may work dozens or even 200 hours, depending upon whether you restore the piano to merely workable condition, completely replace the keys, or restore the piano's finish to its former glory. I suspect restoration costs might run a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, but don't depend on me. You need to do the research. Check out eBay. Restored player pianos typically sell for around $5000, even up to $18,000, so such an investment might payoff upon resale.
BACKGROUND: The Cable Piano Co. was established in 1880 by H.D. Cable. H.D. Cable was originally with the Wolfinger Organ Co., which later changed to the Western Cottage Organ Co. and then to the Chicago Cottage Organ Co. In 1890, H.D. Cable consolidated with Conover Bros. and his two brothers, Fayette S. and Hobart M. Cable (although Fayette S. and Hobart M. Cable continued building pianos under their own brand names). Cable and Conover then acquired the Schiller Piano Co. of Oregon, IL , and used the Schiller pianos as their higher end models. By the 1900s, Cable Piano had 500 employees and factories Chicago and St. Charles, IL. It manufactured pianos under the names: Conover, Cable, DeKoven, Kingsbury, Midget, Puritan, Wellington, Schiller Euphona, Carola and Inner-Player player pianos. Cable Piano had various owners over the years. Prior to 1982, Cable Piano were owned by the Aeolian Corp. of New York and manufactured in Memphis, TN. Cable Piano is now out of business but in 2001, the company was acquired by Baldwin.
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