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date: 07 December 2019

Southwell, Williamlocked

  • Margaret Cranmer

Extract

(b ?Dublin, 1756; d London, 2 February 1825). Irish maker of pianos, harpsichords and harps. He was apprenticed in 1772 to Ferdinand Weber in Dublin, where he himself opened a shop in 1782. He worked mostly in Dublin, but patented his important improvements to the piano from London. His 1794 patent (no.2017) solved the problem of extending the compass of the square piano without upsetting the overall scaling, by fitting ‘additional notes’ in the treble. The hammers for these struck upwards from a separate compartment under the soundboard through a slot at the back, with the pin block let into the back of the case, avoiding encroachment on the soundboard. This major innovation was adopted by all makers for square pianos with a compass of over five octaves. The patent also introduced a new damper, screwed into a wooden button glued through a thin strip of leather to the back end of the key. His ...

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