Bord, Antoine Jean-Denis
- Cyril Ehrlich
(b Toulouse, Oct 13, 1814; d Paris, Mar 5, 1888). French piano maker. The son of a baker, he learned piano-making in Marseilles and Lyons and worked for Martin in Toulouse and Pleyel in Paris. In 1843 he settled in Paris, where he invented the capo tasto, a metal bar that exerts downward pressure on the strings, increasing their resistance to the up-striking hammers and also improving sonority. His other patents included, in 1846, a double-escapement grand action, which employed a spiral spring later used in modern upright actions, and in 1855, an adaptation to the tops of the tuning pins to facilitate tuning. His pianos received numerous medals at expositions beginning in 1844, and in 1883 Bord was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honour. The firm’s early success was primarily a result of Bord’s talent as an entrepreneur. While a prospectus from 1851 includes grands and ‘wing pianos’, he concentrated on the mass production of small robust uprights, cutting costs and establishing his ‘pianettes’ (patented in ...