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date: 13 December 2019


  • Hugh Davies


88-note upright electric piano incorporating a radio and a record turntable concealed on either side of the keyboard. It was designed by Arthur C. Ansley (b ?Jackson, MI, 12 Oct 1901; d Doylestown, PA, 1 Dec 1975) and manufactured in New York from 1938 by the Ansley Radio Corp., who marketed it as a ‘phono-radio- electronic piano and harpsichord’. Based on the patent for Benjamin F. Miessner’s electronic piano, it had no soundboard, the vibrations of the strings being converted by electrostatic pickups into voltage variations and made audible over a loudspeaker shared by the instrument, radio, and phonograph. Life magazine (9 Jan 1939, 50–51), reported that when the power was turned off it sounded like a harpsichord, and at full volume ‘like a concert grand’. The piano and phonograph could be played at the same time. Priced at $595, several hundred were sold up to the end of ...

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