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date: 13 November 2019

Mathushek, Frederick locked

  • Anne Beetem Acker

Extract

(b Mannheim, Germany, June 9, 1814; d New York, NY, Nov 9, 1891). American piano manufacturer, of German origin. After apprenticeship in Mannheim and visits to piano factories in Austria, France, and Germany, he opened a workshop in Worms. Some of his early pianos were reportedly influenced by models of Jean-Henri Pape. Mathushek emigrated in 1849 to New York, where he worked initially for John B. Dunham. In 1850 he devised an improved press for applying piano hammer felt, and the following year he patented a ‘sweep scale’ for square pianos that provided wider spacing between the strings. From 1852 to 1857 he operated his own workshop in New York City. During part of this time he worked with the inventor Spencer Driggs in developing a double soundboard with two convex boards coupled together as in a violin. About 1859 he reportedly introduced a grand piano claimed as the largest ever made up to that time. On ...

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