For over 160 years, Steinway & Sons have been the leading name when it comes to the crafting of world-class Grand Pianos. Offering sizes ranging from the diminutive Model S to the imposing Model D, Steinway Grands have become the standard by which other pianos are often judged. Not as well-known however is the company’s selection of upright/vertical pianos they have offered throughout their history.
The First Steinway Upright Scale Design
Designed by Henry E. Steinway and his son Henry Steinway, Jr., the very first Steinway upright scale design featured a 24-note bass section a ¾ flat plate and agraffes throughout. This was an 85 note/7 octave design and measured 4’ 9 3/8” tall. This was the first of many early upright scale designs that pre-date the ‘modern’ Steinway upright.
The History of the Steinway Upright
Steinway Upright Pianos include a number of the features associated with their grand brethren that have been scaled down and inserted in the vertical design. This results in a quality of tone that is similar to that produced by a Steinway grand. The Model K, the Model 4510 and the Model 1098 are the two upright models currently produced by the New York Factory. The Hamburg Factory currently manufactures the Model K and the Model V.
Steinway Model 40 Upright Piano
Over the years, Steinway upright pianos have been owned by aspiring and professional musicians throughout the globe. John Lennon purchased what would become the world’s most expensive upright piano, built by Steinway in 1970. This Hamburg Steinway Model Z upright piano was originally sold for $1,500 and was used to compose the song “Imagine” as well as other notable tunes. It sold for 1.67 million pounds to pop star George Michael.
The most popular upright produced by Steinway was their piano that measured 40″ in height. First dubbed the Model 40, this smaller vertical underwent several variations and model changes during its time in production. 40″ uprights were built by the New York factory between 1939 and 1987. The original Model 40 was first put into production to provide an affordable vertical piano to compete against pianos built by the company’s competitors.
Upright or a Grand?
Although Steinway has built a number of vertical instruments over their over 160 years in business, they are still best known for their concert level grand pianos. Our usual recommendation is the purchase and restoration of a vintage Steinway Grand when choosing between it or a vertical. This is due to the grand’s better responsiveness. That said, we have rebuilt and restored a number of Steinway uprights for clients who have a significant attachment to them, require their space saving design or prefer them due to aesthetic or performance reasons.
Our Northern Indiana Rebuilding Facility and Showroom feature a wide selection of fully restored and original condition Steinway instruments. We have over forty years of experience in the piano industry and we stand ready to assist you in finding the piano that is the right fit for you. For more information about our selection and our range of services, get in contact with us today!
Browse our Selection
of Vintage Steinway Pianos
Chupp’s Pianos is proud to carry the largest selection of vintage, premium restored Steinway & Sons pianos in the Midwest United States. With over 40 years of experience in the Piano industry, we are ready to help you find the piano of your dreams. Contact us today!