In 1934, two brothers, Harry and Percy Brasted, sold the first minipiano, the Pianette, under their company name, Eavestaff. The model was popular, partly due to the fact that its economical design and sleek finish fit in well with the Art Deco movement. Many experts consider the Royal minipiano, introduced by the Brasted brothers in 1958, to be musically superior to the Pianette, but it sold poorly. Eavestaff introduced the last minipiano, the Minitronic, at Germany's 1967 Frankfurt Fair.Continue Reading
The Brasted brothers bought the Eavestaff company in 1925. The Brasteds had been making pianos since the 1870s, but were not well-known, whereas Eavestaff had been a brand name in England since 1823. In 1934, the brothers created the first minipiano, based on a Swedish design to which the Brasteds had bought the rights.
The main difference between the minipiano and a modern upright piano is that the strings and hammers of a minipiano are located below the keyboard. This arrangement means the instrument takes up a minimal amount of space.
The minipiano design gradually fell out of favor with the public, partly because of changes in taste, and also due the fact that without regular maintenance the instrument becomes musically unusable and difficult to tune. Eavestaff stopped manufacturing the minipiano in 1983.Learn more about Musical Instruments