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WWII Steinway pianos for the Troops

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Veterans Radio America

Veterans Radio America


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Dr. Garik Pedersen tells the story of Steinway pianos war effort to lift the morale of the troops. When the U.S. entered the conflict in 1941, supplies of raw materials were diverted to the war effort. This included metals that were key components in pianos, so piano makers either had to manufacture something else or go out of business.  Mr. Henry Steinway hit on the idea of building small, lightweight, inexpensive uprights that could be shipped overseas for use by the troops or USO performers. Called “Victory Verticals,” they contained only 33 pounds of metal, about a tenth as much as a normal piano.   There were approximately 2,500 made and painted olive drab or battleship gray. Gary Pedersen is an Eastern Michigan University professor and Steinway artist and learned of this war effort from 93 yr old Henry Steinway.  A piece of musical and military history that Prof Pedersen is now telling around the country in The Victory Vertical Project.  He explains this project to host Jim Fausone.