Hank Steinway tracks down a piano

Although officially retired as President and CEO, Henry Steinway remains a paid consultant to Steinway & Co and takes the 57th Street bus to work every day. "The company will often involve me in some bit of ancient history," he recounts. "My favorite is a letter that came from a retired naval commander that said, ‘I was on the submarine Thomas E. Edison and there was a piano on it. How did it get there?’ This letter floated around Steinway, didn’t get any answer, and finally somebody sent it to me. I called this guy. It was more damn fun, because sure enough we had put a piano on this submarine in Groton when it was being built ”“ you know, the big submarine works in Groton, Connecticut ”“ before they put the conning tower on."
What size piano?
"The smallest upright we make. Why was it there? Because the crew had asked for it, which I think is great. We dug up some pictures of the piano in use, and then he said, “I’m going to run down this piano.” It was one of the first atomic submarines that run for days underwater, that’s why they wanted the piano. He pursued this and found it was in the Portsmouth, Maine Navy Yard. They’d taken the piano out, and they’d ruined it because they’d tried to take it out through the conning tower, which it wouldn’t go through. Somebody had tried to take it apart. Anyway, they finally took the submarine apart, and the thing was there, and my lovely friends the Murphys went up to Portsmouth and found it there, all covered with rat shit. They sent it back and we fixed it up and redid it and used it for displays and stuff, and now it’s supposed to be in some naval museum somewhere. So that’s the kind of project I enjoy."

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