Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Transcontinental shipment of Steinway piano, 1871

From: "Shirley & Arnold"

Are Transcontinental shipping records available for October 28, 1871? Steinway & Sons Co. shipped Steinway piano, serial #23390, from New York to San Francisco on that date. I am uncertain if it went by rail or sea. Are historical records kept on shipments of this nature?

The piano is still in beautiful, working condition as has made its way to Tehachapi, CA, a small town about 5 hours southeast of San Francisco.

The original owner has since passed away and the history of the piano is not available as to how it traveled so far, 142 years past.

Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps if not shipped via rail, would you know where I might begin a search regarding a seafaring shipping, during that time period?

I write for a paper and I am trying to follow the path of this wonderful piece of musical equipment and do an article on its history. ...

—Shirley A. Given, The Loop Newspaper


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, we know of no repository where you can search 19th century shipping records from the first transcontinental railroad.

On the other hand, many of these records have survived and are sold one by one on eBay. But since these are widely scattered in various private collections, there is no way to find or search them.

It's too bad that eBay does not archive all of its auctions of historic material to allow public searches of the kind that you would need.

4/30/2014 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Expense Bill, 1874

Transcon Waybills, 1877

Expense Bill, 1878

Interline Freight

Shipping Receipt, 1880

4/30/2014 5:17 PM  

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