Nelson-Wiggen Piano Company Survey

Nelson-Wiggen Coin Piano/Organ Study Project

Introductory Style Notes:

An Invitation to Send Accompanying Photographs

Pictures of the exterior of an instrument often allows us to identify case styles, control knobs, coin slots, art glass details, and other characteristics oftentimes not easily described through text alone. Moreover, snapshots of the interior mechanisms and any nameplates they may bear usually helps us greatly to identify mechanical characteristics that shed light on the mechanical evolution of an instrument, which helps us when developing dating guides. It is no stretch to say that photographs are an invaluable aid in detailing and understanding any instrument for which information has been submitted, and so please do consider sending photographs, albeit separately from the on-line form, but nonetheless augmenting the survey information.

Invitation to e-mail photographs corresponding to a survey submittal.
Please send photographs to:

Nelson-Wiggen Coin Piano and Orchestrion Survey Form

All survey submissions to the Mechanical Music Press are given with the provision that the Mechanical Music Press and/or its authors have non-exclusive use of the information, images, or other material submitted for use with this project or in any other part of this web site, and do so without limitation. All contributors of significant, previously unused information will be listed as contributors under general credits in the Registry section. Submission does not guarantee the acceptance of or the use of the whole or any part or segment of any information submitted. Please do not submit information if you cannot abide by the aforementioned stipulations.

Contact Information
  Show owner name in reports.

* Required form fields: Contact information will be kept private, with the exception of owner name if, and only if the "Show owner name on reports" box is checked.

Piano Basic Information (Nelson-Wiggen)
  Rubber-stamped on plate.  Die-stamped on pinblock.
Piano serial number is also die‐stamped on back of piano.

Nelson-Wiggen Styles: Dance-O-Grand; Harp-O-Grand; Banj-O-Grand Style 1 (Piano-O-Grand No. 1); Style 2 (or Pian-O-Grand No. 2); Style 3 (or Pian-O-Grand No. 3); 4X; 4T; 5; 5X; 6; 6T; 7; 8; 8T; Casino, Casino-X; Selector-Duplex Organ; Radio Piano.

Mandolin/Banjo attachment.

Many Nelson‐Wiggen pianos have a rubber‐stamped date (i.e. JUN 6, 1922) on the underside of the piano hammers, usually in the tenor or mid‐treble area. Finding this date may require very careful inspection due to a poor initial impression or aging of the imprinting ink. Please make note of this date when replacing an original set of hammers, as in most cases it provides the only clue to the actual age of the piano.

Oak, Mission oak, Mahogany, Walnut, etc.

 only for styles 4X, 5X, and 8.

The 4X is about 5’2” tall, and the larger 5X is about 5’10” tall. The 8 comes in 2 case sizes.

Striking and/or Percussive Instrumentation
Snare drum.  Bass drum.  Tympani effect.  Cymbal.  Triangle.  Wood block.  Castanets.  Tambourine.
Xylophone.  Reiterating.  Single stroke. — Number of Notes:
Marimba.  Reiterating.  Single stroke. — Number of Notes:

Marimba bars are wider than xylophone bars and have resonators behind/underneath.

Orchestra bells.  Reiterating.  Single stroke. — Number of Notes:

If some of the above descriptions do not exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Pipework and Related Instrumentation Violin pipes.  Flute pipes. 
Harmonium / Reed Organ (Dance-O-Grand model).

If some of the above descriptions do not exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Pneumatic Stack

The serial number is usually die-stamped somewhere on the front side of the pneumatic stack

Music Roll Type Style A music roll.  Style 4X (or G) music roll.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Motor Information (only if original motor)  Motor Model:  Motor S/N:  Motor RPM:
Art Glass Description
Plain glass with pleated curtains.
Art glass installed from inside of case.
Art glass screwed to outside of case.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Comments, History, and Explanations

Please include any additional information about the piano that might be pertinent, such as its history, i.e., various locations and owners. If you find a date (or style number), such as on a paper sticker inside or on the backside of the case, or on a pneumatic component, notice an early tuning date written by hand on the piano plate, find an original sales invoice, etc., please describe any such items.