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In 1902, the Model O was first produced by the Steinway & Sons New York factory and introduced to the American consumer market as the �Miniature� Steinway grand piano. It was the Model O that was the first Steinway grand piano to feature the classic Steinway case design known as Sketch 380 Sheraton (squared off, spade-shaped legs) designed by Eugene F. Ayuso, now the standard case design for all Steinway grand models.
When the Model O grand was a brand new scale, it reflected several major new technical innovations with its unprecedented incorporation of 26 notes in the bass section. The plate design did not incorporate adjustable rear duplexes, but had instead solid duplex ribs cast in the plate. Examination of early Model O grands reveals that Henry Ziegler who designed this model conducted many experiments and made several adjustments in features and layout. In 1902 and again in 1904, New York factory log book entries for Model O grands say, �Model A shape� (i.e., square tail instead of standard Model O round tail). These few early experimental Model O grands with square tails might well be considered to be the earliest predecessors of the Model L grand. As mentioned, Henry Ziegler (1857�1930) designed and invented the Model O. He also designed and invented the Models M (1912) and L (1923), both of which are based on the original Model O design and scale.
The Model M (5'7"") is a slightly shorter version of the Model O. The Model L is essentially the same scale as the Model O but with a square tail, rather than round. The Model S (5'1""), which was introduced in 1936, is also based on the Model O design and scale. In 1906, the Model O bass bridge was changed from straight to curved, and the plate was reconfigured to accommodate adjustable rear duplex scales. In 1914, the length of the Model O was increased slightly by 1/2"" from 5'10"" to 5'10-1/2"". On November 7, 1924, the last of these historic Model O grands were produced in New York. Now in 2006, the Steinway & Sons New York factory has announced that it will return to the production of the original fully developed version of the Model O grand with its characteristic round tail, curved bass bridge, and rear duplex scales as perfected in his time by Henry Ziegler�but with all of the modern technical innovations that have followed:"
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