homePianoforte-makers in England


in London


Patent of 1811 : "Robert Wornum, the younger, Princes-street, Hanover-square, Middlesex, piano-forte-maker; for an improved upright piano-forte." The Literary Panorama, Volume 10, 1811, p. 635


Patent of 1820 : "ROBERT WORNUM, of Wigmore-street, Cavendish-square, Middlesex, Pianoforte maker, for an improvement on piano-fortes, and certain other stringed instruments Dated May 13, 1820." The European Magazine, and London Review, Volume 77, 1820, p. 565

"One size wire used for stringing tenor and treble. The length of the first note is determined on the monochord, and for all the corresponding notes upwards you must halve the several notes, and so on for as many octaves as you require, always halving for the last octave. This is intended to produce equal tension throughout the instrument." The History of the Pianoforte, Edgar Brinsmead, 1879, p. 202 (archive.org) - or - See for more information : The Port Folio, 1821, p. 129-130

"R. WORNUM, of Wigmore-street, for an Improvement on Piano-Fortes.—Take a cabinet piano-forte, and determine what length you will give to your longest plain string, then set off that length on a monochord, and after having fixed what size the string shall be, and the tightness that you wish it to bear, (for these are points wholly at the discretion, approbation, or experience, of the manufacturer,) strain or string accordingly on the monochord, and see what note it is in unison with, on a well-tuned piano-forte.

This note being determined, you must sound the next above on the piano-forte, and move the shifting-bridge of the monochord until you have brought it into unison, and so proceed until you have ascertained and marked all the notes of one octave.

You then transcribe those marks on a rod; and for all the corresponding notes that you want upwards, you must halve the several lengths until you have produced another octave, and so on for as many octaves as you require, always halving from the last octave.

For the covered strings you must adopt another method. First, fix on the length of your longest covered string, and draw a line from that to your longest plain string, and thus you will have the several lengths of your covered strings.

You must then ascertain what weight will bring your longest plain string to its proper pitch, and with this weight you must try all your covered strings; that is, you must increase or decrease the size of your covering-wire until that weight brings each note, at its given length, to its proper pitch: a few of the first will necessarily be open-spun, but take up close spinning as soon as possible, which of course will depend entirely on the fineness of the covering-wire.

The scale thus produced must be strung with one size of steel-wire throughout; it may be varied in different instruments, but not in the same, as two sizes of wire would instantly destroy the equality of the tension." Colburn's New Monthly Magazine, 1822, p. 360


Patent of 1826 : "ROBERT WORNAM [sic], of Wigmore-street, Cavendish-square, piano-forte maker, for improvements in piano-fortes. - Dated July 4, 1826." Mechanics Magazine, Volume 6, 1827, p. 256


Patent of 1828 : "To Robert Wornum, of Wigmore Street, Cavendish Square, in the County of Middlesex, piano-forte maker, for certain improvements on upright piano-fortes. 24th July - 2 months." The London Journal of Arts and Sciences, 1828, p. 374


Patent of 1834 ?? : "R. WURNUM [sic], Manufacturer or Patent Double-Action Piccolo, and Grand Pianoforte, Music-Hall Bedford-Square, London, HAS now forwarded to 4 High Street; Dundee, an assortment of Piccolo and Piccolo Grand PIANO-FORTES.

The Royal Patent equal tension Piccolo Pianoforte is a superior specimen of accurate mechanism. Its simplicity is admirable, perhaps the nimost possible.

It is highly recommended by the most, eminent professional gentlemen in London, and was the favourite instrument of the celebrated composer Bochsa.

It has two pedals ; stands extremely well in tune; maybe placed in any part of a room, wi;li equal advantage, being highly finished on all sides, and French polished. It possesses all the harmony and richness of tone of the Grand.

 The strings are all of the new Improved Steel, and equal in their tension, — by which arrangement each string has a similar power of resistance against the influence of the atmosphere.

With respect to the Double Action, it is an invention of the first importance to upright Pianofortes.

It gives a firmness and certainty of touch hitherto unknown ; possesses great excellence in rapid execution, and in no single property regarding touch is it surpassed by other keyed instruments. The above Patent Pianofortes will be sold in Dundee, at this manufacturer's printed list of prices, by Mr. Alexander Cameron, Agent for the Patentee." Dundee Directory and General Register, 1834, p. 34 (digital.nls.uk)


Patent of 1842 : "ROBERT WORNUM, of Store-street, Bedford-square, pianoforte maker, for improvements in the actions of pianofortes. - Feb. 13." The Mechanics' Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette, Volume 36, 1842, p. 159 - or - "The tape check action." The History of the Pianoforte, Edgar Brinsmead, 1879, p. 206 (archive.org)


Patent of 1866 : "WORNUM. - 19th July 1866. - 1883. Alfred Nicholson Wornum, of Store Street, Bedford Square, in the County of Middlesex, for an invention for Improvements in pianofortes." Chronological index of patents applied for and patents, 1867, p. 130

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