Pape, Johann Heinrich



Piano-builder; a native of Sarstedt, Germany, but most of his life a resident of Paris, where he died in his eighty-sixth year. In 1811 he was engaged by Pleyel to take charge of the organizing of his piano factory, and with whom he remained until 1815, when he formed a business of his own. His fertile brain thought out all sorts of changes in the construction of the case and the mechanism of the instrument, and he is said to have taken out one hundred and twenty  patents, though only a few of his inventions have been used. He turned out pianos of all shapes and sizes, with different arrangements of strings, sounding-boards and hammers. He built a few eight-octave grands, used springs instead of strings in one of his instruments; introduced reed attachments and made a piano, which, by means of a key, would transpose without moving the keyboard. These were merely novelties, but in his table-pianos he introduced the system of over-striking hammers, which, though he claimed to have invented, had been in existence in some of the old clavichords. This system has since been adopted, as well as his idea of padding the hammers with rabbit hair.