I had no normal customer appointments today, so had time to work on some other longstanding projects...more on that soon. But I did finish one important piece of piano work that's been on my to-do list for weeks now. The former president of the local chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild donated this vintage humidifier he pulled out of one of the pianos he manages at Brooklyn College. It's the very first model released by the Dampp-Chaser corporation, the H-1. Remarkably, this one still works. The bulb in the water level light hasn't burnt out - nowadays they have a three part LED light indicator with a warning light, an empty light, and a battery light. This one just turns on when the water in the reservoir is gone.
I figured since the humidifier was free I'd give it a shot and experiment on my piano - but I wanted to make sure I followed some sort of protocol since my training in installing modern humidifiers didn't necessarily apply - I called the company, and the ladies on the line were surprisingly helpful, albeit amused at my endeavor. They checked in the storeroom at the North Carolina headquarters, and found an unopened H-1 in the package with the original instructions - someone was clearing out a basement and sent it back in (?).
Unfortunately the instructions weren't very well written or specific (and produced on a typewriter, which I enjoyed), applying vaguely to both upright and grand pianos - the ladies said to use modern instructions to fill in the blanks. I did so over the course of several weeks, bought a hygrometer to measure relative humidity inside the piano, and finally poured water into the reservoir today. I'll be checking in on the humidity daily to see if this antique is doing its job...I'll let you know.