MR. JOHN GARDNER, who made the
abortive attempt about A.D. 1786 to manufacture umbrellas, also essayed
to manufacture pianofortes, which then were coming into fashion in
Glasgow, and displacing the old spinnets, But here Mr. Gardner failed in
his first trial, for the instrument he had made was so defective in some
of its parts that he did not even complete it. And the importation of
highly finished pianofortes from London made him despair of being able
to compete successfully with the makers in the metropolis.
"When pianofortes came to be in
common use in Glasgow it was curious to see the fate of the old spinnets
and harpsichords. These I have seen," writes "Senex," "in great numbers
knocked off by the hammer in auction rooms for a few shillings
each, and were generally purchased by farmers, who made them answer the
double purpose of musical instruments and of sideboard tables."