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Banging out a melody on the ivories doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with winning a war, but that doesn’t mean that pianos haven’t had a place in the American military. New York–based Steinway & Sons even had a model of upright piano—known as Victory Verticals or G.I. Steinways—that were built specifically for troops in World War II. During the war, the U.S. government essentially shut down the production of musical instruments in order to divert vital resources such as iron, copper, brass, and other materials to the war effort. Yet the government also determined that the war effort ought to include entertainment that could lift soldiers’ spirits. But just any old piano wouldn’... Full story

14 September