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piano key

Major collection: MIT General Collections
Named collection: MIT Hacks
Object type: hack
Maker: Date made: 1973
Measurements: 3 1/4" x 4 1/2"
Nomenclature: ceremonial artifacts
Classification: societal artifacts

Fragment. Hack, 1973 (part of piano string damper). Part of the piano thrown off Baker House roof, Spring 1973.


"Although allegedly timed to coincide with "drop date", the Baker House Piano Drop is actually a combination of dorm spirit, harmless destructiveness, and the willingness to do something difficult just for the sake of doing it." It was the first event in what came to be a long-standing tradition. It was fun, non-destructive (the piano was not functional -- one of the dorm residents bought two junk pianos and built one good one from the parts, and the dropped one was the leftovers -- plus MIT Maintenance had the hole filled in within a few miutes, and the debris was picked up by students even more quickly, so within 15 minutes max everything was back to normal), caught the attention of Boston and Cambridge, a lot of people used some of their basic physics and math skills in a fun way (calculating how long it would take to fall, how fast it would be going, etc - it was a game comparing your results with other folks) and a group of students taking Prof. Edgerton's high speed photography class learned more about science and got an A on their project. [text from pre-MIT 150 Exhbition top vote-getters display]
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