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LaurenBacall

Chicago Pianos

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Reading through the description for the 28mm Automatic AA Mount in the American Cruisers collection, I came across this text in the second paragraph:

"Because of its low reliability, the 28mm mount very quickly got its rather disrespectful name, Chicago Piano."

Um...no?  I mean, really NO.  The term "Chicago Piano" is a direct reference to the hand-held Thompson sub-machine guns popular with Chicago crime syndicates during this time period.  These men generally and affectionately referred to using these weapons as "playing the piano", thus the term.  The term (so far as I can tell - correct me if I'm wrong) has nothing to do with poor reliability, nor is it considered a disrespectful.  In fact, I'll wager because the 28mm was able to fire-off so many rounds so quickly, it was soon christened with the "Chicago Piano" nickname as a sign of respect (regardless of its other technical deficiencies.)

I chock this up to WGs American cultural unfamiliarity, but they should correct/re-write this.

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Ever seen Bacall's dog "Humpy"?  Check it out on YouTube, pretty hilarious.

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21 minutes ago, LaurenBacall said:

Reading through the description for the 28mm Automatic AA Mount in the American Cruisers collection, I came across this text in the second paragraph:

"Because of its low reliability, the 28mm mount very quickly got its rather disrespectful name, Chicago Piano."

Um...no?  I mean, really NO.  The term "Chicago Piano" is a direct reference to the hand-held Thompson sub-machine guns popular with Chicago crime syndicates during this time period.  These men generally and affectionately referred to using these weapons as "playing the piano", thus the term.  The term (so far as I can tell - correct me if I'm wrong) has nothing to do with poor reliability, nor is it considered a disrespectful.  In fact, I'll wager because the 28mm was able to fire-off so many rounds so quickly, it was soon christened with the "Chicago Piano" nickname as a sign of respect (regardless of its other technical deficiencies.)

I chock this up to WGs American cultural unfamiliarity, but they should correct/re-write this.

1.1"/75 (28 mm) Mark 1 and Mark 2

No reference to it's nickname or the source, but it was not a well regarded weapon, and wasn't deemed worth fixing, given the availability of the 40mm Bofors.  It has pretty much the slowest rate of fire of any light AA weapon, and judging from how it's described to operate, would be a nightmare to keep in service.

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57 minutes ago, LaurenBacall said:

Reading through the description for the 28mm Automatic AA Mount in the American Cruisers collection, I came across this text in the second paragraph:

"Because of its low reliability, the 28mm mount very quickly got its rather disrespectful name, Chicago Piano."

Um...no?  I mean, really NO.  The term "Chicago Piano" is a direct reference to the hand-held Thompson sub-machine guns popular with Chicago crime syndicates during this time period.  These men generally and affectionately referred to using these weapons as "playing the piano", thus the term.  The term (so far as I can tell - correct me if I'm wrong) has nothing to do with poor reliability, nor is it considered a disrespectful.  In fact, I'll wager because the 28mm was able to fire-off so many rounds so quickly, it was soon christened with the "Chicago Piano" nickname as a sign of respect (regardless of its other technical deficiencies.)

I chock this up to WGs American cultural unfamiliarity, but they should correct/re-write this.

Chicago Piano is the AA gun

 

Chicago Typewriter is the Tommy Gun, Thompson 1928

 

Thus WG is correct and you are not up to speed on American culture.

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First, the Thompson SMG was both referred to as the "Chicago Piano" and the "Chicago Typewriter" (among many other nicknames).  A cursory Google would tell one that.  Or Wikipedia.

Second, the AA gun was designed/developed in the 1930's, a decade before the Bofors comparison.  I presume that, back during it's early pre-war trials, the rate of fire was considered impressive enough to warrant the Thompson nick-name.  Turns out, the gun earned it's nickname after it's first installation in 1939, but no one can/could speak to the origin.

Either way, can anyone explain how the term "Chicago Piano" is disrespectful or derogatory in any way?

Edited by LaurenBacall
Innacuracies

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25 minutes ago, LaurenBacall said:

First, the Thompson SMG was both referred to as the "Chicago Piano" and the "Chicago Typewriter" (among many other nicknames).  A cursory Google would tell one that.  Or Wikipedia.

Second, the AA gun was designed/developed in the 1930's, a decade before the Bofors comparison.  I presume that, back during it's early pre-war trials, the rate of fire was considered impressive enough to warrant the Thompson nick-name.  Turns out, the gun earned it's nickname after it's first installation in 1939, but no one can/could speak to the origin.

Either way, can anyone explain how the term "Chicago Piano" is disrespectful or derogatory in any way?

Both 1.1" AA and 40mm Bofors date back to the early 30's, they're basically the same age.

In theory, USS Chicago (CA-29) was in the yard for an overhaul in 1937 where she received AA guns, 1.1" AA officially entered service in 1936, she could have been an early adopter. She could have also received them in 1939 when she was fitted with radar. She was sunk with them installed. 

The piano part may be a reference to how complex the weapon was, if you look at pictures of them, there's a lot of wiring and hoses on the mount.

It could also be a reference to the early Thompson's like you would see in the 1920's and 30's with the 50 round drum magazines, they really weren't any good either, but that was more a magazine problem. The version used in WWII was significantly improved, most importantly, by getting rid of the drum magazine.

 

 

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