A six-man team of students at Derby College of Technology in the UK, working with hand tools such as axes, sledgehammers, crowbars and brooms, were the first to discover the joys of demolishing a piano and passing its pieces through a small hole.
Their time was a bare 14+ minutes.
The fad quickly travelled across the Atlantic and at Cal Tech, where the fad began its American run, competitors organised a “Piano Reduction Study Group” which proclaimed its desire to “reduce the piano in the shortest possible time, to such a state that it may be passed through an aperture of 20 centimetres in diameter”.
One Cal Tech team turned in a time of 10 minutes, 44.4 seconds.
That record was overturned by the wrecking crew from Wayne State, who did it in a smashing 4 minutes 51 seconds.