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MMD > Archives > March 1996 > 1996.03.11 > 06Prev  Next

Re: Wurlitzer Style C Orchestrion (96.03.10)
By Bob Conant

In a message dated 96-03-10 20:13:13 EST, you write:

> I have the opportunity to buy a Wurlitzer Style C Orchestrion from
> a local Antique Shop. Fortunately, the case seems to be in relatively
> good shape, except for being painted. Unfortunately, all of the mechanical
> parts are missing. It was being used as a straight piano, I guess.
> Are there parts available for such beasties and at what cost?:)
> Would it be worthwhile to put in a different system? I'm certain that
> it would affect it's resale value, and might be considered heresy. Is
> there any resale value for an empty cabinet refinished?

Mike, there are really only three choices with this instrument. The parts could be sought out and the instrument restored to original. This would be the most desireable but it could take quite a while and cost quite a bit to find or make all the original type components. You would have preserved a valid piece of history and the machine would have considerable value. This may not be feasible, however. A second alternative would be to build up an orchestrion using the piano and case as a starting point. I recently saw and heard a very nice built up owned by Charlie Sebastian which was done the same way using a Seeburg case. This would make a better than average built up but the value would be only about 3-4000 dollars. Finally, of course, you could just have a piano in a fancy case. The cost of an authentic restoration would depend mostly on your success in locating the original type parts. If you are an MBSI or AMICA member you will have the best chance of finding these parts. If it were me, I would go ahead and get the piano (at a reasonable price) and then start looking for the missing pieces.

Good luck,

Bob Conant

(Message sent Tue 12 Mar 1996, 00:47:09 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  96.03.10, C, Orchestrion, Style, Wurlitzer

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