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MMD > Archives > November 1997 > 1997.11.23 > 03Prev  Next

Wurlitzer Band Organ Rolls
By Matthew Caulfield

I can shed light on two questions Bill Black raises in his
Wurlitzer perforator post today.

        I have roll 6691, the only style 165 roll made by the Allan
Herschell Company in the few months it owned the ex-Wurlitzer roll
business.  That roll is on the same green paper used by Wurlitzer, but
the label clearly identifies Herschell as the manufacturer and seller.
I don't have the roll in front of me as I write this, but I am sure that
both box and roll labels are typewritten and as original as the roll is.

        Herschell also made two style 150 rolls.  I don't know that they
ever made a 125 roll.  Bill Black speculates--and I agree--that Herschell
bit off more than it could chew in thinking that they could easily make
band organ rolls as an adjunct to their ride business.  In fact it is
hard to picture someone on the Herschell payroll, unfamiliar with the
operation of those perforators, just flipping a switch and starting to
cut rolls.

The second point pertains to Wurlitzer labels.  Doyle Lane advertised in
his 1976 catalog "Wurlitzer Music Rolls & Parts For Band Organs, Player
Pianos, Caliolas From The Doyle H. Lane Player Piano Centre, 339 Dunbar
St., Vancouver, B.C., Canada" that "We still have some of the original
Wurlitzer Music Roll box labels.  Most of these are in very good
condition.  While they last, we will sell these labels for 25c each.
Following are the labels we have:"  Doyle then lists 42 style 125 labels,
38 style 150 labels, 17 style 165 labels, 27 Caliola, 32 five-tune APP,
11 ten-tune APP, and 5 test roll labels.  Farney Wurlitzer undoubtedly
would have cared enough about the quality of products carrying the
Wurlitzer logo to pressure T.R.T. (Ralph Tussing) to stop using his
company's logo, once Farny saw the quality of T.R.T. rolls.  When Doyle
Lane advertised his stock of Wurlitzer labels for sale, Farny had been
dead for two years, and probably Mr. John (?) Rolfing or whoever was in
charge at Wurlitzer in 1976 didn't care any longer.

        Bill Finch sent me some additional information about the
Wurlitzer-Parker-Bacigalupi connection, which I have asked him to post
here for the record.  While I am skeptical of the fact that Wurlitzer
quit the band organ business in the late 1920's--there's too much
evidence to the contrary--it does seem plausible that excess equipment
and inventory may have been sold to Parker or others.  That would explain
the fact that no Wurlitzer masters from the 1920's survive in the
Wurlitzer-Herschell-Tussing-Lane-Play-Rite-Rand-Herschell Carrousel
Factory Museum inventory.  I had assumed that Wurlitzer just burned its
obsolete masters to cut down on storage space, but it could be that they
were sold with the perforators.  Wurlitzer had at one time at least 12
perforators.  When Doyle Lane bought them all, the number had shrunk to

(Message sent Mon 24 Nov 1997, 02:36:36 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Band, Organ, Rolls, Wurlitzer

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