Hi everyone, Mr. Jeffrey Scott inquired about adding a blower to an
Aeolian Orchestrelle. I would strongly advise against it.
Over ten years ago I bought an Orchestrelle from Doyle Lane. The
feeders had been removed and an external blower attached. There was a
curtain valve with weighted curtain connected via cord and pulleys to
the reservoir. The cord had broken, so a smart person tied the curtain
open permanently. A full five inches of wind was therefore free to
make its unregulated passage through the treble reeds, some of which
are the width of a hair. As a result many reeds were broken and many
Properly restored now, the Orchestrelle has more than sufficient wind
by foot power. I spent years locating the reeds, only a few of which
I found. Others I re-tongued. On this model, serial # 1606, dated
1-1-98, the reeds throughout the ranks are one inch wide, unlike
regular reed organ reeds that are narrower.
If a blower is attached to the organ you will break reeds unless a
means of regulating the pressure to below three inches is provided.
You will also lose the "interaction" of being seated there to control
the stops, the tempo, the *rewind* (!) and the swell.
By the way, I changed the "originality" of the wind system by covering
the feeders and reservoir in leather. (My first re-build with bellows
cloth didn't satisfy me. Also a problem arose when 26 inches of water
fell in 24 hours and flooded my home to a depth of 18 inches!)
Mr. Berley Antoine Firmin II
30346 Old Keller Road
Bayou La Combe, Louisiana