In 990413 MMD John Phillips said of his rolls obtained from the UK:
> I thought Choralion must have been a pre-WW1 German subsidiary
> of Aeolian, but when I held the roll up to the light I saw that
> the paper is watermarked with a rather familiar design. It is
> a sunburst with a crown inside it and underneath the crown are
> the watermarked letters SM. So what sort of company tie-up is
> this roll the result of?
Yes, Choralion was the pre-WW1 Berlin subsidiary of Aeolian, named
after the organ it marketed. I said in MMD 961207:
"As a footnote, Themodist-Metrostyle rolls were made in Germany for
Choralion during WW1 by SM (the EMP subsidiary). The labels are
typical SM labels but with the appropriate Aeolian stock number.
Choralion originally imported rolls from London (there was a
magnificent tutorial series numbered B500 up - B for Berlin - with
all the markings from the sheet music replicated in detail on the
roll) but had been cutting local-interest rolls from around 1908 on.
Presumably they didn't have the capacity to do all the London titles
as well when WW1 started. Maybe they imported from America between
1914 and 1917 ? "
I have one of these rolls too, a Moszkowski waltz with the correct
Aeolian TL number. A suspicious thing about it is the authenticity of
the Metrostyle line, which looks exactly like the UK ones put on with
the "tower" (multiple pen device with girl vaguely tracing master roll
by hand). Did SM just put leaders on ready-made German-made Choralion
rolls, or on pre-war London stock, or did they raid the Choralion
factory, put their "tower" on a truck and take it across town to mark
up their own rolls ? Probably only a paper analysis will solve this.
The Choralion Co. disappeared after the Great War. Perhaps it was
sequestrated like the London branch of Bluethner (which became, and
remains, Maxwell, Whelpdale & Codd, making Welmar pianos) and became
something else ? Or did Aeolian rename the local branch after them-
selves, as they did in London in 1920 ? Can anyone in Germany tell us ?
John also describes an Aeolian roll which uses Hupfeld paper: I've
never met that one ! Reparations maybe, or were Hupfeld just raising
a bit of cash by selling paper stock to friends ? Presumably it's a
score-cut roll, John, not a Hupfeld-style hand played ?
Dan Wilson, London