Aeolian _pressure-operated_ Orchestrelles, but not the suction organs,
have straps on them to limit the travel of the feeders, but this was
to stop the pneumatic cloth being stretched too much when not in use.
As it was a pressure system, the springs were trying to hold open the
feeders at all times and therefore would have put constant stretching
pressure on the 'tosh' without these straps. They were made of the
same material as the feeder straps, rather like settee furniture
Of 285 Aeolian organs I know about, I am only aware of six with all new
feeder and reservoir material, so the original has stood the test of
time well. I patched the corners on my own model "V" 17 years ago in
case they developed a leak in the future and am still using the organ
on original 1898 cloth.
I heard a loud "bang" one day when pedaling the climax of William Tell
Overture. I shot forwards on the stool as the resistance of the organ
went 'soft and soggy' and the volume decreased. I thought that perhaps
the reservoir or feeders had finally given up. The real reason was
one of the coil springs on the main reservoir had sheared in half and
therefore I only had half the pressure. It was quite a spectacular
failure, but I was able to put on a spare spring from an instrument
which I had as a spare. Later on I had some new springs made so I am
ready when the one at the other end fails.
Does anyone else have a 'spectacular failure' to tell us about? This
might be an interesting new topic for discussion?
Kevin McElhone, England