In response to my note to MMD about Wurlitzer roll paper color, Bill
Black tells me that most of his style 155 rolls, which would be very
early Wurlitzer rolls, are on red paper with a few on a light tan
The words below are from Terry Hathaway, reporting the Wurlitzer roll
colors he remembers seeing during his Hathaway & Bowers days.
[ Recollections from Terry Hathaway follow: ]
Although I cannot date some of the paper colors I have seen, because at
the time I was not keeping track of tunes or ... roll numbers, here is
what I have observed:
1. Early red rolls cut in Germany for the PianOrchestras. Popular
tunes on these rolls were always out of date, due to the long
shipping time for sending new American tunes to Germany and then for
the German cut rolls to be sent back, according to Farny
[Wurlitzer], so music arranging and cutting for Philipps imports was
set up in North Tonawanda;
2. Red rolls cut in North Tonawanda;
3. Bright purple paper rolls;
4. White paper rolls;
5. Buff (orange) paper rolls (at least two different shades of paper);
6. Green paper rolls (at least two different shades or types. Around
WW1 there was a shade with a yellowish tint, and later the common
more green color with a different, harder-feeling texture).
I have only seen a few purple rolls, and I thought the color was
beautiful, nice and bright. One of them was a perfectly mint condition
5-tune Pianino roll with a wooden spool that came in a collection of
early rolls, all of which were mint. And I think I have seen at least
one purple APP roll and maybe a purple style 17 PianOrchestra roll.
This was a long time ago, in the 1960s during the Hathaway & Bowers time,
but I still clearly remember the purple Pianino roll and its stunningly
beautiful condition. I don't think it had ever been used, and I kept it
around for some time admiring it, along with some mint red paper rolls,
too, before selling it to a collector.