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MMD > Archives > January 2001 > 2001.01.25 > 05Prev  Next

French Odeola Player Piano Action
By Lorraine Aressy

Here is some information about the player piano Odeola which has
recently been discussed on MMD.

Odeola player piano advertisements may be found in the deluxe French
journal "L'Illustration" from about 1919 (upright players) to 1929
(large and beautiful instruments), with an advertising peak during
1923-1924.  In 1930, they advertised no longer about player piano but
instead record playing machines.

The 88-note player mechanisms equipped either Odeola pianos or
great French makes, such as Erard, Pleyel and Gaveau, which were
well-appreciated by the middle class folk of the time.  The commercial
shop was in Paris, at 11, Rue de Quatre-Septembre, and the factory was
at 6, rue Marc Seguin.  About 30 agencies were to be found in important
cites (Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice, Monaco...), also in African colonies at
Alger, Oran or Tunis.  Branches were in Brussels and London.

They sold a large choice of rolls under their Odeola name but these
rolls were punched by l'EMP (l'Edition Musicale Perforee), so the
catalog numbers are the same for the two editions.

Attached to this message you'll find several pages from a booklet about
"How to play the Odeola", and two advertisements dated 1919 and 1923.

In conclusion, many Odeola player pianos survive today, kept by families
because of their good quality.  Their trade logo was a cockerel crowing
the phrase, "Je chante et tiens bon" ("I sing and hold up well"), for
their musical quality and sturdiness ("solidite et robustesse" in
French).  And I submit these words which accompanied another

  "L'Odeola est au piano ce que l'Hispano-Suiza est a l'automobile!"

Amities de France

Lorraine Aressy
Perforons la Musique

 [ Ah, the French certainly know and appreciate the fine autos.
 [ The luxurious and powerful Duesenberg was widely advertised in
 [ the 1920s, but aficionados knew that the Hispano-Suiza was the
 [ car with the finesse and endurance which wins the road races!
 [ Merci beaucoup, Lorraine.  I will place the images at the MMD
 [ Pictures site.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Thu 25 Jan 2001, 14:00:32 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  Action, French, Odeola, Piano, Player

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