Jonathan Holmes writes in 010823 MMDigest:
> I sometime wonder whether such enthusiasts care at all about the
> preservation of such an instrument, but just the kudos of owning
> something like that and the noise it makes. These instruments are
> no longer new but most at least 100 years old and the materials
> have lost their suppleness. Enough of me being controversial.
Of course band organ owners like to "show off" their instruments to
each other, but there's the element of sharing this fun and beauty at
rallies and watching the smiles on the faces of the general public.
These machines should not be shut up in museums and so never be heard
in their intended environment outdoors. After all, fairground organs
and band organs were designed to be used outdoors in all kinds of
weather. And most of them that are playing have been restored at least
once, so their materials can take it, and presumably their owners (or
the next owner) is prepared to restore and repair again as needed.
So far I have only a modern Raffin crank organ, and it's taken some
very minor water damage to the case, but I continue to take it out in
public even when rain clouds threaten (as at the Mid-Am rally in
Wabash, IN). I consider this an acceptable risk for sharing it with
the public and not shutting it up in my private home. If it were an
antique original, I would be a little more careful, but I would still
take it out for everyone to hear.