Someone in recent times published an article on band organ prices
as they were then and what the present-day equivalent would be. If
memory serves correctly, it was Richard J. Howe, of Houston, Texas,
who was the author.
I'm sure that Wurlitzer had stated prices for their instruments, but
I have a few letters written by the company to this or that individual,
offering a deal on a specific organ, usually one sitting in their shop,
perhaps as a trade-in, that they wanted to move out.
I do know that Wurlitzer had fixed prices for their band organ rolls,
which varied from time to time. In 1913 the short, three or four
tunes rolls were selling for $3 to $5. In 1917 a ten-tune style 150
roll was $14, while a ten-tune 165 roll was $40. By 1925 the prices
were $15 and $30 respectively.
I think that prices reflected the costs of arranging the music as
spread out over the number of rolls of a given style that could be
sold, which in turn was dependant on the number of organs in use that
played a given roll style.
Wurlitzer's big blunder in the band organ business, the Style 180
organ, never sold well enough to justify making rolls for it. It
appears that only 8 tunes were included on each roll, yet the style
180 roll sold in 1933 for $50, compared to $35 for a 165 roll,
$17.50 for a 150 roll, and $15 for a 125 roll.
Irondequoit, New York