I will be giving a presentation before the Pasco Suncoast User Group
at their meeting this Thursday afternoon, March 25th, 2010, from 2 to 4
P.M. at the Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson, Florida
34667 [in Central Pasco County]. All are welcome, the presentation
starts shortly after 2:00 P.M.
The title of my presentation is "Restoring the only known example of
a Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra Model 33a."
This presentation covers the 14-year restoration of a once proud
orchestrion from its derelict remains to a fully restored instrument
containing a 65-note piano with a mandolin attachment that simulates
a mandolin sound on the piano, bass drum, snare drum, kettle drum,
triangle, cymbal, castanet, xylophone, glockenspiel, and an organ
section with 49 violin, 30 violoncello, 30 piccolo pipes, all contained
in a stained glass and mirror accented oak case that is 10'-9" tall,
6'-6" wide, and 4'-6" deep, weighing 2,800 pounds.
You will see the instrument transform from basically a pile of firewood
to a magnificent machine that operates from a 6-roll, Ferris wheel type
of changer that plays, rewinds and rotates the rolls into position,
then threads them across a tracker bar which reads the information on
them and onto a take-up spool to play the next five or six selections
of popular tunes from the 1910-1930 era that are recorded onto re-cut
and original music rolls. These rolls are actually one of the earliest
binary computer storage mediums.
You will see and hear the instrument as it plays once again and be
able to purchase professionally recorded CDs of it playing, just as
it did when it was made on May 7, 1910. The machine will celebrate its
100th birthday this coming May 7, just 6 weeks and 1 day after the