Hi calliope lovers, I was intrigued by Art Reblitz's question on
calliopes and old trucks. I don't have the one he was inquiring
after but another, similar in intent. In the early 1990s Mike Hanchett
built a few Tangley-type machines. One he mounted in a 'circus wagon'
on the back of a 1952 International Harvester 3/4-ton pickup truck.
The 43-note calliope was powered by batteries and an inverter.
The set was sold to an IGA store owner in Kansas City who used it for
parades and advertising until a flood struck and largely inundated both
the truck and the calliope. The calliope was subsequently repaired by
Hanchett and sold by the owner to an outdoor sports shop in Vermont.
After some years of use and abuse, I purchased it in about 2008. It
was all in poor shape. I took it on a great road trip across the USA
during which I stopped in Ohio and met Myron Duffield, the "King of the
Calliope." When I got to Albuquerque, I took it to Kansas and asked
Hanchett to rebuild the calliope again, including a new roll mechanism.
Later, Art Reblitz also replaced the keyboard frame which was warping.
I got a complete overhaul of the motor and fixed the flood damage to
I now have the truck and calliope and use it for fun, advertising,
and parties. Unfortunately, my wife thinks I am too old to drive
the International Harvester truck with its "crash box" transmission,
so I am looking (but not too hard!) for a buyer.
A long and varied history!
Richard Price - Clowntruck
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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