By Mike Walter
My name is Mike Walter and I'm addicted...to automatic musical instruments! I thank Terry Smythe for including me in this list. I'm a neophyte on the Net and at times feel like I'm groping around in the darkness. Hopefully, this group will help out.
My interest in musical instruments has gone back for many years. When I was a small child my family would go to one specific restaurant about once a month for a fish fry (On a Friday, of course). In the restaurant they had the most wonderful juke box. It was a Wurlitzer 1015 and was the most wonderful thing. I would have foregone eating if I had the opportunity to watch it play. Unfortunately, not many records would be played while we ate our dinner. But fortunately, my father made arrangements with the owner to buy some of the 78s when they were taken out. That started my record collection.
When I was about five our household acquired my great grandparent's player piano. It is a 1918 Beckwith (a Sears and Roebuck special). It still worked fairly well back in 1953 and we had a fair number of rolls that were in good condition. Not much happened until I met my wife's cousin who introduced me to Q.R.S. Music Rolls on Niagara Street in Buffalo (I live in the burbs of Buffalo!). They told us about AMICA and I went to a local chapter meeting and have been involved since that time. I met someone who was very knowledgable concerning reproducing pianos and now have a 1914 Stoddard Ampico upright and a 1935 Chickering Ampico grand in addition to the Beckwith upright.
I've dabbled a bit in jukeboxes also. At the present time I have A Wurlitzer 780 (Wagon Wheel), 1100, a 1951 Seeeburg A jukebox and an AMI Continental 2 stereo jukebox. I'm still looking for that elusive Wurlitzer 1015.
My last pipe organ just left the house a short time after Thanks- giving 1994. I did have an Aeolian Duo-Art player wall unit mounted on top of the keyboard. That was my third pipe organ. I don't know if it will be my last, though.
My greatest interest is revolving around AMPICO players, rolls and history. I would really like to find a 100 hole perforator so that I can make copies of all the AMPICO rolls that I have before they crumble. I wish that they had preserved more of the masters at American Piano Company in Rochester.
Best wishes to all!!! Mike Walter firstname.lastname@example.org
(Message sent Wed 19 Apr 1995, 02:51:16 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)