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MMD > Archives > July 1996 > 1996.07.31 > 16Prev  Next

Monster Wurlitzers
By Matthew Caulfield, forwarded by Robbie Rhodes

Back from the MBSI's Mid-Am Chapter's band organ rally with
probably as much sensory overload as Jody said he got from his
talk with John Malone at Play-Rite. You asked about the
Wurlitzer Monster and Mammoth band organs. (Since you asked on
the net, you can forward this reply if you want to)

The Monster or style 155 was an early trumpet organ of 100 "keys"
which operated from its own unique style 155 roll. The Mammoth
or style 160 was a similar but larger (122-key) early machine.
When in the 'teens Wurlitzer standardized its band organ rolls to
the familiar three styles, 125, 150, and 165 (with the style 180
organ, introduced in 1922, requiring a fourth style roll, the
180), they must have converted many Monsters and Mammoths to play
165 rolls. The machines owned by Bill Black and by the
Burlington, Colo., PTC carousel were converted as was the one
being sold by Marty Roenigk. I have copies of Wurlitzer monthly
roll bulletins for 1913 and 1914 that show style 155 rolls
(single-tuners) were being sold then, but not much later.

A photocopy of a page from the Wurlitzer factory shipping list
that Marty included in his advertising shows the serial number
and specs for the Monster he is selling. It mentions that the
organ has a "Jameson chest" (other organs are noted as having
"new chest," "old chest," or "Jameson chest"). I wonder what the
Jameson chest was. That's a new name for me. More questions
than answers always.

According to what I heard at the rally Play-Rite has
enough specialty roll business from Dick Hack and his group having
Violano and Duo-Art rolls recut to keep Mrs. Malone busy for a
year more or maybe two years. So I guess I'll have to have Mike
Grant cut my 165 rolls for me. He is having new dies made and
will get them from the machinist this week or next. Also Wayne
Holton talks of some people trying to set up a computer driven
Wurlitzer perforator. Is that talk or reality, I wonder?

Speaking of talk, there was a rumor at the rally that one of the
10 remaining 165's has been sold to someone for $600,000.
Unbelievalbe, and I can't begin to guess who the seller would be,
John Malone or Hayes McClaran maybe.

(Message sent Wed 31 Jul 1996, 20:25:15 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Monster, Wurlitzers

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