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MMD > Archives > March 1997 > 1997.03.22 > 10Prev  Next

Moehlmann and Dutch Street Organs
By Bob Conant

In a message dated 97-03-14 01:21:20 EST, Doug Mauldin writes:

> My own earliest exposure to Dutch street organ music was through a
> record album titled "Dutch Band Organ" which features an instrument
> with a nameplate that says "H. Mohlmann." By now I suspect that this
> is a private label; of all the organ-builders mentioned on this list
> and in the reference material I have found, I see no mention of a
> Mohlmann or Mollmann or any name close to those.


Henk Mohlmann was the great great grandson of Old Blind Leon Warnies who started the street organ rental business in Amsterdam. Henk was still in the organ business in the 1950's and 1960's (and probably beyond). I don't know of any organs he built from scratch but he repaired and modified many organs. My own Wilhelm Bruder Sohne organ, while in the possession of Joseph Hofnagels was repaired several times by Henk Mohlmann and his signature with dates is found inside several of my components including the main chest and pumps. He was also something of a wheeler dealer and would buy, sell and broker organs for owners and renters. I have a copy of the same recording and I could not tell you who originally built the organ but undoubtedly it was refurbished at some time by Henk Mohlmann and it had his name on it at them time the picture was taken.

As far as who arranged the music, Carl Frei was probably most famous, Deventer, Van Boxtel and a number of others who were arranging street organ music in the 50's and 60's could have had a hand in the arrangements.

Hope this helps,

Bob Conant
Endicott, NY

(Message sent Sat 22 Mar 1997, 19:19:00 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Dutch, Moehlmann, Organs, Street

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