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MMD > Archives > May 1997 > 1997.05.30 > 04Prev  Next

Mystery Rolls
By Ken Vinen


John Tuttle had sent your request for information on your mystery rolls
to the MMD.

I feel, from your description that you have rolls for use on the
Reproduco organ made by the Operators Piano Co. of Chicago.

There were many many different units built - some organ only, some
piano and organ, some with single roll frames for ten tune rolls like
an A or G Coin op piano, some with duplex roll frames and some with a
spool box much like the home player piano.

If you check the Given's book for the tracker bar scales, it will show
you three different scales for the Reproduco dependng on the size of the
instrument. The same rolls were used on all three tracker scales.

The most obvious difference is the prefix before the actual roll
number on the larger ten tune rolls. It will be either O.S. or N.O.S.

All codes are identical. O.S. stands for Organ Series and N.O.S. means
New Organ Series. It was found that the OS rolls did not have enough
playing time for a funeral or silent movie. If you did not have a duplex
roll frame for two music rolls, you had long periods of silence when the
roll went into rewind. The solution was the New Organ Series roll which
traveled at half the speed so would double the playing time.

The long and endless perf on the one side is for the tremolo effect
which was hardly ever turned off. Considering the rest of the unit
was run with a very positive lock and cancel system, I have never
really understood why they would do that. It makes for a weak spot
on the entire music sheet.

I have a Reproduco instrument in my collection, so if these music rolls
in your possession are looking for a good home, I would be interested in
making some suitable arrangement with you.

You may catch a glimpse of my collection at:

My Email is:

I hope this solves your mystery. Best regards, KEN

(Message sent Fri 30 May 1997, 04:44:16 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Mystery, Rolls

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