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MMD > Archives > July 1999 > 1999.07.28 > 23Prev  Next

1930s Stroud Aeolian Pianola
By Dan Harrett

Hello MMD'ers, I've got a new toy in my living room, which seems to
have come with a mystery.

The 'new' toy is a Stroud Aeolian upright 88-note player.  The serial
number (98112) suggests it's of 1931 vintage, very recent for an old-
style player.  It had been restored about 1960, according to the
seller, and it required little serious restoration now except for the
cloth on the governor, tracking, and sustain pneumatics and, of course,
the major hoses (and a couple of minor ones).  Once those were fixed,
it sounds great.

Now the mystery.  It has a 90-hole tracker bar; the extra two are
the perfs that I understand were provided for the Themodist function.
However, there was nothing connected to them.  (For that matter, holes
1-4 and 85-88 were also unconnected.)  Nor is there anything else in the
piano that appears related to an expression system.

My question is: was this originally a Themodist action that was later
removed, or was Aeolian simply standardizing on their tracker bar and
only connecting the needed holes?  If the former, is anything to be
gained by trying to recreate the Themodist function?  I've no idea
what's missing.  Any insights would be appreciated.

Dan Harrett
Amateur Player Resurrector

(Message sent Wed 28 Jul 1999, 21:05:42 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  1930s, Aeolian, Pianola, Stroud

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