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MMD > Archives > December 1999 > 1999.12.06 > 12Prev  Next

Pushup Players Have New Home
By Ray Fairfield

In a stroke of dumb luck, the likes of which rarely come my way,
I happened to be up around midnight, Friday Nov. 26, and just for grins
decided to hit "Send and Receive Mail" one more time before I hit the
sack.  In came the MMDigest, as it usually does at about that hour.

I already have one push-up player, a Simplex, all restored, and have
been looking for years for another.  Imagine my surprise to find an
offer less than 50 miles from home, for two free units.  I emailed
Mr.  Marc Kaufman immediately.  Apparently this was 13 minutes after
the MMD hit the streets.

The next day I received a call from the owner, and arranged to pick up
the push-ups on Monday.  The owner, an older gentleman, was delightful.
He told me he had had these units for 20 years, and wasn't going to get
to restoring them.  They were originally from the Larry Givens collec-
tion.  He helped me load them up, threw in a couple of boxes of rolls,
chatted with me for awhile, and sent me on my way.  I promised to give
him a status report as I get them fixed up.

The first push-up is a typical 65-note player, with a wooden tracker
bar, playing 11-1/4 inch rolls.  It is a Chase and Baker unit, manu-
factured in Buffalo, NY, in mahogany, full cabinet, with slide doors
over the pedals.  I haven't opened it up yet, but it appears to be all
there in good unrestored condition.

The second unit is a Smith Lyraphone, of Baltimore MD, also mahogany.
The patent date is stamped in the wooden tracker bar, Nov. 13, 1900.
It takes a 65-note roll of approximately 13-1/4 inch width.  The
roll drive is from the left side (the pin of the roll is flattened
on one side), while the right side pin is just a round pin.

The interesting thing about the tracker bar is that the width of the
holes varies, from approximately 1/8 inch in the center to 1/4 inch
at the edges.  There is a long cylinder, running the full length of the
push-up unit, upon which the finger mechanisms ride.  I haven't a clue
how this thing is supposed to work yet.  I thought I'd try a patent
search on the US Patent and Trademark web site, but they don't have
anything earlier than 1976 on the web.  Anyway, this unit is also in
original unrestored condition, but a little rougher than the first one.

Actually, the tracker bar tubing has been replaced somewhere along the
line, with clear Tygon tubing, so someone has worked on it in the past.
One Lyraphone roll was in the spool box, where it has obviously been
for at least 20 years, so I have at least one test roll.  The width of
the holes in the roll does not vary from the center to the edges.
Interesting, yes?

Any information regarding either of these two push-ups would be much

I also want to thank Marc Kaufman for his assistance in this matter.
I also don't know how the owner made his selection of who would receive
the push-ups, but I am absolutely delighted (and grateful) that they
came to me.

Ray Fairfield

(Message sent Mon 6 Dec 1999, 06:18:03 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Have, Home, New, Players, Pushup

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