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MMD > Archives > January 2000 > 2000.01.26 > 06Prev  Next

COAA & Sharing Information
By Tom McAuley

Hi everyone.  I've been following the thread about the future of
mechanical music and collecting.  I'm one of those people who didn't
know anything about this subject until recently.  I had heard the term
_organ grinder_, but had never seen one; I had a pretty good idea of
what a _player piano_ was, but had never heard of a _reproducing
piano_; the concept of a _band organ_ had never entered my head.  I
love to listen to pipe organs, but had always assumed you had to go to
a church and learn how to make each hand and each foot do something
different, all at the same time, before you could play one.

About five years ago, I stumbled onto an organ rally at the Kansas
State Fair.  Wow!  Those musical machines were just so cool!  I
couldn't get enough of them and spent the entire weekend watching,
listening, and eventually cranking some of the monkey organs.  I
immediately joined the organization so I could learn more about these
fascinating instruments.

I've learned some through the organization and, of course, through MMD,
but I've recently discovered a new organization that focuses especially
on the outdoor organs that I first met at the fair.  The Carousel Organ
Association of America appears to be an organization where I'll be able
to learn all about organs of all shapes and sizes.  Their publication,
The Carousel Organ, is a nicely produced magazine with very informative
articles and sharp, clear pictures.  The annual dues are incredibly

I would encourage everyone with an interest in organs and calliopes to
join and contribute.  Why?  Well, frankly, most of you have more
knowledge than I do and I would like you to share.  I want to see some
full-length articles on things like The History of Street Organs; Organ
Grinding Through the Years; The Novice's Guide to Buying Your First
Band Organ; articles on organ builders, both historical and
contemporary; articles about specific organs in public and private
collections; etc., etc.

Remember that some us newcomers are desperate for information.  We
can't value these instruments and their history properly if we don't
know about them.  Please share with us.

To join COAA: send your $5 dues to Marge Waters, 7552 Beach Rd.,
Wadsworth, OH 44281  To support MMD: follow the links at the top of
this Digest.

Tom McAuley
Hutchinson, Kansas

P.S. My web site has just been updated with some new pictures of some of
my organ-grinding friends.  Take a look -- you might find somebody you
know!  There are also some pictures of the organs at Circus World
Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin. If anybody would like to tell me more
about them, I'd like to hear from you.

(Message sent Thu 27 Jan 2000, 00:19:58 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  COAA, Information, Sharing

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