-- forwarded message, please reply to sender and MMD --
Mrs. Miller, I am living in the Syracuse, New York, metropolitan
area and have loved player pianos and mechanical music makers since
I was a very young boy. There is the Utica Club Brewery in Utica, NY,
that had an extensive collection of 19th and early 20th century music
makers and I would "endure" the brewery tour with my family just so
that I could have a root beer and be able to listen to them at the
end of it! We have a wonderful Theater music museum at our State
Fairgrounds where they still have a "Mighty Wurlitzer" that was part of
a Vaudeville theater (Keith's) here in Syracuse that is still playing.
I am the owner of a 1925 Melville Clark Player that is in need of
some minor mechanical work and major refinishing work. I took to the
web in hopes that someone like yourself could help direct me to someone
locally who might be able to get my player up to top mechanical
condition, as well as advise me on how I might go about refinishing it.
Firstly, I would like to tell you that my love of the mechanical music
makers is first and foremost in actually playing and listening to them.
I make no claims in being inventive or creative when it comes to
maintaining them. I find this task somewhat frustrating and myself
Other than some badly need "routine" maintenance, my player piano is
working pretty well, mechanically. Two or three notes will not play,
probably due to broken hammers, but it is in tune and plays. The thing
that I need most is to replace the right foot pump pedal leaf spring
that snapped and will no longer return the pedal while playing. It can
be maneuvered into coming back, but it is a strain on the player's foot
and takes great effort. Do you have any suggestions as to where I may
find this part? If not, is there anyone out there that can "make" a
The other issue is the refinishing of the pianos case. Though the
interior is a rich red mahogany look, someone before me painted the
exterior a terrible antique white and I would like to restore it (or
more accurately, have it restored) to a natural finish. I obtained an
estimate here in Syracuse for over $3,000. Would you advise me to do
this, or should I put that money toward a fully restored player
I don't wish to take up any more of your time and I thank you for
reading this. Any advice you have for me would be greatly appreciated.
You can reach me at either of the two email addresses below.