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MMD > Archives > January 2002 > 2002.01.21 > 05Prev  Next

Electric Self-Playing Piano Co. & G. Howlett Davis
By Adam G. Ramet

In MMD 020116 Bob Kerstein enquired about the Electric Self-Playing
Piano Co. and a mention of G Howlett Davis was made.  Howlett Davis
was the patentee of the technology behind the 'Electra' brand rolls
(Standard Music Roll Co NJ).

There has been a lot of recent talk about solenoid pianos vs. pneumatic
players.  Davis was a firm advocate of electrically operated pianos and
electricity in general as the motive force in all of his inventions.

For the Player Piano Group's September 2001 Bulletin, I wrote an
article examining these patents generally and the whole Electra process.
Once you have read them you will know why the brand was called Electra.
Additionally I included Davis' 1906 comments on inventions, copyrights
and the rights of the inventor.

To read the article and see the pictures (which almost give you a tour
of the NJ factory!) visit my personal web site at :-

and follow the link on the main pages.  Alternately, go the music
rolls, roll brands and then down to "Electra".

Yours sincerely

Adam Ramet

 [ Frank Himpsl wrote that the Electra piano rolls were typically
 [ terrible paper quality!  See his article about the Standard Music
 [ Roll Company at  -- Robbie

(Message sent Tue 22 Jan 2002, 00:29:37 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Co, Davis, Electric, G, Howlett, Piano, Self-Playing

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