I thought sure someone who owns a music roll storage cabinet would
respond to Patty Anderson's question about whether the piano
manufacturers made their own cabinets to match the style of their
piano cases or whether cabinets were made by independent companies.
Since nobody did respond, I took a look at the Bowers Encyclopedia
and at Harvey Roehl's seminal "Player Piano Treasury" to see what
I could find on the subject. To my surprise Bowers had not a single
illustration or mention of roll cabinets, and Harvey's book showed
in an incidental fashion only one glimpse of what seemed to be a roll
cabinet in a parlor setting.
Perhaps piano manufacturers felt that bringing up the roll storage
problem -- and it _is_ a problem, if you own many rolls -- was
counterproductive to player piano sales. At any rate not one of the
countless piano advertisements reproduced in the two books offer or
mention a roll cabinet.
Q.R.S. used to sell -- perhaps still does -- a metal/wire roll cabinet,
which it would ship only when filled with an order of piano rolls.
I used to wonder why, until I finally realized that by using the
"cabinet" as a shipping container, Q.R.S. could mail the whole unit via
the U.S. Postal Service at the book rate (now "media mail" rate), much
cheaper than parcel post.
Can any antique roll cabinet owners shed more light on the roll cabinet
Matthew Caulfield (Irondequoit, N.Y.)