Being a collector of some of the earliest roll operated instruments,
I have noticed a serious problem with the rolls other than the problem
of the pulp wood composition of the paper. Many of these rolls are
spooled on wood cores with wood ends (flanges).
On many rolls, particularly ones that were stored in damp places, the
wood cores have actually started to decompose the paper, with multiple
cracks disintegrating the end of the roll. If not caught in time the
entire roll will fragment. I have unspooled the rolls removing them
from the cores, then affixed wax paper, then reattached the roll,
sealing the core.
I also noticed that the wood flange, when in direct contact with the
paper, has caused the paper edge to age to a brown color (severe
deterioration). I have a number of the 28-note Orchestrone rolls
(paper is of poor quality -- probably why so few are in existence)
and over half of the flanges are missing or chipped.
I attend the technical college and I figured, "Why turn new flanges
out of wood? Why not instead cast exact replicas out of aluminum,
sand and polish them, then paint them dark brown?"
Not only have I exactly duplicated the originals but actually made
something better, more durable, and better for the paper!