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MMD > Archives > March 2005 > 2005.03.27 > 01Prev  Next


George B. Kelly & Player Piano Wind Motor
By T. Wilming

-- non-subscriber, please reply to sender and MMD --

Hello!  I have a question regarding wind motors in player pianos.
In an article on the web I read the following:

  "George Kelly developed the slide-valve wind motor, and this device
  eventually became universally adopted as the type of motor to be
  used to cause rotation of the drive spool for paper music rolls in
  player-pianos, and in 1887, Edwin Welte introduced the perforated
  paper roll in Germany."

(www.curricstudies.educ.ubc.ca/ faculty/facpages/goudownload/ACT_2004.pdf)

Unfortunately I couldn't find any information on George Kelly or who
really was the inventor of the motors used in early player pianos.
I am especially interested in what technical context the motor was
invented and which market it was targeting.

What was the originally intended use of the wind motor, for which
technical sector was it designed initially?  I would be very thankful
for any information.

Best regards,
T. Wilming

 [ On page 4 of "Player Piano Treasury", (C)1961 by Harvey Roehl:
 [  "In 1886 George B. Kelly developed the slide-valve wind motor,
 [   and this device eventually became universally adopted as the 
 [   type of motor to be used to cause rotation of the drive spool
 [   for paper music rolls in player pianos."
 [
 [ Google returns this extract from a URL no longer on the Web:
 [   http://www.pianola.org/pages/history/votey.html
 [   ... George B. Kelly, as follows: "This patent is not for the
 [   original player, which was made in 1895, but a proposed form
 [   which was not adopted, ...
 [
 [ The low-pressure wind motor or air motor is also found in the gas
 [ meter (outside the home) which measures the quantity of natural
 [ gas consumed; I believe the compact rotary valve air motor of the
 [ Welte-Mignon is a similar design.  -- Robbie


(Message sent Sun 27 Mar 2005, 18:36:57 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  B, George, Kelly, Motor, Piano, Player, Wind

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