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MMD > Archives > August 2005 > 2005.08.09 > 03Prev  Next

Orchestrion at Packard Auto Founder's Home
By Tom Hugues

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Thirty years or so ago, my wife and I were making a casual drive from
Atlanta, Georgia, to Richmond, Virginia, when we made a pit stop along
the way and were given the treat of our lives.  As we were stretching
our legs we were surprised to hear the melancholy tones of a calliope
drifting up from a large building at the bottom of the parking lot.
There was a sign inviting you to enjoy a museum of mechanical music.

I do not even remember an admission charge, but my wife nor I have
ever forgotten the sounds we heard that day emanating from all forms of
automation, from a tap dancing and whistling hobo, about 18 inches high,
to a superb and extraordinary Concert Orchestra that I was told had
been an integral part of the Packard Automobile Founders Home.  This
unit was a very extensive set of automata: violins, flutes, violas,
cymbals, drums, organ, harp, etc. -- _everything_ you would expect to
hear at a concert.

I am hoping now to find out where this instrument can be found and
visited because we cannot remember where we stopped that day, and
I presume that the passing years have found it a new home.  We are now
into our retired years and relish this time often so that we would like
to relive it.  I would appreciate any help that you can give me.

Tom Hugues

(Message sent Tue 9 Aug 2005, 17:54:22 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Auto, Founder's, Home, Orchestrion, Packard

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