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MMD > Archives > August 2006 > 2006.08.31 > 05Prev  Next

Wurlitzer Band Organ Light Bulb Colors
By Matthew Caulfield

> Does anyone have knowledge of the correct original light bulb
> colors (and layout) that the Wurlitzer factory used on their
> Style 157 and 165 band organs that were equipped with the optional
> lighting package?

Hi, Arnold,  Wurlitzer and the concept of "standard" seem to go
together about like sardines and vanilla ice cream.  While Wurlitzer
had some basic designs, close inspection reveals many small variations
in those designs over the years.  For example, they used at least two
distinctly different mechanisms for opening and closing swell shutters.

I was going to send you a picture of the facade of John Malone's 165,
which is one of two 165s with the light-bulb option (the other being
owned by Ed Openshaw), until I realized you now own that organ!

My suspicion is that low-wattage clear lamps were used originally,
in keeping with the type of lamps used on merry-go-rounds.  If the
lamps are colored, they would detract from the subtlety of the facade
painting.  Frosted white lamps certainly were not used.  Clear lamps
of 12-1/2 watts are what we use on the Seabreeze merry-go-round.
If you use standard off-the-shelf wattage lamps, that is too bright --
maybe not for the few lamps in a band organ facade, but certainly for
the thousand or more on a merry-go-round.

A friend of mine used to pester the owners of Kennywood Park to put
colored bulbs on their Dentzel carousel, but fortunately they had the
sense not to.

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

(Message sent Thu 31 Aug 2006, 13:08:11 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Band, Bulb, Colors, Light, Organ, Wurlitzer

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