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MMD > Archives > December 2010 > 2010.12.23 > 03Prev  Next

Restore North America's Carousel Organs
By Alan Erb

When I saw Mikey Mills's post I wrote him, in part:

...  Your list of organs needing attention is very interesting.
How in the world did you become aware of so many organs that still
reside at parks?  Years ago I talked to the folks at Six Flags Texas
about the 153.  It is really sad -- missing pipes and various parts.
A fellow told me some kids had poured soda down the pipes of that

When I talk to parks it is hard to talk to the right person.  At
Six Flags and other parks it seems there is no right person, as the
guy in charge of the carousel "has no authority to have the organ
fixed", or, unbelievably, barely knows what the organ is, and cares
even less.  If I get a response it is usually, "We don't have the
money," or "We plan to fix it later," or "I'm not sure who is in
charge of that."

The organs I have done always involve an owner, or advocate, who
really cares about the organ, and sees it as important to have it
properly done so it plays just like it did when new.  I have thousands
of original pipes, drums, and other original parts purchased over the
years for use in restoring organs.  I quit my day job (engineering)
and now I have the time and desire to restore.

It seems, though, times have changed: people talk of how the organs
are too loud, most have experienced poor sounding organs, parks are
scratching for money, and many organs get "fixed" by unqualified
people and they end up sounding poorly (and loud?).

The end result is the voice of the carousel, and the amusement park,
is going to be a thin, timid recording -- a bare ghost of the beautiful
and full sound of a robust band organ, thundering and reverberating in
the acoustically wonderful (to me) carousel building.

Alan Erb

(Message sent Thu 23 Dec 2010, 09:06:18 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  America's, Carousel, North, Organs, Restore

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