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MMD > Archives > December 2010 > 2010.12.26 > 03Prev  Next

Restore North America's Carousel Organs
By Scotty Greene

I have read with interest the postings on this subject, as we at DeBence
Music World have some experience in this area.  In 1970 we were called
to look at an organ thought to be a Wurlitzer at Conneaut Lake Park in
western Pennsylvania.  It was an Artizan band organ.  With much work we
brought it back to life and have maintained it since.  The deal was
that we did the work at no charge, we kept it during the winter, they
had it during their season.

The park had a disastrous fire three years ago, and the only thing that
saved the organ was that we had it for annual maintenance.  When they
went into bankruptcy, under the terms of the deal the bill for our work
came due.  Otherwise the organ would be sold to satisfy the debts and
we lose our investment.

We offered to buy the organ and rent it back to them, but so far no
deal, and they are raising the money to pay the bill for the last five
years work.  I am not sure what happens next, but we have enough of our
own work so that we will probably not enter into another deal like the
previous one.  We have told them to figure on $500 per year to keep it
running based on the last five years work.  I fear that if they regain
full ownership they will not have the money to keep it running and
another boom box carousel will evolve.

Our other experience was with a big park in Ohio where we put a Stinson
band organ back in working order.  The park management changed and, as
noted in one of the posts, the organ played for a couple years and was
allowed to become unplayable again.  Many of the young ride operators
would rather listen to a recording than one of the organs.

If there is no on-site champion, and no money is budgeted, there is
little hope.

Scotty Greene - DeBence Antique Music World
Franklin, Pennsylvania

(Message sent Sun 26 Dec 2010, 18:55:49 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

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

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