Hi Group, I am a docent at the International Printing Museum and
I was asked to bring my Concert roller organ to perform as part of
"Dickens Day" performances at the International Printing Museum in
Using the dating section of Todd Augsburger's "Roller Organs, The
Autophone Company's Ingenious Mechanism", my Concert Roller Organ
appears to have been manufactured about 1895. I had four Christmas
rollers which I played last year for the one-day presentation. With
the addition of a second day and two additional performances I wanted
more Christmas rollers.
I emailed Charles Moore at the Honor Rolls web page and ordered
a ten-pack of Christmas carols. They arrived in plenty of time.
"Dickens Day" at the museum was held Saturday and Sunday, December
11th and 12th, 2010. Four of the five shows were sold out. Many
people asked questions about the organ and many commented that they
enjoyed the music. Several children had a chance to crank a roller of
Most of the museum staff and volunteers were in Victorian dress and
I wore a striped shirt, maroon vest and a grinders cap. Several of
the guests also came in Victorian dress. On these days the actor,
who usually portrays Benjamin Franklin, portrayed Charles Dickens
presenting a lecture about his work, "A Christmas Carol." As he
presented his work he involved audience members as various characters
and he became Scrooge. Between shows he wandered the museum as Scrooge
complete with "Bah Humbug."
Following each show the audience was served bangers (on a roll, not
with mash), spiced apple cider, and homemade gingerbread. Many
stations were set up for attendees to print keepsakes on antique
printing presses and to have their names set on a Linotype slug which
they could use to imprint Victorian Christmas cards.
I had a great time and it appeared that our visitors did as well.
Jack M. Conway, Los Angeles, California, USA
[ Thanks for the report, Jack. I am reminded of "Burns Night",
[ the Scots' annual celebration of Robert Burns works.
[ -- Editor (Robbie)