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MMD > Archives > February 2011 > 2011.02.09 > 04Prev  Next

By John A. Tuttle

I'm now the proud owner of a PianoLodeon.  The correct name is Piano-
Lodeon; at least that's what is on the nameplate on the front of the
unit.  The name on the box of rolls that came with the unit reads Piano
Lodeon.  So, I guess it's either "Piano-Lodeon" or "Piano Lodeon." but
not "PianoLodeon."

I've read every Piano-Lodeon posting in the MMDigest, and I'm
collecting information from various other sources on the Internet.
Notably missing from the history of this cute little toy piano is when
it was actually made and how Piano-Lodeons were manufactured.  However,
since Douglas Henderson's posting says there was a white model made
after the maroon model, and considering that one posting noted a maroon
model with a serial number of 909, one can assume that there were at
least 1000 units produced.

Douglas H. and Bob Billings note that J. Lawrence Cook did the
arranging of the rolls, but the only date mentioned in any of the
postings is 1963, in reference to a "transition at QRS."  I've also
read that the instrument was produced in the early 60's, but that's as
close as I've come to determining when they went into production.

After my initial inspection of my Piano-Lodeon, which didn't work at
all, it became clear that there is a definite order to the way it had
to be taken apart, so as not to damage anything.  I'm creating a series
of webpages and YouTube videos which can be accessed, starting at: 

At this point in time, what I'm most interested in figuring out is the
exact theory of operation.  I can put it into generic terms already,
but I'd like to explain it from the technical viewpoint, which involves
terms like balance, flow, and inertia.  Ultimately, I'd also like to
produce an animated graphic to demonstrate how the device works.
What's fascinating to me is how the device uses the basic operating
principles that are used in a player piano in such a radically
different way.

John A. Tuttle
Brick, NJ

(Message sent Wed 9 Feb 2011, 15:12:40 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Piano-Lodeons

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