While I have a few moments waiting for the snow to start falling, here
are some other observations on Wurlitzer machines. They are great
machines in my book and play music like no other nickelodeon piano.
Late rolls are generally QRS rolls converted to Wurlitzer scales, as
are Clark Rolls and Automatic music rolls. A tune from the QRS masters
may be the same arrangement in all these formats but can sound totally
different on a Wurlitzer versus a Seeburg. Just because someone
somewhere may have said, "Oh I don't like those Clark rolls or
Wurlitzer rolls from the 1920's" doesn't necessarily make them bad
rolls, as there are some real gems in both.
I occasionally have emails asking what is correct in one specific
nickelodeon. No way I can be an expert, because just as I think a
company never did a certain thing, an example will show up proving me
wrong. I can say that Wurlitzer made changes all the time in
production. Restorers find that different coin systems were used over
the years; so there are no set rules for what may or may not have been
used in your machine. Seeburg was probably the most consistent of all
the manufacturers, but even they made changes. There are at least
three versions of the Seeburg H components. Coinola used at least four
different types of pneumatics over the years.
I think I have seen statements that this or that company was the
premier coin piano and that certain others were cheaply made. The fact
that these pianos have lasted this long makes me believe they are all
premier pianos. Some are easier to restore than others. But all of
them deserve the same respect.
Currently I am looking for information on Coinola machines. I would
like to have the serial number of your Coinola and a photograph of the
piano if possible. It appears that Coinola used at least two different
suppliers for the actual piano. I would like to see your stack
pneumatics or the valves in the rewind box. The more numbers and
information we can collect, the more likely we will be able to actually
match serial numbers to a date.