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MMD > Archives > July 2011 > 2011.07.27 > 08Prev  Next

"Gulbransen" Fishing-Pole Tracking Mechanism
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  My search for the patent for the tracking device used in the
"Gulbransen" player piano continues.  I was recently in contact with
Paul Brennan, from Australia, and he provided me with an excellent
picture of the Gulbransen transmission, which contains the majority of
the parts with the exception of the 'fishing-pole', which is mounted to
the air motor.  See: 

What I found very interesting about this picture was that there
appeared to be some writing on the circle of brown paper that's glued
to the friction wheel.  Naturally, I hoped it contained information
about the manufacturer or perhaps a patent date, so I asked Paul
about that.  He said it reads, 'Do not put oil on this wheel; to
remove oil wipe off with gasoline.'

I must say I was disappointed and a bit shocked.  I thought about
the reaction I would get from a customer if I brought a can or jar of
gasoline into their home and started cleaning the wheel.  As I wrote to
Paul, I would probably be thrown out of the home before I had a change
to say, "But that's what it says...!"

For your information, the problem that stimulated me to begin this
quest has been resolved, but I'm a bit like a dog with a bone once
I decide to track down information.  In the meantime, I've collected
more information about the Gulbransen, and will undoubtedly be making
more web pages at some time in the future.

One that I've already started involves all of the written text on the
Gulbransen Shop Chart.  I never read it very closely, but I've since
found out that it contains a fair number of spelling errors, extra
letters in words, missing letters in words, and a whole lot of
excellent information about problems and solutions to common and
not-so-common problems.  I was actually surprised to find one section
that addresses changing the size of the 'bleedhole' (their word, not
mine) when notes have poor repetition.

Oh, and I also found the patent for the Gulbransen Air Motor.  It has
some great diagrams that show what's 'inside' the area underneath the
rotating valves.

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Wed 27 Jul 2011, 13:17:29 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Fishing-Pole, Gulbransen, Mechanism, Tracking

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