There are some interesting comments in this month's "Carousel
News & Trader" [CN&T] magazine by its publisher, Dan Horenberger,
contrasting good (successful) vs. bad (unsuccessful) auctions. His
example of a good auction is the recent Milhous Brothers auction,
which was the result of months of planning and advertising, much of
it Internet based.
As a bad example he mentions the dispersal of the Wendell "Bud" Hurlbut
collection in the fall of 2011. It suffered from lack of planning and
publicity. Bud is famous as an innovator of amusement park rides and
was one of the driving forces behind the success of Knott's Berry Farm,
but few people knew about the auction.
Unlike the Milhous brothers, Bud Hurlbut gave no thought to the fate of
his Knott's Berry Farm memorabilia, his papers and his inventions prior
to his death in January of 2011. Bud did have an auction of some of
his amusement park collectibles in 1990, but the 2011 sale left many of
his historically valuable papers and drawings to blow away in the wind.
There is a lesson here for any collector of mechanical music machines
or mechanical music papers. Remember that we all must die, and give
some thought to what you want to happen to the objects and items that
you have spent a lifetime collecting and cherishing. In whose hands do
you want to leave them? Some collections have found their way into
museums and university collections. Depending on institutional policy,
those items may be spotlighted and made accessible to the public, or
they may be hidden away and guarded with a "dog in the manger" attitude.
By the way, the CN&T issue referred to above carries on its back cover
a for-sale offering of the Openshaw Wurlitzer 165 band organ (serial
#3629), the one with façade lights that once ran on the Griffith Park
and Lincoln Park merry-go-rounds.
Irondequoit, New York
[ Visit http://www.carouselnews.com/ -- Robbie