Great News - Possibly Waldkirch's Largest Fairground Organ Secured
for Preservation (They're still out there awaiting discovery!)
Sydney, Australia, September 10, 2012 -- Culminating a patient but
determined three decades of pursuit, Craig Robson of Fairground Follies
in Sydney, Australia, has confirmed that the largest fairground organ
in Australia and one of the largest ever made in Waldkirch, Germany,
has been secured for preservation.
In about 1925, an emissary for several Australian showmen journeyed
to Waldkirch, Germany, to place orders for a pair of fairground organs.
The city at the foot of the fabled Black Forest was a world's centre
for their design and construction, the origin of the local trade
commencing in the 1840s. Gebrüder Bruder (Brother Bros.), the largest
of the city's firms engaged in their manufacture, gained the commission.
They had already earned a stellar reputation for machines supplied to
The massive organ, weighing some 2,000 kilos [4,400 pounds], has been
identified as the only generally intact example of Bruder's Model 110
known to exist. The pneumatic control system of the instrument is
activated by a large perforated paper roll, somewhat like those used
in player pianos. While those have 88 holes, for sounding the same
number of strings, the organ has a scale of 94 holes.
The tonal resources of the organ include foundational flutes, as well
as specially constructed trombone, trumpet, saxophone, violin and
piccolo pipes. Bass and snare drums, kettle drum effects, a cymbal,
castanets and triangle all provide percussive sounds.
The organ had been placed and operated inside the centre of a carousel
since its arrival in Australia in the 1920s.
Fred Dahlinger Jr., a traveling show historian in Baraboo, Wisconsin,
USA, established the identity of the instrument. He noted, "Very few
extremely large fairground organs were built in the 1920s. Of those
that exist today, the Robson organ has the potential to not only sound
among the very best, it will reveal knowledge about Bruder tonal design
that has been hitherto unknown."
A bit of the organ's pipework has been lost and it will be re-created
to the same exacting standards as the original equipment. Components
to be restored include an elaborately carved and decorated façade,
which features three moving mechanical figures, a bandleader and two
Given the rarity of the organ and the obscurity surrounding the origin
and subsequent use, anyone with further knowledge of the organ or
photographs of it are encouraged to contact Craig Robson. Eventually
an account of the heritage of the instrument will be published in a
comprehensive journal article.
Contact: Craig Robson
Tel.: +61 2 9550 1700
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [delete ".geentroep" to reply]