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MMD > Archives > November 2014 > 2014.11.16 > 05Prev  Next

History of Wurlitzer Band Organs
By Matthew Caulfield

Ray Scheffy asks in 141115 MMD for help in tracking down the history
of his Wurlitzer 146-B band organ.  A good starting point in tracing
the lineage of a Wurlitzer instrument is to determine its serial

On a Wurlitzer band organ the serial number is rubber-stamped in black
ink numbers about an inch high on some wood surface inside the organ,
maybe on the pumps or on the side of a trombone resonator or some such
flat surface.  If the organ has had its wood refinished the number
might be gone, but that's not often the case.

I have seen the serial number also hand-written by the factory on the
operating-instruction card mounted on the inside of one of the two
doors accessing the roll frame compartment.

Once you know the organ's serial number, you can look it up in existing
copies of Wurlitzer's shipping dock ledger and in the company repair
ledgers to see when and where the organ originally went and whether it
was subsequently returned to the factory for service (and when, why,
and by whom).

Access to the Wurlitzer records used to be difficult or impossible, but
now I have copies and so do others, all courtesy of work done by Terry
Hathaway and his colleagues, and published in the Mechanical Music
Registry of the Mechanical Music Press web site: 

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

(Message sent Sun 16 Nov 2014, 21:28:44 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Band, History, Organs, Wurlitzer

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