[ Ref. Giovanni Vitiello in 170115 MMD ]
Giovanni Vitiello wrote about his early upright Chickering piano with
the odd pump. What you're actually viewing in the photos is a Type 1
Early Stoddard Ampico, manufactured prior to 1913 with a Chickering
piano of serial number around 100000 to 120000.
It has a "diamond shaped" pump with a reservoir mounted on top of the
pump with an excess vacuum escape port on the top of the reservoir,
the same configuration as is on our Stoddard Ampico (Type 2A) from
1914, although by 1914 a rotary pump was introduced.
What is unique in Giovanni's piano is the "Welte" tag in the spoolbox.
The Type 1 system was made by the Auto Pneumatic Corporation and they
probably also made the Welte system during that same time period, and
just took a spoolbox (or stack) off the Welte line.
The information above was researched from notebooks containing
a great deal of Ampico material that were given to Richard Howe in
about 1986 from Al Werolin. The notebooks were owned by his father,
Edward S. Werolin, who was service manager for the American Piano
Company in the 1920s. An article about the material was published in
the AMICA Bulletin in the Nov/Dec 1991 issue. The title of the article
is "The Evolution of the Ampico," by Richard Howe and Jeffrey Morgan.
What is wild about this instrument is the size of the electric motor
(220 volts?) used to drive the pump!
[ David Oppenheim spotted a similar early Chickering with Stoddard
[ Ampico similar to Giovanni's except equipped with a box pump.
[ It's offered at http://columbus.craigslist.org/msg/5937765277.html
[ -- Robbie