I am seeking a new home for an Aeolian Orchestrelle player reed
organ and about 90 of the 58-note rolls I have. This instrument was
installed in about 1903 in the Potter Palmer mansion in Chicago.
It was removed in about 1950, before the mansion was demolished and
restored by Henry Behrens, repair shop manager for Baldwin Pianos
in Chicago. After his passing in about 1965, his daughter inherited
it. On her passing in 1978 it came to her son, me.
The organ had suffered smoke and water damage in a fire and needed
restoration. This was done at the J.H. & C.S. Odell organ shop in
Yonkers, New York. The unit was mechanically restored and cosmetically
stabilized. From 1979 until about 2010 it worked well at which time
both my health and the function of the organ began to decline.
I would like to see the organ and rolls go to someone who can restore
its function and will appreciate it as the marvelous instrument that
it is. I'm not looking for a "sale," but a donation to the right
individual or group. If you're interested I can send photos of the
organ -- bird's eye maple finish -- and of the rolls, almost all of
which are still in their original boxes.
Please pass this information along if you know of anyone who would be
Detroit, Michigan, region