hosted on condor3913
 Mechanical Music Digest 
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info
MMD > Pictures > Welte > Hist > licensee1


End-of-Summer Fundraising Drive In Progress. Please visit our home page to see this and other announcements: https://www.mmdigest.com     Thank you. --Jody

Licensee
A Short History of the Welte-Mignon in USA:
the "Licensee" system
compiled by Robbie Rhodes

"There was never any consistency in the names for the
Welte-Mignon instruments, nor for the firm." -- Chas. D. Smith



The United States entered the Great War in Europe on April 6, 1917.  Edwin Welte already was trapped in Germany and serving in the Germany army.  Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1916 (the "Alien Property Custody Act"), the assets of M. Welte & Sons, Inc., were seized by the U.S. government.  An alliance was forced upon M. Welte & Sons, Inc., with Auto Pneumatic Action Company, a division of Kohler Industries, a giant corporation who also owned Kohler & Campbell Piano Co.

Critical patents held by Edwin Welte were licensed to Kohler, and the result was a new "Licensee" version of the Welte-Mignon system, manufactured by Auto Pneumatic Action Company, which played 11-1/4" wide music rolls and so could also play standard 88-note rolls.  The "Licensee" player was purchased by many different piano makers for installation in their own piano brands.  An early Auto Pneumatic advert is below -- later ads always mentioned "Licensee".
 
 

ad04.jpg (50 kb)

Although the German Welte firm in Freiburg was slow to respond to the demand for pop music rolls, all the American firms recognized that wealthy customers who espoused an interest in classical music also wanted to play popular music to impress guests in their homes.  From 1916 to 1919 the Welte factory in Poughkeepsie, New York, produced 11.25-inch wide Welte-Mignon music rolls for the new Auto De Luxe Welte-Mignon or "Licensee" system.  These rolls became known by collectors as Welte "Black Box:" or "Poughkeepsie" issues.

[index]



Compilation copyright 2002 by Robbie Rhodes and Mechanical Music Digest
rev. 02 November 2002
 

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   


Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google



CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2022 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

                                     
Translate This Page