North Tonawanda Military Band Organ
Model 55

           
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North Tonawanda Band Organ
For a larger view, click on Picture

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  History

We purchased this Band Organ about 25 years ago.  It was used on a carousel at the time, and my wife and I rode the carousel all evening, while my two boys rode the rides.  I had just purchased a Seeburg KT from the carnival owner, and he had issued an invitation to bring the family out for a night of fun. We had lots of fun!  I  made it known to the owner that if the band organ were ever to be sold, I wanted to purchase it.  Well, a year went by and I received another telephone call.  He told me that he was closing up. Things were just not the same as when his father had owned the business.  Employee  alcohol and drug problems, liability insurance, and just conditions in general were making things tough.  Once again we rode the Carousel and had a great time.  Again I told him of my desires to own the organ. About a year passed before I received a telephone call. "Do you still want the Band Organ"  was the question. "Yes" was the answer. "But you sure picked a bad time" I said. "A week before Christmas, and I just went back to work from being on a strike at the telephone company".  His reply was "I asked if you still wanted the organ". "If you do, I'll bring it over, and you can pay me when you get the money".  I paid for the organ one year later. Now that was a real friend! Return


Rear View of Band Organ Roll Mechanism
For a larger view, click on Picture

Condition
When we purchased this organ, it was in very poor playing condition.  I completely disassembled the organ, made the necessary repairs, and then reassembled the organ.  About 5 years later I recovered the pneumatics and replaced the pouches and valve leather.  I used only the best of materials, i.e., perflex for the pouches and artificial leather for the valves.  Oh Boy, if one could only see into the future!  I did it all over again about two years later, using good pouch leather and kid skin.  It still plays good today, although I do use an outside vacuum to give the drums more snap.  I still would like to replace the bass drum beater mechanism, which is vacuum operated, with the Wurlitzer style pressure operated beater. Inside the organ, written in pencil on the case is the date of January 4th, 1909.  Below that are several other entries, such as a date and the notation, "Returned for Refinishing".  It was converted to play Wurlitzer 125 rolls on it's last visit to North Tonawanda in the early twenties.    Return

Does it need work?

The Organ plays very well, even though I have never done a complete restoration. It really needs to be completely restored so as to be enjoyed for many more years.  I've used this organ for 25 years, playing it at many events.  It is enjoyed by all when I have a play date.    Return


My Desires for the Organ

I would  like to exhibit the Band Organ in locations where many people could once again enjoy the music normally found on the old carousels.    Return



New Year's Eve at Hilton Village At Hilton Village Mid Summer 1997
      This was on New Years Eve, 1996at Hilton Village          Here we are at Hilton Village,  Mid Summer 1997

Band Organ Plays at Holiday Inn Scope, Norfolk, Va Playing Again at Hilton Village, Spring 1997
      Taken on a Cold November Night in Norfolk, VA            Spring 1997 in Hilton Village

For More information, send an to Al or Gail.
Thanks!


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