The B. A. B Blog follows museum staff and volunteers as they restore a recently acquired historic band organ music roll maker (“perforator”) to operating condition. Learn more about the B. A. B. perforator and its place in carrousel history.
Progress on the perforator, sign of the times
You haven’t heard from us in two weeks, but we have been busy! We have been examining the machinery and cleaning it, which requires dismantling much of it, repairing and rebuilding many parts after years of disuse.
Throughout all of this we are learning how this machine operates. It is very different from the Wurlitzer machines we’ve been using for years, but the background from using a perforator and making music rolls is valuable help.
And we put up this improvised sign, a banner to rally us to our cause! Thanks to Dennis Reed Jr for producing it and then spending his own Sunday convincing Doug that it’s what I want.
We had a bit of a scare with the MOTOR last week. After cleaning and servicing it, then almost bragging about its delights (see previous blog post), we discovered it had no power to run the pump!
The solution was obvious and now seems laughable: the wiring of the power cord was wrong. The motor was running on half its required voltage!
(More than) a little help from our friends
We are so grateful that friends of the museum and band organ and mechanical music enthusiasts from all over the county have come forward to help with this project, and to generously share their expertise. People from Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, Montana, Minnesota, Colorado, Florida, and probably more have helped us so far.
People have shared service literature, catalogues, information about other owners, sometimes patent info. We have a detailed service and parts manual for the CENTURY Single Phase 1 H.P. motor. Patent drawings for the Leaman Bros. (suction supply) pump, and a predecessor of the perforating machine. These resources are invaluable to us now and will continue to be for the next generation of caretakers.
The expanding band organ exhibit
The museum’s Director, Rae Proefrock, has begun the arduous and daunting task of funding the replacement of the only building originally part of the Herschell Carrousel Factory campus which was demolished. When completed it will be dedicated to the expanding Band Organ Exhibit which was begun here over 20 years ago and continues today.
An unrealized dream?
The museum can boast Wurlitzer and Artizan band organs. But we’re still looking for a band organ made by The North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works. This firm was organized in 1906, made beautiful machines, and was Wurlitzer’s most potent competitor.
Photo gallery (2/3/17–2/13/17)
See you next time
Thanks for reading! We’ll be back next week with more progress reports.