NEW! B. A. B. Organ Company

This machinery is not yet on public display. Follow our progress as we get it ready for exhibition on our B. A. B. Blog!

BAB-perforator-by-Dennis-Reed

The perforator in the workshop where it is being readied by museum volunteers. Photo by Dennis Reed Jr.

The perforator

In December 2016, the Herschell Carrousel Factory museum obtained the only surviving machine used by the B. A. B. Organ Company of Brooklyn, New York to create music rolls for band organs. It is known as a “perforator” because it punches holes into sheets of paper run through its spindles. These holes can then be read by band organs of a compatible scale to play the music that might accompany a carrousel or a skating rink. This particular perforator is capable of creating both individual master rolls and collections of songs, and was made by the Acme Newark Machine Company of Newark, New Jersey. It joins the fully functioning Wurlitzer perforator in the museum’s Wurlitzer Music Department exhibit, extending this important collection, and providing researchers and enthusiasts with unprecedented opportunity for learning about the lost art of band organ music roll production.

An important piece of the band organ story

An earlier incarnation of B. A. B. Photo courtesy of Matthew Caulfield.

An earlier incarnation of B. A. B. Photo courtesy of Matthew Caulfield.

The B. A. B. Organ Company operated in New York City from the early 1920s to the mid-1950s, and serviced many of the European band organs used in New York City and at Coney Island. The company also played an important part in North Tonawanda band organ history: Their supply of fresh music rolls cut to the North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works and Artizan Factories, Inc. “eight-to-the-inch” (8tti) format helped these non-Wurlitzer band organs stay in operation—and off the trash heap— decades after their manufacturers closed their doors.

 

Master rolls

An original B. A. B. master roll. Photo by Dennis Reed Jr.

An original B. A. B. master roll. Photo by Dennis Reed Jr.

The perforator will be displayed with a significant collection of remaining original master rolls. The museum intends to use this perforator and the master rolls to produce period-correct B. A. B. music once again.

 

 

This machinery is not yet on public display. Follow our progress as we get it ready for exhibition on our B. A. B. Blog!

Photos