One-of-a-Kind Exhibit Shows How Carousel Music Was Made
The still-operational, historic equipment in the Wurlitzer Music Roll Department demonstrates in detail the production of paper music rolls. Band organs (like the one pictured below) use these rolls to produce the inimitable and universally recognized sound of an American carousel. Visitors are able to watch any of the machines which may be in use at the time of their visit. All the machines are over 90 years old.
In addition to the machinery, the Wurlitzer Music Roll Department includes over 1600 hand-punched original master music rolls dating back to the turn of the century. This is the only public display of equipment of this type in the country! Music rolls produced by a volunteer crew are available for purchase. See our Music Roll Catalog.
Video: See how carrousel music was made
Watch an overview of the steps involved in making a paper music roll, and see the finished product played on a 1925 Wurlitzer Military Band Organ.
Video: Paper slitter demonstration
Volunteers operate the machine that cut the paper to the correct sizes for band organ rolls.