Wurlitzer Style 153 Carousel Band Organ

Automatic Musical Instrument
Date of appearance: 1920
Trademark: Rudolf Wurlitzer Company
Made in: North Tonawanda, USA
Dimensions: 8.8 × 3.8 × 7.1 in
Weight: 590 kg
Tags: orchestrion, music


This instrument was used on three-abreast carousel's, in open dance pavilions, skating rinks, and other amusement areas in the Midwest of the USA. It is painted in a myriad of bright colors with beautiful desert scenes on the facade. The scroll work is hand carved and painted in the colors of the flowers and cacti of the desert and the bright blue of the southwestern sky. Decorative screens in front of the louvers and bar-bells depict a native American scene, and a lonely wagon trail disappearing towards the distant mountains. Raised panels on the side wings are adorned with picturesque Saguaro cactus, Joshua trees, Ocotillo and Yuccas. Other panels sow quiet desert and mountain scenes. This band organ has 164 pipes consisting of trumpet, trombone, flute, violin and cello voices. The melody division has a 13-note glockenspiel, called "bells" in organ parlance. Expression — that is, variation of volume — is provided by swell shutters in the front of the organ and by extra violin and flute ranks; all of these are controlled by register perforations in the paper music roll. Wind to blow the pipes and to operate the player mechanism and percussions is provided by a 1.5 horsepower blower. The band organ uses Wurlitzer style 150 paper rolls which are similar to player piano rolls except that these usually have 10 tunes instead of just one. In order to provide continuous music, the band organ uses dual-roll frames. While one role rewinds, the other plays. Via Paul Eakins's of Sikeston, Missouri private collection.

Wurlitzer Style 153 Carousel Band Organ