A Sampling of the Collection
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Here you will find pictures of some of the collection. Although nothing compares to an in-person visit, we hope you will enjoy viewing these photographs of a small part of our collection.

Many interesting machines make up the large collection of automatic musical instruments at Bayernhof. They range in size from a small roll-played toy saxophone to the huge Seeburg Pipe Organ orchestra. Some of the rarer machines are the Wurlitzer "Style A" Automatic Harp and the Encore Automatic Banjo, as well as a beautiful 20 3/4" Regina upright music box with painted landscape scenes around the outside. As machines are added to the collection, they are restored to original condition.

Knabe Ampico grand
5'8" Knabe Ampico grand "William and Mary" case

We have three reproducing pianos: a rare, top loading, "baby" Ampico upright, a fully restored 1926 Knabe Ampico grand in a "William and Mary" style walnut case, and a 1920 5'10" Steinway Duo-Art.

One frequently asked question is: "What is a reproducing piano?" The reproducing piano "reproduces" very closely the playing of the artist who recorded the roll. It does this by varying the vacuum levels in identical expression controls, one in the bass tonal area and one in the treble. The more vacuum, the louder the piano plays. The holes in the edges of the roll made for that player system cause the piano to play crash chords that can rattle window panes or to play the softest of trills. This very closely approximates how great artists such as Gershwin, Rachmaninoff and other classical and popular musicians played when they recorded the rolls years ago.

Wurlitzer 125 Military Band Organ
Wurlitzer 125 Military Band Organ

The Wurlitzer Military Band Organ Style 125 was used mainly in amusement parks for carousels or for skating rinks. The band organ is one of the few machines made for commercial use that is still being used for its original intended purpose. Band organs are voiced very loudly for outdoor use so as to attract patrons over the noise of carousel machinery and the shouts of delighted children. Its 101 pipes are a bit overpowering when played indoors, even in a room as large as its home in Bayernhof.

Some people call these "calliopes" but there is a difference between a calliope and a band organ. Band organs have pipes that produce many sounds. Our organ has pipes that duplicate the sounds of trumpets, violins, flutes, flageolets and piccolos. In addition, it has percussion in the form of a bass drum, snare drum and top-mounted cymbal. Our machine is quite substantial, weighing almost 800 pounds. Wurlitzer built band organs in several sizes, with the larger ones having trombone and saxophone pipes, bells, castanets, and crash cymbals, in addition to a larger number of organ pipes.

Reginaphone Box.  Combination phonograph and music box
Reginaphone Music Box. Combination phonograph and music box.

Our collection includes disk music boxes manufactured by both foreign and domestic companies, such as Kalliope, Symphonia, Mira, Stella, Regina and others.

We have several examples of music boxes played by pinned cylinders. Most cylinder boxes are pinned for 5 to 8 songs. A selector lever inside the case allows the cylinder to shift horizontally by a fraction of an inch to bring the pins of a new song in line with its musical comb. One box in our collection even has a number of interchangeable cylinders allowing for a small library of songs for that particular box. Another, called an orchestra box, has drums, a wood block and an organ.

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Copyright 2011 The Bayernhof Museum