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Gebrueder Bruder Organ at Flushing Meadows NY
By Tim Trager

Residing in the circa 1905 Stubbman Mangels-Illions four-abreast
carousel is a Gebrueder Bruder 80-key Elite Apollo Orchester band
organ.  The carousel and organ came from historic Coney Island and were
moved to the park in 1964 to become part of the New York World's Fair.

The Corona Park Bruder is one of just two 80-keyless Elite Apollo
Orchesters known to exist.  The B.A.B. Organ Company of Brooklyn
converted the organ to play from their 87-key rolls.  Max Nowicki,
a long time organ repairman, converted one of the frames to play
from Wurlitzer 165 rolls.  The original 80-key scale of the organ
is an enlargement of the 69-key scale which is the foundation of the
Wurlitzer 165 scale.

Elite Apollo organs are very special indeed!  When new, they cost
double of what the regular piano/forte Gebrueder Bruders sold for.
The price in 1912 was 20,000 gold marks.  The cost of keyless book
music was 20% higher than standard 80-keyless music.

The pipework in an 80-key Elite Apollo is very orchestral and is
similar to that of a large French fairground organ with baritones,
wood trumpets, brass trumpets, and many ranks of violin and cello
pipes.  The large-scale pipework literally fills the organ case.

The Elite Apollo organs are deeply pitched and are a pleasure to
listen to -- just ask anyone who enjoys a Wurlitzer 165 which is based
on the Elite Apollo design!  The expression of the organ is controlled
by seven automatic registers as well as swell shutters.  The organ's
scale has 10 bass notes, 14 accompaniment notes, 23 melody notes,
and 20 counter-melody notes.

The present condition of the Corona Park Bruder can best be described
as poor.  This once magnificent band organ has suffered greatly over
the years.  Max Nowicki has done his best to keep it playing on a very
small budget allowed by the city of New York.  Pipes have been stolen
from the organ along with the beautiful center figure of a woman
holding a torch.  At last report the female statues holding the
trumpets were still on the organ.

What is the future of this historic and rare organ?  Who knows?  I have
tried to purchase it but I have discovered that it is nearly impossible
to deal with City Hall.  It would be great for the city to realize the
treasure they have and properly restore it.  I believe that it has the
potential to be one of the finest sounding band organs in America if
properly restored.

Tim Trager

(Message sent Sun 19 Mar 2000, 04:17:40 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Bruder, Flushing, Gebrueder, Meadows, NY, Organ