Possible Photoplayer Pipes
by Herb Crandell (070301 MMDigest)

photoplayer_pipes1.jpg (71 kb)
(Click on the image to zoom.)

Recently, a friend sent me a photo of some multi-mitered metal organ pipes that he intended using in a decorative façade in a new music room he was setting up for his Allen theater organ.  He told me that he had removed them about twenty years ago from an instrument in the orchestra pit of a soon-to-be-razed theater.  When I asked for more information, he stated that they had come from what appeared to be a large upright piano.

He recalls that he saw no side cabinets.  Markings indicate that the pipes are a part of a "62 scale cello," stamped "J.H. Bolton".  There are eleven pipes (C-B, but missing F).  The C pipe measures about 48 inches from the toe to the top of the first miter joint.

After doing a quick look at various photoplayers in Dave Bowers' "Encyclopedia Of Automatic Musical Instruments," I thought they might approximate the metal Fotoplayer pipes illustrated on page 377; however they could be from several other manufacturers that listed cellos in their specs. Anyway, I asked the owner whether, if a restorer were interested, he would  be willing to part with them.  He said he would.  He also said he "might have a few other pipes" as well, but did not elaborate.  I have no personal interest in the pipes, and would be happy to forward inquiries to him.  Also, if anyone might be able to provide any enlightenment about these pipes from the limited information above or from the photo, please let me know.

Herb Crandell
01 Mar 2007 10:04:22 -0500
hccjr@umich.edu.geentroep [delete ".geentroep" to reply]

At one time James Bolton and John Bolton, brothers, were voicers for the American Photoplayer Company, as well as for Robert Morton and for Spencer.

Tom DeLay
Salinas, California
1 Mar 2007 21:16:11 -0800

7 March 2007