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This is by far the most unique air motor (more information below) that I've ever seen in a player piano. I'm hoping to find a patent number so I can find out exactly how the device functions. I have a few ideas, but I want to be certain, instead of just guessing.
According to the Pierce Piano Atlas, the Melin-Winkel Piano Co was only in business from 1908-1912. At Google, I found the following links to information about the company.
From "The Music Trade Review", dated March 22, 1910: "The Melin-Winkel Piano Co., of South Haven, Mich., have increased their capital from $30,000 to $40,000."
From "The Music Trade Review", dated March 6, 1916:
From "Piano World Forums", dated July 15, 2006: "Please help - my husband is showing this piano today and we have no idea what it is worth. It is an upright grand made in 1910. Where should I go for immediate help?"
Sadly, the advice that given was said that the piano was "... probably worth less than $200." In my opinion, the person who wrote the reply might have had a different opinion if they saw a picture of this instrument.
What's interesting to note here is that the company was bought out by F.A. Schonberg & Co. in 1913. This explains why the serial numbers for Melin-Winkel end in 1912. However, I was not able to verify that information.
|Early Gulbransen-Dickenson Air Motor|
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