Dear John, ... (sounds like a break-up letter... lol)
Regarding the Piano Lodeons, I do not recall a White model. As a
child my siblings and I had the Maroon model which sported a fancy gold
relief design on either side of the spoolbox. As I said before I didn't recall
a White model, but there was and is a Beige model (sans the gold relief).
The Maroon model that we once had, I say had, became difficult to play
so on one of my early attempts at 'fixing' things, I opened it up and made
a make-shift repair to the vacuum disc by adding self-sticking felt to the
surface that was impinging on a surrounding surface. It really didn't help
much but to quiet the scraping sound as the disc spun. Later on,
frustrated, I ended up dismantling the entire mechanism. Afterwards my
father disposed of it.
My father had bought it around 1958-9 for either $14.95 or $24.95.
The rolls had floated around our house for a number of years until they
too were disposed of. (My favorite tune was 'Twelfth St. Rag')
In the mid 70's, on one of my quests for piano rolls, I came across a
Beige model which I quickly purchased and took home. It played rather
weakly, So, I dismantled it and meticulously cleaned all the parts.
The vacuum disc was also loose and wobbled when it spun. Instead of
adding adhesive backed felt, I settled for tapping down the retaining clip
on its center hub which summarily solved the problem.
I carefully began to reassemble the device. I had left the almost fully
assembled device under my desk at home, I had not reattached the back
with the tone rods to the body of the Piano Lodeon. When I returned home
from work and went to reinstall the back to the Piano Lodeon, I found that
one of the Tone Rods had been snapped off of its frame. (To this day my
younger brother denies touching it.) More unfortunately the missing note
is within the playing range of the player mechanism.
If you check on Ebay, every once in a while there is someone selling
replacement drive belts for the Piano Lodeon.
Hope this helps,
Dale F. Rowe