The Starr Piano Co. of Richmond, Indiana evolved into making a well designed and straight forward player action, as in the most common variety pictured below. The pneumatic with the pouch included in the stationary side of the pneumatic is almost identical to the three-tier Gulbransen, but that is where the similarity ends and there is no connection between the two. The predecessors to this player action design found in various makes attributed to Starr are quite different in design, and may or may not have been their own, however, probably were, since they cannot be traced any further. For example in the Remington, various versions are found in much earlier pianos. The early designs were much more over-engineered, and were probably streamlined to be more competitive as time progressed. The modern player action of the 1920's was fairly common and was successfully marketed.
For purposes of identifying the mechanism, two of the more unique components in the Starr system are the air motor and the tracking device (see below). Regarding the air motor, no other manufacturer used a complex lever design for the sliding valves. Regarding the tracking device, the horizontally inclined bellows in the Starr are rather large and the tracking sensors are "inside" the trackerbar. (Pictures provided courtesy of Ken Hill. Mechanism found in a Norman player. Click on the pictures to see the full-size image.)
For Serial Number information about Starr Piano Co, click here!
For historical information about the Starr Piano Co., visit the Starr-Gennett site, click here!
407 19th Ave, Brick, NJ, 08724
Phone Number 732-840-8787