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Hardman (Autotone, Playotone)

Always a three-tier stack with vertical valves. (The Autotone had primary valves; the Playotone did not.) All Hardman player actions used a pneumatic tracking device. It was very simple, and for that reason may be the best clue to identification, since the pneumatic stack is in general, very ordinary. Only one tracking ear was used on the largest percentage. (The use of two tracking ears was only on very late models.) The single tracking ear was to read the left paper edge only. Opening the valve of this tracking ear allowed air to enter a small pneumatic on the left side of the spool box, and as the pneumatic opened up when it had more atmospheric air than the fixed bleed supply could overcome, the pressure of the music roll took up the slack by pushing the paper to the right, thus closing the valve port; as vacuum built up inside this small pneumatic again, it drove the paper back against the tracking ear, repeating the cycle.

Very small foot pumps were used, with a single reservoir in front above the compact folding pedals. The motor governor and cut-out box were not attached to the pumps. A six-point double pneumatic motor was used.

Hardman - Cross-Section of Stack

Images are courtesy of Mark Orren.
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407 19th Ave, Brick, NJ, 08724
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