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Early Baldwin Player Mechanism
Pictures courtesy of John Franks
Comments by John A Tuttle

Hi John,

First, I'd be very interested to get a good picture of the paper tag that's on the right sidewall of the piano, next to the air motor. It looks like patent number information, which is very useful in doing research. Especially if they actually have the patent numbers and not just the patent dates. You can send that picture to my regular email address: john at player-care dot com

As for the player mechanism, it's very reminiscent of the Baldwin Manualo. Especially the 4-point motor and the very simple transmission. Also, as I recall, the early Baldwin action has that very large vacuum supply tube going to the stack. Another similarity is the air motor governor with the three adjusting screws on the front and the coil spring on the right side. In fact, the more I look at the pictures and compare them against the diagrams in the Baldwin manual, the more certain I am that's it's a Baldwin action. However, one thing that's very different is the lower section (or exhauster assembly). The more common type is one that mounts under and onto the keybed, and it has round exhauster flaps. Yours is a much more conventional design, which leads me to believe that it's a very early model.

Lastly, due to the absence of linkage going from the Play/Rewind control (which appears to be located in the spoolbox) and the area where the cut-out valve is located, I'm certain that the cut-out valve is pneumatically controlled. And, it looks like the valve which controls the cut-out is mounted almost directly below the Play/Rewind control. It also looks like there are two hoses connected to that switch, and if that's the case, one of them controls the cut-out and the other controls the fast rewind valve in the air motor governor. Although I can't see it in the picture of the lower section, I would imagine there's an elbow on the backside of the assembly on the left end, to which the small hose (coming from the switch) gets connected. Further, if the leather, which creates the seal, in the switch is deteriorated and leaking, that would prevent the cut-out valve from closing all the way, which would in turn choke (or reduce) the supply of vacuum to the windchest -which would in turn make it difficult for the note valves to operate correctly.

Upper Section of the mechanism

Lower Section of the mechanism

Baldwin Patent Numbers
Listing of Baldwin Patent Numbers from December 5, 1905 through February 20, 1923 (90 years ago)
This picture and the ones above were supplied by John Franks. Thank you, John. signed: John A Tuttle

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This page was last revised February 8, 2013 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
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