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Melin-Winkel Player Piano
Pictures and Information

Player Mechanism made by Gulbransen-Dickenson

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:

Will Establish Its Factory in Chicago, After
a Complete Reorganization of the Concern.
(Special to The Review.)

SOUTH HAVEN, MICH., March 6.-The Melin-Winkel Piano Co. has closed its factory here and is shipping the machinery and some of the material to Chicago, where operations will be resumed in about three weeks. The concern is being reorganized, but will retain the trade name of Melin-Winkel. Julius Winkel and Charles Fahning will control the new concern, Mr. Winkel devoting himself largely to the selling end of the business, and will visit the trade as well as look after the store at St. Joseph. Mr. Fahning will supervise the factory.

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.

Found in a Google Search:

I found this interesting bit of trivia at the link below this picture.

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.
Melin-Winkel Piano Company Player Piano Coupons

Early Gulbransen-Dickenson Air Motor

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