Well, these pictures shed quite a bit of light on the history of your player piano. I may end up doing a web page about it because it is somewhat unique and almost completely unknown until this time. (There might be others who know about this particular player system, but it's the first time I've ever encountered it, and there's no data in any of the archives about it.)
To begin with, the serial number indicates that the piano was assigned its serial number in late 1925. From the standpoint of player piano manufacturing in America, this is very late in the game. It's said that player manufacturing reached its peak in 1926 and was almost dead by 1931. The data indicates that Johnson closed the factory shortly of 1928 since there are no serial numbers for 1929 -the year of the stock market crash.
Next, the patent number led me to the patent which shows a player system that was heretofore unknown in the player world. It has now been added to the list of known player systems.
Regarding the sluggishness of the tracking system, I now believe that the main problem isn't so much the tracker as it is the tubing that's connected to the trackerbar. The tracking system in this unit moves the trackerbar. This is an unusual arrangement. Normally, the music roll is shifted right or left (as needed) by the tracking device. The system in your piano requires far less moving parts and linkage. The only down side of this tracking technique is that as the tubing gets stiff with age, the trackerbar gets harder and harder to move as it adjusts for slight irregularities in the position/location of music roll paper.
To see the web page I've put together, go to:
John A Tuttle
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