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The Player Piano Up-To-Date
Published by Edward Lyman Bill 1914
Individual Mechanisms Described
Sent in By Robin Pratt By William Braid White
The mechanisms manufactured by this company and known as "Pianolas," are for the exclusive use of the AEolian line of grand and upright pianos. In addition to these, the AEolian Company continues to manufacture a certain number of exterior playing mechanisms of the cabinet type, which are used considerably in foreign countries.
The mechanism produced by this company is made in their own factories and contains many original features which have given the Pianola fame. The name Pianola has become an almost generic term for player-piano, although it is the exclusive property of the AEolian Company. The Pianola is noted for its originality, its high class of workmanship and for its distinctly artistic character.
The interior Pianola mechanisms are of wide variety in constructional detail, although following the same general design. The entire AEolian line of grand and upright pianos is fitted with one or another style of these Pianola mechanisms, each especially adapted to its particular purpose. Description must therefore be somewhat general.
Bellows-System. The general Pianola design is of the indirect variation type with single equalizing unit, the expression and motor governors being usually carried on the miner action. Special folding pedals are used, and in the grand
Pianola mechanism these fold up inside the lyre box, which also carries the exhaust units.
Pneumatic Action. Both the double and single valve systems have been largely used in Pianola practice. Older models were built with pneumatics and valves below the key-bed, but this method has been superseded for several years by the modern plan of placing the playing system in front of the piano action. In the grand mechanisms the pneumatic and valve system is housed beneath the key-bed.
Tracker-Box. In upright mechanisms this is placed above the pneumatic action. Carries tracking device, uses rubber tubes, and has metal bar fitted with marginal perforations for automatic sustaining pedal, and Themodist (automatic accent). Metrostyle (tempo guide) pointer is carried on tempo indicator. Switches for Themodist and automatic sustaining pedal also carried on tracker box. In grand mechanisms, the tracker-box is carried behind the fall board. Some models have combination 65 and 88 note scales.
Motor. The typical Pianola motor is of the Pneumatic 6-point type, having three double units. This arrangement was originated in Pianola practice and has been very successful. Older models will be found with three point motors. The gear shift and action cut off on these have always been of the direct mechanical type, lever manipulated. In recent practice a three-way control of the rewind lever has been adopted.
Governing Devices and Control. The expression control of the Pianola mechanism has ever been elaborate and ingenious. The most important feature is undoubtedly the Themodist. This consists of a by-pass arrangement in the double divided expression governor. The latter consists of two expression governors, one for the treble and one for the bass of the action. The Themodist arrangement cuts off the governor so that suction is through the action direct, thereby assuring high pressure operation of the pneumatics. When the Themodist switch is on, the perforations in the margin of the roll co-act with the Themodist tracker perforation and the in-rushing air operates a small pouch which works the Themodist valve. The suction passes through the governor when no perforations are co-acting, as it is switched that way as soon as the Themodist lever is thrown on. The action of the Themodist is to break this government of the suction temporarily, by cutting off the governor and instantly putting it in action again. Hence the perforations are on either margin of the tracker and roll, as one governor cut-off is needed for each governor. The position of the governors differs in various models. The expression governors can also be operated by direct finger levers, and a recent development also gives control over them through a side-ways movement of a special type of tempo lever.
The motor governor is of bellows type, and the motor valve is operated by means of a tempo lever on the key-slip. Action cut-off and gearshift are worked by a re-wind lever, which also has a third position, whereby the action cut-off is operated but the gear not shifted, so that the motor drives ahead without the action playing.
There is a pneumatic for sustaining pedal operation through a marginal perforation, and also a direct finger lever connection for personal control.
Various other expression devices have been used at one time or another on the different styles of Pianola mechanism, but the above description embraces the typical and most important. The AEolian Co. is constantly experimenting towards the production of a standard and perfectly efficient type of control and thus its methods are in a state of constant flux, ever approaching nearer to perfection.
The Amphion Piano Player Company, Syracuse, New York, manufacture several models of pneumatic piano playing mechanisms incorporating the well known features of the regular Amphion mechanism, as well as special features and devices made exclusively for such manufacturers.
Amphion mechanisms are sold only to manufacturers of pianos, and are installed by many different piano manufacturers. A special feature of this action is the unit construction whereby each part is made, tested and installed as an independent and interchangeable unit, as, for instance, the bellows, the pneumatic action, the motor, the governor, the cut-off box, and the expression devices.
Should any unit be damaged, or should considerable advance be made on any part in the development of the pneumatic art, the unit so damaged or improved can be instantly replaced with a new unit without taking down the mechanism and without any relation to any other part thereof.
Bellows System. Direct variation type. Two exhaust units and one equalizer. Folding pedals that automatically move into position by opening the door in the lower front panel of piano.
Tracker Box. Carries an automatic tracker device, operated by double pneumatics under balanced air pressure. Tracker equipped to operate sustaining pedal automatically, when music roll carries perforations for that purpose. Reroll lever in tracker box or key-slip, as desired. Tubing either rubber or brass.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve system - three deck type. Air throughout this action is conveyed through independent tubing and not through holes in the wood. No packed joints, except one that is held together by a bolt with compensating washer. Valves, vertical gravity type. Vents, carried in separate unit. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Motor. Six point pneumatic. Motor-valves, operating on double ported base made of non-corrosive "silver metal." Mechanical gear shift, operated from tracker box to key-slip. Cut-off operated pneumatically. The port for operating the same carried by the same frame-work as the reroll shift. Motor Governor, equipped with automatic spring tensioning device, with the result that its spring is variable in tension according to the load put on the governor.
Expression Devices and Control.Double divided hammer rail lifters, controlled by buttons or levers in the key-slip. Some models have three divisions of hammer rail, controlled by three buttons in the key-slip. Some models have three divisions of hammer rail, controlled by three buttons in the key-slip. Pneumatic sustaining pedal device, controlled by button or lever in the key-slip, or automatically from the tracker box. Some models have finger levers controlling the whole of the hammer rail.
Removal and Replacement. Each unit of the player action can be removed by removing not more than four (4) screws and detaching the tubing, independently of any other connections.
This mechanism is manufactured by the American Piano Co., which company controls a number of leading pianos, and is applied only to instruments made by them.
The general design of the Stoddard-Ampico is that of a player-piano fitted with motor driven bellows-system, instead of the usual foot-driven power-plant. Its expressive capacities are controlled through expression governors of special type, which are adapted to be actuated either automatically through marginal perforations in the tracker-bar in combination with special rolls, or manually by the performer through finger buttons.
The special rolls are records of actual piano playing by artists. They, therefore, contain the pianist's phrasing in the cutting of the notes, while marginal perforations are added from records also made of the artist's dynamic interpretations, pedaling and so on. Thus a complete reproduction of an artist's performance may be had by means of the Stoddard-Ampico.
As noted above, however, the Stoddard-Ampico is not merely a reproducing piano, but may also be used as readily for the direct expression of the individual performer's ideas.
Pneumatic Action. This is of the Auto-pneumatic type, as described elsewhere in this work, to which refer.
Bellows-System. Driven by electric motor (using either direct or alternating current) from ordinary light circuits. Alternating current motors are placed directly in piano. Whole bellows-system is hung inside piano behind bottom frame and may be swung outwards on floor complete.
Governing Devices and Control. Expression (dynamics) governed through roll by means of two expression governors, one for bass and one for treble divisions of action. These governors can regulate tension progressively as controlled by pneumatic switches operated by marginal perforations in roll. There is also an arrangement whereby the expression governors may be controlled manually, when ordinary rolls are used, by the depression of finger buttons on keyslip. These buttons, when covered by the fingers, shut off the air passage to the expression governors and reduce the tension to low. When depressed they gradually raise the tension, till same is at its highest when buttons are entirely depressed.
Sustaining pedal of piano may be used when pneumatically playing with ordinary music rolls, on account of absence of pumping pedals. Pneumatic sustaining pedal device is operated through marginal perforations in special rolls.
When piece is finished the roll is automatically rewound, and when this operation is complete the electric motor is automatically shut off.
The driving of the roll and rewinding of same are operated by the customary pneumatic motor.
This mechanism is manufactured by the American Player Action Co., of New York, and is supplied by them to various piano manufacturers for installation. It contains many original features of design and construction.
Bellows-System. Direct variation type. Two exhausters. Two equalizers; high and low tension. Bellows-system carries motor governor and action-cut-off boxes at top to right and left respectively. Bellows-system mounted on trunk channel board and is detachable as an unit. Special pedal leverage system. Flap valves on front or fixed wall of exhausters.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve system. Vertical valves of entirely new design, in three banks, controlling vertical pneumatics similarly disposed. Thus there are three distinct reduced pressure chambers, each with separate detachable covering board. Vents are immediately in front of valves and can be reached at once when boards are removed. Pneumatics have regulating screw for throw of pneumatic and similar regulation for taking up lost motion, which are accessible from the front. Pneumatics operate through adjustable bell-crank on lugs fastened to abstracts of piano action.
Tracker-Box. Carries automatic balancing tracking device. Tracker-duct tubes are of rubber or metal as preferred.
Motor. Four point pneumatic. Special valve system, involving valve motion in ellipse by freely balanced valves working on seats set at right angles from motor frame. Transmission gears mechanical, with permanent meshing of large gear wheel and pinion.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor control is provided by motor governor on back of motor valve box. Governor carries special suspended conical non-corrosive valve tongue. Also carries screw for regulating closing of governor, thus enabling alteration of speed ratios. Motor valve box has special motor speed regulation in form of conical valve working in circular port. Motor valve box is built in one piece without joints of any kind. It contains also the motor re-wind drive valve. Motor valve is controlled by tempo lever on key-slip. Re-wind lever on key-slip controls motor re-wind drive valve in motor valve box, and by same motion action cut-off valve in action cut-off box at left of bellows-system.
Removal and Replacement. Pneumatic Action, tracker-box and motor come out from piano in one piece by removing side screws and disconnecting suction tubes at either end. Bellows-system comes out after similar fashion also in one piece, leaving entire piano free and clear.
The Auto-Pneumatic mechanism is manufactured by the Auto Pneumatic Action Co., New York, one of the best known in the industry. This mechanism is installed as regular equipment in a very extensive line of pianos.
Bellows-System. The complete bellows-system is built in two sections and contains the governing devices as well. Indirect variation type. Two exhausters. Two equalizers, one high and the other low pressure. Removable from the piano in two sections. Special pedal leverage connections whereby power is transmitted from the feet to the middle of the exhauster unit. Special folding pedals. Auxiliary valve inside equalizer to facilitate high tension exhaust when accenting is required.
Pneumatic Action. Double-valve type. Primaries vertically housed in chest immediately below tracker-box. Secondaries horizontally housed in secondary chest immediately above key-board. Vents accessible from front of primary chest. Special seating devices for secondary valves. Pneumatics operate on wippen of piano action through flexible connecting finger, Exhaust trunk to bellows is in form of heavy wooden block fastened to key-bed and running through same. Action can be removed by taking out end screws and lifting forward.
Tracker-Box. Straight 88-note or combination 65-88 note range. Has marginal perforations for automatic tracking device to help the music sheet. Tracker-duct tubes are metal Automatic tracking device at left of track has two pneumatic} and double valves operate through marginal perforations or music roll chucks.
Motor. 5-point pneumatic. Mechanical transmission and rewind gear.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor governor or jack-knife type on bellows at right side, together with motor valve-box containing tempo valve and motor rewind lever to control rewind valve and action cut-off, which latter is on bellows at left side. Auxiliary tempo-lever for rapid changes operating auxiliary tempo-lever for rapid changes operating auxiliary motor-valve box. Special auxiliary accent by-pass valve in equalizer responds to foot pressure on pedals Double-divided hammer-rail operated by lifter pneumatics on each side below key bed. Sustaining pedal pneumatic either for button control or for automatic through marginal perforation on tracker. Direct lever control also used.
Removal and Replacement. Pneumatic action and entire superstructure come out in one piece as above described. Each of the two sections of the bellows comes out separately by disconnecting hose and two thumb-screws at the top. Tune need not remove top action for tuning, as there is room for insertion and removal of tuning wedges.
This mechanism is manufactured by the Autopiano Co., New York, and is used in the player-piano produced by them.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation. Two exhausters an one equalizer. Bellows-system carries expression and motor governors. Special folding pedal system.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve system. Primaries are vertical and secondaries horizontal. Upper part of action can be detached, leaving valve chests and pneumatic stack in piano Secondary pouch board is in front of action and can be taken out without harming valves.
Tracker Box. Has automatic tracking device controlled by marginal perforations in trackerbar which actuate double pneumatic and double valve system to left of box for shifting position of music roll chucks automatically to preserve tracking. Tracker tubes are metal.
Motor. 5-point pneumatic. Mechanical transmission.
Governing Devices and Control. Sustaining lever for left little finger operating directly on damper lifter rod. Double divided hammer rail lifting pneumatics operated by buttons on keyslip controlling pneumatics above action at either end. Accent lever controlling operation of expression bellows-type governor on bellows-system. Tempo lever controls tempo valve in motor governor box. Re-wind lever controls rewind motor drive valve in motor valve box and action cut-off in action cut-off box to left under key-bed. Sustaining pedal pneumatic operated by button and automatically through marginal perforation in tracker with same in special music rolls, also fitted.
Removal and Replacement. Tracker-box and motor need not be disturbed for tuning, but can be removed separate from pneumatic action by loosening end screws. Pneumatic action also detachable by loosening long screws in front at left side of secondary pouch board and long screw at extreme right. Bellows-system can be taken out in one piece with pedals by disconnecting tubes and rods and removing end screws.
The player mechanism known by this name is the product of The Baldwin Company of Cincinnati, and is exclusively applied to the line of pianos manufactured or controlled by them. It possesses many features of original design and construction.
Bellows-System. Direct control of accentuation by foot power instead of control by handles or chokers. Circular metal escape valves on the two exhausters. Both outer and inner valves accessible from the front for regulating or cleaning. Special folding pedal leverage whereby exhausters are drawn downwards towards the foot when operated. Equalizer is parallel acting instead of with hinged leaves, with accent block to change the bellows quickly from low to high tension.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve system. Lateral acting valve in chest under pneumatics. Combination valve, pouch and stud. Valve chamber walls sealed with rubber cloth. Pneumatics are graded in size from bass to treble and are directly connected with the abstracts of the piano action by a lever attached to and extending from their moving wall. Valves are visible while in motion and accessible from front of player action for regulation. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Tracker-Box. Above pneumatic action containing tracker bar, tempo indicator, re-wind handle and thumbscrew adjustment for music roll chucks to assist correct tracking. Tracker-ducts are rubber and continuous from action to tracker without joints.
Motor. 4-point pneumatic. Mahogany valves and seats. Mechanical transmission gear.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor governor on front of bellows-system with tempo valve box controlled by tempo lever and also by two buttons for retard and acceleration which act on subsidiary valve in valve box, thus affording independent tempo control.
Two hammer-rail lifters and one sustaining pedal pneumatic are operated by buttons. A special folding tempo handle and all buttons controlling expression devices are mounted in a solid key-slip in an accessible and convenient position.
This player mechanism is manufactured by the Behning Piano Co., is of their own design, and is used exclusively in the Behning pianos. It is distinguished for a high class of workmanship, for ingenuity of design and above all for its markedly artistic character.
Bellows System. Indirect variation type. Exhaust and equalizing units with special form of escape valves. Special folding pedals.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve system. Secondary valves housed immediately above ports of pneumatics, avoiding long air passages. Primaries immediately in front of secondaries. Action in two banks. Regulating screws for pneumatic touch depth and for lost motion. Pneumatics engage directly with piano action abstracts. Vents massed in one chamber immediately above secondaries where tubing comes in from tracker.
Tracker-box. Housed level with tuning pins. Carries pneumatic tracking device operated by contact flange bearing against paper. Rubber tubing.
Motor. 6-point pneumatic. Special form of slide valves. Mechanical transmission gear.
Governing Devices and Control. Pneumatic sustaining pedal lifting device, operated by button on key-slip. Double divided hammer-rail lifters controlled by buttons on key-slip. Expression governor and box controlled by thumb lever on key-slip. Tempo-lever on key-slip controlling tempo valve in tempo valve box. Motor governor in connection. Re-wind lever on key-slip controlling motor re-wind drive valve and action cut-off in motor and expression boxes respectively.
Removal and Replacement. Tracker box and pneumatic action may be removed together by releasing braces, tempo lever connections and thumb-screws at either end of action. Bellows-system is detached in similar fashion.
The player mechanism in the Behr Piano is used exclusively by Behr Bros. & Co.
Bellows-System. Two exhaust units with high and low pressure equalizers. Special folding pedals. Bellows structure carries expression governors (2). Motor governor is carried at right hand side of bellows, separate from main structure.
Tracker-box. Standard type. Change gears of motor located outside entirely, at left of tracker-box.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve system. Primaries are carried in pairs, each pair in a separate detachable box, containing also special form of vent in shape of hole bored in small brass tube, which may be removed at once for cleaning. Primary pairs can be unscrewed readily, as all are assembled in a line at top of action immediately under tracker-box. Secondaries are contained each in unit form with pneumatics.
Each pneumatic is separately detachable by removing front board of action, loosening action and drawing forward, disconnecting piano action connection of pneumatic involved and loosening pneumatic set-screw. Pneumatic then can be withdrawn with secondary in one piece.
Motor. Six point unit type with special form of valve.
Governing Devices and Control. Hammer-rail is divided, with pneumatic lifters controlled by two buttons on key-slip. In addition to the pedal accenting, which is promoted by means of the special accent valve in the equalizers, there are two governors, dividing the action pneumatically, and placed behind the equalizers. These normally carry the flow of displaced air, so that normally the action plays softly. When it is desired to accent on either side, the corresponding button is depressed, switching displaced air direct to bellows. Thus accentuation may be rapidly accomplished. If the performer so desires, the two buttons controlling this device maybe locked by means of a lever underneath the key-bed, thereby converting the mechanism into that type of player wherein the expression and accenting of individual notes and chords is obtained by direct pedal action. The motor government is accomplished by means of a governor placed at the right side of the bellows-structure.
Removal and Replacement. The entire top action can be removed by detaching braces at top, disconnecting suction tubes and loosening screws at sides. Bellows removed similarly. For tuning purposes it is only necessary to remove brace at top running to piano plate at treble side.
This name is given to a line of automatic coin-controlled player-pianos manufactured by the Berry-Wood Piano Player Co., of Kansas City, MO., and New York. The general type is similar to that which is described elsewhere in this work, but the following points may be observed.
Bellows-System. Special Berry-Wood motor driven type. Especially powerful type used for Orchestrions. D/C or A/C motor as required.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve type. Specially simple for hard and continued work.
Special Devices. In addition to the general line of coin operated pianos, which include endless roll and re-wind types, this company puts on the market larger styles in which organ pipes and pneumatically operated traps are included. The organ pipes are voiced for flute and strings. In addition there are pneumatics for operating bells, drums, cymbals, etc. All these are housed within the case. The "auto-orchestra" manufactured by this company vary in size and completeness, the largest being virtually equivalent to a 10-piece orchestra.
Otherwise, the general description of coin-operated instruments given elsewhere in this work will be found to apply to the present case.
This mechanism is the exclusive property of the Cable Company, Chicago. It possesses many features of original and individual interest.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type. Built in two separable sections, each containing one exhauster and one equalizer. The equalizers are spring-expanded for high and low tension respectively. These four units are housed horizontally, equalizers below exhausters. Movable walls face forward, so that flap-valves, expansion and compression springs and bearings of pedal rods, are immediately accessible. Special pedal leverage arrangement with rolling anti-friction contact. Special triplex pedal-release system, whereby pedals, bottom panel and lever-covering wrist-rest-rail are automatically thrown into playing position by the movement of a single lever under key-bed, and automatically returned to normal closed position by pushing wrist-rest-rail back into place.
Pneumatic Action. Single-valve system. Valves housed, each beneath its corresponding pneumatic, in two banks. Reduced pressure chambers are therefore two in number. Pneumatics operate from front and engage with front end of miniature key-levers, pulling down front of same. Other end of each lever engages with piano action abstracts. Miniature key-levers are balanced similarly to manual keys, giving same rations. Contact of pneumatics through miniature keys with piano action can be regulated by means of regulating buttons situated at front of the key-levers and immediately accessible. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Tracker-box. This, together with motor and transmission is mounted on a superstructure board immediately above piano hammers. Music sheet is movable for alignment of transposition to any higher or lower key by means of knurled wheel on base of box. Music-roll take-up spool and chucks are moved laterally when tracking and transposing device is operated. Tracker-bar remains fixed. Tracker-duct tubes are rubber.
Motor. 6-point pneumatic, having three double units and three slide valves. Mounted on superstructure. Transmission of novel type, having straight line drive to take-up spool with pneumatic clutch control which meshes gears positively without stripping. Sprocket and chain used only on re-wind. Bearings are conical, with Babbitt metal bushings. Shifting forks are fibre. High grade steel used for moving metal parts.
Governing Devices and Control. Direct lever damper-lift for sustaining pedal. Tilting tablet operating divided hammer-rail-lifter pneumatics. Expression governor on left of bellows-system, with accent valve in same box with action cut-off valve. Expression control through thumb lever working on accent valve. Motor governor and motor valve box on right hand side of bellows-system, motor valve being controlled from tempo lever on key-slip. Re-wind lever controlling motor-rewind-drive valve and action cut-off.
Removal and Replacement. For tuning, entire superstructure, carrying tracker-box, motor and transmission slides forward and downward far enough to leave room for insertion of tuning wedges, etc. No disconnections necessary for this purpose. To remove superstructure, same is drawn forward after disconnecting tracker-duct tubes at metal nipples on action, tempo rod, and rubber suction tubes at motor, and when it stops, latch springs under it are pressed downward when superstructure may be drawn off. To remove pneumatic action, tracker duct tubes are detached from their metal nipple on action, large rubber tube at right end from motor is also disconnected and end screws are loosened. Pneumatic action and superstructure can be removed together without disconnecting tracker duct tubes but can be taken out separately, either one, as above. To remove bellows-system, disconnect center rubber tubes, take out large thumb-screws on each separable unit, disconnect valve wires and motor suction tube, also action suction tube. Remove bearing plates of pedal levers and disconnect triplex pedal-release rods. Bellows-system then will come out in two sections. When removing right hand section only, pedal release system need not be touched..
Manufactured by the A.B. Chase Co. of Norwalk, Ohio. The Artistano mechanism is adapted both to grand and to upright pianos. It is distinguished for being entirely self-contained, and is detachable in one piece from the piano. All parts of it are below the key-bed. The complete mechanism may be operated after being detached.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation. Two exhausters. One equalizer. Governors for motor and expression are carried on front of bellows trunk.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve system carried on two boards, with primary pouches and secondary disks on outside and secondary pouches and primary disks on inside. Pneumatics act directly upward on regulating screws which pass through the abstracts; pneumatics being below key-bed. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Tracker-Box. Immediately above pneumatics and below key-bed. Can be folded away when not in use, this action also folding up the player pedals and door. When used in playing rests in front of key-slip. Tracker tubes are metal. Contains tracker-regulating screw on right hand music-roll chuck.
Motor. 4-point pneumatic. Glass slides. Attaches at right of tracker above pneumatics.
Governing Devices and Control. Thumb lever damper-lift. Finger-levers operating valves in expression governors on front of bellows. One governor for bass side of action, one for treble.
Combination re-wind and tempo lever, operating valves in tempo box. All levers assembled on tracker box. Automatic hammer-rail lift.
Removal and Replacement. Complete mechanism swings on hinges below key-bed. To remove, mechanism is swung outwards to angle of 45 degrees with piano. Lower hinge pin is removed and mechanism can then be lifted off upper pin. Two persons are required to do this conveniently.
Grand mechanism is fastened by four screws to key-bed. When these are removed, mechanism sinks to ground supported on lyre and folding legs and can be removed.
This mechanism is manufactured by the Christman Piano Co. of New York and is of special type, designed for attachment to any upright or grand piano.
Bellows-System. Direct variation type. Two exhaust units and one equalizer. In upright mechanism, this fits below the key-bed in usual position. In the grand type the bellows-system is housed in special box that takes the place of the usual lyre-frame. The motor governor and valve box, with action cut-off box, are housed on the bellows-system structure. Special automatic folding pedals.
Tracker-Box. In both types is arranged to fold away under key-bed, being pulled outwards till it rests in front of keys when in playing position. The two ends of the roll-holding units carry the tempo and expressive control devices respectively. When tracker-box is pulled forward or thrown back, doors of lyre-frame in grand or of bottom frame in upright open and close. Tubing is rubber. Tracker has automatic tracking device.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve type. Pneumatic units carry valve in same structure. They are laid in one row directly under piano keys, being supported on special form of frame which carries suction trunk. Each pneumatic is connected with key above it by a cord, which is carried through a hole drilled in key to top of same where it is adjustably secured.
Governing Devices and Control. Tempo and rewind combination lever at right side on right hand roll holding unit. Double divided hammer rails lifts controlled by buttons on left hand unit. Pneumatic sustaining-pedal device controlled by button on left hand unit. Pneumatics for all three are above hammers on upright. Motor governor and valve box, with action cut-off box on bellows system.
The general name Apollo is given to the piano player mechanisms manufactured by the Melville Clark Piano Co., of Chicago. Under this title is embraced a number of varieties, including the without electric drive, and the special Solo-Apollo Apollo Grand, the Solo-Apollo Grand, with and without electric drive, and the special Solo-Apollo Grand with separated control cabinet. The Apollo mechanism is simple and highly ingenious. The general make-up of the standard Apollo action is as follows:
Bellows-System. Direct variation type. Exhaust and equalizing units sometimes horizontally placed (in older models). Pedals either folding or (in older models) detachable from bellows units.
Tracker-box. Tracker carries special transposing device giving various key changes, operated by thumbnut.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve system, using bellows-valve. Pneumatics engage directly on upper surface of keys, behind fall-board, pressing downwards.
Motor. Either mechanical spring-operated or pneumatic.
Governing Devices and Control. Pneumatic sustaining pedal operated by lifting pneumatic, controlled either through button or marginal perforation in tracker. Hammer rail lifting pneumatic, controlled by buttons and perforations. All buttons in key-slip. Tempo lever combined with re-roll springing from beneath key-bed.
Solo and Special Devices. The Solo-Apollo is a special type of Apollo mechanism and consists essentially of the combination of the ordinary mechanism with a special Solo action. This latter operates as a complete unit, controlled by its own special perforations in the tracker-bar, which is enlarged for the purpose. The Solo action operates at a higher tension than the ordinary action when the two are played in combination; this being controlled by the usual type of expression governors. Special rolls are used in which the notes of a melody are assigned to the Solo action while the ordinary action plays the accompaniment notes. In this way it is possible not only to obtain excellent accentuation and emphasis of melodies, but also, if necessary, to cut off entirely either the solo or the accompaniment action, so that either may be silent while the other plays.
In addition to this special mechanism, the Solo-Apollo is often provided with a tempo control of pneumatic type, in which the tempo controlling lever is shifted automatically in position through the agency of special perforations in the margin of the music roll and tracker-bar whereby pneumatics are operated through special valves. Later developments have extended this idea to the expression devices, and through similar perforations it is now possible to control the expression tension automatically. An extension of the idea is provided in the electrically driven Solo-Apollo recently put on the market which can be used with both grand and upright pianos. In this the bellows system and electric motor, together with the controlling levers (for use when the automatic controls are not employed) are installed in the upright piano and in the grand are placed in an exterior cabinet, and connected with the pneumatic action under the key-bed by means of tubes. The cabinet can be pushed under the grand piano when not in use.
The player mechanism manufactured by this company is used exclusively in their line of pianos.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type, with two exhaust units and one equalizer. Bellows-system carries large governors for motor and expression, to right and left respectively, in front of exhaust units. Expression valve box and motor valve box are carried above and separate from bellows-system.
Tracker-Box. Carries finger lever for tracker adjustment and transposition. Tubing to valves is rubber.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve type. Pneumatics face forward, and engage with piano action through rocking levers.
Motor. 5-point pneumatic. Mechanical gear shift and re-wind.
Governing Devices and Control. Expression governor situated at left side of bellows system in front of left hand exhaust unit. Valve box for expression is situated directly above governor with tube connection. Expression control is through lever worked by left thumb. Motor governor is at right of bellows-system, in front of right hand exhaust unit, with motor valve box containing motor tempo valve and motor re-wind valve immediately above it, controlled by tempo lever and rewind lever. Action cut-off is in expression valve box. Finger lever on key-slip for sustaining pedal device and double divided hammer-rail lift controlled by buttons operating hammer-lifting pneumatics on right and left ends of piano above hammers.
Note. A modified style of the above mechanism is also manufactured, in which an electric motor is used to operate an additional set of exhaust units. The expression devices are the same but may be operated automatically by means of marginal perforations in special music rolls, which actuate pneumatic valves in the expression and motor boxes, and in the hammer-rail lift pneumatics. There are also a button for controlling the general level of tension, which acts on the expression governor, an electric switch connected with the source of current for starting and stopping the motor, and a further button for throwing in or out the automatic expression.
This mechanism is manufactured by the American Piano Co. and forms part of their line of player mechanisms. It can be installed in any upright or grand piano.
The design and construction of the Electrelle are so far different from those of pneumatic mechanisms that a special method of description is here adopted.
Principle of Operation. A small electric motor rotates a polished steel rod fastened above and parallel with the hammers of a piano. A series of small electromagnets is arranged in a row adjacent to the rod with the armatures connected with cork-lined shoes. The latter, when the magnets are energized, move forward, and the shoes catch on the revolving rod, which holds them up until the de-energizing of the magnet, when they return to the original position. The shoes being connected by means of tapes with the wippens of the piano action, the latter is operated accordingly.
Selection and Control. An ordinary music roll is used, which is carried over a tracker bar on which, instead of holes, are pairs of very light wires. Above the paper roll is arranged a conducting bar carrying current from a battery or light circuit, which also furnishes current for the motor. When perforations occur in the paper, the pair of wires which register with the perforation spring upwards and connect with the conducting bar, thus completing a circuit and energizing the corresponding magnet. When the wires are covered by the paper, they are insulated from the conducting bar and no circuit can be made.
Motor and Motive Power. The current from a battery or light circuit runs a small electric motor which revolves the rod and also the take-up spool of the tracker-box. No transformer is needed. Motor is controlled as to speed by a delicate rheostat governed by a finger lever. Magnets are energized by same power.
Position of Elements. Tracker-box carrying take-up spool, conducting-bar and tracker-bar with its pairs of wires, folds away under key-bed when not in use, and when in use is pulled forward till it comes to rest in front of the piano keys. Magnets and revolving rod with connections and motor are above piano hammers. Motor can also be placed in bottom of piano.
Expression Control. Sustaining and soft pedals of piano may be operated as usual by feet of performer. Motor control is as described above. Touch or dynamic control is obtained as follows: A jointed rod is placed behind the line of hammers and so arranged that when the tracker-box is pulled forward for electric playing, the hammers are raised automatically and held very close to the strings. Each section of the jointed rod is controlled by a finger key which pulls out from below the key-bed. There are three sections of the rod and three keys. By depressing a key, the performer pulls back the corresponding section of hammers, thus bringing that section to full distance of hammer stroke or to any intermediate distance. In this way complete touch control can be had, virtually on each and every individual tone of the piano.
This mechanism is manufactured exclusively by The Cable Co, of Chicago, and is standard equipment for certain player-pianos manufactured by them.
Bellows-System. Direct variation type. Two exhausters, one equalizer. Controlling devices carried on top of bellows. Pedals fold against fixed wall of bellows when not in use.
Pneumatic action. Single-valve type. Pneumatics engage with piano action abstracts direct.
Tracker-box. Tracker bar carries perforation for automatic sustaining pedal pneumatic. Thumb-nut for mechanical tracking device. Tracker-duct tubes are rubber.
Motor. 6-point pneumatic with 3 double units, and slide valves.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor governor in connection with motor valve box above bellows-system and attached to it. Motor valve box controlled by combination tempo and rewind lever, which also acts on action-cut-off valve box at other end of bellows-system. Double divided hammer-rail pneumatic lifters controlled by buttons on key-slip. Sustaining pedal button on key-slip controlling sustaining pedal (damper-lifting) pneumatic at left side of bellows under key-bed. Extra perforation in tracker bar for controlling sustaining device automatically through special perforations on rolls.
Removal and Replacement. Pneumatic action, tracker-box and motor can be withdrawn together by detaching motor suction tube, motor rod connections and large screws at either end of pneumatic action. Bellows-system is removed by detaching suction tubes, disconnecting valve rods and taking out large screws at either end of bellows frame.
This mechanism is manufactured by the Farrand Co., of Detroit, Mich. It is applied to a line of pianos manufactured by the Farrand Co.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type. Equalizing and exhausting units. Folding pedals.
Pneumatic action. Metal Type. Double valve system. Primary and secondary valves, with pneumatics, are built each set as an unit, detachable individually from the action. Thus each unit consists of the pneumatic (wooden) a secondary box (metal) containing secondary valve and suction passage to main air trunk, with metal primary valve box in front containing primary of standard type.
Tracker Box. Carries mechanical tracking system whereby chucks and take-up spool may be moved together for tracking through finger lever on key-slip. Also has transposing device for shifting up or down five notes.
Motor. 5-point pneumatic. Mechanical transmission gear.
Governing Devices and Control. Direct thumb lever sustaining pedal device. Double divided expression boxes with expression governors on bellows-system controlled by buttons on key-slip. Tempo lever controlling motor re-wind drive valve in tempo box and action cut-off valve in expression box.
Removal and Replacement. Pneumatic action detachable in one piece by disconnecting rods and removing screws at ends. Bellows system detachable in similar manner.
This mechanism, manufactured by the Gulbransen-Dickinson Co., of Chicago, is installed in many well known pianos. Its general construction and design are quite novel, involving much original practice. The Gulbransen mechanism has in consequence earned an individual place of itself.
Bellows-System. Direct variation. Two exhausters and two equalizers. Special pedal leverage, whereby exhausters are pulled forward on the down stroke of pedals. Pedals can be removed from bellows-system without extracting screws or bolts. Response of bellows to pedal accent is instantaneous.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve system. Each pneumatic and its valve together form an unit, each unit being separately fastened to vacuum chest. Vents are collected in one line at top of chest and can be reached by removing one row of screws. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Tracker Box. Above vacuum chest. Contains tempo indicator. Has sliding tracker-bar for lateral adjustment to music roll. Tracker duct tubes are rubber.
Motor. 6-point pneumatic. 3 cylinders with pistons and connecting rods, controlled by reciprocating valves. Each cylinder double acting. Another model has all valves concentrated into one rotary unit at treble end of motor. Motor controlling valve is contained in motor frame.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor governor is of bellows type and is located on bellows system. Action cut-off box and re-wind valve box are on either end at top of bellows with mechanical connection from same to combination tempo and re-wind lever under key-slip. Two hammer rail lifters controlled by buttons through pneumatics, and one sustaining pedal pneumatic controlled by button; all buttons on key-slip.
Removal and Replacement. For tuning, tracker and motor can be swung forward out of tuner's way. Pneumatic action can be removed by disconnecting braces at top and bottom and removing the screws at each end and disconnecting the rubber tubing.
Bellows-system comes out in one piece by removing bolts at top of bellows-system, disconnecting rubber tubes at ends, but pedals should be pushed in when this is being done.
Pedals detach separately.
This mechanism is manufactured by Hardman, Peck & Co., of New York, and used exclusively in the pianos made by them or under their supervision.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation system. Two exhaust units and one equalizer. Special patented folding pedals. Expression governors and expression boxes (2 in number) are carried on either side of exhaust units.
Tracker-Box. Tracker bar of metal, fitted with transposing device so that music can be played in several different keys if desired. Also carries automatic tracking device with single pneumatic and metal strip in contact with edge of paper. Tubing from tracker to primaries is rubber. Perforation for automatic sustaining pedal.
Pneumatic Action. Double Valve type, arranged in three banks. Primaries and secondaries on same frame. Secondaries vertical. Motor governor carried on upper surface at left of tracker-box,
Motor. Special 6-point type. 3 double units. Mechanical gear shift and transmission.
Governing Devices and Control. Bass and treble expression governors with corresponding expression boxes containing disk valves for switching from high to low tension and the reverse. These are situated on either side of exhaust units, as noted above, each box with its corresponding governor of bellows type above it. Action cut-off pneumatically operated through valves in expression boxes and controlled by rewind lever on key-slip. Valves in expression boxes are actuated by buttons on key-slip pneumatically.
Soft pedal device operating hammer-rail lift through direct thumb lever on key-slip, giving graduating soft effect.
Sustaining pedal pneumatically operated through large pneumatic situated at bottom of piano to left of bellows. Automatic operation of same through marginal perforation in tracker. Manual operation through button on key-slip.
Motor governor situated on top action to left of tracker-box. Valve below governor in unit with it, containing tempo valve and re-wind motor valve operated by tempo and rewind levers respectively.
Silent forward drive operating action cut-off through button on key-slip.
Removal and Replacement. Pneumatic action with tracker-box and motor removable by loosening braces to piano action, disconnecting tempo rods and taking out screws at sides. Bellows-system removable in same way.
This mechanism is a single valve action simplified from the Autotone, though preserving the same general ideas. The motor is identical, but the motor governor is carried below the key-bed at right of bellows. There are no expression governors or boxes, but instead hammer-rail lifting pneumatics above hammers at either side, operated by buttons on key-slip. Sustaining pedal device operated by direct thumb lever. Tubing is metal.
The mechanism is manufactured by the W.W. Kimball Co., of Chicago, and is used exclusively in their pianos.
Bellows-System. Direct variation types. Exhausters arranged horizontally and pulled downwards by pedals of special type.
Tracker-Box. Located above hammers. Tubing to valves is metal.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve type.
Motor. 4-point pneumatic. Mechanical gear shift and re-wind.
Governing Devices and Control. Double divided soft-pedal device, with pneumatic hammer-rail lifters controlled by buttons on key-bed. Pneumatic for operating damper lifter controlled by button on key-bed. Mechanical re-wind lever operation action rut-off and re-wind valve in motor valve box. Tempo lever controlling motor valve. All levers and buttons assembled in key-bed with special cover.
This mechanism is the product of Kranich & Bach of New York, and is constructed exclusively for the Kranich & Bach, piano. It possesses features of marked originality.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type. Two exhausters. One equalizer. Does not carry controlling devices on frame. These are separate.
Pneumatic action. Single valve type. Valves of special design. Each valve consists of diaphragm perforated in middle, actuated by regular style pouch and free stem unattached to either diaphragm or valve. Normally the perforated diaphragm is kept down, in usual style, with perforation closed by resting on suitable seat. When pouch moves forward under influence of air through tracker duct, valve moves forward also and its perforation registers with port in pneumatic, thus making direct passage from reduced pressure chamber to pneumatic. Reduced pressure chambers are two in number, standing vertically, one behind the other, with pneumatics vertically fastened to them. Pneumatics make contact through bell-crank with piano action. Vents are massed on one rail above reduced pressure chambers. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Tracker-Box. Contains re-wind lever to mechanical gear shift. Tracker duct tubes are rubber. Mechanical tracking device.
Motor. 5-point pneumatic, standard type.
Governing Devices and Control. Triple division of hammer-rail actuated by pneumatics through buttons on key-slip. Sustaining pedal operated pneumatically through perforated stud in key-slip. Motor valve in motor valve box under key-bed controlled through tempo lever. Pneumatic action cut-off separate from re-wind, for cutting off action while motor drives ahead, controlled by button on key-slip. Pianissimo and accent device pneumatically throttles tension through valve and pouch in expression box under key-bed at left side, controlled through perforated stud in key-slip. Mechanical tracker-adjuster on key-slip.
Removal and Replacement. Piano may be tuned without removing any part of action. Bellows-system arranged so as to permit access to all parts of piano below key-bed without removal. Pneumatic action together with tracker-box and motor, is detachable as an unit. Bellows-system also removable with pedals as an unit, leaving control boxes, etc., fastened to underside of key-bed.
This mechanism is the product of the Lauter Company, of Newark, N.J., and is used exclusively in their pianos.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type. Two exhausters and one equalizer. Expression and motor governors carried on bellows-system. Special type of folding pedals.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve system. Secondaries are horizontal and secondary pouch board is in front of vacuum chest, being detachable without disturbing secondary valves.
Tracker-Box. Carries automatic tracking device operating through marginal perforations in tracker bar. Automatic tracker is at left of box. Also has marginal perforation controlling sustaining pedal pneumatic. Tracker tubes are metal. Tracker box detachable with motor and automatic tracking device, for tuning purposes.
Governing Devices and Control. Sustaining lever operated by little finger of left hand works directly on damper litter rod. Double division of hammer rail with pneumatics above action at either end of piano, controlled by buttons on key-slip under fingers of left hand. Accent lever controlling closing of expression bellows-type governor on bellows-system. Tempo-lever operates tempo valve and slot in motor valve box and governor on bellows-system. Re-wind lever operates action-cut-off valve in action-cut-off box at left of piano under key-bed, and also controls re-wind motor valve in governor box.
Removal and Replacement. Upper action can be detached by removing end screws as above. Pneumatic action also is detachable by removing long screws in secondary pouch board at left end and long vertical screw at right end.
(For indepth information about the Single-Block-Valve Lauter-Humana action - CLICK HERE!)
Manufactured exclusively by the Marquette Piano Co., of Chicago, who also manufacture a line of coin-operated instruments.
Bellows-Systems. Direct variation. Two exhausters. One equalizer. Special spring arrangements. Pedal leverage designed to afford responsiveness to pressure of feet without necessity for toe action. Motor governor and pneumatic re-wind box carried on bellows.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve system. Vertical gravity valves. Adjustable vents.
Tracker Box. Tracker-bar of solid brass or German silver. Rubber tracker-duct tubes. Thumb-nut tracker adjustment.
Motor. 6-point pneumatic type, with three double valves. Transmission gear carried on motor frame. Motor valve box on motor frame.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor governor on bellows controlled by double spring. Combination rewind and tempo lever on key-slip operating pneumatic action-cut-off on bellows and motor valve on motor frame. Direct mechanical hammer-lift through finger buttons on key-slip or pneumatic lift similarly controlled. Thumb lever for sustaining pedal effect, operating damper-lift mechanically.
Removal and Replacement. Bellows-system including pedals is detached in one piece by removing screws and detaching tubes. Pneumatic action and tracker-box with motor complete are also removable in similar manner.
This mechanism is designed and manufactured by the Henry F. Miller & Sons Piano Co. of Boston, and is used exclusively in their line of pianos.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type. Two exhausters, two equalizers. Does not carry the governing devices, but is a complete unit with its pedals, which are attached to center line of exhausters.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve type. Each primary and secondary with vent is contained in a separate unit box which can at once be removed for examination or regulation. Pneumatics are of the diaphragm type, resting horizontally in four banks behind valve box units and operating piano action through rocking levers.
Tracker Box. Metal construction in one piece with frame which holds motor. Motor is above tracker-box. Tracker duct tubes are rubber. Automatic sustaining pedal control also on tracker at left side. Tracking device fastened to tracker box. Mechanically operated re-wind.
Motor. 5-point pneumatic of pouch type, avoiding leaves. Mounted above tracker-box.
Governing Devices and Control. Centralized system. Two boxes fastened to under side of key-bed perform following functions: Right box has motor governor and motor valve box, also pneumatic governor for treble side of divided pneumatic-action, controlled by button on key-slip. Also contains control for re-wind in connection with left box. Re-wind is mechanically controlled by lever operated manually on key-slip. Left box controls right side of divided action with expression governor, and shares other controls (except motor speed) with right box.
Removal and Replacement. Bellows-system removes in one piece leaving governing devices attached to under side of piano key-bed. Top action also comes out in one piece complete by removing side screws.
Also see Air-O-Player Tracking Device -click here
This mechanism is manufactured by the National Piano Co., of Boston, Mass., and is fitted into the pianos made by this concern.
Bellows-System. Direct variation type, but has single by-pass expression governing box in communication. Two exhausters and one equalizer. Expression and motor governors and cut-off box are separate from bellows-system.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve type. The primary and secondary valves for each pneumatic are contained in a seamless metal shell or cartridge, fastened to the upper surface of the pneumatic and to the trunk vacuum chest, and detachable from both by loosening metal strap attached to stiffening truss rods. This construction is used wherever valves are necessary throughout action. A complete new cartridge can be substituted for a defective unit in a moment. Pneumatics strike from back directly through plungers on wippen of piano action and have regulating screw for regulation of dip.
Tracker-Box. Carries re-wind lever, and has mechanical tracking adjuster operated by knurled nut at left. Motor, tracker-box, motor governor and motor transmission are all carried together on one frame, forming the superstructure, which is detachable individually. Tubes are rubber.
Motor. Five-point pneumatic. Carried on superstructure to right of tracker-box. Mechanical gear shift. Motor governor immediately beneath motor.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor governor is on superstructure below motor, and is controlled by re-wind lever running into it and also by tempo lever operating tempo valve in governor valve box. Re-wind lever also operates action cut-off valve in action cut-off valve box under key-bed of piano at left side. Control levers and buttons are arranged as follows, from left to right: (1) Sustaining lever operating direct on damper lifter rod, and carrying button which controls pouch in action cut-off box, to cut off action while running ahead. This is called the "skip" button. (2) Split levers, operating bass and treble hammer lifting pneumatics above action on either side. (3) Tempo lever operating as above and carrying expression button which controls pouch in cut-off box under piano key-bed. Tempo lever also carries button which controls valve box under piano key-bed at right. Pouch rising in this valve box cuts off motor entirely.
Removal and Replacement. Superstructure is detached by taking out screws at either end, disconnecting motor suction tubes and lever connections, and loosening screws behind, which hold tracker-tubes to pneumatic action. This suffices for tuning and regulating pneumatic action. Pneumatic action can also be detached and removed. Bellows-system comes out in one piece after removing thumb-screws and disconnecting suction tubes. A small recess under the tracker-box contains an extra valve cartridge with hook for detaching same from pneumatic action.
This name is given to a form of automatic or coin-operated automatic player-piano manufactured by the Peerless Piano Player Co., of St. Johnsville, N.Y. It comes in various forms, not only as a straight pneumatically operated piano, but with the addition of organ pipes, drums, castanets, mandolin attachment, cymbals, etc. The largest of the latter styles are known as "orchestrions."
Bellows-System. Electric-motor driven exhaust units three in number. When organ pipes are used there is also a set of three compression bellows driven by same motor. Direct or alternating current, using light circuits. Equalizer. Belt or friction drive to tracker above key-bed. Friction drive can be regulated for speed. Motor is housed in bottom or in back of piano.
Tracker-Box. Above key-bed carrying driving gear with special type of clutch for drive and rewind. Tracker-bar has marginal perforations for all operations. Rubber tubing.
Pneumatic Action. Single Valve.
Motor. Electric driving bellows and take-up spool on tracker frame by belt or friction drive.
Governing Devices and Control. Organ feature is placed above piano hammers, and can be taken down with its casing complete. Organ pipes are tuned with test roll by putting them in unison with piano strings. Pipes have tuning slides. Main electric switch operable by hand as well as by coin slot. Start re-wind switch in front of tracker. Soft pedal device lifts whole hammer rail by pneumatic, controlled by marginal perforation. All organ features, with drums, traps, etc. operated by pneumatics subject to controlling switches actuated by marginal perforations. Pneumatic automatic sustaining pedal device similarly controlled. Start, stop and re-wind after roll is finished operated automatically by pneumatic switches.
Removal and Replacement. Organ feature removable as above described. For tuning, tracker box swings forward on loosening bolts that hold it to piano plate. Pneumatic action also removable; but this is not necessary for tuning. Bellows arc hung under key-bed and can likewise be removed, although this is not usually required for any purpose.
This mechanism is manufactured by The Pratt-Read Player Action Co., of Deep River, Conn., and is installed in various lines of pianos.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation system. Two exhaust units and one equalizer. Special form of folding pedals. Exhaust units and equalizers hung separately on trunk channel board, and valve boxes are mounted on channel board. Bellows-system carries motor and expression governors.
Tracker-Box. Carries an automatic an automatic take-up spool device, for alignment of music roll, on left of tracker-box, with single pneumatic. Tubing is rubber. Automatic brakes for music roll and take-up spool, operated pneumatically.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve. In Style A, the pneumatics are in two banks facing forward, and attack on the piano action abstract by means of a lever, or auxiliary key, underneath. Vertical primary facing rearwards and horizontal secondary facing forwards, on same frame, all massed in two banks, each pair below its pneumatics. Vents massed on separate rail above top bank of pneumatics, facing forward. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
In Style B, the pneumatics are in two banks facing rearward, and attack on a regulating button in the wippen. Vertical primaries massed in two rows on top of pneumatic action, underneath tracker-box rail, with horizontal secondaries above pneumatics; vents massed on separate rail at top and rear of pneumatic action.
Motor, 5-point motor pneumatic. Mechanical gear-shift controlled by re-wind lever.
Governing Devices and Control. Double divided soft pedal device, with pneumatic lifting hammer-rail; controlled by buttons on key-slip. Expression governor on right hand side of bellows-system facing forward, controlling valve box on top left hand side Lever on key-slip controls accent-valve, and same box contains action-cutoff valve actuated by re-wind lever. Motor governor is behind expression governor and controls motor valve box at top right hand side of bellows, facing forward; is actuated by tempo lever.
Silent drive device, actuated by re-wind lever. Automatic sustaining pedal pneumatic mounted underneath key-bed at bass end of piano.
Removal and Replacement. Top action is removed by loosening large screw bolts at each end. disconnecting wires and brace to piano plate. Tempo indicator connection and motor tube need not be touched. Bellows-system is removed by disconnecting suction tubes, and wires, and loosening screws in angle irons at top of bellows.
The mechanisms known by the above names are manufactured by the Price & Teeple Piano Co., Chicago, for their own exclusive use. The following description applies to both.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation. Two exhausters and two equalizers, high and low tension. Adjustable torsion springs on units, with ratchet adjustment. Motor and expression governors carried on bellows-system.
Tracker-Box. Tracker-bar is manually shiftable for transposing of keys and carries automatic single-pneumatic tracking device, controlled by flange bearing against paper on lift side. Thumb nut adjustment also provided. Automatic sustaining pedal perforation and on-and-off switch.
Pneumatic Action. Single-valve system. All valves mounted on chest at top of action, immediately below tracker. All valves can be withdrawn separately by taking off hard rubber ring on top of each. Valves have metal seats. Pneumatics are mounted below on three parallel metal bars, each pneumatic being adjustable for position. Rubber tubes from valves to pneumatics. Vents are massed in one row on brass tube running immediately below tracker, and have screw adjustments. Action mounted on metal brackets set into key-bed.
Motor. Six-point pneumatic with three double units and three double valves. Mechanical gear shift. Tempo valve carried on level with motor, and fastened at side of piano. Is made of metal, containing rotary metal valve.
Governing Devices and Control. Sustaining pedal pneumatic for automatic operation and direct finger lever for manual operation. Double divided hammer-rail pneumatics contained below key-bed and controlled by finger-buttons on key-slip. Expression governor with coiled spring adjustment, carried on bellows together with action cut-off box. Motor governor with coiled spring adjustment carried on bellows and containing motor rewind valve. Tempo and rewind controlled by combination lever.
Removal and Replacement. Pneumatic action can be removed by disconnecting two rubber tubes (automatic sustaining and tracking device tubes) and taking out two bolts, one at each end. Action is then tipped back, drawn forward and taken out. Bellows comes out in one piece by pulling up two spring latches and disconnecting four rubber tubes.
The Schumann piano player mechanism is the product of the Schumann Piano Company of Chicago and is used exclusively in connection with the line of pianos manufactured by that company.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type. Made in two separate halves, each containing one exhaust and one equalizer unit. Also containing accenting device, making it possible to accent through the pedaling. Either half of bellows-system can be disconnected from the other and permitted to swing forward on pivots towards the front of the piano. Folding pedals pitched to obviate toe action.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve system. Horizontal valve with aluminum stem and fibre and leather disk. Regulating system for lost motion.
Tracker Box. Carries pneumatic tracking device on top of box, operated through finger lever on key-slip. Transposing Tracker Bar, transposing into six keys.
Motor. 6-point, units are in three tandem sets. Double acting slide valves.
Governing Devices and Control.Motor governor with jack-knife cut-off valve on top of pneumatic action, left side. Tempo lever governing same and re-wind lever connecting motor governor and valve box with action-cut-off valve.
Stop device to stop motor operated by button on key-slip. Double divided hammer-rail lifting pneumatics controlled by buttons on key-slip. Pneumatic damper lifter for sustaining pedal operated by button on key-slip.
Removal and Replacement. Bellows-system removable in either of two halves, by disconnecting hose, rods, and thumb screws at either top end and swinging forward. Pneumatic action removed by disconnecting tubes and rods and releasing screws at ends.
This player mechanism has been developed by the M. Schulz Co., Chicago, and is used exclusively in the line of pianos manufactured by them. It contains many features of interest and some novel applications of principle.
Bellows-System. Direct variation. Two exhausters. One Equalizer. Pedal leverage designed to eliminate "kick." Bellows are distinguished for simplicity of design, and cleanness of appearance. Action-cut-off valve box and motor governor with tempo-box are carried on bellows trunk.
Pneumatic Action. Single-valve system with novel form of bellows-valve, balanced and weighted, carrying vent in its head. Each valve is immediately above its corresponding pneumatic. Valve boards forming reduced pressure chamber are detachable, each with its row of valves. Special regulating screws are provided for regulating touch depth and taking up lost motion between pneumatics and piano action. The whole action may be detached in one piece by removing 4 screws and one brace.
Tracker Box. Immediately above pneumatic action. Can be detached completely from the latter, carrying tracker-tubes and motor with it. Tracker-bar is provided with two-pneumatic type of automatic tracking regulator. Rubber tubing. Tracker box is detached by removing screws in front of pneumatic action, thus detaching front muffler board, and then removing rubber tubes from metallic nipples on top of action. Guide rail holds tubes in proper position for replacing.
Motor. 5-point pneumatic. Mechanical transmission gear. Slide valves run on guide rails.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor governor of bellows-type on front bellows-system. Has double spring system and regulating screws. Tempo box behind governor and action cut off at bass end of key-bed. Double divided hammer rail lift for soft pedal controlled by direct mechanical lever action or by pneumatics governed by buttons. Direct lever control for sustaining pedal.
Removal and Replacement. Accomplished as above. The whole action is in three large sections, each removable separately. All parts are interchangeable.
This mechanism is manufactured in a line of pianos by the J.P. Seeburg Co., of Chicago. It is of the coin-operated automatic type. Besides the straight player-piano there is also in this line an orchestrion with pipes of various voicings, drums, cymbals, etc. There is also a player-piano with a scale of organ pipes added.
Bellows-System. Electric-motor-driven double exhaust units. Where organ pipes are used, waste air after escape from exhausters is turned into organ wind trunk. One equalizer.
Tracker-Box. Below key-bed. Friction drive from bellows driving music spools. Speed governed by thumb-screw under key-bed. Rubber tubing.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve.
Governing Devices and Control. Expression governor in equalizer frame controlling high or low tension through manual lever on front of shaft. Coin-operated main switch, pneumatic control. Marginal perforations in tracker-bar controlling pneumatic sustaining pedal device, pneumatic soft pedal device, pneumatic operation of mandolin rail, pneumatic stop at end of each piece and pneumatic re-wind at end of roll. Organ pipes tuned by test roll in unison with strings. Drums, cymbals and other features are operated by pneumatics through special perforations in roll, with manual operated cut-offs to each.
Removal and Replacement. When tuning, pipes are removed individually. In orchestrions whole Drum Board with drums and trap arrangements mounted thereon can be removed in one piece by removing screws at each end. Pneumatic action can be taken out in one piece.
The mechanism manufactured by this company is made by them for wholesale use.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type. Expression (2) and motor governors are earned on bellows frame.
Tracker-Box. Carries hand-operated roll adjuster for correction of tracking. Horizontal tracker bar.
Pneumatic Action. Both double and single valve type. Special type of secondary valves with hinged disk. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Motor. 5-point pneumatic. Single Units. Mechanical transmission of gear-shift.
Governing Devices and Control. Expression governors for bass and treble divisions of action. Suction is normally carried through these governors, so that playing is normally soft. By pressing buttons located on key-slip, valves are thrown upward in governors, opening suction passages independent of governor. This allows for accentuation. Governors can be cut out entirely by lever which keeps buttons in operating position and thus holds valves open. Expression governors are located at left side of bellows-system. Sustaining pedal device is either pneumatic with operating pneumatic and button or manual with finger lever. Hammer-rail lifter pneumatic also used, controlled by button. Tempo and re-wind Severs control motor valve-box located at right side of bellows, together with motor governor,
Removal and Replacement. Bellows-system can be removed in one piece with all governors, etc., by disconnecting tubes and levers and taking out thumb-nuts. Top action can be removed by loosening screws at either end of same and disconnecting tempo lever connections to tempo indicator.
This mechanism is manufactured by the Standard Pneumatic Action Co. of New York. The Standard Player Action forms the regular player equipment of many well known player pianos. It is designed for simplicity and reliability.
Bellows-System. Direct variation type. Two exhausters, and two equalizers, Folding pedals. Auxiliary accenting valve,
Pneumatic Action. Double valve type. Vertical primaries and horizontal secondaries in separate chests. Vents accessible from front of primary chest. Wind trunk connection to bellows.
Tracker-Box. Tracker-bar has marginal perforations for automatic tracking device. Automatic tracker is at left side of tracker-box and contains two horizontal pneumatics with double valves. Tracker duct tubes are metal.
Motor. 5-point pneumatic. Mechanical transmission and re-wind gear. Motor can be thrown forward without removing for tuning purposes.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor governor of open jack-knife cut-off type is located in front of bellows near right side. Contains also motor valve box, controlled by tempo lever and containing motor re-wind valve controlled by rewind lever, which also controls action cut-off. Finger lever making direct mechanical connection to damper lifter for sustaining pedal effect and direct finger lever hammer-rail lifters operating mechanically, on divided hammer-rail.
Removal and Replacement. Top action is removed by taking out screws which fasten action to trunk passage at left side, and end fastening screws. Bellows come out in one piece by removing large fastening screws at each side and disconnecting rods and hose. Tuner need not remove top action to tune.
This mechanism is manufactured by the above-named concern for their exclusive use.
Bellows-System. Direct variation. 2 exhausters and 2 equalizers, high and low tension. Motor governor, motor valve and action cut-off boxes are carried on bellows frame. Special folding pedals,
Tracker Box. Carries tracking device operated manually by thumb nut at left side. Tubing to valves is metal; in older models sometimes rubber.
Pneumatic Action. Pneumatics are placed forwardly and operate rocking levers to piano action. Valves are accessible and individually adjustable from front,
Motor. 5 point pneumatic, single units. Mechanical gear shift.
Governing Devices and Control, On newest models all control levers and buttons are massed on shelf which pulls out from under key-bed, locking keys in same operation. Some models have left thumb lever for lifting entire hammer-rail. All have double divided hammer-rail lifting pneumatics disposed in front of rail or at side of piano action, controlled by finger buttons on shelf or keyslip. Left little finger lever direct connected to damper lift rod for sustaining. Tempo lever controls slot in box on bellows frame at right side, next to tempo governor of bellows type. Action cut-off valve is in action cut off valve box at left side of bellows and together with motor rewind drive valve in motor valve box is controlled by rewind lever.
Removal and Replacement. Pneumatic action and motor come out by removing large bolts at either end, disconnecting motor tube and tempo indicator rod. Bellows system is removed by unscrewing metal supports in front of exhausters, disconnecting rods and withdrawing.
The Sterling Player mechanism is manufactured by the Sterling Co., of Derby, Conn,, and is of their exclusive design being fitted only to their own line of pianos.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type. Two exhausters, one equalizer. Bellows frame carries motor and expression governors. Motor and expression valve boxes are carried above, fastened to the underside of piano key-bed.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve type. Primary pouches are in form of small diaphragm pneumatics, with the vent lo each sunk in its upper surface. Secondaries are immediately beneath and vertical. Pneumatics have operating ends toward front of piano and actuate rocking levers which engage with abstracts of piano action.
Tracker-Box. Contains tempo indicator. Thumb-nut for correcting position of music-roll. Tracker-duct tubes are rubber.
Motor. 5-point pneumatic. Mechanical transmission gear with special non-blocking take-up spool cog.
Governing Devices and Control. Expression control, as stated above, through bellows governor and expression valve box controlled by accent lever on key-slip. Hammer-rail lifting pneumatics above hammers at each end of scale, controlled by buttons on key-slip. Motor governor as stated above with motor valve box fastened on under side of key-bed at right end, controlled by tempo lever. Re-wind lever controls re-wind motor valve in motor box and action cut-off in expression box at left end.
Removal and Replacement. Bellows-system comes out by-taking out screws at each end, disconnecting rods, hose and pedals. Top action is removed in exactly similar manner.
This mechanism is manufactured by the Tel-Electric Co. of Pittsfield, Mass., and may be installed in any type of upright or grand piano.
On account of the original system on which this mechanism is designed and constructed, it is necessary to adopt for its description a special method; as follows:
Principle of Operation. A series of magnets is suspended in a shallow box underneath the key-bed of a piano. Each magnet is connected with a key of the piano by means of a wire running from the bottom of each key through the key-bed to the armature of the magnet. When energized, the magnetic field influences the armature, which turns pulling down the wire and operating the key.
Selection and Control. A control box is provided, connected with the piano only by a cable running to the box of magnets. This control box may therefore be operated at any distance from the piano, within the length of the cable. The control box contains a delicate motor for turning the music roll. The latter is a narrow continuous strip of brass, about five inches in width and wound on a spool. The tracker-bar contains delicate contact-points and the circuit is completed for each by the incidence of perforations in the roll. A rheostat of special design controls the force of the current and consequently the force of touch, while a similar device controls the motor speed. Both of these elements may be controlled by hand or by automatic electric devices controlled by the roll.
This mechanism is used in the Vose piano exclusively, being manufactured by Vose & Sons Piano Co.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation. Two exhausters and one equalizer. Special folding pedals.
Tracker-box. Carries automatic tracking device with two pneumatics under box, and marginal perforation. Automatic sustaining-pedal perforation opened and closed by switch. Tubes are rubber.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve system.
Motor. Five-point pneumatic, with mechanical gear shift.
Governing Devices and Control. Sustaining pedal pneumatic at left of bellows under key-bed, with automatic perforation in tracker-bar and finger button on key-slip. Double divided hammer rail lifting pneumatics above action at right and left sides. Expression governor controlled by finger lever on key-slip, at left side of and behind bellows system, carried separately on sides of piano. Expression governor is of bellows type with adjustable coiled spring. Action cut-off carried in same box. Motor governor and motor valve box at right side behind bellows, carrying tempo-slot and rewind drive valves. Tempo lever on key-slip. Rewind lever on key-slip. Key-lock actuated by pulling down key-slip. Auxiliary tempo-valve in tempo-valve box, actuated by finger plate on key-slip.
Removal and Replacement. Pneumatic action can be removed by disconnecting rods and taking out large screws, one at either end. Bellows-system is removed by doing exactly the same thing.
This mechanism is manufactured by M. Welte & Sohn of Freiburg, Germany. It is constructed both as a separable cabinet which may be placed in front of any grand or upright piano or as an interior attachment placed within a modified upright piano case. It is intended solely as a reproducing player, using roils which record the performances of artists. Hence the following description is general in character.
Bellows-System. Is driven by an electric motor and contains a set of exhaust units with equalizers, expression governors and similar devices.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve system. Welte type.
Expression Devices and Control. A rheostat, controlled by pneumatic switches operated by marginal perforations in the roll, governs the speed of the electric bellows motor, and so controls the vacuum tension. Divided pneumatic hammer-rail lifters and pneumatic sustaining pedal device operated by marginal perforations. Expression governors for controlling accent operated in similar manner. Entire operation is automatic, controlled entirely by record roll. Starting, stopping and re-wind of motor controlled automatically by pneumatic switches controlling electric cut-outs. Tempo is governed by phrasing of rolls, which are records of the playing of individual artists.
Some models are placed in key-board-less pianos, while others are fitted into enlarged upright piano eases, having the pneumatic action above the hammer-rail. For grand pianos, the cabinet type is used.
This mechanism is manufactured by Weser Brothers, New York, and is used exclusively in the line of pianos manufactured by that firm.
Bellows-System. Is fitted with both foot-pedal and motor driven exhaust units, so that operation may be either personal or automatic as desired. Self-dropping pedals of special folding design.
Tracker-Box, Carries automatic tracking device and threaded guiding wheel, whereby any width of music roll can be accommodated.
Pneumatic Action. Single valve type. Flexible contact between pneumatic and piano action. Pneumatic action massed in three banks. Metal cap vents in front immediately accessible by uncovering valve chest cover. Lost motion regulation on pneumatic and regulation for touch depth of same on regulating rail in front of piano action abstracts. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Governing Devices and Control. Automatic hammer lift working from equalizer wall. Double divided hammer-rail lift operated by buttons on key slip. Accent lever working on expression box and sustaining lever operating direct mechanical action of damper lifters. Tempo and re-wind controlling valves in motor valve box and action cut-off.
Removal and Replacement. Both bellows-system and pneumatic action are removable immediately in unit form, the former without the use of screw-driver. It is not necessary to remove pneumatic top action to tune the piano.
Manufactured by The Wilcox & White Co., Meriden, Conn. The Angelus is made for both upright and grand pianos and is also made in cabinet form. It contains many exclusive features which have gained for it widespread fame. The Angelus is incorporated regularly in several pianos.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation. Two exhaust units and one equalizer. The bellows-system carries the sustaining pedal pneumatic and motor governor. Expression control pneumatics for the bass and treble ends of the action are located at each end of the piano case below keybed,
Pneumatic Action, Above keybed. Double valve system. Pneumatics are of the diaphragm type, being inflated instead of exhausted for operation. This system is peculiar to the Angelus. The diaphragm pneumatics act on lifters which engage the abstracts of piano action. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Tracker Box. This is located immediately above pneumatic action. Contains tempo indicating dial. Tracker tubes to primaries are of a special composition. The Angelus may also be fitted with a duplex spool box and tracker, whereby both 65 and 88 note music rolls may be used. Is also fitted with lever for aligning note perforations with duels in tracker-bar.
Motor. Five-point pneumatic. All units in a straight line. Placed above keyboard of piano on level with top of tracker box.
Governing Devices and Control. Motor governor is controlled by a phrasing lever, whereby the air exhausted from the motor is at all times under perfect control of the performer. The motor governor also contains the ordinary tempo valve connected to the tempo lever on the front edge of key-slip. All other expression levers are also located on the front edge of the key-slip and when not in use are covered by the folding key-slip. The opening of the key-slip causes the foot pedals to fall into player position. Folding up the key-slip and giving one or two depressions to the foot pedal causes them to retract into the piano case, so it is not necessary to stoop and fold the pedals when the instrument is to be closed. Re-roll lever controls action cut-off valve, which is situated in the equalizer. The same lever also controls the re-roll valve in the motor governor. Two expression control pneumatics for divided action are incorporated in the Angelus and the emphasizing of the melody notes can be done either by the buttons actuated by the fingers of the left hand or the melody notes may be automatically emphasized by the melodant, actuated through primary and secondary valves so that when the small marginal perforations in the music roll register with ducts in the tracker, the melody note which has been advanced slightly on the special roll, is sounded at high tension, with the accompaniment notes following at low tension, the operation being made possible by the advancing of the melody note, thus giving time for the melodant perforation to pass the tracker, opening and closing the special by-pass in expression governor. The graduating accompaniment, lever operates a by-pass valve so that a crescendo or diminuendo effect may be given to the accompaniment notes. The graduating melodant lever affects the volume of the emphasized notes. One lever controls the graduated melodant, the graduating accompaniment and the melodant. The sustaining pedal lever can be worked by the thumb or automatically by means of perforations in the note sheet through a pneumatic.
Removal and Replacement. Top action is removed by extracting the supporting screws and disconnecting the re-wind and tempo lever wires. Bellows system easily removed for inspection if necessary.
Angelus Grand. Is exactly the same as above except that it is adapted to grand pianos. The Angelus action is behind the tailboard of the piano and contains the diaphragm pneumatics. The bellows system is fitted under key-bed between the posts of the piano and is completely hidden. Foot pedals are contained in the bottom part of the lyre, into which they fold when not in use. All of the features described above are found in the Angelus Grand.
Cabinet Angelus. Same as above, but fitted into cabinet case so it may be placed in front of any piano.
Orchestral Angelus Piano. This piano contains a set of organ reeds in addition to the pneumatic action and is also fitted upon special order with a mandolin attachment The organ reeds may be played from the manual keys of the piano or from the music roll, and the reeds and piano may be played separately or simultaneously.
This mechanism is manufactured by Winter & Co. of New York, and is used by them exclusively in their pianos.
Bellows-System. Indirect variation type. Two exhausters and equalizers. Bellows carries expression and motor governors.
Tracker-Box. Carries automatic tracking device.
Pneumatic Action. Double valve type. To see a graphic of this action - Click Here
Motor. Pneumatic type. Mechanical gear shift.
Governing Devices and Control. Expression governor with expression valve box controlled by finger lever. Finger sustaining lever with direct mechanical action. Double divided hammer-rail lifters controlled by buttons on key-slip. Tempo and Rewind levers operating in motor and expression boxes to control tempo and rewind motor valves, and action-cut-off valve.
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