Hupfeld Helios II/25

Original Location: Purmurend, Holland

Circa 1912 catalogue illustration of a Hupfeld Helios II/25 orchestrion.Original Catalogue Specifications:

Interior of Hupfeld Helios II/25 in Goldman collection.25 Note Chromatic Musical Scale:
25-note Melodie Violin; 15-note Accompaniment; 12-note Bass for a total of 192 pipes.


Chronological History:

Circa 1912-14
Manufactured by Hupfeld, Leipzig, Germany.

Circa 1912-14
King Wilhelm IV Dance Hall, Purmurend, Holland (Netherlands).

Hupfeld Helios II/25 sitting idle in the King Wilhelm IV Dance Hall in Purmurend, Holland.The Helios II/25 was originally located in the King Wilhelm IV Dance Hall in Purmurend, Holland, which is about eighteen kilometers north of Amsterdam. Judging from the relatively excellent condition of the instrument when it was removed from the dance hall during the late 1960s, it had been fairly well maintained until its later years, when interest in all large orchestrions seriously waned after World War II. According to Eugene DeRoy, who discovered the neglected Helios in the mid 1960s, the main period of demise for German made orchestrions was during the late 1940s and 1950s. This was, he said, because most people wanted to forget the horrors of the recent past, and this meant modernizing and throwing out useless old reminders, such as large, outdated, and worn out mechanical music machines.

Circa 1966-68
Eugene DeRoy, Antwerp, Belgium.

The Hupfeld Helios was discovered by Eugene DeRoy, circa 1966-68, probably as a result of checking out addresses and notes from his old Symphonia Music Roll Company mailing list. DeRoy's search for orchestrions was inspired by Dave Bowers, who bought the orchestrion from Mr. DeRoy.

Circa 1968
Dave Bowers collection, New York/Ohio.

The Helios belonged to Dave Bowers for a short time, and was then traded or sold.

Circa 1968-71
Roy Haning & Neal White collection, Troy, Ohio.

Through a series of now forgotten transactions and trades, the Helios from Purmurend next belonged to Roy Haning and Neal White in Troy, Ohio, and then, once again, it became the property of Dave Bowers.

Circa 1971-72
Dave Bowers collection, California.

The Helios was stored at Hathaway & Bowers, Inc., Santa Fe Springs, California. No restoration work to the interior mechanisms had yet been done since its removal from its original location. However the exterior case was refinished and new, authentic looking side-wings were manufactured to match the case, replacing the badly cobbled and non-original side-wings with the instrument. The new Helios replacement side-wings were duplicated from original Hupfeld examples, belonging to a Hupfeld Super Pan, which was also the property of Dave Bowers.

Ken Goldman collection, Massachusetts.

Restored Hupfeld Helios II/25 orchestrion in the Goldman collection.In 1981 the still unrestored Helios became part of Ken Goldman’s collection. The instrument was shipped to Ron Cappel for complete restoration, whereupon no effort was spared to return the instrument to its original appearance and musical splendor, making it cosmetically and musically a thing of perfection.

Today, in the year 2001, the mighty Helios is still in peak operating condition, and remains a prized centerpiece in the Goldman collection.


Information provided by Terry Hathaway, Dave Bowers and Ken Goldman.


Circa 1912/14 Hupfeld catalogue; Ken Goldman; and Dave Bowers.