Restored Wurlitzer Style 32 Concert PianOrchestra
Philipps Pianella Model 32 (Caecilia)
(Gilson Collection, November, 2005)

The Wurlitzer Style 32 Concert PianOrchestra undergoing restoration at Art Reblitz's Colorado workshop.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

The bottom supporting chassis of the big Wurlitzer Style 32 Concert PianOrchestra is shown during the machine's meticulous rebuilding in Art Reblitz's Colorado restoration shop. About half of the major mechanical components are assembled and in place.

Restored piano harp and action fitted up to the new replica main pneumatic stack.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

Side view of the piano harp with piano action fitted up to the new replica main pneumatic stack. The original piano stack, which was in poor condition, was used as a pattern for building the new unit. The piano can be turned on or off, and has loud and soft pedals.

 Philipps Revolver Mechanik, known as the Wurlitzer Roll Changer on models imported into the U.S.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

The famous Wurlitzer Roll Changer (Philipps Revolver Mechanik), which holds six multi-tune music rolls and plays them in rotation. The friction drive (at right) allows for adjusting the music tempo.

Rear view of the new main stack, showing the pneumatic motors and push-rods that operate the piano.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

View of the new main stack viewed from the rear, showing the individual motor pneumatics and lifting rods that push up against the piano action whippens, causing the piano notes to sound.

Roll changer and the associated rewind and rewind-to-play linkages.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

The roll changer is at the left, and to its right the piano harp can be seen peeking out from behind the roll changer back-panel and large wind duct. The bell action is partially visible at far right, just above the flat-belt speed reduction countershaft. The rewind and rewind to play-trip linkages are at center, below the roll changer.

Register unit with lock and cancel controls to turn on and off the various musical effects.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

The register control unit turns on or off the various music registers, such as the piano, various ranks of pipes, bells, xylophone, and drum soft mechanisms. Special control perforations in the music roll trigger the lock and cancel valves, thereby turning on and off the associated musical effects.

Tambourine, triangle, snare drum and castenet trapwork components.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

Front side view of trapwork, consisting of (left to right) tambourine, triangle, snare drum, castanets, and bass drum (partially visible behind the snare drum) with cymbal and kettle drum effect. The trapwork control valves are an integral part of the register control unit, which is located directly below and in front of the trapwork.

Bass drum with cymbal and kettle drum effects, with other trapwork effects visible at right.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

Backside view of the trapwork. At left is the bass drum, with soft and loud stroke effects. The two smaller beaters on either side of the large central bass drum beater are for the kettle drum effect. The xylophone is to the right of the bass drum, and above the snare drum and tambourine.

Melody pipework chest with seven ranks of wood and metal pipes.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

Melodie Violin range pipework, seven ranks (front to rear): (1) Wooden Harmonic Piccolo, (2) metal Clarinet, (3) metal Violin (commonly Gamba), (4) stopped metal Flute (commonly Quintadena), (5) wooden Violin, (6) wooden open Flute, and (7) wooden Violoncello. The control ventils (valves) for each pipe rank are located in the box-like enclosure at the right of the pipe chest. Notice that for a compass range a little more than the top octave there are two sequential pipe notes, situated back-to-back, for each valve block.

Bass pipework chest with four ranks of wood and metal pipes.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

Bass pipework, four ranks (left to right): According to Wurlitzer the ranks are (1) Saxophone (metal reed--commonly Fagott or Bassoon), (2) French Horn (wooden stopped flute--commonly Gedeckt), (3) metal (and wood at bass end) Violin (commonly Gamba bass--this rank is a continuation of the Melodie Violin Gamba pipes) and (4) a large wooden Violoncello rank at the rear.

Orchestra bell unit mounted underneath the top support shelf.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

The orchestra bells and their striker action is mounted directly underneath the top main shelf, which on its topside supports the trapwork and the heavy Melodie Violin and bass pipe chests. The large rectangular wood wind trunk to the right of the bell unit delivers wind-pressure from the pressure feeders to the two pipe chests.

Feeder bellows (or pumps) that produce vacuum and wind-pressure to power the orchestrion.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

The feeders (or pump bellows) located at the bottom of the PianOrchestra create both a vacuum (to operate all of the control mechanisms and pneumatic motors, and wind-pressure to blow the large array of 314 musical pipes. The smaller bottom set of bellows create the vacuum, the upper produce wind-pressure.

Internal vew of the bottom part of the PianOrchestra chassis, showing the roll changer, feeders (pumps) and feeder flat-belt drive system.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

A frontal view showing the complicated interior of the big Concert PianOrchestra. At the top is the roll changer mechanism, behind it the maze of lead tubing that connects the pipe chests to the main stack is partially visible. At horizontal center is the electric motor flat belt drive and crank system that powers the vacuum and pressure feeders (pumps) at chassis bottom. At the far right is a pulley countershaft used to obtain a speed reduction for the pump crankshaft. The small round leather drive belt going to the roll changer is powered off of the end of the speed reducing countershaft, and then feeds around an adjustable belt tightener.

The beautifully restored Wurlitzer Style 32 Concert PianOrchestra set up and ready to perform in its new home.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

The magnificent and fully rebuilt Wurlitzer Style 32 Concert PianOrchestra set up and ready to perform in its new home.

Go-Back