Seeburg Style H Orchestrion
Cremona Style F piano with pipes.
This H (#92,943) was made in 1921. It was one of three Seeburg H orchestrions displayed in the Whitney Collection at the Cliff House and Sutro Museum in San Francisco during the 1950s and 60s. Otto Carlsen purchased two of them on behalf of Dave Bowers, and Dave acquired the third one separately at a later time. Two were sold and moved into different collections, but all three were reunited for several years at the Place de la Musique Collection, when they were acquired in 1982 (the one pictured above), 1989, and 1992.
Interior of Cremona Style F piano with pipes.
Upper interior of the H, with melodias (front) and violins (rear). When we restored it in 1976-77, the xylophone had three prior rebuilding dates written inside by various technicians at the Cliff House, where it was known as “Old Silver” because of all the quarters it took in. From its heavy use there, not only were the sticker bushings in the piano action worn out; the center pins had worn ¼” into the wood beyond the bushings.
Bottom interior of a Seeburg Style H orchestrion.
Gordon Lipe was a mechanical engineer who invented the Burt retractable ski binding. He designed and built this trailer, equipped with adjustable air shocks, for moving the H, pulling it 70-80 mph with his mid-engine Ford Pantera. The trailer hitch was located as close to the axle as possible to minimize fishtailing. Having no encounters with wildlife en route, Gordon and the H arrived safely, shown here in front of his Teton Village home. Gordon acted as an expert witness in ski injury cases, helping to determine whether a manufacturer or skier was at fault. It was common to see ski boots and x-rays in his shop where he analyzed the likely cause of fractures. He once jumped off a balcony into a snow mound to demonstrate the efficacy of his retractable bindings.