Wurlitzer Coin Piano,
Photoplayer, and Organette Survey

Wurlitzer Automatic Piano Study Project

Introductory Style Notes:

An Invitation to Send Accompanying Photographs

Pictures of the exterior of an instrument often allows us to identify case styles, control knobs, coin slots, art glass details, and other characteristics oftentimes not easily described through text alone. Moreover, snapshots of the interior mechanisms and any nameplates they may bear usually helps us greatly to identify mechanical characteristics that shed light on the mechanical evolution of an instrument, which helps us when developing dating guides. It is no stretch to say that photographs are an invaluable aid in detailing and understanding any instrument for which information has been submitted, and so please do consider sending photographs, albeit separately from the on-line form, but nonetheless augmenting the survey information.

Invitation to e-mail photographs corresponding to a survey submittal.
Please send photographs to:

Wurlitzer Coin Piano and Photoplayer Survey Form

All survey submissions to the Mechanical Music Press are given with the provision that the Mechanical Music Press and/or its authors have non-exclusive use of the information, images, or other material submitted for use with this project or in any other part of this web site, and do so without limitation. All contributors of significant, previously unused information will be listed as contributors under general credits in the Registry section. Submission does not guarantee the acceptance of or the use of the whole or any part or segment of any information submitted. Please do not submit information if you cannot abide by the aforementioned stipulations.

Contact Information
  Show owner name in reports.
Piano Basic Information (Wurlitzer)

Usually die-Stamped into the pinblock and visible in a small oval shaped opening located between the bass & tenor tuning pin sections of the piano plate.

Wurlitzer Styles: 88 Note Player Piano; Pianino; Mandolin Quartette; Mandolin Sextette; A, B, C, D, E, I, or L 65 Note Pianos/orchestrions, G Photoplayer, O Photoplayer, W Photoplayer; W Organette, Z Organette, etc.

The Wurlitzer case style number refers to a one or two-digit number assigned to a case variation by the Wurlitzere factory. This number is not shown in retail catalogues, but is noted in factory internal and dealer related photographs.

Mandolin attachment.  Manually operated felt piano muffler.

Some early deKleist built pianos had a manually operated thick felt curtain that could be lowered between the piano hammers and strings, a device that was later supplanted by the mandolin attachment.

 Gold   Green   Or Other: 

Wurlitzer piano plates are normally either gold or green, with the green hue ranging from very dark to a light green with a bluish cast depending upon the weathering of the paint.

Oak, Flemish oak, Golden oak, Mission oak, Weathered oak, Mahogany, Walnut, etc.

Pipework Instrumentation
Wood violins.  Wood open flutes.  Wood stopped flutes.  Wood Dopple flutes. 
Striking and/or Percussive Instrumentation
Bells.  Xylophone.  Snare drum.  Bass drum.  Triangle.  Cymbal. 
Pneumatic Stack Type
Tonophone wooden cylinder operated key-frame stack.
Early deKleist; front trunk board with valve chest at top and 3 deck boards below.
Early deKleist; front trunk board with valve chest at top and 3 deck boards below; with keyboard levers.
Horizontal valves with conical valve return springs, 3 deck boards.
Horizontal valves with conical valve return springs, 3 deck boards; with keyboard levers.
Wood unit block valves in front of pneumatic deck boards.
Late Pot metal Wurlitzer 4-in-1 valve units.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Music Roll Frame / Roll Changer
5-tune roll frame, wooden sides, belt drive.
5-tune roll frame, sheet metal sides, belt drive.
10-tune roll frame, cast iron sides, friction wheel, belt drive.
10-tune roll frame, cast iron sides, friction wheel, shaft drive.
10-tune all gear roll frame, cast iron sides with rewind/fast forward selector, shaft drive (photoplayers).
10-tune duplex all gear roll frame, cast iron sides with rewind/fast forward selector, shaft drive (photoplayers).
10-tune duplex all gear roll frame, cast iron sides, with NO rewind/fast forward selector, shaft drive (photoplayers).
Early roll changer (chain and large tempo knob on right side),
with (a)   Leather brake bands, or (b)  Brake pads for music roll tension.
Late roll changer (vertical shaft on right side, small tempo knob in front),
with (a)   All cast iron castings, or (b)  Some pot metal castings.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Rewind Trip Mechanism
Early lock and cancel cutout box; large pneumatic linked to spoolbox transmission.
Horizontal shelf-mounted pneumatic with spill valve (left of roll frame).
Horizontal shelf-mounted pneumatic with spill valve (right of roll frame).
Tall Open Gear Standard with triangular cam operated rewind trip lever.
Two-ramp belt-driven cam and flushing valve.
Two-ramp cam on vertical shaft with flushing valve.
Single ramp cam (on vertical shaft) with cam-follower and flushing valve.
Pump moving-board engages trip lever when moved by small pneumatic.
Large vertical rewind pneumatic with 2 wood unit valves; next to roll frame.
Large vertical rewind pneumatic with Wurlitzer 4-in-1 pot metal valve.
Late; upright pin on disk (on vertical shaft) and flushing valve.
Late; upright pin on disk (on vertical shaft) and vacuum type action cutoff valve.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Pump / Feeder Bellows (in approximate evolutionary order):
Early flat belt drive, movable center-board bellows, attached reservoir with coil spring spill valve.
Early gear drive movable center-board vacuum bellows, attached reservoir with coil spring spill valve.
Movable center-board vacuum bellows, separate reservoir with lever type spill valve.
Fixed center-board vacuum bellows, separate reservoir with lever type spill valve.
Movable center-board combination vacuum/pressure bellows, separate vacuum reservoir.
Movable center-board vacuum and separate pressure bellows, separate vacuum reservoir.
Late High speed vacuum pump, two small double-acting bellows with belted crankshaft in framework.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Direct Drive Worm Gear Standard

If an Early Open Worm Gear Standard (with exposed gear and brass oil cups)

Tall Open Gear Standard, plain with NO rewind trip linkages (8-3/4” high).
Tall Open Gear Standard, with REWIND TRIP linkages (8-3/4” high).
Short Open Gear Standard (6-3/4” high).
Short Open Gear Standard mounted on a tall wooden block (6-3/4” high without spacer block).

If a late Fully Enclosed Heavy/Worm Gear Standard (with enclosed gears)

Heavy Gear Standard (9-3/8” high); NO NAMEPLATE; with brass oil cups.
Heavy Gear Standard (9-3/8” high); Type: SA-200-HG-3; No oil cups; Gear: 81 teeth; Worm: 5 thread.
Heavy Gear Standard with incorrect nameplate (7-1/4” high), Type: SA-200-HG-1B; No oil cups; Gear: 51 teeth; Worm: 3 thread.
Worm Gear Standard (7-1/4” high), Type: SA-1B; No oil cups; Gear: 51 teeth; Worm: 3 thread.
Worm Gear Standard (7-1/4” high), Type: SA-BB; No oil cups; Gear: 51 teeth; Worm: 3 thread.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

5-inch O.D. split wood pulley.  Pinned stub shaft; no pulley.  No pulley; stub shaft never pinned.

The gear standard's crankshaft has a short stub shaft on the rear facing side. If a wooden pulley is to be attached a small hole is drilled through the stub shaft and a metal pin is inserted to protrude on both sides, and then a wooden pulley is clamped onto the stub shaft. The netal pin through the stub shaft keeps the wooden pulley from rotating on the shaft.

 (Enter None if no namplate.)
 Gear:  Worm:  RPM:

The gear standard 3 or 4 digit serial number, if any, is die-stamped onto the end cap for one of the high-speed worm shaft bearings.

Motor Information (only if original motor)  Motor Model:  Motor S/N:  Motor RPM:
Coin Entry Slot / Slide
Tonophone brass plate with flat coin entry hole and sliding lever.
Early, brass plate with horizontal coin slot.
Nickel plated plate with horizontal coin slot.
Die-cast with oval body and vertical coin slot.
Horizontal with push-pull slider.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Coin Accumulator / Coin Magazine Mechanism
Tonophone.
Early vertical coin drop magazine where coin makes electrical contact (7 coins maximum).
Ratchet wheel counter with knife switch.
Vertical ratchet slider with knife switch.
Ball counting apparatus with knife switch.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Wonder Light Effect
Wonder Light.  Peacock light effect.
Original with piano. Replica. Missing / lost. Present but originality status unknown.

Wonder Light Belt and Pulley Drive System

Vertical shaft drive inside case with belt pulley and belt-idler underneath top.
Vertical shaft drive with belt pulley and belt-idler on drum shelf.
Vertical shaft drive through top of case with belt pulley outside.
Wonder Light drive system unknown.

If none of the above descriptions exactly correspond to what is being reported please describe the component in the comments field at the bottom of this form.

Art Glass Description
Comments, History, and Explanations

Please include any additional information about the piano that might be pertinent, such as its history, i.e., various locations and owners. For the gear standard, please include its overall height, its footprint width and depth, and/or any unusual attributes or features. If you find a date (or style number), such as on a paper sticker inside or on the backside of the case, or on a pneumatic component, notice an early tuning date written by hand on the piano plate, find an original sales invoice, etc., please describe any such items.

* Required form fields: Contact information will be kept private, with the exception of owner name if, and only if the "Show owner name on reports" box is checked.