(Photograph courtesy of Dana Johnson.)
The above assortment of red, orange, white, and green Wurlitzer Pianino sized music roll wrappers came from a horde of new old stock of Pianino rolls discovered by the late Jerry Doring, a long-time avid Southern California collector. The wrappers range in length from 18 to 24 inches. The early red wrappers had the roll number rubber-stamped in large numbers on the wrapper's leading edge, followed by another rubber-stamp with instructions to "Remove this wrapper to play roll." By the time the later white paper rolls came into use the roll number was merely handwritten on the wrapper, but when the green waxed paper rolls were introduced (circa 1918) the wrappers had nothing written or rubber-stamped on them. Perhaps by the time the waxed green paper came into use route operators had finally learned—without prompting—that they had to first remove the wrappers before trying to mount and play the music roll, or maybe the employees in the Wurlitzer roll department were much too busy to take the time or care anymore about marking up the wrappers.