Culture Magazine

Grind Organs, Monkey Organs & Amusement Parks - Carousel Organ Association of America - The Buffalo News

By Dotpattern @collectinghobby
Crank up the music - Music - The Buffalo News:
"More than 100 members of the Carousel Organ Association of America will haul their instruments from 14 states and Canada. Calliopes, grind organs, Wurlitzer and Stinson band organs -- some of which are the size of a room -- fill[ed] the air with carnival music from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [July 30 and 31st, 2011.]"
Grind organs were once called monkey organs because the grinders had live monkeys who attracted an audience and then worked the crowd by carrying a cup to collect coins, according to Ted Guillaum, association president. They were a staple of street performers from about 1880 to 1920, here and in Europe. "I wish I had a nickel for everyone who asked me where my monkey was," said Guillaum, who purchased his German-crafted Raffin crank organ in 2003. Guillaum expects the Olcott rally to draw a record number of instruments. "I had worked on the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen steamboats and loved the sound of the calliope," said Guillaum, 62, and an archival assistant with the Tennessee Library and Archive in Nashville. "I jumped in not knowing anything." The Carousel Organ Association sponsors a handful of rallies each year in such cities as Urbandale, Iowa; Weston, Mont., and Chattanooga, Tenn. A favorite rally point is Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg, Pa.
Related articles

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog