Anatomy of a WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ

WurliTzer Opus 2027.

WurliTzer Opus 2027 - Style 150 - 2 Manuals, 5 Ranks, 3 Tuned Percussion and 19 Traps

This was the 23rd of the 28 examples of this model manufactured.

Built for the Community Theatre, North Attleboro, Mass. USA - Shipped 27th March 1929
- Opened 15th April.
- only minimal use in the theatre for 2 years after installation.
- remained silent until Walter Gelinas got it going again in the early 1960's.

Moved to Walter Gelinas Residence, Seekonk, Mass. USA 1969.
- theatre closed and demolished soon after.
- Chrysoglott (WurliTzer) added - otherwise totally original.

Removed and shipped to Peter Beames, Adelaide, South Australia, July 1998.

Current status - undergoing complete rebuild/restoration - to be completed when it is finished.

Installation plans - to be decided. It will only be a residence installation again if no suitable public location can be arranged where it will be much more use than it would be if it does go in my home.

Specification

Trumpet8'- 61 pipes
Tibia8' - 2'- 85 pipes
Salicional8' - 4'- 73 pipes
Flute16'-2'- 97 pipes
Vox Humana8'- 61 pipes
Chimes- 18 notes
Xylophone- 37 notes
Glockenspiel- 30 notes
+ Chrysoglott- 49 notes
Toy Counter and Traps

2 Manual single bolster "French" Console
Second Touch on both Manuals + Pedals
3 Preset Pistons on Solo (Solo + Pedal stops)
3 Preset Pistons on Accomp (Accomp + Pedal stops)
12 Toe Pistons (Traps)
1 Swell Pedal
1 Vox Trem
1 General Trem
3HP Spencer Blower - 500CFM @ 15"

Planned changes

- As the Chrys is already added it will stay, but be incorporated into the console with tabs on each manual on presets instead of a single (non-preset) tab which paralleled the Chrys with the Flute. There is space to add the Chrys switches onto the switch stack in place of the Solo and Accomp keyboard cable spreaders.

- Add a third tremulant, and extra regulator, to provide a separate wind system for the Tibia. This will require some subdividing of the wind boxes on the ends of the manual chest as the Tibia sits between the Trumpet and the Salicional. A spare large trem was acquired and shipped with the instrument and a large regulator is available to be used for the action and non-tremmed supply which will free up the original 20x30 regulator that did perform this function to be used for the Tibia, as it would have been done originally if everyone had not been so intent on keeping the costs to a minimum.

- All other parts of the instrument are to be retained and used as originally built, with the possible exception of the wind trunking that would be changed from galvanized iron to plastic if the layout has to be altered from the original. The blower will need to be modified to compensate for the change from a 60 cycle power system to our 50 cycle system which would result in the blower running much too slowly to give the required pressure and quantity of air.

Condition of the instrument before the rebuild.

Other than a small dent on one string pipe and a little dust the whole instrument was in remarkable condition. The console had been painted at some time with some grey paint and then given an oily coat of some strange yellowy-brown stuff, so the console will need refinishing.

After 70 years some of the original leather on the preset relay was showing some holes in the corners but all actions were working. The 70 year old leather would have gone on for a bit longer but I decided that the best approach was to do a complete rebuild before it was reinstalled and save all the problems that would inevitably come up later.

There is virtually no sign of any wear on any of the contacts indicating that the instrument has had very little user throughout its life. Some pedal contacts suffered during the move and will be replaced. The pedal contacts are important because there is no pedal relay as all (5) pipe stop switches are wired directly from the pedal board. Otherwise all the switch and relay parts need is a clean, as well as the usual releathering etc.

Upon opening the first Bourdon offset chest I was very surprised to see a total lack of any dirt or dust. It does seem that living in the New England countryside is much better for the health than large cities where most theatre organs gained a good coating of coal dust over the years. The string offset chest did show signs of some water stains on the leather but it had certainly never been drowned.

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