by Dr. Bill Black


Having examined the various components of the machine we begin to take it apart, taking photos and notes was we go in case memory fails when we put it back together.

The brass pipework is removed by unscrewing each pipe and packing them up to be stored in a safe place till we need them.

PHOTO A shows the parts as viewed from the back of the machine and looks like a good place to start. We can see the roll frame,vacuum air motor and the rewind pneumatic assembly in PHOTO A. In PHOTO B, we have removed the supply and take up spools. This provides a better look into the interior of the machine.

The roll frame is easily removed by disconnecting the tubing, chain connection to the air motor and several screws.

Photo C shows the removal of these components. We can now see the backs of the keyboard, windchest and the pneumatic stack. Most of the hoses from the windchest to the pipework have been removed. The mechanism visible in the upper left portion of PHOTO C is the vacuum cutout mechanism which disconnects the vacuum from the stack when the machine enters the rewind mode. This keeps the roll from playing during the rewind phase. While the Wurlitzer design relies on a mechanical arrangement to shift from rewind to play, the Tangley design relies on a vacuum signal to accomplish this shift by means of a hole in the music roll to trigger a valve.

Also in PHOTO C we can see the two large feeder hoses from the air pressure tank to the windchest.

The Tangley design features an angle iron framework for the case. Wooden strips are screwed to these angle irons to provide a means of mounting some bracing for the sides PHOTO D. The sides of the case are made of wood fastened to this angle iron frame. These wooden side are covered with sheet metal which is the outer covering for the case.

In PHOTO C, note that the shelf supporting the roll frame and air motor is still in the machine. PHOTO E shows a slider type valve which serves to control the amount of vacuum which is supplied to the air motor. By decreasing the vacuum to the motor, it runs slower and causes the rolls frame speed to decreased. There is a small lever which can be moved back and forth in a slot in the shelf. This lever protrudes slightly through the shelf and is located under the take spool on the roll frame. This lever can be moved with your fingers and thus adjusts the speed at which the music roll travels over the tracker bar.


Dr. Bill Black is one of the nation's most knowledgeble Wurlitzer band organ experts. He has made recordings of many band organs and other mechanical music machines which are available for purchase in our CarouselStores.com website.