Wurlitzer Theatre Organ

One day a week I do voluntary restoration and conservation work at a local museum, and became involved in the restoration of a model Wurlitzer Theatre Organ Console set in a frame to simulate the stage and mechanisms performing all the movements of the real thing. This had been donated to the museum in a derelict state with the pieces of its mechanism loose in a box.

This instigated the Meccano interpretation of the Wurlitzer organ brought about by a need to develop a practical mechanism to perform the movements necessary, in a manner as sympathetic to the original as possible using the components from the box.

It was however necessary to deviate from the original in one aspect, that being the need for an operator to manually start each function, which would not be possible when the artefact was displayed. In order to overcome this need the proposed solution automates all functions initiated by a push button.

I make no apologies for the modelling standards or the condition of the Meccano in this presentation, other than to say that it gave me many hours of entertainment overcoming the various problems.

Having displayed the model at the Museum a couple of times and as a guest at a Meccano club, I have been most surprised by the response from visitors, mostly relating to childhood visits to the cinema when the organ rose from the orchestra pit and the organist played during the interval.


Exceptional work. What’s next? How about the Empire State Building or London Bridge, maybe even a World War II ship or plane?

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