John Page Organs logo  John Page Organs

Restoration of the Emmett 89-keyless Gavioli

This article is a full account of the restoration of a well-known fairground organ, which came to this country from a Norwegian showman. The organ's history is shown on the left side wing panel, as follows:

This organ was built in 1903 as an 87-key by the Waldkirch branch of Gavioli in the Black Forest. The founder of the Gavioli firm was born in 1786 in Cavezzo near Modena in Italy. His sons Ludovico, Anselmo and Claude carried on and moved to Paris in 1852. They established a branch in Waldkirch and agencies in Barcelona, Manchester and New York. The organ was modified in 1921 to play on the 89-keyless No 4 scale by Alfred Lenk, and overhauled by Carl Frei of Waldkirch, and in 2003 by John Page of Milton Keynes.

It's known as the Lunds Tivoliorkester Gavioli, although that name has now been painted over by the name of its present owners, Keith Emmett & Sons. I took on the task (formerly as Page & Howard) of looking after the maintenance of this organ since it arrived in England in 1986, and the full restoration undertaken in 2003.

The general order of work undertaken is listed below.

2 Dismantling
3 Bass pipes and chests
4 Reservoirs
5 Main chest
6 Riser
7 Reed pipes
8 Flue pipes
9 Installation of pipes
10 Glockenspiel
11 Keyframe and action relay
12 Drums
13 Final testing

This organ operates with cardboard book music, which runs through the keyframe mounted on the end of the organ. It operates on the keyless system, which means there are no keys in the keyframe - only a row of holes in a "tracker-bar" similar to a player-piano. 89 holes distribution

Next page

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13
Restoration main page | Home page