Lake County History Center Hosts Mid-American Band Organ Rally – News-Herald

Interesting music filled the air for a four-hour afternoon from September 18 to Lake County History Center in Painesville Township.

An organ gathering was held on the organization’s grounds, located at 415 Riverside Drive in Painesville Township.

The Mid-America Chapter of International Music Box Society led the event. Chapter president Rob Pollock said the group has a connection to the Lake County History Center that dates back to the 1970s.

In fact, the Lake County History Center is one of the few American museums to feature some of MBSI’s music boxes.

“(Lake County History Center) was the longest serving location where we displayed our museum artifacts,” Pollock said. “And we’ve had people here trained to play them. So not only can you watch them, but you can also hear them.

Dawson Bogert, of Corry, Pennsylvania, poses with a ‘monkey organ’ belonging to his mother, Alice Bogert, who is seated in the right background. At the top of the organ is a monkey named Bardell. When spelled, Bardell consists of the first initials of the names of Alice’s seven children. This organ was one of many on display at a group organ gathering held Sept. 18 at the Lake County History Center in Painesville Township. (Bill DeBus – The News-Herald)

About 10 years ago, the Mid-America Chapter of MBSI held a rally at the Lake County History Center that featured great pipe organs.

“This time we brought in the more manageable and smaller ones,” Pollock said. “With the big ones, most of our owners are older and they usually have the help of their grandchildren. But once the school is set up, we don’t get out (the big organs) that often.

The underside of a hand organ built in 1900 and now owned by Rob Pollock of Urbana, Ohio, shows writing listing the five songs to be played in the street by the organist. It was one of several organs and music boxes on display at a Sept. 18 organ rally held at the Lake County History Center in Painesville Township. (Bill DeBus – The News-Herald)

For the Sept. 18 rally, Pollock said nine members of MBSI’s Mid-America chapter were to bring 16 different types of music organs or various other music boxes to the Lake County History Center.

Pollock, who lives in Urbana, Ohio, brought two organs to the event. One was a 1900 hand organ supported by a strap around the player’s neck.

“(The organ) was made by the Austro-Hungarian army to be given to its invalids so they could earn money on the streets,” Pollock said. “They didn’t return pensions back then, so these organs were often rented by military or invalids who would take them out into the streets and play music. Some people would pay them for the music and some people would pay them to go away.

The underside of the organ’s top cover also features a handwritten sign listing a five-song program that the organist played to passers-by.

Meanwhile, wind organs have proven to be a source of family enjoyment for Alice Bogert and her children.

Alice, from Corry, Pennsylvania, owns a “monkey organ” built in 1990. On top of the organ is a toy monkey that was also made about six years later.

The monkey is called “Bardell”, which, when spelled, consists of the first initials of the names of his seven children.

His son, Dawson, also attended the rally and demonstrated the workings of the organ.

Musical Box Society International, which was established in 1950, is “a worldwide group of enthusiasts for automated musical machines whose origin predates electrically amplified music,” according to the organization’s website.

“We are intrigued by musical instruments that play themselves using punched paper, punched discs, pinned cylinders, paper rolls, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and are powered by a crank, springs, or electric motors,” the website says.

MBSI’s Mid-America Chapter covers territory that includes states such as Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. and Kentucky.

Pollock said the organization provides a great opportunity for members to share a common passion, as well as socialize.

“Once you get into this field, you meet people who have similar interests and tastes, and after less than two or three years, it’s like being back with my family,” he said. he declares. “Everything is friendly.

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