There are times in our lives when it is simply not an easy task to give a definitive
answer to a question. So it is with the dating of Vocalion Organs. We know from
experience as well as the informed research of individuals that there were three
definite periods in the development, manufacture and sale of these wonderful
instruments. We are, however, at a loss to uncover any definitive information that
would label any numbers found in them as either serial or opus numbers.
For the sake of establishing a "time line" for the approximate building of a
particular Vocalion, some individuals have adopted the penciled information found
on chests as a means of "tracking" a time line.
I have had personal experience uncovering faint penciled names or initials followed
by a number and date. These are what I have listed on the website. I have not
found any identifying info on a Hamilton Vocalion, much information on Mason &
Risch Vocalions and with the Aeolian period a sticker appears with a serial number
and date. Additionally, the serial number is stamped into the case and action parts.
I think it appropriate to invite the participation of my Vocalion Confreres; Jim
Bratton, Jim Tyler and Keith Williams to add their observations to this brief paper.
These gentlemen are seasoned technicians, researchers and authors on the subject.
I deem their consultation as both a worthy and significant contribution to this site
should they decide to participate in the discussion. In the meantime, I believe I
have and will publish the M/O for finding the information that I have described. It
exists as a separate paper.
(Paul D. Carey 12-22-06)
Dating a Vocalion Organ
The Vocalion Organ, a PowerPoint presentation by Paul Carey.
(Requires PowerPoint to view.)