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Subject: Music roll paper

Music roll paper

From: Analiese Treacy <analiese.treacy<-a>
Date: Monday, July 21, 2014
Yasmine Kerber <yasminesarah.kerber<-a t->students< . >bfh< . >ch> writes

>Does anyone have knowledge of the production of papers used for
>music rolls in pneumatically-read mechanical music instruments?

I recently researched and treated a Universal Piano Roll which was
painted on by a significant Australian Artist who was experimenting
with the theme of "Colour Music" during the 1930s.  During my
research into Piano Roll production, I found some useful websites as



While the focus of my research was based around Aeolian Universal
rolls, I had the opportunity to view the Collection of Barclay
Wright (owner of the Mastertouch Piano Roll Company) at the
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney which included hundreds of rolls by
various brands and manufacturers. On examining these rolls it became
clear that paper quality varied from one brand to another, which may
have been partly due to the fact that manufacturers were attempting
to produce unique and distinctive rolls in order to distinguish
themselves from other brands and in turn side-step existing patents,
but this may also have been due to due to interruptions to paper
supplies experienced during the interwar years.

It is important to note also that there are many other factors which
impacted on paper roll paper quality, including whether the paper
was Connorized or waxed for strengthening, or whether the paper was
exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions.  I made contact
with Rex Lawson at the Pianola Institute and#8211; who is a fountain
of knowledge and provided much useful information on piano roll
production during the height of Pianola history:


I recently presented a paper on the conservation treatment of the
piano roll in the Preprints of the AICCM Book, Paper and
Photographic Materials Symposium, held at the Art Gallery of New
South Wales, Sydney, May 7-9 2014, which will be going online on the
AICCM (Australian Institute for the Care of Cultural Material) in
the near future.  A more brief description of the treatment can be
found on the Art Gallery of New South Wales website:


Analiese Treacy
Paper Conservator
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road
The Domain
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
+61 2 9225 1773
Fax: +61 2 9225 1701

                  Conservation DistList Instance 28:8
                   Distributed: Friday, July 25, 2014
                        Message Id: cdl-28-8-002
Received on Monday, 21 July, 2014

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