Roll Identification Criteria

This rollography will be consulted by users with a variety of needs and interests:

  • General 8tti product interest
  • Interest in solely 8tti rolls
  • Desire to learn more about specific maker rolls
  • Interest in music selected for use on mechanical music instruments, by maker
  • Comparative study against Wurlitzer or other roll manufacturing activity
  • Need to identify full or incomplete rolls that have no or limited identification
  • Other

8tti Roll Identification Criteria:

Rolls have physical characteristics and informational content that can be utilized for study and analysis. Each of the listed items below can be part of a comprehensive analysis that serves the user. Some of the knowledge is already known, while other aspects remain to be studied. The breadth of knowledge derivable from rolls includes:

Physical characteristics:

Paper width—Five different paper widths were used for 8tti rolls, with three having multiple uses. Measuring the width of the paper provides an immediate determination of the scale and application possibilities.
Endless or spooled—8tti rolls were all endless, meaning looped rolls, until circa 1915, when the NTMIW finally introduced spooled rolls. Endless rolls are wound around themselves, without a core. Spooled rolls are wound on a shaft with endplates, known as the spool. The type of roll, endless or spooled, is indicated throughout the rollography. Some later re-cuts transposed tunes between the two types.
Number of tunes—8tti rolls had from 1 to as many as 14 tunes on a roll. In some instances the number of tunes will determine if the roll is endless or spooled. Any number of rolls have been truncated, with tunes cut off the front or end, and others created from the splicing together of one or more rolls.
Construction—Type of paper utilized (color, texture, flexibility/brittleness, finish), spool design, perforation details, box construction, box end label design, ink-stamped print fonts on leader are among the characteristics that differentiate roll makers.

  • Paper width, number of tunes, and endless or spooled

The most fundamental criteria employed to establish roll identity is to ascertain the width of the roll paper.

Below are the known 8tti roll widths and the machines with which they were utilized. It is important to acknowledge that three of the widths had multiple applications, in both endless and spooled formats, employed in band organs and coin pianos or orchestrions.

The tables below provide an overlook connecting together 8tti roll paper widths, scales, types, numbers of tunes, applications and makers.


8TTI Physical Roll Characteristics – 6.625″ Wide
Scale Number,
Letter, Or Name
Endless Roll
Holes In Scale
Spooled Roll
Holes In Scale
Endless
Tunes Per Roll
Spooled
Tunes Per Roll
Roll Makers (1)
44* ? ? 1e
46, “A” 46 49 1,3 6,10 1es,2es,3
NTMIW Pianolin
(a.k.a. “Capitol Midget Orchestra”)
49 49 1,2 6 1es,2

(* early use, then dropped)


8TTI Physical Roll Characteristics – 7.125″ Wide
Scale Number,
Letter, Or Name
Endless Roll
Holes In Scale
Spooled Roll
Holes In Scale
Endless
Tunes Per Roll
Spooled
Tunes Per Roll
Roll Makers(1)
48, “B” 48 53 1,3 6.10 1e,2es,3s,4s,5s
NTMIW “Sextrola”
(a.k.a. “Capitol Bluebird Orchestra”)
52 12 1e,2e
52, “C” 52 1,3 6,10 1es,2es, 3?
53** 53 6,10 1s,2s,3s,4s,5s

(** used once in later NTMIW catalog, believed to be the same as the 48 scale)


8TTI Physical Roll Characteristics – 8.125″ Wide
Scale Number,
Letter, Or Name
Endless Roll
Holes In Scale
Spooled Roll
Holes In Scale
Endless
Tunes Per Roll
Spooled
Tunes Per Roll
Roll Makers(1)
57/61, “D” 61 6,10 2s,3s,4s,5s,6s
 


8TTI Physical Roll Characteristics – 9.000″ Wide
Scale Number,
Letter, Or Name
Endless Roll
Holes In Scale
Spooled Roll
Holes In Scale
Endless
Tunes Per Roll
Spooled
Tunes Per Roll
Roll Makers(1)
66 67 10 4s,5s
 


8TTI Physical Roll Characteristics – 11.125″ Wide
Scale Number,
Letter, Or Name
Endless Roll
Holes In Scale
Spooled Roll
Holes In Scale
Endless
Tunes Per Roll
Spooled
Tunes Per Roll
Roll Makers(1)
82, “E” 82 87 1,3 6.10 1e,2es,5s
87 87 10 4s,5s,8s
NTMIW “Mando Orchestra” 87 87 1?,3? 6,10 1es,2es
NTMIW “Orchestrina”
(a.k.a. “Capitol Symphony Orchestra”)
87 87 1?,3? 5 1es,2es?
NTMIW Keyboard Piano “L” 87 6 1s,2s?
NTMIW Ideal Moving Picture Orchestra 87 6 1s,2s
 
Table 1
Maker numbers:
1 North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works [NTMIW]
2 Artizan Factories Inc. [Artizan]
3 Rudolph Wurlitzer Mfg. Company [Wurlitzer]
4 B. A. B. Organ Company [B. A. B.]
5 Oswald and Tom Wurdeman [Wurdeman]
6 North Coast Music Roll Works [North Coast]
7 Valley Forge Music Rolls [Valley Forge]
8 Wasson Organ Company [Wasson]
 

Physical Construction

To the present time, no study of 8tti roll construction has been conducted or published. With greater knowledge now available via this rollography, hopefully this void of insight will be filled with appropriate information.
 
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