In the wet summer of 2008 we got an emergency call from the curator of the Mark Twain Museum in Hannibal Missouri. It seems in the next few days they were expecting the Mississippi River in their back yard to rise another twenty feet and come to within a foot of the top of the levee. Several years ago we moved Mark Twain's AEolian Orchestrelle from the Samuel Clemens boyhood home museum to the roomy new museum building. This new building is a lovely new museum for the Twain collections but memories of 1993 made them nervous about the priceless organ in the lower museum space.
This is the special order 1903 AEolian Orchestrelle that Mark Twain purchased for his New York Apartment a few years before his death. In 1993 that building's ground level had been under 9 feet of water. The decision was made to call us to move the AEolian Orchestrelle player reed organ upstairs to the room where the priceless collection of Norman Rockwell paintings, lithographs, and sketches are displayed. After two days of work the wonderful Orchestrelle was in its new home well out of the way of floodwaters.
We will be putting up some pictures and videos of this move someday when time permits.
We would like to see this instrument restored for posterity but there is no money in the Missouri State Museum budget for such things. Please donate to the Mark Twain Museum especially for restoration of the Orchestrelle.
Before moving it upstairs, Jeff, standing in front of the keyboard helps disassemble the Orchestrelle down to its parts. That box in the back is the Subbass rank