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Restorers and Manufacturers of Automatic Musical Instruments

Western Electric Selectra Model B

The original officers of the Marquette Piano Co organized the Western Electric Piano Company in 1924. Within a year or two, it became a secret subsidiary of the Seeburg Piano Co., relocating the entire business to the Seeburg factory. The Western Electric Piano Company was given a different address by using one of the side entrances of the Seeburg factory. Most of the Western Electric models were similar to Seeburg’s most popular Prohibition-era models; cabinet piano Styles L,  K, and KT.

Western Electric offered a distinctive feature in many of their pianos, the Selectra mechanism, patterned after a similar device used in some earlier Cremona M roll-operated instruments. The patron could turn an indicator to a desired point on a dial, drop a nickel in the piano, and the roll mechanism would rewind or fast-forward to the beginning of the chosen tune before putting the roll into play. This required the rolls to include specially cut slots between tunes. These slots could be hand-cut by the operators into standard rolls, or factory-cut rolls could be ordered from several roll manufacturers.

This model left the factory in 1927 without a xylophone. An original Western Electric xylophone will be included with the sale of this instrument. A newly restored original xylophone can have the capability of playing either as a single-stroke or reiterating unit. The gearing for automatic tune selection is missing. The “rewind” and “fast forward” function will operate from push buttons rather than automatically by the dial. Purchase includes six re-cut A rolls. This instrument can be purchased “as is” or as a restored instrument.  Please contact us for additional information.

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