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Since 1955 Dave Ramey has set the standard of excellence in automatic musical instrument restoration. He received his education and training while maintaining the nickelodeon collection at Svoboda's Nickelodeon Tavern and Museum during the 1960’s. As word of his talents spread, soon he was servicing instruments for House on the Rock, Bellm’s Cars & Music of Yesterday, and many other public collections. Dave’s customer list grew to include most of the collections in the greater Chicago area, including the Gilson, Krughoff and Sanfilippo Collections.
The manufacturing of new automatic musical instruments began in 1978 with the new "Encore" Automatic Banjo. Originally planning to build only a few, 50 instruments later, the company continues to manufacture the “Encore”. In the 1980’s, several new models of the elegant Seeburg style "H" orchestrion were built.
Through the years Dave has trained some of today's most skilled craftsman in the art of mechanical music restoration .
Upon earning the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts, David, Jr. began working full time at the family business in 1986, after years of working after school and summers alongside his father.
In 1994 Dave Sr. received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Musical Box Society
International for his work in the field of automatic musical instrument restoration
and manufacture. That same year, D. C. Ramey Piano Company introduced our greatest
achievement, the Banjo-
These instruments, along with the instruments we have restored, are featured in museums and private collections all around the world.
Dave at Svoboda’s, 1962.
David, Jr at work, 2011.
David, Jr and Dave, 1997.
Dave in the shop, 2002.