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Stoomboat Stoomorgel

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Old 06-08-2009, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,053
Blog Entries: 3
Default Stoomboat Stoomorgel

Somehow I knew this title would garner attention to this post!

Atached is a link to a YouTube video of the Stoomorgel (calliope) of the Stoomboat SUCCES. Why I am putting this here is a interesting story in and of itself.

A couple of days ago while on a road trip at work I was surfing the net and found this link on another members (Matt Dow) YouTube page saved as a favourite) and while I was watching it and listening (through headphones) I remembered the first time I played this instrument. And the memories flowed for hours!

David Morecraft built this one in 1992 and it's first public performance was on the first itteration of Capt. Nelson Jones' steam barge at Tall Stacks 1992. Dave even replicated the Thomas J Nichol style of manifold and keyboard. This one looks so authentic (and sounds it, too) you'd swear that Mr. Nichol himself built it!

Dave and I had talked numerous hours over this one...How the manifold would be bent to the shallow "U" shape that was necessary? How would one put American selonoid valves with the European electrical current situation? All the while the word was coming down the pike the Delta Queen Steamboat Company would be building a new steamboat and all ears had to be focused on this new instrument possibility. There was ALOT going on!

The reason this calliope had to look authentic was it was replaceing a true gem...the calliope from the Streckfus Steamer WASHINGTON. Somehow, Dr. Murphy, the SUCCES's owner had gotten ahold of the historic Streckfus calliope and Dave Morecraft had rebuilt it for them. The European Calliopist's weren't too happy with the WASHINGTON's mechanical action (or the 28-note range of the instrument...this was solved with 4 additional whistles Dave built) and the money flowed up to Peru to solve the situation.

The WASHINGTON's calliope is safely back in the states, in storage in Florida. And this Peru, Indiana built stoomorgel takes its place!

Watch, listen, and imagine....we may have 3 fewer calliopes on the inland rivers this year...but, at least one proud American Steam Calliope (stoomorgel) soldiers on across the pond!

YouTube - Stoomorgel (calliope) ss Succes speelt Hollandse medley!

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