The first steam calliope I remember seeing/hearing is that of the Majestic. My parents took my sister and I down to the Showboat Landing in Jeffersonville quite frequently in the later days of her existance in Jeffersonville.
The IUPUI Calliope I perform on today is that of the Attaboy (Majestic). We have the manifold and whistles from that calliope. However the keyboard did not survive. Today she is electrically operated.
It is a wonder we did not meet as children, as we seemed to end up at all the same places.
Maybe you can assist me in a quest I have been on for several years. Capt Don Sanders is looking to find out what happened to Melinda Vaprin, who played the calliope on the Majestic seasons of 1965 and 1966. For some reason, I am not able to find hide nor hair of her in the IU/IUPUI Documentation of the calliope/showboat. Of course, this is the same reliable documentation that lost the keyboard in the recreation of the calliope to the circus wagon she is now on...so go figure!
That was another time. But, what a dream it is!
For the sake of history, the IUPUI Calliope, the Str. Delta Queen calliope, and the Str. Idlewild/Avalon (now the Capt. Gabe Chengary calliope, which I understand is for sale and is the last totally intact Thomas J. Nichol tracker steam calliope in existance...anyone got $50,000.00 and need a totally historically accurate steam calliope...Capt. Gabe needs to hear from you!)calliopes are all related.
The calliopes were built by Thomas J. Nichol in the winter of 1922-23 at Cincinnati, OH and were affectionately nicknamed the 3 sisters.
They were the first 32 note chromatic steam calliopes built by the firm. All additional calliopes he built, and his sons when they formed Thomas J Nichol and Sons in Detroit, MI in 1939 (after their father's death,) were all 32 note instruments.
Enough of the calliope history lesson!