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Coney Island Calliopes

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    Coney Island Calliopes

    With Memorial Day being the traditional beginning of the season for excursion steamboating and the joyful tooting of calliopes heralding another summer of river excursions, here are several images of calliopes, two of them featuring the famed calliopist Homer Denney.

    (1) Homer Denney at calliope of Coney Island Str. Princess
    (2) Calliope on Str. Princess
    (3) Homer Denney at BELLE OF LOUISVILLE calliope - 1966

    Have a Safe and Happy Memorial Day Holiday!
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    #2
    speaking of calliopes, I have been doing a little work on the one aboard the Minne. I painted the manifold, and though I wanted to polish and tune, things didn't work out the way i wanted it to. All the following happened today (funny stories). First, I went to tune it. The locking nuts on top were so rusted that I couldn't get a few off. Then, to my horror and surprise, the highest C broke at the base and fell onto the deck. The Marine Superintendent was able to fix it (thank god!!). I then went to polish the whistles. I had gotten the first coat onto the bass whistles when I was told that steam would be up in less than half an hour and I would need to stop. I had to just wipe off the still wet coat of brass polish and leave it for another day :_( . Then, I proceeded to try and make myself useful and test the keyboard. It was a good thing I did because I found 10 whistles that would not work due to faulty parts within the valves. A few hours and more work later, 6 of the 10 (the ones that play the most) were operational. New parts for the remaining 4 will come in next week, but it will just have to do for the weekend. I guess what they say is true. No good deed goes unpunished!! What started as a harmless project turned out as an entire day off spent on the roof. Oh well, its what we do!
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      #3
      Valve and etc. problems

      Ok, you know I know nothing about technology, so: were the valves not functioning as a result of the cold winter/layup?

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        #4
        thats what we think. Theres a small piston inside each one that (in the ones not working) were failing to work correctly when their key was pressed. As I said, we replaced as many as we could, and we even had to take the functioning ones from the top 2 notes as replacements for notes that are used more frequently. We do have more coming, but next week. Sounds ok today though and it looks better, which is all I really wanted to do. Makes me happy :)

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          #5
          Keep up the good / hard work Matt. The manifold looks great ,,..:)

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            #6
            the Steam CaLLiope "America"/QUEEN CITY

            HAY ALL;
            Now that the subject of Steam CaLLiopes has been brought up,, here is a chunk of Steam CaLLiope history;;
            Im currintly working in Baraboo,Wisconsin at the Circus World Museum on the America Steam CaLLiope.. this instriment was originally on the QUEEN CITY (not sure of the dates) but appears on the R.J. HESLOP in Elizabeth,Pa July 4 1934 and is in the video posted by Jon Tschiggfrie ..YouTube - Steam calliope clips - Elizabeth, PA
            From there it went to the I.LAMONT HUGHES for a special tow they ran,..
            A Short time after that it went to the Forephugh Fish Circus which was bought out by the Cole Bro. Circus some time in 1936 or 1937 ..And has been in the America wagon scents 1940..
            This Steam CaLLiope also appeared in Harry Truman's inaugural parade in 1949.. And is one of LAST all original Thos. J. Nichol CaLLiopes that is fully functional on Steam..
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