Dr. Ted’s favorite instrument, the Wurlitzer 153, was made for large merry-go-rounds in 1923. Included in Dr. Ted’s collection are three carousel horses that enhance the circus feeling.
This Wurlitzer was built in North Tonawanda, New York in 1923 before being shipped to Cincinnati where it was bought by a man from Iowa for use in his ice skating rink. Before reaching the rink, the man died so the organ was crated in a warehouse for over 30 years when it was purchased for a roadside attraction. A collector in Minnesota found it and that is where Dr. Ted saw the Wurlitzer for the first time.

Dr. Ted purchased it for his collection. It had survived more intact than most due to being protected in storage and in a private collection.

Only 160 of the Wurlitzer 153 were ever made and no two are exactly alike. The front facade features detailed paintings and varied considerably from one organ to the next.
Growing up in Louisville, Dr. Ted fell in love with a Wurlitzer organ on a merry-go-round in Fountain Ferry Park.

This organ was used on three-abreast carousels, in dance pavilions, skating rinks, and other amusement areas. The scroll work is hand carved. It has 54 keys, wooden trombones, flute pipes, violin pipes, wooden trumpets, cello pipes, bass drums, snare drum, cymbal and plays using paper rolls of music.

You can almost smell the popcorn and taste the cotton candy when the organ plays.
Click here to see and hear the Wurlitzer play.

CD’s of music played by this very organ are available for purchase at the museum gift shop.