Gebrueder Bruder Organ at
Flushing Meadows NY
Residing in the circa 1905 Stubbman Mangels-Illions
four-abreast carousel is a Gebrueder Bruder 80-key Elite Apollo Orchester bandorgan. The
carousel and organ came from historic Coney Island and were moved to the park in 1964 to
become part of the New York World's Fair.
The Corona Park Bruder is one of just two 80-keyless Elite
Apollo Orchesters known to exist. The B.A.B. Organ Company of Brooklyn converted the organ
to play from their 87-key rolls. Max Nowicki, a long time organ repairman, converted one
of the frames to play from Wurlitzer 165 rolls. The original 80-key scale of the organis
an enlargement of the 69-key scale which is the foundation of theWurlitzer 165 scale.
Elite Apollo organs are very special indeed! When new, they
cost double of what the regular piano/forte Gebrueder Bruders sold for. The price in 1912
was 20,000 gold marks. The cost of keyless bookmusic was 20% higher than standard
The pipework in an 80-key Elite Apollo is very orchestral and
is similar to that of a large French fairground organ with baritones,wood trumpets, brass
trumpets, and many ranks of violin and cellopipes. The large-scale pipework literally
fills the organ case.
The Elite Apollo organs are deeply pitched and are a pleasure
to listen to -- just ask anyone who enjoys a Wurlitzer 165 which is based on the Elite
Apollo design! The expression of the organ is controlled by seven automatic registers as
well as swell shutters. The organ's scale has 10 bass notes, 14 accompaniment notes, 23
melody notes,and 20 counter-melody notes.
The present condition of the Corona Park Bruder can best be
described as poor. This once magnificent band organ has suffered greatly over the years.
Max Nowicki has done his best to keep it playing on a very small budget allowed by the
city of New York. Pipes have been stolen from the organ along with the beautiful center
figure of a woman holding a torch. At last report the female statues holding the trumpets
were still on the organ.
What is the future of this historic and rare organ? Who
knows? I have tried to purchase it but I have discovered that it is nearly impossible to
deal with City Hall. It would be great for the city to realize the treasure they have and
properly restore it. I believe that it has the potential to be one of the finest sounding
band organs in America if properly restored.
(reprinted with permission)
That old organ is a real treasure and desperately needs to be
properly restored. There are several qualified restorers in England and Germany who
could properly restore it to its former glory.
The late Fred Fried who wrote the book on carousels informed
me that this organ was originally used in Coney Island and that it was acquired by trading
it for a shipment of wheat to Germany! Mr. Fried also told me that someone had
stolen the center statue shown in your photograph. Kids have also stolen pipes out
of it which Max Nowicki tried to replace.
If this organ was restored, the sound would be
FANTASTIC! To just ignore it and let it rot is a crime! It is time that
someone in New York stirred the pot to restore and save it. I will certainly
supply any information I have to help in that cause.
email@example.com (reprinted with
Here is a rare view of the Corona Park Bruder when
it was new at Stubbman's Beer Garden. This picture was provided from Waldkirch,
Germany where the organ was made. Notice the organ is not installed within the
carousel in the early years.
(Photo provided by Tim Trager)