Stinson Band Organ Company
Designers of Magnificent Band Organs since 1965
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Don Stinson's Band Organ Notes
Stinson Band Organ notes are authored by band organ architect and builder Mr. Donald Stinson. Stories includes experiences, past and present, encountered during design and repair of mechanical band organs, along with Don's unique experiences during his early days with the New York Central Railroad.

Back at the New York Central in the days when the steamlocomotives were being replaced with the new diesel locomotives, our outside supervisorwas having problems with the same old engineer every time he was assigned to his run.

Now most of the old road crews were very nice fellows, butevery now and then a very cantankerous one would seem to delight in causing problems forthe maintenance workers. The engineer would climb up on his diesel locomotive and refuseto leave town until the supervisor sent a man down to clean his water cooler in the cab.Most of the time they were cleaned before he came aboard, but it made his day to cause adelay and start trouble for the supervisor.

This particular supervisor was a very nice fellow and did notmake a practice of smiling very often, and this engineer did not help matters that much.

After a long and hot day the usual call came, and it was the last straw for the supervisor—the time for action had arrived. He called forthe electrician I was working with and told him to help him end the problem. Theelectrician was told to go in the back of the locomotive and shut it down and fix it so itwould not start up until the word was given.

As the supervisor climbed the ladder in the cab, theelectrician shut the unit down and fixed it where the fireman could not start it up again.The alarm bells were ringing and the firemen could not get it to start, and returned tothe cab to inform the engineer.

About this time, the supervisor gave the engineer and fireman avery sad look, and asked them to look up toward the shop, where two steam locomotives werewaiting to be assigned. "I think our only choice is to have this unit taken back tothe shop and assign you two fellows one of those nice steam locomotives,’ were thenext words from the supervisor. This old engineer had been running the new diesel unitsfor some time, and the last thing he and the fireman wanted was a dirty old steamlocomotive. About this time, the supervisor told the electrician to try one more time toget the unit running.

After about two minutes the engine started and the electricianreturned to the cab and informed them he had found the trouble and had it repaired. Thesupervisor then gave the crew a very hard look and barked, "The next time I am calledfor a dirty water cooler, you will run steam! That was the last call for a dirty watercooler, and I think they would haven taken it even if the cooler had a live bullfrog init.

And so it was at the old roundhouse.

Next Band Organ Note No. 11, October 1999
Previous Band Organ Note No. 9, July/August 1999

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