Playasax acquired by the ARS
In November 2014, I posted a blog detailing a very small roll (4.5" wide) that staff at the Archive of Recorded Sound had uncovered among the reproducing piano rolls in the Denis Condon Collection of Reproducing Pianos and Rolls. It was discovered that the roll was designed to be used with a toy, a type of player saxophone called the Playasax, produced by Q.R.S. I am very pleased to announce that the Archive, just yesterday, acquired an actual Playasax along with four additional rolls, thanks to a generous donation by Kristine Sturgill. This donation will make up the Otto M. Slater Playasax Collection, named in honor of Mrs Sturgill's father, who passed away earlier this year.
Born in Ogden, Utah, Otto M. Slater (1924-2015) moved to California after graduating from the University of Utah, majoring in mechanical engineering, to take up a job at the Naval Ordinance Test Station, China Lake. He later went on to work for Lockheed Missile and Space in the Bay Area, and he and his wife Luciel moved to the Los Altos Hills, where Mr Slater remained for the rest of his life.
The Playasax and rolls were recently discovered by Mrs Sturgill among her father's possessions. Having come across the aforementioned blog post during some research on the internet, Mrs Sturgill called the Archive of Recorded Sound and offered to donate the instrument and rolls to the Archive. We were of course delighted to accept.
Thanks go to Mrs Sturgill and her family for their generous donation.