The Paper Organ Kit – possibly the world’s smallest roll-playing instrument!
Back in 1990, Benjamin Hurdle won a national competition to produce a working model made only of paper and cardboard. His entry was an ingenious Paper Organ Kit. His initial design was later professionally produced in full colour on sheets of quality card and paper by a Dutch printing firm.
The kit is presented in a large cardboard box (51 x 36 x 2.5 cm) and contains everything required to make the organ. The builder only needs to supply glue, a sharp modelling knife, metal straight edge, and a cutting mat. A length of perforated music roll is provided, which plays the traditional melody “Whisky in the Jar”; blank paper is included so the builder can also try their hand at cutting extra tunes for it. The finished product is decorated with images of the famous Perlee Dutch street organ “The Arab” More than 1500 kits have been sold to date to individuals and shops worldwide.
With an intended skill level of 12 years of age and upwards (perhaps with a little help from an adult), the Paper Organ Kit makes an interesting, educational and entertaining gift and, on completion, it actually plays! One enterprising Dutch customer has even cut his own version of the Grand March from Aïda for it!
As will be seen from the accompanying photos, the double bellows are located on the left-hand side of the kit; these are operated by the player and feed wind into the base of the organ, which acts as a reservoir. The music roll on the right passes beneath the “pipes” when one of the handles is turned by the operator’s other hand. Air passes through the holes in the music roll and creates a sound similar to whistling across the edge of a piece of cardboard. The roll is rewound by turning the other handle.
“I wanted to thank you again for shipping me the paper organ kit. I received it in time to give to my friend as a gift. Thank you for dealing with this during the quarantine. I would highly recommend you to anyone who asks.” – Tom, USA
We also have a facebook page (public) and a facebook group (for those already with a facebook login). The group, in particular, offers a meeting place for anyone who is thinking of buying, has already built, or is in the process of making, The Paper Organ Kit. If you buy a kit, you can also download some additional helpful instructions, here.
Kit price £24.99
UK mainland packing, insurance and postage £4.99