Monday, January 23, 2012

Dutch Room and Pipe Organ, National Hotel, Minneapolis

These two postcards show the Dutch Room and Pipe Organ at the National Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This hotel was located at 205 Washington Ave South. The first postcard is circa 1908-1909, and the second appears to be a bit later. An interesting feature of the first postcard is the union label and message imprinted on the right side: "The only Union Hotel in Minneapolis. Thoroughly Organized in all Departments." The union message may have been added to appeal to visitors attending a union convention in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune of Feb 20, 1909 had an article about the Famous Dutch Room of the National Hotel that has the same basic text as the 1909 ad in The Bridgemen's Magazine (Google ebook page here), although the newspaper article seems to be directed to visitors to the auto show instead of "the convention." That Bridgeman's Magazine page also included a black and white version of the photo reproduced on the first postcard. The Bridgemen's Magazine was union related, and that issue was a convention issue.

The ad/article described the Dutch Room in glowing terms and boasted of unique attractions for music lovers:
In no other restaurant in the United States can be found such an attraction for music lovers as the Oxette, or pipe organ, which has been pronounced by music masters the sweetest toned instrument of its kind in the world. In connection with this magnificent instrument one of the costliest Auxetophones in the world adds to the charm of an evening spent in the Dutch room by reproducing in perfect tone the exquisite voices of Carmen, Caruso, Melba and others...

The ad shown below is from Feb 14, 1909 and also emphasizes the musical attractions of the "Famous Dutch Room."

The auxetaphone was an early amplified phonograph. It used compressed air supplied by an electric motor to amplify sound. Auxetaphones were so loud that they were mainly used outdoors, in very large restaurants, or auditoriums. In the enlarged detail from the second postcard, it appears that an auxetaphone was placed to the left of the organ.

The video below demonstrates an auxetaphone.

1 comment:

  1. What a great place and thank you for putting together an explanation on the Victor Auxetaphone. I'd never heard of this before but clearly it spoils the pro-union position of the National Hotel as this device was designed to put musicians out of work!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...