A rare 1954 Jennings Univox synthesiser organ was the topic of the day for the volunteer staff at the Lawrence Museum this week. The Museum houses a vast array of historical and collectable items, and Collections Officer, Brian Titcombe, took the opportunity last week to show this now rare, collectable, item to the group.
Brian explained, “The Jennings Univox synthesiser organ was made in 1954 at Dartford in Kent, England. It was the forerunner of today’s synthesiser. The Jennings 7 valve synthesiser has wooden keys and would be attached to the underside of a piano or an organ, and could also be used as a mono voice. This instrument made the 60’s instrumental group, The Tornados, famous and was the solo synth instrumental voice that is so recognisable in the 60’s international hit ‘Telstar’. “
This item is one of very few left in the world and we are pleased to be able to have it on display for all to view. It does, however, need some expertise in cleaning up the internal power board and operation requirements. We would love to hear from anyone who has any knowledge of the synthesiser.”
Brian added, ”There are so many interesting items in the museum, and each week we select an item for discussion with the staff. We explain what we know about the item and its history. We are fortunate to have many items donated, and it is important to be able to document their history.
The Lawrence Museum houses a large collection of telephones, radios and associated equipment and always welcomes donations. “If anyone has old items of historical interest, either taking up storage space, or they are going to throw them out,” Brian said, “please consider donating to the museum, where they can be kept and displayed for all to see.”
The Museum is operated by a volunteer committee and volunteer staff and new members are always welcome. Members undertake a wide range of tasks to ensure the museum preserves the history of the village and future generations can see how past lives were lived. As well as the impressive telecommunications collection, the Museum has a Sulky Shed, a Blacksmith’s Shop, a Dairy and wealth of both indoor and outdoor tools and equipment.
The Lawrence Museum is operated by the Lawrence Historical Society and has operated in the former 2NR Broadcasting Station Building, Merton Street, Lawrence, since 2004.
If you have items of interest you wish to donate, or would like to participate in the Museum activities please contact Secretary, Vois Bancroft , on 6647 7255.