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THE WONDERFUL CALIPERVOX

Welcome To
The Florida Chapter
Calipervox Players International

(turn up your volume for calipervox music).

THE HISTORY OF THE CALIPERVOX

The calipervox was invented by Sven Calipersen of Ostergotland, Sweden in 1253 A.D. The instrument was first used to call reindeer. In 1375 A.D., Olaf Skanedotter adapted this reindeer calling device for use as a musical instrument. Olaf was originally a reindeer caller but was also a talented singer and musician. After losing part of his tongue in a freak reindeer accident, Olaf turned his efforts toward developing the calipervox for use as a musical instrument. The original instrument invented by Calipersen was destroyed in the great Vasa fire in 1750. However, the old Skanedotter instrument is now on exhibit at the Erickson Calipervox Institute in Oslo, Norway.

The calipervox was brought to North America in 1850 by Scandinavian musicians and was first used on the battlefields of the Civil War to entertain Union troops. Following the Civil War the U.S. Government employed calipervox players under contract to frighten Indians during the Indian Wars. This was an experiment that failed and resulted in several Native Americans learning to play the instrument. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show featured a Native American act known as the "Sioux City Calipervox Band." One of those instruments used by this band was later converted into a slot machine and is still in operation on the Broken Elbow Reservation.

During the heyday of Vaudeville several traveling calipervox players appeared on stages throughout the country. During the Great Depression, due to the lack of butter, Hermann Weisson almost completely changed the instrument. He replaced the original wing bellows with accordian-type bellows operated by foot pedals, and added a three-speed gear-shift which was operated with a mouth-piece similar to an inner-tube valve stem. Weisson attached wheels to the instrument for use in parades. A steering wheel and brake pedal were added for control. This machine had to be pulled by oxen due to its weight. In 1928, Alex Feldman installed a Ford Model-T engine to power the giant musical instrument making it completely self-propelled. Thus began a new era for the calipervox.

Calipervox playing began declining during World War II due to the difficulty in obtaining windshield wipers caused by the rubber shortage. Today there are only 86 registered calipervox players in the world. Of these registered players only 41 play the old style instruments. Modern calipervoxes are made of plastic and rubber with ceramic resonators. Since 1957, all calipervox players have been required by federal law {18 USC 940.1 - The Hammbone Act of 1951} to have transmodifiers installed to reduce pollution. Gone are the old purge-buckets, with the new transmodifiers they are no longer necessary. In the State of Florida, all calipervox players must have a Class A license. For your convience, a list of licensed players and an application for a license is provided below. For more information please contact the National Calipervox Center at 1-800-HOG-HORN.

LICENSED CALIPERVOX PLAYERS IN FLORIDA
AGNES AND DAVID SCHULLER, rated on the 1035-A model.
PROF. CHARLIE CARLSON, rated on the 1034 and 1035-B models.
JONLEE ZUNA, pending rating on the 1034 model.
JUANITA LOPEZ-HERNANDEZ, rated on the 1035A & B models.
LEROY STINESAPPER, rated on all models. [certified calipervox restoration specialist]

Safety and instructional guide for your calipervox.

Existing calipervox models and prices