Steam Notes


| September/October 1975



The Wallace Bros

The Wallace Bros. Circus steam calliope, which was stored by the Getz brothers. Picture courtesy of Getz Bros., Yellow Goose Road, Lancaster, Pa. Courtesy of Bill Lenox, Elizabethtown, Pa.

Bill Lenox

Elizabethtown, Pa. 17022.

'He's not musical, he's 'steamsical'.'

That's what Noah Getz's mother replied when someone wondered why her son went to the trouble of building a steam calliope by himself when he didn't know one note of music from another.

Noah Getz does, indeed, have 'steam in his blood'. At the age of six in October of 1924, he fired his first engine, a Peerless traction. For his 10th birthday he received a steam engine whistle, an event he remembers vividly and enjoys recalling.

In 1961 the famed Wallace Bros. Circus was in Lancaster, Pa. when the calliope player, L.A. Bartlett, then 75 years old, of Enid Okla. left the show. Noah and his brothers Robert and William, who had been talking with circus officials about the calliope for two years, agreed to store the instrument.

In exchange, they received permission to display it at local events, such as the Landisville Farm Show Museum celebration and the Kinzers Rough and Tumble convention. Mrs. Milfred Witman of East Petersburg and Arlene Hartenstein of Rohrers town, stuffed their ears with cotton and played at these events.