----Purpose of the Club----
The purpose and mission of the Abdallah Calliope Club is the restoration and display of our antique circus calliope to increase the public awareness of Abdallah and the activities of the Shrine in our community. To that end, the club will endeavor to parade the calliope whenever possible, and to make it available for various temple functions.
The Calliope can also be leased to businesses and organizations for special promotions and events on a full-day or half-day basis in the northeast Kansas jurisdiction of Abdallah Temple. The Calliope Club handles transportation, setup, and operation for these events. Persons who are interested in leasing should contact the Abdallah office at 913-362-5300.
----History of Abdallah's Calliope----
The Abdallah Calliope is actually a circa 1920's Calliphone that was built by the Tangley Works in Muscatine, Iowa.
The Calliphone is powered by air as opposed to a true calliope, which is a steam-powered device. The instrument provides the fun-filled music that is reminiscent of the large circuses and fairs of yesteryear.
The Abdallah Calliphone is mounted on a hand built reproduction circus wagon that was designed and constructed in 1976.
The wagon and calliphone sat idle for several years. In 1998, several Abdallah members began to explore how to make it parade worthy again. The Abdallah Calliope Club was formed and began the task.
Research was begun to determine the origin of the calliaphone, and the availability of parts and music rolls. The instrument bore a manufacturers plate that began the search. The original manufacturer, Tangley, had long since ceased operations. It was finally determined that another Iowa based company still manufactured the instruments, and could provide a copy of the original parts and operators manual. This enabled the club to move forward in learning the mechanics and procedures for operating and maintaining the delicate mechanism.
The calliphone music is created by a 1.5 LB air vacuum system directed to 43 brass whistles of various siz~ and pitch. The vacuum is developed by an electric blower which is powered by an on board gasoline generator. The music is played from large perforated paper rolls or it can be played from a keyboard.
During the years when the calliphone was not in use, it was stored outside in a covered trailer. The calliphone survived the elements well. Aside from needing a lot of brass polish and a general cleaning, it was in amazingly good condition. Modifications-were made to the wagon wheels and hitch, making it easier to tow and to load and unload from the trailer. The trailer was entirely refurbished including new paint, electrical, and decor.