Lip balm maker builds theater pipe organ in warehouse

Lip balm maker builds theater pipe organ in warehouse

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FRANKLIN, Wis. (AP) — A theater pipe organ that was popular in the early 1900s to accompany silent movies has found an unlikely new home — at the Wisconsin company that makes the distinctively scented lip balm Carmex.

It's the personal passion of Carma Laboratories president Paul Woelbing, who loves the instrument's complexity and sound.

He's hired Minneapolis-based Century Pipe Organs, which is building it in the company's Franklin warehouse with refurbished parts from around the country.

The console with four keyboards, 32 foot pedals and more than 400 stop tabs for different sounds is downstairs, while the other machinery and pipes are upstairs.

The project began six years ago and should be complete next year with a total of 6,000 pipes.

Woelbing hopes to one day open it up to the community.

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