We went to the Music House Museum this morning. Its barn-like appearance (it really is a barn) belies the incredible and unique collection of rare antique automated musical instruments which have been purchase and/or contributed by hobbyists and music aficionados. Entering the museum is like stepping back into the history of automated music. One can’t help be intrigued by the imagination, creativity, technical expertise, craftsmanship and artistry of the pioneers of recorded sounds. A sampling of the instruments on display, all of which are in working order, includes …
Edison Gramophone – circa 1877
German manufactured Herty Gerty
Late 19th century Music Box
Orchestral Corona – circa 1899 (with 27 inch metal discs)
Venus-Belle Miniature grand piano – circa 1920
Belgian made Rossi – circa 1880 to 1920 (hand-turned barrels set with pins were used to play a piano)
Voilano-Virtuoso – 1912 (labeled as “one of eight great inventions of the century” at the 1909Alaska-Yukon Exposition, this all electric device used solenoids and variable speed motors to control a paper roll to play the piano and violin and had 19 patents)
Link RX Coin Piano with mandolin, violin and flute pipes
that played 15 tunes on a 300’ continuous loop of perforated paper
CLICK OR PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER TO PLAY:https://www.dropbox.com/s/sslkjp5bafxeitn/VIDEO%20-%20Link%20RX%20Piano%2C%20The%20Museum%20House%20Museum%2C%20Acme%2C%20MI%20-%202104-08-20.AVI?dl=0
Frati “Cornettino Barrel Organ – circa 1880 (98 pipes and 5 stops played 43 notes and played 10 tunes from a pinned wooden barrel. A hand crank operates bellows to supply the wind pressure. Across the front are 15 brass cornet and 14 piccolos while the cabinet pipes include 18 strings, 27 stopped flutes, 14 melody flutes, 5 bourdons and 3 brass reeds.)
Cremora Nickelodeon Piano – circa 1910
Brunswick Panatrope – circa 1926 (It was the first all-electric radio phonograph combination)
Estey organ – circa 1917 (donated by St. Andrews Roman Catholic church of Saginaw, MI. This is a 12 rank tubular pneumatic instrument.
Mortier’s Amaryllis Organ – circa 1922 (uses a multitude of especially voiced organ pipes and percussion instruments to automatically produce the sound of a large European dance orchestra. Its original repertory contains over 2,200 dance tunes and light classics … today, it has been computerized and can play almost any song. The beautiful and intricate façade of rosewood from the Belgian Congo is 30 wide with hand-carved and hand-painted adornments, gilded domes, oil paintings and moving expression louvers.)
CLICK OR PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER TO PLAY:https://www.dropbox.com/s/xhnef5bwhqysfz0/VIDEO%20-%20Amaryllis%20-%20circa%201922%20%28b%29%2C%20The%20Museum%20House%20Museum%2C%20Acme%2C%20MI%20-%202104-08-20.AVI?dl=0
The Aeolean Duo-Art Weber – 1925 (This reproducing piano has a hand-carved walnut case covered in gold leaf. Its original cost in 1925 was $10,000.)
CLICK OR PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER TO PLAY:https://www.dropbox.com/s/duxwgoo91f1o26t/VIDEO%20-%20Aeolean%20Duo-Art%20Weber%20Reproducing%20Piano%20-%20circa%201925%20%28c%29%2C%20The%20Museum%20House%20Museum%2C%20Acme%2C%20MI%20-%202104-08-20.AVI?dl=0
Wurlitzer Organ – circa 1924 (An exact replica of the 34 rank theater organ from parts salvaged from Detroit and Grand Rapids theaters)
J.P. Seeburg KT cabinet piano – circa 1920 (with its Eagle stained glass, it had a xylophone, castanets, triangle and tambourine … but no keyboard. It was the forerunner of the jute box and was popular in restaurants and bars)
Entering the museum, you walk through several exhibits of old
Gramophones Radios Victrolas Jute Boxes
and to set the scene, chandeliers from a New York City hotel,
an old, turn-of-the-19th- century General Store
and the Hurry Back Saloon.
We’d planned to have a picnic lunch by the water in downtown Traverse City.
“Time to Let Go”
However, there was a cool breeze coming off the water and thus we opted to eat in Dave’s truck. After eating, strolled along Front Street (the heart of the city’s downtown shopping district) …
State Street Theater
Fifth Third Bank Building
Lighthouse Tower atop Park Place Hotel
Hat Shop … which also sells beer and wine making equipment in the rear of the store
City Opera House
as Debbie and LaDonna browsed numerous stores while Dave and I spent our time people watching
with other lonesome husbands!
This evening we went to dinner at the
Overlooking East Great Traverse Bay (just ¼ north of where Debbie and I had lunch yesterday). Back at our campground, we presented Bill and Carol a present (for their back yard) in thanks for all their efforts at arranging and coordinating this reunion.