Last Updated: 10/6/2008


"Put Another Nickel In, A History of Coin-operated Pianos and Orchestrions," by Q. David Bowers. Published in 1966 by The Vestal Press, Vestal, NY. Reprinted by Bonanza Books, NY. Hard cover with dust jacket, 248 pages with hundreds of black-and-white photographs, advertisements and reproduction company brochures. The book measures 11-1/4 inches (28.4 cm) high by 8-3/4 inches (22.2 cm) wide.

Text from the dustjacket is as follows:

"The automatic piano, which with embellishments added is known as the orchestrion, represents a unique field of human endeavor. This book is only the second in this century to have explored the history of these machines in depth, so it is not surprising that so little is known about them by the general public.

True, in the 1920's they were everywhere but Americans have a way of casting aside the old in favor of the new so quickly that frequently some very wonderful inventions are quickly forgotten. The period of real commercial exploitation of the market for coin-operated pianos lasted only some 30 years from 1898 until the late 1920's when the radio and phonograph \cast these interesting instruments into obscurity.

Fortunately, there are always those who enjoy delving into the mysteries of the past, and in PUT ANOTHER NICKEL IN Mr. Q. David Bowers has brought to light thousands of interesting facts, pictures, and stories relating to this once-huge industry. It is also fortunate that many enthusiasts around the country, and around the world, are taking steps to see that remaining instruments are preserved and made to play their fascinating melodies once again for yet another generation to enjoy. Many such existing machines are portrayed in this volume, for all its readers to see how music of the past was enjoyed whenever on cared to "PUT ANOTHER NICKEL IN."


Chapter 1:     The Beginnings of Mechanical Music
Chapter 2:     Beginning of the Coin Piano Business in America
Chapter 3:     History of the Wurlitzer Company
Chapter 4:     The Tonophone
Chapter 5:     The Pianino
Chapter 6:     Wurlitzer 65-Note Player Piano
Chapter 7:     The Pianorchestra
Chapter 8:     The Paganini
Chapter 9:     Wurlitzer Harp, Style A and B
Chapter 10:   A Photo Album of Various Coin Pianos and Orchestrions

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