Last Updated: 10/8/2008


"Mechanical Music; A Survey of Musical Boxes, Street Organs, Player Pianos, Indoor Organs and Other Mechanical Instruments," by Kevin McElhone. A Shire Album, Published in 1997 Shire Publications, Buckinghamshire, UK. Softcover, 32 pages with numerous black-and-white drawings and photographs. The book measures 8-1/4 inches (21 cm) high by 6-7/8 inches (14.9 cm) wide.

This booklet is part of an on-going series of booklets by Shire Publications that covers a wide range of topics of special interest to various groups of people. Other titles include Discovering Bells and Bellringing, Old Gramophones and Other Talking Machines, and Old Radio Sets. This volume in the series is numbered 333, which reflects the great number of subjects covered in the series.

Text from the dustjacket is as follows:

"The sound of a street barrel piano or fairground organ may revive distant memories for those old enough to remember them in their heyday or stir an interest in those too young. Many families were rich enough to have their own automatic music in the form of a player piano or musical box.

This book describes the history, development, use and fall from favour of many types of exotic instruments from pocket-sized snuff boxes to roll-playing pipe organs and everything else in between. As an introduction to a complex subject, it leads readers to visit collections open to the public or join one of the societies which encourage restoration of instruments to their former glory."



Automatic Musical Instruments Family Tree

Musical Boxes

Street Instruments

Player Pianos

Indoor Organs

Other Instruments

Musical Societies

Further Reading

Places to Visit

e-mail me now to reserve this book

Return to: Bill Wineburgh's Home Page