Mechanical Music Through the Ages

A collection of Mechanical Music and Arcade Machines – highlighting examples of the development in mechanical entertainment over time.

Clariona 1879 – (USA)


The Clariona was invented and patented by Professor Merritt Gally of New York in 1883 and contained 14 reeds and used rolls for the music. These were nicely constructed instruments with gears for the drive mechanism which removed the slipping problems of drive belt organettes. A lever disengages the drive gear so that the rewind handle – which is part of every roll spool –  can be used to rewind the roll.

The sloping box on the top of this Clariona is called a reed pipe swell box. It was simply a hollow box designed to increase or decrease the sound whether the top of the box was open or shut.