Mechanical Music Through the Ages

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

“French” Serinette 1850 – (French)

The “French” Serinette was commonly known as the “bird organ” and was manufactured from the late 18th century onwards. It was used by the wives of rich gentlemen to occupy their considerable free time teaching their canaries to sing. The tunes were embedded in pinned small barrels with the crank operating both the barrel and the bellows. The Serinette was identified significantly with the place of Mirecourt in France. The boxes featured removable sides so that the maximum sound could be directed to the cages of the birds under “instruction.” The Serinettes contained 10 or 12 metal pipes voiced to flute, or piccolo.