Mechanical Music Through the Ages

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

“Dolly Record by Madame Hendren” Averill Talking Doll 1926 – (USA)

The Averill Manufacturing Company was formed in 1913 by Georgene and James Averill in New York, New York.  Madame Hendren was a trademark used by the Company for its Dolly Record talking dolls. The Phonograph Dolls as they were officially known, had a composition head, metal closing eyes and the phonograph mechanism hidden in the chest cavity of the doll. The horn of the phonograph pressed against the chest of the doll and allowed the sound to penetrate for hearing. The dolls were dressed according to the period, with legs, feet, arms, hands and head, all hand painted. The dolls were originally sold with a set of 6 nursery rhyme wax cylinders, which included the Child’s Prayer. The doll below is rare as it has the full set of working cylinders and a spare phonograph if required for repair purposes.