Mechanical Music Through the Ages

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

Organina 1882 – (USA)

The Organina was patented by the Massachusetts Organ Company in 1878. It played 16 notes from perforated strip music which ended up on the floor as each piece completed its run through the instrument. The instrument had four exhausters to produce suction and a row of pressure fingers, pressing on the music at all times. Whilst the Company saw its pressure fingers as a good idea, owners and subsequently restorers have not, as they were prone to damaging the music, especially if a jam needed to be fixed. With the fingers dropping through the perforated music it was very difficult to remove without damaging the tune sheets. Eventually, the Company brought out a model  with a lever to lift the fingers. Annoyed owners of the original Organina could have their instrument upgraded for a small charge.