Mechanical Music Through the Ages

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

Polyphon Model 5 Autochanger 1897 – (Germany)

The Polyphon No 5 Autochanger with 118 teeth in the comb; buyer’s choice of glockenspiel or regular bells of 16 notes; and with automatic disc-changer is both a sight and sound to behold. The music rack holds ten discs (56 cm. in diameter), any one of which could be selected by moving a lever to the left or right between the program cards on the front of the case. The Polyphon changer operates in basically the same manner as the Regina changer, but the Polyphon speed of changing is considerably faster. Unlike Regina, which produced automatic changers in large quantities, Polyphon changers were limited-production items, with the result that they are quite rare today. This version is coin operated using pennies and sits atop of its disc storage chest.