Orchestrion (Nickelodeon) - Image 1


National Music Museum, University of South Dakota

National Music Museum, University of South Dakota

Front view of Seeburg orchestrion (nickelodeon) with the panel doors closed. Cabinet made of quartered oak veneer. Torch-style, leaded art glass panels on doors are illuminated from behind by two incandescent light bulbs. Often called nickelodeons, because they play automatically each time a nickel is dropped into the slot, orchestrions were popular in restaurants, hotel lobbies, and saloons. Using a pneumatic action powered by an electric motor, the instrument is operated by changeable perforated paper rolls that each contain ten different tunes, many of them melodies from the 19th-century operatic and orchestral repertoire.

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  • Title: Orchestrion (Nickelodeon) - Image 1
  • Creator: J. P. Seeburg Piano Co. (orchestrion)
  • Date: 1913
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Original Source: photographer: Bill Willroth, Sr.
  • See on Institution's Site: http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/Keyboards/SeeburgOrchestrion/6022/orchestrion.html
  • Rights: National Music Museum, University of South Dakota
  • Other Makers: Seybold Company (piano) and Harmony Company (drums)
  • Medium: automatic musical instrument
  • Credit: Gift of Douglas and Phyllis Adam, 1996

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