Antique musical instruments: Piano Violin Mills, USA 1912


This automatic violin is complemented by a surprising piano.

These sophisticated devices were reserved for chic restaurants and tea salons.
Invented in 1912 by the American, Henry K.Sandel (an employee of Mills), it was considered at the time to be one of the greatest technical marvels along with the gas turbine, the new techniques of electricity production and colour photography !
A violin accompanies a piano containing 44 notes located at the end of the instrument, played by mechanical "fingers" and small rotating wheels in Rhodoïd (automatically coated in rosin). They replace the bow action by touching the strings at the required moment. 
The music is written on rolls of perforated paper and the whole instrument is operated by an electric motor and electro-magnets.

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