Dr. Ted's Musical Marvels


The museum, begun by a local physician, contains an extensive collection of hand-cranked and self-playing devices that use clock-making, textile-weaving, and other borrowed engineering applications to produce their delightful melodies. Among the historic items from around the world are player pianos, street organs, nickelodeons, orchestrions, and music boxes. Pride of place goes to the Belgian Decap dance organ, which was constructed in 1930. The 12' x 24' mechanical engineering wonder, uses a giant music book to play multiple instruments, including 535 organ pipes, two saxophones, two accordions, two drums, and more.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Mechanical
Topic(s):Sounds/Music
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The 18th-century serinette, used to teach birds to sing pretty songs, was a precursor of the street organ. It worked by turning a crank that rotated a barrel with pins stuck in it. When a pin hit its matching tab, a valve opened to let air from a bellows pass through a pipe. Pipes of different lengths produced the various bird-like sounds.
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