On display

This item is on display at Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum


Disc - Symphonion, 'El Capitan', 1880s Object Reg. No: HT 2890

Disc for mechanical music machine called a Symphonion. Tune played is 'El Capitan'.

Customers inserted a coin into the Symphonion to make the musical disc rotate. Small projections on the disc plucked the teeth of a metal comb, causing music to play.

The Symphonion was powered by a clockwork mechanism, wound periodically by inserting a handle through a hole in the right hand side of the case.

The Symphonion and other mechanical music machines were very popular in Europe and North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The disc and Symphonion were made in Germany.
Can be played in Symphonion.

Steel disc, 641 mm for Symphonion.
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 630 mm (Height), 630 mm (Width)

More information

Themes this item is part of: Edward William Cole, Bookseller (1832-1918), Cole's Book Arcade Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MUSIC & MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Secondary Classification: Playback Media - Analogue
Tertiary Classification: perforated discs

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