Philipps Pianella Mechanical Revolvers
a.k.a. Automatic Roll Changers

The paragraphs below are verbatim from the English section of a Philipps Pianella Catalogue, circa 1910.. Although patented in 1905, the Philipps Revolver Mechanik (automatic roll changer) was generally offered as an option, and at extra cost of 200 German Marks. This is because in Europe it was customary for an attendant to operate an expensive orchestrion, playing the music desired by patrons and in turn collecting an appropriate fee. Thus, single roll mechanisms were the standard of choice. Not only was it quicker and much more convenient to change music rolls on a single roll mechanism, but they were cheaper and easier to maintain, too. It was not until later years that the automatic roll changer was installed as a standard fixture.

or Self-adjusting Music-roll.
Philipps 6-station Revolver-Mechanik as illustrated in 1911/12 catalogue.

By means of this patent unrivalled invention 6 Music Rolls can be inserted in our instruments at a time and change automatically, differing only from ordinary ones in that they have a piece of linen attached to the beginning of the paper enclosed in a brass sheath. If 6 of such rolls are inserted, then without the assistance of a third person, the Rolls succeed each other automatically, unrolling and placing themselves in position until all are finished, when they can be removed in the simplest manner either altogether or singly.

A further advantage is that there is less risk of derangement by unskillful handling and the rolls are kept in better condition, not being so frequently changed.

It is easy to see the advantage which the automatic system has over the other, and to the busy Hotel-Manager it is a special boon, enabling him to provide for his guests a highly varied programme of Concert and Dance Music without trouble of any sort.

Besides this, each Roll can if desired consist of 4 or more pieces of Music, so that with a single insertion of 6 rolls a programme of 24 or more pieces is obtained.

This invention can be used by no other makers and for that reason we claim the first place to-day in our branch of industry.