Welcome to the World of Mechanical Music

The Golden Age of
Automatic Musical Instruments

Book illustration of The Golden Age of Automatic Musical Instruments.

Remarkable Music Machines
and Their Stories
by Arthur A. Reblitz
edited by Q. David Bowers

Yesteryear’s Treasures—
The Fascinating World
of Automatic Music

• Lovely and elegant music boxes

• Self-playing mechanical orchestras

• Automatic violins, harps, and banjos

• Thrilling mechanical band organs used in
carousels, fairgrounds, and amusement parks

• Reproducing pianos that duplicate the artistic
playing of Rachmaninoff, Gershwin,
and other famous artists

Information about the book The Golden Age of Automatic Musical Instruments.

Web site sponsored by
Reblitz Restorations Inc.

Reblitz Restorations - Where Music, Beauty and Mechanical Harmony Come Together.

• Tuning & Regulation

• Complete Restoration

• Friendly On-Site Service

• Missing Parts Reproduced

• Repair of Individual Components

• Piano Soundboards and Pinblocks

• Specializing in Musical Finishing Touches

• Over 40 Years of Experience

Information about Reblitz Restorations.

The Mechanical Music Registry section banner.

How to Use This Web Site

All main pages have a navigation menu at the left margin (picture panes accessed via thumbnail images do not, but instead have a “Back” button located at or near the bottom of the panel to return the viewer to the referring page).

Navigation Menu Description and Color Codes

On the navigation menu at top left it can be seen that this site is divided into several sections, each one devoted to some logical historical interest or activity, as follows:

  1. Getting Started: Suggestions as to how to best make use of the web site and its navigational features, and a link to “What Is New to this Site” page.
  2. Books: Currently there is only one book listed, along with several links to get immediate access to various book details and to an order blank. More information regarding books by Art Reblitz is planned, but not yet implemented.
  3. Articles and Instrument Profiles: The section provides access to historical articles and stories, as well as to the many instrument profiles (or simple pedigrees) for Hupfeld, Wurlitzer/Philipps, Welte, and others yet to be added.
  4. The Registry and Rollographies: This section serves as both a registry of various mechanical music items and as a research center. It features organized lists or enumerations of many types, including (1) lists of extant instruments and/or appurtances; (2) ledger information for various mechanical music instrument manufacturers; (3) rollographies, both internally generated and externally by other authors and/or organizations; (4) survey forms for gathering additional information for database lists and research; and (5) historical information pertinent to the items or content presented.
  5. Reblitz Restorations: Background information and restoration, tuning, and other services provided by Reblitz Restorations and his associates, along with customer comments, photos, and videos of restored instruments.
  6. FAQ’s / Resources: Audio recordings, some frequently asked questions, and links to various mechanical music related resources, including venues, books, supplies, and restoration sources.
  7. Contact Information: This section contains contact information regarding book orders, technical inquiries and for reporting web site errors and problems, as well as a page detailing the evolution of this site and various site policies.
  8. Link Errors: Please report any errors regarding links to other pages and/or other access problems to the Mechanical Music Press Webmaster at:

Image Thumbnail Links to Image Panes

Example Picture Pane Link.Please note that throughout the site there are prominently featured thumbnail images interspersed within the text, which are unmarked but functional links to image panes that feature one or more much larger scale images, along with oftentimes very detailed descriptions. An illustration of this is the example thumbnail image picture pane link at right. Hold the mouse over the image and click, and see what you get! There is a lot of otherwise “hidden” information that can be quickly accessed by simply clicking on highlighted links and/or the thumbnail images, and so don’t miss out by ignoring these links to additional treasures.

Registry and Rollography Database Reports

All Registry and Rollography database reports are in searchable PDF format. This means that when viewing any report in a a PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can search the report for any string of characters. If, for instance, in a rollography report you want to find a particular roll number, tune, or composer it is possible to instantly find it by opening a search dialog box (usually using a key combination such as "Ctrl-F") and then entering the appropriate character string.