Way Back When: Make Your Own Music
(Image Source: Wikimedia)
By Betsy J. Green
100 years ago, folks didn’t have radios in their homes yet, but you could make your own music with a mechanical piano. In April 1919, Brown’s Music House at 718 State Street was selling Player Piano rolls.
A player piano roll was a length of paper wound around a wooden spindle. As the paper was unwound and moved to an empty spindle, holes in the paper caused a mechanism in the player piano to touch a key and play a note. (If you’re old enough to remember IBM punch cards, this concept may sound familiar to you, but of course, IBM punch cards are fast becoming ancient history as well.)