Saturday, August 22, 2009

Aeolian Piano Roll - My Little Maid of Oz

It's "My Little Maid of Oz", from the bizarre 1902 stage musical production of The Wizard of Oz, played by that magical steampunk-robotic device known as a player piano, from a paper roll dated 1905.

The earliest player piano - that is, an automated piano-playing device that is programmed by interchangeable rolls of perforated paper - was invented by Claude Seytre, who patented one in France in 1842. Evidently the French patent office didn't require a functioning prototype, because although Seytre had the right idea, his machine didn't actually work. It wasn't until 1876 that John McTammany exhibited a working version of the device in Philadelphia.

Aeolian Piano Roll - My Little Maid of Oz (1905)

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