Concert Roller Organ

Concert Roller Organ

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This roller organ was most likely made by the Autophone Company in Ithaca, New York, around 1885-1899. It is a Concert 20-note model, with 20 reeds and a hinged glass front cover. This roller organ plays a metal-pin-studded wooden cylinder also called a “cob.” A hand crank activates the vacuum bellows and turns the cylinder. When a pin in the roller comes in contact with the hinged end of one of the organ valves it causes the valve to lift, allowing air into the reed chamber and sounding the desired note. Printed paper directions are attached to the inside of the rear cover. Accessioned with 28 wooden rolls (MI.74.11a.01-.28). Stencilled on top of the roller organ:

Concert Roller Organ

Currently not on view
Object Name
roller organ
date made
Meggers, Edith R.
place made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 12 1/2 in x 18 1/8 in x 18 1/4 in; 31.75 cm x 46.0375 cm x 46.355 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Bequest of Edith R. Meggers
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Mechanical Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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