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Cabinet Card of the Pickaphone, a Musical Automata Device (1888)

CC, Musical Automata: The Pickaphone (1888)

Cabinet Card of the Pickaphone, a Musical Automata Device (Howie photographer) (1888), Detroit, Michigan.

A very rare and interesting image of a gentleman seated by a musical invention called the "Pickaphone." According to the white inscription in the upper portion of the photo, this rather large device was patented September 4, 1888.

There are as many as nine separate instruments that comprise the Pickaphone, including (left-right): autoharp, mandolin, bowed zither, banjo, violin or viola, guitar, and cello, with a rack of small gongs and a triangle in the right foreground to provide a bit of percussion. "The Professor" cradles a violin.

All the instruments seemed to be mounted in a complex rig which was probably activated by a foot treadle.

On the back the following legend is penciled in, which appears to read: "Charlie Crawford, Cleveland, 309 Woodland Ave."
Height is 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm.), 4 in. (10.2 cm.) width

The overall image is very clear and distinct, benefiting from good lighting and contrast. There is some dirt due to age and wear, but it does not impact the image. Excellent Condition.

Item # 1532
This item has been sold.

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