A coin piano is a roll operated automatic piano that is operated by the drop of a coin into a slot. For a number of years they were called “nickelodeons” based on the song, “Music, Music, Music” made famous by Theresa Brewer. Coin pianos come in two formats; ones with keyboards and ones with no keyboards called cabinet coin pianos. The coin pianos usually have a mandolin rail for a rinky tink or mandolin effect. Some have an extra instrument such as a xylophone, orchestra bells, violin pipes, or flute pipes. The usual roll they play are the 10 tune “A” roll or if it is a Wurlitzer, the “APP” roll.
The music from a Coin Piano is happy music! The music is well arranged and much was hand played into the roll perforator equipment by noted artists of the period.
Many of the coin pianos are in a quarter sawn tiger grain oak veneered case. Many feature designs from the Arts and Crafts period. Art glass is usually a very attractive feature on these instruments. J. P Seeburg pioneered the use of art glass in his coin pianos. Seeburg patented his case designs. He was a true artist with formal training at Chicago’s famous Art Institute.
Coin pianos were made by Cremona, Victor, Lyon & Healy, Wurlitzer, Coinola, Seeburg, Nelson Wiggen, Peerless, Berry Wood, Chicago Electric, and the North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works. A number of coin pianos are available for purchase on this website. Put some fun into your life with a happy coin piano! Like they say in the song, Put Another Nickel In, In the Nickelodeon, All I want is Lovin’ You and Music Music Music!