Music boxes, adorned with spinning ballerinas, are probably the most popular mechanical music players. “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” emanates from the tiny toy, to the delight of young girls everywhere.
But mechanical music has a history of complex machines and parts, from the most minute to large, intricate player pianos propelled by sheets of music and pneumatic systems. Before radios (and then television), mechanical music entertained the whole family - without being able to play Gershwin, you listen to him!
In the rural Southwest Britain, Keith Harding’s collection of mechanical music players and automata exhibits the most impressive of these antiquated machines. From a pianola of the Victorian era to a gramophone of the 1930s, the museum’s collection draws visitors from all over. The museum also repairs old players in its workshop!
Visit England withAtlas Obscura Trips
Folklore and Magic of Southern England
Mythical castles and ancient witchcraft, ecological biomes and fairy-tale forests, sea tractors and flaming tar barrels—all this awaits you on our one-of-a-kind exploration of southern England's historic haunts and eccentric traditions.