The Wurlitzer Tonophone was similar to the Barrel Organs of the amusement parks, The Wurlitzer Tonophone brought public music

indoors- into the hotels, cafes and restaurants. It played for nickels and the ten tunes offered ranged from classical to ragtime numbers.The Tonophone was Wurlitzer's first mechanical playing piano.Pneumatically operated by a pinned cylinder. instead of being operated by direct mechanical linkages. The cylinder pins lifts levers which opened valves to a pneumatic mechanism which operated the piano. First shown at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, the Tonophone won a gold medal at the exhibition, and went on to be a commercial success. Today, there are thought to be fewer than four complete and working Tonophone's left in the world.


*****The Restoration*****

Pictures are in random order.

Vacuum Pump

Player Action

Plate and Soundboard

Soundboard was cracked and warped in such a way that deemed it unrepairable. A new one was made.


A new counter had to be fabricated. It allows the barrel to turn 2 revolutions before it shuts off. The original was taken off another Tonophone on premises.