Only its double keyboard, a row of stops above it, and an inconspicuous pipe at the rear reveal that the latest musical instrument for the home is an organ. In size and form it looks like a piano. But within the case are concealed 231 pipes that, it is claimed, equal in richness and variety of tone the effects produced by pipe organs of great size. The “baby” organ is designed especially for dwellings of moderate size. An average-sized living room offers adequate space for it.


These kids should get themselves a midget brass section.


Seven boys are needed to play a huge harmonica recently demonstrated at Detroit, Mich., and which is declared to be the largest of its kind in the world. It measures eight feet in length, giving sufficient space for each performer to render the part assigned to him in music orchestrated especially for the big instrument. There are 770 notes in all on the scale of the gigantic mouth organ.

Radio Increases Milk Yield of Cows With Musical Ear (Dec, 1931)

Radio Increases Milk Yield of Cows With Musical Ear

THAT cows will give more milk to the strains of music was proven when Ben Scott, in charge of the cattle at the Fred-mar Farms near Oakville, Mo., installed a radio loudspeaker for the benefit of the restless bovines.

They immediately showed signs of musical appreciation and stood still while they were milked. Some even cocked a musical ear while the soothing strains of a classical waltz came from the radio.

As an almost conclusive proof to the new idea, the cow pictured boasts of an official record for 3-year-olds with 840.98 pounds butter and 17,864 of milk.

Street Organ Made With Tin Cans, Wood and String (Apr, 1934)

Street Organ Made With Tin Cans, Wood and String

A STREET organ constructed entirely out of tin cans, waste wood, string, and other scrap parts by J. F. Pearson, unemployed resident of Elephant and Castle, England, has brought fame to its constructor.

Although the organ is rather crude looking in appearance, it sounds as well as any manufactured product. Musical critics who have heard the instrument played on the street believe the tinny notes of the organ are due mostly to the lack of sound reflecting backgrounds in the street. They believe that the tones of this instrument could not be distinguished from the average theater organ if the two were placed side by side in a movie house.

Regular piano keyboards are used, and air for the tin can pipes is supplied by a foot bellows arrangement.

Boys Turn Bike Into Chimes (Dec, 1937)

Boys Turn Bike Into Chimes

BOYS at Weoley Castle School in Birmingham, England, have developed a novel use for old bicycles. Sawing the old bicycle tubing to various lengths and stringing the cut sections on wires hung on a home-built mounting, the boys have created musical chimes featuring a full complement of notes, enabling tunes to be played.

Organ Creates Photocell Music (Dec, 1934)

Organ Creates Photocell Music
BUILT from a dishwasher motor, an old keyboard and other gadgets, a homemade organ creates photoelectric music. A film sound track of tones is re-photographed on one of two revolving disks. Beams of light shine through these disks and reach a photocell. The light is then turned into sound, reproducing original tone.

Tin Can Orchestra Makes Money (Dec, 1932)

Tin Can Orchestra Makes Money

THE tin can orchestra shown in photo on left was the invention of three New York boys who determined to beat the depression. Sixteen cans make up the orchestration. All are grouped according to the sound they emit. It is hardly exact to say they built a perfect chromatic scale but they have gone as far as possible with the materials at hand. One of the three boys plays the band while the others sing.

He Finds Music in Plumbing Tools (Sep, 1936)

He Finds Music in Plumbing Tools

THOSE tools that plumbers once left behind have been given new uses by “Red” Smith of Los Angeles. He has turned them into musical instruments.

Red was a professional crooner and saxaphone player. When work became slack in the movie studios and theaters he took up the creation and playing of unique musical instruments. And get work he did—as the musical plumber.


To put the voice of a coloratura soprano on the air with fidelity, broadcasting engineers have devised a cellophane “bell” within which the singer stands. Covering her down to the waistline, the transparent envelop is said to do for the human voice what a mute does for a cornet or violin, and the singer can render her highest notes without fear of causing unpleasant vibrations in the microphone.

Recordings Made of Electric Music (Apr, 1934)

Isn’t this a theremin?

Recordings Made of Electric Music

AN ELECTRONIC device which uses oscillating radio tubes and transforms the resultant howls into music, has created a great deal of interest in London, where the first phonographic recording of such music was recently made.

A steel rod, about one and one half feet high, is connected to a special electronic device. The operator stands before this rod and by waving his hand at different distances varies the electrical capacity between his body and the radio tube grids.

The resultant music is something like that produced on a musical saw. It is attracting considerable attention abroad.