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Friday, July 22, 2011

LET THE GOOD TIMES "ROLLS"

MY SCHOENHUT TOY PIANO
My toy antique Schoenhut upright piano no longer plays tunes. Yet its design -- an all wooden upright case with painted wooden white and black keys reminds me of the old full-sized player piano in my great uncle's Ohio farmhouse. When I was young, it was a treat for me to sit on his piano bench while the piano rolls magically moved the keyboard keys.  Out of the guts of this piano would come loud, lively music. If I was lucky, I was allowed to listen to the piano rolls every-time I made a visit.



29 comments:

  1. I was so fascinated by those player pianos when I was a kid. Ahhhh, memories.

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  2. What a nice memory.

    Even though it no longer plays, the case (and piano) are a beautiful piece of history. The photo is beautiful too and thanks for sharing a memory of days past...remembering the past often gives the present time a bit of magic.

    And, I've been meaning to tell you that I enjoy your changing title banner photos, always charming.

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  3. I love those old player pianos. I have never owned one, nor have I had a relative who did. I have only seen a couple for sale in antique stores.

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  4. The Melbourne Museum has one of those on display and no matter what the age of the visitor, everyone seems to gravitate to it and have a smile :)

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  5. Hello:
    How lovely that your toy piano brings back such happy memories for you. And, although it may not play any more, it does look very pretty withits well worn keyboard and very attractive painted panel.

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  6. Your posts remind me again and again of the culture of the Kentucky-Ohio River Valley rural life half a century ago. My grandmother had a player piano that dearly loved. She had only a few piano rolls but I listened to their jingly music and watched the keys magically dance in front of me every chance I got. Your toy piano is delightful, I never saw anything like it.

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  7. What a lovely piece, too bad it no longer works. Those old roll pianos always amaze me!

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  8. I always have some difficulty posting here. If the post I wrote earlier appears, just destroy this one. I haven't seen one of those old piano rolls in ages. How lucky you are one was passed along to you. Dianne

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  9. I love the painting. They remind me of the Muses, but I think there would only be nine of them.

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  10. I wonder why they only put lady's dancing in the image? Some of us men folk like to dance to. I did not know they made children versions.

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  11. linda -- I do see them for sale ever so often. My former mother-in-law had one but I think she gave it away. Thanks for stopping.

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  12. Rose -- Thanks for all the nice comments. I have never been a piano player but I sure appreciate those that have that ability. I'm still on the hunt for more scarecrow pics -- not having much luck. -- barbara

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  13. Farmchick -- there was a family restaurant that our family used go for dinner. They had a big old player piano up on a small stage and for a small sum to the waiter he would insert a roll into the piano and off it would go playing some old lively tune. My kids loved it as they could watch the roll with its punched holes turn. -- barbara

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  14. Jane -- Most folks I know here in the states still enjoy the sound of a player piano, Thanks -- barbara

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  15. Jane and Lance -- my toy piano is not a player piano -- it was a regular upright similar to the form of the player pianos. I guess its ancient feeling and uprightness were the reminders of my uncle's piano. Thanks -- barbara

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  16. June -- You sound like me -- watching the keys dance with music. My toy is not a player piano just a very old toy upright piano that children used to play. It came with sheets of music which I don't have. My particular toy piano is about 80 years old. Its lovely wooden keys no longer make a sound. Schoenhut was at one time the largest American toy company. Thanks for the nice comments -- barbara

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  17. Dianne -- I think my post gave the wrong impression. My 2 feet tall toy piano is not a player piano. It just reminded me of one by its form and age. I would consider myself lucky indeed if I did own a player piano. thanks for the comments -- barbara

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  18. Sheri -- Schoenhut toy company made this toy piano. They were the best toys early in the 20th century. Lots of artistic embellishments were included in their productions. I too like the ladies dancing. Thanks -- barbara

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  19. Grampy -- My toy piano was not a player piano. It is an old toy from about the time player pianos were so popular. Lots of similarities between my piano and the players. Why no men dancing? Good question. I certainly feel that it would have been nice to have both men and women dancing. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  20. I love player pianos -- the original CD players!!!

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  21. I love that wonderful photo of your antique toy piano! Totally charming!

    I've only been in the company of a player piano once, when some new neighbors moved in down the street in Virginia. They had one in their family room, and I was instantly smitten. I had more fun choosing rolls (they had a ton of them!) and watching/listening to it play, they always ended up having to ask me to leave! :-) I've always wanted a player piano of my own ever since.

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  22. Laloofah -- You aren't alone when you say you are smitten with player pianos. There is a second hand store that I visit once in awhile. Last time I was in the store they had a player piano for sale. Can't remember the price. They do come up for sale ever so often. thanks for the comment on my photo. -- barbara

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  23. Kay -- From the comments I am realizing that folks are enthusiastic about player pianos. They would be fun to have around even today. -- barbara

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  24. I remember being so fascinated with player pianos as a child that I ended up loving them to death. My siblings and I, or my friends and I, can't remember which, would pump the pedals of the piano so fast that the paper the music was printed on would fly off the end of the roll. We would then switch to another roll of music and repeat the process, thinking it funny to hear the music at rapid pace, while the keys of the piano bounced up and down, and then the flip, flip, flipping sound when the music would come off the roll. I wonder where the adults were when we were doing this to the poor player piano.

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  25. Oh, weren't you tempted? Do you remember if it was terribly expensive? (Hard to downsize to a hobbit-sized house if you or I were to buy ourselves a player piano, but if I ever found myself with one I'd give it pride of place, even if it meant I had to sleep outside! LOL)

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  26. Laloofah -- I wasn't tempted as I know that I ultimately want to end up in a hobbit size house. Perhaps someday you'll walk into an antique shop and there will be a player piano waiting for you. Hope it will be after your move as they are heavy to move. -- barbara

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  27. Darcy -- My gosh, what a story this is. Apparently you kids did not harm the piano. If it had suffered I am sure the adults would have tracked down the culprits that damaged the piano. All is well that ends well I always say. -- barbara

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  28. Love your header! I have the "piano" part of an older player piano I bought for $75. It's a Baldwin. Checked on the price to restore the "guts" of the player part: $5,000-plus, at least! Oooops! I'll stick with the human-made music while pining for the player part!

    Great post!
    Elora

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  29. Elora -- Yikes! Did not realize that restoring these oldies would be so expensive. Perhaps that is why one hardly sees them in playable condition anymore. Thanks for the nice header comment -- barbara

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