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Hand-cranked organ with wood case that has been painted in woodgrain, inside wooden cylinder with metal teeth and bellows, outside metal and wood crank. Donor note claimed brought to Wisconsin from Germany in 1848. Today we can easily turn on a radio or CD player to listen to music, but before that modern technology, people had devices such as this hand organ for playing tunes. Air from a set of bellows turns the barrel and supplies wind to the keyframe. The barrel has rows of metal pegs that are pressed down by the barrel into the keyframe, allowing the organ to "read" the music program. Although clumsy, yet delicate and heavy to carry, it was considered important enough to have been shipped with other household items when the donor's ancestors emigrated from Germany to Wisconsin in 1848.
Organ, Hand -PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009