Molinari Barrel Piano

Location: Molinari Building

Manufacture date: Circa 1910- 1915

Made by Molinari Organ Co., Brooklyn, NY. A small street piano typical of those used by "organ grinders" at the turn of the century (1900). Contains a ratchet-operated mandoline mechanism for the melody section, a desirable feature.

Charles Bovey purchased many assets of the Molinari Organ Co. from the B.A.B. Organ Co. circa 1957. Molinari had been America's foremost maker of barrel organs and barrel pianos (also known as street pianos); its assets and business were acquired by the B.A.B Organ Co., which continued to remodel and service band organs in the Coney Island area from the 1920s through the mid-1950s. Its principal owners were Brugnolotti, Antoniazzi, and Bona; one of them was reputedly married to a daughter of Molinari's. Many tools, supplies, and unfinished parts are displayed in the Molinari Shop in Nevada City. Among the equipment are music arranging, barrel-making, pipe-making, and woodworking tools, two small Molinari barrel organs which were being made when the company went out of business, and two used barrel pianos.