Nelson-Wiggen Coin Piano, Style 8

Location: Gypsy Arcade

Manufacture date: Circa 1920

Song Title: Bye Bye Blackbird

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This Prohibition-era cabinet piano was made by Nelson-Wiggen of Chicago in the mid-1920s. That plays style A rolls and has two extra instruments, xylophone, and bells. During Prohibition, the large key-board style orchestrions fell from favor and small box pianos gained in popularity, possibly, it is said, because they could have a drape thrown over them in case of a raid. With a 65 note piano and alternating xylophone and bells, it makes good music. This one was obtained from Excelsior Park in Minnesota, where the Wurlitzer 180 Organ also came from. Of several hundred made, only about 15 or 20 remain.