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Nelson-Wiggen Coin Piano, Style 8

Nelson-Wiggen Coin Piano, Style 8

Manufacture date: Circa 1920

Location: Gypsy Arcade

Song Title: Bye Bye Blackbird

This Prohibition-era cabinet piano was made by Nelson-Wiggen of Chicago in the mid 1920’s. 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, its 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.