Revelstoke Nickelodeon Mechanical Music Collection

The Nickelodeon Collection is the only mechanical music museum in western Canada that is open to the public. Our collection illustrates the history of the development of automatic music for entertainment, commencing with an 18th century barrel organ and concluding with jukeboxes from the 1950s. In between are automatic organs ranging from a small Dutch street organ to an 84-key Belgian dance organ and from small reed organettes to the large Aeolian residence pipe organ, which has over 650 pipes.

Automatic piano history is represented by a variety of instruments ranging from an English residence barrel piano from 1815 to an Aeolian Duo-Art reproducing piano and a Steinway grand Pianola. The musical box collection encompasses Swiss instruments from a musical pocket watch from circa 1800 to a Grand Format interchangeable cylinder box with 15 cylinders. Disc boxes range from a small child’s box by Thorens to a 24 ½” self-changing Polyphon over 6 feet tall.

The Nickelodeon also has a collection of instruments illustrating the history of recorded sound. Machines by Edison, HMV/Victor and Columbia are featured, together with rare instruments by smaller manufacturers, such as the EMG Hand Made Gramophone with a huge papier maché horn nearly 30” in diameter. Extending from this collection are the jukeboxes, which include a Mills Studio machine from 1936, a Mills Panoram video juke box from 1940 and machines by Wurlitzer, Rock-Ola, AMI and Seeburg. Ancilliary is the vintage radio collection, which features receivers from the dawn of broadcasting to transistor novelty radios up to the 1980s, mostly in working condition.
Magic Lantern history and that of early movie projection is also included, the magic lantern collection featuring items from the 1790s up to the mighty Chatham Pexton Tri-Unial lantern, which we use for magic lantern shows from time to time. Regular Vintage Movie Nights are performed on a roughly monthly basis, sometimes using vintage projectors.
Tours of our collection take from about an hour upwards, depending upon how many questions you ask! The tour includes many demonstrations of our instruments (we typically play about 20 of them in a tour) and you will be conducted around by a knowledgeable guide who will be able to tell you about the history and workings of the instruments.

You may even be able to have a go at peddling, winding or operating the instruments, but this depends upon how busy we are at the time. You can always make an appointment to try things out ‘after hours’ if you are particularly interested.

We are pleased to accept coach tour parties or other groups by appointment, and our venue can be hired for special functions like parties, weddings etc. After all, we have the organs, and soon we will have the bells too, as we are setting up a ring of 12 campanile bells specially cast in England for us.

   

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Revelstoke Nickelodeon Museum
111 First Street West
Revelstoke BC Canada V0E 2S0
Phone/Fax: (250) 837-5250
Email: mechmusic@aol.com

©2007 Revelstoke Nickelodeon Museum