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Unique Catalogue reference number

Accession list letter and number

Status of this record and
date of last change of status

Instrument name



Date and 
place of manufacture

Intended for use in

Original Power source

Power source now

Instrument status

Short description

Technology used

Media played


Rarity (guess at working examples worldwide)

Date acquired

How acquired

Current location in Museum

Piano player






Piano player

The Orchestrelle Co. Hayes, Middlesex, a UK subsidiary of the U.S.A. Aeolian Co.


c. 1900

Hayes, Middlesex

Private house

Foot pedals

Foot pedals


The first commercially successful piano player was sold by the Aeolian Co.

Its UK subsidiary, The Orchestrelle Co. was based at Hayes in Middlesex. These player units were pushed up to a piano, pumped by foot and 65 wooden fingers would press down on the keys – controlled by a paper music roll.

Suction produced by pedalling drives the roll transport and pneumatics operate the piano action when a hole in the paper roll coincides with a hole in the tracker bar.





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