Tag Archives: coin-operated machines. coin-operated instruments

Violano-Virtuoso: The World’s Only Self-playing Violin and Piano

The Violano-Virtuoso was invented by Henry Konrad Sandell, a contemporary of Thomas Edison, who arrived in Chicago via Sweden in 1888 at the age of twelve. In March 1905 Mr. Sandell applied for his patent for an electric self-playing violin. It was granted in December of 1905 and assigned to the Mills Novelty Company. The first instrument produced, the Automatic Virtuosa, only contained the violin. During that time, coin-operated player pianos were very popular so it didn’t take long for the Mills Novelty Company to realize that the violin by itself was not going to be marketable enough. … Read More