H10302 Fotoplayer, Style 20, American Photo Player Company, Berkeley, California, c.1918.. Click to enlarge.

Kings Cinema Fotoplayer

Made by American Photo Player Company in California, United States of America, c.1918.

In the early days of silent motion pictures, it was realised that background music had a great influence on the audience. Before movies had sound, many picture theatres had special ‘player pianos’ to reproduce music mechanically from piano rolls. The music was meant to accentuate the mood of the film.

Some player pianos were elaborately extended, with pipe organs and sound effects installed in adjacent side-cabinets, so that the accompanist could create sounds to match the action on the screen....

Summary

Object No.

H10302

Object Statement

Fotoplayer, Style 20, American Photo Player Company, Berkeley, California, c.1918.

Physical Description

Fotoplayer, Style 20, American Photo Player Company, Berkeley, California, c.1918.

Style 20 fotoplayer featuring an 88 note keyboard, 4 piano pedals, 5 stop rockers and 4 effect buttons (above the keyboard) with 2 spool boxes in fron mounted vertically. The side cabinet has an ornamental front backed with faded orange cloth. It contains organ pipes, bass drum, snare drum, 2 cymbals, tom-tom drum, 1 chime, train whistle, pistol shot effect and castanets. Both the piano and the side cabinet are veneered in oak.

Marks

Plaque above keyboard: "fotoplayer" / Manufactured By / American Photo Player Co. / New York, N.Y. - Berkeley, Cal. / U.S.A."

Production

Notes

Probably designed by the American Photo Player Company, Berkeley, California

Made by the American Photo Player Company, Berkeley, California

Made

American Photo Player Company c.1918

History

Notes

Purchased by Mr Percy Middleton Wells in 1929 for the Goolwa Centenary Hall but never used due to the advent of talking films.
Original owner unknown. Purchased by Mr Percy Middleton Wells in 1929 for the Goolwa Centenary Hall. Removed around 1960 by Mr C.Mau, a piano tuner. Restored and donated to the museum by the Mastertouch Piano Roll Company in the 1980s.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Barclay Wright, 1984

Acquisition Date

25 July 1984

Cite this Object

Harvard

Kings Cinema Fotoplayer 2015, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 December 2018, <https://ma.as/232262>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/232262 |title=Kings Cinema Fotoplayer |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 December 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Kings Cinema at the Powerhouse Museum.

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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