The player piano is on the left and the organ pipes and effects box on the right H10302
The Powerhouse Museum’s Style 20 Fotoplayer is a wonderful instrument on display in the Kings Cinema within the Museum. It was made to provide music and sound effects to accompany silent movies and is an upright player piano, with an effects box.
When a roll is played, it activates the piano and the organ sections, but the other special effects need to be operated by hand. This means that the person operating the Fotoplayer needs to know the movie they are accompanying really well, so that they can operate the effects at the right time (doorbells, gunshot sounds from the drums etc etc.). No mean feat! Continue reading ‘The Museum’s fotoplayer comes to life again’
Florence Breaden's school exercise book. Collection: Powerhouse Museum, 2010/65/1. Gift of Rowley Gilliland, 2010
This time of year Mums and Dads are busy buying all the exercise books, pencil cases, folders and laptops for the beginning of the school year. School has certainly changed in 100 years or so. A little while ago I acquired a gorgeous school exercise book owned by Florence Breaden (1893-1929) in 1908 who attended Petersham School in an inner Sydney suburb. I think it’s a homework book because it covers a range of subjects including Arithmetic, English, Geography, Poetry and Music, and was used from February to the end of the school year. As a diligent 15-year-old, Florence carefully illustrated her book with the most beautiful pen and ink title pages, half title pages and borders, all illustrated with flowers, rabbits, foxes, chickens, swans, birds and a woman riding a horse side saddle.
Continue reading ‘Back to school, Florence’s 1908 exercise book’