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American Violins

Several 19th-century American inventors sought to improve the power and tone of the violin. Genre painter William Sidney Mount (1807-1868) invented and received a patent in 1852 for a violin with a concave shape and a short soundpost, which, he believed, resulted in a fuller, richer, more powerful tone. Other inventors tried to incorporate new materials available from the new technology of the day rather than redesigning the shape of the instrument. Sewall Short of New London, CT, fit a metallic horn or trumpet to the hollow wooden neck of a normal violin to increase the vibrations and thereby the instrument's tone and power. He received his patent in 1854.

 


Advertisement from the Violano-Virtuoso Handbook, about 1910

"The reason that boys and girls leave home," once said a keen observer, "is that so few homes are made interesting for young people. The natural craving for amusement very often overcomes personal attachments."

Will you admit that you cannot give your children better reason to pass their evenings with you than to seek elsewhere for an outlet for youthful spirits? If you have sought for means to make your home attractive and have failed to solve the problem, why not get a Violano-Virtuoso? With it you can provide a source of constant interest and enjoyment.

And there is still another important reason why you should have this instrument--it will develop the finer instincts in minds which are most receptive to influence. It will cultivate perceptions and create and enlarge ideals which might otherwise never become matured.

You can buy a piano or a violin, but consider that it will be years before a child can play either of them well, and then only if practice has been a daily duty constantly performed. Why should you spend the money for music lessons, and why should the satisfaction of enjoying the best playing of the best compositions be deferred when you can have a Violano-Virtuoso now?

Look back upon your own childhood and think what it would have meant to you then if you could have had such a means of recreation. Consider how satisfying it would have been for you to learn while still young, all the fine points of musical literature? Do you know them even now?

If you had to sacrifice the advantages given by the Violano-Virtuoso, see that your children have them.

 

Related Images

Player violin mechanism (foreground) and player piano mechanism (background)
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Player violin mechanism (foreground) and player piano mechanism (background)
Both the player piano and violin are controlled by the perforated roll located in the lower cabinet.
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Both the player piano and violin are controlled by the perforated roll located in the lower cabinet.
The violin is played by a series of mechanical
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The violin is played by a series of mechanical "fingers"


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