Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon

A player piano (also known as pianola or autopiano) is a self-playing piano, containing a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music on perforated paper or metallic rolls. The rise of the player piano grew with the increase of mass-produced for the home in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (“Player Pianos – Sarasota Piano Tuner”) Sales peaked in 1924, as did the improvement in phonograph recordings due to electrical recording methods developed in the mid-1920s. The advent of electrical amplification in home music reproduction via wireless in the same period helped to cause their eventual decline in popularity. (“The Classical Pianola Information Page on Classic Cat”)

The stock market crash of 1929 virtually wiped-out production.

These are automated instruments typically intended for use in a coin-operated setting rather than home use. A multitude of manufacturers made a varied range of instruments featuring different combinations of pianos, organ pipework, percussion, and other fittings. (“PlayerPianos.com: Antique Player Piano types”) They were eventually replaced by the jukebox following the introduction of effective sound amplification.

How Does It Work?

Player Mechanism

The player mechanism is essentially a bank of switches activated by software. The switches are pneumatically operating valves which turn on the motive force used to play the piano action. This force is created by switching suction into a miniature, collapsible pneumatic bellows with one assembly assigned to each individual note. (“Talk: Player piano – Wikipedia”) The valve switching system is triggered by the music roll. As the paper perforations run over the music tracker bar air is then allowed to enter. This causes a pressure differential within the mechanism triggering the switching valves to operate. The note channels can be either on or off; hence the music roll can be regarded as an early form of programmable binary software. (“Talk: Player piano – Wikipedia”)

The apparatus operates from suction generated by two foot-treadled bellows coupled to a pressure equalizing reservoir system to even the air flow. The motive force may be used to power peripheral mechanisms within the piano operating sustained pedal function, music roll centering, and other features, Player pianos are all fitted with hand levers for the performer to vary volume and speed to imitate a live performance. As such; they may be regarded as the first truly interactive acoustic music making machine, something that went without parallel until the past half decade with the modern advances in computing technology and software. (“The Classical Pianola Information Page on Classic Cat”)

Music Rolls

Music rolls for the pneumatic player pianos consist of a continuous sheet of paper rolled onto a spool. The spool fits into the spool box and the free end is hooked onto the take-up spool which will unwind the roll at an even pace across the tracker bar. The music is programmed via perforations on the paper. Different player pianos have different perforation sizes, channel layouts, and spool fittings though the majority conform to one or two dominant formats later adopted by the industry as the standard.

For more information about player pianos, check out these sites:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_piano

https://www.britannica.com/art/player-piano

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HO-Gauge Room

HO Gauge Room 

This HO-gauge display is representative of the coal mines of the area up to the 1970’s.  The engines on the left in the hall are all brass. The engines in the first case on the right are also brass. The rest of the trains are sized from HO all the way to Z-gauge. We also have the scale comparison display in this room. 

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K-Land

K-Land (K-nex room) 

 

The rides in this room were not made from a kit. The racer was based on the ride at Kennywood and the Ferris Wheel was based on the K-nex version. The overhead lights are timed so it represents a full day. The rides in this room are constantly being worked on and improved, sort of like a real amusement park.  

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Historic Train Room

Historic Train Room 

The trains in this room range from Marx and K-Line to Lionel and Marklin. There is mostly O-Gauge, but there are also S-Gauge American Flyer trains. There is even a special train especially made by John Twarog to commemorate the 20th annual Marx Convention.  

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Puzzle Room

Puzzle Room
The puzzle on the wall when you first walk in is one of the largest puzzles in the world. It measures 6 ft tall by 22 ft wide. The rest of the room are items relating to Disney, from the 1930’s to the present. In the center of the room is our hands-on Geotrax toys.

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Ohio Valley History Room

Ohio Valley Room
The glass and china in this room were manufactured in the Ohio Valley. There is a display honoring Chuck Yeager, who was from West Virginia. Also, various pieces of memorabilia from Ohio Valley history.

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O-Gauge Room

O-Gauge Room
This O-Gauge display is representative of the Marcellus and Utica shale oil and gas fields.

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Main Lobby

Main Lobby

Welcome to the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum. We are housed in a 1906 fully restored Victorian school house. It operated as a school from 1906 to 1991. It still has the original tin ceilings made by Wheeling Corrugating, and the yellow pine floors and red oak woodwork. You can even see the slate blackboards in some of the rooms.

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Game Room

Game Room

The games in this room range from the 1920’s to the present. We also have, although not on display, the largest Monopoly collection on the eastern seaboard.

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Transportation Room

Transportation Room

This room has toys that represent all sorts of transportation. Anything that can move things on land, air, and sea is represented here. The toys are from the 1800’s to present. The oldest toy on display is in this room .This is also where we have our four-land slot car track.

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