01.10 — 31.10.2015

Historical events and memorials of October

In 2016 we celebrate 190 years since the birth of "the king of waltz" Johann Strauss-son and 204 years since the birth of the brilliant pianist and composer Franz Liszt. The works of these composers are recorded on old music storage devices– paper rolls for mechanic instruments of M. Welte & Söhne.

This firm was founded by Michael Welte in 1832, had different names - "Gebrüder Welte", "Michael Welte", from 1865 - it was called "M. Welte & Söhne". It turned to become a successful family business and had existed for hundred years. "M. Welte & Söhne" was engaged in production and improvement of mechanical self-playing musical instruments, specialized in production of piano-playres and orchestrions. In 1883, Michael's son - Emil Velte who was developing the family business in America - patented the mechanism of reading of a sound from the punched paper rolls fist in the USA, and later in Germany. Those rolls replaced wooden cylinders with brackets and pins, which were used earlier. The invention gave the chance to the firm to become the monopolist in the market. Two types of the rolls existed at that time – they were named according to the number of control apertures in the paper: T-100 (red Welte-rolls) and T-98 (green Welte-rolls). The rolls T-98 were on sale from 1919.T. More than five thousand rolls of various formats are presented in the Museum Collection.