Welte Mignon

The history

Michael Welte founded M.Welte & Söhne in 1832. Within hundred years of its existence the firm was renamed several names - Gebrüder Welte, Michael Welte, and since 1865 it was entitled M.Welte & Söhne. It was a successful family business. M.Welte & Söhne's manufactory was oriented to production and enhancement of mechanical self-playing musical instruments. Its main specialty was production of mechanical pianos and orchestrions.

In 1883, Michael Welte's son - Emil who was engaged in development of the family business in America - patented the mechanism of reproducing sound from the punched paper tapes spiraled in rolls, first in the USA, and later in Germany. Those rolls replaced the wooden shafts with brackets and pins, which were used earlier. It allowed the firm to gain the leadership and to become the monopolist in the market.

There were two types of rolls titled by the number of managing pinholes in the paper: T-100 (red Welte-rolls) and T-98 (green Welte-rolls).