Name: "Hawaiian Tremoloa", original price: $35
Maker: Manufacturers Advertising Company, 93 Ferry St.,
Jersey City, N.J.
Number of chords: 4 (D,F,G,C)
Number of chord strings: 4 per chord
Number of solo strings: 1; 2 octaves playable by means of
a steel slide.
I just found the original guarantee certificate, which states that
"instruments sent, charges prepaid, to Repair Department, will be
tuned free of charge at our Factory for one year" Wooooooo!
Also, on some of the sheet music, there are names of other zitheroids
on which the music can be played: Guitar-Zither, Columbia Zither (any
takers?), Mandolin Harp, and "all numerical instruments". The sheet
music I have has copyright dates from 1910 to 1935. Not a bad run,
all things considered.
I don't quite fully understand your interest in these objects; they are
not mechanical, for the most part, nor are they piano related. Maybe we
both just like them 'cause they're old socio-cultural musical artifacts.
[ Why my interest? Like most collectors I also enjoy showing visitors
[ other quaint old musical items, and I also enjoy making music with
[ funny old instruments.
[ The "zitheroids" were hugely popular, probably because they appealed
[ to folks who knew they couldn't plunk a guitar and couldn't afford
[ a player piano. Since I've seen the zitheroids in many homes with
[ fine mechanical music collections, and I'm told that they appear
[ frequently at the eBay auction, I feel that MMDers would enjoy
[ reading about them. They are indeed socio-cultural musical
[ artifacts, somewaht like the ukelele fad of the 1920s.
[ I wonder what variant versions were made in the "all numerical
[ instruments" models. Your "Hawaiian Tremoloa" model must have seemed
[ very expensive at $35 for 17 strings -- that's $2.06 per string! :-)
[ -- Robbie