Picking up recent postings of the number of players sold, I refer back
to my note in MMD 2001.04.12. This listed the numbers of players sold
each year, as identified by the US census bureau:
Year All Pianos Players
1921 221,210 114,288
1923 347,589 194,855
1925 306,584 168,393
1927 218,140 95,454
1929 130,973 37,004
1931 51,370 2,744
Interpolating these figures for the even-numbered years gives estimates
of player sales:
Hence this suggests total sales for all player pianos of 1.2 million
for the years 1920 to 1929 inclusive. That's just under half of
yesterday's MMD estimate! My estimated interpolations are based on
the relatively sharp peak in popularity during the early 1920s, error
in the total perhaps +/- 50,000 from these estimates.
Sales 1930 onwards probably sum to no more than another 20,000 or
30,000 to date. Industry estimates were perhaps 5000 instruments
a year during the small recovery during the mid 1930s.
Sales before 1920 were significantly lower than the peak. Taking a
rough guess for this of perhaps 1 million suggests a total of 2 to 2.5
million players of all types overall were made by American companies.
I'll have to find out whether more US census figures are available to
improve this figure!
I wonder how many machines were made in other counties, particularly
Germany and England. Although I would expect a fairly large number,
it's probably significantly less than the US total.