We had just purchased a rebuilt player piano for me to take piano
lessons on in 1957. I remember going to the F. W. Woolworth dime store
and seeing the ultimate kid's toy, the Piano-Lodeon, priced at $29.95,
complete with a boxed 6-pack of rolls. They were available in maroon
or beige plastic.
The year was 1959. At that young age of ten, I wondered why anyone
would spend so much for something that did not sound very good, when we
bought a wonderful old rebuilt (in 1945) player piano, that sounded so
much better, and it was only $250!
I eventually found and bought several of these Piano-Lodeons, including
some that were still in their original box. I am a music instructor
and remember my students' amazement when I said I brought a piano with
me, pulled it out of the box, plugged it in, and it played by itself.