Hi All, Unfortunately, there is a rather simple explanation as to why
a high number of "nickelodeons" are incorrectly described at places
like eBay and elsewhere. The explanation is that those who originally
sell them to the public misrepresent them. Or do they?
Is the term "Original 1920's Style Nickelodeon" misleading in any way?
How about "Original 1920's Style Player Piano"?
After countless years of explaining to my customers the difference
between an original nickelodeons and player pianos and a "build-up",
or "modified instrument", I've come to the conclusion that the dealers
who sell these 'after-market' instruments are primarily to blame for
the future misrepresentation of these same units. However, in their
defense I have to put a fair amount of the blame on the people who
As I have experienced and written about in this forum, the general
public seems almost incapable of drawing any distinction between the
terms "rebuilt", "restored", and "repaired". Similarly, the term
"original style" is often reduced to the term "original", and that's
I've lost count of the 'long faces' I've seen when I told a customer
that they did not own an original player piano or nickelodeon. I've
even considered creating a series of web pages to alert the public
to the differences between an original instrument and a modified one.
However, after years of diligent efforts to educate my own customers,
I often find that they either forget what I've said or purposely
misrepresent their unit (and my work) to make a quick sale. While this
is very frustrating and occasionally uncomfortable (having to explain
that a person has lied to a buyer), I've come to accept this reality
as an unfortunate part of human nature.
The sad but none-the-less true fact is, "People hear what they want to
hear and remember what they want to remember".
John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA