barrel piano


: a mechanical piano that is operated by turning a hand crank which rotates a barrel-and-pin mechanism causing hammers to hit the piano strings
A British patent was issued for a crude barrel piano, activated by pins on a large cylinder, in 1829.Edward Tenner, Our Own Devices, 2009

called also hurdy-gurdy, piano-organ, street piano

Word History

First Known Use

1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barrel piano was in 1859

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Dictionary Entries Near barrel piano

Cite this Entry

“Barrel piano.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

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