Definition of barrel-and-pin

: having or consisting of a rotating cylinder studded with pins or pegs and used in a mechanical musical instrument (such as a music box, barrel organ, or barrel piano) to activate the instrument’s sound-producing mechanism … there is the spring, which pumps the little bellows and works the little barrel-and-pin device that releases the air into the pipes that make the whistle.— Robertson Davies, World of Wonders, 1975

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First Known Use of barrel-and-pin

1944, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of barrel-and-pin was in 1944

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Cite this Entry

“Barrel-and-pin.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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