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date: 17 January 2021

Chordaulodion [Chordaulodikon]locked



A mechanical instrument invented by Johann Gottfried Kaufmann and his son Friedrich in Dresden about 1812. It had ten pinned wooden cylinders which could play 34 different tunes with dynamic expression, using organ pipes and struck strings to imitate wind and string instruments and voices. An example costing 1000 thalers was sent to Havana in 1830; its workmanship was described as very fine, with a mahogany case and a temple and statue of Apollo. It was about 300 cm tall and activated by a flat lead weight lifted by a crank; there was no clockwork mechanism. The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology preserves a chordaulodion in a tall rectangular glass-front case, together with a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about Friedrich Kaufmann’s European tours from 1836 to 1842, owned by the Kaufmann family until 1922. Other automatic instruments invented by the Kaufmanns included the belloneon, the harmonichord, and a famous automaton trumpeter....

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