(Source: Mechanix illustrated September 1951)
Robots in Ragtime
The Japanese have come up with something new in toys. It’s a mechanical orchestra and its tinny music has captured the hearts of the youngsters.
Jiro Aizawa, an ex-Kamikaze plane designer, is the creator. Loath to discard his mechanical training after the war, he turned to experimentation with robots, a subject in which he had long been interested. His results are quite amazing.
The orchestra’s actual music is produced by a phonograph record synchronized with the movements of the players. In its repertoire are: Buttons and Bows, Beer Barrel Polka and Rumba Tamba.
A drummer in the guise of an early soldier – 1940.
Nine musical robots appear in a Tokyo store in 1966.
Trumpet player on the cover of a Japanese model makiing magazine 1967.
At a Japanese exhibition in 2010, these cardboard and metal 'musical' robots were on show.
Unpainted tin violin playing robot. A single solenoid moves the bow arm backwards and forwards.
See the full Jiro Aizawa story here .