Updates from Morris County: Get the latest on COVID-19

Posted Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Mechanical Musical Machines and Automata from the 19th Century

A special winter indoor “walking tour” will be offered by the Morris County Tourism Bureau on Sunday, Feb. 25, that will offer a behind-the-scene look at the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Machines and Automata that is featured at the Morris Museum.

Morris Tourism: Special Behind-the Scenes Tour at Morris MuseumThe tour, to be led by the curator and conservator, will feature an exhibition of more than 150 pieces of mechanical musical instruments and automata that are on display in the Morris Museum. Largely dating to the 19th century, these ingenious objects once brought animated, musical entertainment to private settings and public places.

Some of the machines will be demonstrated for the tour-goers, who also will visit the storage area that houses most of the collection.  There are another 500 machines in storage at the museum that will be shown during the tour.

Some features include: A clown that loses its head and gets it back. A ten-foot high mechanical one-man band. A fairground organ that booms out ragtime tunes. A box that teaches birds to sing. All these amazing, 19th century mechanical marvels and more are on view, many for the first time, as part of the Morris Museum’s permanent exhibition Musical Machines & Living Dolls.

Morris Tourism: Special Behind-the Scenes Tour at Morris MuseumNow, through video and audio technology, hands-on activities and live demonstrations of select instruments, visitors can see and hear these beautiful and intriguing historic objects and experience for themselves a largely lost chapter in entertainment history.

“We thank the Tourism Bureau for its continuing excellent programs and presentations which provide our county residents and visitors with a rich experience,” said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

There are a limited number of tickets available for the tour, so reserve your place as soon as possible.

Tickets are $15. For an extra $5, you can tour the museum admission for the entire day.  Please pre-register and pre-pay online at Eventbrite.com.  For additional information call the Tourism Bureau at 973-631-5151.