Arts & Culture
12:59 pm
Fri July 31, 2009

Mechanical Instrument Lovers Meet in Covington

Highland Heights, Kentucky –
Long before the iPod, the mp3, the boombox and the transistor radio, people often got their music on the street from mechanical instruments such as barrel organs or so-called monkey organs. Barrel organs still entertain visitors on the streets of Amsterdam; and, in Germany, you can still see organ grinders whose monkeys hold out cups to collect tips from people who gather 'round to listen. But even though mechanical instruments are not seen so often on city streets in the 21st century, that doesn't mean the devices have disappeared. There are people who enjoy collecting mechanical instruments and sharing their interest with others. About 1, 200 of them around the world are members of AMICA, the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association. AMICA recently held its annual convention in Covington. WNKU's Steve Hirschberg was there and has this report.