Released in 1958, Kenner Products’ Turn-A-Tune is a mashup of a vintage phonograph and a modern turntable. The toy is operated by turning a handle – a “no batteries required” approach to entertainment that is far less common today than it was in the 1950-60s.
The Turn-A-Tune’s music catalog consists entirely of single songs, each programmed on specially designed Player-Disks. Every Turn-A-Tune shipped with 8 Player-Disks that included these standards:
- Happy Birthday
- London Bridge
- Three Blind Mice
- Pop! Goes The Weasel
- Row Your Boat
- Oh! Susanna
- Twinkle, Twinkle
- Jingle Bells
Each cardboard Player-Disk is 7 ¼” in diameter and functions much like a piano roll in a player piano. As a Player-Disk revolves on the Turn-A-Tune table, perforations cut into it cause keys to be released and strike one of the 8 tuned steel bars below. Turning the handle at a consistent speed results in a recognizable melody being played.
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