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Atlas Obscura Nisco Museum

Before iPhones, there were DVDs. Before DVDs, there were Walkmans. Before Walkmans, there were cassette players. Before cassettes, vinyl, and before vinyl, Edison wax cylinders.

But according to Nissan Cohen, owner and curator at the Nisco Museum, what came before all of these was by far more magnificent: intricate machines that played live music. These charming, beautifully crafted instruments could be called “music boxes.” But if you’re thinking of little cranked ballerinas spinning to “Happy Birthday,” think again. With its extensive collection of these machines, the Nisco Museum is a place of enchantment that will bring you into a bygone world of large, unbelievably complex wonders of sound and sight.

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