|("Detail of barrel organ (1)" by Chmee2, Wikimedia Commons)|
But, on to what I really wanted to share:
First, this guy, because he's awesome
And second some historic images of barrel organs and their grinders. I find these fascinating, as they show a type of street performing you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere in the world today (though organ grinder hobbyists do still exist, as is evidenced by the awesome dude above). These images show a quirky array of people, many of them seeming a bit rough around the edges, which really makes you wonder about their stories. How did they come by their barrel organs? Were they all hand-made, or inherited? If not, what sort of a business investment is a barrel organ? How much would that have set you back in the early 1900's? Were these people wacky free-spirits, or hard-working individuals desperate for a few coins in an over-saturated job market? Literature from the time depicts them as almost exclusively as vagabond extortionists, however as with any profession, I'd imagine the personal histories of those involved were as varied and colorful as the instruments they played.
|Organ Grinder, 1922. Toronto Public Library X 65-211|