Now here is one of the more clever inventions to help piano players whose family can't stand to listen to the racket as they attempt to learn how to play. You know the problem - "Children who have no sensitiveness, and grumble-proof adults bent on their own improvement regardless of other people's discomfiture, may blunder away, and ding-dong unceasingly in spite of all complaints and remonstrances… " William Stokes devised a way to enable these people to practice without disturbing others: Stokes's Memory-Aiding Keyboard, Piano, Organ, and Harmonium… What Stokes invented was a large, foldout full size printed keyboard. You could bang on the keys of this paper keyboard all day without making a sound. What's less clear is how you could actually learn to play, or know when you made a mistake, when playing his silent "keyboard." Offered is a third edition (this thing must have been popular) from 1884. Item 54. $450.
We need to mention at least one serious book, so here it is: A New and Complete System of Arithmetic, Composed for the Use of Citizens of the United States. This is a first edition of what was only the third book presented for a U.S. copyright, and America's first math book. Author Nicolas Pike even managed to get an endorsement of his book from George Washington, though Washington's support may have been based more on the concept of teaching math to American students than any particular familiarity with Pike's book. Nonetheless, it was an important primer for American schoolchildren for quite a long time. Item 49. $300.
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