Monday, September 22, 2014

What Gift Would You Prefer?

In 1892, what kind of a gift would you like?

You're a widow with a baby and have just survived a long, cold winter in a small cabin in the Rocky Mountains of Northern Utah. What type of special gift would brighten your spirits?

Fabric for a new dress -- of course.

Fresh beef or venison -- always a welcome gift to restock your larder.

A visit from a friend or perhaps someone to help chop some badly needed firewood.

Any of these things would be greatly appreciated, but what about an organette?

Never heard of them? Neither had I until watching a television show one night that got me wondering about them.

Organettes are a small hand-cranked reed organ, usually designed for tabletop use.  Popular from the 1870s through the early 1900s, hundreds of models were manufactured, playing thousands of tunes.  Hymns, popular music, classical - they were all available as you turn the crank. (info from The Organette Music Repository at

In My story, A Tug At My Heart, Zed brings Catherine a presents of an organette.

Being so far away from civilization,
this would be like giving her a radio, something to bring music into her home and she is thrilled to receive it.

The pictures here show you a few types of organettes.

Hopefully when you read that chapter, you'll have an idea what an organette is and why she is so excited to receive one.

Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey