In 1870, three Italian musicians and artisans, born in Tramutola, arrived in Argentina where they set up a repair shop for mechanical musical instruments (barrel pianos, orchestrions and barrel organs) as well as pianos, grand pianos and harmoniums.
We are referring to Pasquale La Salvia and two of his brothers, Michele and Domenico, who alternated concerts with the repair shop activities.
About the year 1900, Pasquale La Salvia and his son Vicente –born in Buenos Aires in 1885- began to build barrel organs in Argentina. The commercial activity of the workshop lasted until 1984. During that period a wide variety of models were built: from the portative organs with 19 keys and 8 melodies per cylinder to the biggest ones, also known as Military Band Style, endowed with percussion instruments -snare drums, bass drums and cymbals-, animated bandmasters, bell players or dancers.
These instruments animated dancing halls, entertainment places, theatrical performances, movies, fairs and exhibitions, although the more vivid remembrance is connected with their presence in the streets and carousels in Buenos Aires and other cities within Argentina as well as other countries around South America.
The workshop also dealt with the repairs of European barrel organs and a wide variety of mechanical and conventional musical instruments.
Upon Pasquale's death, his son Vicente went on with the workshop activities. Vicente's sons - Vicente II and Pascual II - followed those ones, in turn. At a certain time they substituted their father and built new models of barrel organs as well as rebuilt and restored antique musical instruments.
In the 40's they were also the ones who encouraged, designed and originally owned the big artistic carousels in Argentina. The first one, and perhaps the more beautiful, one, was working in the Buenos Aires Zoo -Palermo's neighborhood- for many years. It was baptized "PRIMER CARRUSEL ARGENTINO" ("THE FIRST ARGENTINIAN CAROUSEL") and is nowadays located at the children's park "Club de Leones de Ayacucho - Lions Club of Ayacucho" (Buenos Aires Province). The carousel music is played by an important mechanic organ "La Salvia" built in 1943 which is endowed with three animated dolls and a great carved front.
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