from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small barrel organ once used to teach tunes to canaries
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small hand-organ used in the training of song-birds; a bird-organ.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
At first, the bird's song was provided by a serinette mechanism, as is the case here; later, the Jaquet-Droz were to invent the whistle with sliding piston, which allowed a much greater miniaturization and the imitation of true bird song.
There was a very small barrel-organ in use during the 18th and 19th centuries, known as the bird-organ (Fr. _serinette_, _turlutaine_,