Season 1, Episode 2: Money Isn’t Everything

Accordion Player (28:34): When Marian Brook meets Tom Raikes at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, New York City, there is a panning shot with musical underscoring that starts with some boys playing with toy boats and then cuts to an accordion player. The accordion was invented by 1822, in Germany, and spread across the world with immigrants; by 1874, Russian accordion factories were making over 700,000 instruments every year! It became popular in New York by the mid-1840s and was often used in folk or popular music, so it is fitting to see what looks like a street musician busking in this scene.

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Hohner 1880 Diatonic button accordion (Germany).


Opera Glasses (38:02): As we see people setting up their tables for the Charitable Trust bazaar, you can see some opera glasses being placed next to several pocket watches. This is a subtle indicator of the importance of opera during The Gilded Age, which we learn more about in later episodes. The opera was not only a place to hear beautiful music, but to be seen as part of the social elite.  

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Opera glasses from Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum, Lenox, Massachusetts.