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 Paul Roscoe Eakins

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Paul Roscoe Eakins

  • Birth 2 Sep 1913 Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA
  • Death 10 Oct 1990 Sikeston, Scott County, Missouri, USA
  • Burial Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA
  • Plot Section behind office near corner
  • Memorial ID 17763296

Husband of Laura Dittlinger Eakins. Father of Michael Paul Eakins. Collector and restorer of antique mechanical musical instruments. Owner of an extensive collection which included arcade machines, all restored by himself. Many of these machines are still playing in other collections and his recordings of the machines are still popular. His love of antique music machines began in the early 1950's when, at a tourist stop, he saw a Regina Music Box and another music machine with an "Out of Order" sign stuck on the front. He commented to his family, "I believe if I got hold of one of those, I could make it work." That was the beginning of his passion for old music machines. Finding, restoring and displaying what became an enormous collection of operating automatic music machines soon became a full-time occupation. The collection ranged from small electric pianos to large fair organs and all sized machines in between plus antique arcade machines of all kinds. The collection became nationally famous and he appeared at many fairs and on many television programs such as Gary Moore's "I've Got a Secret", the NBC "Today Show", "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" and several television specials. In the early 1950's, he and his wife, Laura, opened the Indian Trading Post as a tourist attraction in Sikeston, MO. It evolved into the Gay 90's Village with the War Drum Restaurant, and a few other businesses in the vicinity of the Museum. His machines were displayed and played at the New York World's Fair with the Continental Circus and Ringling's Museum of the Circus in 1960. In 1966, the Museum was relocated to 320 South Broadway in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, and renamed the Gay 90's Melody Museum. It closed in the early 1970's. In the late 1970's most of the collection of automatic music machines was sold. Some can still be seen at amusement parks and in other collections. The Madam Laura Gavioli organ he restored (and named after Laura) returned to Sikeston a few years ago and is again in his family.

Family Members


  • Created by: Vincent Astor
  • Added: 1 Feb 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17763296
  • r77ortiz
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Paul Roscoe Eakins (2 Sep 1913–10 Oct 1990), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17763296, citing Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery, Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Vincent Astor (contributor 46857808) .