For the recreation, I built a basic electrical-tapper and foot-switch combo, and Fari Bradley played the piece on Resonance FM's upright piano. But it should be said that there's no explicit indication that the scored 'click-e-ty-clicks' were specifically intended for an electric adjunct. However, the evidence strongly suggests it was intended for Mephisto. (The publication in which it appears - The Musical Million - also published Juleene's The Mephisto Gavotte [referred to in a previous post]).
An actual description of the Mephisto entertainment illuminates the extent to which electricity was employed. (The thematic and technical aspects of Mephisto were based heavily on J.B. Schalkenbach's electro-musical act):
"Bounding about amid flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, she [Dot D'Alcorn] explains how she means to electrify mankind by her magic powers, and how by the mere touch of her fingers on the keys of the organ storms shall rage, cannons roar, birds warble, churches come into view, ships sail, and railway engines their 'daily course of duty' run. Presently, sitting down at the instrument, the young lady commences a series of operatic airs, sometimes 'pianisimo' and at other times 'organic'. But the wonder is that as the music proceeds strange effects are produced. A canary trills forth its accompaniment, a cuckoo calls, drums hidden away somewhere take up the oracle, and dazzling light flashes out for a moment among the audience and is gone before the people can turn round to see 'what's up'. Castanets suspended in the air keep time to the melody, and an arrangement of cups and saucers half-way down the hall respond to the musical strains. A cannon suddenly goes off in the gallery, and before the surprise it has evoked disappears the audience notice a miniature church in one corner suddenly lighted up. Then, with a whistle and a snort, the circular railway sets in motion; a ship above the stage is seen buffeting with the waves, and a lighthouse throws its lurid rays around. Vivid lights appear in various places, and as suddenly vanish; flashes of lightning cross the hall, a salvo of artillery is given, the rushing sound of a pelting storm can be heard, and, amid a crash, and peal, and flash of fire, 'Mephisto' disappears."
|Dot D'Alcorn aka Susette D'Alcorn in pre-Mephisto days (circa 1883) dressed as 'Gentleman John' - a song that cocks a snook at young men-about-town of wealthy parentage.|