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The Musical Box Society International was formed and exists exclusively for educational purposes with these underlying goals:
To foster a genuine interest in the collection, restoration, and preservation of automatic musical instruments and to publish information about them.
To cooperate with individuals and with other organizations in exhibiting automatic music for the education of the general population.
To establish a museum for the preservation and exhibition of automatic music.

To accomplish its mission, the Society promotes interest and preservation by:
Facilitating the exchange of ideas and information through the camaraderie of members.
By publishing information about mechanical music and by facilitating the distribution of related books, pamphlets, catalogues, films, tapes, and other media.
By establishing a representative collection of automatic musical instruments and related articles, to ensure their preservation, and to make them available for display in Society exhibits and those of other appropriate organizations.

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The Musical Box Society International is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization and is governed by a volunteer board of trustees.

Board of Trustees
The affairs of the Society are managed by a board composed of 13 Trustees all of whom must be present at Board meetings in order to vote. They are vested with full power to develop the goals of the Society consistent with the Charter and Bylaws. Each Trustee is elected for a term of four years, and is eligible for reelection to one additional consecutive four-year term. After serving eight consecutive years, a Trustee may again be nominated for election after four years have elapsed.

The officers of the Society are President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer. Each officer presents a formal report at each Annual Meeting. The President serves for two years and is not eligible for immediate nomination and reelection. The Vice President serves for one year and is eligible for reelection to one additional term. The Treasurer and Secretaries serve in office for one year and are eligible for reelection to an indefinite number of terms.

Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is composed of the elected officers and the Immediate Past President of the Society, with the President of the Society its chairperson. The Executive Committee is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Society, and acts for and on behalf of the members in all matters for which provision has not been made at the Annual Meetings or by the Board of Trustees. Committee members and their chairpersons appointed by the President must be approved by the Executive Committee.

A number of standing and temporary committees are utilized for the day-to-day operation of the Society's affairs. Appointments are usually made by the President in accordance with established policies, guidelines and in some cases approval by the Board.

Financial Information:
Information and Form 990 may be viewed by clicking the Guidestar link at the bottom of this page.

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                                                                              The Beginning

               After nearly a half-century of having been pushed into the obscurity of attic, barn, cellar and corner closet, and being replaced by more modern automatic musical instruments, musical boxes, nickelodeons and various other musical automata really emerged from limbo through the efforts of a small group who recognized their worth and decided to form an organization whose purpose was to increase the interest and knowledge about these instruments, and to aid in their repair and preservation by pooling the experience and information that the various members had gathered themselves.

               This group included Adrian V. Bornand, the last music box expert in the American branch of his family of Swiss music box craftsmen, and Lloyd G. Kelley, a recognized music box expert and successor to the Regina Music Box Company. Together they had contacted Dr. Byron P. Merrick, a collector and connoisseur of fine musical boxes and musical automata, regarding the formation of a musical box collectors' group.

               The invitation to organize such a group was extended by Dr. Merrick and also by a number of individuals who had done considerable groundwork by polling many of the known collectors of these instruments as to a society. The favorable response to this poll led Dr. and Mrs. Merrick to offer their home in Berlin Heights, OH, for the initial meeting and the date was set, October 15, 1949.
Quite a few people arrived the day before the meeting, and were given the freedom of their home by the Merricks. The collection of musical dolls, musical automata and musical boxes was demonstrated by Dr. Merrick, and Mrs. Merrick added to the interest by showing her Staffordshire porcelain figurines. The Merricks had arranged a dinner at the Methodist Church with the ladies of the church serving a dinner of Lake Erie Perch, a rare treat indeed to those who came from areas where this epicurean treat is unknown.

               On the following day, Saturday, October 15th, with Mr. Lloyd G. Kelley of Hanover, MA, acting as temporary presiding chairman, a slate of permanent officers was nominated and elected as follows: Dr. Byron P. Merrick, President; Mr. Lloyd G. Kelley, Vice-President; Mr. U.B. Lust, Secretary; and Mr. Clarence W. Fabel, Treasurer. After considerable discussion the name selected for the organization was "The Musical Box Hobbyists". Charter Memberships were voted restricted to those in actual attendance at the organization meeting and they are listed as follows:


Mr. and Mrs. Adrian V. Bornand
Dr. Albert L. Brainard
Mr. Elmer Brullesauer
Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Crawford
Mr. and Mrs. Clarence W. Fabel
Mr. and Mrs. Perry Ghere
Mr. Robert Gould
Mr. and Mrs. Al Hacker
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Heckert
Mr. and Mrs. Carl C. Jaeger

Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd G. Kelley
Mr. and Mrs. Darwin Klinetob
Mr. A.L. Lee
Mr. and Mrs. U.B. Lust
Dr. and Mrs. Byron P. Merrick
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert H. Meyer
Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Ramsey
Mr. Fred S. Smith
Mr. Anton M. Winter

               An Honorary Membership was voted to Mr. John E.T. Clark of England in recognition of the considerable contribution to musical box knowledge he had made by the publishing of his book, Musical Boxes.

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The First Five Annual Meetings

First Annual Meeting, October 14, 1950, Indianapolis, IN
Held in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Perry Ghere
First presentations: "What to Look For in Buying a Music Box" (Glenn Heckert); "Refinishing a Music Box" (Marguerite Fabel).
Ghere and Fred Smith collections shown.
Officers elected: Dr. Byron P. Merrick, President; Lloyd Kelley, Vice-President; Ruth Bornand, Secretary; and Clarence Fabel, Treasurer.
Membership: 49

Second Annual Meeting, September, 1951, Pittsburgh, PA
At the home Mr. Herbert H. Meyer
First single page mimeographed Bulletin is produced.
Membership: 64

Attendees, 2nd Annual Meeting

August, 1952
A series of articles from Hobbies Magazine is reprinted and distributed.
Two issues of the Bulletin are produced.

Third Annual Meeting, September, 1952, Berlin Heights, OH
At the home of Byron Merrick
First Mart
The News Letter is established.
Membership: 83

Fourth Annual Meeting, September, 1953, Hanover, MA
At the home of Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd G. Kelley
The name is changed from "Musical Box Hobbyists", to the "Musical Box Society, International."
Membership: 91

Fifth Annual Meeting, September 26, 1954, Dearborn, MI
At the Educational Building at Greenfield Village, Ford Museum.
The first pins and seals using the MBSI insignia are commissioned.
Membership: 108

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Succeeding Years


MBSI purchases a Mimeograph machine for printing "The Bulletin".


Six Bulletins printed since the last meeting.


Annual business meeting with 64 attendees is held in a Rahway, NJ auditorium.


Nearly 100 attend the Annual Meeting; A Board of Governors appointed by the president is established.


Tenth Anniversary Special Bulletin, "Creation and Story of the Musical Box Society International" is given to members; the name "Board of Governors" is changed to "Advisory Board."


First Advisory Board is elected.


Bylaws amendments proposed to establish geographical rotation of Annual Meetings.


32 Southern California members meet to establish the first chapter.


Dues raised from $3 to $5 with a $3 initiation fee. Foreign memberships remains at $3


First Annual Meeting held in a hotel, Long Beach, CA; first table favor given.


East coast members meet to discuss formation of an East Coast Chapter; officers are authorized to incorporate MBSI as a nonprofit, educational organization.


December Bulletin is professionally printed and assembled for the first time; Publications Committee formed; Mid-America Chapter formed; first membership incentive program initiated.


Membership over 500; Society incorporates under a charter from the New York State Education Department.


New membership brochure created; tax exempt status achieved.


Smithsonian Institution named as recipient of MBSI property if the Society is dissolved.


Golden Gate Chapter formed.


Membership over 1000


Membership over 1500; first table favor with a musical movement given at the Annual Meeting banquet.


Silver anniversary Annual Meeting with 455 attendees; new "Technical Bulletin" is established; President's Badge is given by the Musical Box Society of Great Britain; Reuge, S.A. creates Silver Anniversary 144 note Sublime Harmony musical movement


First Annual Meeting with an auction; first exhibit of music boxes at Lockwood Matthews Mansion Museum with instruments loaned from MBSI members; Northwest International Chapter receives charter; Trustees Award and Q. David Bowers Literary Award are established with initial funding from Q. David Bowers. MBSI trademark #1021775 is registered.


First Mid-Am Band Organ Rally; National Capital Chapter is chartered;


Opening of MBSI Sounds of Music exhibit at Western Reserve Historical Society


Southeast Chapter receives charter; MBSI membership over 2000; Directory of Members and Museums has first computerized records.


Membership over 2500


Over 500 attend the Annual Meeting; 30 instruments donated to the MBSI, several of which are added to the Lockwood Matthews display; KT Special replica unveiled; Chapuis book translated and made available to members.


Instruments owned by the East Coast Chapter are transferred to MBSI; first Band Organ festival at the Annual Meeting.


Sunbelt and Snowbelt Chapters are chartered


Over 600 attend the Annual Meeting with the first Mart open to the public; "Technical Bulletin" is renamed "Technical Journal" and size changed to 8-1/2 x 11.


A Membership is defined as a Household Membership allowing votes of two members per household.


The book, "Musical Boxes and Other Musical Marvels" is published by MBSI; Audio-visual Committee is established; first joint meeting (with AMICA) is held; "The Ampico Reproducing Piano" is published and offered for sale; President's award established.


MBSI is given original Regina Music Box Co. factory shipping record books; "Technical Journal" is renamed "Mechanical Music".


First New Member Reception at an Annual Meeting; MBSI is bequeathed a fine instrument collection for its museum program.


Piedmont Chapter chartered; Music In Time exhibit opens at the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors with an exhibit catalog printed; first professional video produced and distributed by the Audiovisual Committee


Endowment Fund is established.


Ellinberger collection bequeathed to MBSI; first outside administrator hired.


First budget is established; second MBSI-AMICA joint meeting held


Darlene Mirijanian Creativity Award is established; MBSI exhibit opens at the Charlotte Museum of History;


Publications Fund is established; first web site is established; largest Annual Meeting with 769 registered; Weber "Maesto" and "Banj-Orchestra" reproductions are introduced


The West Coast Chapter is renamed Southern California Chapter; 1000 copies of the book, "Cylinder Music Box Technology" are given to MBSI for sale with proceeds going to the Publications Fund


Japanese International Chapter is chartered; new MBSI Traveling Display is unveiled


Fiftieth Annual Meeting held in Philadelphia, PA; Endowment Fund now more than $100,000; the "Golden Anniversary" book is produced.


Trustees approve production of a professionally made video about mechanical music; MBSI museum exhibit opens at the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts. First Roehl Ambassador Awards presented.


MBSI sponsored museum display opens in Marietta, OH.


55th Annual Meeting Orlando Florida


Lake Michigan Chapter Chartered


56th Annual Meeting a Joint Meeting with MBSGB - First Annual meeting outside US


The Journal and News Bulletin are combined into one publication, Mechanical Music with the first issue Volume 52, No. 1, January-February 2006


Morris Museum breaks ground for future exhibit space for the Murtogh Guinness Collection


57th Annual Meeting - Seattle Washington


58th Annual Meeting - St Paul Mn - Featured visit to the Crawford Collection - the only collection still intact that belonged to a founding member of the Society


Gala Opening of the Murtogh Guinness Collection at the Morris Museum


59th Annual Meeting - Las Vegas NV - with auction with consignments from across the U.S.

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Mr. and Mrs. Adrian V. Bornand
Dr. Albert L. Brainard
Mr. Elmer Brullesauer
Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Crawford
Mr. and Mrs. Clarence W. Fabel
Mr. and Mrs. Perry Ghere
Mr. Robert Gould
Mr. and Mrs. Al Hacker
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Heckert
Mr. and Mrs. Carl C. Jaeger
Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd G. Kelley
Mr. and Mrs. Darwin Klinetob
Mr. A.L. Lee
Mr. and Mrs. U.B. Lust
Dr. and Mrs. Byron P. Merrick
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert H. Meyer
Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Ramsey
Mr. Fred S. Smith
Mr. Anton M. Winter
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Byron P. Merrick 1949 - 1951
Herbert H. Meyer 1952
Lloyd G. Kelley 1953 - 1954
John Hoeltzel 1955 - 1956
Louis Hoone 1957 - 1958
Hughes M. Ryder 1959 - 1960
Clarence W. Fabel 1961 - 1962
John Hoeltzel 1963 - 1964
Orval L. Cooper 1965
Howard M. Fitch 1965 - 1967
Harvey N. Roehl 1968 - 1969
Irving Twomey 1970 - 1971
William H. Edgerton 1972 - 1973
Walter P. Bellm 1974 - 1975
John H. Hardman 1976 - 1977
James R. Feller 1978 - 1979
Robert J. Yates 1980 - 1981
Ralph M. Heintz 1982 - 1983
Albert Choffnes 1984 - 1985
Ronald Bopp 1986 - 1987
Richard Rigg 1988 - 1989
Elise Roenigk 1990 - 1991
Simon Zivin 1992 - 1993
Bud Bronson 1994
Frank Metzger 1995 - 1997
Kevin Kline 1998 - 1999
Coulson Conn 2000 - 2001
Myra Karp 2002 - 2003
Ralph Schack - 2004 - 2005
Carla Wiemer 2006-2007
B. Bronson, 2008-2009

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Lifetime Service Award

Ralph Heintz 2004                             Q. David Bowers 2004
Marguerite Fabel 1999                      Ruth Bornand 1999

Trustee Award for outstanding contributions to the field of automatic music

Byron Merrick 1976
Marguerite Fabel 1977
Ruth Bornand 1978
Lloyd Kelley 1979
Murtogh Guinness 1980
Hughes Ryder 1981
Howard & Helen Fitch 1982
Frank Holland 1983
Ed Freyer 1984
Marion Levy 1985
Jack Hardman 1986
Ben & Mary Lilien 1987
Rita Ford 1988
Herman & Etta Ellenberger 1989
Peter Schuhknecht 1990
Harvey& Marion Roehl 1991
Arthur Sanders 1992
Bob & Diane Yates 1993
Ralph Heintz 1994
Bud Bronson 1995
Ron & Mary Jo Bopp 1996
Ralph & Gloria Schack 1997
Nancy Fratti 1998
Del Lohuis 1999
Emery Prior 2000
Chuck Walker 2001
Frank Metzger 2002
Carla Wiemer 2003
Frank Rider 2004
William H. Edgerton 2005
Jasper & Marian Sanfilippo 2006
Robin Biggins 2007
David & Carol Beck 2008
Arthur C. Cunliffe 2009

Q. David Bowers Literary Award for outstanding literary contributions to the field of automatic music.


Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume 1976
Helen & Howard Fitch 1977
Olin Tillotson 1978
Harvey Roehl 1979
Joseph Roesch 1980
Frank Metzger 1981
Art Reblitz 1982
James Spriggs 1983
Joseph Schumacher 1984
Coulson, Conn 1985
Angelo Rulli 1986
Hendrik Strengers 1987
Martin Roenigk 1988
Ralph Heintz 1989
H. A. V. Bulleid 1990
Albert Choffnes 1991
Jan Jaap Haspels 1992
Christian Eric 1993
Graham Webb 1994
Etienne Blyelle 1995
Jurgen Hocker 1995
Alexander Buchner 1996
Larry Karp 1997
Romke deWaard 1998
Philippe Rouille 1999
Dr. Herbert Juttemann 2000
Luuk Goldhoorn 2001
Kathleen Eric 2002
Steve Boehck 2003
Kevin McElhone 2004
Jean-Claude Piguet 2005
Larry Givens 2006
H. A. V. Bulleid 2007
Christian Bailly, Sharon Bailly Kerman 2008
Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul 2009

Darlene Mirijanian Award given for creativity in the field of mechanical music in order to stimulate and encourage interest in producing new items of interest.


Susan Jackson 1996
Dwight Porter 1997
Wayne Stahnke 1998
Robin Timms 1999
Barry Johnson 2000
David Ramey 2002
Don Stinson 2003
David Wasson 2004
Lester Jones 2005
Charles Moore 2006
Kazuo Tashiro 2007
Takao Kato 2008

Roehl Ambassador Award, given for consistently endeavoring to introduce people to the field of mechanical music.

Bill & Carolyn Shaffer 2001
Ed & Carol Ditto 2001
Kazuo Murakami 2001
John & Nan Flint 2002
JB & Dorothy Nethercutt 2002
Marvin & Dianne Polan 2002
Jasper & Marian Sanfilippo 2002
Ralph Schultz 2003
Sylvi and Jim Caporale 2004
Kay & Ted Brown 2005
The Kurt Elbers Family 2006
Frank & Shirley Nix 2007
Knowles & Ginny Little 2008
John A. Motto-Ros 2009

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News Bulletin

John Hoeltzel 1954 - 1955
Marguerite Fabel 1956 - 1966
Howard and Helen Fitch 1967 - 1973
William Edgerton 1974 - 1975
Martin Roenigk 1976 - 1987
Angelo Rulli 1988 - 1999
Rosanna Harris 1999 - 2013

Technical Journal
Howard and Helen Fitch 1975 -1982

Mechanical Music
Angelo Rulli 1983 - 1999
Rosanna Harris 1999 - 2013
Russell Kasselman 2014 - current

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