Music Box Association of America October 14th and 15th, at Berlin Heights, Ohio
Dr. Byron Merrick has been a collector of music boxes for quite a number of years and has one of the outstanding collections in this country, approximately 200 pieces. He has very kindly extended an invitation to all interested in music boxes to come to Berlin Heights on October 14th and 15th to see this collection and at the same time the FIRST ANNUAL MEETING will take place.
A postal to Dr. Merrick stating whether or not you plan to attend will be appreciated.
Lloyd G. Kelley
Hanover, Mass.

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.