MBSI is pleased to announce the availability of a new book you may wish to add to your mechanical music library. There are many volumes about the history of musical boxes made in Switzerland, Germany, and France, but that is not all of the story. There was also a thriving industry producing quality musical boxes in the nineteenth century in the Austrian Empire. Information about those instruments, particularly for English speakers, has been much harder to come by.
We are pleased to announce that an important work on this subject, previously only available in German, has been released in a revised and updated English language edition. It is Musical Boxes from Prague and Vienna by Dr. Helmut Kowar, issued by the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. Several organizations financial contributions have made this possible. The Musical Box Society International and the Musical Box Society of Great Britain jointly funded the printing cost. Translation was funded by two foundations, the Franz-Josef Mayer-Gunthof Wissenschafts und Forschungsstiftung and the Stiftung Familie Philipp Politzer.
The volume is generously sized at approximately 8 ¼ x 11 ¾”, runs 246 pages, is generously illustrated and includes an extensive catalog of known instrument examples. It is currently available from the Academy at https://verlag.oeaw.ac.at/musical-boxes-from-prague-and-vienna. (Note the icon at the upper right of the webpage that makes an English language version of the web page available.) Dr. Kowar has informed us that the Academy will be making the book available on Amazon as well.