Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Russell Kasselman (253) 228-1634 email@example.com
MBSI Editorial Office:
Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 firstname.lastname@example.org
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 68, No. 4 July/August 2022
MBSI NEWS 5 PresidentÕs Message 7 EditorÕs Notes 8 Mid-Year TrusteeÕs Meet.
All manuscripts will be subject to editorial review. Articles submitted for publication may be edited or rejected at the discretion of the Publications Committee and the Editorial Staff. The article will not be published with significant changes without the authorÕs approval. All articles are considered to be the authorÕs personal opinion. The author may be asked to substantiate his/her statements.
Mechanical Music (ISSN 1045-795X) is published by the Musical Box Society International, 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 six times per year. A Direc.tory of Members, Museums, and Dealers is published biennially. Domestic subscription rate, $60. Periodicals postage paid at San Luis Obispo, CA and additional mailing offices.
Copyright 2022. The Musical Box Society Inter.national, all rights reserved. Mechanical Music cannot be copied, reproduced or transmitted in whole or in part in any form whatsoever without written consent of the Editor and the Executive Committee.
MEMBERS: SEND ADDRESS CORRECTIONS TO: MBSI, PO Box 10196, Springfield, MO 65808-0196 Or, make corrections on the website at www.mbsi.org.
POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO
MBSI, PO Box 10196, Springfield, MO 65808-0196
12 Nickel Notes by Matt Jaro
23 Paillard, as Seen on TV
32 Joy and Suffering,
the organ grinders of
London and Manchester
37 Repairing a music box comb after a run
43 National Capital 45 Lake Michigan 47 Southern California
MBSI has replanted 188 trees so far as part of the Print ReLeaf program.
On the Cover
Frank NixÕs Ruth 38 organ was the star of the show at the most recent Southern California Chapter meeting. Read all about Frank and Shirley NixÕs collection and the chapter meeting on pages 12 and
47. Photo by Lowell Boehland.
echanical music is a fascinating hobby! It appeals to the artist, historian, craftsman, and musician all at the same time. Play an automatic musical instrument in a room full of people and all else will stop as the machine enraptures the audience with the sparkling melodies of yesteryear!
Mechanical music instruments are any sort of auto.matically-played machine that produces melodic sound including discs and cylinder music boxes that pluck a steel comb; orchestrions and organs that engage many instru.ments at once using vacuum and air pressure; player and reproducing pianos that use variable vacuum to strike piano wires; phonographs; and self-playing stringed, wind, and percussion instruments of any kind.
The Musical Box Society International, chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, is a nonprofit society dedicated to the enjoyment, study, and preservation of automatic musical instruments. Founded in 1949, it now has members around the world, and supports various educational projects.
Regional chapters and an Annual Meeting held each year in different cities within the United States enable members to visit collections, exchange ideas, and attend educational workshops. Members receive six issues of the journal, Mechanical Music, which also contains advertising space for members who wish to buy, sell, and restore mechanical musical instruments and related items. Members also receive the biennial MBSI Directory of Members, Muse.ums, and Dealers.
The only requirements for membership are an interest in automatic music machines and the desire to share infor.mation about them. And youÕll take pride in knowing you are contributing to the preservation of these marvelous examples of bygone craftsmanship.
More information online at www.MBSI.org, or
Call: (417) 886-8839, or
Copy this page, and give it to a potential new member. Spread the word about MBSI.
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Join online: www.mbsi.org/join-mbsi
Check or Money Order Payable to: MBSI Treasurer (US Funds Only) Mail to: New Member Registration – MBSI PO Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196
Exp. Date CCV
4 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
By David Corkrum
It is almost time for another of our annual meetings. This one happens to be occurring in my hometown of San Mateo, CA. It is also occurring about a mile from where I lived as a child. Sort of ÒOld home WeekÓ for myself. I am looking forward to this meeting since COVID-19 has delayed so much of everything else.
It looks to be a great meeting and with the addition of AMICA members, there will be many new faces among the crowd. There have been some challenges in organizing things, but the Golden Gate ChapterÕs Annual Meeting Committee has come through and gotten it done. If you are coming early or staying after the meeting, then you probably know that there is a lot to see and do in the San Francisco Bay Area. I know that you will enjoy yourselves here in the Golden State.
As you probably read in my last message, our society is facing many challenges and the trustees are work.ing very hard to solve some of the problems associated with them. One area where we face some problems is in the appointment of committee chairs. Although I encourage current committee chairs to find their own replacements, sometimes that duty falls to the president.
Currently, the society has no Membership Committee chair and the Nominating Committee chair will be stepping down at the end of this year. The society is in need of members to volunteer for these two positions.
The Nominating Committee is an important part of this society. Members of this committee find other members willing to serve as trustees. From these trustees, a vice president is normally picked. I have been in contact with vari.ous members who were recommended to me for both Membership Committee chair and Nominating Committee chair, but no member has yet accepted either job. If any of you feel that you could fill one of these positions, please contact me directly.
I would like to thank Sally Craig and Bob Caletti for volunteering to continue serving in their present committee chair positions. They both work hard to keep our society healthy and I cannot thank them enough for all their efforts! I cannot leave out all the other members who comprise our committees. Each has a particular job to perform, and they all do it very well. Mere words do not express the gratitude I have for all of them. Thank you!
I would also like to thank Dan Wilson for serving as our Nominating Committee chair. He has done a fabu.lous job of finding new trustees and officers for the society. I wish he were staying longer, but I understand that he needs to move on. Dan, you are a great asset to our society, and I wish you the best in any future adventures.
This is all that I have for you in this issue. The picture accompanying this column was taken recently at the home of Bob and Judy Caletti. The music box is a relatively rare Regina changer as it has a clock in the pediment. Such a wonderful piece of automatic music.
MBSI MEMBERSHIP DRIVE EACH ONE/REACH ONE NEW MEMBER
MBSI is always interested in increasing its membership and is pleased to offer new members a $15 discount off their Ørst yearÕs membership. You are considered a new member if you have not been a member in the past three years. This discount is also available on our website, www.mbsi.org.
Current MBSI members who sponsor a new member will receive a $5 discount off their next yearÕs MBSI membership renewal for each sponsorship. Attach a copy of the discount voucher below to a copy of the membership application form on Page 4 of this issue of Mechanical Music. Place your name as ÒsponsorÓ on the application form.
Please make copies of these forms as needed and send the completed forms with checks to the MBSI administrator at the address listed below.
been members of MBSI or those who have not been members for three years prior to submission of this certiØcate. SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more Ørst-year MBSI gift memberships at $45 each U.S., $55 Canadian, or $60 other International and you will receive $5 off your next year’s MBSI membership renewal for each ÒNew MemberÓ gift.
Gift Membership Name
Address, City, State, ZIP
Please mail this form together with your check made payable to ÒMBSIÓ to the MBSI Administrator at the address listed above. Memberships are $45 for U.S. residents, $55 for Canadian residents, and $60 for other International residents.
By Russell Kasselman
ItÕs no secret that I am not a mechan.ical music expert. More often than not, IÕm learning something new about this hobby each time I put together an issue of this journal. ItÕs why I truly am grateful and appreciative of all those who contribute their content to teach me (and others new to the hobby) all about whatÕs out there.
If you havenÕt written in a while, or have never sent in an article, please consider adding your two cents to the mix. This hobby is full of all sorts of ideas for articles from the artistry of an instrumentÕs wooden case, to the intricacies of the movements inside, to the history of those who made the music we all love to listen to. I encourage you to find a point of interest and share your passion for it with the rest of the membership. Who knows, you might just find someone who enjoys the exact same thing and perhaps youÕll find an opportunity to enjoy it together for an even richer
Speaking of enjoying the hobby together, I am encouraged to see three chapter reports in this issue. It gives me hope that more people are ready to venture out and attend the upcoming annual meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area. The meeting will be a fantastic chance to make new connec.tions since it is being held jointly with the Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Association. If you havenÕt already made your reservations, I encourage you to get it done soon so we can all have a grand time together.
As you flip through this issue, please note the fantastic offerings available from our advertisers. Whether you like the excitement of an auction or you prefer to browse at your own pace with a dealer, youÕll be sure to find what you are looking for by taking a few extra minutes to look closely at the advertisements presented in this issue. Should you attend an auction or visit a dealer, please let them know you saw their advertisement in the journal. Everyone likes to know that
MBSI Editorial / Advertising 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
the work they are doing is being seen and enjoyed.
Advertisements for the September/October 2022 issue of
Articles and photos for the September/October 2022 issue Mechanical Music need to be submitted by Aug. 1, 2022.
of Mechanical Music need to be submitted by Jul. 25, 2022.
Advertisements for the November/December 2022 issue
Articles and photos for the November/December 2022 of Mechanical Music need to be submitted by Oct. 1, 2022.
issue of Mechanical Music should be submitted by Sept. 25, 2022.
Welcome new members!
April 2022 Vince Baker David DeLong Freeport, TX Lowell, OH Sponsor: Bill Wineburgh David Morey Christian Brossard Lille, Pleasant Pr, WI Haut de France, France Lisa & John Ziccardi Pam Crew Crystal Lake, IL Lakeland, FL Sponsor: Wayne Myers May 2022 Margaret Banks Vermillion, SD Mary Lee Great Falls, VA Sponsor: Jennifer Holden
MBSI Mid-Year TrusteesÕ Meeting Minutes
Top row, left to right: MBSI President David Corkrum, Trustee Dave Calendine, MBSI Vice President Matt Jaro. Second row, left to right: Publications Committee Chair Bob Caletti, Trustee Richard Dutton, Special Exhibits Committee Chair Mary Ellen Myers. Bottom row, left to right: Trustee Edward Cooley, Immediate Past President Thomas Kuehn.
March 18, 2022
These minutes will become official when approved and voted upon during the Annual Mid-Year Meeting of the Board of Trustees in San Mateo, CA, in 2022.
The trusteesÕ meeting was called to order at 9:10 a.m. PDT by MBSI President David Corkrum utilizing the Zoom program. The following trustees were present:
David Corkrum, President presiding
Mary Ellen Myers
Nine of nine present, a quorum.
As the recording secretary was absent, President Corkrum conducted a review of pending board actions. One item from the Marketing Committee and one from the Museum Committee were deemed complete and were removed from the report. The revised report will be forwarded to the record.ing secretary.
Vice President Jaro presented the Vice PresidentÕs Report. The vice president is responsible for coordi.nating the annual awards process and ensuring timely action to obtain nominations to present to the board at its mid-year meeting. This process has been completed and nominees will be presented and voted upon during a closed-door session.
Additionally the vice president gathered the necessary information and completed the filing of an annual report from the society to the Board of Regents of the University of New York by the filing deadline of Jul.
1. The vice president also provided guidance for and advice to the chap.ters of the society, stayed informed of committee activities and reviewed and recommended revisions of bylaws and policies and procedures.
Updates were provided to the Inter.nal Revenue Service via the Guidestar website. The report was received.
Treasurer Edward Kozak presented the finance report. Since this report was submitted, the information submitted by the MBSI accounting firms, has now been finalized.
The total fund balance for 2021 decreased by $18,218. The main items of revenue and expenses were: declin.ing membership revenue to $66,095; the annual convention contributed $937 net revenue; Publishing revenue of $17,643 and publishing expense of $68,162, and accounting, tax prepa.ration and administrative expenses totaled $33,492.
The society continues its laddering
8 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
investment philosophy. The non-en.dowed CDs and a money market deposit totaled $527,000 and $8,856, respectively. A short-term bond fund of $15,000 has an average maturity of less than one year.
As of Dec. 31, 2021, temporarily restricted assets totaled $154,961. The total restricted cash assets and the contingency amount to $199,961. Cash, CDs maturing in 2022, short-term bond funds and money market funds totaled $223,354 on Dec. 31, 2021.
In February 2022, a request was made to the trustees to review the approved budget for 2022 for any changes. No changes were needed. The budget projects a deficit of $36,021.
The Endowment Fund balance was $161,830. The balance increased by donations of $1,580. The Endowment Interest Earned Fund shows a balance of $43,287 of which two-thirds of this amount ($28,585) is available for proj.ects or programs.
Dues revenue continues to decline which may hinder operations.
There was discussion about raising the dues now to help offset future revenue reductions due to declining membership. Trustee Calendine made a motion to increase the dues by $10 effective Jan 1, 2023. The motion was seconded by Trustee Cooley. There was some discussion. The motion passed. The report was received.
President Corkrum presented the AdministratorÕs Report. As of Dec. 31, 2021, MBSI had 1,018 members. The current membership, as of Mar. 12, 2022, is 1,040, which is an increase. Thirty-eight new memberships were generated from Jul. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021, of which 74 percent (28) were from the website. A total of 78 new memberships were generated for the 2021 calendar year of which 71 percent (55) were from the website. MBSI received eight new members from the voucher program in 2021. Twenty-four orders for goods or services were processed of which 83 percent were handled by the website. Don Caine is the dealer recipient of a free renewal as he sponsored nine new members. Bill Wineburgh is the member recipient of a free renewal for sponsoring four new members. Fifty-five new members joined via the website in 2021 with the New Member Web Discount of $15. The report was received.
Chair Cooley presented the Audit Committee report.
As required by the New York state statutes and regulations which govern MBSI, each year our financial statements must be reviewed by an independent CPA. MBSI employs Cinda Rogers, CPA, for this purpose. Her review report was released Aug. 15, 2021. Additionally, a contract extension was sent to her which she accepted. Her office will be sending her engagement letter to President Corkrum for approval.
Treasurer KozakÕs analysis of the dues was even more accurate than expected. MBSIÕs actual net member.ship revenue for 2021 was $66,095. Using 2021 membership data (89.78 percent) U.S.A., -1.67 percent Canada,
8.55 percent Other International members), the total estimated revenue given these assumptions was $66,520. This $425 difference between the esti.mate and the actual total amounts to a minuscule 0.64 percent variance.
Committee members are often slow to return required conflict-of-interest statements. Various technological fixes to ensure this task is completed each year have been suggested. Pres.ident Corkrum stated that committee chairs have a responsibility to obtain the signed conflict-of-interest forms and forward them to the recording secretary. Trustee Caletti suggested using the scanning devices on our cell phones. President Corkrum and Trustee Caletti will discuss this at a later time and come to a solution. The report was received.
President Corkrum presented the Marketing Committee Report. Trustee Calendine stated that he had to step away from the Marketing Committee, but he did have a suggestion to enhance membership renewal. In another group to which he belongs, they offer new members and lapsed members of two-plus years, the opportunity to join or rejoin for the first year at half the usual dues rate. They found that more than 60 percent of those who rejoined at the reduced rate continued their membership. They had more than 300 members rejoin by this method. They also found that, demographically, if the chapters did not have activities the members tended to not renew their memberships. Trustee Calen.dine made an amended motion that the society allow new members and members whose memberships have lapsed for two-plus years to join/ rejoin at half price for one year and be billed full price thereafter, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2023. Vice President Jaro seconded the amended motion. President Corkrum asked for any further discussion. The motion carried.
The member testimonial videos are complete and have been forwarded to the editor for inclusion on the website and our YouTube channel. Committee member Calendine made videos of several of B. BronsonÕs machines to be put up on the website and our YouTube channel. Currently, those videos need a final editing before their use. We are looking for volunteers. Committee member Judy Caletti is seeking ways to promote MBSI through various schools of music, as well as sending out welcome letters to each new member to try and build enhanced rapport. The auction certificate program has now been put on hold. The Marketing Committee Report was received.
Vice President Jaro presented the Meetings Committee Report. Vice President Jaro also chairs this committee. He commented that the last MBSI Annual Meeting in Fort Myers, FL, was very successful. Although the membership was very concerned about COVID-19, no one became ill from it during the meeting. An added plus was that the meeting turned a profit for the society. The next meeting will be a joint meeting with AMICA in San Mateo, CA, with the Golden Gate Chapter taking the lead. This 73rd anniversary meeting will be held at the San Mateo Marriott from Aug. 31 through Sept. 5, 2022. Plans are proceeding nicely. Room rates will be $119/night for a king, the minimum attendance will be 150 attendees and the food bill will be a $30,000 minimum required.
The 2023 annual meeting will be hosted by the Snowbelt Chapter at the Doubletree Hotel in St Paul, MN, where the room rate will be $109/ night. In order to obtain that rate, we will have to have 35 room reserva.tions. Tracy Tolzman and Tom Kuehn are planning this event.
The 2024 annual meeting will be hosted by the Lake Michigan Chapter possibly in Chicago as that is where the largest attendance for meetings occurs. There is no firm commitment yet from the Lake Michigan Chapter to organize this meeting. Since Jasper Sanfilippo died, the number of tours and visitors has become limited. Alternative places to have MBSIÕs 75th anniversary meeting are limited.
The 2025 annual meeting will be hosted by the Southern California Chapter and it is planned as a joint meeting with the Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Association (AMICA) taking the lead.
The report was received.
Museum Committee Chair Sally Craig presented her committeeÕs report.
The American Treasure Tour Museum display has been reorganized on large display racks to allow visitors enhanced views of the collection. Our museum space has been usurped by the Raggedy Ann dolls collection making the display look like a walk through.
A request from a member/dealer to use our MBSI donation forms was initiated. The Committee felt, however, that the forms should only be used as guidelines or models and not templates.
Bill Edgerton wanted to change MBSIÕs inventory numbering system to suit the Morris MuseumÕs system, but MBSI decided to keep the system it has, and the Morris Museum and Mechanical Music Library will have to adjust to our numbering system. Chair Craig will move forward with the committeeÕs and trusteesÕ decisions.
The Barry Johnson donation was discussed with all necessary informa.tion being completed. The report was received.
President Corkrum presented the Nominating Committee Report. Chair WilsonÕs intention to vacate the position at the conclusion of the 2022 MBSI Annual Meeting remains in force; however, he has not yet found a replacement.
The Nominating Committee respect.fully submits the following slate:
Vice President Matt Jaro to serve second one-year term;
Treasurer Ed Kozak to serve another one-year term,
Recording Secretary Linda Birkitt to serve another one-year term.
The report was received.
Trustee and Special Exhibits Committee Chair Myers presented her committeeÕs report.
The current major focus is to have at least one member from each chapter join the Special Exhibits Committee. The Outreach Corner column in the Mechanical Music journal has been helpful in keeping focus on the committeeÕs purpose, which is creative idea sharing and providing how-to information. A spike in COVID-19 cases canceled a planned joint meeting and organ rally with the Carousel Organ Association of America (COAA). Committee members did, however, participate in The Villages, FL, eighth annual Christmas show. This provided an opportunity to sell left-over table favors. The committee is exploring the possibility of participating in the World Circus Day in Sarasota, FL, in the Spring. This might also allow the committee to sell left-over table favors. Committee members will also host another summer music-box-making camp for children and their grandpar.ents at The Villages.
It was previously suggested that the committee approach schools and opera houses with information about MBSI. A music box could be displayed in the opera houseÕs lobby prior to a performance. Chair Myers volunteered to present such a display at her local opera house. The report was received.
The Publications Committee Report was presented by Chair Caletti.
Chair Caletti thanked everyone who contributed to the journal in all manner of ways. To attract new members who donÕt speak English, MBSI now has a tab at the top right side of every page of the website that allows anyone to select the language they choose to view the website.
Chair Caletti wants to contact other mechanical music-related organiza.tions and let them know that a full English version of Mechanical Music is available on the website and explain that MBSI members have access to translatable text versions of every Mechanical Music journal from 2018 forward. MBSI continues to reprint articles from other organizations as well as previously published articles from our own past journals. Many articles which have been previously published can be reprinted for the benefit of new members. MBSI will be purchasing a translation program to help us reprint more articles from the German, French, Swiss, Italian and other non-English musical box society journals. The report was received.
The Editor/PublisherÕs Report was presented by Trustee Caletti. The average advertising pages remained steady at 19% of the total pages printed between May/June 2021 and March/April 2022. Although new article submissions have fallen off lately, suitable articles from previous issues of Mechanical Music and other related journals have been reprinted. Website advertising is stagnant currently, but it is hoped that a refresh of the website home page may attract new advertisers.
This is the third year in a row that we have sought a volunteer to serve as the societyÕs database manager. Currently, the editor/publisher is filling this role on a per-hour fee basis.
The editor/publisher meets regu.larly with Marketing, Website and Publication committee chairs to define projects and timelines for improvements to the website, as well as adding more content. We are always open to new ideas. The report was received.
The Website Subcommittee Report was presented by Chair Rick Swaney.
MBSIÕs web server is being upgraded to a newer version of PHP code, and
10 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
our editor has proactively begun to find and fix any issues.
The recorded workshops from the 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting have been edited and are uploaded to the website. The topics are: ÒMIDI,Ó ÒThe Band Organ,Ó ÒOrgan Grinder Street Musicians,Ó ÒSeeburg B RestorationÓ and ÒRib Replacement on Pressure Pumps.Ó
The MBSI Forum on Facebook continues its rapid growth. The membership now is 723, up from
335. MBSI is averaging 105 visits per day on its website. That is a total of 38,000 users since last yearÕs mid-year meeting statistics. The website directs visitors to music box sellers and repairers as well as directing persons to chapter websites.
The homepage is being refreshed and will be tested prior to the annual meeting at which time it will go live. The report was received.
The PresidentÕs Special Committee Report was presented by Vice Presi.dent Jaro.
A Special Committee was formed to handle the quorum problem. At the societyÕs last annual meeting there were so few members in attendance (93), it became a concern that the society would not be able to conduct a business meeting.
If, in the future, a quorum is not met at an annual meeting, the society must undergo voting by mail which is an expense. It must also keep the balloting open long enough to receive responses. Ballots have to be opened and counted by three people in good standing with the society who are appointed by the MBSI President. This is in contrast with the annual meeting where in-person balloting takes less than a minute.
As membership dwindles, estab.lishing a quorum becomes more of a problem. The statutes that govern MBSIÕs operation state that a quorum must be either 10 percent of the membership entitled to vote or 100 people, whichever is lesser.
One solution is to place proxy voting slips in the registration packets. Those people who attend the business meeting would be counted first and then if a quorum is not assembled, proxy votes would be used to fill in the required 100 votes. Someone would have to ensure members did not vote twice, once by proxy and once at the business meeting.
President Corkrum directed Trustee Dutton and Vice President Jaro to create a form that can be sent by email to members concerning proxies/ quorum issues. Both the Policies and Procedures as well as the Bylaws will need to be changed at the annual meeting. Also there will need to be a procedure to handle quorums from now forward.
President Corkrum asked for a motion to extend the time period of the Special Committee until the annual meeting. Vice President Jaro moved to extend the time period of the Special Committee until the annual meeting. The motion was seconded by Trustee Calendine. The motion carried.
There being no further business before the board, it was moved by Trustee Calendine and seconded by Vice President Jaro to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 12:47 p.m. PDT.
In order for anything
A Lasting Legacy
once alive to have meaning, its effect must remain alive in eternity in some way
Ð Ernest Becker, Philosopher
The Musical Box Society International Throughout its history, MBSI has fostered an interest in and preservation of is a 501(c)(3) nonproÞt organization. automatic musical instruments. Your gift to the Endowment Fund will All donations to the Endowment support programs that will help future generations appreciate these Fund are tax deductible. achievements of human creative genius. Visit www.mbsi.org to learn more. A gift of any size is welcome.
By Matthew Jaro
This monthÕs Nickel Notes takes you back in time to the home of Frank and Shirley Nix of Woodland Hills, CA.
Shirley Nix passed away about six years ago and I hope this article from 2016 will serve as a memorial to Shirley and to the wonderful work that Frank continues. We all loved Shirley and so it is fitting that we journey into the past to revisit the Nix family.
Frank and Shirley have been longtime members of both the Automatic Musi.cal Instrument CollectorsÕ Association (AMICA) and MBSI and have been instrumental in organizing conventions and chapter meetings. They have an extensive collection of beautiful instru.ments. Frank has a wonderful sense of humor and it was delightful to hear his captivating stories about his life and acquiring musical instruments. They seem to be an ideal couple, having been married since 1954. They seem to complement each other perfectly.
Beginnings (Disk Music Boxes)
I asked Frank how he got started in mechanical music. He was 9 years old during World War II and they lived near Los Angeles, CA. They would go to San Diego, CA, for vacations. His uncle had 40 acres with three cabins adjoining a national forest. Frank and his family would stay in one of the cabins which had a 27-inch Regina disc music box. Frank would get up in the morning and play it as much as he wanted to. He really fell for it.
He didnÕt think about music boxes at all until he was turning 50 and then he talked to Shirley about getting an antique disc music box. He saw an ad in the paper for an Olympia disc box along with a Mermod Frres cylinder box. The seller wanted $7,000 for the pair. Frank thought he was crazy and said he would come back later when the seller would listen to reason and take half of what he wanted. Frank called back, and the seller said the disc was sold, but would you like the cylinder box? Frank said he wouldnÕt.
Later, in 1983, Frank and Shirley went on a commercial bicycling tour in Vermont. They would visit every antique store they passed. They kept looking for a disc music box despite people telling Frank and Shirley that they were too rare and they would never find one. Shirley told Frank about a Christmas Store in Stowe, VT, that sold modern music boxes and suggested they go and check one out.
The store owner told them about Dwight Porter in Randolph, VT. So they visited Dwight who told them about a guy named Bill Mather who had been a Chrysler dealer and collected clocks and music boxes. When BillÕs collection grew larger than 70 items, his wife told him to put up a shingle and start selling some stuff and thatÕs exactly what he did. The Nixes rode to BillÕs house through a pouring rain. They arrived soaked. The Mathers invited Frank and Shirley for dinner. They stayed until breakfast the next morning. Bill told them he wanted to start a store in Southern California and needed money. So, Frank and Shirley bought several of his music boxes and his Model A mail rural delivery truck.
Some days later, while still on the bicycling tour, Frank spotted a horse-drawn carriage with a for sale sign in somebodyÕs yard. He bought that too. Then Frank and Shirley realized that having flown to Vermont they had no way of getting their newly-acquired stuff home. They thought about rent.ing a car-carrying trailer. Companies like U-Haul, however, did not allow rentals to be taken out of the state of Vermont at the time. Even big vans were not tall enough to carry a model
12 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
A mail truck.
Frank wound up getting an old Dodge pickup for $700. The clutch was just about shot, so he had to start it on a downhill. They still needed to find a car-carrying trailer. While driv.ing around searching, Shirley noticed a truck with a trailer carrying an old Mercedes. Frank flagged the guy down and asked him where he got the trailer and he responded, ÒItÕs mine, I built it.Ó
Frank asked him if he wanted to sell it. He said, ÒOK.Ó
ÒHow much do you want for it?Ó Frank asked. The guy said, ÒNine hundred dollars.Ó
While they were loading, Shirley went to a store across the street with two old guys sitting out front. She overheard one of them say to the other, ÒDo you think theyÕll make it?Ó The other said, ÒI donÕt think so.Ó
Frank and Shirley got everything loaded and started their drive across country back to California. They made it to rural New York, when, in the middle of nowhere, the drive shaft of the truck dropped out. Frank walked down the road a bit and spotted a building beside the road that turned out to be an automotive shop. The owner didnÕt want to mess with install.ing the U-joint, but he ordered the part and told Frank he could use the vises and tools in the shop to fix his truck. Since Frank was a mechanic, this was no problem.
When Frank and Shirley got back home, they had seven music boxes: A Mira (console), a New Century, the Regina (table model) and others. Frank said they looked like the Beverly Hillbillies when they got home with all of this antique stuff.
The kicker to this story is that Frank had a birthday that was celebrated while on the Vermont bicycling tour. Shirley, however, still had a gift for him waiting at home. She surprised him with the music box from the newspaper that Frank thought was sold out from under him. Shirley had simply negotiated a better price!
Frank had an idea to build a shop at the back of his house with a high door to work on the model A mail truck, but his sonÕs ex-wife said, ÒWhy donÕt you build a museum for your music boxes the house from the bank, expanded it upstairs?Ó So, he did that too. A while and built their museum. later, the fellow who lived next door to Frank and Shirley made some bad Pneumatic Instruments deals and wound up losing his house (The Seeburg KT) to the bank. Frank and Shirley bought Almost all the people I interviewed
A pair of Mills Violanos side by side.
for Nickel Notes started off hearing a nickelodeon or player piano as a child (often at Disneyland or KnottÕs Berry Farm) and fell in love with the instruments. Frank and Shirley are exceptions. They fell in love with music boxes and expanded to nickel.odeons and orchestrions.
One year Frank needed to take a trip to the Dallas, TX, area to work on an apartment house they owned. Shirley spotted an ad in the paper for a Seeburg KT for sale in Amarillo, TX. Frank took the time to stop and see it. It was in HarveyÕs Pool Hall. It had the mandolin rail removed. Frank didnÕt know anything at the time about pneumatic instruments. He wanted to hear it play like it was supposed to, so he said, ÒYou put the mandolin rail in and IÕll buy it from you.Ó
Frank stopped six more times in his travels between California and Texas and each time the mandolin rail was still not installed, Frank told the seller, ÒOn my next trip, IÕll bring my trailer with me and either you have the mandolin rail installed or weÕre done.Ó When Frank returned the seventh time, the seller said, ÒGive me a half an hour and IÕll put the mandolin rail in.Ó
The rail had been sitting in the sellerÕs office for about five years, and it only took half an hour to install so Frank could hear it play. The sellerÕs name was Lowell Stapf. He was a carnival man and had a big brick building, three stories tall. There was a large theatre organ on the bottom floor. The Seeburg KT was FrankÕs first pneumatic instrument. He still has the machine he bought in 1985.
During an MBSI convention in Chicago, IL, just after SvobodaÕs Nickelodeon Tavern closed, there was a silent auction for some of the items previously on display. Frank bought a couple of automaton monkeys and a glass panel from SvobodaÕs front door with ÒSvobodaÕs Nickelodeon TavernÓ embossed in gold on the glass. It now hangs on the wall in the NixesÕ museum. Frank also bought a German clown band that was built by Dave Ramey for SvobodaÕs many years ago.
MBSI and AMICA
As Frank and ShirleyÕs collection grew they thought about getting into the business of selling some things. They joined MBSI and AMICA and realized that there was no shortage of this stuff so they just kept collecting it for themselves!
Mary and Ben Lilien along with Millie and Richard Riggs were instrumental
14 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
in sparking Frank and ShirleyÕs inter.est. During Frank and ShirleyÕs first MBSI meeting, they sat next to Millie, who gave them a big rundown on the whole organization, which got them enthused about MBSI. Richard actu.ally ran a couple of the conventions in Southern California. Later, Frank and Shirley wound up volunteering to help make table favors and really got involved in the society. Mary Lilien was very persuasive and everyone did what Mary wanted. Since there was so much overlap in membership between MBSI and AMICA, someone suggested that Frank and Shirley should join AMICA too. AMICAÕs focus was more on pneumatic instruments, and since Frank and Shirley were getting into pneumatic instruments, AMICA seemed like a natural fit for them.
Mary Lilien next talked Frank into being a chapter chair. So, in 1987, Frank and Shirley became vice-presidents of the Southern California Chapter of AMICA. In 1988 they became joint presidents of the chapter. Frank and Shirley were listed as new members in the AMICA Bulletin in July 1984.
Shirley was as eager a collector and supportive of the hobby as Frank was. Sometimes, when looking at a piece, Frank would say, ÒIÕll think about it.Ó Shirley would say, ÒJust buy it.Ó She encouraged him to buy quite a few things. Over the years, Frank would buy things thinking he would sell them but never did.
Frank and Shirley started getting into the big pieces and once in a while, Mike Argain, their chief restorer, would call and say, ÒYou got to buy this!Ó
The Mills Violano
After acquiring the Seeburg KT, Shir.ley saw an ad in the paper for a Mills Violano in Bakersfield, CA. She told Frank about it, but he didnÕt pay any attention. About a week later, a friend called and said, ÒDo you know there is an ad in the paper for a Violano?Ó The asking price was $10,000. Frank and Shirley went up to look at it. The seller said he bought it from Orville Cooper who had three Violanos and this was the one with the least wear. The seller said he went through it to regulate it.
Frank and Shirley bought it for $8,500 and brought it back home.
The Carl Frei Dutch Street Organ
When the Nixes were in Philadel.phia, PA, at a convention they saw an ad for a Dutch street organ. Marty Roenigk owned it. It was a Carl Frei with a cart and everything. Frank wasnÕt sure about it, so they started back home. They drove 500 miles before they decided, Òwe better go see that thing, while weÕre not too far away.Ó They took a look at it and recorded all the tunes on it. On the way back, they played all the record.ings. By the time they hit Denver, CO, Frank called Marty to say they were buying it.
Frank and Shirley kept acquiring things, mainly by selling their real estate holdings. Eventually, Frank said, ÒWe canÕt sell anymore, we need the income!Ó
The Lenny Marvin Collection
A fellow named Lenny Marvin and his wife, who were in the business of supplying props to the movie industry, had a big warehouse in Burbank, CA. In 1994 an earthquake trashed a lot of stuff in LennyÕs house, including some of his expensive European model trains. This soured Lenny on collecting and he decided to get rid of his collection that consisted mostly of musical items and arcade games. At the time, Frank wasnÕt quite ready to buy everything of LennyÕs, but he was able to buy most of the music stuff. He got a Wurlitzer BX, a home model Violano, a Wurlitzer harp style B, a Nelson Wiggen 4X, a 27-inch Regina changer and a Carl Frei trumpet organ. What a haul!
The Duwyn 86-Key Dance Organ
Once, the Nixes got a call from Wolfgang Schweppe who said, ÒI have a list of 10 people and youÕre the first Ð would you like to buy an 86-key Duwyn, and itÕs the only original one available and itÕs on Page 850 of the Encyclopedia?Ó
It was originally bought in Belgium and brought to the United States by Roy Haning and Neal White. Cancer forced them to sell their collection. Jasper Sanfilippo bought most of the pieces. The organ was in storage for quite a while when Jasper decided he would sell it. Frank and Shirley discussed it and asked Wolfgang if they could have three days to look at it. Wolfgang said, ÒSure,Ó and off the Nixes went to Chicago. They bought
The Duwyn 86-key dance organ.
it. They also bought a Pierre Eich Solophone and a Limonaire 49-key street organ.
The Mortier 80-Key Orchestrion Organ
Quite some time ago, Mike Ames had bought a Mortier orchestrion out of Europe. It had no faade. The Nixes bought it and had Noel Burndahl go through it, including repairing pipes, rebuilding the chest and putting a Midi system in the organ. They had to build a whole new case for it as well. Before work on the case started, however, a collector in Sonora, CA, called saying he had found a Mortier with two faades in a garage. One was really nice and the other was all messed up. He asked Frank if he would like to buy the messed up one. Frank bought it and gave it to a local contractor to try to restore. The work turned out to be beyond the contractorÕs skills, so Frank paid him for the work done and gave the faade to a local music refinisher who even found a German veneer to put on it and did all the carv.ing. The machine is now complete. The collector from Sonora visited once and said that the NixesÕ faade was even better than his.
The Weber Unika and the Steinway Duo-Art
Frank and Shirley got Carl Frei JuniorÕs Weber Unika. Thomas Jens-sen called them from Holland about that. Frank asked people about the machine, and everyone said he should buy it. So they wound up buying it and having it shipped over.
They bought a Steinway Duo-Art while they were visiting Harvey Roehl. Frank told Harvey they were looking for a nice Steinway. Harvey pulled out a letter that said there was this woman who bought the Steinway new in 1931. She was a music teacher and had passed away.
Frank and Shirley went back and bought it. They had the Bannister brothers restore it. When the brothers got into it, they told the Nixes that everything was there and the parts were just like new. They told Frank they really liked working on it. Every screw went where it was supposed to go. They restored the piano and the pneumatics and also had the case refinished. It really turned out beautifully.
The Imhof and Mukle Tribut Orchestrion
The Imhof and Mukle Tribut orches.trion has piano, violin and cornet pipes, xylophone, orchestra bells, bass and snare drums and cymbals. It had been for sale for quite a while. Finally, the price got down to a reasonable level and the Nixes bought it. Originally, the sellerÕs father owned the machine. The father was a carnival man and he took this around to carnivals.
The man had removed the doors, cut them in half and put hinges on them. On the bottom, he put in stained glass in place of cloth. He did the same thing to the side panels. On the top, where the mirrors were, he put something else. Frank found out that Jerry Doring had an almost identical machine. So Frank measured everything and replaced all the panels and doors. They had to make the smoke producer for the volcano. Mike Argain did the restoration on the instrument itself. The machine had been used in the showroom for the B.A.B. Organ Company so it had a B.A.B. roll frame on the machine. Mike felt this was kind of ugly so he talked Frank and Shirley into taking it off and going back to the original. Apparently, B.A.B. had also decided to put cello pipes into the orchestrion, but it was not a complete rank. So, Mike added four more pipes to make it chromatic. He incorporated them with the bass notes.
The Weber Styria Orchestrion
Jerry Doring had a Weber Styria, the largest keyboard instrument Weber made. The machine includes a piano, mandolin, violin and flute pipes, casta.nets, xylophone, drums and traps. Jerry put it up for sale at a big price and no one bought it. Mike Argain told Jerry to get together with Frank and work out a deal. Mike told Frank he would restore it for a very reasonable price since that machine was the first machine Mike had ever owned when he bought it from Jerry at the age of 18 years old. Mike had done a restoration of the machine at that time, the first such work he had ever done. The machine went through several owners traveling through Europe before it ended up in JerryÕs collection for the second time. Every place the machine went, it seemed to get messed up a little bit more. When the Nixes got it, there were many parts missing and it was pretty well jumbled up. Mike said, ÒI want to restore that machine and put it back like it was supposed to be.Ó He did that even though he had to make copies of parts from other peopleÕs machines.
The Western Electric Mascot and the Coinola Cupid
Frank saw a Western Electric Mascot at a convention for sale. He tried to talk his friends into buying it. It was a beautiful machine and the price was reasonable. Nobody wanted to bite, so, towards the end of the convention, Frank told the owner, Tom Wurdeman, ÒIÕm buying it.Ó
The Coinola Cupid in FrankÕs collection once belonged to Vicki Glasgow. The Nixes were in New York to go to a SothebyÕs auction, and while they were at the preview, the Nixes noticed a lady guiding people around telling them to buy this or not buy that and explaining why. The Nixes hung back and listened in until Frank realized that the lady knew what she was talking about. They got to talking and Vicki invited them to come to her house in Scarsdale, NY. They went to dinner. She then showed the Nixes all of her musical pieces. She had the Nixes stay overnight (because Vicki and her husband, Bob, were afraid to let the Nixes ride back on the train to Manhattan at night). Vicki and Bob drove Frank and Shirley to their hotel in the morning (since Bob worked in Manhattan as an accountant).
Bob died soon after, and Vicki wanted to move to Florida. Since she wouldnÕt have as much room, she was selling a bunch of stuff. She had noticed that the Nixes liked her big Criterion 22-inch disc box while they were visiting. So Frank said he would buy it. She also had a Coinola Cupid, so Frank said he would buy that too. Dave Ramey rebuilt the pump and Frank did some minor repairs and the Coinola Cupid turned out fine. Later, it was used as a model for the AMICA 2014 Fresno, CA, convention table favors.
The Hupfeld Helios 1c/31 Orchestrion
Mike Argain once again called the Nixes and this time he said, ÒSave your money. I got something big coming up one of these daysÓ
Later, he came by for a visit and said, ÒIÕve been telling you to save your money Ð thereÕs a Hupfeld Helios for sale and you want it.Ó
Frank and Shirley kicked that idea around for about six months since it was quite expensive and the sale price was firm. Finally they decided to buy it. The machine came from Steve Lannick. It was completely taken apart and stored along with the rest of the machines he had completely taken apart. Frank and Shirley had to fly Mike back east to help identify the parts. There were parts stored in the basement, parts stored on the first floor, parts stored on the second floor, parts stored in the attic, the case was apart in a garage. The Nixes ordered a 14-foot van from one of the trucking companies. When Frank arrived they didnÕt have dollies and the other things Frank would need, so he went to Hertz, who only had a 17-foot van available which cost more but they had all the tools. It took two or three days to wrap all the stuff and load the truck (just like a mover would, starting at the back on the bottom, completing a row and starting again at the bottom). They didnÕt lose an inch of space. By the time they got done, they could barely close the doors Ð it was that full. They couldnÕt have gotten by with a 14-foot truck.
When Mike was almost done with the restoration, he had to get four more parts from Steve. Steve said, ÒNo, you got everything,Ó but SteveÕs wife, Jean, said, ÒI think theyÕre up in the attic.Ó She found the parts and sent them off to Mike. It took him almost a year to do the restoration.
The instrumentation for this machine includes a piano, mandolin, violin and cello pipes, orchestra bells, bass drum, Chinese cymbal, snare drum and expression effects. The class C instruments have clarinet reed pipes and large bass pipes added.
The Link ÒRXÓ
One of the NixesÕ most recent acquisitions is a Link RX nickelodeon. The Nixes saw an ad from a fellow in San Diego, CA, who advertised the machine for sale. Frank called the
18 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
The Imhof & Mukle Tribut orchestrion. The Hupfeld Helios orchestrion.
A closeup of the banjo-playing mechanism on the Ramey Banjo-Orchestra.
number in the ad and couldnÕt reach anybody. They finally succeeded in getting his name and the town in Texas where he was from.
Frank and Shirley started calling people in the town and went through about three of his relatives until they wound up contacting a brother who established contact with the seller.
The sellerÕs grandfather had a mercantile store and in 1916 he bought a new Link RX. It was the only music in town and it collected nickels like they were going out of style. The machine wore out and they had to jury-rig it to keep it playing. Consequently, it wasnÕt in original condition anymore.
The seller was making his fifth trip to Texas with a full-sized moving van. He had it packed completely full with all his worldly possessions. He had been driving with this Link clear up in the front of that van all this time. He was working in the computer industry in San Diego, CA, and he wanted to go back to Texas. The Link had come down through the family and he only heard it play when he was a little kid. It went to his grandmother and then his aunt. The aunt knew that he wanted it and willed it to him.
The seller drove the van to the NixesÕ house. He parked it so that the back end was near their circular drive. He starting unloading and there was so much stuff that the piles got all the way to their front door. There was the most amazing stuff, sporting equipment, duffel bags and clothes.
Finally, the Nixes saw the machine. I asked if the machine looked then like it looks now, and Shirley said, ÒSilly question!Ó
Frank said the stained glass was good but the caming was warped so that the glass was kind of loose. The insides were all there but everything was Mickey-Moused. It was originally dark oak and was refinished to a light oak that wasnÕt in the NixesÕ taste. Mike Argain rebuilt it and had it refinished in a nice medium oak. It has flutes, mandolin and piano. They got a lot of rolls with it.
When the seller was half way through packing up his truck again, a neighbor came by and said, ÒIÕm not a nosy neighbor, but I got to know
20 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
A Wurlitzer CX model roll-changing piano.
A Wurlitzer BX model roll-changing piano.
A Pierre Eich orchestrion. A North Tonawanda Pianolin.
whatÕs going on!Ó
Then he said, ÒI was going to rent from these people next door, but now I decided, I donÕt want to.Ó
The Nixes acquired a 35-A Ruth organ through Tim Trager and Fred Gerer in Germany. It had five coats of paint put on it with the last coat being white. It needed to be completely rebuilt. Frank hired one rebuilder in Germany to work on the pump and another to rebuild the rest of the organ. Back in California, Frank went through the paint and found the orig.inal colors and had it repainted to its original glory.
Frank and Shirley bought a Perlee organ that Frank Ryder had shown them at a convention.
Their automaton of a Pierrot writing was made by Michel Bertrand who bought the factory from the Vichy family. Bertrand made a few more automata around 1950.
The Nixes acquired a 1929 Mason and Hamlin Ampico A piano from the family of Dean LaPoint, the first pres.ident of AMICA. Mike Argain restored it for them.
I asked Frank how they acquired their Ramey Banjo Orchestra. It turns out Mike Ames and the Nixes were in Seattle, WA, at a convention, and Marilyn Ames wanted Mike to buy one. Shirley wanted Frank to buy one too. Frank said to Mike, ÒWhy donÕt you buy one, Mike?Ó
Mike said, ÒIÕll buy one if you buy one.Ó
So they each ordered one from Dave Ramey, Senior, and they got numbers 12 and 13.
How Frank and Shirley Met
After discussing these instruments for several hours, I asked Frank and Shirley how they met.
Frank related that he was born in National City, CA, just outside of San Diego, CA. They moved to Hollywood, CA, when he was six months old.
Shirley was born in Denver, CO, and moved to Los Angeles, CA, when she was 6 years old. They skipped her a year and a half in school.
FrankÕs older brotherÕs wife wanted to go to a dance. FrankÕs brother wouldnÕt go unless Frank went too. So, they asked Shirley if she would double-date with them. Frank and Shirley met at his brotherÕs house and Frank thought she was kind of cute. The dance was a success.
He was in the 11th grade. This was in 1950. He kept her on the hook for four years. Frank was going to Pierce College when he finally gave her an engagement ring. Pierce College was an agricultural school, and they went out by the cows and he gave her the ring.
After Pierce College, Frank and a bunch of his friends decided to go to Fresno State to get their four-year degrees. Shirley was working for the telephone company in Los Angeles. She was told it might take two years to get transferred to Fresno, CA. She went up for an interview and they asked her if she could start in two weeks. Another worker was leaving. Shirley called Frank and said, ÒWe are going to have to get married.Ó On Thanksgiving weekend, they had dinner with her folks. Friday they packed up all their dishes and the stuff she saved, like her hope chest, and they went to Fresno. They came back to Los Angeles and got married on Saturday morning, then went back to Fresno on Saturday. Shirley had found a little bungalow for them. They unpacked their stuff and went to work on Monday morning.
They were married in 1954. Steven, the oldest, was born in 1956 and Doug was born in 1958. Doug is interested in the machines and is a member of AMICA.
I hope you enjoyed our little visit to the Nix household.
Email Matt Jaro at mjaro@verizon. net if you would like any information about style ÒAÓ, ÒGÓ, Ò4XÓ, ÒHÓ or ÒOÓ rolls. Also, comments and suggestions for this column will be appreciated.
Reprinted with permission of the author and The Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Association (AMICA). Originally printed in the November/December, 2016 issue of The AMICA Bulletin.
22 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
Paillard, as seen on TV
This is an extended version of an article written some time ago, revised as a result of subsequent information
By Paul Bellamy
It is easy to be critical but there are some absolute ÒhowlersÓ made by the ÒexpertsÓ who appear on television programmes about antiques. To be fair, a lot can be learned from these shows and many of the presenters are often highly respected and experi.enced. Sometimes, however, they are asked to comment, at short notice, on items outside of their comfort zone.
One such occasion was an antiques program that featured a music box. The expert described the item in general terms and then in the standard TV form of question and answer the exchange with the guest went some.thing like this:
Expert: ÒSo what do you know
Reply: ÒIt belonged to my mother,
father, great aunt, I bought it at
auction, I found it in a dumpster/
Expert: ÒSo it belonged to your
mother, father, great aunt, etc., etc.,
The expert then took over with the generalities of agreement or disagree.ment as the interview progressed on its formulated way.
The advice given to the innocent owner of the very nice music box was not enhanced for the viewers by the modern trend of camera shots that move in and out of focus leaving the viewer wondering if a visit to the ophthalmologist might be necessary. Worse was when the camera opera.tives took shots so brief that a remote control and its rewind function were needed to capture detail that was otherwise lost.
ÒOne can tell immediately it is a music box,Ó was the opener by the expert before lifting the lid, having no doubt verified its contents before the interview was set up.
There followed a good description of the style of the case, its marquetry inlay of musical motifs, noting that the colors of the veneers on the lid had faded due to sunlight compared with the brighter colors of a similar motif on the front of the case, not so affected. Rosewood and kingwood veneers were noted but yew wood stringing instead of box wood? Yew wood not believe it!
With lid open, the expert reported that the instrument was intact and in playing order, so it had obviously been inspected and played before the interview. The tune sheet was out of focus until, in one brief shot, part of it came into view for fleeting seconds. Pause, rewind, replay and pause again on the remote control revealed half the tune sheet and part of its reper.toire. Perhaps both the camera and sound technicians imbibed too much at lunch! But, thank heavens for the remote control!
The tune sheet was headed: ÒDrum, bells castagnetsÓ (sic). The drum was on the left with a pyramid stack of five bells in the middle, each with a single striker, plus a wood block castanet with five strikers on the right. The brief and poorly-focused camera shot revealed only six decipherable airs out of 10. They were: ÒErmine Waltz,Ó ÒThe Black Hussar Waltz,Ó ÒThe Gypsy Baron Couplet,Ó ÒBygone Hours MarchÓ and ÒThe Mascot No. 2 ChouerÓ (i.e. choir).
But then the whole situation got worse as did the sound of expertÕs and intervieweeÕs voices in the crowded venue as visitors looked on in wonder. After several more ÒplaybacksÓ the interviewer announced in a pseudo French accent that the music box: ÒÉ
was made in a place called San Cwah about 1890. This is where many music boxes were made and they are still being made there today. It could have been made by Nicole Frres but they would have plastered their name all over it.Ó
That last point was correct except that Nicole Frres was based in Geneva while San Cwah (Saint Croix) was in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.
Undeterred and then correctly re-evaluating first thoughts, the expert continued: ÒIt was probably made by a firm called Vaucher about 1890.Ó
The owner seemed to be impressed. Then came the valuation: ÒIt is worth about £2000 but you would have to pay £4,000 to buy it.Ó
Once again, the remote control and playback confirmed the statement, leaving me without any understanding of what the expert meant. Unfazed, the owner was pleased to admit that it was worth more than he had expected.
The tune sheet was for Paillard but which one? The late HAV Bulleid thought there were two different Pail-lard families that made music boxes. He researched all the known Paillard names associated with music box makers and agents and produced a list of those who belonged to each of the two perceived family groups. As tech.nical editor of my book ÒThe Music Makers of Switzerland,Ó Chapter 5, which I wrote for a U.K. society, he approved my account of the Paillards based on his research. Since that time further information has come to light and is updated in this article as Chart 1, on Page 28. Chart 2, on Page 30, is a new date line for Paillard-Vaucher et Fils/PVF.
A clue to the date lay in the repertoire of six tunes upon which the camera technician had zoomed. Bulleid used this approach to dating his charts. The
date of a music box has to be after of serial numbers separate from the son, Samuel, continued the
the highest and latest known date of other Paillard family. His words also family business. Samuel had
the tunes listed on its tune sheet. By give some idea of the range and date four sons, AmŽdŽe, Eugne,
examining hundreds of tune sheets he of a possible separate dating chart. Ami and Marius-Justin.
was able to estimate a possible latest His statement that all later PVF boxes 1848 Ami formed E & A Paillard.
date associated with its serial number. were actually made by the Paillards 1851 Ami established a Paris Office
ÒThe Black HussarÓ was an operetta may be correct but which ones? There and was replaced by AmŽdŽe.
or comic opera that had a tune called is sufficient evidence to suggest that The company name stays the
the ÒDream waltz,Ó published about Paillard-Vaucher et fils/PVF continued same.
1885. Also, the ÒThe Gypsy BaronÓ making musical boxes for a few more Also, Marius-Justin opens an
was an operetta by Johann Strauss years after the London office was office in New York.
II, also about 1885. Thus the expertÕs taken over by the other family, the 1857 Fire destroys workshops.
date for the instrument was very succession known as E & A Paillard, Work continues during a
good. The unwitting close-up of the C. Paillard et Cie, E. Paillard et Cie. period of insolvency.
tune sheet extended our knowledge 1865 Insolvency resolved. Caro-
of that particular pattern because it Summary of the two line, wife of Eugne, forms C.
was later than the latest of BulleidÕs Paillard family groups. Paillard & Co.
by five years. There are times when 1. One family firm is for the succes. 1872 The first factory opens in
such knowledge requires a slight shift sion E et A Paillard/C. Paillard & Saint Croix and was extended
to the right of the predicted date line. Cie/ E. Paillard & Cie (1848-1904). in 1878.
In producing his Chart 12, Bulleid Here, E stands for Eugne Pail. 1875 Eugne and AmŽdŽe take over
correctly ignored the examples asso. lard. The A stood initially for Ami C. Paillard & Co, employing
ciated with Paillard-Vaucher et Fils/ who was replaced by AmŽdŽe. AmŽdŽeÕs son Charles.
PVF. Chart 12 remains perfectly valid, The three were brothers but 1880 AmŽdŽe dies. Charles takes
subject to later information, for the there was a fourth, Marius-Justin over but the company name
major family group E & A Paillard, C. Paillard. Their grandfather, Mo•se stays the same.
Paillard et Cie, E. Paillard et Cie. Chart Paillard, was the founder. 1881 Charles takes over the
2 is a date line for Paillard-Vaucher et 2. The other family firm is London office that belonged
fils/PVF. Both charts will be published Auguste Paillard-Vaucher/Pail. to the other family branch.
in AMBCÕs next book to be published lard-Vaucher et fils (1835-1865, 1882 A second factory is opened in
soon. The book will include refer. 1865-1885). The family logo was Saint Croix
ences to BulleidÕs tune sheets that he PVF, the F presumably for fils. 1885 Paillard-Vaucher/PVF thought
produced post Supplement 3 along 3. E et A Paillard was from 1848, C. to have ceased production.
with my work co-operating with Mr. T Paillard & Cie from 1865 (which 1889 Ami withdraws. Eugne dies
Reed, Ted Brown and the late Arthur was reformed into a new company and his son Ernest takes over.
Cunliffe, which appears in Supple- from 1880) and finally E. Paillard 1895 Charles dies and Ernest
ment 4 (as printed by the Musical Box & Cie. from 1895. becomes sole head of the new
Society of Great Britain.) 4. The London Paillards acted as company E. Paillard et Cie.
In his writeup to Chart 12 Bulleid agents as well as selling, presum. 1900 A new factory established
wrote: ÒIn my previous effort at dating ably, all Paillard products and in Saint Croix. Diversifica-
Paillard boxes, I included boxes made possibly those of other makers. tion into disc music boxes
by Paillard-Vaucher et fils. Later I One PVF example was identified and, over time well into the
discovered that certainly from 1885 as having a movement made 1900s, gramophones, pianos,
and probably from 1882 the Paillards by Conchon that still had the typewriters, radios, movie
had taken over the Paillard-Vaucher Conchon serial number . cameras, hot air engines,
London Office and with it their PVF 5. To what extent the two family electric clocks.
trademark. It proved that Pail- lines operated separately or 1911 Son Albert takes over.
lard-Vaucher serial numbers finished together remains unclear. They 1920 Music box production is
at about 15,000 when they closed were very much a large extended abandoned.
down production in 1881. Also, family working in an assortment 1922 Ernest dies.
very important, all later PVF boxes of groupings that varied with 1963 Paillard takes over Thorens
were actually made by the Paillards, time, mostly all in related trades but sells the Thorens music
except possibly a few sold by the PVF and in close proximity. box business separately to
office as agents.Ó Jean-Paul Thorens.
The words in italics are mine and History of the main Paillard family. 1985 Paillard is effectively dormant.
need further comment. First, and 1803 Mo•se Paillard was a watch. 2002 Hermes PrŽcisa Holdings
most important, was that Bulleid maker by training but became Computer Technology at
knew Paillard-Vaucher had its own set interested in music boxes. His nearby Yverden-les-Bains
24 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
becomes successor to the Paillard name.
History of Paillard-Vaucher/PVF.
1830 Auguste Paillard (Pail.lard-Vaucher) (?-?) said to have made musical boxes from about this date.
1852 Auguste described himself as a manufacturer of musical boxes, a draper and grocer. He was part of the important Ste.-Croix SociŽtŽe industri.elle et commerciale.
1862 Auguste, as Paillard-Vaucher, took part in an appeal to the Swiss Federal Coun.cil concerning French complaints about copyright and import duties.
1867 AugusteÕs son Arthur Paillard joined him to become Pail.lard-Vaucher Fils.
1881 The company is said to have run into financial difficulties, but this statement may be confused with those of the other family branch.
1885 The company has been reported by some as having ceased trading but this may be incorrect.
1886 A. Paillard & Co. was listed in the KellyÕs London Post Office directory at 62 Snow Hill, trading as stockists, manufacturers and patentees of the Amobean musical box.
A. Paillard was Arthur, son of Auguste Paillard-Vaucher.
Tune sheets associated with the main Paillard family
The tune sheets illustrated were not, it is believed, used by Paillard-Vaucher and PVF.
Fig. 1: Circa late 1840s, early 1850s, it has the words ÒEtouffoirs en AcierÓ in the bottom border. The term is part of a much used early tune sheet state.ment implying quality, often followed by Òsoit ˆ spiraux.Ó Obviously French and written in the subjunctive, it trans.lates as steel dampers in spiral form. These damper springs were applied to the tips of comb teeth to stop the tooth vibrating when next lifted and released by a cylinder pin. The term eventually fell out of use. The letters
E. & A. P. f. are for Eugne and Ami (rather than AmŽdŽe) Paillard.
The same pattern was also used by Jaques, circa 1855, possibly acting for them as an agent. BulleidÕs version No. 22 had an agentÕs sticker Gautschi & Sons, Manufacturers, 1030 Chestnut St. Philadelphia.
Fig. 2: This pattern was used with minor variations from about 1860 to 1914. A Bulleid version had an agentÕs sticker for Perrin Chopard of Berne, Switzerland. The terms pouces and lignes in the top cartouche are old French measurements for cylinder length (pouce, just slightly longer than the inch) and diameter (ligne). It remains uncertain if the words were meant for the buyer; a more rational thought is that they were there to ensure the right tune sheet was applied to the movement when assembled in its case. The same thoughts apply to other similar words found on tune sheets such as the serial and gamme numbers. The serial numbers were applied sequentially as each music box was made and the gamme number indicated the actual tuning scale of the comb and, by inference, possibly the actual list of tunes on the tune sheet.
Fig. 3: This later version of Fig. 2 has the words Made in Switzerland. Tune sheets are always worth studying and were described by Bulleid as a birth
Fig. 3: A later version of Fig. 2 with the words Made in Switzerland.
certificate. The term was probably in use in the very late 1890s to indicate the provenance and hence quality of the item. It was probably applied at source but could possibly have been stamped later by a non-Swiss agent. Swiss law eventually laid down specific phrases as a requirement to define that the item, particularly watches, was in fact Swiss made.
The top cartouche has the almost indecipherable faded words stating the obvious number of airs and the length of the cylinder. Bottom left is the word Zurich, probably appertain.ing to the printer Ch. Knueli.
Fig. 4: Circa 1182, a pattern attributed to USA sales.
Fig. 4: Bulleid attributed this pattern to USA sales, circa 1882. Note the monkey organ in the top left corner. Sublime Harmonie was a term for a movement with two combs tuned almost exactly to the same pitch. When teeth of the same pitch are plucked in unison the frequencies combine
26 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
to give a pleasant vibrato sound. The abbreviation pces is for pouces.
Fig. 5: This pattern was used with minor variations from about 1860 to 1914. A Bulleid version had agent Perrin Chopard of Berne in the bottom cartouche.
Fig. 6: The pattern is unlike any others used by either of the Paillard families. BulleidÕs example 204 was probably a replacement tune sheet found on a Columbia music box made by Paillard, post 1892.
Fig. 7: BulleidÕs attributed his exam.ple 41, serial 19656, to Paillard but wrote that the number did not fit his Paillard Chart 12. He thought it was a design used by other Saint Croix makers but only one has so far been identified for Edouard Jaccard (see Chapter 29). The medals are awards for the Paris 1867 and Zurich 1883 awards. Note the image of Helvetia, the personification of the Swiss Feder.ation, at the bottom right corner.
Fig. 8: (439). Bulleid thought this tune sheet was for a Paillard move.ment with a speed regulator of the type made by Troll, circa 1882.
Chart 1 (Page 28)
This is a slightly modified version of BulleidÕs 12. For E. & A. Paillard he wrote: ÒThe Paillards started to switch their production from watches to musical boxes a year or two before 1830 É I have assumed that their serial numbers reached 5,000 by 1851 ÉÓ For the second date line he wrote: ÒAccuracy is better from 1880 to 1903.Ó This is shown by line AB, which I have modified slightly to show it starts at the same rate as the first line finishes. Two facts support the change. One is that PVF Paillard-Vaucher et fils sold their London office to E. & A. Paillard in 1881/1882. However, Paillard-Vaucher et fils continued production until 1855. This could mean that both production lines may have merged, thereby effectively increasing production. It remains an unsupported possibility.
Tune sheets associated with Paillard-Vaucher et fils/PVF.
Fig. 9: The earliest attributed to Paillard-Vaucher, circa 1859.
Fig. 10: Printed by lithographer Valluet, based at Besanon, France. Note the full use of the term Etouffoirs en acier soit ˆ spiraux. Exact period of use is unknown but spanned 1874.
Fig. 11: This is a variant on Fig. 10.
Fig. 12: This pattern was used after winning medals at the Paris Exhibi.tion of 1871. The other Paillard family continued to use it after they took over the London office.
Fig. 13: This pattern was in use from about 1867 to 1880, known to be printed in black and gold tone with a sepia surround. Bulleid called the pattern Lyres & Stars. Stars have either five or six points. There are a number of variants such as cherubs in top and bottom borders reversed. Not all examples of this pattern have PVF or Paillard-Vaucher .
Fig. 14: The same pattern as Fig. 13 but with the lyres and stars replaced by medals awarded at the Paris Expo.sition of 1867.
Fig. 15: Bulleid called this the Òpicture frameÓ pattern. His example was reproduced in black, brown and gold. It had a low serial number that was a close fit to BulleidÕs Chart 12, which might be indicative of
Chart 1: Dating chart for E & A Paillard, C. Paillard et Cie, E. Paillard et Cie.
28 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
Fig. 8: Used on a possible Paillard movement with a speed regulator of the type made by Troll, circa 1882.
Fig. 12: A pattern used after winning medals at the Paris Exhibition of 1871.
Fig. 9: An early undesignated tune sheet pattern used by Paillard-Vaucher, circa 1859.
Fig. 13: A pattern in use up to about 1867 to 1880. Not all examples have PVF or Paillard-Vaucher denoted on the tune sheet.
Fig. 10: Circa 1874, printed by lithographer Valluet of Besanon, France.
Chart 2: A chart estimating the relationship between Paillard-Vaucher et fils/PVF music boxes and date of manufacture.
30 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
the main Paillard group rather than Paillard-Vaucher.
Fig. 16: Circa 1886, almost the end of the Paillard-Vaucher/PVF era.
Chart 2 (Facing Page)
The chart is based on serial numbers for PVF and Paillard-Vaucher.
Despite the best efforts of all past and present researchers there is still much to learn about the various members of the wider Paillard family. The above is merely a summary of what has been recorded so far with respect to dating charts and tune sheets; there are bound to be inaccuracies, misinterpretations and uncertainties. What is not in doubt is that the name Paillard is amongst the greatest names associated with the Swiss music box industry and the first to enter the then modern world of factory production, all of which took place in a little known mountain community and village called Saint Croix.
As a postscript, the complexity of the Paillard companies is not eased by the discovery of the name Paillard & Co stamped on the bedplate of a snuffbox movement with composition case, not illustrated. Its tune sheet bears no relationship to previous examples, see Fig. 17.
It has the Swiss cross to the left of the top border and a rising phoenix to the right. Its serial number, stamped on the bedplate face, was 19196, preceded by a superscript E and followed by a craft mark comprising a circle of eight triangular indents.
BulleidÕs Chart 12 has two succes.sive date lines giving a choice of dates, either 1874 or 1884. The case design suggests it was made about 1874, providing the serial number belongs to the Bulleid series.
Until more information is known, this snuffbox remains a Paillard & Co mystery.
Joy and Suffering
The Organ Grinders of London and Manchester
Dr. Robert F. Penna
t one time there were quite a large number of organ grinders plying their
Great Britain. Many photographs of these entertainers and their instruments exist. They usually show a man diligently turning the crank on a barrel organ while being surrounded by children and adults with happy expressions on their faces. Organ grinders, who were often accompanied by a monkey or trained dog, were a welcome diversion and source of entertainment for children especially.
In this article, the term organ grinder is used generically to include individuals who used any type of hand-cranked instrument including reed organs, pipe organs or street pianos. Organ grinders in England were a hard-working group of men who either pushed a mechanism on a cart or carried them with a strap across their shoulders, often rest.ing the instrument upon a short pole when standing still to crank the instrument. Nowadays, photos of these grinders are viewed with nostalgia, but who were these men really? The photographs tell us they filled every age group from teenagers to old men. How, one might wonder, did they get into this line of work? What were their backgrounds? Did they own and service their own instruments? Did they make a decent living?
Many of the earliest European organ grinders were disabled veterans. This was a solution for employing indigent amputee veterans as early as the Seven Years War (1756-1763) and lasted through the period after the American Civil War (1861-1865).1 By playing a barrel organ provided to them by a charitable organization or a church, disabled veterans could earn a living and not be a burden on society. This was especially encouraged in the
32 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
An organ grinder with ill-fitting clothes and a care-worn expression cranks out a tune for youthful patrons on a cobblestone street.
German-speaking regions of Europe.2 Upon further review of literature and newspaper accounts from England from the middle to late 1800s, however, it becomes clear that the predominant nationality of organ grinders in England was Italian, not German. These Italian-born street musicians were notably prevalent throughout the cities of London and Manchester. It turns out that extreme poverty, a lack of jobs and harsh conditions at home drove many from their native land to seek opportunities in Great Britain.
In the second half of the 1800s recent arrivals from Italy formed the largest part of the labor force of LondonÕs Smithfield Market. Besides street sellers and hawkers, barrel organs and street pianos lent their voices to the general sounds of pandemonium. Often motivated by sheer poverty, thousands of Italians left their rural villages between 1865 and 1900 and large numbers settled in Manchester and London.3
The main Italian-speaking community, known as LondonÕs Little Italy, was situated in the Clerkenwell section of the city, most notably around Back Hill, Eyre Street Hill, Saffron Hill, Little Saffron Hill, Warner Street, BakerÕs Row, Crawford Passage, Summer Street and Ray Street. Others sought the cheapest lodgings available around Great Bath Street where they lived in overcrowded conditions. In this particular area numerous Italian organ grinders were known to reside.
If an organ grinder was fortunate, he would have his own street instrument mounted on a handcart. Other, less fortunate, wretches would have to rent a weighty contraption for the day, then carry it slung over their backs to their chosen performance destination. Each man had his favorite haunt where he would set himself up manually cranking the organ handle to produce the tunes and hoping to earn a few pennies. The organ grinder, often incorrectly called the hurdy gurdy man, became quite a common sight around London.4
These Italian immigrant grinders lived in the most appall.ing conditions. Clerkenwell had become a poor run-down neighborhood. Many of the wooden tumble-down buildings were converted into basic boarding houses, most of which were squalid and unhygienic with no running water. They were miserable, damp, overcrowded, rife with disease and infested with rats. The unwary immi.grants often became virtual slaves to unscrupulous padrones.5 Padrone is an Italian term that originally meant an employer who provides living arrangements and controls common laborers.
Much like what happens in third world countries today, the young and innocent were most often exploited. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries young Italian children were especially targeted for manipulation. Agents of padrones would recruit youngsters from poor remote villages whose families had no idea they were sending their children into harsh conditions. The children would accompany the street musicians and beg for pennies. Sometimes, as they grew older, they would crank the instruments them.selves. Yet, all their earnings had to be handed over to the padrone. If they did not earn enough, they would be beaten and sent to bed hungry and threatened with expulsion or death. Many suffered in the worst conditions and the mortality rate amongst these youngsters was high.6
An Aug. 24, 1864, article from The Times describes their living conditions.
ÒThe chief colonies of the Italian organ-grinders in London are in the neighbourhood of Great Saffron Hill and Eyre Street Hill … with cases of overcrowded dwellings of a most dangerous character. In Eyre Place it was lately found that as many as 14 organ-grinders slept in one room, and, not content with that, beds were made up on the staircases. Dr. Gibbon, medical officer of health, on going into the rooms soon after men had left, found the stench unbearable, and he had in consequence an attack of low fever for a week afterwards.Ó
Repeated reports of the over-crowd.ing and inter-mingling of the sexes were reported in The Lancet. One described the homes of the grinders:
ÒThe dirt in these dwellings is appalling, and one house had not even been swept forÊtwo years. There were no basins, no towels, no means by which the organ-grinders who lived there could wash themselves.Ó
The Lancet, published in 1870, reported on an investigation of a lodging house on Eyre Place in Clerkenwell owned by Luigi Rabbiotti, a notorious padrone, who controlled organ grinders. The article stated:
Òhis basement and his house in the back … sublet to organ-grinders. The basement was formed into a sort of kitchen, with shelves along the walls where the barrel organs might be deposited, a long table for the rolling out of macaroni … the floor, ceiling and walls were black with smoke and dirt … the house had no furniture, only double beds wherever they could be fitted. Two or even three men slept in each bed.Ó7
For those who couldnÕt afford their own street instruments many were offered for rent. Rentals were set at such a rate that many grinders did not produce enough of a profit to escape the life of poverty. Several manufacturers who had come as immigrants produced barrel organs and street pianos in both London and Manchester. In London, Chiappa & Sons, a firm established in 1864, manufactured both street pianos and barrel organs. The firm is still in business today and is well known for producing excellent perforated card.board books for fairground organs. Research demonstrates that not only did they manufacture organs but also imported some from the Belgian Hooghuys firm.8
In Manchester the Antonelli family manufactured barrel organs and hired them out from their premises on the corner of Blossom Street and Great Ancoats Street. Domenico Antonelli was the padrone to a large group of musicians. Antonio Varetto whose firm manufactured barrel organs and Simon Rabino who made street pianos were also housed in Manchester. Rabino had learned the trade from his father and grandfather in Italy and was a graduate of the Marseilles
34 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
College of Music. As a composer, many of his barrel organs played his own waltzes. Unfortunately for music enthusiasts, when these instruments were destroyed much of his music was lost as he had never published it.9 Luigi Tomasso and family members were also involved in the trade and continued manufacture until the shop in Leeds closed in 1942.10
Several other Italian families who had come from the continent rented barrel organs to the street musicians in Manchester. They included the Marrocca, Mancini and Arcaro fami.lies. It was even noted that Gavioli, one of the most famous of all the barrel organ manufacturers, was based in Jersey Street, Ancoats, in the 19th century. In addition to the foreign-born manufacturers mentioned above, there were several British firms that also produced street instruments including John Langshaw (barrel organs) of Lancaster and the London firms of John Hicks (barrel street pianos), T.C. Bates (barrel organs) and Francis Day (barrel organs) amongst others.
In the city of Manchester, many new Italian immigrants settled in the Ancoats area. Prior to the arrival of the Italians, Ancoats had gained a reputation of being an unhealthy and violent part of the city. In 1832, the Manchester Chronicle complained that it was dangerous to walk along Oldham Road stating, ÒAt the ends of many streets stand groups of Irish ruffians who appear to feel no interest but in ill-treating the peaceable and unoffending inhabitants.Ó The arrival of the Italian immigrants transformed the area into ManchesterÕs Little Italy and organ grinders soon spread across the city playing and collecting pennies and earning a living.11
It was common in the area, owing to an Italian tradition that encour.aged every man to play a musical instrument, to hear accordions, tambourines, mandolins and other instruments being played well into the early hours of the morning. According to the 1881 Census of England and Wales, nearly one in every three Ital.ian immigrants was a musician.12 A love of music and the desire to share it with an audience, as well as using it to make a living in a new land, lent itself to the playing of street instruments.
A description of the Italian organ grinders in Manchester, England, appears in Anthony ReaÕs ManchesterÕs Ancoats, Little Italy website. He states:
ÒÔLittle ItalyÕ was well known for its entertainers and especially its street musicians. They played many musical instruments, foremost the barrel organ. They would walk the streets of Manchester and surround.ing districts playing their barrel organs and hurdy gurdies, some with monkeys in red waistcoats and hats, and a few with dancing bears.Ó13
It would seem the living conditions for the organ grinders of Manchester were better than those in London. The Ancoats area was the industrial part of the city and many mills were situated there. Around these mills were the rows of workersÕ houses, which were rented out to the Italian immigrants. Although these houses were more than a century old, they had separate kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms with an outside privy. These were luxuries to immigrants arriving from the poor rural towns of Italy.
To many, the piano and organ grind.ers brought joy and were a wonderful part of their lives. The listeners never knew of the suffering often borne by many of these men. A poem written by Alfred Noyes summons the nostalgia felt by many. Entitled ÒThe Barrel Organ,Ó it speaks of the beauty of the music. Some of the lyrics include:
Yes; as the music changes, Like a prismatic glass It takes the light and ranges Through all the moods that pass; Dissects the common carnival Of passions and regrets, And gives the world a glimpse of
The colours it forgets And there La Traviata sighs Another sadder song; And there Il Trovatore cries A tale of deeper wrong; And bolder knights to battle go With sword and shield and lance, Than ever here on earth below Have whirled into Ð a dance! Go down to Kew in lilac-time, in
lilac time, in lilac time; Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isnÕt far from London!)
(The full poem can be found at www.bartleby.com/103/117.html)
Not everyone welcomed the organ grinder. Sometimes the loud unme.lodic noise and repetitive tunes were considered to be a public nuisance. Charles Dickens wrote to a friend: ÒI could not write for more than half an hour without being disturbed by the most excruciating sounds imaginable, coming in from barrel organs on the street.Ó Some exasperated businesses and households would simply pay the grinder a bit of money just to get him to move away from their doorsteps.14
They are gone now from the streets, but the fascination and love of barrel organs still exist throughout many parts of the world. In England, the British Organ Grinders Association (http://www.boga.co.uk) provides a forum for interested people with links to sources for repair and sales of hand-turned instruments.
With a bit of resolve, one can find interesting videos showing the impact of these performers on the public. Surprisingly, one old video from the late 1890s exists and is readily available to viewers. Filmed on Feb. 20, 1896, it shows young girls dancing in the street on Drury Lane, London, much to the delight of young men and the notice of an older well-dressed gentleman. It is well worth a visit to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x.FRdEGPr5zo to get a glimpse of their behavior. Another short video from a later era shows that the love of this music had not diminished. A film from 1921 shows the joy these machines brought to children. This can be located at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=WpRrg9iTuEg.
For those who would like to hear authentic London grinders, a vinyl record was produced by Contour Records (English version) in 1973 entitled, ÒHarry Smith Ð The London Barrel OrganÓ with 13 original tunes.
The record is available on several websites. More recently, a CD entitled ÒThe English Mechanical OrganÓ contains 21 tracks with the description ÒMusic heard in London from the 17th to 19th centuriesÓ is available at http:// barrelorgan.org/accessories.html.
The grinders and their instruments remain a fascinating part of English history. Who is to say what ghosts still wander the streets and play in their favorite Òhaunts.Ó
8. Penna, Robert. ÒThe Hooghuys and Their Instruments,Ó Me-
chanical Music, Musical Box Society International, Sept./Oct.
1. Penna, Robert. ÒBarrel Organs and the Disabled Civil War Veter.
an,Ó Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, May/
9. Band on the Wall, https://bandonthewall.org/history/19th-centu-
2. Buchner, Alexander. 1959. Mechanical Musical Instruments.
10. ÒThey Lived in Leeds: Vincenzo Luigi Tomasso,Ó The Thoresby
Translated by Iris Urwin. London: Batchworth.
3. Band on the Wall, https://bandonthewall.org/history/19th-centu.
11. Rea, Anthony. ÒMusic & ÔLittle Italy,ÕÓ ManchesterÕs Ancoats
4. ÒItalian Immigrants and Little Italy in Clerkenwell London,Ó Feb-
Little Italy, http://ancoatslittleitaly.com/music.htm
ruary 2019, http://atinaitaly.com/italians-clerkenwell/
12. Rea, Anthony. ÒHurdy-Gurdy Men, Barrel Organs, and Bag.
5. ÒLiving Conditions in ClerkenwellÕs Little Italy,Ó February 2019,
pipes,Ó ManchesterÕs Ancoats Little Italy, http://ancoatslittleitaly.
6. ÒClerkenwell Italian Children Street Musicians and Entertainers,Ó
13. Rea, Anthony. ÒAncoats, The Early Years,Ó ManchesterÕs An-
February 2019, http://atinaitaly.com/clerkenwell-italian-chil.
coats Little Italy, http://ancoatslittleitaly.com/page1.html
14. Rea, Anthony. ÒItalian Organ Grinders of Clerkenwell,Ó Manches.
7. ÒLiving Conditions in ClerkenwellÕs Little Italy,Ó February 2019:
terÕs Ancoats Little Italy, http://atinaitaly.com/italians-clerken.
36 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
Restoring a cylinder music box after a run
A visual tour through the process and methods used
This is the music box as received.
By Bob Caletti
This project turned out to be quite a challenge but was very intriguing and rewarding. I thought it would be interesting for others to see what is entailed in a project like this and what new methods can be used in comb making or repair. I think the wire EDM (electrical discharge machine) process has other possibilities that could also be used in making a comb.
Here I am optically measuring the comb teeth centerlines and teeth edges using the digital readout on my milling machine. The teeth width changes as you move down the comb with the treble teeth being narrower. The best data for comb tip locations is from the scribe lines on the cylinder.
At left is the base end of a comb that was damaged by a run. Evidentially the current ownerÕs father was making some adjustments to the governor when the spring was wound up. The current owner is the daughter and was in the other room when she heard a big bang and some expletives coming from her father. They thought that was the end of their music box that had been in the family for quite some time. She contacted me to see what could be done. I had repaired some other combs using the wire EDM process, but none as extensive as this one. I was willing to give it a go.
This shows how I optically measured the cylinder tracks scribed on the cylinder. These scribe lines are the most pre-This shows the digital readout on the milling machine used to cise way to determine tooth locations. display dimensions.
Centerline of teeth from edge-zero ref. teeth edge locations
Cylinder scribe marks = centerlines of teeth Center to center spacing Location-starting on trebleend
Starting edge of comb replaced tooth # 0.000 tooth width 0.000
leading edge of first tooth at base 0.052
0.000 far side of tooth at base 1 0.109 0.114 0.166
0.104 leading edge of tooth at base 0.197
0.104 far side of tooth at base 2 0.213 0.075 0.272
0.104 leading edge of tooth at base 0.301
0.208 far side of tooth at base 3 0.317 0.071 0.372
0.104 leading edge of tooth at base 0.403
0.312 far side of tooth at base 4 0.421 0.073 0.476
0.104 leading edge of tooth at base 0.506
0.416 far side of tooth at base 5 0.525 0.075 0.581
0.103 leading edge of tooth at base 0.611
0.519 far side of tooth at base 6 0.628 0.069 0.680
0.104 leading edge of tooth at base 0.711
0.623 far side of tooth at base 7 0.732 0.071 0.782
0.103 leading edge of tooth at base 0.815
0.726 far side of tooth at base 8 0.835 0.071 0.886
0.103 leading edge of tooth at base 0.921
0.829 far side of tooth at base 9 0.938 0.070 0.991
0.103 leading edge of tooth at base 1.024
0.932 far side of tooth at base 10 1.041 0.069 1.093
0.103 leading edge of tooth at base 1.128
1.035 far side of tooth at base 11 1.144 0.068 1.196
0.104 leading edge of tooth at base 1.229
1.139 far side of tooth at base 12 1.248 0.073 1.302
0.104 leading edge of tooth at base 1.334
1.243 far side of tooth at base 13 1.352 0.071 1.405
0.103 leading edge of tooth at base 1.438
1.346 far side of tooth at base 14 1.455 0.070 1.508
0.105 leading edge of tooth at base 1.541
1.451 far side of tooth at base 15 1.560 0.069 1.610
0.102 leading edge of tooth at base 1.641
1.553 far side of tooth at base 16 1.662 0.072 1.713
The cylinder box comb dimen.sions were put on this spreadsheet. The image at left is only a partial view of all the data collected. Here you can see the accuracy of the comb. This is a good check to make sure that no errors were made in determining the locations and teeth edges.
38 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
The comb tuning was measured before the damaged section was removed for tuning reference. Retuning a comb with so many teeth missing can be a real challenge.
This is the machined A2 air Here is the CAD drawing used hardening tool steel comb for wire EDM cutting of the blank and spacers after comb section. heat treating. Also shown are the fixture plates used to maintain flatness during heat treating.
This is a programmable heat treat oven used to harden the comb blank. A2 tool steel requires a very sophisticated heat treat profile. Also shown is the comb blank inside the fix.ture that is used to prevent distortion. The comb blank was wrapped in stainless steel foil to prevent oxidation. Note the large amounts of oxidation on the fixture plates.
This is a picture of the wire EDM used to cut the hardened comb blank. Wire EDM is a process that uses an electrically charged wire to erode the material with extreme precision. It is especially suited for hardened materials and is used to make precision tooling.
Pictured is the wire EDM with the finished comb blank. The cutting process is done underwater and is very accurate with no burrs. Accuracy is on the order of 0.0001 inches; overkill for the comb, but it is distortion free. This machine can run a lights-out operation which means it can run at night automat.ically without anyone there.
Here is a different wire EDM used for making wire damper holes in the comb teeth anvils (.025 inches diameter).
This is a closeup of the wire EDM used for making holes in the comb teeth anvils.
Shown here is the original damaged comb section on left and bottom view of new comb section on right.
40 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
Here we have the original comb base with the damaged comb section removed and ready for the new finished comb section.
This is a view of the comb showing damper wire holes that were made in the anvils using the wire EDM
Here is a view of the finished music box with the new comb section on the left (base end) not to be confused with the sep.arate bell and drum comb section at the very end.
The new comb section is glued on to the base with high strength epoxy.
Shown is the finished comb with original section on the right and new comb section on the left (base end).
This is a view of the bottom side of finished and tuned comb.
Now you see the completed music box.
The case was also refinished.
The original tune card was badly damaged.
Here is the tune card after restoration (digital photo repaired and reprinted).
Another part that was needed for this music box
This project gave me a perfect opportunity to use my new water jet cutting machine to make a male Geneva stop. My water jet is a bench-top machine called a Wazer Water Jet. I had a CAD drawing for a different size male Geneva stop that could be scaled to fit other music boxes because the geometry is the same. I took a measurement, scaled the part, and cut it on the Water Jet. It worked well, so now I know I can make any size Geneva if needed. I can also see many other opportunities for this water jet machine for making missing parts of all kinds in all types of materials.
42 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
National Capital Chapter
Chair: Ken Gordon Reporters: Donna and Gene Borrelli Photographers: Gene Borrelli, Ginny Little and Paul Senger
April 10, 2022 Ð Great Falls, VA
The National Capital Chapter held its spring meeting on Sunday, Apr. 10, at the house of Mildred and Jack Hard-man in Great Falls, VA. There were 36 members in attendance including six guests.
Following a bring-your-own lunch was a brief business meeting, chaired by our newly elected chapter president Ken Gordon. Ken thanked Mildred and Jack for their many years of service to the chapter. The Hardmans are in the process of moving to Oregon and provided some household and musical items to raffle off to chapter members.
The Hardmans have a four-manual 38-rank Wurlitzer theater organ. Over the years they have hosted many chapter meetings and organ concerts for our enjoyment. The organ will be disassembled for storage prior to shipment to its new home which will be determined in the coming days.
Following the meeting, organists Teddy Gibson and Clark Wilson each played several melodies to say good.bye to the Hardman organ.
We all wished Mildred and Jack well in their upcoming move.
Here is a link to the story of the beautiful organ: www.hardmanwur.litzer.com.
More photos from the meeting are shown on the next page.
Clark Wilson who supervised the orig.inal organ installation and will now supervise the dismantling and packing Mildred Hardman introduces Clark
of the organ. WilsonÕs concert segment. Organist Teddy Gibson between songs.
Dick and Cheryl Hack, Rory Lehman and Beni Jaro visit before Members gathered for the business meeting. lunch.
44 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
MBSI Lake Michigan Chapter and Chicago AMICA Chapter members listen to an Òorgan battleÓ at the Sanfilippo Estate.
Lake Michigan Chapter
Chair: Mark Pichla Reporter: Marty Persky Photographer: Marty Persky
Jun. 3Ð5 Ñ Evanston, Barrington Hills and Oak Park, IL
The Lake Michigan Chapter of MBSI and the Chicago Chapter of Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Asso.ciation held a weekend extravaganza Jun. 3Ð5 with 80 members from both groups in attendance.
On Friday, the groups visited the Halim Time and Glass Museum on Oak Ave. in Evanston, IL. Since the dispersal of the Charles Atwood collection, the greater Chicago area had not had a world-class time museum. And then, in 2017, the Halim Time and Glass Museum unveiled its collection that includes more than 1,000 timepieces, many of which are former Atwood specimens. On exhibit were 70 works of stained glass and a collection focusing on the early life of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The museum is currently closed to the public to install new exhibits and expand, but they graciously welcomed our groups for a special guided tour and a visit with their resident clockmaker and restorer, CŽsar Lorca.
For those interested in learning more about the museum, you may find a video by Chicago Public Tele.vision about the museumÕs opening at https://news.wttw.com/2017/10/18/
On Saturday, the groups visited the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills,
IL. Coins were made available in the lower level so attendees could operate the arcade machines. Steam engine demonstrations were held in the lower level of the theater. The engines, which are powered by a rotary screw air compressor, were recently serviced.
The Parisian streetscape was open during the meeting. On either side are art nouveau-styled perfume shop window displays. Through the store.front windows attendees could see a fully restored 1890s apothecary and ice cream parlor. These exhibits are a part of Jeffrey and Rusty SanfilippoÕs Perfume Passage (www.perfumepas.sage.org) which recently hosted the International Perfume Bottle Associa.tion annual convention.
Tours of the 5/80 Wurlitzer theater organ chambers were given in groups of up to 15 people at a time before the groups were assembled for a welcome message from the Sanfilippo Foundation and acknowledgment of those coming from afar. ChicagoÕs foremost photoplay organist, Jay Warren, accompanied the silent film ÒSherlock Jr.Ó starring Buster Keaton. This 1924 classic received a 92 percent rating from Rotten Tomato critics and 95 percent from audiences and they didnÕt have live theatre organ accompaniment!
The evening entertainment was held in the Carousel Pavilion with a social hour and mini.mart featuring mechanical music treasures available for purchase.
The event was catered by Lou MalnatiÕs, a restaurant featuring meals from the 1940s era of Chicago deep.dish pizza. Various pizzas, Italian beef sandwiches and salads were served. Dessert was brought out as an organ concert began. The 110.key Gavioli and Wurlitzer 180 were played after the concert and engaged in a classic ÒBattle of the Organs.Ó
Galloping horses, rocking gondolas and the spinning tub of the Eden Palais salon carousel thrilled riders in the finale of the evening. Everyone got a chance to ride!
On Sunday, the groups visited Pleas.ant Home and Mills Park in Oak Park,
IL. Pleasant Home was the family residence of Herbert S. Mills, princi.pal of the Mills Novelty Company. A monkey organ rally was held on the porch and a mechanical music fair occurred within the Home. It was an excellent opportunity for both groups to share music and instruments with an interested public.
Cart, hand-carried and table-top organs were demonstrated at the monkey organ rally. The house and porches of Pleasant Home were open for display of smaller instruments such as music boxes, phonographs, autom.ata and singing birds. Within the Home a number of 6-foot banquet tables with linens were set up for instrument displays and demonstrations.
Carousel rides were offered to all.
46 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
Southern California Chapter
Chair: Robin Biggins Reporter: Robin Biggins Photographer: Lowell Boehland
April 23Ð24, 2022 Ñ Woodland Hills CA.
After several attempts, many aborted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a date for a meeting was agreed upon and Frank Nix worked furiously on his wonderful collection of mechanical music to get it ready for display. In particular, the assembly of his huge Ruth style 38 organ required an almost total rearrangement of his Musik Haus collection.
It had been a long time since our chapter had the pleasure of an in-person meeting so it was decided that MBSI chapter members and the local chapter of the Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Association (AMICA) would combine their meetings over two days. Our organizations have worked closely together for many years, and we are all looking forward to the 2022 MBSI/ AMICA Annual Meeting in Northern California this year.
Frank has a wide variety of instruments in several locations on his property. His disc and cylinder musical boxes are mainly in a large room above his work.shop. Band organs are in two separate buildings, while the Musik Haus has many orchestrions, violanos, banjos, street organs and large cylinder musical boxes.
The two-day meetings were Saturday and Sunday from 1 Ð 6 p.m. Everyone had a wonderful time visiting friends and listening to the music. We are delighted to have such a great collection in our area and we are honored to have Frank as such a willing and gracious host.
Additional photos from the meeting can be seen on the following pages.
A full view of the gorgeous Ruth style 38 fairground organ.
Guests listening to the Ramey Banjo Orchestra. Frank demonstrates the Weber Styria ÒGerardÓ orchestrion.
48 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
Frank cranks the Frati street organ in front of the big Hupfeld. Snacks and refreshments for all.
Guests listen to the Hupfeld orchestrion play a tune. Frank demonstrates the Imhof & Mukle Tribut orchestrion.
A group photo in front of the Musik Haus during the Saturday session of the meeting.
Preston Evans (Opportunities Auction)
eston Evans (Opportunities Auction)
Seeking your stories for ….
Did you once spend time finding the perfect musical antique to round out your collection? What was it? How did you find it? Was it in ruins, or in perfect condition?
Was there a time you randomly ran across a unique instrument then found a way to acquire it and restore it so that you might display it and tell the story to all who visit your home?
Answer these questions and you will have the perfect story for ÒThe HuntÓ column in Mechanical Music.
Every mechanical music instrument has a story behind it and the readers of Mechanical Music love to read them all.
Editing help is available if you have a story, but you are not sure how to organize it or present it. The important thing is to get it down and pass it on for the enjoyment of others.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Email your story to editor Russell Kasselman at email@example.com or mail a copy to:
MBSI Editorial Offices 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
LetÕs keep the music playing
Have you solved a problem while repairing, restoring or maintaining a mechanical music box?
Cylinder boxes, disc boxes, band organs, orchestrions and nickelodeons each have their own special needs.
Share your restoration or maintenance tips with other mechanical music enthusiasts.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (253) 228-1634
or mail to: Mechanical Music 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
A Lasting Legacy
Throughout its history, MBSI has fostered an interest in and preservation of automatic musical instruments. Your gift to the Endowment Fund will support programs that will help future generations appreciate these achievements of human creative genius. Visit www.mbsi.org to learn more.
In order for anything once alive to have meaning, its effect must remain alive in eternity in some way
Ð Ernest Becker, Philosopher
The Musical Box Society International is a 501(c)(3) nonproÞt organization. All donations to the Endowment Fund are tax deductible. A gift of any size is welcome.
52 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
Preston Evans (Opportunities Auction)
Labor Day Weekend 2022 in Macon, GA SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd and SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4th
PRESENTED BY: Preston Evans- GAL1287 & Karen Braswell – Auction Coordinator
and wonderfully restored street organs and dance organs.
Consignments Invited for StantonÕs Next Music Machine Auction
Sold, Rare Berliner ÒTin CanÓ
We are actively seeking collections as
Disc Gramophone –
well as individual articles for our next
Music Machine Auction Event.
Having completed our January 6, 7, & 8th auction we are now preparing for our next event. The recent sale generated nearly $1,000,000 with
the top machine bringing over $63,000. Our recent sale consisting of Estates and Collections from all over the Country saw us traveling over 27,000 miles to gather the items sold. We are now scheduling our travels for the East and West Coast, Midwest, and southern states. Call us to get on our schedule.
Sold, Rare Edison Ajax coin operated phonograph –
Sold, Regina Automatic Changer w/ stained glass & clock top – $26,500
Sold, Reginaphone 20.Ó music box w/ base cabinet – $8,050
Sold, Rare Lenzkirch Perpetual calendar musical clock – $9,200
Steven E. Stanton
144 South Main St., P.O. Box 146 ¥ Vermontville, MI 49096
Phone 517-726-0181 ¥ Fax 517-726-0060 e-mail: email@example.com Michael C. Bleisch website: www.stantons-auctions.com (517) 231-0868
StantonÕs Auctioneers & Realtors conducting auctions throughout Michigan and across the United States since 1954. Over 7500 sales conducted and 4,000 parcels of real estate sold at auction. Call us to discuss your sale with a firm has the experience to properly handle the job right for you. Steven E. Stanton, (517) 331-8150, Email Ð stevenEstanton@gmail.com
Over 65 years of experience in the auction business marketing collections and property of all types. Reference available.
Music Box Company, Inc.
We restore Swiss cylinder and disc music boxes.
Cylinders are repinned if necessary and all worn parts are rebuilt to original specifications or better.
Combs are repaired and tuned. Nickel plated parts are replated as needed.
Trust your prized music box to the finest quality restoration available. We have been accused of over restoring! Better over than under I say!
We will pick up your music box anywhere east of the Mississippi River, and transport it to our shop in Randolph, Vermont, where it will be stored in a climate-controlled area until itÕs finished and returned.
We have a complete machine shop where we build Porter Music Boxes, more than 3,000 so far. We are unique in the industry in that we are capable of manufacturing any part needed to restore any music box.
See our website, www.PorterMusicBox.com, to read letters of recommendation and browse a selection of the finest disc boxes currently being manufactured anywhere in the world. We have twin disc models, single disc models with 121/4Ó or15 1/
Ò discs, and table models with beautiful cabinets created for us in Italy. Also we can
P.O Box 424 Randolph, VT 05060
Call (802) 728-9694 or email maryP@portermusicbox.com
The Musical Box Society of Great Britain announces the publication of two new books Published in September 2018
100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27Ó . 11.70Ó; Profusely illustrated in
colour throughout with Additional Illustrations of Models, 89 Additional Lid The Disc Musical Box Pictures Additions to Lists of Models, Patents, Tune Lists & Serial Numbers; Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.
Compiled and Edited by Kevin McElhone Originally published in 2012 and still available The Disc Musical Box
is a compendium of information about Disc Musical Boxes, their Makers and their Music; profusely illustrated in colour throughout with Illustrations of each Disk Musical Box Model, and with Catalogue Scans, Lists of Models, Patents & Tune Lists.
Compiled and Edited by Kevin McElhone
100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27Ó . 11.70Ó; Profusely illustrated in
Patents, Tune Lists & Tuning Scales; A New Section on Trade Cards; Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.
The Organette Book is a compendium of information about Organettes, their Makers and their Music. Originally published in 2000 but now out of print although second-hand copies are occasionally available in online auctions.
************************************************************************************************************************ For all MBSGB Publications, please refer to the Musical Box Society of Great Britain website for further details including latest availability, discounted prices and information on how to order. -www.mbsgb.org.uk
58 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
58th Annual Meeting of the Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Association & 72nd Annual Meeting of the Musical Box Society International
Hosted by the AMICA Founding Chapter and the MBSI Golden Gate Chapter
San Mateo Marriott, near the San Franciso Airport in San Mateo, California
Ride the train through the redwoods to the top of the mountain
A New Custom Hardwood Music Box
Give a gift that shows your thoughtfulness, a gift that continually renews fond memories of you
$100 Discount with code MBSI at checkout for any Custom Music Box at www.EspeciallyWallaWalla.com
Specializing in Antique Music Box Restorations ¥ Buy ¥ Sell
605 Wallea Dr. Menlo Park, CA 94025 (650) 325-3898
Add a photo to your ad!
You know the old saying, ÒA photo is worth 1,000 words!Ó For $30 you can add a photo to your ad in the Mart.
A photo makes your ad stand out on the page and quickly draws a readerÕs interest in the item.
Email your advertisement with photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (253) 228-1634.
60 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
GOLD WASH Heavily Embossed, Hallmarked
Plus: ÉREGINA 15 .Ó Style 50, short bedplate, mahogany ÉCRITERION 20 .Ó carved oak on base cabinet ÉCRITERION 15 .Ó in carved oak, matching base cabinet ÉPOLYPHON 14Ó Bell Box ÉEUPHONIA 20 .Ó, short bedplate, oak, great sound! ÉMermod 11Ó, 3 cylinder interchangeable ÉNine GRAND ROLLER ORGANS ÉREGINA 27Ó Accordion top in mahogany. Excellent! ÉORGANETTES Ð both cob and paper players.
Over 50 in stock in working or do-it-yourself project condition. Over 1000 cobs in stock! Éand so much more!
NANCY FRATTI MUSIC BOXES
P.O. Box 400 Ð Canastota NY 13032 USA
47¢ per word
ALL CAPS, italicized and bold words: 60¢ each.
Minimum Charge: $11 per ad.
Limit: One ad in each category
Format: See ads for style
Restrictions: Ads are strictly limited to mechanical musical instruments and related items and services
MBSI memberÕs name must appear in ad
Non-members may advertise at the rates listed plus a 10% surcharge
The first two words (or more at your choice) and the memberÕs name will be printed in all caps/bold and charged at 60¢ per word.
Mechanical Music is mailed to all members at the beginning of every odd month Ñ January, March, May, July, September and November.
MBSI Advertising Statement
It is to be hereby understood that the placing of advertisements by members of the Society in this publication does not constitute nor shall be deemed to constitute any endorsement or approval of the busi.ness practices of advertisers. The Musical Box Society International accepts no liability in connection with any business dealings between members and such advertisers.
It is to be further understood that members are to rely on their own investigation and opinion regarding the reputation and integrity of advertisers in conducting such busi.ness dealings with said advertisers.
RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a variety of antique musical boxes, discs, orphan cylinders, reproducing piano rolls & out of print books about mechanical music. BILL WINEBURGH 973-927-0484 Web: antiquemusicbox.us
THE GOLDEN AGE of AUTOMATIC MUSI.CAL INSTRUMENTS By ART REBLITZ. Award-winning classic that brings historical, musical, and technical information to life with hundreds of large, vivid color photos. We guarantee youÕll find it to be one of the most interesting, inspiring, informative books you have in your libraryÐor your money back. Everyone has been delighted, and some readers have ordered several copies. Get your copy today for $99 plus S/H. MECHANI.CAL MUSIC PRESS-M, 70 Wild Ammonoosuc Rd., Woodsville, NH 03785. (603) 747-2636.
MILLS VIOLANO -Very choice condition, professionally well maintained, one of the best sounding violins and nicest youÕll ever find. Rare walnut cabinet. Roll library. Priced for quick sale. $17,500. LARGE CONCERT FAIR ORGAN – ornate facade, nine carved figures, plays the best 89 keyless GAVIOLI music. REDUCED $89,950. Contact HERB BRABANDT, at email@example.com or (502) 425-4263
WESTERN ELECTRIC MODEL X features a piano with mandolin attachment accompanied by a 22 note xylophone with automatic expression. The volume of piano can be manually controlled with an exterior ÒCrescendoÓ knob and can be set to play anywhere from very quiet to very loud. It was restored by D.C. Ramey Piano Company in 2012 and was recently serviced by us to ready for sale. A special feature was added to the xylophone during restoration, a switching device that allows the xylophone to operate with a reiterating action (as original) or single stroke action. The device is removable and did not alter the original parts. $18,000. For photos and video, https://dcramey.com/WEX. html. Contact DAVID RAMEY, at dcramey@ dcramey.com or 708-602-3961
Photos are only $30 extra per issue.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or
call (253) 228-1634 for more details.
REGINA MUSIC BOX, plays 151/2 in disks, mahogany case with decorative inlay. Includes 59 disks. Great sound and condi.tion. Pickup in Caldwell, NJ, only. $3,999. GREG COWELL email@example.com
MARVELS OF MECHANICAL MUSIC -MBSI Video. Fascinating and beautifully-made film which explains the origins of automatic musical instruments, how they are collected and preserved today, and their historic importance, MBSI members and collections are featured. $20 USD. Free shipping in the continental U.S. Additional postage charges apply for other locations. Purchase now at www.mbsi.org
REGINA STYLE 36 autochanger music box. Contact KEITH AMUNDSON, at geela@ comcast.net or (218) 742-7111
REPRODUCTION POLYPHON discs; Cata.logs available for 19 5/8Ó, 22 1/8Ó, and 24 1/2Ó. DAVID CORKRUM 5826 Roberts Ave, Oakland, CA 94605-1156, 510-569-3110, www.polyphonmusic.com
SAVE $Õs on REUGE & THORENS MUSIC BOX REPAIR & RESTORATION Ð MBSI MEMBERS RECEIVE WHOLESALE PRICING.
40 + Years experience servicing all makes & models of cylinder and disc music boxes, bird boxes, bird cages, musical watches, Anri musical figurines, et al. All work guaranteed. WeÕre the only REUGE FACTORY AUTHORIZED Parts & Repair Service Center for all of North America. Contact: DON CAINE -The Music Box Repair Center Unlimited, 24703 Pennsyl.vania Ave., Lomita, CA 90717-1516. Phone:
(310) 534-1557 Email: MBRCU@AOL.COM. On the Web: www.musicboxrepaircenter.com
Advertise in The Mart
Have spare parts or extra rolls tak.ing up space where you should be installing your next music box? Get the word out by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (253) 228-1634
62 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.
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Display ads may be submitted camera-ready, as PDF files, or with text and instructions. File submission guidelines available on request.
Errors attributable to Mechanical Music, and of a significant nature, will be corrected in the following issue without charge, upon notification.
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Inside Covers 8.75Ó x 11.25Ó $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25Ó x 9.75Ó $290 $261 $246
Half Page 7.25Ó x 4.5Ó $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5Ó x 4.5Ó $90 $81 $77
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Add a 10% surcharge to the prices shown above if you are not a member of MBSI.
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SUBMIT ADS TO:
MBSI Ads 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (253) 228-1634 Email: email@example.com
3………. Renaissance Antiques 50-51..Opportunity Auctions 53…….. Opportunity Auctions 54-55..Morphy Auctions 56…….. Stanton Auctions 57…….. Porter Music Box Company 58…….. MBSGB 58…….. American Treasure Tour 59…….. Golden Gate Chapter 60…….. EspeciallyWallaWalla.com 60…….. Reeder Pianos 60…….. Cottone Auctions 60…….. Music Box Restorations 61…….. Nancy Fratti Music Boxes 67…….. Marty Persky Music Boxes 68…….. Morphy Auctions
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Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space where you should be installing your next acquisition? Ready to trade up, but need to sell one of your current pieces first? Get the word out to other collectors in The Mart, an effec.tive advertising tool at an inexpensive price. Copy or cut out the form below and mail it in to get started. Or, go to www.mbsi.org and place your ad online!
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OFFICERS, TRUSTEES & COMMITTEES of the MUSICAL BOX SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL¨
OFFICERS COMMITTEES Membership Committee Nominating Committee
Chair, TBD Dan Wilson, Chair
David Corkrum, President Tom Kuehn, Immediate Past Pres.
David Corkrum Edward Cooley, Chair, Trustee Richard Dutton, Trustee Bob Caletti, Golden Gate, Trustee 5826 Roberts Avenue Dave Calendine, Trustee Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee, Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee, Oakland, CA 94605 Matt Jaro, Vice President
Endowment Committee Robin Biggins, Southern California Jonathan Hoyt, Golden Gate Edward Kozak, Treasurer, Chair Judy Caletti, Golden Gate Robin Biggins, Southern California Vice President Edward Cooley, Trustee Gary Goldsmith, Snowbelt Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan Matthew Jaro Dave Calendine, Trustee Julie Morlock, Southeast
24219 Clematis Dr B Bronson Rob Pollock, Mid-America Bob Caletti, Chair, Trustee Gaithersburg, MD 20882 Wayne Wolf Florie Hirsch, National Capital Richard Dutton, Trustee email@example.com Dan Wilson, Piedmont
Executive Committee Steve Boehck
Gerald Yorioka, Northwest IntÕl
David Corkrum, Chair, President Christian Eric
Recording Secretary TBD, East Coast
Matthew Jaro, Vice President Kathleen Eric
Linda Birkitt TBD, Lake Michigan
Tom Kuehn, Immediate Past Pres.
PO Box 145, TBD, Sunbelt Publications
Dave Calendine, Trustee
Kuna, ID 83634
Bob Caletti, Trustee Museum Committee
firstname.lastname@example.org Sally Craig, Chair
Finance Committee Rick Swaney, Chair
Matt Jaro, Vice President
Treasurer Edward Kozak, Chair, Treasurer B Bronson
Glenn Crater, National Capital
Edward Kozak Wayne Wolf, Vice Chair Knowles Little, Web Secretary
Ken Envall, Southern California 3615 North Campbell Avenue Edward Cooley, Trustee
Julian Grace, Sunbelt Special Exhibits Committee
Chicago, IL 60618 Peter Both Richard Simpson, East Coast Chair Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee, email@example.com
Marketing Committee Southeast
Bob Smith, Chair David Corkrum, President,
Judy Caletti Golden Gate
Rob Pollock, Mid-America
TRUSTEES Donald Caine, Southern California
Dave Calendine Jack Hostetler, Southeast
Matt Jaro, Chair, Vice President
Bob Caletti SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Knowles Little, National Capital
Edward Cooley Judy Miller, Piedmont
Tom Chase Publications Back Issues:
David Corkrum Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan
Cotton Morlock Jacque Beeman
Richard Dutton Wayne Myers, Southeast
G.Wayne Finger Regina Certificates: Rick Swaney, Northwest IntÕl B Bronson
MBSI Editorial Office: Tom Kuehn MBSI Pins and Seals: Iron Dog Media Mary Ellen Myers Jacque Beeman 130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Members can donate to these funds at any time. Send donations to: General Fund (unrestricted) MBSI Administrator, Endowment Fund (promotes the purposes of MBSI, restricted) PO Box 10196, Ralph Heintz Publications Fund (special literary projects) Springfield, MO 65808-0196. Museum Fund (supports museum operations)
All manuscripts will be subject to editorial review. Committee and the Editorial Staff. are considered to be the authorÕs personal opinion. Articles submitted for publication may be edited The article will not be published with significant The author may be asked to substantiate his/her or rejected at the discretion of the Publications changes without the authorÕs approval. All articles statements.
64 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Date Event Location Sponsor
Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 2022 Joint MBSI / AMICA Annual Meeting San Mateo, CA Golden Gate Chapter/ AMICA Founding Chapter
Aug. 13, 2022 Southern California Chapter Meeting Dana Point CA Mike and Kathy Choate
Aug. 13, 2022 Carousel Organ Association of America Organ Rally NelisÕ Dutch Village Amuse.ment Park, Holland, MI Hosted by Lake Curtis
Sept. 9-11, 2022 Carousel Organ Association of America Organ Rally F.T. Proctor Park Utica, NY Hosted by Bob Yorburg
Aug 29-Sept 3, 2023 MBSI Annual Meeting St. Paul, MN Snowbelt Chapter
Send in your information by Aug. 1, 2022, for the September/October 2022 issue. Ask your questions on our Facebook discussion group Ñ the Music Box Society Forum.
Please send dates for the Calendar of Events to firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrator Jacque Beeman handles back issues (if available) $6; damaged or issues not received, address changes, MBSI Directory listing changes, credit card charge questions, book orders, status of your membership, membership renewal, membership application, and MBSI Membership Brochures. P.O. Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196 Phone/Fax (417) 886-8839 email@example.com
Traveling MBSI Display Bill Endlein 21547 NW 154th Pl. High Springs, FL 32643-4519 Phone (386) 454-8359 firstname.lastname@example.org
Regina Certificates: Cost $5. B Bronson Box 154 Dundee, MI 48131 Phone (734) 529-2087 email@example.com
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Chair: Wayne Myers (407) 333-9095 Dues $5 to Bob Yates 1973 Crestview Way Unit 147 Naples, FL 34119
Museum Donations Sally Craig 2720 Old Orchard Road Lancaster, PA 17601 Phone (717) 295-9188 email@example.com
MBSI website Rick Swaney 4302 209th Avenue NE Sammamish, WA 98074 Phone (425) 836-3586 firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Secretary Knowles Little 9109 Scott Dr. Rockville, MD 20850 Phone (301) 762-6253 email@example.com
Chair: Elise Low (203) 457-9888 Dues $5 to Roger Wiegand 281 Concord Road Wayland, MA 01778 or pay via PayPal, send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Chair: Naoki Shibata 81-72986-1169 firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer: Makiko Watanabe email@example.com
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Chair: Rob Pollock (937) 508-4984 Dues $10 to Harold Wade 4616 Boneta Road Medina, OH 44256
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Chair: Rick Swaney (425) 836-3586 Dues $7.50/person to Kathy Baer 8210 Comox Road Blaine, WA 98230
Temp Chair: Dan Wilson (919) 740-6579 firstname.lastname@example.org Dues $10 to Dan Wilson 4804 Latimer Road Raleigh, NC. 276099
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Chair: Ray Dickey (713) 467-0349 Dues $10 to Diane Caudill 4585 Felder Road Washington, TX 77880
Copyright 2022 the Musical Box Society International, all rights reserved. Permission to reproduce by any means, in whole or in part, must be obtained in writing from the MBSI Executive Committee and the Editor. Mechanical Music is published in the even months. ISSN 1045-795X
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
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Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
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Inside Covers 8.75Ó x 11.25Ó $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25Ó x 9.75Ó $290 $261 $247
Half Page 7.25Ó x 4.5Ó $160 $144 $136
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Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 1 January/February 2017
Format: See ads for style
Restrictions: Ads are strictly limited to mechanical musi.cal instruments and related items and services
PRINTING & ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
Mechanical Music is mailed to more than 1,500 members of the Musical Mechanical Music is printed on 70 lb gloss Email Øles to: Box Society International six (6) times paper, with a 100 lb gloss cover, email@example.com per year. dle-stitched. Trim size is 8.25Ó x 10.75Ó. USPS or Fed Ex to: Artwork is accepted in the following for-Iron Dog Media, LLC
ALL ADS MUST
mats: PDF, PSD, AI, EPS, TIF. All images 130 Coral Court
and colors should be CMYK or Grayscale Pismo Beach, CA 93449
The Musical Box Society International
and all fonts should be embedded or
accepts VISA, Mastercard and online
converted to outlines. Images should be a
payments via PayPal.
minimum of 300 dpi resolution.
ISSUE NAME ADS DUE DELIVERED ON
January/February December 1 January 1
March/April February 1 March 1
May/June April 1 May 1
July/August June 1 July 1
September/October August 1 September 1
November/December October 1 November 1
The Spectacular Mechanical Music Collection of Carol Veome & the late Larry Dupon
Polyphon Regina Style 35 Regina Upright Seeburg G Steinway OR 6Õ6Ó Art Case 24Ó Mikado Clock & Art Glass Style 67 Rookwood Orchestrion Reeder/Leedy Restoration
3 Disc Eroica Regina 20 .Ó Drum Table Rococo 26Ó Stella Empress 18 .Ó
B. A. Bremond Orchestra Box Nicole Freres Desk 206 Teeth Paillard Sublime Harmony Piccolo 42 Airs on 7 Cylinders 20 Overtures & 8 Airs on 7 Cyls. 36 Airs on 6 Cylinders
Call Marty Persky 847-675-6144 or email Marty@Mechmusic.com for further information on these and other fine instruments.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT.