Volume 68, No. 4 July/August 2022

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

Editor/Publisher
Russell Kasselman (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
MBSI Editorial Office:
Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 editor@mbsi.org

MECHANICAL MUSIC
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.
ing Minutes

Publications Chair
Bob Caletti
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 The article will not be published with significant changes without the authorÕs approval.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

Features
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

Chapter Reports
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.

M
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
Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Copy this page, and give it to a potential new member. Spread the word about MBSI.
Last name First Name Initial
Last Name First Name Initial
Address

City State / Zip Postal Code / Country
Phone Fax E-mail
Sponsor (optional)
Membership Dues

US members (per household)……………………………………….$60 Student Membership $20
(online journal access only)
Canada…………………………………………………………………………$70 Other International………………………………………………………$75
(Add $20 for International air mail.)
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
Visa/MasterCard

Exp. Date CCV
Signature
4 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
By David Corkrum
MBSI President
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
Phone Email
Sponsor

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
MBSI Editor/Publisher
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

ADVERTISING
experience.
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
MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial / Advertising 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
the work they are doing is being seen and enjoyed.

EDITORIAL

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

¥
Dave Calendine

¥
Bob Caletti

¥
Ed Cooley

¥
Richard Dutton

¥
Wayne Finger

¥
Matt Jaro

¥
Tom Kuehn

¥
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.
New Business
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.
Nickel Notes
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 Frres 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
ÒSold!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 faade. 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 faades 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 faade 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 faade 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
Miscellaneous Instruments
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
about it?Ó
Reply: ÒIt belonged to my mother,
father, great aunt, I bought it at
auction, I found it in a dumpster/
attic.Ó
Expert: ÒSo it belonged to your
mother, father, great aunt, etc., etc.,
etc.Ó
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 Frres but they would have plastered their name all over it.Ó
That last point was correct except that Nicole Frres 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, Eugne,
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 Eugne, 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 Eugne Pail. 1875 Eugne 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. Eugne 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 Eugne 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 Besanon, 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 Besanon, 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

1867.

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.
In conclusion
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

trade throughout
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
all
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-
Footnotes:

chanical Music, Musical Box Society International, Sept./Oct.
1. Penna, Robert. ÒBarrel Organs and the Disabled Civil War Veter.
2020

an,Ó Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, May/
9. Band on the Wall, https://bandonthewall.org/history/19th-centu-
June 2018

ry-history/chapter-1-an-eventful-century/italians/
2. Buchner, Alexander. 1959. Mechanical Musical Instruments.
10. ÒThey Lived in Leeds: Vincenzo Luigi Tomasso,Ó The Thoresby
Translated by Iris Urwin. London: Batchworth.
Society. https://www.thoresby.org.uk/content/people/tomasso.
3. Band on the Wall, https://bandonthewall.org/history/19th-centu.
php

ry-history/chapter-1-an-eventful-century/italians/
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.
http://atinaitaly.com/living-conditions-clerkenwell-london/
com/music.htm

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
dren-musicians/

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.
http://atinaitaly.com/living-conditions-clerkenwell-london/
well/
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/
new-museum-showcases-massive-col.lection-stained-glass-rare-clocks.
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.
The Hunt

Email your story to editor Russell Kasselman at editor@mbsi.org 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 editor@mbsi.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

www.PrestonOpportunities.com
(478) 461-4931
Kdbraswell01@yahoo.com
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
$63,500

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 –

$34,500 $9775

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
(517) 331-8150

Phone 517-726-0181 ¥ Fax 517-726-0060 e-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net 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
occasions.
P.O Box 424 Randolph, VT 05060

support.

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
Supplement to

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
ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9
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.
Supplement to
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

Bob Caletti

Specializing in Antique Music Box Restorations ¥ Buy ¥ Sell
605 Wallea Dr. Menlo Park, CA 94025 (650) 325-3898
www.musicboxrestorations.com info@musicboxrestorations.com

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 editor@mbsi.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
315-684-9977 –musicbox@frontiernet.net

THE MART
CLASSIFIED ADS
¥
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

PLEASE NOTE:
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
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.
http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com
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 johebra3@twc.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 editor@mbsi.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 cowellgreg@gmail.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 edi.tor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634
62 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2022
ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.
ADVERTISING DEADLINES:
The 1st day of each even month: Feb., Apr., Jun, Aug., Oct. and Dec.
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.

Display Advertising Dimensions and Costs
Dimensions 1 issue 3 issues* 6 issues*
Back Cover 8.75Ó x 11.25Ó $600 $540 $510
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
Eighth Page 3.5Ó x 2.125Ó $50 $45 $43
Add a 10% surcharge to the prices shown above if you are not a member of MBSI.
*Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount

SUBMIT ADS TO:
MBSI Ads 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (253) 228-1634 Email: editor@mbsi.org

Display Advertisers
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

Advertise in The Mart

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!
Name Phone Email Text of ad

Add a photo to your ad!

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 editor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634 for more details. Place your ad online at www.mbsi.org

OFFICERS, TRUSTEES & COMMITTEES of the MUSICAL BOX SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL¨
OFFICERS COMMITTEES Membership Committee Nominating Committee
Chair, TBD Dan Wilson, Chair
President Audit

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
Southeast Southeast
musikwerke@att.net

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
Publications Committee

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 mjaro@verizon.net 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
Sub-Committee
Kuna, ID 83634

Bob Caletti, Trustee Museum Committee
Website Committee

scarletpimpernel28@yahoo.com 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, ekozak1970@gmail.com
Marketing Committee Southeast
Museum Sub-Committees
Bob Smith, Chair David Corkrum, President,
Ohio Operations

Judy Caletti Golden Gate
Rob Pollock, Mid-America
TRUSTEES Donald Caine, Southern California
Meetings Committee
Dave Calendine Jack Hostetler, Southeast
Matt Jaro, Chair, Vice President
Bob Caletti SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Knowles Little, National Capital
Judy Caletti
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
Rich Poppe
G.Wayne Finger Regina Certificates: Rick Swaney, Northwest IntÕl B Bronson
Matt Jaro

MBSI Editorial Office: Tom Kuehn MBSI Pins and Seals: Iron Dog Media Mary Ellen Myers Jacque Beeman 130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Librarian:
editor@mbsi.org
Jerry Maler
Historian:
Bob Yates
MBSI FUNDS

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 editor@mbsi.org
CONTACTS

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 jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Traveling MBSI Display Bill Endlein 21547 NW 154th Pl. High Springs, FL 32643-4519 Phone (386) 454-8359 sembsi@yahoo.com
Regina Certificates: Cost $5. B Bronson Box 154 Dundee, MI 48131 Phone (734) 529-2087 art@d-pcomm.net
Advertising for Mechanical Music Russell Kasselman Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Phone (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
CHAPTERS
Snowbelt

Chair: Tracy Tolzmann (651) 674-5149 Dues $10 to Gary Goldsmith 17160 – 245th Avenue Big Lake, MN 55309
Southeast

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 rosebud441@juno.com
MBSI website Rick Swaney 4302 209th Avenue NE Sammamish, WA 98074 Phone (425) 836-3586 r_swaney@msn.com
Web Secretary Knowles Little 9109 Scott Dr. Rockville, MD 20850 Phone (301) 762-6253 kglittle@verizon.net
CHAPTERS
East Coast
Chair: Elise Low (203) 457-9888 Dues $5 to Roger Wiegand 281 Concord Road Wayland, MA 01778 or pay via PayPal, send to treasurer.eccmbsi@gmail.com
Golden Gate
Chair: Jonathan Hoyt jenjenhoyt@yahoo.com Dues $5 to Dave Corkrum 5826 Roberts Ave. Oakland, CA 94605
Japan
Chair: Naoki Shibata 81-72986-1169 naotabibito396amb@salsa.ocn.ne.jp Treasurer: Makiko Watanabe makikomakiko62@yahoo.co.jp
Lake Michigan
Chair: Mark Pichla (847) 962-2330 Dues $5 to James Huffer 7930 N. Kildare Skokie, Illinois 60076

Mid-America
Chair: Rob Pollock (937) 508-4984 Dues $10 to Harold Wade 4616 Boneta Road Medina, OH 44256
National Capital
Chair: Ken Gordon (301) 469-9240 Dues $5 to Florie Hirsch 8917 Wooden Bridge Road Potomac, MD 20854
Northwest International
Chair: Rick Swaney (425) 836-3586 Dues $7.50/person to Kathy Baer 8210 Comox Road Blaine, WA 98230
Piedmont

Temp Chair: Dan Wilson (919) 740-6579 musicboxmac@mac.com Dues $10 to Dan Wilson 4804 Latimer Road Raleigh, NC. 276099
Southern California
Chair: Robin Biggins (310) 377-1472 Dues $10 to Diane Lloyd 1201 Edgeview Drive Cowan Hgts, CA 92705
Sunbelt
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
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

DISPLAY ADVERTISING DIMENSIONS & PER ISSUE COSTS
Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
Back Cover 8.75Ó x 11.25Ó $600 $540 $510
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
Quarter Page 3.5Ó x 4.5Ó $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5Ó x 2.125Ó $50 $45 $43
Non-members pay a 10% surcharge on the above rates
Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount

QUARTER PAGE 3.5Ó x 4.5Ó EIGHTH PAGE 3.5Ó x 2.125Ó

HALF PAGE HORIZONTAL 7.25Ó x 4.5Ó

CLASSIFIED ADS

¥ 47¢ per word
¥
ALL CAPS, italicized and bold words: 60¢ each.

¥
Minimum Charge: $11.

¥
Limit: One ad in each category

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

PRODUCTION SCHEDULE

CIRCULATION
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, sad-mbsi@irondogmedia.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
BE PREPAID

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.

Volume 68, No. 3 May/June 2022

MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 68, No. 3 May/June 2022

Editor/Publisher
Russell Kasselman (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
MBSI Editorial Office:
Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 editor@mbsi.org

MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 68, No. 3 May/June 2022

MBSI NEWS
5 PresidentÕs Message 7 EditorÕs Notes 8 Outreach Corner
54 In Memoriam

Publications Chair
Bob Caletti
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

Features
11 Nickel Notes by Matt Jaro
22 Get ready for the MBSI Annual Meeting!
26 One portable phonograph begets another
28 Almost alive: The story of Accordeo-Boy
38 The Hunt: Tom Kuehn finds just the right disc player
42 The future of the piano
44 Mechanical music contest announced
45 Rare automata up for auction

MBSI has replanted 174 trees so far as part of the Print ReLeaf program.
On the Cover
A gilt-bronze, quarter-striking singing bird musical automaton clock with seven tunes by Jaquet-Droz made in Switzerland circa 1810 that was up for auction in April 2022. Details on Page 45.

The Hunt
the right disc player for his collection. Page 38

M
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
Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net

Copy this page, and give it to a potential new member. Spread the word about MBSI.
Last name First Name Initial
Last Name First Name Initial
Address

City State / Zip Postal Code / Country
Phone Fax E-mail
Sponsor (optional)

Membership Dues

US members (per household)……………………………………….$60 Student Membership $20
(online journal access only)
Canada…………………………………………………………………………$70 Other International………………………………………………………$75
(Add $20 for International air mail.)
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
Visa/MasterCard
Exp. Date CCV
Signature
By David Corkrum
MBSI President
This message contains quite a bit of administrative information. The MBSI Board of Trustees met via Zoom on Mar. 18, 2022, for its regular mid-year session.
A considerable amount of discussion focused on the finances of the society. Our membership is declining, like so many other specialty organizations, which means our costs are rising while our revenues are shrinking. At some point, if we continue doing what we are doing without making changes, we would need to begin dipping into the monies we hold in reserve and what is in there will not last very long at our current spending rate.
Therefore, it was decided that a dues increase was in order. An increase is not something any of us desire, but it is necessary. The trustees moved to increase the annual dues by $10. This will give us some Òbreathing roomÓ in the future. The increase would take effect on Jan. 1, 2023, if the membership at the upcoming 2022 MBSI Annual Meeting approves the increase. For your information, the last dues increase occurred Jan. 1, 2014, as approved at the 2013 annual meeting.
Another bit of housekeeping has to do with the bylaws and policies and procedures (P&P). Again, as our membership declines, we find ourselves with fewer members attending the annual meetings and the associated business meetings. The last update to the bylaws stated that a quorum would require 50 members to be in attendance. This, we discovered, is not in accordance with the state of New YorkÕs laws governing annual meetings. The requirement for a quorum is 100 members or 10 percent of the total membership, whichever is less. With the recent reductions in attendance, our last two meetings would not have reached the minimum cut-off and any motions would have had to be sent to the membership via mail. This would cause an undue hardship on our secretary as well as our budget.

Therefore, we agreed to change the bylaws and P&P to allow for proxy voting. By the time you are reading this you will probably have received the proxy notification. I urge you to send your proxy vote to me if you have not done so already, but if you can, please, come to the meeting in San Mateo, CA. I am sure that you will have a good time. See Page 22 of this issue for details. A registration packet is included with this issue, as well.
This is all that I have for you currently. The annual meeting hotel is in a good location and, like most of the peninsula where San Mateo is located, there are many restaurants in the area.

Mail any MBSI Editorial / Advertising materials to 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Emails with attachments can be sent to editor@mbsi.org Deadline for the July/August 2022 issue is May 25, 2022

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
Phone Email
Sponsor

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
MBSI Editor/Publisher
By the time this magazine reaches you, I hope you are clear of any last bitter blasts of winterÕs wrath. I hope you are opening windows and letting in the fresh air, cleaning and polishing and getting ready for the start of a season of outdoor concerts, barbecues and welcoming friends and family to your home. It is Spring, after all, and time for refreshing, renewing and reinvigorating. Maybe itÕs the perfect time to start a music box restoration project. If so, I hope you tell us all about it. We are always look.ing for articles from members doing fun things with music boxes. Share your ideas and experiences anytime by emailing editor@mbsi.org.
Speaking of experiences, look for the 2022 MBSI Annual Meeting registration packet included with this issue. ItÕs your ticket to see some great mechanical music collections, ride a steam train through the California redwoods, catch up with old friends and meet new ones. More details

ADVERTISING
about the upcoming meeting are avail.able on Page 22 of this issue. I hope to see you there.
Thank you to our contributors for this issue. Matt Jaro dives into WurlitzerÕs relationship with the music press during its heyday while Dr. Robert Penna provides another well-researched article about an automaton developed in Paris, France, called Accordeo-Boy.
I was pleased to receive a note from Harold Peters about a portable phonograph in his collection that he was inspired to share after reading Rick SwaneyÕs article. Several photos and a brief description are available for to you to enjoy on Page 26. I hope this sort of item inspires many more of our members to share what they have as it is always wonderful to see what our members have found to collect.
Tom Kuehn rounds out our contrib.utor list this issue with his story of a search for the perfect disc box to compliment his large pneumatic collection. He set some stringent conditions for his search but found success and ended up with the perfect
MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial / Advertising 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
piece. Read about it on Page 38. Have you had to search for something to fit just right into your collection? Tell us about it. We love to hear stories for The Hunt.

EDITORIAL

Advertisements for the July/August 2022 issue of
Articles and photos for the July/August 2022 issue of

Mechanical Music need to be submitted by Jun. 1, 2022.
Mechanical Music need to be submitted by May 25, 2022.

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 should be submitted by Jul. 25, 2022.

Welcome new members!
February 2022 March 2022 Mariana Berg-Reuter Michael & Jackie Davis Waynesville, NC Drumright, OK Mark Jones Theodore Johnson College Park, South Australia New York, NY Sponsor: Don Caine Jennifer Lussier Vienna, VA Rene Nilsson Lockport, NY Sponsor: Don Caine Janice Reynolds & Jeff Brosman Decatur, IN Sponsor: Hope Rider Robert School Akron, OH

By Jack Hostetler
Special Exhibits Committee Member
On Dec. 17 and 18, 2021, a group of nine MBSI members and four members of the Mechanical Music Society club of The Villages presented the 8th annual Christmas exhibit in The Villages, FL. This year, we held the event in the recreation center of the Eisenhower Regional Center. We occupied two large rooms for the displays. One room was devoted to the loud machines, including two street organs, two collections of early phonographs, and a great display of original wooden automata.
The other room featured the more gentle-sounding machines. On display were a bird-in-a-cage autom.aton, a collection of Christmas music machines, one wonderful disc box, two roller organs, a huge collection of small music boxes and decorative ceramic figurines.
We have presented this Special Exhibit each year since 2012 (skip.ping only 2020 due to the COVID pandemic). We are already booked for Dec. 17 and 18, 2022.
Each year since 2013 our two

Special Exhibits Committee Chair Mary Ellen Myers with Jack Keith IdoÕs family of Nippers appear very focused on the Hostetler feeling festive. music.

A close-up of one of Jerry HoneÕs Jerry Hone shows some of his wooden automata creations to Craig Darlak and automata. Howard Wyman.

A steady stream of visitors admired Jerry HoneÕs wooden automata and the other mechanical music items on display during the two days of the event.

Attendees talk with Bob Schuljak about his collection of early recorded music and the machines they play on.

groups have also presented a Camp Villages event in the summer. Camp Villages is a summer set of programs for grandchildren visiting grandpar.ents at the The Villages. Our program shows children how music machines work and allows them to build and decorate their own music box. The event is limited to 30 children (plus grandparents to assist). The Villages charges for the event to pay for use of the room, but we provide the parts to construct a music box and deco.rations free of charge. The past few years tickets have sold out the first day they became available.

The Recreation Department of The Villages really appreciates our events and our presentations, so we intend to continue these Special Exhibit events as long as we can. We are also looking into opportunities to put on more Special Exhibits in The Villages and surrounding venues.

Nickel Notes
By Matthew Jaro

The Invisible Giant

In my wanderings through the musical trade press, I noticed that every time J.P. Seeburg burped, there would be an article about it. I donÕt, however, recall seeing much about Rudolph Wurlitzer, the biggest supplier of instruments and coin-operated automatic music machines, band organs and theater organs. I also donÕt recall seeing many advertise.ments (which may explain the lack of articles). So, today, I did a search in the Music Trade Review (MTR) on the word ÒWurlitzerÓ and found to my surprise 1,594 documents with 10,115 instances. The purpose of this article is to discover the truth and reveal interesting facets about the history of the Wurlitzer Company. If Wurlitzer was really underrepresented in the trade press, then this giant company would remain unseen to their readers.
The Wurlitzer Company was established in 1856 by Franz Rudolph Wurlitzer in Cincinnati, OH. He started the business because he could import instruments directly from Europe and thereby undercut his competition who were forced to use a number of middlemen, each of whom would take a profit, thus increasing the price of the end product.
The first reference to Wurlitzer is on Nov. 5, 1880, where the name is mentioned in passing in an article about Cincinnati. The next reference, one week later states: ÒMr. Rudy, of Wurlitzer & BroÕs, declares that the Knabe factory can scarcely supply instruments as fast as he expects to sell them! The small instrument trade of Wurlitzer & Bros. is very large.Ó
ÒMr. RudyÓ must refer to Rudolph. In this period, Wurlitzer mostly sold European instruments but they made some products of their own.
The next reference to Wurlitzer is six years later in 1886, which cites a letter as follows:
ÒPlease send the Music Trade Review regularly. We need it in our business. (Signed) R. Wurlitzer & Bro., Cincinnati, Ohio.Ó
In 1891, Wurlitzer actually received a small editorial comment, talking about its large and elegant quarters on Fourth Street. The company occupied six floors, each 28 feet wide and 175 feet deep (29,400 sq. ft.). In 1892-1897, a running series of ads appeared listing Wurlitzer as a dealer for the Wilcox and White Organ Company (specifically for ÒThe SymphonyÓ organ).
In 1894, the trade press took its first significant notice of Wurlitzer with the publication of an article entitled ÒDealers of the West.Ó
In 1895, the MTR announced the engagement of Howard Wurlitzer, son of Rudolph. Howard was to become president of the company during the time that we are familiar with the company. In 1896 there were several mentions of Òguitar-zithers.Ó There are several other announcements of sales for different lines of instruments.
In April 1898, Wurlitzer announced it would move its factory from Cincin.nati to Orange, NJ. The factory was to take up an entire city block and 100 cottages would be erected to house at least some of the 125 employees. Also in 1898, Wurlitzer was listed as a dealer for Regina music boxes. In 1898-1901, the MTR actually covered trips made by the Wurlitzers, engage.ments and the usual puff pieces saying that business had been exceptionally great for the Wurlitzer Company.

1901
In 1901 there was a short article praising the ÒHowardÓ mandolins and guitars made by Wurlitzer. Could this be because Wurlitzer took out an ad?
In 1901 Wurlitzer got the Cincinnati agency for the Apollo Player Piano (Melville Clark). Wurlitzer also secured the Steinway agency for Cincinnati. Regina revoked WurlitzerÕs agency for Cincinnati. Wurlitzer then became agents of the Symphonion. Anton Wurlitzer (RudolphÕs brother) died in 1901. There was a lengthy article about WurlitzerÕs collection of old fine violins.
1902
The violin bows made by Wurlitzer were praised, saying that the bows were famous in Europe and in America. There are a few other short references to piano sales but not much else in 1902.
Wurlitzer did get agency to the Steck Piano Company in this year.
1903
The MTR noted a trip by Howard Wurlitzer to Chicago, IL, and mentioned its piano business was steadily growing.
The amount of press given to Wurlitzer considerably picked up in 1903, even though the company did not place any advertisements. The newspaper clipping at the top of the center column (just above these words) provides a good idea of the products that Wurlitzer was involved in during 1903.

1904
There is mention that Wurlitzer is selling Paillard music boxes and Brandt mandolins. There is also talk about the Chicago and St. Louis, MO., branches of the company. In Novem.ber 1904 a fire destroyed most of the companyÕs headquarters. Fortunately for Wurlitzer, they were completely insured. The company moved to a new location in about one week. This event was well reported by the MTR. Articles remarked that few enterprises could continue shipping orders despite such calamities. There were many notices of travels of members of the Wurlitzer family and trade details.
1905
Wurlitzer greatly enlarged its stock of talking machines and records. An article appeared this year reporting on the fact that Wurlitzer had represented Victor at the 1904 WorldÕs Fair. The MTR mentions the company is doing business in automatic instruments, notably: the automatic harp, the Tono.phone, the pianino and the military band organ. The entire second half of the references in this year are about the companyÕs move to its new store (in the old, partially-destroyed but rebuilt building).
1906
An announcement is made for the Wurlitzer Player Piano. The company moves into new showrooms in Chicago and opens a Lexington, KY, branch. Wurlitzer becomes a major distributor of Victor and Edison talking machines and records. The company ordered $340,000 worth of instruments from the de Kleist Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company. On Feb. 5, 1906, Wurlitzer ran a two-page advertisement in the MTR. It is entitled ÒOpen Letter to the Music Trade.Ó The letter reads:

ÒIt is a well-known fact that the music dealers throughout the country are laboring under a disadvantage through the competition of the large wholesale and retail mail order houses who do business on a lower margin of profit than the music trade have been accustomed to.
ÒAfter a great deal of consideration, we decided when we printed our last catalog to base our prices on a net 30-day basis, and in this way put the music dealers throughout the country in a position to buy goods at the right prices in such a way as to be able to meet the competition of the mail order houses.Ó
The second page has an extensive price list. Music dealers would note that WurlitzerÕs prices were lower than other jobbers.
Wurlitzer began manufacturing perforated rolls for its automatic instruments this year. The company celebrated its semi-centennial. For the 50th anniversary, Wurlitzer eliminated commissions on piano sales, giving buyers the full benefit of the price. The mandolin-quartette was reported to be doing good business.
1907
There are a number of reports of sales to Peter Bacigalupi of San Francisco, CA. These included band organs for skating rinks and automatic musical instruments. BacigalupiÕs building was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
1908
There was an announcement that Wurlitzer was handling pianos from Phillipps in Germany. The company also opened a branch in New York City this year. A Wurlitzer Piano-Orchestra (made by Phillipps) was sold to a cafŽ for $6,000. Wurlitzer purchased a harp, guitar and mandolin factory. Steinway pianos continued to be their biggest seller. Wurlitzer incorporated as the Wurlitzer Manufacturing Co. It is interesting to note that the location listed in the incorporation paperwork is North Tonawanda, NY, and Eugen de Kleist is the first vice-president. The capitalization was listed as $1 million.
1909
Since no issues from 1909 are avail.able for the MTR, we switch to The Presto for this year. An article in that magazine carried an item stating that Wurlitzer had declared a dividend of one and one-half percent.
1910
Wurlitzer lost the Steinway agency for Cincinnati this year because they were not selling the Steinway Pianola in good faith. Aeolian (Duo-Art) complained to Steinway that Wurlitzer was making disparaging remarks about the Steinway Pianola.
ÒSteinway took exceptions to these statements on the ground that such public utterances from an accredited Steinway representative had the effect to prejudice the buying public against paying a higher price for either the regular Steinway or the Steinway Pianola pianos.Ó
Wurlitzer wanted to continue the sale of regular Steinway pianos and demanded that Steinway fulfill its contract by delivering pianos. This was a major headline occupying a full page in the Mar. 12, 1910, edition of the MTR. Finally, Steinway relented and agreed to supply pianos until June 1 (rather than March 22) in order to comply with the contract.
Wurlitzer then signed an agreement to carry Chickering and Knabe pianos in Chicago.
This was the year Wurlitzer nego.tiated a purchase of the Hope-Jones Company. Hope-Jones made large theater organs and became the proto.type of the ÒMighty Wurlitzer.Ó
It seems Wurlitzer first talked Hope-Jones into sharing WurlitzerÕs North Tonawanda plant. The following week Wurlitzer announced the outright purchase of Hope-Jones.
Wurlitzer reported a banner year with $2.8 million in sales over the year.
Wurlitzer signed a new agreement for agency with Hohner Harmonicas. It is notable since a few years prior, Wurlitzer had argued with Hohner over WurlitzerÕs 30-day net sales policy and refused to supply harmonicas to the company.
Farney Wurlitzer (son of Rudolph) got married this year. Wurlitzer contin.ued to sell Steinway pianos after its agency expired. Steinway got an injunction against Wurlitzer to refrain from selling Steinway products. Stein.way lifted the temporary injunction for mysterious reasons a few weeks later. Not long after, Wurlitzer sued Steinway for not delivering promised pianos and charging Wurlitzer more for pianos than other dealers (against the terms of the contract).
1911
Wurlitzer planned to expand their North Tonawanda plant. The company came up with a plan to pay its sales.men commissions, thereby reversing its position of several years ago. However, future notices continued to state that Wurlitzer had a no-commis.sion policy. So, we are left to wonder what was going on?
1912
Wurlitzer opened a store selling automatic musical instruments only in Detroit, MI. In addition, the following is a quote:

ÒThe Wurlitzer Co. is publishing advertisements in the local papers with the caption ÒNew Steinway Pianos at greatly reduced prices.Ó
How could they be selling Steinway again?
1913
Wurlitzer stopped carrying Edison phonographs. The company added $3 million in capitalization, making the total capitalization $4 million. Rudolph is now 82 years old. A Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra was sold this year to the Cort Theater and Century Theater, both in New York. There is a description of a skating rink organ in the newspaper clipping at left on this page.

The Wurlitzer-Steinway suit was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Eugen de Kleist died in Spain.
Wurlitzer continued to sell many ÒMotion Picture Orchestras.Ó
1914
Rudolph Wurlitzer died this year at the age of 83. The funeral was held Jan. 20, 1914. Howard Wurlitzer took over as company president.
Robert Hope-Jones also died this year. Howard Wurlitzer has an operation for appendicitis. The war in Europe would affect the Wurlitzer CompanyÕs ability to obtain small instruments made largely in Germany and Austria.
1915
Wurlitzer exhibited a Unit Orchestra at the Panama Pacific Exhibition in San Francisco, CA. Organs and orchestri.ons for motion picture theaters were reported to be flying off the shelves in this year. Wurlitzer incorporated the Artola Piano Company of North Tonawanda, NY.
1916
Wurlitzer opened up a new recital hall primarily to demonstrate the Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra. The American Steel and Wire Company placed an advertisement in the MTR touting the ÒGreatest Orchestral Organ in the World.Ó
Notice that it wasnÕt Wurlitzer that placed this ad!
Not to be outdone, Wurlitzer placed a full-page cover ad for the Wurlitzer piano (see facing page) twice this year.
Wurlitzer erected a large illuminated sign on Broadway and Fortieth Street in New York City this year that read ÒWurlitzer Player Pianos.Ó
1917
Sales of theater organs remained strong. Several full-page cover ads were taken out to promote the Wurlitzer harp. (See Page 21 for an example of this ad.)
1918
There are many announcements about employees of Wurlitzer going off to war (including HowardÕs son, Raymond). Q.R.S. took over the Wurlitzer roll cutting plant this year. The plant cut Rolla Artis Rolls in North Tonawanda. As part of this deal, Wurlitzer placed an order with
Q.R.S.
for $2 million worth of rolls.

Q.R.S.
would later move everything to DeKalb, IL.

1919
The Apollo Piano Company bought the Melville Clark Piano Company this year. The interesting thing that is not really divulged in the trade press, is the fact that Wurlitzer supplied the money and was on the board of directors of Apollo. This gave Wurlitzer a line of standard pianos and Apollo Player Pianos. They continued to pretend that Apollo was a separate company. They would use the Apollo name for players and the Wurlitzer name for standard pianos.
1920
Farney Wurlitzer suffered an attack of appendicitis this year. Farney was president of the manufacturing division. Miss Pauline Pabst married Raimond Wurlitzer (the son of Howard Wurlitzer).
1922
Wurlitzer placed a full-page adver.tisement in the MTR noting that the family line of Wurlitzer could be traced back to a Saxon village 200 years ago where Hans Andreas Wurlitzer once made violins. (See Page 16.)
1923
A number of full page ads were placed in the MTR reproducing the text of an advertisement taken out in the Saturday Evening Post.
1924
Wurlitzer was still talking about the company carrying the ÒApollo Repro.ducing PianoÓ even though it was a major stakeholder in the company. Wurlitzer opened a radio department in Cincinnati, OH.

1925
Wurlitzer announced, in a full page ad, the creation of the Wurlitzer Grand Piano Company of DeKalb, IL, that would make grand pianos and repro.ducing grands. This was the location of the old Melville Clark Piano Company.
The ad invites dealers to carry these pianos. The DeKalb plant would discontinue making uprights while the North Tonawanda plant would make them exclusively.
Wurlitzer announced new antique-finish grand pianos, including the Jacobean in a two-page ad. There were 15 antique models available. (An example of an ad for the period grands can be seen on Page 18.)
Wurlitzer continued placing full-page ads in the MTR in order to recruit dealers.
1926
The MTR printed a full-page article about the Wurlitzer North Tonawanda plant. (See Page 19.) There are several full-page ads for the company in the same issue. One ad discusses the Wurlitzer Òone priceÓ policy where a small dealer pays the same for a piano as does a large dealer.
1927
Rudolph H. Wurlitzer became president of the company this year and Howard became chairman of the board of directors.
Wurlitzer ran a full-page cover ad this year promoting the resale of pianos. Wurlitzer also announced a nine-foot concert grand piano. Wurlitzer took out another cover-page ad to discuss its reproducing pianos and metal action (which it stated were impervious to heat or changes in mois.ture). The reproducing piano featured the Apollo reproducing action.
The MTR carried an article about the Wurlitzer action.
1928
Howard Wurlitzer retired from active participation in the business. He died in November. He was 57 years old.
Wurlitzer placed a cover, two-color ad announcing the Treasure Chest of Music (the piano that plays for you).

An announcement was printed in MTR noting that Cyril Farney, manager of the grand piano division, married Phyllis Holt. There are a large number of cover page ads for the companyÕs products throughout this year.
1929
Rudolph H. Wurlitzer was quoted in an article talking about the future of theater organs now that talking pictures are present. In the article he declared that the public would not tolerate the elimination of the organs and their favorite organists.
1931
The Wurlitzer CompanyÕs New York store placed an ad this year pledging to retain its employees. The ad also said that its robust business necessi.tated the employment of extra people.
The company used its ads to encourage people to turn to music

Òin times like theseÓ for relief and relaxation. ÒDonÕt deprive yourselves or your children of music,Ó the ads read. These advertisements were also placed in leading newspapers.
1933
For 1933, we switch to The Presto magazine, since issues of the MTR are not available. The first thing I noticed was a full-page ad stating ÒWurlitzer Pianos are the pianos you can sell.Ó
Wurlitzer announced ÒA Century of ProgressÓ grand piano designed by Russel Wright. Wurlitzer started calling itself ÒWurlitzer and SonsÓ for the first time in 1933.
The company announced a new Simplex automatic phonograph. It is described as a coin-operated Òjukebox.Ó It was designed by Homer Capehart, who went on to design many innovative phonographs, includ.ing the famous Capehart changer for home use.
Summary
With the introduction of the juke.box, our journey ends. The days of automatic musical instruments are drawing to a close. So what conclu.sions can we draw? First, there are 1,594 issues of the MTR that mention Wurlitzer and there are 10,115 instances of the name found in those articles. I went through every one of them to write this article!
Similarly, a search on the name ÒSeeburgÓ yields 838 issues with 5,343 instances. So, contrary to what we may have thought previously, it is clear now that there are almost twice as many issues of the magazine that mention Wurlitzer as there are issues that mention Seeburg. Both Art Reblitz and myself were amazed by this result.

In discussing this discovery, Art and I agreed that we probably didnÕt notice WurlitzerÕs presence in the musical trade press because it was Seeburg who was principally involved in mechanical music machines, whereas Wurlitzer sold small instruments, antique violins, large instruments, coin-operated automatic music machines, orchestrions, band organs, theater organs, harps, upright and grand pianos of many manufacturers and player pianos.
The majority of the references to the Wurlitzer name are simply items describing family visits to a city, leaving or arriving on vacation, trips to Europe, South America, etc. A large number of references also focus on how well the business was doing, real estate transactions, moving and open.ing branches, remodeling, clearance sales, etc. Of chief importance to the music trade were announcements that Wurlitzer would handle certain lines of products in a city (agency).
The advertisements placed by the company were largely for Wurlitzer pianos and were directed at the deal.ers. Ads directed to the general public were placed in the major newspapers and magazines (such as The Saturday Evening Post).
From these references to Wurlitzer you can get some idea of the history of the company. There are, however, scant mentions of the specifications for the various machines or even what models were available. Every time a large instrument was sold, there would be a notice indicating the buyer and the price. This was especially true of the Wurlitzer Theater Organs (Hope-Jones Organs). Wurlitzer manufactured nearly 2,250 theater organs for use in the silent films. Many theaters would compete to obtain the largest organ.
There is an extremely interesting book on the history of Wurlitzer, entitled ÒWurlitzer of Cincinnati, the Name That means Music to MillionsÓ by Mark Palkovic (The History Press). It covers the families, the early years, the retail stores, the theater organs, the jukeboxes, pianos and harps, and even refrigerators made by the company.
Now it is apparent to me that Wurlitzer was not invisible in the musical trade press but rather proudly represented throughout its long history.

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 September/October, 2016 issue of The AMICA Bulletin.

2022 MBSI Annual Meeting, joint with the Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Association
Save these dates! Wednesday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 5
By Robert Thomas
A rare joint convention is the best way to meet others passionate about your hobby. As an AMICAn I enjoyed working with MBSI members on this convention so much that I joined MBSI in order to attend the great MBSI convention in Ft. Myers, FL, in 2021.
Should you make plans to attend this upcoming meeting, IÕm sure you will find new friends and have a marvelously enjoyable time. San Francisco summer weather is never too hot, so bring a jacket and you’ll be comfortable the entire trip. The Bay Area is visually stunning and one featured attraction during this convention is a steam-train ride through a beautiful redwood forest.
A detailed schedule will be available at www.mbsi.org soon, but here are the event highlights.
One full day of workshop presentations will introduce you to a variety of inter.esting topics. Bruce Newman will discuss adventures in restoration and Dave Corkrum will show how he manufactures and duplicates music box discs. Other sessions will cover music box comb tuning, photographing your instruments, publishing magazine articles, and various restoration projects. A harp concert is also scheduled during the workshops.
Several optional tours (an additional cost not included in basic convention registration) will each include bus trans.portation and lunch.
During the first tour, on Thursday, you can spend a day on the Roaring Camp Steam Railroad and take a train trip to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Carousel. The route through the redwood forest and the scenery at the beach might cause you to start snapping pictures like Hollywood paparazzi.

A view from the seats inside the Paramount Theatre.

On Friday morning, Dave Calendine will play a stunning Wurlitzer organ concert at the art deco Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA. One note is that the theaterÕs organ is currently undergoing restoration, so if the organ restoration has not been completed in time, another beautiful theater will be visited instead.
That afternoon, two additional tour choices will be available to enjoy. First up is the Victorian house tour in San Francisco that includes time for a comprehensive visit to the Reutlinger/ Skinner and Philip Straus collections. PhilipÕs Mason and Hamlin AMPICO has a vast roll collection, so IÕm sure you will find some of your favorites to play. If you would like to stay outdoors, the other afternoon tour will visit Fisherman’s Wharf and take a Bay Cruise. This is a good option for those who do not wish to navigate the many narrow sets of stairs found on the Victorian Tour. The wharf has great restaurants and you can visit the wonderful MusŽe MŽchanique.
Then, there is the Alcatraz Night Tour

Adam Swanson

that affords a magnificent view of San
Francisco Bay from the former prison. People who have taken the tour before say you will get to experience what the islandÕs former inmates once did, hearing the excitement and joy of San Francisco while you are stuck locked up in a dark cell feeling very far away from the world.
For entertainment during the annual meeting, the annual meeting organizing committee has arranged for four fantastic performers to demonstrate their skills. IÕm sure you’ll be impressed!
Should you want to get a preview so you know what to expect, please go to YouTube and check each of the following folks out. IÕm sure their live performances will be even more memorable.
Adam Swanson is an amazing musicolo.gist and ragtime pianist from Durango, CO. His song introductions are filled with neat information and his music is characterized

A Ramey banjo orchestra and Hupfeld Phonoliszt Violina in Lyle Merithew and Sandy SwirskyÕs home in San Jose, CA.
as Òsunshine from the fingers.Ó
Frederick HodgesÕ performance
features flash musical fire and excitement.
He specializes in the polished piano music of the 1920s and Õ30s, bringing your favorite novelty piano rolls to life. He will present his orchestra at the banquet on Sunday.
Matt Tolentino plays and sings early 20th century music and his accordion will echo in your imagination. His amusing song selections, full of surprises, are sure to bring smiles to everyone.
Mentioned previously, Dave Calen.dine, the musical voice of the Detroit Red Wings, will be performing on the Mighty Wurlitzer.
The whole shebang starts on Wednes.day, Aug. 31, with the AMICA Board and MBSI Board of Trustees holding official meetings. Then Adam SwansonÕs concert takes place later that evening. Thursday and Friday are tour days, while Saturday is workshop day.
A general Mart featuring many attrac.tive items for sale will be held Sunday with a banquet that evening where the Frederick Hodges Orchestra will enter.tain the crowd.
Monday is a day for visiting local collections and it is often a highlight of these conventions. You may engage your own transportation or there are optional (additional cost) bus tours.
Bob and Judy Caletti will welcome guests into their Menlo Park, CA, home to view the rare music boxes, musical clocks, wonderful pianos and orchestri.ons in their collection.
Sandy Swirsky and Lyle Merithew, in San Jose, CA, also have an outstanding collection that includes rare juke boxes, a Ramey banjo orchestra, a Hupfeld Phono.liszt Violina, and beautiful stained glass art and quilting they have created.
Marc and Marguerite Kaufman, in Woodside, CA, have an extensive rare music box collection, musical clocks and a Steinway Spirio reproducing piano full of great music.
The Marriott San Mateo/San Francisco Airport hotel is where the convention will be hosted. It is about 20 minutes south of San Francisco International Airport on U.S. Highway 101.
The convention room rate is $119 per day plus tax, including self-parking and guest room wi-fi. The restaurant is open
6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The convention rate will be available as soon as registration opens. Registration materials can be obtained at the MBSI website, www.mbsi.org. A link to the MBSI website will also be provided on the AMICA website at www.amica.org. A registration packet is included with this edition of Mechanical Music and will be available in the next edition of the AMICA Bulletin.

One portable phonograph collection begets another
By Harold Peter
The cover photo on the January/ February 2021 issue of Mechanical Music along with Rick SwaneyÕs article on his collection of portable phonographs (which I finally got around to reading) inspired me to take these photos of my portable phonograph.
I purchased it in a resale shop in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, in the 1980s while living/working in the U.K. It was described as a Òpicnic phonographÓ and included three albums of approximately 6-inch, two-sided, 78-rpm records. Eight of these albums were made by Marspen and 10 were made by Mimusa.
Marks and Spenser (Marspen) is a Brit.ish department store which had 53/8-inch to 6-inch records made circa 1926. Mimusa was owned by Crystalate Gramaphone Record Mfg. Co. and made 51/2-inch and 6-inch records from 1921 through 1930. These were primarily records featuring songs for children and they were sold exclusively by Woolworths in the U.K. for $6 each.
My portable phonograph is not currently operational because of a broken governor spring. The only markings on it are in German, stamped on the reproducer. The speaker horn appears to be plastic imita.tion tortoise shell and it mounts directly on the reproducer. The mica reproducer diaphragm is damaged.

Almost Alive:

This Accordeo-Boy automaton was found in Italy by Cleveland, OH, millionaire John Baird who brought it to the U.S.
Photo courtesy Ron Schmuck, The Great Canadian Nickelodeon Company Limited An Accordeo-Boy as seen in MusŽe MŽchanique, Les Gets, France. Photo by Cory Doctorow on Flickr.
Automatic musical instruments and mechanical devices grew in size and novel new automata appeared in public as entertainments.1
Simply stated, automata are mechanical devices that are relatively self-operating such as robots. A more precise definition is offered by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary which describes them as mechanisms designed to automatically follow a predetermined sequence of operations or to respond to encoded instructions. By extension, most automatic musical instruments can be viewed within this definition. The most widely accepted definition of an automa.ton, however, is a machine that mimics the actions of living creatures.
History has seen many creations of this sort. In 10th century BC China, a manuscript describes an engineer named Yen Shi who presented the king with a life-sized, human-shaped figure with mechanical abili.ties. There are accounts of automata during the Han Dynasty in China dating to the 3rd century BC where it is recorded that an automated orchestra was constructed and entertained the emperor. Automata were also popular in China during both the Sui Dynasty (581-615) and the Tang Dynasty (618-907) where automata served as entertainment at the imperial court. Records describe both animal and human automata including flying birds, an otter, a monk and singing women.2
Examples exist of early Greek and Roman statues that mimicked living beings placed within the temples of their ancient gods. Utilizing steam, water and moving weights, these automata were designed to awe the populace.3
Over the years advances in mechan.ical devices gave inventors more capabilities. In 1206 Arab inventor Al-Jazari created an automatic musical instrument housed within a small boat that sailed upon a lake and entertained dinner guests with music played by miniature musicians. The boat was likewise rowed and steered by miniature sailors.4
In the 14th century European clock.works included animated characters in their creations. In the late 1400s, DaVinci designed a mechanical knight and other automata followed in succeeding centuries. The 16th century
A view of music roll and rear of Accordeo-Boy. Photo courtesy Ron Schmuck, The Great Canadian Nickelodeon Company Limited
was when Renaissance gardens came to life with hydraulic automata and in the 17th and 18th centuries, life-like miniature mechanical creatures and toys became a craze with wealthy Europeans.5
The 18th century was a time of curiosity and technological progress. It was a time of spectacular shows where the public was exposed to a fascinating mix of scientific inven.tions and magic tricks. Those who built mechanical musical instruments and automata made clever use of the effect of self-moving objects. Mech.anisms were concealed in a box or underneath the clothing of the dolls.6
In 1737, Vaucanson unveiled his automated flute player. The automa.ton was a life-size figure of a shepherd that played the tabor and the pipe and had a repertoire of 12 songs. When it was put on display, it is reported that ÒEveryone in Paris would queue up for a ticket to see and hear VaucansonÕs mechanical flute player perform. Was it real? Did the man-sized doll in fact conceal a human being?Ó According to historians, this automaton was the first mechanical device to perform a series of mechanical procedures long enough and complex enough to provide a credible imitation of life.7
In 1773, inventor, watchmaker, and instrument maker John Joseph Merlin built a life-size automaton swan employing 30 pounds of silver, much to the amazement of all who paid to hear it play and see it in action.8 Hundreds of automata of various sizes were created by European craftsmen that copied any number of human and animal attributes. Many played miniature musical instruments such as pianos, dulcimers, flutes, drums, fifes, etc.
The era following World War I saw great advances in automatic musical instruments. Factories which had produced war materials were now able to use their equipment and skills to produce items for the general public. After the desolation of the war, Europeans sought to forget their prob.lems with more lively entertainment. CafŽs, dance halls and places of enter.tainment grew at an exponential rate and inventors hurried to provide new and unusual forms of entertainment. The need for creative and exciting inventions to distract and amuse the people became evident.
Restaurants and cafŽs seeking new diversions looked to novel automatic musical instruments, especially some.thing that could play the latest music craze, jazz. The perfect example of this is found in the artistry of the early 1920s when the automaton called Accordeo-Boy was first released. The lifelike Accordeo-Boy was a type of musical automaton, complete with realistic moving parts. Offered for sale by J. Bodson of Paris, the Accordeo-Boy was a life-sized musi.cal automaton, built especially to entertain patrons of a cafŽ, bistro, or restaurant.9

Imagine a crowded cafŽ and this life.like automaton displayed against one wall. He is seated on a raised platform with an accordion in hand and drums at his feet. After a patron inserts a coin, he begins to ÒplayÓ music while the patrons eat and drink. What an experience it must have been for people dining, listening to the music, and viewing something so unique.
Accordeo-Boy, complete with moving eyes, lips, head, fingers and eyebrows, played selections on his accordion and accompanied himself with drums. Although it is quite clear that he is not a real musician, the illusion is very convincing. For a cafŽ owner at the time, not only did this invention eliminate the need for and cost of live musicians, but it kept the diners entranced by the novelty of the act.
Some believe the face of the Accord.eo-Boy character was modeled after a French singer named Tino Rossi who was popular in the 1930s. Others claim he looks like a young Maurice Cheva.lier. Accordeo-Boy was designed before 1923, which is when he was first released. Therefore, the most likely comparison is to someone who was well-known before that release date. French accordion player and composer Fredo Gardoni was famous from 1918 to 1945 and is therefore the best candidate.10 A photo presented with this article shows the similarity.
A few years later, in 1928, the Double Tino was released. Similar to the Accordeo-Boy in that it featured the sound of the accordion and drums, this instrument features two band members. One of the characters plays only the accordion and the other, as the drummer, plays the snare and bass drums as well as cymbals. The drummer character is much younger looking than the accordionist and is of African descent.
Watching the Double Tino play together is a treat. With two enter.tainers, there is more action in the animation. To make it more realistic, the duo seem to be having a conversa.tion while playing and the accordionist taps his foot to the rhythm of the music.
According to the experts at auction company RM Sotheby, examples of surviving Accordeo-Boy and Double Tino automata were found to have been manufactured by Gastaud et Raibaut of Nice, France, for Maison Bodson of Paris, France. The drums on most machines read, ÒPneuma Accordeon JazzÓ and in small print, ÒJ. Bodson, 70 Rue de Tournelles, Paris.Ó It is likely that this is the original advert as it appears on photos of the product from Bodson. Variations in the advertisement were made over the years as the drum skins were replaced.11

The role of the firm of J. Bodson was likely that of sales office and distributor. Orders were then placed with Gastaud et Raibaut for the manu.facture of each instrument. Bodson had been involved in the manufacture of pianos at his location beginning in 1913 as reported in the ÒFacteurs of Pianos ˆ Paris.Ó12
Surviving machines sport accordi.ons with various labels, demonstrating that the accordion was supplied by other companies. Accordion manu.facturers include Giorgini Eugen, the French Maugein, the Italian Scandalli, and the German-made Hohner.
Dimensions of the 1923 Accord.eo-Boy show its length at 60 inches
(1.50 meters), width at 36 inches

Double Tino display at the Volo Auto Museum, Volo, IL

meters). The weight was increased to accommodate the second automaton and his gear. The view inside the base reveals that the instruments utilize paper rolls and a wind chest much like those found in many nickelodeons.
In the Spring/Summer 1977 (Vol. 23, No. 2) issue of Mechanical Music, two advertisements for the Bodson automata appeared which have been reproduced for this article.
The Bodson automata are rare today. Many were likely destroyed during the chaos and calamity of World War II. Others may have been simply discarded when their novelty wore thin and their employment was no longer useful in a commercial setting. The cost to repair these instruments was also a factor in their disappearance. The few remaining are spread amongst collectors and muse.ums across the globe. Research shows there are two Accordeo-Boys and two Double Tinos in the United States. One of each is currently displayed at the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, IL.

Footnotes
1 ÒRoaring Twenties Paris,Ó Time Out, April 14, 2015. https://www.timeout.com/paris/en/ roaring-twenties-paris
2 Penna, Robert. ÒCuriouser and Curiouser: The Amazing Silver Swan,Ó Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, November/ December 2021
3 ÒThe History of Early Automata,Ó History Computer, https://history-computer.com/ concepts/the-history-of-early-automata/
4 Penna, Robert. ÒThe Genius of Al-Jazari: An Automatic Musical Instrument from the 13th Century,Ó Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, July/August 2020
5 ÒHistory of Automata,Ó Falmouth Art Gallery, https://automata.falculture. org/a-brief-history-of-automata-and-mechan.ical-toys/
6 Van Dijk, Marian ÒHet Zijn Net Mensen: They Are Almost Human,Ó Robots Love Music, Utrecht: Museum Speelklok, 2018. https://www. researchgate.net/publication/327648457_Van_
Zijl_A_G_W_2018_Robots_love_Music_Do_ they_In_Robots_love_Music_Catalogue_of_ an_exhibition_pp_60_-75_Utrecht_Museum_ Speelklok
7 Norman, J. ÒJacques VaucansonÕs Autom.ata: Complex Enough to Provide a Credible Imitation of Life,Ó HistoryofInformation.com https://historyofinformation.com/detail. php?id=412
8 Penna, Robert. ÒCuriouser and Curiouser: The Amazing Silver Swan,Ó Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, November/ December 2021
9 ÒAccordeo Boys,Ó The History of Music Machines, Volo Auto Museum, https://www. volocars.com/blog/history-of-music-machines
10 ÒBoson Double Jazz-Musette Automa.ton,Ó Nickelodeon Company Memories, 2021. http://www.nickelodeonco.com/bodson-double.tino.html
11 ÒBodson Double Tino,Ó RM Sotheby, February 2012 https://rmsothebys.com/en/ auctions/MH12/The-Milhous-Collection/lots/ l770/187821

12 Facteurs de Pianos ˆ Paris, http://www. lieveverbeeck.eu/Paris_fabricants_arr3.htm

Interesting Tidbits

This oddly-shaped piano can be found tucked in a corner of the Xiamen Piano Museum located on Gulangyu Island in the Xiamen province of China. According to www.chinatravel. com, the island is known as the piano island because the 20,000 residents there own an impressive 620 pianos amongst them.
The Piano Museum exhibits more than 100 pianos, some world-famous.
The pianos were collected from the Americas, Australia, Britain, Austria, and France by Hu Youyi, an overseas patriotic Chinese, who was born on Gulangyu Island.
The gems in this collection include a gold-plated piano and a piano created by Muzio Clementi in the year 1801. Few pianos in the world are actually crafted by pianists so it is considered a rare piece. The collection also includes some hand-cranked auto.mated musical instruments.
The first two halls of the museum opened in 2000. To get to the museum, take the ferry from Xiamen to reach Gulangyu. The Piano Museum is located at 45 Huangyan Road, on the islandÕs opposite side.
For more, visit www.chinatravel. com/xiamen/attraction/piano-museum

The Hunt

Story and photos by Thomas Kuehn
Those of you who know me realize that my main interest in automatic musical instruments began with band organs. Over the years it has evolved to include various other types of pneu.matic instruments but not so much with musical boxes. I have seen and heard many cylinder and disc boxes in personal collections, some local, at various locations around the U.S. and overseas. Perhaps it was simply seeing so many examples of these types of mechanical music boxes that led me to feel I should acquire at least one disc musical box so I could better appreciate the subtleties in the design, construction and operation of these instruments. I also wanted to have a good example to demonstrate to visi.tors. While many years have passed since I purchased my 15. inch Poly.phon disc at a local swap meet, I still remember my hunt and the enjoyment of finding just the right piece to add to my collection.
My selection criteria involved find.ing an instrument that played discs of moderate size, not very small ones nor difficult-to-find monsters. Table-top models were of less interest to me as they would require a separate stand or table to rest on. Console models or perhaps a changer would be best. I like to personally inspect an instru.ment before making a final decision to purchase, and that usually means it needs to be within one dayÕs driving distance from our home. This is a severe limitation as most instruments offered for sale while I was in the market were near the east or west coasts, which is quite a bit more than a dayÕs drive from Minnesota.

One of the best investments I have made over the years has been my
Column Graphic by Mary Clegg
membership in MBSI where I learned much from collectors and restorers who know more than I do. Another of my good habits is purchasing books written by knowledgeable authors in the field of mechanical music. In preparation for a potential purchase of a disc-playing music box, I read through the sections on disc musical boxes in the ÒEncyclopedia of Auto.matic Musical InstrumentsÓ by Q. David Bowers, ÒCollecting Musical Boxes and How to Repair ThemÓ by Arthur W. J. G. Ord-Hume and his later book, ÒThe Musical Box A Guide for Collectors.Ó I did not have a copy of the more recent book, ÒThe Encyclo.pedia of Disc Musical Boxes 1881-1920 A History, Catalogue Raisonne, and AppreciationÓ by Q. David Bowers, so I ordered a copy from our sister organization, the Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Association (AMICA).
Meanwhile, my search for a box located close enough to me to inspect continued online. One instrument that caught my attention was a Regina 15. inch style 40 console with double combs and a Vernis Martin finish. It was located in an antique shop in southeastern Wisconsin, about a four-hour drive away. This model met all my criteria. It had mid-size discs, a console configuration and was within the driving distance I found acceptable. I read once again Ord-HumeÕs comments on Regina music boxes. ÒIn quality the instru.ments were outstanding on every point with finely-arranged music and superb mechanisms. The cabinetwork was also of the highest order.Ó I knew that discs for this size machine were readily available. A phone call was made, a few questions were answered satisfactorily, the instrument was put on hold, and my wife, Hongyan, and I made arrangements to take a day trip to make the personal inspection.
Winter driving in our part of the country comes with its own chal.lenges. The main criterion is to avoid snowstorms. We picked a day between storms that was bitter cold but with good, dry roads. The temperature was -10 degrees Fahrenheit when we left home in the morning. The lowest temperature indicated by our car thermometer was -17 degrees Fahr.enheit as we passed through a valley in western Wisconsin. We saw both the sunrise as we drove east in the morning and the sunset as we neared home in the afternoon. Our schedule brought us to the shop just before noon.

Upon inspection, the Regina cabi.net, although more than 100 years old, showed no sign of abuse and had aged gracefully. The hand-painted flowers on top and on the front of the cabinet appealed to Hongyan as her main hobby is flower gardening. The mechanism had a short bedplate that I understood to be a plus and the machine was supplied with 10 original discs. I brought along my head-mounted magnifier to carefully inspect the combs and dampers and the projections on the underside of the discs. Everything seemed to be in order. A few discs were played. The banjo attachment worked well but I was not then, nor am I now, fond of the sound it produces. The machine was unrestored, but everything seemed to work as intended and it sounded really good. Unrestored instruments are my preference as they exhibit original factory craftsmanship. A price was negotiated, the necessary funds changed hands and the cabinet was carefully wrapped and placed in the back of our vehicle on some blankets we had brought along. Then we began the trek home.
Upon arriving, we carried the cabinet into a heated area so it would not be subjected to the cold garage (recall the outdoor air temperatures mentioned earlier). The next day it was moved into the upper display room. We removed the wrappings and it was allowed to sit for another day so that it could reach thermal equilibrium

The Regina model 40 in its new home.
When a be felt in the cabinet
playing a few tunes.
music box.
your mind! latest issue of
certificates. So, I gave B a

Lid and front doors open showing the disc storage rack.

Originally Published in The Music Trade Review Vol. 65, No. 21 (Dec. 18, 1915)
The Future Of The Piano
I suppose that every practical piano man who happens to possess the faculty of discriminating between one and another quality of tone, and who besides is interested in the general tonal aspects of the piano, must have asked himself why it is that no real improvement has yet been made in the fundamental sound apparatus of this instrument. For quite 200 years the principle of percussion has been understood and applied to stretched strings through special keyboard mech.anism, and yet in all that time there has been scarcely a promise of refining out of existence the defects which the percus.sion system necessarily involves. These defects, of course, lie in the unmalleability of the tone, its incapacity for swelling or diminution and its shortness of duration.
Now, before we undertake to look at a question like this, we should remember that the piano is, as I remarked above, an instrument of percussion. Its strings are struck. Struck strings vibrate in constantly diminishing amplitude from the moment of the stroke, and in conse.quence their sound quickly dies away. Hence the necessity for elaborate machin.ery of soundboard and high-tension wire, whereby the evanescence of the tone may be at least in part checked. Still, it is to be kept in mind that a struck string cannot and will not sustain its tone adequately, and that all the elaborate intensification of construction that we can devise will never overcome fundamental difficulties arising from the percussive origin of the tone.
Soundboard and string improvements sometimes give us a partial remedy through encouraging stronger sympa.thetic vibrations and greater capacity of each string to continue in audible vibra.tion after being struck. But it can never be forgotten that so long as the piano remains a purely percussive instrument it can never do what a piano ought to do, namely, serve as a musically adequate performer of all musical literature.
When the piano action was first devised the inventor (we need scarcely bother about the claims of Marius, Schroeter, or any other would-be rivals of Cristofori) had in mind two ideas, so far as we can judge by critical examination of all data relating to the facts. He seems to have desired: (1) to produce a new form of action for the harpsichord in which the excitation of the strings should be more powerful and involve less frequent replacement of the contact points, and (2) to be able to graduate the dynamic strength of the tone by graduating the force of the finger pressure on the digital. In Cristo.foriÕs day the harpsichord and its kindred were the only keyed stringed instruments and they each suffered from one or other of the defects which Cristofori desired to remedy. The clavichord was dynamically expressive but extremely feeble in tone power. The harpsichord was tonally stronger but incapable of graduation in dynamics. Cristofori therefore could have had no conception of the possibilities of string vibration as we know them, or of how to take advantage of the peculiar color which the vibrating string is now known to possess. His requirements were purely dynamic. He wanted power and gradation of power. The piano action is a development of his idea, uncontaminated with any other. The fact that the piano remained almost unknown for half a century after CristoforiÕs death, and that for a still further fifty years it was virtu.ally only available to the rich, accounts sufficiently for its having remained till now in popular esteem without its pecu.liar defects becoming intolerable. The truth is that the piano has been a popular possession for only about sixty, and has been nationally distributed for only about

thirty-five, years. Thus it is that not till
recently have we come seriously to see Ñ largely by the light which the invention of the player action has thrown on the subject Ñ that the piano is an instrument of very definite and very narrow limita.tions, that its very principle of being is
the cause of its main deficiency, and that
it must sooner or later be vastly improved if indeed it is to survive permanently. I am not so foolish as to suppose that our recently awakened consciousness of the pianoÕs loosening hold on the affections of the public is due to any recognition by them of the facts set forth above. That would be ridiculous, but it would not be ridiculous to remark that the coming of the player-piano has thrown into sharp relief each and every tonal defect in the percussive stringed apparatus. To what extent this revelation has produced a feeling of indifference towards the piano is not for me to say; the reader may draw his own conclusions.
Some change must come before long, and it is for us to consider what the nature of that change should be. It is plain that
we cannot afford to sacrifice one iota of
the string qualities which we have come to associate with the piano. The little
ÒbiteÓ in the tone, the immediate dynamic
response to varied pressure on the digital, the sympathetic harmonious vibration of the soundboard and other strings in response to the damper pedal; these and other characteristics of the piano we must retain because they are irreplace.able as well as musically worthy. But while retaining these qualities we must recognize the need of doing something further; something that perhaps cannot be done for a long time yet, but which is altogether necessary. We must think of some way for giving the piano the power to swell and diminish its tones under the
control of the finger, and we must find
some way of sustaining the tones. We
must do this without sacrificing anything
of the pianoÕs percussive advantages, without substituting any other control for that of key action and hammer.
The Choralcelo and the Lyrachord have shown us that it is possible to sustain string tone by using the string as the armature of an electro-magnet. But even when the pianoÕs ordinary percussive action is used simultaneously with the electro-magnets the electrically-produced tones do not blend well with the others. The tone of a piano string excited by an electro-magnet, which vibrates it as a whole, loses its partial tone complexity, and produces a tone very much similar to that of an open diapason organ pipe. The tone, in short, tends to become an imita.tion of something else. It is beautiful, but it is not what we are thinking of in the present discussion.
There are, I think, two ways in which we may look at this idea without falling into the pits which are digged for the unwary inquirer. One of these relates to the present system of the piano action. As it stands, the piano touch mechanism is as near perfection as machinery can
be. It fulfills almost quite perfectly its
functions. The principle which governs it is the accepted principle of the piano, the principle that the string must be struck a relatively violent blow after a
method which deprives the finger of any hammer control for a definite time before
and after the moment of contact with the string. Unless I am much in error, this fact provides us with a possible outlook towards something better. Some of my readers may remember the Steinertone, a form of piano action devised by the late Morris Steinert of New Haven, Conn, who left his priceless collection of musi.cal instruments to Yale University. The intention of this action was to give the
finger a more extended control over the
movement of the piano hammer through the medium of an action in which an articulated lever was introduced between the repetition lever and the hammer butt. Mr. SteinertÕs experiment was not
commercially profitable and in time was
abandoned; but it served to demonstrate to the satisfaction of many musicians that a change in the system of hammer control is not alone possible, but possesses distinct advantages. The Steinertone touch was wonderfully elastic and responsive. It
permitted the infliction upon the string
of a variety of blows much more nicely graduated with respect to velocity than is ordinarily possible. It permitted the inflic.tion of a much slower stroke on the string. It kept the hammer within one sixteenth inch of the string as long as the key was depressed and permitted instant repetition with a very slight key rise, equivalent to
the old ÒbebungÓ effect of the clavichord.
But it had mechanical disadvantages, and it was impossible for Mr. Steinert to promote it successfully, for reasons not at all discreditable to him. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that be Steinert ideas could and should be further analyzed by somebody who might combine mechan.ical talent with pianistic knowledge. If these ideas are again worked out and improved it will mean that one-half of the indictment against the piano will
fall flat. It will mean elimination of the ÒthrowingÓ idea in favor of a manipula.tion of the hammer by the finger directly;
at least it will mean the beginning of an art which will not reach perfection till this goal has been attained. I have always felt
that the final step in piano perfection will
not be in sight till somebody has found a way of bringing the hammer and the hand into more intimate connection. I do not think that Mr. Steinert quite solved the problem, but I am sure that he took a long step in the right direction. The point to be remembered is that as things stand at present the necessities of repetition
and escapement deprive the finger of its
control over the hammer except in a very limited sense. The aim is, therefore, not to provide an action of the present type which shall perhaps repeat more quickly, but to produce an action which shall push the hammer at the string rather than hurl it, and which shall enable the performer to reproduce, in principle at least, the old ÒbebungÓ effect whereby the clavichord.ist could make a sustained tone by the
mere vibration of his finger on the key. I
believe that this can be done.
There is another direction in which I think the character of the piano may in time be revolutionized. But I should prefer to talk about this at greater length next week.

WE WANT YOUR STORY!
Every mechanical musical instrument has a tale to tell. Share the history of people who owned your instrument before you, or the story of its restoration, or just what makes it an interesting piece. Send stories via email to editor@mbsi.org or mail your story to Iron Dog Media, 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Italians seek compositions for Piano Melodico
Italian Mechanical Music Society and Franco Severi Onlus Foundation partner in contest aimed at generating new mechanical music pieces
The Franco Severi Onlus Foundation has announced a ÒComposition Competition for Mechanical Music,Ó with the aim of enhancing and disseminating mechanical music through the creation of a repertoire of new works. The reference instrument will be a mechanical musical instru.ment called the Piano Melodico.
The Piano Melodico was invented by Giovanni Racca in 1886 and built in Bologna. Approximately 10,000 were built. Racca successfully sold many instruments in Italy and around the world as they were valued for both the aesthetics of the instrument and its musical characteristics. More than 2,000 musical titles were available for the hand-cranked instrument which plays perforated cardboard.
Rules for the competition are as follows. Authors must submit a work for the Piano Melodico and soprano voice, lasting no less than 6 minutes and no more than 10.
The text used must be chosen exclusively from the poetic production of Giosu Carducci; the use of translations in languages other than Italian is excluded.
The competition is open to composers of European nationality, without age limits. Composers of non-Euro.pean nationality can also participate, provided they are permanent residents for reasons of work or study in a country of the European community.
No registration fee is required. The works must be sent in pdf format by email to info@ammi-italia.com no later than Dec. 31, 2022, along with the composerÕs contact details.
The anonymity of the scores is not required. The jury, made up of eminent personalities from the musical world, will select three winning works, for which Associazione Musica Mecanica Italiana (AMMI) will create perforated cardboard that will be used to play the pieces on a Piano Melodico that once belonged to Queen Margherita of Savoy.
On the evening of Feb. 25, 2023, at Villa Silvia Carducci a concert will be held for the performance of the finalist works.
Non-winning scores will not be returned, and will be kept in the AMMI archive.
First prize in the competition is Û3,000, second prize is Û2,000 and third prize is Û1,000. The three finalist compos.ers will also be offered hospitality (room and board) for the period of the final concert. Any travel expenses remain the responsibility of the participants.
The juryÕs decision is unappealable and unquestionable.
The Franco Severi Onlus Foundation, located in the 18th-century Villa Silvia Carducci in Cesena, is the owner of the mechanical musical instruments exhibited at the Musicalia Museum, instruments that the Italian State has declared part of its National Heritage. The villa is of particular importance because Giosu Carducci, first Italian Nobel Prize winner, stayed there for 11 summers as guest of the Countess Silvia Pasolini Zanelli. The villa, now restored, appears as it did when it was prepared for the arrival of Queen Margherita in 1905. In the fifth of the seven rooms of the museum, called the QueenÕs Room, the Piano Melodico that belonged to her is on display.

Automata at auction
By Russell Kasselman
Two rare and fascinating automa were presented at an auction conducted by SothebyÕs in Hong Kong this past October. One additional item was on the auction block in April 2022. One item, a gold and enamel nŽcessaire changed hands while the other did not sell. The auction for the third item had not concluded prior to publication of this article. The following details about each piece are presented here for the purposes of allowing fellow collectors and enthusiasts to share in the joy of such wonderful creations.
The first item of note is a large gold, enamel and pearl-set nŽcessaire (or Etui de Voyage) with watch, music and automaton. The winning bid for this nŽcessaire was slightly more than $794,000 (6,225,000 HKD). The piece includes a pair of gold mounted scis.sors, a gold and enamel knife, a gold and enamel perfume vial, a gold and enamel key, a gold and enamel cuticle stick, a gold and enamel awl and associated fitted presentation box. The item was originally created in Switzerland circa 1800 for the Chinese market and first retailed by Peter Orr, a Scottish watchmaker who traveled to India to make his fortune.
Orr and his younger brother, Alex.ander, arrived in Madras, India, in 1843 taking work as watchmakers for the firm of Gordon & Co. Six years later, in 1849, they would purchase the busi.ness from Gordon and turn it into one of the premier silversmith companies in India, changing the name to P. Orr & Sons.1 In 1876 Peter and Alexander were appointed jewelers and silver.smith to the Prince of Wales. Three years later, the company completed construction of a building on Mount Road, now a landmark in the city, that was built in the Byzantine style of architecture by Robert Chrisholm. The three-faced tower clock installed at the top of the building was connected to the Madras Observatory and corrected hourly to ensure that it was always right on time. The premises were inaugurated by Prince George, Duke of York, who later became King George V, and Princess Mary, who later became Queen Mary.2

Originally purchased by a Maha.rajah, the nŽcessaire was sold to Dr. Eugene Geschwind in the 1960s. It was later sold to the John Asprey Private Collection, part of the House of Asprey that was founded in 1781 by goldsmith, silversmith, and watch.maker William Asprey. Asprey was granted a Royal Warrant for dressing cases in 1862 and earned a gold medal at that yearÕs International Exhibition for the same.3 It is not clear when the nŽcessaire changed hands again, but this is the first time it has been up for auction. The buyerÕs name was not revealed after the auction.
The nŽcessaire has a gold dial with sector for regulator above. A cylinder escapement with three independent trains control time, music and auto.mation. The case is made of gold and both sides are lavishly decorated with polychrome and champlevŽ enamel. It is set with pearls and the top opens to reveal the gold and enamel instruments as well as its key. The instrument compartment is velvet lined and holds a wide selection of various tools to keep oneÕs appear.ance, such as scissors, a scent bottle, a winding key for the mechanisms of the music, automata and watch and many other wonderful curiosities. The base of the case is hinged to reveal, on one side, the watch with cylinder and escapement, on the other side, the automated music scene of a lutenist playing to a performing dog. It measures 84 millimeters in length and 45 millimeters in width. A fitted presentation box signed P. Orr & Sons protects the case when not in use.4
Also known as Etui de Voyage or work boxes, nŽcessaires were carried by fashionable ladies to dispense scent and cosmetics. They became popular in the 18th century. A well-to-do lady staying with friends could demonstrate her taste and wealth by pulling this type of item from her

The case resting on its lid with base compartments The case closed and upright makes for an impressive
open for viewing the automaton and clock.
traveling bags.4
The only other known nŽcessaire of equal size, complexity and value is prominently illustrated and described in ÒAutomataÓ by Chapuis & Droz, pages 181-182. This example is part of the private collection of Hans Wils.dorf, the founder of Rolex.4
The second item in the October 2021 auction that was of significant interest to automata collectors was billed as a magician question-and-answer musi.cal automaton snuff box. It was not reported sold, and information about the item has been removed from the auction page on SothebyÕs website. An informational article about the piece remains, however, and offers intrigu.ing details about the treasure.
The gold, enamel and pearl-set musical automaton snuff box was reportedly made in Geneva, Swit.zerland, around 1815. Measuring 90 millimeters in length and 55
display for anyone pulling this out of a travel bag.

millimeters in width, it comes with polychrome enamel picture that two tunes in a fitted Garrard presen-is based on a painting titled ÒThe tation box. NecromancerÓ by Jean Baptiste Le The lid is decorated with a Prince. The miniaturized version of
the artwork depicts a young man and woman consulting a magician and, while the composition is identical to the original painting, the original gray-haired, elderly necromancer has now been converted to a younger man wearing a turban. The image is set within a frame of pearl-set foliage on a blue enamel ground. The lid opens to reveal an enameled riverside scene depicting a magician seated on a rock under two trees, all of which is executed in colored gold.5
The automation of the magician starts with him presenting the viewer with an English riddle and then provid.ing one of six fixed answers while a musical tune is played. Each of the riddles is recorded on a double-sided gold and enamel tablet, which are all stored in a tiny drawer located at the bottom right of the box. To operate the mechanism, a single tablet is inserted into a slot on the top right of the box. Then the viewer pulls a slide that winds up a mainspring which powers the musical movement and automated movements of the magician.
While the music plays, the magician waves his wand and consults his books. As the tune reaches its end, the magician points his wand towards the board on top of the tree in front of him where the answer to the question appears.
The automaton uses five wheels with cams to produce the motion of the magician. The answer wheel is activated by a plunger that enters the hole and is attached to a chain pulley turning a gear to rotate the plate to the intended position. It is held in place with a spring attached to a toothed wheel that is attached to the underside of the answer wheel. Pushing a slide on the left hand side sets in motion the automaton and the music. The music is driven by a pin barrel and the comb has two tunes selected by a slide at the back of the box.
This is one of only five ques.tion-and-answer magician boxes created. Only four boxes remain in existence today and this is the last one in private hands. This box is considered the most complex in terms of operation. It was purchased at a SothebyÕs auction on June 1, 1964, and has remained with that owner since that time. The pre-auction estimate for the item was between $2.5 and $5.1 million.
Renowned automaton master Pierre Jaquet-Droz produced the first magi.cianÕs automaton clock that appeared in the Chinese market. A pair of these unique pieces were produced in Octo.ber 1787 and presented to the Qianlong Emperor in 1795. Other horologists who subsequently designed or made clocks with question-and-answer fortune tellers include Henri Maillardet

The top picture shows the magician consulting his books during the automation while the bottom picture shows the magician revealing the answer to the riddle with his wand.
and Philippe-Samuel Meylan. The The first period, from around 1795 a figure changed the colors of the design was then adapted into watches. to 1805, saw boxes with magicians columns along a colonnade. These
Magician boxes can be grouped pointing a magic wand that conjured boxes marked the second period, under three main periods, which up hidden singing birds. They were starting around 1805. Miniaturiza.include several different mechanisms. followed by temple boxes, in which tion was a trend with the advent
This gilt-bronze, quarter-striking singing bird musical automaton clock features seven tunes with an animated bird and rotating flower vase on top.

A view of the pierced grill floor through which you can see the movement and mechanical workings of the automaton.
of magician snuff boxes and even magician vinaigrettes (perfume boxes). The most complicated group, the question-and-answer magicians, appeared in both box and vinaigrette formats after 1810.6
The Maurice Sandoz collection houses two of the remaining four boxes, one made of tortoiseshell and gold which does not have questions, and the other made of varicolored gold. A third is housed at the Landesmu.seem Fur Musikautomaten in Seewen, Switzerland.
Looking to our third item, we see that it is a gilt-bronze, quarter-striking singing bird musical automaton clock with seven tunes made, once again, for the Chinese market. Signed Henry Borrell, the automaton is believed to have actually been made by Jaquet-Droz in Switzerland circa 1810.
The octagonal bird cage has base panels with gilt bronze foliate swags and crossed musical instrument trophies. The dome is supported by eight palm trees with pineapple form finials. The dome is crowned with a polychrome vase of flowers. The base is fitted with a two-train fusee-driven quarter and hour striking clock with verge escapement and balance. The singing bird uses bellows and a pinned brass barrel to play one of seven tunes on 10 pipes at the hour or at will. The same cylinder causes the feathered bird to flaps its wings, flutter its tail, open and close its beak to the time of the musical notes and rotate nearly 360 degrees. On the top of the dome, the vase of flowers revolves so that the viewer might appreciate all its beauty. The musical movement and clock.work is visible beneath the pierced grill floor. A separate mechanism for the vase is concealed within the dome.
On the underside are two levers controlling the automata and music. The left-hand lever plays the automata at will. The right-hand lever changes the tune between the seven melodies. Winding is done through an opening in the rear right panel. The clock dial is 2.-inches of white enamel with roman numerals. The piece comes with photocopies of GarrardÕs 1988 invoice, including the description and drawings with labeled schematics detailing the various winding holes and levers. The automaton measures 61 centimeters tall.
The firm of Jaquet-Droz & Leschot, was founded by Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790) in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the mid-18th century. Pierre was later joined by his son Henry-Louis (1752.1791) and protŽgŽ Jean-FrŽdŽric Leschot (1746-1824). In 1784, the business was moved to Geneva, Switzerland. That same year, the firm expanded to London, England, with Henry-Louis and Leschot traveling between the two locations.7
Henry Borrell was a Huguenot clockmaker, born in Switzerland, who moved to London to work. He was known for his fine clocks made for the Chinese and Turkish markets. In 1805 Borrell became a naturalized British subject. Borrell is recorded as living and working at 8 Aldersgate in London in 1794. The following year he moved to 15 Wilderness Row, where he worked until his death in 1840.7
Borrell, born in Couvet in the Canton of Neuchatel, was not far from La Chaux-de-Fonds where Jaquet-Droz & Leschot was founded. Whether Borrell met Jaquet-Droz in Switzerland or later in London is unknown, but examples of their collaboration exist. Another example of a singing bird box with mechanism created by Jaquet-Droz but signed by Henry Borrell is detailed in Sharon & Christian BaillyÕs book, ÒFlights of Fancy,Ó page 105.
Sources
This automaton is one of only two bird cage automaton clocks known that include not only the singing bird but also another automaton featured at the top of the cage. The other clock is in the Palace Museum Clock Collec.tion in the Forbidden City, Beijing.
The automaton bird-cage clock up for auction was first owned by Sir Charles Clore, a wealthy British entre.preneur and philanthropist who made his fortune in finance and real estate. He owned stakes in the Selfridges department store, Garrard, and the bookmaking Agent Benjamin Hill. In 1980 Sir Charles Clore and his daugh.ter Dame Vivien Duffield donated £6 million to the Tate, London, to build the Clore Gallery which houses one of the worldÕs largest collection of works by J. M. W. Turner.
The second owner of the autom.aton bird-cage clock was the firm of Garrard, founded in 1734 by the goldsmith George Wickes. The firm had the distinction of being the first crown jeweler of the United Kingdom. Queen
More online

Smartphone users can scan the QR code above to be taken directly to a video with description of the nŽcessaire and the magician question-and-answer box.
Or go to https://bit.ly/3NXbz8n
Victoria awarded this title to the firm in 1843. They are still in business today simply known as Garrard & Co., Ltd.
The third and current owner is a private collector.

1. https://www.pushkinantiques.com/peter-orr-sons 5. https://watchesbysjx.com/2021/10/enamel-automaton-sothe.
2. https://porrandsons.com/pages/heritage bys-hong-kong-auction.html
3. https://www.asprey.com/us/asprey-heritage 6. https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/when-magic-meets-mechan.
4. https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/ ical-marvels-masterpieces-of-automata
auction/2021/important-watches-5/ 7. https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2022/important-watch.
an-exceptional-and-large-gold-enamel-and-pearl-set es-i/a-rare-and-important-gilt-bronze-quarter-striking

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? The Hunt
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 Email your story to editor Russell Kasselman at
read them all. editor@mbsi.org or mail a copy to:
Editing help is available if you have a story but are
not sure how to organize it or present it. The important MBSI Editorial Offices
thing is to get it down and pass it on for the enjoyment 130 Coral Court
of others. Pismo Beach, CA 93449
We look forward to hearing from you.

Mary Louise Freiheit Ñ1928-2022
By Hope Rider
Recently I received the sad news that my longtime friend, Mary Lou Freiheit passed away. She and her late husband, Harold Freiheit, and my late husband, Frank Rider, and I met through the Mid-America Chapter of MBSI. When we met, shortly after.ward, Harold was elected chair of the Mid-America Chapter. The Freiheits hosted a meeting at their home in Columbus, OH, on the banks of the Scioto river.
She was born in Youngstown, OH, where she grew up with a strong German heritage. English and German were spoken in her home. She attended the Martin Luther Lutheran Church, in which her family was very active, and graduated from South High School in 1946.
She graduated from Capital Univer.sity in Columbus, OH, in 1950, and became certified with the Western Reserve University School for Medical Technologists. She was a member of Delta Phi Alpha, an honorary organi.zation promoting German language and culture. She was a member of the WomenÕs Athletic Association and the Leonard Science Club, and also played womenÕs basketball.
She worked at Youngstown South Side Hospital as chief technician in charge of the Hematology lab from 1950-1952. She later set up and ran the first out-patient clinic lab at ChildrenÕs Hospital in Columbus, OH, from 1952.1954. After a hiatus to be a full-time mom of four boys, she went back to work full time working for Roche Biomedical Laboratories for 22 years, retiring in 1992.
Mary Lou and Harold (ÒHalÓ) Frei.heit were married from 1952 until his

We are presently working on our next Music Machine Auction Event, and still accepting machines, consignments, and collections for this upcoming event. We have already received fine collections of phonographs, music boxes, antique radios and early televisions, along with estate collections that will be sold at our upcoming auction. This flyer will give you a small glimpse of some of the items to be sold. We are expecting music boxes, street organs, radios and a band organ to start to round out this next event.
We are available to pick up and move collections throughout the country and Canada, and are now scheduling our travels for the East and West Coast, Midwest, and southern states. Call us to get our schedule.
We also want everyone to make note of the upcoming Antique Phonograph Society Convention and Show, ÒMidwest Music ExpoÓ, to be held in Schaumburg, Illinois Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12, 2022. We are hoping everyone is able to attend, and/or support the association and their efforts with this first-ever event.

StantonÕs Auctioneers,

Appraisers, & Realtors
(517) 331-8150 cellular
144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146

E-mail Ð stevenEstanton@gmail.com

Vermontville, MI 49096 Phone: (517) 726-0181
Michael C. Bleisch Fax: (517) 726-0060
(517) 231-0868 cellular
E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net

E-mail Ð mcbleisch@gmail.com

Website: www.stantons-auctions.com

passing in 2004.
Mary Lou and her family were long.time members of the Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, where she sang in the choir. She and her husband were members of several local clubs and organizations including the Columbus Historical Society, the Musical Box Society International, the Carousel Organ Association of America, the Ohio Canal Society and the ÔHeart of OhioÕ Postcard Club. The couple spent a lot of time attending music box

Bob Caletti
conventions and enjoyed participating in many parades with their band organ (calliope) on a float. Mary Lou enjoyed traveling with her family. In 2006, she traveled to Transylvania with the Alli.ance of Transylvania Saxons.
Mary Lou was a joyful person, a dedicated wife and mother, a wonder.ful homemaker, a great cook, and a huge inspiration to all who knew her. She was guided by her faith and was a great role model. She was always welcoming and had a pleasant and fun-loving personality. She loved to go dancing. She enjoyed scrapbooking and making crafts with her grandchil.dren, playing in the yard with them, as well as attending their ball games, dance recitals, and band concerts. Even her grandchildren that lived on the west coast felt loved by her by cards and gifts for every holiday, they knew they were not forgotten.

ÑAdditional information gathered from internet sources.

Specializing in Antique Music Box Restorations ¥ Buy ¥ Sell

605 Wallea Dr. Menlo Park, CA 94025 (650) 325-3898
www.musicboxrestorations.com info@musicboxrestorations.com

Our Condolences
MBSI has also learned that the following members have passed away:
Judith Kohlhaas,
Arthur Thompson of Bozman, MD, passed away in December 2021.

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
occasions.
P.O Box 424 Randolph, VT 05060

support.

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

Supplement to

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
ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9
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.

Supplement to

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

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

to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the 1911 Loo. Carousel

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 editor@mbsi.org, call (253) 228-1634
or mail to: Mechanical Music 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Advertise in The Mart Email your ad to editor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634 to place your
ad for the May/June 2022 issue. Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space where you should be installing your next acquisition? Get the word out to other Add a photo to your ad! collectors by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price. Photos are only $30 extra per issue.
Email editor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634 for more details.

GRAND ROLLER ORGAN One of nine in stock Ð some working, some needing work.
Plus: ÉCRITERION 15 .Ó in carved oak case with matching
carved base cabinet. Over 200 discs for it! ÉEUPHONIA 20 .Ó, short bedplate, oak, great sound! ÉMandoline arrangement cylinder box. ÉNINE GRAND ROLLER ORGANS Éa good supply of Grand Roller Organ cobs. 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 much more!
NANCY FRATTI MUSIC BOXES
P.O. Box 400 Ð Canastota NY 13032 USA

315-684-9977 –musicbox@frontiernet.net

LOVELY 1928 CHICKERING AMPICO (A)

THE MART
5Õ4Ó Grand Reproducing Piano with seat RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a bench. Completely restored by Don McDonald
Display Advertising Dimensions and Costs
Dimensions 1 issue 3 issues* 6 issues*
Back Cover 8.75Ó x 11.25Ó $600 $540 $510
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
Eighth Page 3.5Ó x 2.125Ó $50 $45 $43
Add a 10% surcharge to the prices shown above if you are not a member of MBSI.
*Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount

ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.
ADVERTISING DEADLINES:
The 1st day of each even month: Feb., Apr., Jun, Aug., Oct. and Dec.
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.

CLASSIFIED ADS
¥
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

PLEASE NOTE:
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
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.
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.
http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

with new strings and pins, and with a spool frame that will accommodate B rolls. 18 rolls included. Midi system later installed by Bob Hunt with files on included laptop. $19,500.
ALLAN HERSCHELL (WURLITZER) 105
Carousel organ, circa 1926. Complete owner history known. Powerful and runs great. 11 rolls. $20,000. SEEBURG KT ORCHESTRIAN with violin pipes, tambourine, castanets and triangle. Completely restored by Don McDon.ald with new hammers, felts, pins, strings, pneumatics and tubing. Has original Seeburg motor. 7 rolls. $26,000. All reasonable offers considered. Contact BOB ANDREN, at bobkandren@verizon.net or (805) 630-2187
SUBMIT ADS TO:
MBSI Ads 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (253) 228-1634 Email: editor@mbsi.org
REGINA 15-1/2Ó discs (14 supplied) table model style 13, single comb, mahogany, s/ n64120, Oct. 1902, Regina cherub inlay, professionally refurbished. Contact STUART HANSEN, at hansensc@att.net
KNABE MODEL B Ampico 5Õ4Ó Queen Ann style case in figured walnut. Looks and plays great $4,900. Coinola Cupid nickelodeon, completely restored and refinished. Excellent condition. $6,900. Seeburg Greyhound dog race nickelodeon, completely restored and refinished. Excellent condition, $19,900. Faventia street piano on cart. -This one holds its tune well. $690. OIS 20 note electronic street organ on cart over 200 songs on chips excellent condition, $3400. Castlewood Monkey organ on stand, plays great, $2400. Contact BILL & DEE KAVOURAS, at deekav@ aol.com or 352-527-9390
BEAUTIFUL WELTE STYLE 2 COTTAGE ORCHESTRION, outstanding sound, fine pipework with radiating brass trumpets, stunning oak case with gold stenciled glass. 52 KEY GASPARINI FAIR ORGAN, elegant carved and decorated faade with moving figures. COINOLA X ORCHESTRION with beautiful tiger oak case, orchestra bells, and extensive percussion. SEEBURG KT with Xylophone. COINOLA REPRODUCO/SELTZER PHOTOPLAYER tiger grain oak case with piano, violin pipes, flute pipes, and bass pipes. RARE COINOLA C2 orchestrion with flute pipes, percussion, and walnut case.

67 KEYLESS GEBR. BRUDER CAROUSEL ORGAN, impressive carved faade, fantastic sound, large book music library, imported circa 1916 for use on an East Coast carousel, MILLS VIOLANO VIRTUOSO with rolls. WURLITZER STYLE 150 BRASS TRUMPET
band organ with amusement park history. Contact me for more information and photos. If you want to talk mechanical music, give me a call. Contact TIM TRAGER, at Tim@ timtrager.com or P. O. Box 768, Island lake, Illinois 60042. Telephone: 630-269-3059
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
Display Advertisers
3………. Renaissance Antiques 53…….. Tim Trager 55…….. Stanton Auctions 56…….. Music Box Restorations 56…….. Amazing Musical Oddity 57…….. Porter Music Box Company 58…….. MBSGB 58…….. American Treasure Tour 59…….. Golden Gate Chapter 60…….. Reeder Pianos 60…….. Cottone Auctions 61…….. Nancy Fratti Music Boxes 67…….. Marty Persky Music Boxes 68…….. Breker Auctions

Advertise in The Mart
Ready to trade up, but need to sell one of your current pieces first? Get the word out to other collec.tors by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inex.pensive price.
Email your ad to editor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634 with questions.

OFFICERS, TRUSTEES & COMMITTEES of the MUSICAL BOX SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL¨
OFFICERS COMMITTEES Membership Committee Nominating Committee
Chair, TBD Dan Wilson, Chair
President Audit
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
Southeast Southeast
musikwerke@att.net

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
Publications Committee

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 mjaro@verizon.net 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
Sub-Committee
Kuna, ID 83634

Bob Caletti, Trustee Museum Committee
Website Committee

scarletpimpernel28@yahoo.com 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, ekozak1970@gmail.com
Marketing Committee Southeast
Museum Sub-Committees

Bob Smith, Chair David Corkrum, President,
Ohio Operations

Judy Caletti Golden Gate
Rob Pollock, Mid-America

TRUSTEES Donald Caine, Southern California
Meetings Committee
Dave Calendine Jack Hostetler, Southeast
Matt Jaro, Chair, Vice President
Bob Caletti SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Knowles Little, National Capital
Judy Caletti
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
Rich Poppe
G.Wayne Finger Regina Certificates: Rick Swaney, Northwest IntÕl B Bronson
Matt Jaro

MBSI Editorial Office: Tom Kuehn MBSI Pins and Seals: Iron Dog Media Mary Ellen Myers Jacque Beeman 130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Librarian:
editor@mbsi.org
Jerry Maler
Historian:
Bob Yates
MBSI FUNDS

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.
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
May 28-30, 2022 Band and crank organ rally at Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park Roseville, GA Carousel Organ Association of America
Jun. 11-12, 2022 Band and crank organ rally at Shupps Grove Antique Market Reinhold, PA Carousel Organ Association of America
Jun. 17-18, 2022 Circus Calliope and Mechanical Music Festival Peru, IN Carousel Organ Association of America
Aug 29-Sept 3, 2023 MBSI Annual Meeting St. Paul, MN Snowbelt Chapter

Send in your information by Jun. 1, 2022, for the July/August 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 editor@mbsi.org
CONTACTS

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 jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Traveling MBSI Display Bill Endlein 21547 NW 154th Pl. High Springs, FL 32643-4519 Phone (386) 454-8359 sembsi@yahoo.com
Regina Certificates: Cost $5. B Bronson Box 154 Dundee, MI 48131 Phone (734) 529-2087 art@d-pcomm.net
Advertising for Mechanical Music Russell Kasselman Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Phone (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
CHAPTERS
Snowbelt
Chair: Tracy Tolzmann (651) 674-5149 Dues $10 to Gary Goldsmith 17160 – 245th Avenue Big Lake, MN 55309
Southeast
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 rosebud441@juno.com
MBSI website Rick Swaney 4302 209th Avenue NE Sammamish, WA 98074 Phone (425) 836-3586 r_swaney@msn.com
Web Secretary Knowles Little 9109 Scott Dr. Rockville, MD 20850 Phone (301) 762-6253 kglittle@verizon.net
CHAPTERS
East Coast
Chair: Elise Low (203) 457-9888 Dues $5 to Roger Wiegand 281 Concord Road Wayland, MA 01778 or pay via PayPal, send to treasurer.eccmbsi@gmail.com
Golden Gate
Chair: Jonathan Hoyt jenjenhoyt@yahoo.com Dues $5 to Dave Corkrum 5826 Roberts Ave. Oakland, CA 94605
Japan
Chair: Naoki Shibata 81-72986-1169 naotabibito396amb@salsa.ocn.ne.jp Treasurer: Makiko Watanabe makikomakiko62@yahoo.co.jp
Lake Michigan
Chair: Aaron Muller (847) 962-2330 Dues $5 to James Huffer 7930 N. Kildare Skokie, Illinois 60076

Mid-America
Chair: Rob Pollock (937) 508-4984 Dues $10 to Harold Wade 4616 Boneta Road Medina, OH 44256
National Capital
Chair: Ken Gordon (301) 469-9240 Dues $5 to Florie Hirsch 8917 Wooden Bridge Road Potomac, MD 20854
Northwest International
Chair: Rick Swaney (425) 836-3586 Dues $7.50/person to Kathy Baer 8210 Comox Road Blaine, WA 98230
Piedmont

Temp Chair: Dan Wilson (919) 740-6579 musicboxmac@mac.com Dues $10 to Dan Wilson 4804 Latimer Road Raleigh, NC. 276099
Southern California
Chair: Robin Biggins (310) 377-1472 Dues $10 to Diane Lloyd 1201 Edgeview Drive Cowan Hgts, CA 92705
Sunbelt
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
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

DISPLAY ADVERTISING DIMENSIONS & PER ISSUE COSTS
Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
Back Cover 8.75Ó x 11.25Ó $600 $540 $510
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
Quarter Page 3.5Ó x 4.5Ó $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5Ó x 2.125Ó $50 $45 $43
Non-members pay a 10% surcharge on the above rates
Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount

QUARTER PAGE 3.5Ó x 4.5Ó EIGHTH PAGE 3.5Ó x 2.125Ó

HALF PAGE HORIZONTAL 7.25Ó x 4.5Ó

CLASSIFIED ADS

¥ 47¢ per word
¥
ALL CAPS, italicized and bold words: 60¢ each.

¥
Minimum Charge: $11.

¥
Limit: One ad in each category

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

PRODUCTION SCHEDULE

CIRCULATION
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 files to: Box Society International six (6) times paper, with a 100 lb gloss cover, sad-mbsi@irondogmedia.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
BE PREPAID
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

Contact MBSI Publisher Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 or editor@mbsi.org
Mechanical Music at its Best – www.Mechmusic.com
Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

Welte Style 4 Monster Paganini Orchestrion Welte Brisgovia C Hupfeld Helios Concert Orchestrion 45Õer Niemuth Bacigalupo & Marty Cottage Orchestrion Style II/25

Weber Maesto with Weber Otero with Violina Orchestra Mills Novelty Co.
Automaton Diorama Moving Scene Bowfront Violano
Offerings from the Jerry Cohen Collection

J. P. Seeburg Rare 18.5Ó Miraphone KT Special Unique Sound Chamber

Jaeger Brommer Nicole Overture
20Õer Automaton Musical Chalet Nodding #23288 176 Teeth Musical Chairs Anniversary Organ Cat

Cube Sundial with Compass by David Beringer, c. 1800 Estimate: 3.000 Ð 4.000 ÷ / 3,300 Ð 4,400 US$
Nuremberg Pocket Sundial with
lunar dial and compass, c. 1700 Estimate: 1.800 Ð 2.500 ÷ /1,980 Ð 2,750 US$
37-Key Trumpet Barrel Organ ÒWriting BallÓ by Rasmus by Frati & Co., Berlin, c. 1880 Malling Hansen, Copenhagen/

Fully restored. Excellent playing. Very rare. Denmark, 1867 (Replica) Estimate: 10.000 Ð 15.000 ÷ /
Serial No. 72 Ð Sensational worldÕs11,000 Ð 16,500 US$ 1st typewriter produced in series! Ð
WorldÕs Leading Specialty Auctions Exceptionally rare!
Estimate: 15.000 Ð 25.000 ÷ /17,500 Ð 28,500 US$

ÈScience & TechnologyÇ á ÈToysÇ
Augsburg Calendarium Perpetuum 2 .-inch Reflecting Telescope,
ÈTelephone & Office IconsÇ
(Perpetual Calendar), c. 1720 late 18th Century
Estimate: 3.500 Ð 4.500 ÷ /Estimate: 900 Ð 1.800 ÷ /
ÈMechanical MusicÇ 3,850 Ð 4950 US$
990 Ð 1,980 US$
ÈFairground AttractionsÇ ÈPhotographica & FilmÇ
14 May 2022

Stuart Walking Beam Model Steam Engine, c. 1980 Estimate: 700 Ð 900 ÷ / Victoria (Gardner) Typewriter, John Gardner, 770 Ð 990 US$ Manchester / Fuldau Schreibmaschinen.fabrik Carl Lipp, 1890 Estimate: 7.000 Ð 12.000 ÷ / 7,910 Ð 13,560 US$
ÒThe Fitch Type WriterÓ, 1891 ÒPhonograph Alarm ClockÓ by Lioret and Farcot, 1896 Very rare! Extremely rare! Estimate: 12.000 Ð 16.000 ÷ /
Estimate: 7.000 Ð 10.000 ÷ / 7,700 Ð 11,000 US$ 13,200 Ð 17,600 US$ ÒSholes & GliddenÓ Typewriter, 1873
Excellent condition! 1 . in. Scale Model of a ÒPolyphon No. 105Ó Disc Estimate: 15.000 Ð 18.000 ÷ / Horse-Drawn Portable Musical Box, c. 1899 16,500 Ð 19,800 US$ Engine, c. 1965 Estimate: 6.000 Ð 7.000 ÷ /
Estimate: 1.300 Ð 1.800 ÷ / 6,600 Ð 7,700 US$ 1,430 Ð 1,980 US$

Athanasius Kircher: Romani collegii Societatis Jesu mus¾um celeberrimum,
ÒCrandall New ModelÓ Typewriter, 1879
cujus magnum antiquariae rei, statuarum, imaginum, pictuarumque partem. Superb condition! Amsterdam: J. Janssonius-Waesberghe, 1678 Estimate: 4.000 Ð 6.000 ÷ / 4,400 Ð 6,600 US$
Excellent classic document. Ð Rare historical work. Estimate: 1.200 Ð 1.800 ÷ / 1,320 Ð 1,980 US$
ÒUltraphon TitanicÓ Gramophone, c. 1931 Estimate: 1.500 Ð 2.000 ÷ /
Éand many more !
1,650 Ð 2,200 US$

For more information and large colour photographs of some more of the upcoming Highlights please visit our website at: www.Breker.com / New Highlights and youtube.com/auctionteambreker
Fully-illustrated bilingual (Engl.-German) COLOUR Catalogue available against prepayment only: Euro 28.Ð (Europe) or elsewhere Euro 39.Ð (approx. US$ 45.Ð / Overseas)
. Consignments are welcome at any time!
ÒPathŽ ConcertÓ Rare 24-Key Reed Barrel Organ Gramophone, c. 1910 by John Cocchi, Berlin, c. 1899 Very attractive model.
Very rare! Estimate: 1.000 Ð 1.500 ÷ /
Ð The Specialists in ÈTechnical AntiquesÇ Ð
Estimate: 6.000 Ð 8.000 ÷ / 1,100 Ð 1,650 US$ 6,600 Ð 8,800 US$ P. O. Box 50 11 19, 50971 Koeln/Germany á Tel.: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 40 á Fax: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 430 Otto-Hahn-Str. 10, 50997 Koeln (Godorf)/Germany e-mail: Auction@Breker.com á www.breker.com á Business Hours: Tue Ð Fri 9 am Ð 5 pm
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES: Japan: Murakami Taizou, Tel./Fax (06) 68 45 86 28 * murakami@ops.dti.ne.jp á China: Jiang Feng, Tel. 138 620 620 75 * jiangfengde@gmail.com Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore: Alex Shih-Chieh Lin, (HK), Tel. (+852) 94 90 41 13 * alexsclin@gmail.com England: Tel. +49 (0) 176 991 40593 * AuctionTeamBrekerUK@outlook.de á France: Pierre J. Bickart, Tel. (01) 43 33 86 71 * AuctionTeamKoln@aol.com Russia: Maksim Suravegin, Tel. +7 903 558 02 50 * Maksim-ATB.ru@gmx.net á U.S.A.: Andrew Truman, Tel. (207) 485 8343 * AndrewAuctionTeamBreker@gmail.com
.

Volume 68, No. 2 March/April 2022

Editor/Publisher
Russell Kasselman (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
MBSI Editorial Office:
Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 editor@mbsi.org
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 68, No. 2 March/April 2022

MBSI NEWS
5 PresidentÕs Message
7 EditorÕs Notes 18 MBSI Awards 53 In Memoriam

Publications Chair
Bob Caletti
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
Features
8 AutomataCon is coming
10 Nickel Notes by Matt Jaro
22 Repairing broken discs
24 Chordephon catalog project
25 The Chordephon Automatic Zither
34 Hope and Despair: The organ grinder and the concentration camp
40 Tune card restorations
42 Model B Steinway Duo-Art with a royal connection
On the Cover
Robert Thomas captured this view of the inner workings of a Wurlitzer Style 29-C Mandolin PianOrchestra Philipps Pianella Model 29 (Mandolino) while touring Mark and Christel YaffeÕs collection during the most recent annual meeting.
Committee.

Chapter Reports

MEMBERS: SEND ADDRESS CORRECTIONS TO: MBSI, PO Box 10196, 49 National Capital Springfield, MO 65808-0196 Or, make corrections on the website at www.mbsi.org.
POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO

MBSI has replanted
MBSI, PO Box 10196,

174 trees so far as Springfield, MO 65808-0196 part of the Print ReLeaf program.

M
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
Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Copy this page, and give it to a potential new member. Spread the word about MBSI.
Last name First Name Initial
Last Name First Name Initial
Address

City State / Zip Postal Code / Country
Phone Fax E-mail
Sponsor (optional)

Membership Dues
US members (per household)……………………………………….$60 Student Membership $20
(online journal access only)
Canada…………………………………………………………………………$70 Other International………………………………………………………$75
(Add $20 for International air mail.)
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
Visa/MasterCard

Exp. Date CCV
Signature
4 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022
By David Corkrum
MBSI President
Composing a message from the President to the society would seem to be to most of us an easy task. Well, it certainly is not, especially if all is going well within the society. In writ.ing this message, I decided to review messages written by other presidents to see what they had come up with.
One subject that has not been addressed in some time is the common interest of our society and that of the Automatic Musical Instrument Collec.torsÕ Association (AMICA), both of which are focused on mechanical music if only in slightly different ways.
Most MBSI members mainly focus on musical boxes whether they be cylinder or disc boxes, whereas AMICA members commonly focus on pneumatic instruments. If you look at the average member of either society, however, you will find that our interests often cross over. For myself, my main interest is chiefly disc boxes although if you look at my collection you might think that my interest is mainly in cylinder machines. Cylinder boxes do take up less space than disc machines, but I like them both equally. I, however, also have an interest in pneumatic instruments. IÕve owned a reproducing piano and now have three small street organs.
You can see why I would, therefore, want to be a member of both societies. I receive magazines from both and attend local chapter meetings so that I can socialize with people who share similar interests.
Our immediate past president, Tom Kuehn, who mainly focuses his interest on pneumatic instruments, is also a member of both organizations for many of the same reasons I am.

Members of these two societies have such a common set of interests in automatic musical instruments that I would not doubt someday we may see these two organizations choose to merge into one. I believe we are approaching that conclusion when I think about how our two groups are combining their annual meetings into one joint meeting this year and have done this same thing several times before now. It all seems to make sense to me considering that both of our organizations continue to experience declining membership numbers. We shall see what happens as time goes on.
On an administrative note, the next mid-year trusteesÕ meeting is sched.uled to be held Mar. 18 via Zoom. With the advances in computer technology, the use of Zoom and other programs seems to be the way to go for these types of meetings. It sure cuts down on the travel expense although we do miss seeing collections. MBSI officers, trustees and committee chairs have been notified well in advance.
To everyone, I wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Mail any MBSI Editorial / Advertising materials to 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Emails with attachments can be sent to editor@mbsi.org Deadline for the May/June 2022 issue is April 1, 2022
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
Phone Email
Sponsor

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.
EditorÕs Notes
By Russell Kasselman
MBSI Editor/Publisher
The arrival of Spring is one of my favorite times of year. The weather can still be a bit unpredictable, but
each day brings us closer to warmer weather and the promise of long, sunny summer days. ItÕs a time to open up windows, clean out cluttered spaces and plan trips to see places youÕve never visited.
My hope is that this year will be vastly different than the previous few and we all can begin to venture out into the world again to gather and enjoy communing with each other. I look forward to hearing about more chapter meetings and local commu.nity events featuring mechanical music groups sharing their love of the hobby. Once all our chapters are in full swing again, I urge you to take the opportunity to invite a friend or a neighbor to come with you to a gath.ering. Enjoy some food, music and friends. You never know who might decide to keep coming back and even join the society.
This year offers an additional oppor.tunity to make new friends who share our mechanical music interests. As mentioned by MBSI President Dave Corkrum in his column on Page 5 of this issue, the annual society conven.tion in the Fall will be held jointly with the Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Association (AMICA). Bringing together these two groups of people who love mechanical things, music, and fun means there will be plenty of chances to exchange contact information, share tips on restoration techniques and perhaps even negoti.ate deals as collectors so often like to do. Make your plans now to attend.
MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial / Advertising 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
Lastly, I would like to thank our contributors to this issue. Charles Wilson shares a unique tip to help you repair broken discs, Matt Jaro shares the story of a pair of long-time members with an amazing collection, and Dr. Robert Penna is back with another tale, this time a sad one, surrounding the history of organ grinders. Bob Caletti offers up advice on making renewed tune cards, and Mark Singleton reveals a possible royal connection to his Model B Stein.way Duo-Art piano.
Feel free to share your story with us by emailing it to editor@mbsi.org.

ADVERTISING
EDITORIAL

Advertisements for the May/June 2022 issue of Mechani-
Articles and photos for the May/June 2022 issue of
cal Music need to be submitted by Apr. 1, 2022.
should be submitted by Mar. 25, 2022.
Advertisements for the July/August 2022 issue of
Articles and photos for the July/August 2022 issue of
Mechanical Music need to be submitted by Jun. 1, 2022.
Mechanical Music should be submitted by May 25, 2022.
Welcome new members!
December 2021 Sterling & Vivian Biggar Roderic OÕConnor Junction City, OR Lebanon, NJ Sponsor: Robin Biggins Brad Reinhardt Robert & Sandra Brisbee Fresno, CA Burlingame, CA Richard & Erik Rhyne Sponsor: Bob Caletti Greensboro, NC Julie & Nick Hawley Mike Stevens Albany, OR Novato, CA Richard & Dick Lutin Sponsor: Nancy Stevens Indianapolis, IN Ren Wikler Vaughn Miller San Luis Obispo, CA Boxford, MA January 2022 Keith & Patricia Amundson St Paul, MN James Buckley Cold Spring Harbor, NY Gregory Chiaramonte Jeannette, PA Sponsor: Kelly Newsome Doug Morgan Wallingford, CT Sponsor: Brooks Low Marian Van Dijk & Friedell Derksen Utrecht, Netherlands

AutomataCon 2022 is coming in May
By Steve Ryder
AutomataCon is a convention of artists, collectors and enthusiasts of both historical automata and present-day kinetic art. A three-day event, it is being held May 20-22, 2022, at the Morris Museum in Morris.town, NJ, home of the world-famous Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata.
Organizers say their goal is to gather people to share ideas, build relation.ships, and grow interest in automata both old and new. The convention will feature a variety of public and private events, including museum tours, panel discussions, live demonstra.tions, workshops, presentations, and an active vendorsÕ mart.
Brett King, event founder and chair, said, ÒAutomataCon is like a family, with a strong sense of camaraderie even among those who meet face-to.face for the first time. To those who have waited since our second such event in 2018, I say, ÔWelcome home!Õ and to each newcomer, ÔWe want to get to know you!ÕÓ
The gathering will kick off with a social reception on Friday night, to be followed by two full days of programs, including a mini film festival and a makers mash-up, the latter consisting of Òshop talkÓ on tools and techniques. Traditionally, the talks and presen.tations relate automata with art movements, magic, and public enter.tainment. There is a Kinetic Artists Panel, and the convention culminates with automaton builder Bradley Litwin with the latest on, ÒWhat Could Possi.bly Go Wrong?Ó The program schedule will be posted on www.AutomataCon. org as the date draws near.
During the convention, the Morris Museum will hold a juried exhibition titled ÒTimeless Movements.Ó The exhibition will include contempo.rary interpretations of 19th century mechanical music, automata and timekeeping. Shown will be 35 kinetic works by 26 artists. Some of the artists

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

A hand-driven musical automaton called ÒMigration,Ó by artist Randall Cleaver.

will be present to demonstrate their works, led by the exhibitionÕs curator, Anne Ricculli.
Attendees of AutomataCon 2022 can choose during their pre-registration whether to come to the Friday evening reception, SaturdayÕs presentations, SundayÕs programs, or the entire convention. All activities take place at the museum. To keep costs down, there will be no home visits, bus tours, nor organized meals. Within two miles of the museum, however, are no less than 50 restaurants to fit every taste and pocketbook.
Please note that AutomataCon monitors local policies as regards the pandemic, and attendees will be expected to follow the health protocols that will be posted on their website and that for the museum. King says, ÒSee you in May!Ó

Nickel Notes
By Matthew Jaro

Bob and Diane LloydÕs collecting adventure
Fasten your seatbelts for a visit to the home of Bob and Diane Lloyd of Cowan Heights, CA. The Lloyds have a wonderful and varied collection of clocks, music boxes, orchestrions, steam engines, Vogue Picture Records, radios and machine tools.
Bob and Diane have been married 67 years. They have four great-grandchildren. Their son, Rick, and daughter-in-law, Liz, are also interested in mechanical music. Their daughter, Sheryl, visits frequently. Bob and Diane met when Bob was in the Navy, serving during the Korean War. Diane went to church with BobÕs cousin, Deloise. She was always trying to fix Bob up with a gal, since Bob would always bring a sailor for Deloise. After about seven or eight girls, Bob said, ÒYour taste is different than mine.Ó
Deloise said, ÒI know a girl you will like. She works in a bird aviary and we could go over and see her now.Ó (DianeÕs father raised parakeets.)
Bob said, ÒOK, but this is the last one. If this one bombs, this is it.Ó After meeting Diane, Bob thought, ÒThis is the girl IÕm going to marry.Ó
Deloise exclaimed, ÒI see I scored a bullseye with this one.Ó
Bob went home to tell his mother, who promptly said, ÒWhat if she says no?Ó
Diane had just moved to Buena Park, CA, from Iowa. Their first date was at The Pike (an amusement park, now closed and demolished) in Long Beach, CA. For DianeÕs first, only and last ride, Bob took her on the roller coaster. She says, ÒI never got on another one!Ó Bob had one year left in the Navy. They met in October and got married in March.

Career
Before Bob was in the Navy, he had his own motorcycle and bicycle shop. When he left the Navy, four years later, it was gone. Bob had no job. Diane had a relative who said, ÒI can get you into General Motors.Ó After GM, BobÕs next job was selling swimming pools. He was appointed general manager for Orange County, even though he was the newest member of the staff. He hired a crew of 12 salesmen. Bob held that position for five or six years.
He went to church with a man named Hubert Hall, who told Bob, ÒIÕm in the house-moving business now and I need more help.Ó They became partners. This was a good business since construction of the freeways necessitated moving a number of houses. Within a few years they were moving more houses than the eight other moving companies and they were number one. By the time they dissolved the business, Bob had more than 50 rental apartments. Bob retired after the house-moving business.
Collecting
In 1971, the Lloyds took a three- or four-week vacation with the idea
10 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022
of eventually winding up at DianeÕs parentsÕ house in Iowa. Bob was always mechanically-minded and fell in love with some clocks he found in an antique store. They probably came home with nine or 10 clocks. This provided a start for a continuing hobby. Not too long after this, Bob joined the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, and he is still a member. Bob and Diane have some clocks that were made in the 1500s.
Bob took a class to learn how to work on clocks, but later, he had so many other things going on, he used a professional restorer who lived nearby.
AMICA and MBSI
Around 1980, the Lloyds went to a clock mart in Scottsdale, AZ, and were introduced to MBSI and the Automatic Musical Instrument CollectorsÕ Associ.ation (AMICA) after meeting members Erwin and Betty Canada. The Lloyds found that the MBSI meetings were a lot more fun than clock marts since you could go to peopleÕs houses and actually listen to instruments.
Bob said that in Southern Califor.nia, the MBSI and AMICA crowds are pretty mixed. Frank and Shirley Nix were influential in AMICA and became good friends with the Lloyds. Bob noted that the people in both organizations were so friendly and nice compared to other organizations to which he belonged.
The professional restorers espe.cially impressed Bob. For example, Bob was hesitant to call Mike Argain since Mike is one of the top restorers in the hobby. Rudy Edwards talked Bob into calling Mike. When he did, Bob found Mike to be wonderful and very helpful.
Another person who welcomed the Lloyds into the hobby was Bob Gilson. When Bob Gilson found out that Bob Lloyd had purchased a 32-inch Regina changer, but only had a few discs, he mailed the Lloyds a whole pile of discs. He also helped answer the many questions that Bob had and was very generous with his time.
Sometimes, meeting people felt a bit strange, said Bob. For example, the Lloyds were on a tour of the Sanfillipo

The Arburo dance organ was the first piece of mechanical music acquired. Bob ended up restoring it himself when he faced a
three-and-a-half-year wait to get into a professional restoration shop.
estate and were walking across the lawn towards the Victorian Palace near the willow tree and lake with swans, when they come across this fellow in jeans and a white t-shirt. He says, ÒHi, how are you doing?Ó
Diane said, ÒIsnÕt this the most beau.tiful place youÕve ever seen?Ó Bob said, ÒIÕm Bob Lloyd,Ó and Jasper said, ÒIÕm Jasper Sanfillipo.Ó Bob, surprised, then said, ÒIÕm sorry,
IÕve never been here before.Ó
Restoration
The first mechanical music instru.ment Bob obtained was an Arburo dance organ. Before buying it, he called a local restorer who gave him a rough idea of the cost to rebuild it. Bob bought the instrument, called the restorer and said, ÒI have it loaded in the truck, IÕll bring it over.Ó The restorer replied, ÒWhy would you do that?Ó
Bob said, ÒWell, you told me you could restore it.Ó The restorer replied, ÒIÕm three years behind. The best I could promise you is three and one-half years.Ó
Bob said, ÒIÕm not a patient man. God gave me a mechanical mind and IÕll learn how to do the resto.ration myself.Ó I asked Bob if he got
12 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

The Seeburg ÒBL,Ó a former mortuary organ modified to be a Seeburg H with MIDI installed.

someoneÕs help to get started. He said it wasnÕt long before he recalled how, at an earlier MBSI meeting, he met Rudy Edwards and RudyÕs son, Steven. Bob remembered hearing Rudy was good at restoring mechanical music instruments, so he drove over to ask some questions. It turned out Rudy was away in Atlanta, GA, but Steven was staying at the house. Steven said he knew how to restore instruments, so he started coming over to BobÕs house each Sunday to show Bob what to do. After about a month, Steven said, ÒYou really understand mechan.ics.Ó Steven kept coming over and in about two months they had the Arburo restored and running. It needed to be repainted, but Bob was able to do that himself. Steven is an engineer and has the same degrees as BobÕs son, Rick, so they had plenty to talk about in addition to mechanical music. Bob restored most of the instruments in his collection. He enlisted the help of Robin Biggins for the music boxes. Bob once mentioned to Mike Ames that he wasnÕt too fond of the music that came with the Arburo. (It only played European dance music.) Mike suggested Bob could install a MIDI system in the instrument and offered to do it especially for Bob. This was probably around 2000 and not too many instruments at that time had MIDI capability.
Another machine Bob modified with a MIDI player is one that Bob calls a Seeburg ÒBLÓ (which stands for Bob Lloyd). It was a mortuary organ that Bob modified to be a Seeburg H. He built the entire top, the xylophone and added the MIDI capability.
Acquisitions and Projects
For Bob, acquisitions and projects are the same thing. Each machine he purchased had to be lovingly restored.
The second machine Bob obtained was a Wurlitzer Style C orchestrion that had been spray-painted. Bob said it was the ugliest thing he had ever seen. Bob asked Rudy questions as they came up during the restoration. BobÕs work on the Wurlitzer kicked off a series of acquisition and restoration projects that included restringing everything (including his Steinway in the living room) in their collection. The Lloyds have more than 100 pieces of mechanical music, including music boxes.
One of the more interesting stories is the one about how Bob acquired his Regina changer. A friend told the Lloyds about it. They went to see it and the little old lady said she got it as a wedding gift from her husband. She was in her nineties. She had outlived her three daughters and her sons didnÕt care anything about mechanical music. It was in really bad shape. She wanted to sell it and go back east to Boston, MA, to see her older sister. A friend at a local meeting said that Òyou will be lucky if you ever get that playing.Ó That made Bob just want to try that much harder. Now it plays quite well.
The acquisition of the LloydsÕ Seeburg K was through a referral by Rudy Edwards. Rudy once sold the Seeburg to a doctor who had now passed away and the manÕs wife was reselling it. That machine was in rela.tively good condition.

The only machine the Lloyds ever bought sight-unseen was a Cremona G with a bullet hole in the front and a sign that said, ÒPlease donÕt shoot the piano player, heÕs doing the best he can.Ó The Lloyds had to promise the previous owners that they wouldnÕt fill in the bullet hole. The stained glass was in great condition and the machine plays beautifully.
They obtained their Mills Violano from Rudy Edwards. ItÕs a very early Mills.
The 27-inch Regina changer was a basket case and needed extensive woodwork. Robin Biggins did the mechanical work on the machine.
They also have a Capehart changer. It was David Reidy who told Bob to only buy a late model Capehart, like the 1948 model. Bob found one. It was beyond disaster. Diane told Bob, ÒIt will never go in my house.Ó ThatÕs how bad it was. Now it looks brand new.
The Regina Concerto was one of the most challenging projects. Bob said, ÒI canÕt count the number of times Robin was here.Ó It was almost impossible to keep the 32 discs that moved into playing position from hanging up.
The Western Electric Style O Orchestrion
The last machine Bob and Diane acquired was a Western Electric from Mike Ames. This machine is so rare
14 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

The Western Electric Style O, which is one of five known to exist. Above is a detail shot of the art glass and playlist.
that the Encyclopedia of Automatic one-of-a-kind machine, I turned, as describes the machine as containing Musical Instruments (Page 659, lower-I always do, to my trusted source on a piano, mandolin, xylophone, trian.left corner), couldnÕt even identify the these matters, Art Reblitz. Art knew gle, tympani, cymbal, bass drum and machine. The LloydsÕ machine is the every detail about the machine. First, Indian block. one pictured in the encyclopedia. Bob he said it is a style O, serial number The machine plays 4X and G rolls replaced the bottom glass with a much 165528, manufactured in 1927. There and was meant to be competition more attractive design. Bob had no are only five known examples of for the Seeburg KT Special. It was idea of the model number either. this machine in existence today. The once owned by Al Nielsen and then
Wanting to know more about this Music Trade Review, May 21, 1927, Mike Ames and now it belongs to the

This Cremona G features a bullet hole in the case. Bob had to promise not to fill it in before he bought it. The sign says ÒPlease donÕt shoot the piano player. HeÕs doing the best he can.Ó

Lloyds. It was so interesting for me to run into something that I had never seen before.
Vogue Picture Records, Steam Engines, Tools and Radios
Vogue Picture Records are 78 rpm phonograph records made out of clear plastic that had pictures under the plas.tic. These were issued in small quantities and are now quite rare. There was a Vogue Picture Record club. Bob bought about a dozen from one person and then joined the club. A friend from the club said that he had a book which described all of the records. Bob immediately bought the book and after looking through it discovered that there were only five records he didnÕt have. He searched for more on eBay and found them. Finally, he was down to needing only one more record. When it came up for sale on eBay, Bob knew he had to bid high. He sent the seller a cashierÕs check for $420. Diane almost killed him for spending so much money on a record. Since the records were so hard to find, many people gave up and the club just sort of ended.
Rudy Edwards was also into steam engines and Bob was fascinated by this. One day, Rudy wanted to sell some and Bob said he would be interested. Over the years he bought a number of them. Almost every single one came from Rudy Edwards.
The Lloyds would go to Iowa to visit DianeÕs relatives.
16 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

BobÕs wall of antique tools purchased over many road trips. A Wurlitzer 1015 ÒBubblerÓ jukebox from 1947.
In the winter there was nothing to do, so they went to auctions. Bob would bid $5 on a box of old tools and now he has a whole wall filled with vintage tools.
Bob has a complete machine shop so he can do restoration projects. He has a metal lathe which he uses for both metal and wood projects. He also has a milling machine. He made a lot of finials for the clocks (almost one hundred) since these are frequently missing.
As if Bob didnÕt have enough inter.ests, he started a collection of old radios. He joined the local radio club and once he got into radios he bought them very fast. He had more radios than five or six members of the club. His Coca Cola radio is one of those that is very hard to get.
Diane also collects phonograph dolls where you turn a crank and a phonograph record inside plays. She has Madame Hendron, the Baby Doll and the Little Girl Doll.
Summary of Machines in the Lloyd Collection
The following is a list of some of the machines in the collection with additional details:
¥
Wurlitzer Style C Orchestrion. Mandolin, piano, flute and violin pipes, bass and snare drums, xylophone and triangle. It plays Wurlitzer APP (Automatic Player Piano) rolls.

¥
Arburo Dance Organ (made by Arthur Bursens, Belgium).

This large instrument (modified for MIDI operation), has organ pipes, drum set, accordion and saxophone.
¥
Western Electric Piano Co. Style O Orchestrion. Piano, mandolin, xylophone, triangle, tympani, cymbal, bass drum and Indian block. Plays 4X and G rolls.

¥
Nelson Wiggen Style 8. Piano, mandolin, xylophone and orches.tra bells. Plays style A rolls.

¥
Nelson Wiggen Style 4X. Piano, mandolin, xylophone, snare drum and triangle. Plays 4X and G rolls.

¥
Seeburg Style KT. Piano, mando.lin, xylophone, triangle and tambourine. Plays 4X and G rolls.

¥
Lšsche Flute and Violin Solo Piano. 85-note piano, mandolin, flute and violin pipes, bass and snare drums, orchestra bells, triangle and wood block. Modified to play O rolls.

¥
Seeburg ÒBLÓ (Bob Lloyd) Deluxe. Piano, violin, flute, quintadena and stopped diapason pipes, bass and snare drums, xylophone, castanets, tambourine and triangle. It plays MIDI and style H rolls. This machine was built from a Seeburg mortuary organ to resemble a Seeburg Style H.

¥
Cremona Style G. Piano, mando.lin and flute pipes. Plays style A rolls.

¥
Mills Violano-Virtuoso (Single Mills) (1913 era). Violin and piano.

¥
Regina Concerto Style 300 (32-inch diameter disc) changer.

It plays on piano strings, bells, cymbals and drums, all together or separately. It weighs 950 pounds, and stands 8 feet 2 inches high.
¥
Regina Corona automatic disc changer with 15.-inch discs.

¥
Regina 27-inch disc changer (Style 34).

¥
Wurlitzer 1015 Jukebox (ÒBubblerÓ) 1947. This is the famous bubbler jukebox, where bubbles appear to rise from the columns.

¥
Scopitone Video Jukebox (French). The Scopitone is a machine that projects a short music video after a coin is deposited. They used 16mm films. Bob has all of the Technicolor films made for this machine.

Final Notes
Bob and Diane Lloyd are wonderful people who can keep you enthralled for hours with their wonderful stories and anecdotes. The quality of work that Bob accomplished on his machines is truly amazing. I hope you enjoyed this visit to the Lloyd 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 July/ August 2016 issue of The AMICA Bulletin.

2021 MBSI Award Winners
MBSI Awards are given at the busi.ness meeting or awards luncheon at each annual meeting. Members wish.ing to have someone considered for an award may forward their suggestion, with the rationale, to the contact person noted for each award.
The Lifetime Service Award is given for a lifetime of service to the ideals and goals of MBSI. This is a special award given infrequently by the Board of Trustees. Award suggestions may be sent to the vice president.
The TrusteesÕ Award is given to the person who has made the greatest contribution to the society and/or the field of automatic musical instruments in general. This award is given at the discretion of the Trustees. Award suggestions may be sent to the vice president.
The Q. David Bowers Literary Award is given to the person who, in that year or any previous year, has contributed greatly to the fund of literature: either articles or books or other graphic contributions in the field covered by the society. The award recipient is chosen by the MBSI Publications Committee, subject to the concur.rence of the Board of Trustees. Award suggestions may be sent to the chair of the Publications Committee.
The Darlene Mirijanian Award is given for creativity in the field of mechanical music, to stimulate and encourage interest in producing new items of interest. Award recipients are chosen by the Nominating Committee, subject to the concurrence of the Board of Trustees. Award suggestions may be sent to the chair of the Nomi.nating Committee.
The Roehl Ambassador Award is given to an individual, group, or couple for promoting interest in and appreciation of automatic musical instruments. The award recipient is chosen by an Award Selector appointed by the Board of Trustees. The Award Selector chooses from nominations submitted by MBSI chapters and members, subject to the concurrence of the Board of Trustees.
TrusteesÕ Award

Robbie Rhodes, Jody Kravitz and Matthew Caulfield received the Trust.ees Award for their online publication, Mechanical Music Digest (MMD). Their work has provided a platform for enthusiasts to post information about mechanical musical instruments, ask questions and buy, sell, or trade instruments. Their archives reach back to 1995 and they conduct research on articles before they are published. Robbin Biggins accepted the award for these three men.

Jody Kravitz Matthew Caulfield

Award suggestions may be sent to the the discretion of the President for Vice President for forwarding to the outstanding work or service, subject current Award Selector. to the concurrence of the MBSI Exec-
The PresidentÕs Award is given at utive Committee.
TrusteesÕ Award

Sally Craig received the Trustees Award for her service to the society as a trustee and her continued service as the Museum Committee Chair where she spends countless hours adminis.tering the museum collection. Trustee Mary Ellen Myers accepted the award for Sally.
TrusteesÕ Award
Jim and Sherrie Krughoff
received the Trustees Award
because of their many contri.
butions to the society over the
years. They helped to found the
Lake Michigan Chapter and have
hosted many visits to their home.
In the past, they have received

the AMICA International Award and the MBSI Roehl Ambassador Award.
Sandy Persky accepted the award on SherrieÕs behalf.
18 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Literary Award Q. David Bowers and Art Reblitz received the Literary Award for their newest work, ÒAmerican Coin-Operated Pianos and Orchestrions and Related Instruments.Ó Because of the pandemic, neither recipient was able to travel to the MBSI Annual Meeting in Florida to receive their award. Vice President David Corkrum accepted the award for Q. David Bowers and Marty Persky accepted the award for Art Reblitz. Q. David Bowers Art Reblitz PresidentÕs Award Ed Kozak received the Pres.identÕs Award for his work as treasurer of the society. An old phonograph and an MBSI member brought Ed into the MBSI family. His background in accounting and his work with financial insti.tutions made him a perfect choice for the societyÕs treasurer posi.tion. The award was presented to him by President Tom Kuehn.
Darlene Mirijanian Award David Burritt received the Darlene Mirijanian award this year for his invention of the Visual/Virtual Roll Reader (VRR). This program allows anyone with an iPad, tablet or other modern camera device to preserve music from a music roll simply by making a video recording of the song. The software has been tested on music rolls and even a 15.-inch music box disc with remarkable results. Vice President Corkrum accepted the award on DavidÕs David Burritt behalf.
Unsung Hero Award The Unsung Hero Award is given to the person or persons who has worked behind the scenes without any recognition. Lowell Sundermann applied his expertise in woodworking and 3D printer technology to the manufacture of the 2021 table favor. His dedication surpassed all expectations.
Roehl Ambassador Award Aaron Muller received the Roehl Ambassador Award this year. Aaron has a permanent display of instruments at his Barrington Resale store in Barrington, IL, where visitors and shoppers are welcome to view and hear the machines play. He also holds classroom events to educate those who might be interested in these machines. Due to a small mix-up, Aaron received his award at his home instead of at the awards luncheon which he attended.

MBSI Award Nomination Form
Name of Award: Name of person you are nominating: Reasons the person deserves this award:
Your name:
MBSI Awards are given at the business meeting or awards luncheon at each annual meeting. Members wishing to have someone considered for an award may forward their suggestion, with the rationale, to the contact person noted for each award.
THE LIFETIME SERVICE AWARD is given for a lifetime of service to the ideals and goals of MBSI. This is a special award given infrequently by the Board of Trust.ees. Award suggestions may be sent to the vice president.
THE TRUSTEESÕ AWARD is given to the person who has made the greatest contribution to the society and/or the Øeld of automat.ic musical instruments in general. This award is given at the discre.tion of the Trustees. Award sugges.tions may be sent to the vice president.
THE Q. DAVID BOWERS LITER.ARY AWARD is given to the person who in that year or any previous year, has contributed greatly to the fund of literature either articles or books or other graphic contribu.tions in the Øeld covered by the society. The award recipient is chosen by the MBSI Publications Committee, subject to the concur.rence of the Board of Trustees. Award suggestions may be sent to the chair of the Publications Com.mittee.
THE DARLENE MIRIJANIAN AWARD is given for creativity in the Øeld of mechanical music, to stimulate and encourage interest in producing new items of interest. Award recipients are chosen by the Nominating Committee, subject to the concurrence of the Board of Trustees. Award suggestions may be sent to chair of the Nominating Committee.

THE ROEHL AMBASSADOR AWARD is given to an individual, group, or couple for promoting interest in and appreciation of automatic musical instruments. The award recipient is chosen by an Award Selector appointed by the Board of Trustees. The Award Selector chooses from nominations submitted by MBSI chapters and members, subject to the concur.rence of the Board of Trustees. Award suggestions may be sent to the Vice President for forwarding to the current Award Selector.
THE PRESIDENTÕS AWARD is given at the discretion of the President for outstanding work or service, subject to the concurrence of the MBSI Executive Committee.
20 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Interesting Tidbits

Start Õem young
Publications Committee Chair Bob Caletti sent in these images of his granddaughters enjoying instruments in his collection. The top image shows them playing along with a song on a Cremona K, while the image at left is a Seeburg H.
Introducing young people to the wonderment of mechanical music is a great way to inspire a lifelong love of both music and mechanical workings. How many of us developed a love for these things the first time we saw an instrument like this, or a band organ at the fair, or a cylinder musical box in a museum or antique shop.
Take the chance to show younger people around you why you so enjoy the musical machines in your collection. Who knows, you might just inspire a passion that could last a lifetime.
Music box disc repairs
By Charles Wilson
Disc music box lovers have all expe.rienced this problem. We get a really great disc with a well-known tune and fantastic arrangements. Unfortu.nately, the disc is missing a significant number of projections.
If the projection is still attached to the disc, I have learned that these can be reshaped on most steel discs with the proper tools. Zinc discs are more difficult, but it can still be done.
When it came to replacing a completely missing projection, however, I was never able to find anyone who was or is producing replacements. I spent time imagining various ways to make new projec.tions that could fill these gaps, but I had not been able to conjure a way to efficiently produce them in large quantities until now.
The solution struck me recently, out of the blue as I was browsing through my stack of uninteresting or damaged discs. (Seems like we all have some of these.)
I thought to myself, ÒLook at all of those available projections!Ó
I selected a zinc disc of ÒMonastery Bells,Ó my favorite tune, for repairs. It had a lot of missing projections. Then I followed this procedure to get it back into playing condition.
1.
Find a ÒdonorÓ disc of the same material in your damaged discs pile.

2.
Rough up the seating area on the disc you want to repair.

3.
Grab a projection on the ÒdonorÓ disc with locking forceps, gripping the top of the projection and rock the projection sideways till it breaks off.

4.
Grind the edges of the projection to a flat surface.

5.
Apply a small drop of gel type Super Glue to the projection and the seating area on the disc. (I also tried JB Weld, but it didnÕt bond well with a zinc disc.)

6.
Carefully release the tension to the proper position. on the forceps and place the projection in the same place as After replacement of about 70 the original. projections, I now can play a perfect

7.
Gently adjust the new projection version of ÒMonastery Bells.Ó

22 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Grind the edges of the replacement pro.jections to make them smooth.
Apply Super Glue gel to the replacement projection and the surface of the disc to be repaired and gently position the new projection in its place.

Fine-tune the placement of the replace.ment projections before the glue is completely dry. Once complete, enjoy your newly-repaired disc.

An unusual 44-note Chordephon Zither model with its detachable clockwork motor in its original cardboard box.
Author seeks help with Chordephon Zither catalogue project
By Kevin McElhoneÊ
For those who might not know me, I am the New Members Secretary for the Musical Box Society of Great Britain (MBSGB) and author of five books about mechanical musical Instruments. As I am not currently writingÊany books at the moment, I am making a final push and working with renewed interest on several roll and disc music catalogues I have been compiling for 30-plus years. I make these music catalogues available on both Mechanical Music Digest (www. mmdigest.com) and the MBSGB website in the tune lists section. Follow this URL to learn more: www. mbsgb.org.uk/look-learn/tune-lists/
There are many thousands of tune titles here of all kinds of instruments so please have a look and add any titles you can to fill in the gaps.
Most recentlyÊI found an origi.nalÊtune catalogue for a 14.-inch (36.2cm) 44-string Chordephon zither. This is the size instrument most often found by collectors.
I list below the missing numbers and wonder if anyone can fill in some blanks or make any corrections please?
The missing numbers are:
¥ 39-45Ê¥ 47-49 ¥ 51-60 ¥ 61-64
¥ 66-70 ¥ 71Ð99 ¥ 151-152 ¥ 154 ¥ 159 ¥ 161 ¥ 166 ¥ 172-174 ¥ 176Ê¥ 178-180 ¥ 189Ð199 ¥ 326-327 ¥ 355Ê¥ 357 ¥ 363-364 ¥ 368-370 ¥ 371-373 ¥ 375 ¥ 380
24 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

A 44-note Chordephon Zither disc.
¥ 382Ê
¥
384Ð599 (if issued) ¥ 621-625 ¥ 630-632 ¥ 634Ð800

¥
802-803 and higher

I have a record of these titles but I have no disc numbers or composers given:
¥
ÒEs Murmeln die WellenÓÊ

¥
ÒGschichten aus dem Wiener WaldÓ

¥
ÒKlarinetten MuckelÓ

I would, of course, be interested in details of the smaller 11.-inch (28.5cm) discs and the 20-inch (50.7cm) 60-note size discs.
I do not know of any 11.-inch machines in existence, but these are the titles I have found so far for this model.
115 ÒMorgenblatter WalzerÓ
132 ÒFaust WalzerÓ
201 ÒS MailŸfterlÓ
206 ÒLang, lang istÕs herÓ
215 ÒHoch vom Dachstein
244 ÒIn einem kŸhlen GrundeÓ
280 ÒWeisst du Mutter was i
trŠumt hatÓ
292 ÒDas Lied des RattenfŠngersÓ
Please contact Kevin by email at this address kevinmcelhone@live. co.uk with any information you can provide

The Chordephon Automatic Zither
EditorÕs Note: The following article was printed 24 years ago, in the Winter 1997 issue (Vol. 43, No. 3, Pages 13-19) and is reproduced here as an excellent introduction to this instrument. It is my sincere hope that those who have never read about a Chordephon Automatic Zither learn something new and those who may remember this article in its original printing enjoy reading it once again. Some photos from the original article have been enhanced, when possible, with todayÕs software tools in an attempt to bring out more details and allow readers to better enjoy the views of the instruments that are presented.
By Larry And Erin Karp photos by the authors
Lovely to look at, a delight to the ear, the Chordephon Automatic Zither is also a wonder of mechanical design (Photo 1). Nevertheless, the Chordephon has been sadly neglected in the English-language literature of mechanical music. Aside from a small number of photo-and-caption.quickies,1-5 we were able to find only two short historical pieces6,7 and a moderately descriptive sales catalog.1 There was virtually nothing on the mechanics of operation and nothing whatever on restoration techniques.
The Chordephon came into being late in 1895, the invention of three Germans: T.B. Puttman, M.O. Claus, and P.R. Puttner. With industrialist
H.E.C. Felix, these gentlemen formed the Fabrik Mechanischer Zithern Chordephon Claus and Co. in Leipzig.7 At least four British patents were obtained in relation to the Chorde.phon, and the company operated until some short time prior to World War 1.7 A 1912 advertisement showed Weissbach of Leipzig (the manufac.turer of the Komet music box) as the maker of the Chordephon at that time.6 The Peters and the Hupfeld companies, both of Leipzig, were the principal wholesale distributors of the Chordephon.6
The instruments were manufactured in at least three sizes: 30, 44, and 60 strings, with a goodly number of case variations,6,8 all of which, according to the catalog, produced music far supe.rior to that played by other mechanical zithers. ÒThe ÔChordephonÕ is the only mechanical Zither fully equaling the Concert-Zither in sweetness and qual.ity of tone while it greatly surpasses the latter in richness and range of tone owing to its ability of rendering the most elaborate musical arrangements. On the Chordephon, the greatest tech.nical difficulties are performed such as the most expert Virtuoso could not possibly execute on the Concert.Zither.Ó1 The catalog writer then goes on to explain this amazing capability on the basis of the instrumentÕs special double-dampering system Òwhereby the duration of sounds is regulated strictly according to the true value of each note and in accordance with the musical inspirations of the artist arranging the music. Of course, this is very delicate and difficult work which requires first class musical taste and, at the same time, the utmost exacti.tude in transferring the music on the note-discs.Ó1 These Ònote-discsÓ were said to measure 11.-inch diameter for 30-stringed Chordephons, 15-for 44-stringed instruments, and 21-inch for the 60-stringed machines.1

The smallest instrument in the cata.log, the 30-stringed Number 9 ÒBijou,Ó was a manivelle with an ebonized, single-piece pin block and sounding board set atop three short, turned wooden feet.6,8 Whether Numbers 1 through 8 represented prototype machines, discontinued models, or simply never were used, we canÕt say.
The 44-stringed instruments were by far the most common models; they were manufactured in both horizon.tal (tabletop) and vertical formats. Chordephon Number 10 was an attractively shaped upscale version of Number 9, but with a small, six-minute clockwork motor which was placed beneath the sounding board to play the instrument; the motor needed to be removed for winding. Number 11, the ÒSalon-Chordephon,Ó represented yet another step upward in automatic zither evolution: the combined pinblock/sounding board stood on the rear of a rectangular wooden base, with a 10-minute clockwork motor mounted in front and to the right so as to avoid the nuisance of having to remove the motor for winding, as with Number 10. Numbers 12 and 12A were coin-operated versions of 11. Number 16, another ÒSalon-Chordephon,Ó appears to have been identical to Numbers 11, 12, and 12A, but with the smaller, six-minute clockwork motor of Number 10 mounted on the wooden base.6,8
With Chordephons Numbers 15 and 15A (the ÒHand cranked ChordephonÓ and the ÒAuto-ChordephonetteÓ we see a major change in construction. The pinblock and sounding board, now separate structures with a felt-cov.ered metal bridge between them, are mounted within a rigid, decorative rectangular cast-iron frame. This iron frame in turn is screwed into an attractive aniline-red stained wooden cradle. The hand crank of Number 15 extends from the right end of the

The plectra are thin L-shaped fingers of mild spring steel, and although the Chordephon has been described as a plucked-string instrument, the manner in which the strings are plucked is unique . . . In the Chordephon … rotation of the starwheel results in the plectrum being pushed down against the top surface of the string, stretching the string; then, further starwheel rotation causes the plectrum to be very rapidly released, such that the string is set into vibration.

instrument, while the five-minute lever-wound clockwork motor of Number 15A is mounted beneath the right front comer of the cradle.
Reading the catalog reminds the reader that these instruments, with Òstrong iron-framesÓ and Òinde.pendentÓ sounding boards Òkeep extremely well in tune.Ó8 This may be more than manufacturersÕ hype: Alan Bies and Steve Boehck believe that these iron-framed Chordephons do in fact maintain their tuning far better than the unframed models.9
Numbers 17 through 20 are 44-note,

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Photo 4. Motor components, cleaned and reassembled on Photo 5. Brass control levers, restored.
lower motor plate.

Photo 6. Wooden cradle with metal frame removed.
,
vertical, coin-operated Chordephons. Number 17 is equipped with a 10-minute clockwork motor, while 18, 19, and 20 have motors capable of playing 20-24 minutes. All four have cases of Òimitation walnut.Ó Numbers 17 and 19 are smaller and tend toward art nouveau design; they feature a rectangular glass door panel with an Alpine scene. The larger Numbers 18 and 20, with their heavier Old German-style case design, resemble vertical Polyphons and Symphonions, and have clear glass door panels so viewers can see the mechanism and rotating Chordephon disc within.6,8 The catalog tells us that the Òsolid, strong square iron framesÓ on which the strings are mounted Òkeeps (the instruments) well in tune for unlim.ited time.Ó8
Number 21s, the imposing ÒStand-Automat,Ó is a 44-note Chorde.phon mounted within a heavily carved case of genuine walnut (similar but not identical in appearance to Number 20), which in turn stands upon a disc bin, such that the combined height is 8 feet and the weight 193 pounds. This model was also available without the disc bin, as Number 21.6,8
At this point the model numbers jump to 60 to define the 60-note, top-of-the-line Chordephons. Number 60s is a vertical instrument in an art nouveau style case atop a disc bin; according to the manufacturers, the Òextensive scaleÓ and the Òadmirable mannerÓ in which the music was arranged made it Òpossible to procure music of ideal beauty and perfec.tion.Ó8 Number 63, the ÒSuspended Zither,Ó was a 60-stringed Chordephon mounted vertically on a carved, art nouveau wooden panel; the coin-op.erated clockwork motor stood at the lower end of the panel, at a right angle to the zither. According to the cata.log, this model Òrequires little space and creates quite a novel and good impression.Ó8 Another 60-stringed Chordephon (reputed to play a 20-inch disc) is pictured in BowersÕ Encyclo.pedia; it appears to be a horizontal table model.6 An unusual 60-stringed model was Der Musikalische Starn.mtisch mit Geldeinwurf (The Musical Table for Regular Guests, with Coin Slot); here, the Chordephon mecha.nism is contained within the drawer of a cafe-table.2,6
The tuning scale for the 44-note Chordephons is as follows:
a, c, c, d, e, f, f#, g, a, a, b, b, c 1,c 1, c# 1, c#1, d1, e1, f#1, g1, d1, e1, f1 , f#1, g1, g1, g#1, a1, a#1, b1, b1, c2, c#2, c#2, d2, d2, d#2, e2, f2, f#2, g2, a2, b24
Note the odd break in the scale at the 20th note – weÕre uncertain of the reason for this. The lowest 18 strings are wound; replacements of the proper measured diameters can be obtained from ghs Strings. Replacements for the unwound 24 upper strings can be purchased from Schaff Piano Supply Company. (See resources listed at end of article for all referenced restoration materials.)
Having looked for years for a Chor.dephon to add to my collection, I (LK) was blessed four times over when I finally found one. For one thing, the model that Jere Ryder had for sale at the Bound Brook, New Jersey, Mechanical Music Show last April was the ÒAuto-Chordephonette,Ó Number 15A, with its separate pin block and sounding board within an iron frame; for a second thing, it was not in need of extensive restoration. A third advan.tage was that just a few booths down the aisle, Marty Roenigk had for sale another 15A, this one in worse condi.tion, but still eminently restorable. Thus, it would be possible to have a reference Chordephon fully assem.bled while the other was in pieces. But probably the greatest break of all was the fact that Alan Bies and Steve Boehck were at that particular show; having already restored Chordephons, they sat down with me over my new acquisitions and patiently walked me through the entire restoration process. Without that help, we wouldnÕt have even known where to start.
Where to start is to remove the cotter pin and release the motor winding lever (Photo 2); then loosen the screw atop the disc drive wheel and slide the wheel off its arbor (Photo 3). Now the motor cover and motor (with attached on/off and speed control levers) are easily unscrewed and removed from the underside of the wooden cradle. The upper motor plate remains attached to the cradle; it can be easily cleaned in place. The lower plate and motor components are disassembled and cleaned in an ultrasonic bath, then put back together and lubricated (Photo 4). The brass control levers are cleaned ultrasonically, polished, and lacquered. Before lacquering, the black ink of the incised letters and directional arrows on the levers (Photo 5) can be replaced, using Black Background Antique.

Next, the decorative metal frame containing pin block and sounding board is separated from the wooden cradle by removing the large screws on the underside of the cradle (Photo 6). To clean the cradle we used Williamsville aerosol wood cleaner. This product removes dirt and grease vigorously from wood or metal surfaces but does not harm paint or even decals. (It does dissolve inks, however, such as those used on some clock dials).
Then, the disc pressure bar is unscrewed from its brass mounting surface; the mounting block is unscrewed from the outer side of the
28 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Chordephon No. 9. ÒBijou.Ó Size
20 x 9 x 4.Ó – 11 pounds.
Chordephon No. 10. Size 24 x 12 x
4.Ó- 25 pounds. Also available as
coin-op in Model No. 12.

Salon-Chordephon No. I 1. Size Chordephon No. 15. Size 26 x 10 x 5Ó-
22. x 22 x 9Ó- 3 pounds. 15 pounds.
Chordephon. No. 16. Size 26 x 19 x 7.Ó – 26 pounds.
These photocopies are from an
original Chordephon catalog.

Chordephon Cabinet Automaton Chordephon No. 63. Suspended
No. 18, to be suspended from wall. Zither, 60 notes, coin-operated.
Size 5Õ x 2.Õ x 5.Ó- 108 pounds. Size 24 x 12 x 4.Ó – 25 pounds.

With Chordephons Numbers 15 and 15A (the ÒHand cranked ChordephonÓ and the ÒAuto-ChordephonetteÓ we see a major change in construction. The pin block and sounding board, now separate structures with a felt-covered metal bridge between them, are mounted within a rigid, decorative rectangular cast-iron frame.
metal frame; the central pressure bar post and the left disc roller wheel are unscrewed, and the right disc support roller wheel is carefully unscrewed from its threaded setting in the right end panel of the metal frame. The starwheel/ damper/plectrum assembly is unscrewed from its two mountings, and the decorative brass cover is unscrewed from the rear (Photo 7). At this point of disassembly we cleaned the strings with a fine brass brush, taking care to avoid damage to either the blue felt between pin block and sounding board or the attractive brass bridge. Similarly, a steel wire-brush carefully applied by hand did a good job of removing the dirt and light rust from the 44 tuning pins. Then we cleaned the sounding board and pin block by first blowing compressed air over the surface and then working a long, narrow strip of steel with a rag attached to the end (such as used by piano tuners) back and forth under the strings. Thus, restringing was not necessary on this instrument; unfortunately, this was not true of the second Chordephon. Soot and grease had worked its way entirely through the finish and into the wooden surfaces of the pin block and sounding board; in addition, the tuning pins were entirely covered with heavy rust. Therefore, we unscrewed the right side of the metal frame to uncover the pins for the looped string ends (Photo 8) and – with no little reluctance – we removed all the strings, separated the pin block and sounding board from the metal frame, and had the two wooden components professionally cleaned and refinished. We cleaned, polished, and lacquered the brass bridge and cleaned the tuning pins with a very fine wire brush on a 1,750 rpm motor (Photo 9); as the final step in the restoration of this instrument, MBSI member Carl Kehret reseated the tuning pins and restrung the instru.ment. We cleaned the florally decorated metal frame with the Williamsville wood cleaner; then we cleaned, polished,
No. 21s. Upright Concert-Automaton. Size 8Õ x 2Õ9.Ó X 1Õ11Ó, 198. pounds.
30 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Photo 7. Top view of Chordephon show.ing removable components as in text.
and lacquered the brass parts: the two disc roller wheel assembly, the latch end of the disc pressure bar, the pres.sure bar center post, the pressure bar mounting block, the decorative shield for the starwheel/damper/plectrum assembly, and the disc drive wheel. At that point we turned our attention to the pressure bar and the starwheel/ damper/plectrum assembly.
Except for its brass latching portion, the pressure bar is unplated, polished steel (Photo 10). The five rollers corre.spond with circumferential notches in the bar; small springs set into these notches hold the rollers in place via pressure against the apices of V-shaped circumferential groove in- side the rollers, exerting pressure outward to hold the rollers in place. Steve and Alan suggested careful removal of the rollers, followed by cleaning and polishing of the bar with fine emery paper, then replacement of the rollers. In our inexperienced hands, though, this seemed a dicey proposition, so instead, we gave the intact pressure bar an ultra-sonic cleaning. Then we placed the bar upright in a nylon-jawed vise and polished it by looping thin strips of fine emery paper around the bar and moving them back and forth in shoe-shining fashion, taking great care to not abrade the surfaces of the rollers. To our delight -and relief -this worked perfectly: the steel surface was below the roller surfaces through a left clean and gleaming, and the rollers #26 needle on the end of a small hypo-were unscratched. Another ultrasonic dermic syringe left the rollers moving bath removed the fine particles of grit, freely on their arbor. and a small drop of light oil injected The starwheel/damper/plectrum assembly was the most critical and interesting component (Photo 11). Remember all that hoopla in the catalog about the ChordephonÕs double-dampering system? Each string is supplied with two starwheels: one wheel moves a leather-faced steel-strip damper against the side of a string to silence it, then activates a steel plectrum to sound the string. So far, the process is similar to what occurs in most disc music boxes. But then the second starwheel can be activated to move a second damper against the string, the result being a note sounded only briefly, rather than one allowed to ring out until the natu.ral processes of sound decay have their effect. A glance at a Chordephon disc helps to illustrate this principle (Photo 12): a relatively small number of projections are followed directly by second projections punched immedi.ately inside their predecessors tracks. The single projections produce long, ringing notes; the doubles produce short notes.

Since Chordephons were first manufactured in late 1895 and the British patent of 1897 seems to be related to the double-dampering system,7 it would be interesting to know whether Chordephons with single starwheel and damper systems exist today: presumably these would be the earlier models. Depending upon the manner in which these assemblies were put together, earlier and later Chordephons might or might not be able to play discs made for the other.
The plectra are thin L-shaped fingers of mild spring steel and, although the Chordephon has been described as a plucked-string instru.ment,7 the manner in which the strings are plucked is unique. The familiar string-plucking technique for hand-played string instruments and for automatic banjos and harps involves drawing the plectrum – whether the fingernail of the player or a pick made of metal or plastic – across the string so as to first stretch, then release it, thereby setting it into vibration. In the Chordephon, however, rotation of the starwheel results in the plectrum being pushed down against the top surface of the string, stretching the string; then, further starwheel rotation causes the plectrum to be very rapidly released, such that the string is set into vibration (Photo 13).
At rest, the plectra lie against a bed of 100-year-old rubber, considerably hardened and susceptible to breakage. Because of the possible harmful effect of the ultrasonic cleaning and rinsing solutions on decomposing rubber, we decided to clean the starwheel/ damper/plectrum assembly by hand. Compressed air was useful in blowing away a great deal of the accumulated dust and dirt, and patient application of small brushes did a good job of cleaning out the spaces between the dampers and the starwheel channels. After taking care to adjust all starwheels to the rest position, we saw that some plectra were bent downward, away from the rubber pad; by using dental picks with jewelerÕs screwdrivers for counter-pressure, we were able to straighten the plectra with relative ease. All plectra were
32 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

present on one Chordephon, but two were missing on the more seriously damaged instrument. These were replaced by shaping steel strips to form, using a vise and wire-bending pliers, then soldering the new plec.trum into place in overlapping fashion onto the original remnant.
Crooked dampers, whether primary or secondary, were straightened by careful use of small needle-nose pliers.
Before re-seating the starwheel/ damper/plectrum assembly we sprayed the stained surfaces of the wooden cradle and the entire top surface of the metal frame/pin block/ sounding board with high-grade clear lacquer. This brought the instrument to a nearly factory new appearance, largely covering over the defects in the original finish on the wooden surfaces.
Photo 13. Starwheel/damper/plectrum assembly removed from frame, showing height-adjustment posts.
Tuning the instrument turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than weÕd anticipated: small adjustments of the tuning pins produced significant changes in pitch of the strings, and our attempts using a tone emitter left both the Chordephon and its attendants unpleasantly out of temper. However, a Peterson Model 320 strobe tuner, with a microphone pickup attached to the underside of the wooden cradle, gave excellent results.
The last step was to screw the star.wheel/damper/plectrum assembly into place, giving attention to the small, square headed screw posts in both mounting blocks (Photo 14); adjusting these posts downward increases the volume of play, while moving them upward softens the sound. Compen.satory adjustments then needed to be made in the height of the pressure bar latch, via a set screw for its post as shown in Photo 14.

Voila! The restored Chordephon Automatic Zither.

Thanks to Steve Boehck and Alan Bies for their generosity and patience in explaining both the mechanics of the Chordephon and their own restoration techniques – a fine exemplification of MBSI friendship and cooperation.
References
1.
Buchner, A., Mechanical Musical Instru.ments, Batchworth Press, London, p 166.

2.
Friberg, Claes 0., The Music Box 7(4), 1975, pp 165-166.

3.
Haspels, J.J., Musical Automata, Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1994, p 158.

4.
Weiss-Stauffacher, H., The Marvelous World of Music Machines, Kodanska, Intl., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, 1976, p 124.

5.
Wendel, S., The Mechanical Music Cabi.net, Dortmund, Germany, 1984, p 156.

6.
Bowers, Q. David, Encyclopedia of Auto.matic Musical Instruments, Vestal Press, Vestal, NY, 1972, pp 357-358.

7.
Ord-Hume, Arthur, The Music Box 6(5): 1974, pp 320-323.

8.
Anon., Chordephon Sales Catalog, un.dated.

9.
Bies, Alan and Boehck, Steve, personal communication.

Sources
¥ ghs Strings, Battle Creek, Michigan.
¥
Schaff Piano Supply Company, 541 Oak.wood Road, Lake Zurich, IL 60047.

¥
Black Background Antique (Product #PM130), Vigor Company, 1218 Six Flags Road, Austell, GA 30001.

¥
Williamsville Aerosol Wood Cleaner, Antique Phonograph Supply Company, Rt. 23, Box 123, Davenport Center, NY 13751.

The authors, father and daughter, are eclec.tic collectors who reside in Seattle, WA

Hope and Despair:
The Organ Grinder and The Concentration Camp

In this screen capture from a YouTube video, the main character of Brundib‡r with his barrel organ is clearly seen. The full video (source at end of article) shows footage of the finale of the play from the Nazi-produced propaganda film that was shot
at Theres’enstadt concentration camp in 1944.
By Dr. Robert Penna
Organ grinders are often charac.terized as jolly old men cranking a mechanical device surrounded by smiling adults and singing/dancing children. Yet, reality tells a different and at times a sad story. Many indi.viduals were tricked into leaving their homelands by scurrilous individuals and forced to live in substandard conditions. They were often victims of prejudice and intolerance. Struggling to carry or push a heavy instrument in all types of weather and bored by the repetitious playing of tunes, it was a job few would envy.1 There were many times that these hard-working poor individuals were considered little more than nuisances, often chased and ridiculed by the people they tried to entertain.2
Organ grinders and their barrel organs were still a common sight on our streets in the early 20th century. In the cartoons of this era, grinders are shown demonstrating almost all emotions from joy to anger. Their purpose in these comedic cartoons was to entertain the audiences with colorful antics. Cartoons such as ÒTail of the MonkeyÓ (1926), ÒHurdy GurdyÓ (1929), ÒMariutchÓ (1930), and ÒHurdy-Gurdy HareÓ (1948) clearly demonstrate this.3
However, there is so much more to the role of the organ grinder and his musical device than comedy. In some instances, the organ grinder and his instrument were used to send a political message. In ÒOrgan GrinderÕs SwingÓ (1937), Popeye and Pluto combat over the organ grinderÕs right to entertain. This was a clear message sent to Mayor LaGuardia of New York railing against his decision to ban organ grinders from the city. This cartoon demonstrated the publicÕs fondness for
34 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

A poster advertising the performance of ÒBrundib‡rÓ at Another poster announcing ÒBrundib‡rÓ and featuring the bar-
Theres’enstadt concentration camp 1944.
the organ grinder and his monkey. Set in New York and chronologically close to La GuardiaÕs legal action, it helps us gauge the publicÕs attitude toward the ban on street organs.4
But the role of the organ grinder has never been more powerful and polit.ically important as in the childrenÕs opera ÒBrundib‡r.Ó Written at the start of World War II as Europe was prepar.ing for war, it is considered a work of resistance against the forces of evil. The power of this opera stems in part from its tragic history as well as its story of victory against overwhelming odds.
Performed by children from Terez’n (Theres’enstadt Concentration Camp) for children and adult prisoners, this simple story takes on special meaning for the members of the audience. Simple characters that children would have readily recognized such as an organ grinder, policeman, and

rel organ prominently.
merchants take on meaningful often insidious roles.
The ordinary policeman becomes a symbol of the oppressive Nazi police and Brundib‡r, the simple organ grinder, assumes the role of the chief oppressor from the Nazi regime. Commerford writes, ÒThe Brundib‡r character symbolized Hitler himself, a bully and tyrant who would stop at nothing to get his own way, including threatening the innocence and needs of small children.Ó5
The opera was composed by Hans Kr‡sa in 1938. A few months after the opera was completed, the German army invaded and occupied Czecho.slovakia. Kr‡sa, who was Jewish, was barred from performing his opera before a general audience according to Nazi race laws. ÒBrundib‡rÓ was not given its premiere until 1942 at the Vinohrady Jewish BoysÕ Orphanage, which had become a recital hall for the Jews of the Prague ghetto. Before the first performance, Kr‡sa was arrested and sent in the first transport of Prague Jews to Terez’n, the NaziÕs Òmodel ghettoÓ for the Jews of Central Bohemia. In reality, it was a concen.tration camp and a way station for the death camps of Auschwitz. After only three performances, the all-boy cast, the conductor and accompanists were arrested and sent to Terez’n.
Using a smuggled script, the opera was re-orchestrated for the 13 adult instrumentalists on hand in Terez’n. Some improvements in the production took place at the camp. A co-ed cast was assembled, new scenery was designed, a new finale engineered and importantly Òthe boy playing Brundib‡r is wearing a mustache, which, though more of the handle-bar than toothbrush variety, surely made its point.Ó6
The plot of ÒBrundib‡rÓ is basically

Photo of cast taken at Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (Terez’n). Research indicates the last surviving member of the main cast is Ela Stein. She was the Cat in every performance that was staged between September 1943 and September 1944. She is likely the tall child to the right of the organ grinder.10
a folk tale set to music and told from the perspective of two young children, Aninka and Pep’.ek, who are in need of milk for their ailing mother. As the doctor has prescribed milk for her health, they go to seek it in the town marketplace. Unfortunately, they have no money to purchase any. Three trad.ers hawk their wares: an ice-cream man, a baker and a milkman. The children engage the milkman in song, but he tells them that they need money to purchase the milk. A gruff and overbearing policeman threatens the children with his club in case they are considering taking some without paying.
Frightened but determined to buy some milk, the children sit in the street to discuss their options. Suddenly they hear the beautiful music of a barrel organ (actually the orchestra). It is the organ grinder, Brundib‡r, playing his instrument. All the townsfolk seem mesmerized by the melodious sounds and begin dancing. The townspeople give money to the organ grinder as he continues to play.
Aninka and Pep’.ek are surprised and question, ÒBut why give money to him? … What has he done to deserve it?Ó At that, the policeman responds providing justification for all grinders, ÒMusic is what you get. Where thereÕs music, thereÕs dancing, and good cheer and thatÕs worth anyoneÕs money.Ó

Aninka and Pep’.ek decide to entertain the townsfolk by singing. Of course, Pep’.ek puts his hat on the ground hoping the townspeople will donate some coins. Singing a childish song about geese flying away, they annoy the townsfolk, the merchants, Brundib‡r, and the policeman who chase them. Accusing them of greed, Brundib‡r states, ÒTwo beggars, we donÕt like your sort.Ó Pushed and hit with a truncheon, the children fall to the ground. The grinder asks, ÒDo you know who I am?Ó When the children say they donÕt know, Brundib‡r takes the officerÕs club and hits him over the head, saying ÒThey donÕt know who I am.Ó Then in song, Brundib‡r describes himself Òas the greatest organ grinder in the worldÓ and brags, ÒAll obey me! Ha ha ha.Ó
Night falls and the children sit
36 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

A photograph from ÒBrundib‡rÓ showing the full cast, audience of children and the set of the opera. Ela Stein is to the left of
the organ grinder in this photo.
alone on the stage. Aninka, who is frightened asks, ÒWhy does Brundib‡r so hate us?Ó Her brother responds, Ò Brundib‡r has got no reason.Ó Discuss.ing their plight, they decide, ÒWe are helpless.Ó [this is clearly the question and thoughts of the Jewish children who watched this opera in the Terez’n Concentration Camp where it was performed].
Coming to them late at night when the childrenÕs feelings are at their lowest, three animals Ð a sparrow, cat, and dog Ð volunteer their help. The dog explains, ÒBullies always think theyÕre tough, itÕs all boasting, wind and bluff.Ó The sparrow claims, ÒNever give up; never give in; never lose hope that we can win. Yes, we can win.Ó Whispering on stage, the characters vow to work together and promise Òjustice will soon be doneÓ and Òfreedom will soon be won.Ó
The next morning when all the chil.dren of the village begin their morning exercises, the three animals convince them to aid Aninka and Pep’.ek saying in part, Òif we stick together, we can win the childrenÕs struggle against an evil dictator and teach all the world a lesson.Ó All agree including the police officer.
The plan goes ahead: the animals and children drown out Brundib‡r; they then join in a beautiful lullaby. The townsfolk are very moved and give Aninka and Pep’.ek money. Suddenly, Brundib‡r sneaks in and steals their takings. All the children and the animals give chase and recover the money. The opera concludes with a victory march sung about defeating the evil organ-grinder.7
It is impossible to miss the parallels between the characters in this opera and the situation that these inmates found themselves. The audience members identified with Aninka and Pep’.ek and recoiled from the mean-spiritedness of Brundib‡r. To them, it was a clear distinction as to who was the innocent and downtrod.den and who was the evil dictator.
Yet, the Nazis realized that there was a propagandistic potential to the play. They could mislead the world into believing that the interned Jews were not mistreated and lived in a pleasant and creative atmosphere. Therefore, the film ÒTheres’enstadt -eine Dokumentarfilm aus den jŸdische SiedlungsgebietÓ (Theres’enstadt
-A Documentary from the Jewish Settlement Area) was produced to purposely provide misinformation on the plight of the Jews. Also, when the International Red Cross inspected Terez’n in September 1944, the play was featured in order to mislead how the children were treated. It would be the last performance as all artists were then sent to Auschwitz and other eastern destinations within the next two weeks.7
While only a half hour long, the story of the evil organ grinder quickly grasped the attention of the audience. The allegorical nature of the story of victory over a tyrant could be extrapolated to include the political oppression suffered by the inmates. They understood that the simple plot of ÒBrundib‡rÓ represented all that the Nazi regime stood for. When the children sang their final song of victory over the cruel Brundib‡r, there was no doubt about the evil he personified. This was the very evil that caused the young performers of the opera to be deported to Auschwitz and the gas chambers.8
The organ grinder has many roles in literature and the media, from the comedic to the heroic, from the altruist to the tyrant. Although gone from our streets, the grinder and his music still hold a special place for us all. At times, he and his instrument can be viewed as valiant: saving a damsel in distress or summoning the police to thwart a crime.9 But in ÒBrundib‡r,Ó the organ grinder is the ultimate villain. Yet, his defeat provided hope and promise for the frightened and persecuted children of Terez’n. ÒBrundib‡rÓ offers one addi.tional perspective in understanding the role of the organ grinder and his impact on society.
The BBC broadcast ÒBrundib‡rÓ in 1995 with Ronald CorpÕs New London ChildrenÕs Choir. It was stage directed by John Abulafia and directed for TV by Simon Broughton. It can be found at: https://holocaustmusic.ort.org/ places/Theres’enstadt/Brundib‡r/
Footage of the finale of the play from the Nazi-produced propaganda film (performed at Terez’n) can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=fMiuQfaysrE

Footnotes

1.
Penna, Robert. ÒThe Italian Organ Grinder: His Life Revealed,Ó Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, Septem.ber/October 2021.

2.
Penna, Robert. ÒJoy and Suffering: The Organ Grinders of Lon.don and Manchester,Ó The Music Box, Musical Box Society of Great Britain, Autumn 2020.

3.
Penna, Robert, ÒCartoon Crankers,Ó Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, July/August 2019

4.
Penna, Robert. ÒOrgan Grinders, the Mayor and Cartoons of the 1930ÕsÓ Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, January/February 2018.

5.
Dougherty, Tim. ÒChildrenÕs Opera ÔBrundib‡rÕ Sends Message of Resistance,Ó Noozhawk, Noozhawk, Santa Barbara, CA, May 31, 2021.

6.
Kushner, Tony. ÒHans Kr‡sa,Ó Music of Remembrance, Seat.tle, WA, 2020. https://www.musicofremembrance.org/work/ brundibar

7.
Toltz, Joseph. ÒBrundib‡r: Introduction and Brief History,Ó Music and the Holocaust, Ort House, London, 2021. https://holocaust.music.ort.org/places/theresienstadt/brundibar/

8.
ÒBrundib‡r Study Guide,Ó Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Mani.toba, Canada, 2021.

9.
Penna, Robert. ÒThe Hurdy Gurdy to the Rescue: An Example of Cinematic Music,Ó Musical Box Society International Bulletin, Musical Box Society International, Summer/Spring 1984.

10.
Rubin, S. & Weisberger, E. The Cat with the Yellow Star: Coming of Age in Terez’n, Holiday House Publishing, New York, 2006.

38 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Interesting Tidbits

Bill Wineburgh sent in this image of an old tintype photograph that may have been staged for some promotional purpose. Based on the clothing, the image was likely made around the year 1900.
One of the men is holding his hat out as if he is pretending to panhandle while another of the men plays the organette.
The organette may be an Ariston.

Tune card restorations from an unusual source
By Bob Caletti
Recently, while restoring a few music boxes, I found myself in a situation where the tune cards on the boxes were in tatters. The paper was torn, faded or pieces were just miss.ing. The owners wanted a restored look presented to match the rest of their restored music box.
In each of the before and after examples on these pages, I removed the original tune card that was attached to the music box lid, then searched for similar tune card pictures on the internet that showed the missing parts of each.
I gave all these digital photos to my local professional camera service shop (most towns will have at least one shop like this). They used a scan.ner to make high-resolution images of the original tune cards and compared them with the pictures I provided them of similar complete tune cards so they could see what was missing from each one.

The results, in my opinion, were fantastic. They were able to produce new tune cards on heavy card stock paper for me that, while not exactly like the originals, certainly matched the look very closely.
In one case I had the outside design but needed the tune list restored, so I printed the outside design with a blank area where the tune titles go. I then had a calligrapher fill in the titles and composers.

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Model B Steinway Duo-Art
And a Royal Connection?
The music room in the authorÕs home with the Steinway Model B reproducing piano at left.

Model B Steinway Duo-Art
By Mark Singleton
I have the pleasure of being the current custodian of a fine Steinway Model B, Pedal and Electric Duo-Art Reproducing Piano. The ÔBÕ was made in 1927 as (so IÕm told) a special order for the former King of Portugal, Manuel II, who was in exile in West London. Manuel II never took delivery, however, and the piano ended up at the Eton School for Boys, Berkshire. The ÔBÕ was eventually purchased by The Auto Piano Company in Slough and they used it for demonstrations and as a recording piano for their piano roll enterprise.
As a regular visitor to The Auto Piano Company in the early 1980s, I had the opportunity to play rolls on the piano and also witness the recording sessions. These performances were recorded on an Apple 2 computer and (after editing) these files were used to control the perforating machine and produce new rolls. Tragically, in 1989, the owner of the shop was killed in a motorway accident and the business was closed and the piano was sent to auction.
I was not in a position to bid at the auction and it was purchased by another keen collector and enthusiast. He set about a full and comprehensive pneumatic restoration and had the instrument restrung and frame refin.ished. Many years later (in 2005), I had the opportunity to buy it and IÕve not had a momentÕs regret since. It is played every day and still puts a smile on my face from ear to ear. Over the years, I have continued the restoration process, including pneumatics and piano action. I did a full strip and French polish of the case and, with the help and encouragement from other enthusiasts and members of sister societies, the piano is performing well.
Only a small number (we think 12) of Steinway pianos of this size (about 7-feet-6-inches) were built and there are very few surviving today. To my knowledge, there are three in the UK (including this one), a couple in the USA and one in Russia. (If others are known of, IÕd be pleased to hear.)
I was introduced to a clever guy (and now sadly late) Bob Hunt and his Virtual Roll System by an Australian enthusiast a few years ago. The virtual roll is an easily installed MIDI e-valve system. It enables roll operated mechanical musical instruments to be played by digital files as well as paper rolls. All roll data, including expression, is conveyed to the e-valve system via MIDI where it controls the instrumentÕs pneumatic valves exactly and precisely as the original roll would have. Purists may cringe at the thought but rest assured Ð it can be removed in minutes. The valves are connected to the tracker bar tubing with a simple ÔTÕ piece. The computer sends instructions to open and close
Ð just like the perforations in a roll. The pianoÕs pneumatics operates in exactly the same way. I now have several thousand scanned music rolls on one CD, opening up a new world of music and solving a serious roll storage problem.
The note mapping of each decoder chip on the processor board allows any valve to be programmed to respond to any MIDI note/channel instruction. In an e-roll, the entire tracker bar signal information is stored as MIDI note on-off data including the expression data. The musical notes and expression codes are in the same order in MIDI as they are on the tracker bar. The actual valve that responds to each ÔnoteÕ is programmable by following the note mapping procedure, and is pre-set for the particular installation when the virtual roll is prepared initially.
My musical tastes are rather eclectic and this piano has given me the opportunity to listen to historic performances, as recorded by some of the greatest pianists of the age, and reproduced by the Duo-Art system and also, being both pedal and elec.tric, it allows me to play 88-note rolls and give my own interpretation on the music (or thoroughly murder it!).
One of the joys of our hobby is the ability to share and the ÔBÕ is usually the Star Turn at our musical soirŽes and society meetings. I am currently experimenting with video and sound recording techniques to promote mechanical music of all types.
Early tests can be seen atÊhttps://bit. ly/3sDfsp3Êand https://bit.ly/3JrwmOf.

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 editor@mbsi.org, call (253) 228-1634
or mail to: Mechanical Music 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Originally Published in The Music Trade Review Vol. 56, No. 12 (March 22, 1913)
String Tensions Again
By William Braid White
I have had a letter from a Milwau.kee correspondent which makes me think that perhaps I had better go a little deeper into the matter of string tensions, concerning which, it will be remembered, Mr. Wenzel-Schmidt recently addressed this department. My Milwaukee correspondent says:
ÒEditor Technical Department: Dear Sir ÐÊI have been very much interested in reading the items in your Technical Department. The other day I happened to run across your explanation as to string tension, and was a little bit confused in the figures, and I will thank you very much for further explanation on the subject.
ÒI should like to have you figure out for me how I can arrive at the tension of a steel string six inches long, strung with No. 16 Poehlmann wire and sounding the second E in the treble (the twenty-first note).Ó
The mathematical calculation for string tension is arrived at by comparison of the factors which enter into the composition of the complete string when stretched and sounding its appropriate pitch. These factors are the speaking length, the weight, and the frequency of vibration. All are interdependent, and if we know them, the tension can be readily calculated. Conversely, any one of the facts can also be calculated if we know the rest. Thus, if we know tension, pitch and weight, length can be calculated; and so on for all of them.
The process of obtaining a formula for calculation of tensions need not be demonstrated here. It will be enough for present purposes to give the formula and show how they may be applied.
The general formula for calculating tension is as follows:
V2 L M
T = ————————–
675,000
where T stands for tension in pounds, V for frequency of vibrations per minute, L for speaking length in inches, and M for weight of speaking length in grains troy. To put the matter in the form of a rule: The tension in pounds of a given string is equal to the product of the square of the Vibration frequency, by the speaking length in inches, by the weight of the speaking length in grains troy, divided by 675,000.
Let us now take the example furnished by our correspondent: The string E to which he refers as the twenty-first from the top is E 5, and at international pitch its frequency is approximately 1,303 vibrations per second. No. 16 wire weighs about 2.17 grains troy per inch. The length of the string is 6 inches. Hence its weight will be 6 X 2.17 grains troy. Hence tension equals:
13032 X 6 X 6 (6 X 2.17) —————-lbs. or 196.5 lbs 675,000

Obviously, this is too high a tension at the given pitch and for the given length. Either the string is too long or else the wire number should be reduced. I think the latter is the more probable solution.
Now, it should be understood that these calculations are valuable only in so far as the various factors are abso.lutely maintained. If the pitch is below international, even to a slight degree, the tension will be markedly less. Again, not all steel wire is of identical weight for a given number. I have some time since compiled a table of weights from figures given by manufacturers of the number of feet to a pound avoirdu.pois. Of course, the best plan would be to weigh on a delicate balance a piece of wire of the exact given speaking length and taken from the same coil as is to be used afterwards. Then there would be no danger of making a gross error in weight.

Mr. Wenzel-Schmidt, in his recent comments on this formula, made the point that the stretching of the string over the bearing-bar and bridges reduces its ÒdurabilityÕÕ by something like 10 percent. This means, I suppose, that the breaking limit of a string is lowered by 10 percent when it is stretched over the bearing-bar and bridge of a piano. I cannot see, however, just why this should be so, nor do I see why the fact that a string has waste ends, limited by points where the stretching force, as at the bearing-bar and bridge, is of course higher than elsewhere, should I in the least have the assigned effect. So far as concerns the actual formula here set forth, it must be remembered that l have to deal with conditions on the assumption that they are fixed. For instance, if I undertake to calculate the tension on a string in certain given conditions, l have to assume that the given pitch is actually attained and maintained. If the piano be later tuned to a different pitch, or if it be out of tune, the calculated tensions will no longer serve to represent the actual condition of things. The same thing is true of the lengths and weights. But if all the conditions be observed, the mathematical calcu.lation will be found correct, as nearly as possible.
At this point, I should like to say that with the data here given anyone can calculate the tension of the strings in any scale. In addition to the formula which I give, the investigator should provide himself with a table of weights showing the number of grains per inch in every number of wire used by him, and also with a table of the lengths showing the precise speaking length of his strings. By these means he can obtain the weights of each. He should also have a table of the pitch of each note according to whatever diapason he uses in tuning. The international pitch is best, and can easily be calculated for every note in the following manner: The middle C at

international pitch has a frequency of 258.65 vibrations per second. From this, by doubling at each ascending octave, we may obtain the pitch of the highest note on the piano (C 7), which is 4138.44. Now, the equal temperament assumes that each octave contains 12 equidistant semitones, and the semitone proportion therefore is 1-12th root of 2, or 1.1059. Hence, if the pitch number of C 7 be divided by this factor (1.059) the result will be the pitch or the semitone next below, or B 6. From this again can be calculated B flat 6, and so on. When twelve semitones have thus been calcu.lated from C 7 to C sharp 6, the lower octaves can be had by the simple process of halving the pitch of the highest octave for each octave descending. Thus, a table of frequencies at the international pitch can be easily compiled. With these at hand, together with the other table of weights and the formula given above, the tension on strings can be calculated with a close
approach to absolute correctness. It is very important that the tension calculations should be
made as accurately as possi.ble, since the problem of designing a plate becomes a comparatively simple matter only when the strains in all directions are known. As things stand, many plates are made more or less by guesswork, and the result often is that weights are made excessive, Moreover, a thorough understanding of the nature and amount of the strains on the plate at all points enables us to judge with
46 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022
approach to accuracy the exact condi.tion of the scale during the process of tuning, and this assists us in designing in such a manner as to promote the quality of standing-in-tune, which in itself is largely one of equalization of strains.
The Wenzel-Schmidt tension-meter does the same thing mechanically, by actually registering the stretching force required to make a certain string of a certain length and weight give a certain pitch,
The whole subject of string -tensions could with advantage be restudied, and it would be a very good work to publish a set of tables showing the strains on plates under various conditions of stringing. Readers will have heard of the wonderful work in this direction done by the late Major McChesney, of the George P. Bent Co. His researches into the mathematical physics of piano building are classic, and it is only to be regretted that they have never been published to the world. Of course, one can hardly blame the George P. Bent Co. for holding this splendid piece of work strictly to itself, for it puts in their hands vast powers for improvement and refinement in the art. At the same time, the methods used are plain to all, and the same work can be duplicated by anyone who has the brains, the patience and the desire.

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.
The Hunt

Email your story to editor Russell Kasselman at editor@mbsi.org or mail a copy to:
MBSI Editorial Offices 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.
Interesting Tidbits
A player piano factory in full swing

These images are from the The Music Trade Review Vol. 56, No. 12 (March 22, 1913) accompanying an article about the Bjur Bros. 50,000 square-foot factoryÕs innovations including a sprinkler system and an elevator able to transport pianos and people to all four floors.
National Capital Chapter
Chapter Chair: Ken Gordon Reporters: Donna and Gene Borrelli Photographers: Gene Borrelli, Mike Falco, and Ginny Little.
Dec. 5, 2021 Ð Annapolis, MD
The National Capital Chapter held its holiday meeting on Sunday, Dec. 8, at the house of Cheryl and Dick Hack which is on the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, MD. There were 50 in attendance including eight guests and three new members. We were treated to a catered luncheon followed by a brief business meeting.
At the meeting, newly-elected Chap.ter President Ken Gordon thanked Matt Jaro for his past service as chap.ter president and also congratulated him for his new role as MBSI Vice President.

Paul Senger advised that the chapter Dick Hack demonstrates the Hupfeld Phonoliszt Violina.

New Chapter President Ken Gordon conducts the business meeting.

Donna Borrelli, Florie Hirsch, Knowles Little and Joe Orens enjoy lunch together.
Matt and Beni Jaro have a great time after a great lunch.
Listening to the DeCap Organ before lunch. Front: David Gene Borrelli and Knowles Little relaxing after the collection Burgess, Richard Simpson. Middle: Theresa Kraus, John King, demonstration. Laura Bates. Rear: Dick and Ann Maio.

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

received a Certificate of Recognition from the Bowie City Council in appre.ciation for the mechanical music demonstration given by the chapter in October. The certificate was signed by the mayor.
Following the business meeting Dick and Cheryl demonstrated their collec.tion to members. The Hacks have an extensive collection of mechanical music. It includes a variety of nickel.odeons, organs, orchestrions, pianos, music boxes, phonographs, and a few jukeboxes and movie jukeboxes spanning from 1836 to 2005. Some of the pieces played were a Weber Unika, Hupfeld Phonoliszt Violina, Seeburg G Orchestrion, Welte Orchestrion, Wurlitzer CX Orchestrion with added bells, Wurlitzer 153 Band Organ,

Phyllis Krochmal and Ginny Little rest after a busy afternoon helping Cheryl.
Jack Hardman, Al Zamba and Bob Yates catch up on old times and future days.

Davrainville Clockwork Barrel Organ, Regina Hexaphone Phonograph, Decap 92-key Dance Organ, Mortier Organ, Bursens CafŽ Organ, Ramey Banjo Orchestra, Mills Violano with Drum box, Mills Panoram movie jukebox, Polyphon 15.-inch musical tall clock, Wurlitzer Model B Harp (Reproduction built by Dick), Link 2E nickelodeon, Ruth 36 Organ, and a variety of other mechanical music machines. Cheryl also displayed her collection of modern and antique quilts.
We thank Cheryl and Dick for again hosting our holiday party.

The Seven Dwarfs ready to perform with the Regina Hexaphone.

WE WANT YOUR STORY!
Every mechanical musical instrument has a tale to tell. Share the history of people who owned your instrument before you, or the story of its restoration, or just what makes it an interesting piece. Send stories via email to editor@mbsi.org or mail your story to Iron Dog Media, 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
52 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

Joseph Berman, 1942Ñ2021
By Carol Beck
Joe Berman, a member of MBSI passed away on Dec. 12, 2021. Joe, along with his wife, Lynda, was a member of the society from 1968Ð 2014. In the early years he exchanged correspondence with Ruth Bornand and wrote several short articles for early publications. He served as Museum Committee Chair from March 2011 to March 2014. In this position, he identified 17 specific instruments from the MBSI collection, which were then housed in Oaks, PA, and arranged for their transportation to and subse.quent display in Scottsdale, AZ, at the Musical Instrument Museum. He also worked on the 2014 annual meeting committee.
In addition to collecting and appre.ciating antique music boxes, Joe enjoyed and collected antique pocket watches, and antiquarian books. He had many interests including amateur radio, the performing of and history of magic, early telegraphy, history of broadcasting, photography, Egyptol.ogy and pop-up books.
Joe was a retired professor and Dean Emeritus from Ohio University. He founded the J. Warren McClure School of Communication Systems Management in 1989, before the days of internet. Many former students credit their successful careers to the generous guidance ÒDr. JoeÓ provided. Joe and Lynda established the Berman Family Dance Scholarship at Ohio University and enjoyed following the training and advancement of its recipients.

Joe made many friends from all over the world and enjoyed sharing cultures, cooking and languages. He spoke French, Spanish and Russian. Joe always had a ready smile and was a true friend to all those around him. He will be missed by those who knew and loved him.
For more, visit https://bit.ly/3Jp.GlU7. To contact Lynda, 52 Charles St., Athens, OH 45702.

Sandra Kay Pittman Smith, 1939Ñ2021
Sandra was the second child born to Ouida Griffith Pittman and Daniel Nelson Pittman on Jun. 17, 1939 in San Angelo, TX. They lived in multiple states before settling in Midland, TX, where she graduated from Midland High School. She attended the Univer.sity of Houston, graduating with a degree in business. She worked at Exxon in the Houston area. Subse.quently, she met Philip S. Smith and they married in April 1963.
When their only child Gregory Scott Smith was born, Sandra became a full-time mother. Later she became a licensed Realtor dealing in residential sales. Philip and Sandra traveled extensively. They developed a passion and expertise for Victorian antiques, which led to her opening an antique business.
She also pursued various volunteer opportunities. She continued her affil.iation with Delta Gamma Sorority as an alumna with the Houston chapter. She did extensive family genealogy research. Other interests included obtaining her pilotÕs license and scuba diving certification. She was a gourmet cook and particularly enjoyed hosting family gatherings for the holidays. Sandra will be dearly missed.
Sandra is survived by her loving husband, Philip; son, Gregory Scott Smith; granddaughters, Monserrat Sandra Smith and Stephanie Ariana Smith; grandson, Brandon Edward Smith; great-granddaughter, Jocelyn Antonio-Smith; her only sibling, Nelda Pittman Seiver; and nieces, Vivian Seiver Heinrich and Deborah Seiver Gernentz.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest contributions to ÒThe Lighthouse of HoustonÓ at www.houstonlighthouse. org.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www. mcpetersfuneraldirectors.com for the Smith family.
Ñ Compiled from internet resources

Advertise in The Mart
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 by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Go online to place your advertisement at www.mbsi.org, fill out the form in the Mart section, or contact Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 to get started. You may also email advertisements to editor@mbsi.org

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.
54 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 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

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
$63,500

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 –

$34,500 $9775

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
(517) 331-8150

Phone 517-726-0181 ¥ Fax 517-726-0060 e-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net 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
occasions.
P.O Box 424 Randolph, VT 05060

support.

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
Supplement to

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
ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9
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.
Supplement to
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 March/April 2022

Advertise in The Mart

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 effective 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!
Name Phone
Email
Text of ad

This first-class tour will be conducted at a slow pace to give you time to enjoy every day of the 12-day program.
The tour will include outstanding collections and the following highlights:
The tour will begin and end in Frankfurt, Germany. We will start with a scenic Rhine River Cruise along medieval fortifications and castles. Then we continue onto Waldkirch in the Black Forest. The highlight will be the 13th International Waldkirch Orgelfest for 3 days with visits to the JŠger & Brommer Organ Factory, and the Elztal Museum. We will also explore Triberg and the Schwarzwald Museum. Our next destination is Ueberlingen, where we will visit the Raffin Organ Factory, take a cruise on Lake Constance and explore the beautiful Island of Mainau. On our way to Speyer, we will stop at Bruchsal to visit the German Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments. During our stay in Speyer, we will explore the Wilhelmsbau and the Technic Museum. We then depart to Ruedesheim to visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet and end the tour with the last overnight in Frankfurt. First-class hotels and deluxe bus transportation throughout the tour are guaranteed. A tour escort with 35 years of worldwide travel experience will make sure you can enjoy an unforgettable tour.

For further information please contact: Narrow Gauge Paradise Ð John Rogers -Musical Instrument Tours Dept.
P.O. Box 130807, Tampa, Florida 33681-0807 Tel: (001) 813 831 0357, Email: NGPAmerica@aol.com, Web: www.lgbtours.com
Due to the world situation with Covid, we have updated our tour program. It will include travel only within Germany.
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 editor@mbsi.org, call (253) 228-1634
or mail to: Mechanical Music 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Advertise in The Mart Email your ad to editor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634 to place your
ad for the March/April 2022 issue. Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space where you should be installing your next acquisition? Get the word out to other Add a photo to your ad! collectors by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price. Photos are only $30 extra per issue.
Email editor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634 for more details.
60 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022

New Arrivals!

Capitol Cuff Box ÒCÓ,
Mahogany, pristine finish & lid picture; with 10 mint cuffs (more available)!
Plus: ÉOLYMPIA 15 .Ó double comb, mahogany, on
matching base cabinet. Impeccable finish! ÉEUPHONIA 20 .Ó, short bedplate, oak, great sound! ÉMandoline arrangement cylinder box. ÉGRAND ROLLER ORGANS Ð Nine in stock! ÉGrand Roller Organ cobs Ð over 50 in stock! ÉREGINA 27Ó Accordion top in mahogany ÉREGINA 20 .Ó mahogany cupola top, short
Bedplate. Full rich sound! ÉORGANETTES Ð over 50 in stock in working or
do-it-yourself project condition. Over 1000 6Ó cobs! ÉPIANO MELODICA Ð 30 note, lots of music for it! ÉMANOPAN with lots of music strips! Éand much more!
NANCY FRATTI MUSIC BOXES
P.O. Box 400 Ð Canastota NY 13032 USA
315-684-9977 –musicbox@fron
ernet.net

MILLS VIOLANO -Very choice condition,
THE MART

professionally well maintained, one of the RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a best sounding violins and nicest youÕll ever
Display Advertising Dimensions and Costs
Dimensions 1 issue 3 issues* 6 issues*
Back Cover 8.75Ó x 11.25Ó $600 $540 $510
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
Eighth Page 3.5Ó x 2.125Ó $50 $45 $43
Add a 10% surcharge to the prices shown above if you are not a member of MBSI.
*Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount

ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.
ADVERTISING DEADLINES:

The 1st day of each even month: Feb., Apr., Jun, Aug., Oct. and Dec.
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.
CLASSIFIED ADS
¥
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

PLEASE NOTE:
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
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.
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.
http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

find. Rare walnut cabinet. Roll library. Priced for quick sale. $17,950. LARGE CONCERT FAIR ORGAN – ornate facade, nine carved figures, plays the best 89 keyless GAVIOLI music. $99K. Contact HERB BRABANDT, at johebra3@twc.com or (502) 425-4263
LOVELY 1928 CHICKERING AMPICO (A) 5Õ4Ó Grand Reproducing Piano with seat bench. Completely restored by Don McDon.ald with new strings and pins, and with a spool frame that will accommodate B rolls. 18 rolls included. Midi system later installed by Bob Hunt with files on included laptop. $19,500. ALLAN HERSCHELL (WURLITZER) 105 Carousel organ, circa 1926. Complete owner history known. Powerful and runs great. 11 rolls. $20,000. SEEBURG KT ORCHESTRIAN with violin pipes, tambourine, castanets and triangle. Completely restored
SUBMIT ADS TO:
MBSI Ads 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (253) 228-1634 Email: editor@mbsi.org
62 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2022
by Don McDonald with new hammers, felts, pins, strings, pneumatics and tubing. Has original Seeburg motor. 7 rolls. $26,000. All reasonable offers considered. Contact BOB ANDREN, at bobkandren@verizon.net or (805) 630-2187
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

WURLITZER 153 with lights in good playing condition for Broome County Historical Society. Contact DENNIS, at dcamarda@stny. rr.com or (607) 778-9085
REPRODUCO PIANO/ORGAN and rolls. Contact DONALD KRONLEIN at fbac@ one-eleven.net or (217) 620-8650.

Display Advertisers
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
3………. Renaissance Antiques 54…….. Music Box Restorations 54…….. Miller Organ Clock 55…….. Golden Gate Chapter 56…….. Stanton Auctions 57…….. Porter Music Box Company 58…….. MBSGB 58…….. American Treasure Tour 59…….. Reeder Pianos 59…….. Cottone Auctions 59…….. BenÕs Player Piano Service 59…….. 4-4Time.com 60…….. Musical Instrument Tours 61…….. Nancy Fratti Music Boxes 67…….. Marty Persky Music Boxes 68…….. Breker Auctions
Advertise in The Mart
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 by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Email your ad to editor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634 with questions. Ads must contain the following information:
¥
Name

¥
Phone or Email Address

¥
Text of ad

ORDER EXTRA COPIES
The 2020-2021 Directory of Members, Museums and Dealers is only $10 for members. (International shipping is extra)
Call MBSI Administrator Jacque Beeman at
(417) 886-8839 or send a check to: Musical Box Society International P.O. Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196

OFFICERS, TRUSTEES & COMMITTEES of the MUSICAL BOX SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL¨
OFFICERS COMMITTEES Membership Committee Nominating Committee
Chair, TBD Dan Wilson, Chair
President Audit

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 Southeast Southeast
musikwerke@att.net

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
Publications Committee

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 mjaro@verizon.net 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 541 TBD, Sunbelt Publications
Dave Calendine, Trustee
Sub-Committee
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

Bob Caletti, Trustee Museum Committee
Website Committee scarletpimpernel28@yahoo.com 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, ekozak1970@gmail.com
Marketing Committee Southeast
Museum Sub-Committees
Bob Smith, Chair David Corkrum, President,
Ohio Operations

Dave Calendine, Trustee Golden Gate
Rob Pollock, Mid-America
TRUSTEES Judy Caletti Donald Caine, Southern California Dave Calendine Jack Hostetler, Southeast
Meetings Committee
Bob Caletti SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Knowles Little, National Capital
Matt Jaro, Chair, Vice President
Edward Cooley Judy Miller, Piedmont
Judy Caletti Publications Back Issues:
David Corkrum Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan
Tom Chase Jacque Beeman
Richard Dutton Wayne Myers, Southeast
Cotton Morlock
G.Wayne Finger Regina Certificates: Rick Swaney, Northwest IntÕl
Rich Poppe B BronsonMatt Jaro
MBSI Editorial Office: Tom Kuehn MBSI Pins and Seals: Iron Dog Media Mary Ellen Myers Jacque Beeman 130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Librarian:
editor@mbsi.org
Jerry Maler
Historian:
Bob Yates
MBSI FUNDS

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 March/April 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

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a Òvirtual meeting?Ó Let us know! Send in your information by April. 1, 2022, for the May/June 2022 issue. DonÕt hold your questions until the next chapter meeting.
Ask them today on our Facebook discussion group – the Music Box Society Forum.
Please send dates for the Calendar of Events to Russell Kasselman (editor@mbsi.org)
CONTACTS

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 jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Traveling MBSI Display Bill Endlein 21547 NW 154th Pl. High Springs, FL 32643-4519 Phone (386) 454-8359 sembsi@yahoo.com
Regina Certificates: Cost $5. B Bronson Box 154 Dundee, MI 48131 Phone (734) 529-2087 art@d-pcomm.net
Advertising for Mechanical Music Russell Kasselman Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Phone (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
CHAPTERS
Snowbelt

Chair: Tracy Tolzmann (651) 674-5149 Dues $10 to Gary Goldsmith 17160 – 245th Avenue Big Lake, MN 55309
Southeast

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 rosebud441@juno.com
MBSI website Rick Swaney 4302 209th Avenue NE Sammamish, WA 98074 Phone (425) 836-3586 r_swaney@msn.com
Web Secretary Knowles Little 9109 Scott Dr. Rockville, MD 20850 Phone (301) 762-6253 kglittle@verizon.net
CHAPTERS
East Coast
Chair: Elise Low (203) 457-9888 Dues $5 to Roger Wiegand 281 Concord Road Wayland, MA 01778 or pay via PayPal, send to treasurer.eccmbsi@gmail.com
Golden Gate
Chair: Jonathan Hoyt jenjenhoyt@yahoo.com Dues $5 to Dave Corkrum 5826 Roberts Ave. Oakland, CA 94605
Japan
Chair: Naoki Shibata 81-72986-1169 naotabibito396amb@salsa.ocn.ne.jp Treasurer: Makiko Watanabe makikomakiko62@yahoo.co.jp
Lake Michigan
Chair: Aaron Muller (847) 962-2330 Dues $5 to James Huffer 7930 N. Kildare Skokie, Illinois 60076

Mid-America
Chair: Rob Pollock (937) 508-4984 Dues $10 to Harold Wade 4616 Boneta Road Medina, OH 44256
National Capital
Chair: Ken Gordon (301) 469-9240 Dues $5 to Florie Hirsch 8917 Wooden Bridge Road Potomac, MD 20854
Northwest International
Chair: Rick Swaney (425) 836-3586 Dues $7.50/person to Kathy Baer 8210 Comox Road Blaine, WA 98230
Piedmont

Temp Chair: Dan Wilson (919) 740-6579 musicboxmac@mac.com Dues $10 to Dan Wilson 4804 Latimer Road Raleigh, NC. 276099
Southern California
Chair: Robin Biggins (310) 377-1472 Dues $10 to Diane Lloyd 1201 Edgeview Drive Cowan Hgts, CA 92705
Sunbelt
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
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 3 May/June 2017
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 1 January/February 2017

CIRCULATION
Mechanical Music is mailed to more than 1,500 members of the Musical Box Society International six (6) times per year.
ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
The Musical Box Society International
accepts VISA, Mastercard and online
payments via PayPal.

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
DISPLAY ADVERTISING DIMENSIONS & PER ISSUE COSTS
Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
Back Cover 8.75Ó x 11.25Ó $600 $540 $510
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
Quarter Page 3.5Ó x 4.5Ó $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5Ó x 2.125Ó $50 $45 $43

Non-members pay a 10% surcharge on the above rates
Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads
10% Discount 6 consecutive ads
15% Discount

EIGHTH CLASSIFIED ADS PAGE
QUARTER
3.5Ó x 2.125Ó ¥ 47¢ per word
FULL PAGE PAGE

¥ ALL CAPS, italicized and
3.5Ó x 4.5Ó
bold words: 60¢ each.
8.75Ó X 11.25Ó

¥ Minimum Charge: $11.
(0.5Ó bleed)
¥ Limit: One ad in each category
7.25Ó x 9.75Ó

¥ Format: See ads for style
(live area) HALF PAGE
¥ Restrictions: Ads are strictly
HORIZONTAL
limited to mechanical musi.
7.25Ó x 4.5Ó
cal instruments and related items and services
PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
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

PRINTING & ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
Mechanical Music is printed on 70 lb gloss Email fi les to: paper, with a 100 lb gloss cover, sad-mbsi@irondogmedia.com 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 mats: PDF, PSD, AI, EPS, TIF. All images 130 Coral Court and colors should be CMYK or Grayscale Pismo Beach, CA 93449 and all fonts should be embedded or converted to outlines. Images should be a minimum of 300 dpi resolution.
Mechanical Music at its Best – www.Mechmusic.com
Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

Welte Style 4 Monster Paganini Orchestrion Welte Style 3 Welte Brisgovia C Concert Orchestrion 45Õer Niemuth Bacigalupo & Marty Cottage Orchestrion Luxus Orchestrion

Weber Maesto with Weber Otero with Violina Orchestra Hupfeld Helios II/25 Automaton Diorama Moving Scene
Offerings from the Jerry Cohen Collection

J. P. Seeburg Mills Novelty Co. KT Special Bowfront Violano

Jaeger Brommer Nicole Overture
20Õer Automaton Musical Chalet Nodding #23288 176 Teeth Musical Chairs Anniversary Organ Cat

Munson Model 2 Typewriter,Munson Typewriter Co., Chicago, 1895
Estimate: 1.500 Ð 2.000 ÷ /1,700 Ð 2,300 US$

Carousel Horse, probably Friedrich Heyn, c. 1900 Estimate: 2.000 Ð 3.000 ÷ /2,260 Ð 3,420 US$
2-inch Scale ÒBurrellÓ Traction Engine
Working model Estimate: 4.000 Ð 5.000 ÷ / 4,560 Ð 5,700 US$

French Desk Timepiece with Barometer and Thermometers, c. 1890
Estimate: 700 Ð 1.000 ÷ /790 Ð 1,140US$
Sholes and Glidden Typewriter,
E. Remmington & Sons, 1873
Estimate: 15.000 Ð 20.000 ÷ /17,100 Ð 22,800 US$
WorldÕs Leading Spring 2022 Sales:
ÈScience & TechnologyÇ ÈMechanical MusicÇ ÈOffice AntiquesÇÈPhotographica & FilmÇ
26 March 2022 14 May 2022
Rare Deluxe Telephone by Elektrisk Bureau Kristiania, c. 1894
Estimate: 6.000 Ð 8.000 ÷ /6,840 Ð 9,120 US$

Kretzschmar Kinematograph,Kinematographen-BauanstaltFridolin Kretzschmar, Dresden, c. 1902
Estimate: 9.000 Ð 14.000 ÷ /10,170 Ð 15,820 US$
Thomas de Colmar ÒArithmomtreÓ, c. 1870 Estimate: 3.500 Ð 4.500 ÷ / 3,960 Ð 5,130 US$
ÒPascalineÓ
(or ÒArithmatiqueÓ) Replica Estimate: 12.000 Ð 15.000 ÷ /13,560 Ð 17,100 US$
Emerson H4 ÒOriental GardenÓ Chinoiserie Cabinet Radio, c. 1933

Emerson Radio & Phonograph Corp., New York. Five-tube receiver. Estimate: 800 Ð 1.200 ÷ / 920 Ð 1,380 US$
ÒThe Fitch TypewriterÓ, Fitch Typewriter Co., Brooklyn, 1891 Estimate: 12.000 Ð 16.000 ÷ /13,560 Ð 18,080 US$
Art-Deco ÒBulletÓ Radio in Catalin Case, Hupfeld Helios Farnsworth Television & Radio Corp., c. 1948 Orchestral Piano,
Estimate:800 Ð 1.200 ÷ / 910 Ð 1,370 US$ Ludwig Hupfeld AG, c. 1925 Estimate: 35.000 Ð 45.000 ÷ /39,900 Ð 51,300 US$
Deluxe ÒEdison OperaÓPhonograph, c. 1913 Estimate: 6.000 Ð 7.000 ÷ /6,840 Ð 7,980 US$
Éand many more !

For more information and large colour photographs of some more of the upcoming Highlights please visit our website at: www.Breker.com / New Highlights and youtube.com/auctionteambreker
Fully-illustrated bilingual (Engl.-German) COLOUR Catalogue available against prepayment only: Euro 28.Ð (Europe) or elsewhere Euro 39.Ð (approx. US$ 45.Ð / Overseas)
. Consignments are welcome at any time!
ÒZoltar SpeaksÓ Fortune Teller,
Polyphon Style 105
Characters Unlimited,
Disc Musical Box, c. 1900
Boulder City, Nevada

Estimate: 5.000 Ð 7.000 ÷ / Ð The Specialists in ÈTechnical AntiquesÇ Ð Estimate: 12.000 Ð 15.000 ÷ /
13,680 Ð 17,100 US$

5,650 Ð 7,910 US$ P. O. Box 50 11 19, 50971 Koeln/Germany á Tel.: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 40 á Fax: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 430 Otto-Hahn-Str. 10, 50997 Koeln (Godorf)/Germany e-mail: Auction@Breker.com á www.breker.com á Business Hours: Tue Ð Fri 9 am Ð 5 pm
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES: Japan: Murakami Taizou, Tel./Fax (06) 68 45 86 28 * murakami@ops.dti.ne.jp á China: Jiang Feng, Tel. 138 620 620 75 * jiangfengde@gmail.com Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore: Alex Shih-Chieh Lin, (HK), Tel. (+852) 94 90 41 13 * alexsclin@gmail.com England: Tel. +49 (0) 176 991 40593 * AuctionTeamBrekerUK@outlook.de á France: Pierre J. Bickart, Tel. (01) 43 33 86 71 * AuctionTeamKoln@aol.com Russia: Maksim Suravegin, Tel. +7 903 558 02 50 * Maksim-ATB.ru@gmx.net á U.S.A.: Andrew Truman, Tel. (207) 485 8343 * AndrewAuctionTeamBreker@gmail.com
.

Volume 68, No. 1 January/February 2022

Mechanical Music
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

Volume 68, No. 1 January/February 2022

For over 45 years we’ve placed fine antiques in collections around the world.
Our reputation has been built upon appreciative buyers and satisfied sellers.
Pictured below are just a few examples from our current inventory.
Renaissance Antiques
Visit the charming Danish Village of Solvang, half an hour above Santa Barbara in the beautiful CA Central Coast Wine Country
Visit our Showroom at 496 First Street, Solvang CAVisit our Showroom at 496 First Street, Solvang CA
PURCHASE • SALES • CONSIGNMENT
of Quality Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes, Musical Clocks & Automata
Above: An amazing musical painting clock with
multiple animations and working clock in tower.
Left: This exceptionally rare Polyphon music
box clock plays 24-1/2” discs with a rich, full
tone and volume and stands nearly 9’ tall.
George Baker in amboyna
case with ebony trim playing
a total of 48 tunes on six 13”
interchangeable cylinders.
Above: An always desirable model of
a 15-1/2” Polyphon in a beautiful burl
walnut case with carvings and inlay.
Right: A rare Regina 12-1/8” disc
operated clock chiming the quarter
hours on 14 bells with 30 hammers.
Burl walnut
desk style music box playing
six interchangeable 13” cylinders.
of solvang Renaissance Antiques
Visit the charming Danish Village of Solvang, half an hour above Santa Barbara in the beautiful CA Central Coast Wine Country
Renaissance Antiques of solvang
Ron & Julie Palladino • 805-452-5700
www.renantiques.com • info@renantiques.com
Visit our Showroom at 496 First Street, Solvang CAVisit our Showroom at 496 First Street, Solvang CA
PURCHASE • SALES • CONSIGNMENT
of Quality Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes, Musical Clocks & Automata
Above: An amazing musical painting clock with
multiple animations and working clock in tower.
Left: This exceptionally rare Polyphon music
box clock plays 24-1/2” discs with a rich, full
tone and volume and stands nearly 9’ tall.
George Baker in amboyna
case with ebony trim playing
a total of 48 tunes on six 13”
interchangeable cylinders.
Above: An always desirable model of
a 15-1/2” Polyphon in a beautiful burl
walnut case with carvings and inlay.
Right: A rare Regina 12-1/8” disc
operated clock chiming the quarter
hours on 14 bells with 30 hammers.
Burl walnut
desk style music box playing
six interchangeable 13” cylinders.
of solvang

Editor/Publisher

Russell Kasselman

(253) 228-1634

editor@mbsi.org

MBSI Editorial Office:

Iron Dog Media

130 Coral Court

Pismo Beach, CA 93449

editor@mbsi.org

Publications Chair

Bob Caletti

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 author’s
approval. All articles are considered to be the
author’s 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 Directory
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 International,
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

Mechanical Music

Journal of the Musical Box Society International

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

Volume 68, No. 1 January/February 2022

MBSI NEWS
5 President’s Message
7 Editor’s Notes
7 Outreach Corner
8 Annual Business

Meeting Minutes

13 Annual Board of Trustees
Meeting Minutes

51 In Memoriam

Features

18 Notes from the 2021
Annual Meeting

39 Hats off to those who
make MBSI’s annual
gatherings so great

42 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro

Chapter Reports

49 National Capital

MBSI has replanted
167 trees so far as
part of the Print
ReLeaf program.

Thomas Pletcher

Read the story of the man who
made millions selling player pianos
and rolls. Page 42.

On the Cover

William Edgerton’s Gavioli
Fairground Organ thrilled visitors
during the annual meeting. Photo
by Robert Thomas. Page 18.

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 3

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
M
M
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, Museums,
and Dealers.

The only requirements for membership are an interest in
automatic music machines and the desire to share information
about them. And you’ll 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

Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net

Copy this page, and give it to a potential new member. Spread the word about MBSI.

Last name First Name Initial

Last Name First Name Initial

Address

City State / Zip Postal Code / Country

Phone Fax E-mail

Sponsor (optional)

Membership Dues

US members (per household)……………………………………….$60
Student Membership $20

(online journal access only)

Canada…………………………………………………………………………$70
Other International………………………………………………………$75

(Add $20 for International air mail.)

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

Visa/MasterCard

Exp. Date CCV

Signature

4 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

By David Corkrum

MBSI President

Being the new president of the
society, I wondered what inspiration
previous presidents had when writing
up their message. I decided to go back
and look at what others had written
and see what I could come up with.

One topic that came to mind, and
one that can be somewhat of a sore
topic, is volunteering. All the positions
in the society, other than the administrator,
editor, and accountant’s
positions, are made up of volunteers.
Being a trustee, officer, or chair of a
committee or chapter is not really that
difficult. I have served as a committee
and chapter chair, an officer and now
a trustee and president and I have
found these to be rich and rewarding
positions. Like anything new, there is
some reluctance to take on the position,
but once you do it isn’t all that
difficult. The difficulties arise from
what you do or do not do in the new
position.

I have always been a little fearful
that I am going to make some big
mistake and cause problems down
the line. Yeah, I made a bunch, but
with the help of others who have
been in similar situations, I was able
to solve the difficulties and move on
to the next problem. The reason I am
going through all of this is that it is
becoming more and more difficult to
find members who might be interested

in taking on one of the positions. They
aren’t that bad and there are normally
previous holders of these positions
who are willing to help when it is
needed.

At the present time, our society
has one vacant position, namely the
Membership Committee chair. It has
been vacant for some time. Although
there will be three committee chair
vacancies, two of the present chairs
have agreed to stay on longer, namely
publications and museum. These

extensions will be voted on at the
next trustees’ meeting. The third
committee chair is the Nominating
Committee. Yes, they are big shoes to
fill, but I know that there is someone
in our society who would be a natural
for one of these positions. All it takes
is to raise your hand and say that “I
will give it try.” It is not a full-time job,
only part-time and for some very little
time.

All I can ask is that the membership
think about it.

Welcome new members!
Brian & Sue EllefritzOctober 2021
Menlo Park, CA
Larry Bailey Darryl GiambalvoLady Lake, FL Wheaton, IL
Sponsor, Jack Hostetler Robert & Joan Hunt
David Cosmo Saint Augustine, FLBrewster, NY Luis Mota & Christopher Suess
Barrington, IL
Joel Nystrom
Buffalo, MN
November 2021
Joshua Kohl
Kobe, Hyogo, Japan

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 rst year’s 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 year’s
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 “sponsor” 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.



★★
®
(INTERNATIONAL)
ORGANIZED IN 1949
DEVOTED TO ALL MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS


★★
®
(INTERNATIONAL)
ORGANIZED IN 1949
DEVOTED TO ALL MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Musical Box Society International
P.O. Box 10196
Springeld, MO 65808-0196
Phone/Fax: (417) 886-8839
Musical Box Society International
P.O. Box 10196
Springeld, MO 65808-0196
Phone/Fax: (417) 886-8839
Dues Voucher –$15
New U.S. members may join MBSI for one year at $45 (instead
of $60); Canadians $55 (instead of $70; and, other International
members at $60 (instead of $75). This certicate must
accompany payment and a copy of the completed membership
application from Page 4 of this issue of Mechanical Music.
New Member Name(s):
Expires: 01/01/2023
Authorized by MBSI Administrator
NEW MEMBER
GIFT CERTIFICATE
New members are those who have never been members
of MBSI or those who have not been members for three
years prior to submission of this voucher.
New members are those who have never
been members of MBSI or those who
have not been members for three years
prior to submission of this certicate.
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-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 “New Member” gift.
Gift Membership Name
Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
Sponsor

Please mail this form together with your check made payable to “MBSI” 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.

Editor’s Notes

By Russell Kasselman

MBSI Editor/Publisher

This issue is a feast for the eyes.
Three photographers, Lowell Boehland,
Robert Thomas and Trustee

Edward Cooley, sent in a marvelous
batch of images from the most recent
MBSI Annual Meeting held in Fort
Meyers, FL. I only wish I had another
20 or so pages to print more of the
pictures since they are so engaging.
Instead, we will seek ways to display
more of their snaps via the MBSI
website with the permission of the
photographers as well as the collectors
who shared their wonderful
musical boxes and other treasures
with those who attended our society’s
annual gathering. Right now, however,
feel free to flip to Page 18 of this issue
to read B Bronson’s account of the
convention, but please don’t drool too
much on the pictures.

Later this year, we meet on the
West Coast in a joint session with the

Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’
Association (AMICA). I like the
term joint meeting since it portends
opportunities to make new friends
and find additional ways to join forces
with other automatic music machine
lovers for the good of the hobby. I’m
sure, if you choose to attend (and I
shamelessly encourage you to do so),
that you will find yourself talking with
any number of friendly and interesting
people who come from diverse backgrounds.
The best part is they will all
have something in common with you,
mechanical music. It’s why we’re all
here in the first place, right? Right. Ok,
see Page 55 to get details and dates for
the event and get it on your calendar.

Speaking of dates, why not put a
reminder on your calendar for Feb. 1,
Apr.1, Jun. 1, Aug.. 1, Oct. 1 and Nov.

1. What’s so significant about those
days, you ask? Well, those are the
deadlines for submitting material to
be published in Mechanical Music.
We accept articles from all members
MAILING ADDRESS

MBSI Editorial / Advertising
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449

EMAIL ADDRESS

editor@mbsi.org

PHONE

(253) 228-1634

on wide variety of topics. We love to
hear from members who have a technique
to help maintain a music box,
and we like stories about how a music
box came to be in your collection, or
historical accounts of the people who
were responsible for making a box in
your collection. We like to hear about
the music your box plays and the
people who made that music. Don’t
have a collection of your own? What
about becoming part of the Membership
Committee and volunteering to
write about other members who do
have collections? It’s a great way to
get to know more about people and
music boxes at the same time.

Hope you are all having a Happy
New Year!

Outreach Corner
By Mary Ellen Myers

Special Exhibits Committee Chair

Did you know about
MBSI’s Traveling Display?

If you are planning a
mechanical music event
and you would you like to
include some attractive
information about MBSI,
this is a great way to do it.

The indoor display,
currently stored in High
Springs, FL, by Bill Endline
is available for use by all
members of all chapters in
the U.S. for only the cost of
shipping.

This display was designed
and developed by the late
George Fryer, a member of the Southeast
Chapter. A short article about the

display appeared in the March/April
2005 issue of Mechanical Music (Vol.

51, No. 2). The display, when
assembled, measures 7 feet
high by 9-feet-4-inches wide
and comes with lighting and
pockets for MBSI brochures.
It is housed in two self-contained
storage cases that
measure about 4 feet high.

For more information or to
reserve a time frame for use
of this magnificent resource
for telling a crowd about our
society, call Bill Endline at
(239) 424-0144.

If your chapter is preparing
to do a series of exhibits in a
relatively short timeline and
you would like to keep the
display for a longer period
in a safe storage area, please

indicate this to Bill as well. We want

this to be seen!

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

Minutes of the 72nd MBSI Annual Business Meeting

Crowne Plaza Hotel
Fort Myers, FL — Sept. 3, 2021

President Tom Kuehn called to
order the 2021 MBSI Annual Business
Meeting at 8:17 a.m.

He read the names of members
who have passed away since the
2019 Annual Meeting: Marilyn Ames,
Dick Bagwell, Robert Battiste,
Peter Beebee, Rhonda Bryant, Boz
Bulovic, Russell Burt, Henry Childs,
George Cooper, Arthur Cunliffe,
Joseph Dennan, Nancy Dickey, Rudy
Edwards, Andy Ellis, Margie Epstein,
Thomas Fairey, John Field, Leland
Fletcher, Jackson Fritz, Vernon Gantt,
Bill Harris, Marilyn Hawks, Mary Lee
Hoek, Mike Kinter, Don Lundry, Philip
Malorf, Dave Miner, Charlie Moore,
Hellen Muller, Mary Pollock, Ruth
Pontius, Emery Prior, Charles Rubiola,
Gene Sabota, Jasper Sanfilippo, Faye
Simpson, Herbert Singe, Steve Smith,
Glenn Smith, Betty Toth, Ken Vinen,
Andy Ware, and Diane Yates.

A moment of silence was observed
in remembrance.

Sincere appreciation was extended
to the Southeast Chapter Team,
and they were asked to stand. The
Officers and Board of Trustees were
introduced. Past presidents and past
trustees were recognized and asked to
stand. First time attendees and those
attending from outside of the United
States were asked to please stand and
be recognized.

Officers’ Reports

President Kuehn reported that the
minutes of the 70th Annual Meeting
held in Rockville, MD, were published
in Vol. 65, No. 6, of Mechanical Music.
There being no corrections, additions
or deletions, President Kuehn
entertained a motion to approve the
minutes. The motion was made and
seconded to approve the minutes. The
motion passed.

Vice President David Corkrum
presented the vice president’s report.
The vice president has two main
jobs; one is to handle the awards

process and the other is to oversee the
conduct of the society’s chapters. Vice
President Corkrum congratulated the
following award recipients: Q. David
Bowers and Art Reblitz for receiving
the literary award; Aaron Muller for
receiving the Roehl Ambassador
Award; David Burritt for receiving
the Darlene Mirijanian Award; Lowell
Sundermann for receiving the Unsung
Hero award; Sherrie Krughoff, Jody
Kravitz, Robbie Rhodes, Matthew
Caulfield and Sally Craig for receiving
the Trustees Award; Ed Kozak for
receiving the President’s Award. Vice
President Corkrum introduced each
chapter starting with the host chapter
and concluded with the chapter
holding the next annual meeting. The
members of each chapter were asked
to rise and be recognized. The report
was received.

Treasurer Ed Kozak presented the
treasurer’s report. Treasurer Kozak
stated that the annual financial statement
for the period ending Jun. 30,
2021 was distributed to all the tables.
Some of the highlights from the report
are dues revenue for 2021 is $66,896
compared to $72,689 for the year 2020.
Fund balances decreased by $15,796
and membership decreased by about
3½ percent from 1,130 members
to 1,091 members. The report was
received.

To answer a question normally
received at this time from member
B Bronson, there will be no dues
increase this year.

Committee Reports

Audit Committee Chair Ed Cooley
presented the Audit Committee
report. Cinda L. Rodgers, CPA, PC,
who conducted the required annual
financial review, stated that, based
on her review, she is not aware of any
material modifications that should be
made to the financial statements. They
are in accordance with accounting
principles generally accepted in the
United States of America.

The committee is also responsible
for the comparison of

membership data with amounts
received for membership dues and
the collection of conflict-of-interest
statements from the officers, trustees
and committee members. The report
was received.

Finance Committee Chair Ed Kozak
presented the Finance Committee
report. A mid-year to mid-year
financial report was prepared in
accordance with New York Not-For-
Profit Corporation Law. Copies were
made available to members present at
the meeting.

During the year, $10,000 from the
Endowment Fund’s accumulated
realized income was given as a grant
to the Niagara Frontier Endowment
Fund. The request for the grant was
received through member B Bronson.
There was discussion about this
grant and questions were raised that
were answered by the requesting
organization.

The Finance Committee and the
Trustees have approved the budget for
2022 and there is a projected deficit.
The report was received.

Marketing Committee and
Membership Committee Chair Bob
Smith presented the report. Print
advertising was placed in a number
of periodicals hoping to attract new
members. No obvious increase was
noted. In the recent past, membership
gift certificates were provided to
auction houses who sold mechanical
music. An analysis indicates that most
of the certificates redeemed were
from one auction house but only a
small percentage of those redeemed
were renewed for a second year. The
committee has decided to pause this
program.

The production of short videos of
mechanical music machines readily
available in the marketplace is taking
place. These can be presented on
YouTube, our website, or other online
sites. Advertising has been placed on
Mechanical Music Radio, an online
station that is broadcast from England.
These are 30-second recorded ads that

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

play several times a day and will run
for the next six months.

Last year, a contractor was hired to
produce two-minute videos of member
interviews. One has been completed
and is on the website. However, the
contractor now seems unable or
unwilling to produce any more.

The committee is in the process
of developing improvements to the
“Welcome” process the society uses
for new members. This new process
seeks to increase the number of
“touches” that every new member will
receive. The report was received.

Meetings Committee Chair Matt
Jaro presented the report on the dates
of upcoming meetings. Golden Gate
Chapter and the Founding Chapter
of AMICA will host the 2022 meeting.
Snowbelt Chapter will host the 2023
meeting. The chapter is in the process
of confirming location and dates of
the meeting. The 2024 meeting, which
is the Society’s 75th anniversary, is
being discussed by the Lake Michigan
chapter as to whether it will host this
meeting. The 2025 meeting will be in
southern California. This will be a
joint meeting with AMICA taking the
lead. The report was received.

Museum Committee Chair Sally
Craig was not present, so the report
was presented by President Kuehn.
With the passing of Emery Prior,
member Rob Pollock has agreed to
step in and take his place with the
Ohio operations. American Treasure
Tour (A.T.T.) has received a large
Raggedy Ann collection which has
caused the committee to purchase
additional storage racks for the society’s
mechanical music collection.
That concludes the highlights from
the Museum Committee report. The
report was received.

Publications Committee Chair Bob
Caletti was not able to be present.
President Kuehn presented the report.
Chair Caletti wished to thank the
committee members and the large
number of proofreaders. He also
thanked our editor, Russell Kasselman,
and Website Subcommittee chair, Rick
Swaney, for their work on the society

publications and website. Chair
Caletti reported that the website now
has a text version of our journals on
the website dated from January 2018
to the present which can be translated
and used by our non-English speaking
members as well as those who are
vision impaired. Additional translator
tools will be purchased in the future.
Many articles printed in the past can
be used in the society’s journal along
with articles published by some of
our sister societies. The editor would
also like to see more how-to articles.
If a member has the information, the
editor would be happy to help develop
it. The report was received.

Website Subcommittee Chair Rick
Swaney presented his report. The new
web server is now Dreamhost. The
website is doing well with about 100
views a day. By the end of the year, the
total number of views should be about
250,000. The Facebook group, Musical
Box Society Forum, where members
can post questions or information
about the society and its chapters,
has grown to about 470 and there are
postings every few days.

The website is also host to all of
the Presto and Music Trade Review
magazines dating back to the 1880s.
The search capabilities for these
publications are now being updated
so that a search will result in the
presentation of a full PDF copy of
the information being searched. The
report was received as presented.

Special Exhibits Committee Chair
Mary Ellen Myers reported that the
Special Exhibits Committee has
established a new feature in the journal
known as the Outreach Corner. It
is used as a way of reporting what a
chapter has done as far as outreach
goes and what has or has not been
successful. A successful exhibit was
presented at a retirement condominium
complex in Sarasota, FL.
The committee is still seeking a few
more chapter liaisons. The report was
received.

Nominating Committee Chair Dan
Wilson presented the report. Chair

Wilson introduced the members of
the committee. The following slate
is presented for the membership’s
approval:

For President, David Corkrum
to serve a two-year term; for Vice
President, Matt Jaro to serve his first
one-year term; for Trustee, Richard
Dutton to serve his first four-year
term, Ed Cooley to serve a second
four-year term, Mary Ellen Myers to
serve a second four-year term. Tom
Kuehn will serve an additional two
years as immediate past president; Ed
Kozak to serve one year as Treasurer;
Linda Birkitt to serve a one-year term
as Recording Secretary.

President Kuehn entertained
a motion to accept the slate as
presented. A motion was made and
seconded. The motion passed.

At this moment, outgoing President
Tom Kuehn presented incoming
President David Corkrum with the
presidential medal of office and
the gavel upon becoming the 38th
president of the Musical Box Society
International. President David
Corkrum then presented Trustee and
immediate past President Tom Kuehn
with the presidential pin indicating his
status as a past president.

President Corkrum thanked Trustee
Kuehn for his service to the society.

New Business

Meetings Committee member Rich
Poppe conducted a straw vote to
survey members’ desires regarding
the continuation of table favors.
There was some discussion about this
subject. The informal vote resulted
in 39 members in favor of dropping
the requirement for the table favor
and 16 members in favor of keeping
the requirement. There being no
new business, it was moved and
seconded to adjourn the meeting. The
motion passed, and the meeting was
adjourned at 9:17 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Linda Birkitt
Recording Secretary
Nov. 27, 2021

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Minutes of the Annual Trustees’ Meeting

Board of Trustees members, left to right: President David Corkrum, Immediate Past President Tom Kuehn, Trustee Mary Ellen

Myers, Trustee Edward Cooley and Vice President Matt Jaro.

Fort Myers, FL — Aug. 31, 2021

These minutes will be official when
approved and voted on during the
mid-year trustees’ meeting on Mar. 18,
2022.

The meeting was called to order
by President Tom Kuehn at 9:29 a.m.
Eastern Standard Time. A late start
occurred due to logistical issues on
the Internet, as some members were
attending via Zoom video conference.

Present: Tom Kuehn, President,
presiding, Vice President David
Corkrum, Trustees Ed Cooley,
Matt Jaro and Mary Ellen Myers.
Trustees Dave Calendine and Bob
Caletti attended via video along with
trustee-elect Richard Dutton as an
observer/guest.

As Recording Secretary Linda
Birkitt was unable to attend this

meeting, President Kuehn asked
Trustee Corkrum to read the minutes
of the Mar. 20, 2021, Mid-year Trustees’
Meeting. Minutes of the last trustees’
meeting were published in Vol. 67,
No. 3 of Mechanical Music. A motion
to approve the minutes was made by
Trustee Corkrum and seconded by
Trustee Calendine. Motion carried.

Old Business

Board Actions were presented by
Trustee Corkrum. (1) He deferred to
Trustee Jaro to discuss the Special
Report on the Digital Lending Library.
Per Trustee Jaro, Terry Smythe has
been a longtime friend of MBSI and
has digitized 29 books for our library.
Terry informed Trustee Jaro that he
had observed a Controlled Digital
Lending (CDL) meeting where 600,000
books were donated from a source in
New Zealand and Internet Archives

(IA), it appears, is prepared to digitize
them. (2) Terry asked if MBSI might
consider donating its books to CDL
as well as the 29 digitized PDF files
he had already digitized. Trustee
Corkrum clarified that MBSI might
send its books to IA for digitization.
Trustee Jaro remarked that the project
would not require much work, the
digitization makes MBSI information
more available to more individuals
and IA would assume the copyright
infringement liability so that we have
no risk. Since educating the public
via our library is a goal of MBSI, this
technology promotes the goal and
eliminates any liability issues. President
Kuehn asked Trustee Jaro to
pursue this issue further. The remaining
Board Actions were reviewed. The
report was received.

Trustee Corkrum presented the Vice

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

President’s report. All chapters have
submitted their annual reports except
Japan. Japan does, however, send
reports periodically. Trustee Corkrum
has updated everything with respect
to Guidestar regarding the IRS and the
Annual Report to the Board of Regents
of the University of New York. There
were two motions by the Executive
Committee:

1) Jul. 30, 2021. There was a unanimous
vote to approve the motion to
grant permission for the Automatic
Musical Instrument Collectors’
Association (AMICA) to reprint two
articles written by Art Reblitz titled
“Time Went Back to Svoboda’s,” parts
one and two.
2) Aug. 9, 2021. There was a unanimous
vote to extend a modified annual
meeting registration payment refund
policy permitting refunds on request
to the beginning of the 2021 Annual
Meeting. Report received.
The Administrator’s Report was
presented by President Kuehn. MBSI
membership as of Jun. 30, 2020, was
1,130 and as of Jun. 30, 2021, it was
1,091, a decrease of 39 over the past
year. Forty new MBSI memberships
were processed between Jan. 1 and
Jun. 30, 2021. Don Caine is the “dealer”
recipient of a free renewal for sponsoring
nine new members and Bill
Wineburgh is the “member” recipient
of a free membership for sponsoring
four new members. Thirty-one orders
totaling 49 items were processed from
Jan. 1 to Jun. 30 of this year. Of these,
28 were from the website (90 percent).
Report received.

President Kuehn presented the treasurer’s
report. He stated that if there
were any questions the trustees had
for the treasurer regarding his report,
Treasurer Ed Kozak would be glad
to answer them. No questions were
forthcoming. President Kuehn asked
for a motion to accept the budget as
submitted by the treasurer. Trustee
Corkrum moved to accept the budget,
seconded by Trustee Jaro. The motion
carried.

Dues revenue for 2021 was $69,895
compared to 2020 revenue of $72,289.
The 2020 Annual Report Data form

was submitted in a timely manner per
the New York State Statutes requirements.
MBSI tax returns for tax year
ending Dec. 31, 2020, were filed in a
timely manner. The change in the net
fund balance in 2021 was a decrease
of $15,796 compared to the net fund
balance in 2020 of $22,355. The society’s
investments consist of federally
insured certificates of deposit (CD)
and money market accounts and a
minor investment in a short-term bond
fund. Maturing CDs are reinvested in
order to continue the society’s investment
laddering philosophy. Net assets
as of Dec. 31, 2020 were $768,213.

In March 2021, an authorized grant
of $10,000 was given to the Niagara
Frontier Endowment Fund. That
grant is to used for the restoration and
maintenance of band and carousel
organs and roll-perforating equipment
at the Herschell Carousel Factory
Museum located in North Tonawanda,
NY. As of Jun. 30, 2021, the amount of
accumulated funds is $43,095 of which
$28,730 is available for projects or
programs. Report received.

Trustee Cooley presented the Audit
Committee report. The committee
members will all serve another
year. These are Trustees Calendine,
Cooley and Jaro. Pursuant to New
York requirements, our financial
statements are reviewed every year by
an independent CPA, Cinda Rodgers,
of Springfield, MO. Comparisons
of membership data with amounts
received from dues was delineated
by Treasurer Kozak and is the same
data as in March. MBSI lost Canadian
and Other International members at
a higher percentage rate than USA
members in 2020: USA at 5.2 percent.
Canada at 26.1 percent and other
international members at 9.6 percent.
The annual Conflict of Interest forms
remain a problem and could have
legal consequences if not completed.
Trustee Cooley will ask member
Clay Witt if MBSI can expedite these
signatures electronically. Revenue
analysis has been completed by Treasurer
Kozak. The report was received.

Although the Marketing Committee
Chair was unable to attend, discussion

ensued. Trustee Myers stated that
rack cards (advertisements placed
in racks in areas where you expect
tourists to congregate) for MBSI
are at the American Treasure Tour
(A.T.T.) Museum. She has already
made a rough draft of a new rack card
and will provide it to MBSI. Trustee
Corkrum asked for a motion to assess
the format of the rack card which
Trustee Myers developed. Trustee
Jaro moved that we contact Editor/
Publisher Russell Kasselman for his
assessment of Trustee Myer’s rough
draft, and Trustee Myers seconded
the motion. Motion carried. Trustee
Corkrum queried Trustee Calendine
about the status of the committee:

1) Calendine stated the committee
is continuing to monitor new member
gift certificates which have been
redeemed and will be reporting results
of that program. Trustee Caletti noted
that Editor/Publisher Kasselman has
been tracking these certificates in
some manner and Trustee Caletti will
ask for an update.
2) Marketing will complete an ongoing
member interview video program,
but they may have to consider another
videographer to complete the task.
3) The committee advised holding
off on a microphone purchase. He also
noted that COVID has been a negative
factor in the Marketing Committee’s
progress. Report received.
Trustee Jaro presented the Meetings
Committee report. The committee
purchased a new camcorder, tripod
and accessories to record the workshops
presented at annual meetings.
The existing wireless microphones
are compatible with the new equipment,
so it was determined new
microphones are not needed. Lowell
Boehland and Rich Poppe will cover
the workshops as videographers. The
committee may consider a select list
of recorded workshops as some are
redundant.

Trustee Jaro reported the following
about the Meetings Committee plans:
The 2022 MBSI Annual Meeting will
be held in San Francisco, CA. For
2023 the Snowbelt Chapter will meet
Sept. 11, 2021, to complete acknowledgment
for the upcoming meeting. In

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Board of Trustees members listening to Trustee Bob Caletti presenting reports via video conference.

2024 the Lake Michigan Chapter will
host MBSI’s 75th birthday celebration.
A joint AMICA and MBSI meeting will
be held in 2025 in Southern California
with AMICA taking the lead.

A virtual Mid-Year Trustees’ Meeting
will be held via Zoom video conference,
so the society will need to obtain
a software license for the program.
Report received.

No Membership Committee report
was submitted.

President Kuehn presented
the Museum Committee report.
Committee Chair Sally Craig and
committee member Richard Simpson
have conducted regular maintenance
of all cylinder and disc boxes. There
were recent additions at A.T.T. that
required some of the society’s music
boxes to be stored on steel racks in
the music room. A.T.T. needs four
more steel racks for the society’s
display items, but the museum

committee budget will not support the
new request. Chair Craig suggests the
society consider this extra funding in
the 2022 budget.

Trustee Jaro noted that there was
no receipt written for the Barry Johnson
donation as yet. President Kuehn
did not think it necessary to write a
receipt until the project is completed
and asked Trustee Caletti about the
status of the project. Trustee Caletti
felt we could write two receipts, one
for all the music boxes and discs
which have now been cataloged and
a second receipt for the remainder
of the items. Trustee Corkrum will
discuss with Chair Craig about creating
two receipts for this project.

Trustee Caletti stated that MBSI’s
editor and the Museum Chair are to
collaborate on obtaining a Museum
Committee member to volunteer as
a database administrator who would
work with the Museum Committee.
This is an ongoing action item. It is the
Museum Committee’s job to locate an

administrator to manage the task, as
the editor has written all the software
and organized all existing inventory
into a database.

Trustee Corkrum stated that Chair
Craig’s term will be up in 2022. A
replacement needs to be found, or
the Trustees can vote unanimously to
retain her for another year.

The report was received.

Trustee Myers presented the
Nominating Committee report. Chair
Dan Wilson wanted to thank all the
officers and trustees for recruiting
worthy candidates. The current Nominating
Committee consists of Trustee
Caletti, Aaron Muller, M. E. Myers,
Jonathan Hoyt and Robin Biggins. The
Piedmont Chapter will not be participating
currently on this committee.
Tom Kuehn will replace Clay Witt
as the immediate Past President for
one year. Chair Wilson will vacate his
position at the conclusion of the 2022
annual meeting. The following slate

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

of officers will be presented at the
Annual Business Meeting:

• President: David Corkrum to
serve a two-year term
• Vice President: Matt Jaro to serve
first one-year term
• Trustees: Richard Dutton to serve
first four-year term
• Tom Kuehn to serve an additional
two-year term per bylaws
• Ed Cooley to serve second
four-year term
• Mary Ellen Myers to serve second
four-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.

Chair Caletti presented the Publications
Committee Report. He said MBSI
can now offer non-English-speaking
people the ability to read the text
of Mechanical Music in their own
language via the society website.
The society is planning to purchase
an even better translation program
for approximately $150 per year.
Trustee Jaro asked if there were any
responses about this new feature from
the international members, but none
were forthcoming. He asked if the
Marketing Committee would promote
this translation program.

Trustee Corkrum said he wants to
inform the membership of this translation
program using the website and
the society publication Mechanical
Music. Trustee Caletti stated that the
new text-only web pages can provide
help for the visually impaired to read
the magazine as well. Chair Caletti
assumed that everyone agreed with
the Publications Report. The report
was received.

Trustee Caletti presented the
Editor’s/Publisher’s Report.

Thirty-nine writers contributed to
the journal this year. Editor/Publisher
Kasselman wishes to extend his
sincere thanks to all those writers who
helped keep the journal interesting
and engaging for our members. The
society continued to grow its relationships
with other societies which focus

on mechanical music. Additionally,
MBSI has provided articles for reprint
and research to several sources as
requested. Editor/Publisher Kasselman
emphasized that articles on
pianos, band organs, automata, bird
boxes and clocks are eagerly sought
at this time.

Advertising percentages were
up slightly from last year, filling an
average of 19.61 percent of Mechanical
Music pages which is within the
targeted goal for advertising. The
report was received.

The Special Exhibit Committee
report was presented by Chair
Myers. She stated that the committee
has an ongoing task of obtaining a
representative from each chapter to
join the Special Exhibits Committee.
She recommended that the
Museum Committee or the Marketing
Committee be responsible for
further developing and replenishing
the rack cards at the A.T.T. She also
asked the trustees to consider the
usefulness versus cost of these cards.
Trustee Corkrum noted that the
Morris Museum could have our rack
cards since they already carry our
brochures. Additionally, the trustees
need to remove that portion of the
Board Action which states “rack cards
would be placed elsewhere.”

The Southeast Chapter managed
to have two special events for this
year which were very successful.
The events were listed in Mechanical
Music. One was the annual Christmas
show at The Villages, FL, that is scheduled
during the Christmas season
secondary to any restraints due to
COVID. A newly-launched column
in Mechanical Music is known as
Outreach Corner. People have been
volunteering to write for the column,
giving them a great experience plus
informing the rest of the membership
just what the chapter offers via a
personal interaction. The report was
received.

Trustee Caletti presented the
Website Subcommittee Report. Chair
Rick Swaney reported that an effort
to make issues of the Music Trade
Review and Presto publications into

easily searchable, downloadable PDFs
is closer to completion. A program
to trigger an automatic discount on
membership renewals for members
who sponsor other new members is
still in the design phase.

In 2019, the society decided to offer
advertising space on the website’s
homepage. The first advertiser to apply
was the Keenan Auction Company.
Their banner appeared on the website
and clicking it took the user to the
advertiser’s website. A notice was
posted to the MBSI Facebook Forum
page to drive more traffic to the MBSI
website and the advertiser website.

As noted earlier, an effort to provide
translated text-only versions of
Mechanical Music has been achieved.
Members can go to the members-only
section of the website, click on an
issue in the list and the complete text
of the issue is automatically translated
into the currently selected language.

The MBSI Forum on Facebook now
shows a membership of 470. Website
activity is up slightly, averaging more
than 100 visits per day. The all-time
site visit count is now over 212,000.
The report was received.

New Business

The Board of Trustees needs to
approve the new members of the
Executive Committee. There are three
ex officio members — Immediate Past
President Kuehn, President Corkrum
and Vice President Jaro. Two new
members at large are proposed: Bob
Caletti and Dave Calendine. Trustee
Jaro moved to accept the two new
at-large members and Trustee Myers
seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Chairs’ and members’ assignments
for one-year terms on standing
committees needs to be addressed as
distributed to all board members prior
to the meeting. Trustee Caletti noted
that Terry Smythe does not want to
be on the Publications Committee. A
motion to approve the new committee
list including the change of Terry
Smythe was made by Trustee Corkrum
and seconded by Trustee Myers. The
motion carried.

At the mid-year trustees’ meeting,
the Board of Trustees approved the

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

reduction of the required quorum
number at the Annual Business Meeting
from 75 to 50. Since there were
only 93 registrants for the 2021 MBSI
Annual Meeting, it was suggested that
a temporary change to the quorum
requirement be made. Currently, there
is no minimum number to form a
quorum. Trustee Calendine moved to
use 40 as the required number to form
a quorum. After some discussion,

Trustee Calendine amended his original
motion to state that the quorum
number requirement should be
waived for the 2021 Annual Business
Meeting. His motion was seconded by
Trustee Corkrum. The motion carried.
President-Elect Corkrum will set up
a Presidential Committee to review
the requirement of the quorum in the
bylaws.

Having no more new business,
President Kuehn asked for a motion
to adjourn. Trustee Cooley moved
to adjourn the meeting which was
seconded by Trustee Calendine. The
motion carried. Meeting adjourned at

11:36 a.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Birkitt,
MBSI Recording Secretary

Photo by Robert Thomas
A Libellion musical box with a cardboard book ready to play in the Mark Yaffe collection.

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17

Notes from the 2021

By B Bronson

The 72nd MBSI Annual Meeting was
a welcome event as not many live,
mechanical music events have taken
place for some time now, due to the
world being turned upside down.
Co-chairs Mark Yaffe and Craig Darlak
and their team did a fine job of hosting
almost 100 members and guests. The
Crowne Plaza hotel in Fort Myers, FL,
was genuinely welcoming and took
very good care of our needs. Many
things have changed over the past
couple of years, but one thing that
didn’t is the amount of great mechanical
music in Florida.

One of the tours was that of the

fabulous Mark and Christel Yaffe

Photo by Lowell Boehland
The hospitality desk, staffed by (left to right) Margery and Howard Sanford with B
and Maria Bronson.

Photo by Ed CooleyPhoto by Ed CooleyPhoto by Ed Cooley
Photo by Robert Thomas
The Sweet & Hot Roaring ’20s Band entertains at the annual banquet dinner.

Photo by Lowell Boehland
Members shop and sell musical items during the popular Mart session of the annual meeting.
18 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Annual Meeting

Photo by Ed CooleyPhoto by Ed Cooley
Natalie and Retonio Breitenmoser perform a ventriloquist and
quick change magic show at the annual banquet.

Immediate Past President Tom Kuehn and his wife, Hongyan,
on the dance floor cutting a rug.

Photo by Lowell Boehland
The annual meeting brings friends together every year. From
left to right are Martin and Marilou VanZanten, Margery and
Howard Sanford, Wayne Myers, Judy Miller, Sandy Goldman,

Photo by Lowell Boehland
Marty Persky, Dick Hack, Ron Cappel, Natalie and Retonio

and Marti and Dan Wilson. Breitenmoser enjoying a drink at the banquet.

Photo by Lowell BoehlandPhoto by Lowell Boehland
Jeremy Stevens, AMICA Bulletin editor Glenn Thomas and Ron and Mary Jo Bopp promoting one of their wildly popular
Vice President Matt Jaro shopped the Mart for deals. Bumbling Bruder tours during the Mart.
January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 19

collection. It’s housed in a large
building which is full to the brim
with all manner of mechanical
music. Mark’s business office is
a partial loft over the main floor
which leaves plenty of two-story
floor space for the taller machines.
A balcony around the structure
gives a beautiful view of the
collection. Mark took great pride in
demonstrating several fine music
boxes as well as some extremely
rare automata. Also on hand were
long-time expert restorers, Ron
Cappel and Dave Sorrow, who
demonstrated some of the orchestrions
and organs. They opened the
machines and explained the inner
workings and answered technical
questions.

Continued on Page 25

The Yaffe Collection

Photo by Lowell Boehland

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Lowell Boehland

Photo by Robert Thomas

22 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Photo by Lowell Boehland

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Lowell Boehland

Christel and Mark Yaffe with a Mills Deluxe Violano in a unique Gothic case.
January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 23

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Ed Cooley Photo by Ed Cooley

24 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022
Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Ed Cooley Photo by Ed Cooley

Photo by Robert ThomasPhoto by Robert Thomas
Photo by Robert ThomasPhoto by Robert Thomas
Photo by Robert Thomas
Ron Cappel talks with Kenneth Goldman about one of the orchestrions in the Yaffe collection.

Continued from Page 20

Included in the collection were
American nickelodeons, European
orchestrions, custom art case
reproducing pianos, Mills Violanos,
a 112-key Mortier Dance Organ and
a spectacular 121-key Decap Dance
Organ. A delicious lunch was served
while various machines were being
played — a perfect combination.

Bill and Anne Edgerton’s collection
was another optional tour. Bill has
moved his mechanical music items
a number of times over the years.
They’re now nicely displayed around
the perimeter of his latest venue,
along with various artwork and
posters adorning the walls. The music
boxes were demonstrated and then
a rare, disc-playing piano. Of course,
he played one of his reproduction KT

Specials. The Decap Dance Organ
sounded great, along with the beautiful
Dutch sound from the 89-key Pluer
“De Kei” street organ. The 89-key
Gavioli was a real treat as Bill chose
a special book which really put the
organ through the paces, showing off
all of its capabilities. He showcased his
1876 Dufner Barrel Orchestrion, one of

Continued on Page 30

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

The Edgerton Collection

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Robert Thomas

28 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Photo by Ed Cooley Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Robert Thomas

The Dufner Barrel Orchestrion just before
its move to New Jersey. At left, Bill Edgerton
cranks out tunes for his guests. Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Ed CooleyPhoto by Ed CooleyPhoto by Robert Thomas
Photo by Ed CooleyPhoto by Ed CooleyPhoto by Robert Thomas
Continued from Page 25

three examples of Dufner instruments
extant. Bill then announced that at the
end of the meeting it would be sent
to New Jersey to its new permanent
home in the Guinness wing of the
Morris Museum. Jere Ryder, curator of
the Guinness collection, was on hand

to help play its last concert in Florida.

A very short distance from the
Edgertons’ was the showplace of
Jarda Dvorak. He emigrated from
Czechoslovakia some 30 years ago
and has put together a large display
of artwork. He’s also accumulated a
fantastic number of clocks. He showed
the various ways they were designed

to keep track of time, including some
that were more pretty than practical.
He refers to his favorite style as
“swingers.” The pendulum is the clock
itself and was interesting to see. Along
with their fascinating mechanisms,
several were also musical. He then

Continued on Page 39

30 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

The Dvorak CollectionThe Dvorak Collection The Dvorak Collection
Photo by Ed Cooley

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Lowell Boehland

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Robert Thomas

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Lowell Boehland

Jarda Dvorak shares stories and details of his fantastic clock collection.
January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 33
Photo by Robert Thomas

34 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

The Jancko CollectionThe Jancko Collection The Jancko Collection
Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Lowell Boehland

36 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022
Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Lowell Boehland Photo by Lowell Boehland
Photo by Lowell Boehland
Marty Persky demonstrates the mechanical music portion of the Jancko collection.

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 37

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Robert Thomas

“Our Backyard Museum” hosts, Pam and Joel Jancko.
Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Robert Thomas

38 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Hats off to all those who
make MBSI’s annual
gatherings so great

Continued from Page 30

demonstrated three European barrel
piano/organ orchestrions which were
weight driven.

Joel and Pam Jancko’s tour of their
collection, known as “Our Backyard
Museum,” was another highlight of
the meeting. It consists of a group of
buildings which display Americana
from the era of the Civil War through
the mid 1930s. The primary structure
is called the Barn, and houses the
majority of the collection. It is about
40 feet by 185 feet and is split into
three areas. Upon entering, one is in
the Great Room and notices several
nicely done scenes depicting vintage
store fronts with authentic, highly
collectible contents and props. A
Texaco service station, bicycle shop,
fire station, and a machine shop with
a working steam engine and line shaft
are among the displays featured. Joel
is very knowledgeable about all the
items and gave some history about
each scene. While he was busy there,
the other half of the group toured
the mechanical music portion, as
demonstrated by Marty Persky. The
machines included fine music boxes, a
Seeburg H, Wurlitzer CX, Mills Deluxe
Violano, phonographs and Limonaire
and Bruder band organs. A short walk
to the Annex treated members to a
saloon, country store, turn-of-thecentury
pharmacy and the War Room
with a number of Civil War artifacts.
Once again, Joel provided expert
commentary in each area. The group
came back together in the Barn, in the

larger Dance Hall portion to enjoy a
few tunes on the beautifully restored
92-key Mortier Dance Organ. Finally,
the pièce de resistance, was a live
concert on the 3/23 Wurlitzer Theatre
Organ. Local organist Stephen Brittain
played several tunes exhibiting
the numerous capabilities of the
installation.

Thursday, after a day of collection
tours, dinner was followed by a very
interesting silent movie titled “The
Flying Ace.” It was known at the
time as a race movie. Featuring an
all African-American cast, the movie
was billed as “The Greatest Airplane
Thriller Ever Filmed.” Except for one

short scene, everything was shot on
the ground using clever camera angles
and effects, making for a convincing
show, particularly for the time.

Friday consisted primarily of workshops.
Ron Bopp gave an entertaining
talk about how vintage magazines
presented organ grinder street musicians
as they were seen between
1840 and 1920. Dave Sorrow gave
some inside restorer tips on covering
pumps, particularly on the importance
of rib placement, sometimes called
stays, which allow the pump to create
pressure without blowing out the
sides of the cloth or leather. Dick
Hack gave an all encompassing talk
on MIDI, starting with its background,
through installing a system in many
different forms of mechanical music.
Finally, Warren Officer gave a reprise
of an interesting surprise found during
the restoration of a home-built calliope,
which he affectionately referred
to as “The Thing.” After a sumptuous
dinner, Swiss members (and the only
international attendees) Retonio
and Natalie Breitenmoser put on an
entertaining show featuring a ventriloquist
act with Retonio and Louis
“Satchmo” Armstrong while Natalie
was dancing back and forth on stage,
pausing just a few seconds behind
a decorative screen, only to come
out in a completely differently outfit!
She effected several “quick changes”
while Retonio was producing copious
amounts of flowers from thin air!

Saturday started with breakfast
which went into the annual business
meeting. With not too much on the
plate, the meeting went quickly even
with the customary financial report,
chapter introductions and the all
important election of officers. President
Tom Kuehn’s term was up and,
in an orderly transition of power, then
Vice President Dave Corkrum stepped
in to take the reins. Later in the day,
the Mart was opened. Even though it
was smaller in size, a number of transactions
were seen taking place and
many happy faces were seen, both on
sellers and buyers.

The meeting wound up as normal
with a cocktail hour and banquet,
followed by entertainment from the
Brown Bag Brass Band who called

By Claudia Molinari

The theme of this meeting was
“Forever Young” and this is how
we needed to be in order to see all
the collections! The first day my
husband and I went to Bill Edgerton’s
collection, Jarda Dvorak’s
shop, and the Janckos and their
backyard museum.

Our first stop was at Bill
Edgerton’s collection. Wow! So
many musical machines in such
a small place, or maybe it seemed
small because there were so many
machines! We were entertained
by his playing of many of the
machines. We were able to look
around at his other posters, etc. in
the short time we were there.

Our next stop was at the antique
store of Jarda Dvorak, in Naples.
In addition to several large musical
machines, he had an extensive
antique collection of clocks and
art, mostly from Europe. His
family was from the Czech Republic
and had money and good jobs,
but then the Soviets came in and
confiscated all their assets and
forced them to work in menial

Continued on Page 40

themselves a “Sweet & Hot Roaring
’20s Band” which accurately described
their great sound. The final event was
the distribution of the table favors.
They relied largely on a 3D printer to
produce the parts for the carousel-inspired
music box. As “goodbyes” were
exchanged, everyone was hopeful and
looking forward to next year in San
Francisco, CA.

The Southeast Chapter is owed a
great deal of thanks for putting on
the show and helping the MBSI return
to the business of getting fans of
mechanical music back together on a
larger scale.

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 39

Continued from Page 39

jobs instead of the professions they
had originally occupied. Gradually,
they left their homeland and remade
themselves. He did not project any
ill-will towards what happened to
them, being even matter-of-fact about
it. He was a gracious and knowledgeable
host.

Across Florida from the meeting
site we went to see “Our Backyard
Museum” on the property of Dr. Joel
and Mrs. Pam Jancko. While half of the
busload were entertained by the playing
of the OPUS 1616, the Wurlitzer
Theatre Organ, we toured the exhibit,
which consisted of their collections
of last 1800 and early 1900 ephemera.

Photo by Robert Thomas
They have a wonderful display of
an ice cream parlor complete with a
marble counter and assorted sundae
glasses. We toured a saloon from the
“wild west” containing a bar, poker
cards and roulette wheel, and even
the swinging doors. Also erected
inside this building was a log cabin

– think tiny house – where all that fit
there were a bed and luncheon table.
Further in this exhibit was a general
store with a printing press, bank
counter, horse harnesses, dried foods,
and yard goods! Just as though you
had stepped off a dusty street in the
bygone days of Arizona!
Leaving this building we were shown
an old oil rig and where the doctor
related a funny story to us. When he
first bought and installed the rig, it was
difficult to move, so he heavily greased
it and walked away. When he returned

to try to use it, the pump moved freely
spurting oil all over! He was ready to
join Jed Clampett in Beverly Hills until
he remembered what he had done!

There were also covered wagons in
this exhibit. He pointed out the problems
of using one without springs over
the one with! Springs definitely were
better.

Entering this building we discovered
an old time gas station, complete
with old pumps, which they took
care to construct in a way that would
replicate how the building would have
been erected – no mitered joints in
window and door frames, etc. Also on
exhibit were several hand-pumped fire

Joel Jancko leads a tour of his Backyard Museum featuring an extensive collection
of old west and early Americana in every corner.

Photo by Robert Thomas
Jarda Dvorak cranks a tune on his Kolb organ

trucks with various nozzles for squirting
water farther. He also had some
old cars and, finally, dresses and handbags
from the late 1800s. Returning to
the dance hall, we were treated to a
cookout before we were entertained
with songs from the theatre organ.

The next day we toured the Yaffe
Collection. Housed in an industrial
park, the collection was like nothing
I have seen – The ceiling was so “low”
that the crystal chandeliers hung from
the rafters to eye level. I was one of
the guests who had to be encouraged
to enter the building housing his

collection, as I found myself stopped
in my tracks with my mouth agape!
There were mechanical music items
everywhere, even on the catwalk. One
side of the building was filled with the
Decap Dance Organ and his beautifully
painted (and sounding) Mortier
Organ.

We were welcome and encouraged
to play any instrument we could.
Fortunately, our group knew enough
not to play too many instruments at
one time, otherwise the cacophony
would have been extreme. From time
to time they would announce that

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Photo by Robert ThomasPhoto by Robert Thomas
Photo by Robert ThomasPhoto by Robert Thomas
One of the chandeliers hanging at eye level in the Yaffe Mark Yaffe demonstrates one of the elaborate automata for
collection. visitors to marvel at.

one of the big orchestrions or organs
would be played, and we all stopped
to listen. Those instruments which
wouldn’t play or which we didn’t want
to touch, were played by Mark and his
assistants at our request. The music
boxes, player pianos, and automaton
were a delight to hear and a wonderful
sight to behold. Most of them had
come from Europe in container ships.
It is hard to imagine how this was
done without the instruments being
destroyed.

He had several interesting music
machines. One was what I found out
later was a station box. This item

would be in a train station and would
amuse travelers. The one he had was
of Chinese dancers turning and dancing
to the music. When I contacted
Mark about the details of this box,

convention in the early 1990s but don’t
know it’s history before that.”

One of the last days we were at the
convention we went to a workshop
about the poor characterization of
Organ Grinders, given by Ron Bopp.
We were easy targets – and I say “we”
as, not only did the paternal side of
my family make the organs, but my
maternal great grandparents rented
them from the Molinaris. This family
even had a monkey which they took
around with the organ. We were easy
targets as we were often playing in the
poorer sections of town and played
loud music, causing a stir where they
went, and we didn’t look like the other
white citizens of American cities. We
were poor immigrants who didn’t
have skills to support ourselves in
cities, having immigrated from farms,

Photo by Ed Cooley
William Edgerton cranked tunes on a
tabletop piano playing from cardboard
books to entertain his guests.

he said this, “The Black Forest
Swiss chalet station box was used to
entertain waiting people at the train
station for a small fee (coin dropped
in). The case was made in the Black
Forest. Although this case style is
relatively common its size is very rare.
To date it is the largest one known. It
is interchangeable (most only played
one fixed cylinder) with four cylinders.
I bought it at an MBSI annual

or who couldn’t get jobs as often there
were signs up in businesses “no Italian
need apply.” I was familiar with some
of these caricatures he showed, as we
were shown many of them as children.
However, as seen through the eyes
of my husband, I viewed them more
critically for the “Italian Bashing” as
we would now say, that they are.

This was a small but very enjoyable
convention during which time we

were able to check on our retirement
home in Lehigh Acres, FL, the next
town in from Ft. Myers. We met many
congenial people from the Southeast
Chapter who worked hard after the
pandemic to arrange this meeting. My
hat is off to them!

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro

Thomas Pletcher, Q R S, and Bankruptcy

After reading the two-part article
by Art Reblitz on the Chicago Coin-
Operated Piano and Orchestrion Rolls
(AMICA Bulletin, Vol. 53, Nos. 1 and
2), I was reminded of an idea I have
had for a quite a while to write an
in-depth retrospective about Thomas

M. Pletcher. He was one of the most
important and enigmatic figures in
the automatic music business during
the first three decades of the 20th
century. He was a super-salesman, a
vice president of the Melville Clark
Piano Company, president of the Q R
S Music Company and vice president
of the Zenith Radio Company.
It is very difficult to get a handle
on Pletcher’s personality, since the
trade magazines wrote puff pieces
about frequent advertisers and were
reluctant to say anything disparaging.
Nevertheless, the number of articles
about the man is staggering. In the
Music Trade Review alone, there are
945 instances in 416 issues from 1901
to 1931.

Early Years

Thomas Marion Pletcher was born
Jan. 29, 1871, in Warsaw, IN, and he
died in 1950. He was the son of Eli and
Emma Pletcher. The first press notice
(“A Regina Hustler,” image at right)
was in the Music Trade Review on
Aug. 17, 1901.

His initials are misspelled, but it is
certainly our Pletcher. In 1901 he was
just 30 years old. In January 1904 he
resigned from the Regina Music Box
Company to join the Melville Clark
Piano Company. It earned a full-page

spread in the Music Trade Review. In
giving his reason, Pletcher said that
it was so easy to sell Reginas that “I
felt a change was necessary to avoid
a complete cessation of vital activity.”

He thought the Apollo player pianos
would be easy to sell, but noted
the average dealer was too slow to
realize the necessity of specializing
his player business. He goes on, “It is
not my intention to reflect in the least
upon the dealers’ good judgment, but
there are still a great many of them

who are not getting their share of
the profits from the player business,
presumably because of their own lack

42 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

of confidence in the present possibilities
and substantial future of the
business.” He continues for an entire
page in this vein, talking about how
players must be displayed and demonstrated
by competent dealers, etc.
Notice how diplomatic and eloquent
he is.

In May 1904 he writes of his trip
to San Francisco, CA. He is called
“ambassador for the Melville Clark
Piano Company,” and this moniker
sticks for many years. He is constantly
traveling and there are articles for
each trip. Headlines of “T.M. Pletcher
leaves for …” and “T.M. Pletcher back
from …” are numerous.

In November 1905 the Music Trade
Review wrote: “Mr. Pletcher, the
energetic Apollo apostle, has taken
advantage of the present congested
condition of the Melville Clark factory
and has hied himself to the north
woods for a month’s search after
game, both large and small.” Imagine
taking so much time off for a single
vacation!

As if all of this wasn’t enough, he
was issued a patent in 1907 for an automatic
piano action, which consists of
a direct application of the pneumatic
to the piano hammer, dispensing with
the ordinary piano action. I guess this
meant that the pneumatics moved the
hammers without all of the ordinary
leverage points to accelerate the
velocity of the hammers. I wonder
what happened to the dampers.
Anyway, this patent was definitely not
a success (I’m glad he didn’t quit his
day job).

Pletcher could always be counted
on for witty remarks, like a December
1908 comment about standardization
of player piano rolls (image below).

Increasing Influence

In February 1914, Pletcher is
promoted to vice president (see
announcement “Thomas M. Pletcher
Honored” in image at right).

Since articles like this are generally
“puff pieces” it hard to find out what
his true personality was like, but clues
like the word “enthusiastic” seem to
indicate he was fun to be with and
radiated good cheer. A better clue
would be the statement of Miss Ursula
Dietrich, in the December 1975 AMICA
Bulletin. She was hired by Melville
Clark to hold comparison concerts
where her playing was compared to
the Apollo recordings. She said:

Anyone who had ever met Mr. Tom
Pletcher, the vice- president and sales
manager of this company which
manufactured the Apollo piano, could
not help but be impressed. He was a
person with a dynamic personality
and had the talent to win the confidence
and respect of anyone he met.
It is not often that one meets a person
who has the rare combination of
sagaciousness, knowledge, and wit
as did this very personable man. It
was said that in his early days he
sold patent medicine on the streets.
He certainly was a showman of no
mean prowess, and could probably
have sold toothpicks to a tiger. As an
executive of one of the largest piano
manufacturers, he was sought after as
a public speaker because of his ability
to fairly electrify an audience in the
sales business. His spirit infected
everyone who came in contact with
him and, for me, it was almost an
unbelievable advantage to become one
of his associates.

Ms. Dietrich would have no reason
to lie about Pletcher’s personality
since 1975 was many years after he
was dead.

There were all sorts of witty articles,
like the one from July 1914 titled “Lee
Roberts Loses” shown below.

Beginning in 1915, Pletcher speaks
on behalf of the Q R S Company in
addition to his duties as sales manager
and VP. In 1916, Pletcher was referred
to as Vice president of the Q R S
Music Roll Co. as well as VP and sales
manager of Melville Clark:

In December 1917, Tom Pletcher
got a whole page article in the Music
Trade Review entitled “Importance of
Music Roll Department (An Interview

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43

with Thomas M. Pletcher, Vice president,
the Q R S Co.).”

Big Changes

1918 was a very important year.

In February 1918, Q R S rented space in
New York City to construct a new plant to
turn out rolls for the eastern trade. This is
in addition to the plant in DeKalb, IL.

In July 1918, Q R S bought the entire
Rolla Artis roll-cutting plant from
Wurlitzer. The transaction carried with
it an order for 2 million rolls from the
Wurlitzer Company. Pletcher did all of the
negotiating and announced the deal to the
trade press. The cost was estimated at
$100,000. All of the machinery would be
moved to the DeKalb plant of Q R S.

Then, Tom Pletcher bought a controlling
interest in the Melville Clark Piano
Company and the Q R S company. The Oct.
3, 1918, edition of Presto has a whole page
devoted to this (image at left). Considering
that the company did $2 million a year
in business and had $1.5 million in assets,
a controlling interest could not have been
cheap. So Mr. Pletcher really did well for
himself over the years. He must have been
some kind of sales genius.

Now things began to really happen fast.
The preceding article was dated Oct. 3,
1918, and by Nov. 5, 1918, Melville Clark is
dead. The Music Trade magazine said he
died after a lingering illness. It also said
that “Last month, Mr. Clark, on account of
failing health, disposed of the controlling
interest in the business to T.M. Pletcher,
who had been associated with him for
many years.” I guess he wanted to leave
a lot of cash to his widow, so he sold
out rather than give the business to his
brother, E.G. Clark, who was superintendent
of the Clark factory.

Thomas Pletcher became acting president
of the Melville Clark Piano Company
and Q R S. In December 1918 he is again
writing witty articles about retailing
music rolls, like this one in the Dec. 14,
1918, Music Trade Review:

Breathes there a man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said

“I’ll take a sack of peanuts,” when he
smells them hot roasting. The peanut man
knows how to tempt him. A good roll, too,
will appeal to a player owner if the dealer
will just find some way to sharpen up his
appetite each month.

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Pletcher Dumps the Piano
Business

1919 was a really busy year for
Pletcher. First, he gets elected president
(instead of acting president).
In August 1919, the Apollo Piano Co.
buys the Melville Clark Piano Co., a
recently organized concern to manufacture
and sell the Apollo player
pianos. They get the plant in DeKalb,
IL, intact. According to the Music
Trade Review:

Thos., M. Pletcher and his associates
retire from the Apollo business
and will devote themselves exclusively
to the expansion of the Q R S
Co., manufacturers of player rolls,
whose new plant is now under course
of construction in Chicago.

Presto states (quoting Pletcher):

We, from now on, will be manufacturers
of Q R S rolls exclusively. We
decided upon this move because we
realized the importance of having no
affiliations with any player manufacturing
business if we are able
to retain the position of serving all
dealers alike, without any prejudice
or partiality.

What was unstated in the press
releases was that Wurlitzer was
the force behind the Apollo Piano
Company (along with Amphion). This
is apparent from the directors and officers
of the Apollo Piano Company. At
any event, Pletcher has now thrown
everything into the roll business.
Maybe Pletcher thought that with the
death of inventor Melville Clark and

increased player competition, it would
be difficult to innovate and improve
the Apollo player. He also probably
thought that he really needed to be
independent of any manufacturer,
and he reasoned that Q R S was in a
good position to dominate the market,
which Apollo was not doing by 1919.

Q R S Moves Forward

On Jan. 20, 1920, the Clark Orchestra
Roll Company is formed. Ernest G.
Clark (brother of Melville) and Bayard

H. Clark (son of Ernest G. Clark)
resign from Q R S and become officers
of the new company. Were the Clarks
disenchanted by Pletcher dumping the
family piano business? In any event,
the Clarks took over the coin-operated
division of Q R S. This included
nickelodeon, orchestrion and organ
rolls. They took the equipment and
retained access to the Q R S masters.
Thomas Pletcher was left with a large
player piano roll business.
On Feb. 3, 1920, the name “Melville
Clark Piano Company” was changed
to the “Q R S Music Co.,” obliterating
any affiliation with pianos.

Q R S and the Federal Trade
Commission

For many years, Pletcher had been
writing articles about the need to
keep prices of player piano rolls high
and that his competition should do
likewise. Guess what happens! The
Federal Trade Commission cites Q R S
for unfair competition in August 1921.
According to the Music Trades:

This citation is upon an allegation
that the maintenance of resale prices
by a manufacturer, enforced by
refusal to sell for failure to maintain
such prices, is unfair competition;
and that the exclusive contracts used
by this company are violation of
section 3 of the Clayton Act.

Apparently, Q R S made retail dealers
sign exclusive contracts where
they could not sell any competitor’s
rolls and that the dealers would agree
not to sell rolls at prices lower than
those set by Q R S. Any dealer that
violated this, would not be supplied
with rolls to sell.

Of course, Pletcher had something
to say about this:

Apparently some jealous competitor
feels aggrieved at the polices
adopted by our company, policies
which are aimed to produce and
have produced equitable results to
the dealer, consumer and competitor
alike. … Jealousy, of course, is a
human agency beyond our control ….

If it be true that we are denied the
right to establish and maintain a
fixed retail price, then the Government
strikes at the very heart and
soul of business, for otherwise it
attempts to force the manufacturer to
sell to a habitual price-cutter, whose
sole object is to obtain publicity by
cutting the price of such articles as are
nationally advertised. It is such articles
only that he uses as his weapon
of destruction. So long as a business
fails to succeed he has no complaint.
The moment honest industry receives
its reward it becomes his target.
Are business policies to be fixed and
determined by such an individual?

The statement from Pletcher goes
on in this manner for a whole page.
The case was suspended, awaiting a
decision from the U.S. Supreme Court
on the Beech-Nut Packing Company
case. The FTC was upheld in that
case, paving the way for the Q R S
case to continue (1921 Annual Report
of the FTC). According to one legal
report, Q R S had over 50 percent of
the music roll business and thus could
be considered a monopoly.

In 1923, Pletcher announced that he
already spent $50,000 to $75,000 on
the case, and if it became necessary,
would carry it to the Supreme Court,
even if it cost every cent he had.
Pletcher said, in testimony to the
FTC, that in 1906, 500,000 rolls were
manufactured in the U.S. In 1922,
total production was from 10 to 12
million rolls, bringing a retail value
of approximately $10 million. In 1924,
Pletcher appealed the FTC decision to
the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

This case kept going until 1926,
when the FTC reported:

Q R S. Music Co. case Resale price

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 45

maintenance in the sale of music
rolls. In this case the commission
issued its order directing the Q R
S Music Co., of Chicago (a manufacturer
of music rolls for player
pianos having produced in excess of
6,000,000 rolls per annum), to cease
and desist from carrying into effect
a policy of fixing and maintaining
uniform prices at which the articles
manufactured by it shall be resold by
its distributors and dealers by– (1)
Entering into contracts, agreements,
and understandings with distributors
or dealers requiring or providing
for the maintenance of specified resale
prices on products manufactured by
respondent. (2) Attaching any condition,
express or implied, to purchases
made by distributors or dealers to the
effect that such distributors or dealers
shall maintain resale prices specified
by respondent. (3) Requesting dealers
to report competitors who do not
observe the resale price suggested by
respondent, or acting on reports so
obtained by refusing or threatening to
refuse sales to dealers so reported. (4)
Requesting or employing salesmen
or agents to assist in such policy by
reporting dealers who do not observe
the suggested resale price, or acting
on reports so obtained by refusing or
threatening to refuse sales to dealers
so reported. (5) Requiring from
dealers previously cut off promises
or assurances of the maintenance
of respondent’s resale prices as a
condition of reinstatement. (6)
Utilizing any other equivalent cooperative
means of accomplishing the
maintenance of uniform resale prices
fixed by the respondent. The order
also required respondent to cease and
desist from entering into contracts,
agreements, or understandings with
its dealers binding them not to deal in
the products of respondent’s competitors.
Respondent filed in the United
States Circuit Court of Appeals for
the Seventh Circuit its petition for
review. This was denied on April 9,
1926.

Pletcher and Company apparently
got away with their pricing and
contract policies for five years after
the FTC complaint, when there were

no further legal avenues open to them.

The Zenith Radio Adventure

Presto magazine reported on Apr.
15, 1922, that Q R S entered the radio
business. The headline was:

According to the Concise Encyclopedia
of American Radio:

As demand for the product
increased in 1922, [E.F.] McDonald
engaged his friend, Tom Pletcher,
a well-known figure in the music
industry and president of the Q R S
Music Company, to take over the sales
and manufacturing of CRL (Chicago
Radio Laboratories) receivers in
his large (and partially empty) new
factory. By July, production had
reached 15 sets per day.

McDonald did lose control of Zenith
briefly in 1928 when he incautiously

played the market with his Zenith
stock. While he was selling, Tom
Pletcher was quietly buying — 72
percent of the outstanding shares.
McDonald was saved only by buying
the stock option that R.H.G. Mathews
had received for his half of the CRL
partnership.

Pletcher and a fellow Q R S director
sold their stock in September 1928
and retired from Zenith entirely.

Redtop Radio Tubes

In addition to the radio market, Q
R S marketed “Redtop Tubes.” These
were very highly thought of in the
radio industry.

On a radio forum on the web, someone
requested a Q R S tube for an
antique radio. The following response
appeared:

Hi, I have a couple of the Q R S
85-mil rectifiers but they’re in the Q R
S display cabinet. The only loose ones
I see are Majestics (also made by Q
R S). However, they shouldn’t be that

Q R S Redtop Tubes that were highly-regarded products in the radio industry.

46 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

rare. Q R S made a lot of them,
before losing a patent-infringement
suit to Raytheon.
Zenith also used Q R S tubes
for a time. Q R S actually
financed Zenith’s entry into
the big- time radio market
in1922, as well as providing
its network of music dealers
nationwide. The head of Q
R S, Thomas Pletcher, also
seems to have been a rare
bird, a genuinely nice person.
Naturally you won’t read
anything about this in the
official Zenith histories.

Q R S Records

Thomas Pletcher registered
a trademark for use
in phonograph records on Jan. 16,
1920 claiming use since Nov. 3, 1919.
Most of the early releases were from
Gennett masters and had the same
catalog numbers. The records were
produced for at least three years,
but production was sporadic, with
relatively few releases reported. (The
information in this section and the
image of the Q R S Record label is
used with permission from American
Record Labels and Companies, Allan
Sutton and Kurt Nauck).

It wasn’t until 1928, that Pletcher
resumed his venture into
phonograph records. Consider
the article shown at right from
The Music Trade Review, Oct.
20, 1928:

In this incarnation, Q R
S mainly supplied original
material and focused on
“race” records, which were
recordings intended for the
African-American community.
Sales were poor and the
records are rare today. Since
they featured great talents
like Clarence Williams and
Earl Hines, the records are
rare not just for the scarcity of
the label but for their artistic
merits. For example, Clarence
Williams or Earl Hines Q R S
records were listed in the 2001
price guide at a value of $250
and up. Of course, these are
worth much more today.

The October, 1925 edition of the Music Trade Review ran
the article above.

An interesting adjunct to
the record adventure, is Tom
Pletcher’s son, Stuart. “Stew”
was a trumpet player and
had his own orchestra. One
record was actually released
on Q R S records, as “Pletcher’s
Eli Prom Trotters.”
Eli was Thomas Pletcher’s
father’s name. The 2001 price
guide lists this record as
having a value of $75-$100.
Stew also recorded for Bluebird
records (a subsidiary of
Victor) and with Carl Webster
(on Okeh Records). He was
quite talented and very well
known. Stew’s son, Thomas,
was also a trumpeter of great
skill.

DeVry

Tom Pletcher had other adventures
in entertainment technology. He went
from music boxes to player pianos to
music rolls to phonograph records
to radio and finally to cameras and
projectors. These he sold under the
brand name Q R S. He realized that the
brand paled in comparison to DeVry’s
and in early 1929, Pletcher bought
out Herman DeVry for $1.5 million.
According to the immigrantentrepreneurship.
org web site:

DeVry remained as vice
president of the Q R S-DeVry
Corporation, and reinvested
his profits in the company.
Unfortunately, too much attention
to product and not enough
to promotion and distribution,
plus inattention to the changing
economic climate, made
the company vulnerable, and
it collapsed in the wake of the
stock crash of 1929. Pletcher
was finished as a force in the
industry and Herman DeVry
himself was nearly wiped out.
The company was put up for
auction, but DeVry was able to
scrape together enough cash to
reclaim it. Some of that money,
according to granddaughter
Diane DeVry, came from the
sale of family jewelry.

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 47

There are many other milestones
during the Pletcher years:

1925: Lee S. Roberts, who was vice
president and a great composer and
performer, resigns from Q R S; Q R S
buys the Angelus roll catalog.

1926: Q R S buys the U.S. Music
Company.

1929: Q R S–DeVry sells the
company’s neon tube plant (another
adventure).

The End of the Pletcher Era

An August 1931 issue of the Music
Trade Review reports the sale of
the Q R S-DeVry Company to Max
Kortlander:

There exists a copy of a letter
written by Pletcher to Max Kortlander
where the music roll division of Q
R S–DeVry was sold for $5,000 cash
upon signing the contract, $5,000 at
the rate of $500 per month, raw material
as used, rolls in stock as used
at 14 cents per roll. This included
all the machinery and equipment
used in recording, manufacturing
and selling of player rolls. All trademarks
and names are included. This
multi-million-dollar company was
now sold for $10,000.

In March 1933, the Q R S–DeVry
Corporation declares bankruptcy
(March 1933 Piano Trade Magazine).

According to this article, Tom
Pletcher had assets of about $4 million

before the stock market crash. During
the crash, Pletcher tried to support the
Q R S stock and he helped friends by
protecting their margin accounts. As
of this article Pletcher was managing
a Chicago business which manufactures
a germ destroying preparation.
The article says:

When he became a multimillionaire
Tom Pletcher’s habits did not
greatly change. He bought no yachts
and he did not move onto the Gold
Coast. He was still the democratic,
effervescent Tom that the music trade
knew as a salesman for Apollo players.
He continued to work hard, his
recreational activities being confined
principally to hunting and golf.
Wealth, however, gave Mr. Pletcher an
opportunity to indulge his naturally
generous instincts.

Believing he had more money than
he could possibly spend he was lavish
with his loans to friends and gifts
to relatives. It is said that there is
sufficient money due Tom Pletcher on
personal unsecured loans to keep him
in comfort the balance of his life – If
he could collect. On one occasion he
voluntarily gave a check for $25,000
to a friend who alleged such a sum
would extricate him from an embarrassing
personal difficulty.

The article goes on to say how
Pletcher was such a super-salesman
that he turned the mechanically

unsound downward touch of the old
Apollo players into an advantage. He
also did this with the spring-driven roll
frame motors.

In the 1930s and 1940s Thomas

M. Pletcher lived at the Lake Shore
Athletic Club. He married Agnes
Mullen in Marion, IN, on Dec. 16, 1900.
Thomas died in 1950. His son, Stuart
was born on Feb. 21, 1907, and died
Nov. 29, 1978, in Montague, MI. Stuart’s
son, Thomas, lives in Auburndale, FL.
The author would like to acknowledge
the contributions of Bob
Berkman, Art Reblitz, and Charles
“Rusty” King for their information
about this interesting topic.

Email Matt Jaro at mjaro@verizon.
net if you would like any information
about style “A”, “G”, “4X”, “H” or “O” rolls.
Also, comments and suggestions for this
column will be appreciated.

Reprinted with permission of the
author and The Automatic Musical
Instrument Collectors’ Association
(AMICA). Originally printed in the May/
June 2016 issue of The AMICA Bulletin.

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

National Capital Chapter

Chapter Chair: Matt Jaro
Reporters: Nancy and Bob Goldsmith
Photographers: Nancy and Bob Goldsmith,
Robert Barnett, Knowles and
Ginny Little and Paul Senger

Oct. 24, 2021 — Gaithersburg, MD

Welcome back! After an absence of
almost two years, the National Capital
Chapter (NCC) held its first in-person
meeting and collection tour at the
home of Matt and Beni Jaro. It was a
lovely, bright sunny day for members
near and far to travel to Maryland to
enjoy good friends, good food and
good music. There were 22 members,
including one new member, and one
guest. The event started with the noontime
box lunches pre-ordered from
Panera. Members supplied the snacks,
beverages and delicious sweets.

After lunch, Matt held the business
meeting reporting all the good stuff
over the past year! Matt led the
updates with the news from the MBSI
annual meeting in Florida which
about 100 people attended and NO
COVID was reported among the
guests. On Sept. 18, NCC participated
in the Old Bowie Celebrates Festival
with nine members attending. Our
very own talented Glenn Thomas was
recognized for his weekly show on
MechanicalMusicRadio.com. It can be
heard Monday through Thursday from
6–7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday
from 7–9 p.m. Matt was presented a
Seeburg Style K “Midget Orchestrion”
catalog picture plaque to display on
his Seeburg K.

Matt chaired the nominating
committee for the election of chapter
officers for the next two years, The
recommendations of the committee
were as follows:

• Chair: Ken Gordon
• Vice Chair: Vacant
• Treasurer: Florie Hirsch
• Co-secretaries: Donna and Gene
Borrelli
Ken Gordon, Rory Lehman, Ryan Lehman, Robert Barnett, Richard Simpson, and
Paul Senger listen to Seeburg H. A Seeburg G is in the background.

Jack Hardman checks one of the desserts
supplied by members

Dick Maio and Rory Lehman and the
Western Electric Mascot C.

Ken Gordon, our nominee for new
Chapter Chair Joe Orens enjoying his boxed lunch.

The balloting will be by mail/email.

The collection tour began highlighting
the finely tuned instruments
that Matt listens to everyday. We
were entertained with music on a
Western Electric Mascot C piano, a
Nelson-Wiggen 4x, and several Seeburg
nickelodeons and orchestrions.

Matt has been busy modernizing his
collection. He upgraded his Seeburg
H orchestrion to play MIDI while
still keeping the paper roll-playing

capability. He and Glenn Thomas
commissioned the arranging of scores
of tunes not usually associated with
mechanical music, some old (“Toccata
and Fugue in D minor” by Bach) and
some newer (’50s and ’60s music).

Matt converted many of his and
other people’s existing paper rolls to
MIDI by having the rolls scanned by
Jack Breen. He also converted many
rolls from other machines to play on
his Seeburg H.

A crowd pleaser was the two large
pneumatic gauges attached to the
1926 Chickering AMPICO reproducing
piano. One gauge showed the volume
of the high notes while the other
showed the volume of the low notes.

In conclusion, we donned ear plugs
for the very powerful Wurlitzer 153
Band Organ.

We are looking forward to the next
in-person holiday party at Dick and
Cheryl Hack’s home on Dec. 5.

Matt and his Seeburg K with xylophone. Dick Maio, Richard

Simpson, and Glenn Thomas on right. New member Jessica Holden (center) attends her first chapter
meeting, with Glenn Thomas to her left and Carol Durand to
her right. All are enjoying the Chickering AMPICO.

Knowles Little, Bob Goldsmith and Joe Orens playing it safe.

Paul Senger presents a historic Seeburg K catalog plaque to
Matt Jaro.

Matt Jaro gives a report on the 2021 Annual Meeting and
shows the table favor. Glenn Thomas is on the left.

Matt demonstrates the 1926 Chickering AMPICO reproducing
piano. Rory Lehman, Richard Simpson, Richard Barnett, and
Dick Hack look on.

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Marilyn Dauphinee, 1934—2021

By Peter Dauphinee

My mother, Marilyn E. Dauphinee,
87, of Dennisport, MA, peacefully
passed away Oct. 15, 2021, in her home
surrounded by her family following a
brief battle with ALS.

She is survived by a brother, Thomas
Sedgwick and his wife, Rosalind; three
children, Doug, Peter and Karin; five
grandchildren and one great grandson.

Marilyn was predeceased by her
parents, Wendell Sedgwick and Ruby
Hendsbee; her husband, Raymond,
father of their five children; and two
sons, Paul R. Dauphinee and David J.
Dauphinee.

Born in Boston, MA, Marilyn grew
up in Dedham, MA, and went to
the Massachusetts College of Art &
Design. She met the love of her life,
Ray Dauphinee, in high school, and
they were married for 63 years until
his passing. They moved to Acton,
MA, where Ray opened a Rexall Drug
Store.

Marilyn enjoyed music, starting with

her player pianos and singing with
family, friends and church members.
We would play and sing songs including
“Indian Reservation,” by the Raiders,
“Jean,” by Oliver, to Scott Joplin. On
Sundays, my parents fulfilled their
love for God as committed members
of the Nazarene Church where Mom
enjoyed listening to sermons as well
as singing and praying.

In the 1980s, Marilyn and Ray moved
to the Cape where they managed a set
of cottages for many years. With their
music interest, they collected music
boxes and joined MBSI and AMICA
in the 1970s. Their main passion was
going to yard sales, auctions, estate
sales and flea markets, and she loved
finding music boxes in her travels.

Every chance they had, they enjoyed
trips to MBSI meetings. Marilyn especially
loved visiting members’ homes
to see their incredible collections,
which always left them amazed. They
were always impressed by how kind
and welcoming all of the members
were to them.

My brother, Doug, and I accompanied
our mother to Maryland for her
last MBSI annual meeting. It was so
wonderful to see her enjoying herself,
and I could then understand her love
of music boxes in a new light. Many
thanks to all of the members for their
kindness.

In Memory of a Great Friend

By Frank Nix
with help from Mark Mercer

Herbert Mercer was born Jun. 29,
1932, in New York City and passed
away Aug. 15, 2021, at home with
family in Westlake Village, CA.

His mother was born in Russia and
his father in Poland. They had four
children together, two sons and two
daughters.

Herb was raised on the lower east
side of Manhattan in an emigrant area
of tenements.

During high school, Herb worked
the night shift in an arcade at Coney

Island where he developed a passion
for all types of coin-op machines
including automatic music.

After high school he served in the
Army on the battlefields of Korea.

After his discharge from military
service, he lived with his brother in
Michigan while attending Michigan
State, earning a Bachelor of Science
in Chemistry. He continued his education
in chemistry at Arizona State,
then used the GI Bill to achieve a PhD
in Pharmacology at the University of
Southern California.

He married Rochelle on Jun. 23,
1957, and was blessed with a son,

Mark, and a daughter, Ellen.

His management skills were put
to use at the pharmacies of Oxnard
Community Hospital and Oxnard
Medical Center, where he operated
Herb’s Pharmacy from 1970 to 1979,
receiving awards for community
service. He was extremely knowledgeable
and people liked him.

He also managed the pharmacy in
Port Hueneme, CA, in 1972 and the
pharmacy in Carson City, NV, attached
to a 200-bed hospital. Incredibly, he
also ran the pharmacy for eight years
at the Camarillo State Hospital until
its closure.

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 51

During this time he opened up the the convention marts and had a strict was a character, but in the best way,
Juke Box Trading Post on Thousand limit, bringing over a couple of music with a lot of fun jokes and stories. He
Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks, boxes to get my opinion and then loved his family, many friends, dogs,
CA. seeing if he could buy one at his price. blueberry cupcakes and ice cream.

He joined the Carousel Organ Asso-Before we became friends, at one He is survived by Rochelle, his son
ciation of America, MBSI, AMICA, and of the conventions Shirley and I and daughter, two grandchildren and
a coin-op group and started collecting were sitting across the room in the two great grandchildren.
trade stimulators, merry-go-round restaurant from Herb, Rochelle, Lloyd He will be missed by all who knew
horses, music boxes, monkey organs, and Brook. They were laughing and him.
penny gumball machines and more. having a good time, and I decided I So long good buddy. Someday we

He would always buy something at had to meet that guy. You might say he may meet again.

MBSI has also learned of the passing of members Joe Berman, Donald Huene and Edward Buchanan. Our sincerest condolences
are extended to their families and friends.

Advertise in The Mart

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 by
advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an
inexpensive price.

Go online to place your advertisement at www.mbsi.org,
fill out the form in the Mart section, or contact Russell
Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 to get started. You may also
email advertisements to editor@mbsi.org

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Missed the Annual Meeting?

Don’t miss your chance
to grab a table favor
Table favors from MBSI’s
71st annual meeting,
held in Fort Myers, FL,
are now available for purchase.
In keeping with the theme
“Young at Heart” these playful
carousels are reminiscent of younger times.
As the horses revolve, the song of the Sunshine State,
“You are my Sunshine,” plays.

Favors are $25 each,
or 2 for $45, plus shipping.
$10 for East Coast,
$15 West Coast,
$12 in between.
Instructions for winding,
placing the ag and
the label are in the
mailing box.
Send your check, made payable to “Southeast MBSI”
and the number of favors desired to Wayne and Mary
Ellen Myers, 2165 Blue Iris Place, Longwood, FL 32779.
Call (407) 739-5086 or (407) 630-1360 for more info.

I Left My Heart in SanFran -cis-co
Aug. 31 – Sept. 5, 2022 I Left My Heart in SanFran -cis-co
Aug. 31 – Sept. 5, 2022
58th Annual Meeting of the
Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors 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

Return for lunch and then take the train
to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the 1911 Looff Carousel

Quality 3-Day Music Machine Auction Quality 3-Day Music Machine Auction
To be held in the Barry Expo Center, 1350 N. M-37 Highway, Hastings, Michigan on:
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, January 6, 7, and 8, 2022Thursday’s sale begins at 1:00 P.M. – Friday & Saturday start at 9:00 A.M. each day
This will be an excellent auction with a fantastic representation of rare and
desirable phonographs, music boxes, clocks and more. Included in the
auction is Ron Sitko Estate Collection of phonographs with a Rare Berliner
“Tin Can” Ratchet Wind example, Berliner JS, 2 Edison Bijou Coin-operated
phonographs, Bettini reproducers, cabinets, and more. We have also
received the collections from the Chris Janko Estate and the Koontz Estate
both from Northern California and the Lelland Fletcher Estate collection
from San Diego. These collections contain disc and cylinder music boxes,
clocks, and wood horn phonographs. From the eastern and southern part
of the United States we have Rare Phonographs and Music Boxes including
a rare Edison Ajax (originally from the Aaron Cramer Estate Collection),
Rosenfield ISM coin operated machine restored by George Paul, Edison
Class M, Edison School with original stand, a glass top Herzog cabinet
with Edison Home, Idealia, Rare round Herzog & unique cylinder record
cabinets, a Edison Gold plated Triumph with cygnet horn, an excellent
Tin foil Exhibition by Sigmund Bergmann that was reproduced by Ray
Phillips of California in 1957. He made only 5 of these machines at that
time, Operas, wooden horn Victors, Victor Schoolhouse, 1,000s of cylinder
records, a great group of Berliner and other 7” discs, Berliner disc record
cases (2), Edison Diamond Discs including 52000 series, and so much more.
Stanton’s Auctioneers, Steven E. StantonAppraisers, & Realtors (517) 331-8150 cellular144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146 ’E-mail – stevenEstanton@gmail.comVermontville, MI 49096 SAUCTIONEERS & REALTORS TANTONSPhone: (517) 726-0181 Michael C. Bleisch
Fax: (517) 726-0060 (517) 231-0868 cellularE-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.comWebsite: www.stantons-auctions.com
We are currently accepting individual machines and collections of phonographs, music boxes, nickelodeons, and band organs, as well as
high end antiques and coin operated items. Call us to discuss your items, collections, and the estates that you may be representing. We also continue
to work with museums around North America in the deaccession of items and our efforts to find interested buyers for the items through our catalogs,
online promotion, mailers, and phone bidding. Stanton’s can arrange pickup of your collections anywhere around the country.

(802) 728-9694 (802) 728-9694
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 it’s 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 121/4” or15 1/ “ discs, and table models with
beautiful cabinets created for us in Italy. Also we can

occasions.

P.O Box 424
Randolph, VT 05060

support.

Call (802) 728-9694 or
email maryP@portermusicbox.com

The Organette Book
ISBN 978-0-9557869-5-2
colour throughout;Additional Illustrations of Models; Additions to Lists of The Organette Book
ISBN 978-0-9557869-5-2
colour throughout;Additional Illustrations of Models; Additions to Lists of
The Musical Box Society of Great Britain announces the publication of two new books
Published in September 2018

100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27” × 11.70”; Profusely illustrated in

Supplement to

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

ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9

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.

Supplement to

Compiled and Edited by
Kevin McElhone

100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27” × 11.70”; 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 January/February 2022

Ben’s Player Piano Service
Repair and restoration of air powered mechanical music
devices of all description.
Player pianos
Reproduing pianos
Dance organs
Fairground organs
Nickelodeon pianos
Original historically
Correct techniques
And materials used
Throughout in the
Rebuilding process.
Benjamin R Gottfried
464 Dugan Road, Richfield Springs NY 13439
Bensplayerservice.com 315-858-2164
WWW.REEDERPIANOS.COM • 517-886-9447
Specializing in the Restora on and Retail of Fine Pianos
Available Reproducing Pianos:
Chickering •Marshall & Wendall •George Steck
Mason & Hamlin •Knabe •Aeolian
»QRS & AMPICO MUSIC ROLLS«
“Where Fine Pianos
Are Reborn”
Fine Art & Antique Consignments
The highest level of customer service plus private,
professional and confidential transactions.
120 Court Street, Geneseo, NY 14454 cottoneauctions.comCall / Text: 256-702-7453
Email: four.four_time@yahoo.com
Purchasing single pieces or entire collections.
“I am still
delighted with
the machines
I bought from
you. Your prices
were fair, everything
was just as you
described it.”
– Joe… Baraboo, WI, April 2020
Browse our selection of music boxes,
music box disc, phonographs, cylinder
records and more on: 4-4time.com
4-4time.com
Ben’s Player Piano Service
Repair and restoration of air powered mechanical music
devices of all description.
Player pianos
Reproduing pianos
Dance organs
Fairground organs
Nickelodeon pianos
Original historically
Correct techniques
And materials used
Throughout in the
Rebuilding process.
Benjamin R Gottfried
464 Dugan Road, Richfield Springs NY 13439
Bensplayerservice.com 315-858-2164
WWW.REEDERPIANOS.COM • 517-886-9447
Specializing in the Restora on and Retail of Fine Pianos
Available Reproducing Pianos:
Chickering •Marshall & Wendall •George Steck
Mason & Hamlin •Knabe •Aeolian
»QRS & AMPICO MUSIC ROLLS«
“Where Fine Pianos
Are Reborn”
Fine Art & Antique Consignments
The highest level of customer service plus private,
professional and confidential transactions.
120 Court Street, Geneseo, NY 14454 cottoneauctions.comCall / Text: 256-702-7453
Email: four.four_time@yahoo.com
Purchasing single pieces or entire collections.
“I am still
delighted with
the machines
I bought from
you. Your prices
were fair, everything
was just as you
described it.”
– Joe… Baraboo, WI, April 2020
Browse our selection of music boxes,
music box disc, phonographs, cylinder
records and more on: 4-4time.com
4-4time.com
January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 59

This first class tour will be conducted at a slow pace to give you time to enjoy every day of the 14-day program.
The tour will include outstanding collections and the following highlights:

The tour will start in Zurich, Switzerland. We will visit the famous Rhine Falls, and the Raffin
Organ Factory in Ueberlingen, take a cruise on Lake Constance and visit the beautiful Island
of Mainau. The tour continues to the Museum of Music Automatons in Seewen and onto
Waldkirch, Germany. The highlight will be the 13th International Waldkircher Orgelfest for
3 days with visits of the Jäger & Brommer Organ Factory, and the Elztal Museum. We will
also explore Triberg, and the Schwarzwald Museum. Our next destination is the city of
Speyer, where we will explore the Wilhelmsbau, the Technic Museum, and the German
Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments. We continue to Ruedesheim, visit Siegfried’s
Mechanical Music Cabinet and take a scenic Rhine River Cruise. Our next destination is
Cologne, where we will enjoy a concert in the famous Cologne Cathedral. We bid farewell
to Germany and depart for the Netherlands, where we will stop at the Museum Dansant Hilvarenbeek and at the Netherlands Open
Air Museum in Arnhem. We continue to the historic city of Utrecht to visit the Stadskasteel Oudaen, and have a tour of the Museum
Speelklok. We continue to Haarlem, where we will visit the Barrel Organ Museum. The tour will end in Amsterdam.
First class hotels and deluxe bus transportation throughout the tour are guaranteed.
A tour escort with 35 years of worldwide travel experience will make sure you can enjoy an unforgettable tour.

For further information please contact:
Narrow Gauge Paradise – John Rogers -Musical Instrument Tours Dept.

P.O.Box 130807, Tampa, Florida 33681-0807
Tel: (001) 813 831 0357, Email: NGPAmerica@aol.com, Web: www.lgbtours.com
Let’s 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 editor@mbsi.org, call (253) 228-1634

or mail to:
Mechanical Music
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Advertise in The Mart Email your ad to editor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634 to place your

ad for the March/April 2022 issue.
Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space where you
should be installing your next acquisition? Get the word out to other Add a photo to your ad!
collectors by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at
an inexpensive price. Photos are only $30 extra per issue.

Email editor@mbsi.org or call (253) 228-1634 for more details.

60 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

FOR SALE
MARVELS OF MECHANICAL MUSIC -MBSI

THE MART

Video. Fascinating and beautifully-made
RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a film which explains the origins of automatic

Display Advertising Dimensions and Costs
Dimensions 1 issue 3 issues* 6 issues*
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $246
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43
Add a 10% surcharge to the prices shown above if you are not a member of MBSI.
*Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount

ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID

We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.

ADVERTISING DEADLINES:

The 1st day of each even month: Feb., Apr., Jun, Aug., Oct. and Dec.

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.

CLASSIFIED ADS

• 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 member’s name must
appear in ad
• Non-members may advertise at the
rates listed plus a 10% surcharge
PLEASE NOTE:

The first two words (or more
at your choice) and the member’s
name will be printed in all caps/bold
and charged at 60¢ per word.

Mechanical Music

Mechanical Music is mailed to all
members at the beginning of every
odd month — 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 business
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 business
dealings with said advertisers.

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 MUSICAL
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 you’ll find it to be one of the
most interesting, inspiring, informative books
you have in your library–or your money back.
Everyone has been delighted, and some
readers have ordered several copies. Get
your copy today for $99 plus S/H. MECHANICAL
MUSIC PRESS-M, 70 Wild Ammonoosuc
Rd., Woodsville, NH 03785. (603) 747-2636.

http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

Each One
Reach One
New Member
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

WANTED
WURLITZER 153 with lights in good playing
condition for Broome County Historical
Society. Contact DENNIS, at dcamarda@stny.
rr.com or (607) 778-9085

REPRODUCO PIANO/ORGAN and rolls.
Contact DONALD KRONLEIN at fbac@
one-eleven.net or (217) 620-8650.

SUBMIT ADS TO:

MBSI Ads
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
(253) 228-1634
Email: editor@mbsi.org

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

WANTED SERVICES WANTED SERVICES
Display Advertisers

TUNE CHANGING CAM for 27-inch Regina.
Contact MICHAEL DREYER at phonoman1@
gmail.com or (415) 577-0328.

SERVICES
REPRODUCTION POLYPHON discs; Catalogs
available for 19 5/8”, 22 1/8”, and 24
1/2”. DAVID CORKRUM 5826 Roberts Ave,
Oakland, CA 94605-1156, 510-569-3110,
www.polyphonmusic.com

SAVE $’s on REUGE & THORENS MUSIC
BOX REPAIR & RESTORATION – 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.
We’re the only REUGE FACTORY AUTHORIZED
Parts & Repair Service Center for all of North
America. Contact: DON CAINE -The Music
Box Repair Center Unlimited, 24703 Pennsylvania
Ave., Lomita, CA 90717-1516. Phone:

(310) 534-1557 Email: MBRCU@AOL.COM.
On the Web: www.musicboxrepaircenter.com
Advertise in The Mart

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 by advertising in
The Mart, an effective advertising
tool at an inexpensive price.

Fill out the form below and mail to
MBSI at 130 Coral Court, Pismo
Beach, CA 93449. Call (253) 2281634
with questions.

3………. Renaissance Antiques
52…….. Music Box Restorations
52…….. Miller Organ Clock
53…….. Miller & Miller Auctions
54…….. Southeast Chapter
55…….. Golden Gate Chapter
56…….. Stanton Auctions
57…….. Porter Music Box Company
58…….. MBSGB
58…….. American Treasure Tour
59…….. Reeder Pianos
59…….. Cottone Auctions
59…….. Ben’s Player Piano Service
59…….. 4-4Time.com
60…….. Musical Instrument Tours
61…….. Nancy Fratti Music Boxes
67…….. Marty Persky Music Boxes
68…….. Morphy Auctions

Add a photo to your ad!
You know the old saying, “A photo
is worth 1,000 words!” 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
reader’s interest in the item.
Email your advertisement with
photo to editor@mbsi.org or call
(253) 228-1634 for more details.
Name
Phone
Email
Text of ad

Mechanical
Music
Directory
MeMbers,
MuseuMs,
& Dealers
2020 2021
ORDER EXTRA COPIES

The 2020-2021 Directory of Members,
Museums and Dealers is only $10 for
members. (International shipping is extra)

Call MBSI Administrator Jacque Beeman at

(417) 886-8839 or send a check to:
Musical Box Society International
P.O. Box 10196
Springfield, MO 65808-0196
January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 63

OFFICERS, TRUSTEES & COMMITTEES of the
MUSICAL BOX SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL®

OFFICERS COMMITTEES Membership Committee Nominating Committee

Chair, TBD Dan Wilson, Chair

President Audit

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

Southeast Southeast

musikwerke@att.net

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

Publications Committee

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

mjaro@verizon.net Dan Wilson, Piedmont

Executive Committee Steve Boehck

Gerald Yorioka, Northwest Int’l

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 541 TBD, Sunbelt Publications

Dave Calendine, Trustee

Sub-Committee

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

Bob Caletti, Trustee Museum Committee

Website Committee

scarletpimpernel28@yahoo.com 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 Don Henry

Ken Envall, Southern California

3615 North Campbell Avenue Edward Cooley, Trustee Knowles Little, Web Secretary

Julian Grace, Sunbelt

Chicago, IL 60618 Peter Both

Richard Simpson, East Coast Special Exhibits Committee

ekozak1970@gmail.com

Marketing Committee Chair Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,

Museum Sub-Committees

Bob Smith, Chair Southeast

Ohio Operations

Dave Calendine, Trustee David Corkrum, President,

Rob Pollock, Mid-America

TRUSTEES Judy Caletti Golden Gate
Dave Calendine Donald Caine, Southern California

Meetings Committee

Bob Caletti SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Jack Hostetler, Southeast

Matt Jaro, Chair, Vice President

Edward Cooley Knowles Little, National Capital

Judy Caletti Publications Back Issues:

David Corkrum Judy Miller, Piedmont

Tom Chase Jacque Beeman

Richard Dutton Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan

Cotton Morlock

G.Wayne Finger Regina Certificates: Wayne Myers, Southeast
Rich Poppe

Matt Jaro B Bronson Rick Swaney, Northwest Int’l
Tom Kuehn

MBSI Pins and Seals: MBSI Editorial Office:

Mary Ellen Myers Jacque Beeman Iron Dog Media
130 Coral Court

Librarian:

Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Jerry Maler

editor@mbsi.org

Historian:

Bob Yates

MBSI FUNDS

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 author’s 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 author’s approval. All articles statements.

64 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event Location Sponsor
Mar. 18, 2022 Mid-Year Trustees Meeting Virtual David Corkrum
Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 2022 Joint MBSI / AMICA Annual Meeting San Mateo, CA Golden Gate Chapter/
AMICA Founding Chapter

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know!
Send in your information by Feb. 1, 2022, for the March/April 2022 issue.
Don’t hold your questions until the next chapter meeting.

Ask them today on our Facebook discussion group – the Music Box Society Forum.

Please send dates for the Calendar of Events to Russell Kasselman (editor@mbsi.org)

CONTACTS

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
jbeeman.mbsi@att.net

Traveling MBSI Display
Bill Endlein
21547 NW 154th Pl.
High Springs, FL 32643-4519
Phone (386) 454-8359
sembsi@yahoo.com

Regina Certificates: Cost $5.
B Bronson
Box 154
Dundee, MI 48131
Phone (734) 529-2087
art@d-pcomm.net

Advertising for Mechanical Music
Russell Kasselman
Iron Dog Media
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Phone (253) 228-1634
editor@mbsi.org

CHAPTERS

Snowbelt

Chair: Tracy Tolzmann
(651) 674-5149
Dues $10 to Gary Goldsmith
17160 – 245th Avenue
Big Lake, MN 55309

Southeast

Chair: Jack Hostetler
(352) 633-1942
Dues $5 to Clay Witt
820 Del Rio Way Unit 203
Merritt Island, FL 32953

Museum Donations
Sally Craig
2720 Old Orchard Road
Lancaster, PA 17601
Phone (717) 295-9188
rosebud441@juno.com

MBSI website
Rick Swaney
4302 209th Avenue NE
Sammamish, WA 98074
Phone (425) 836-3586
r_swaney@msn.com

Web Secretary
Knowles Little
9109 Scott Dr.
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone (301) 762-6253
kglittle@verizon.net

CHAPTERS

East Coast

Chair: Elise Low
(203) 457-9888
Dues $5 to Roger Wiegand
281 Concord Road
Wayland, MA 01778
or pay via PayPal, send to
treasurereccmbsi@gmail.com

Golden Gate

Chair: Jonathan Hoyt
jenjenhoyt@yahoo.com
Dues $5 to Dave Corkrum
5826 Roberts Ave.
Oakland, CA 94605

Japan

Chair: Naoki Shibata
81-72986-1169
naotabibito396amb@salsa.ocn.ne.jp
Treasurer: Makiko Watanabe
makikomakiko62@yahoo.co.jp

Lake Michigan

Chair: Aaron Muller
(847) 962-2330
Dues $5 to James Huffer
7930 N. Kildare
Skokie, Illinois 60076

Mid-America

Chair: Rob Pollock
(937) 508-4984
Dues $10 to Harold Wade
4616 Boneta Road
Medina, OH 44256

National Capital

Chair: Ken Gordon
(301) 469-9240
Dues $5 to Florie Hirsch
8917 Wooden Bridge Road
Potomac, MD 20854

Northwest International

Chair: Rick Swaney
(425) 836-3586
Dues $7.50/person to Kathy Baer
8210 Comox Road
Blaine, WA 98230

Piedmont

Temp Chair: Dan Wilson
(919) 740-6579
musicboxmac@mac.com
Dues $10 to Dan Wilson
4804 Latimer Road
Raleigh, NC. 276099

Southern California

Chair: Robin Biggins
(310) 377-1472
Dues $10 to Diane Lloyd
1201 Edgeview Drive
Cowan Hgts, CA 92705

Sunbelt

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 65

HALF PAGE
HORIZONTAL
7.25” x 4.5”
QUARTER
PAGE
3.5” x 4.5”
EIGHTH
PAGE
3.5” x 2.125”
Mechanical Music
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Mechanical Music
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 3 May/June 2017
Mechanical Music
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 1 January/February 2017
DISPLAY ADVERTISING DIMENSIONS & PER ISSUE COSTS
Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $247
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43
Non-members pay a 10% surcharge on the above rates
Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount
FULL PAGE
8.75” X 11.25”
(0.5” bleed)
7.25” x 9.75”
(live area)
PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
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
Mechanical Music is printed on 70 lb gloss
paper, with a 100 lb gloss cover, saddle-
stitched. Trim size is 8.25” x 10.75”.
Artwork is accepted in the following formats:
PDF, PSD, AI, EPS, TIF. All images
and colors should be CMYK or Grayscale
and all fonts should be embedded or
converted to outlines. Images should be a
minimum of 300 dpi resolution.
Email fi les to:
mbsi@irondogmedia.com
USPS or Fed Ex to:
Iron Dog Media, LLC
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Mechanical Music is mailed to more
than 1,500 members of the Musical
Box Society International six (6) times
per year.
PRINTING & ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
CIRCULATION
ALL ADS MUST
BE PREPAID
The Musical Box Society International
accepts VISA, Mastercard and online
payments via PayPal.
Contact MBSI Publisher Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 or editor@mbsi.org
CLASSIFIED ADS
• 47¢ per word
• ALL CAPS, italicized and
bold words: 60¢ each.
• Minimum Charge: $11.
• 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

7

Mechanical Music at its Best -Visit www.Mechmusic.com

Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

Welte 4 Concert Violina Orchestra Wurlitzer CX with Bells Hupfeld Helios II/25 Welte Brisgovia C Luxus

Weber Unika Weber Maesto Weber Otero Seeburg KT Special Bowfront Violano

Offerings from the Jerry Cohen Collection
42’er Violinopan 20’er Automaton
Regina 35 w Clock Nelson Wiggen Style 8 Symphonion 25st

Mermod Orchestra Musical Chalet Nodding Cat Nicole 4 Air Fat Cyl. Musical Chairs
Call Marty Persky 847-675-6144 or email: Marty@Mechmusic.com
for further information on these and other fine instruments.

Coming to America in September – the fabulous
HENRI KRIJNEN
COLLECTION
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW TO PARTICIPATE
IN THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT.
Mechanical Music, Gambling and Fairground
Instruments from the Netherlands. Over 20
Orchestrions, 50 Music Boxes, 2 Full Carousels,
Automata, Slot Machines and Saloon.
Coming to America in September – the fabulous
HENRI KRIJNEN
COLLECTION
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW TO PARTICIPATE
IN THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT.
2000 N. READING ROAD | DENVER, PA 17517 | 877-968-8880 | INFO@MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
MORPHYAUCTIONS.COMMechanical Music, Gambling and Fairground
Instruments from the Netherlands. Over 20
Orchestrions, 50 Music Boxes, 2 Full Carousels,
Automata, Slot Machines and Saloon.

Volume 67, No. 6 November/December 2021

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

Editor/Publisher
Russell Kasselman (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
MBSI Editorial Office:
Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 editor@mbsi.org
Publications Chair
Bob Caletti

MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 67, No. 6 November/December 2021

MBSI NEWS
5 President’s Message 7 Editor’s Notes 8 MBSI Financial Reports
21 News from Overseas 51 In Memoriam

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 author’s approval. All articles are considered to be the author’s 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 2021. 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
Features
11 Nickel Notes by Matt Jaro 23 Deconstructing a collection 25 The Silver Swan 30 Digitizing Discs

Chapter Reports
39 Southern California 42 National Capital 45 Southern California 50 Northwest International

MBSI has replanted 146 trees so far as

part of the Print ReLeaf program.

On the Cover
William Edgerton’s 1876 Dufner barrel orchestrion, for which he has nine barrels. It is one of only three known Dufner instruments remaining in the world. Photo by Lowell Boehland.

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 3

M
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 you’ll 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
Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net

Copy this page, and give it to a potential new member. Spread the word about MBSI.
Last name First Name Initial
Last Name First Name Initial
Address

City State / Zip Postal Code / Country
Phone Fax E-mail
Sponsor (optional)
Membership Dues

US members (per household)……………………………………….$60 Student Membership $20
(online journal access only)
Canada…………………………………………………………………………$70 Other International………………………………………………………$75
(Add $20 for International air mail.)
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
Visa/MasterCard
Exp. Date CCV
Signature

4 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
By David Corkrum
MBSI President
Greetings from your new president! By the time you read this, the 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting will have already taken place. I would like to extend my gratitude to Mark Yaffe for allowing me to use his orchestrion as a backdrop for my photograph.
As many of you know, I am not new to the Board of Trustees, having served as MBSI’s recording secretary for 14 years and your vice president for the last two years. That experience means I’ve had a view into the inner workings of our society’s governing body for quite some time. As one member said to me when I accepted the position of vice president, “You know where all of the bodies are buried!”
Our society has been through some tough times these past few years, what with the pandemic and the extreme temperatures that we and our nation have experienced, but we are still here and ready to share our collections with our members and the public.
During my time as a member, I have always felt that it was necessary for me to share my collection with those who I felt had no knowledge of it. I always felt satisfied that I was able to share the music and the information. In the past, I have organized many displays of mechanical music and really enjoyed explaining to the visi.tor about how these machines were constructed and how they produce such wonderful music. These expla.nations were mostly for music boxes or other small instruments.

Recently, I had occasion to visit with a former boss who is now living in Santa Maria, CA. We worked together at the FAA Flight Service Station in Oakland, CA, but she had never seen my collection. On this trip, as it so happened, I had picked up two music boxes from Robin Biggins who had restored them. I played both instru.ments for her and was then inundated with questions. She had never seen anything like these machines.
This is the type of response you get when operating a display for the general public and I encourage you to do the same. It can be as simple as inviting friends or neighbors into your home or organizing a larger display at a public park or museum. Many of our members do this and some even display instruments in their offices. Think about it and give it a try. You never know when you will hit a chord in some person’s brain.

In order for anything

A Lasting Legacy
once alive to have meaning, its effect must remain alive in eternity in some way
– 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) non-profit 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 man’s creative genius. Visit www.mbsi.org to learn more. A gift of any size is welcome.
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 ÿrst year’s 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 year’s 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 “sponsor” 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 certiÿcate.
Gift Membership Name

Address, City, State, ZIP Phone Email Sponsor
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more ÿrst-year MBSI gift memberships at $45 each U.S., $55 Canadian, or $60 other Interna.tional and you will receive $5 off your next year’s MBSI membership renewal for each “New Member” gift.

Please mail this form together with your check made payable to “MBSI” 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.
Editor’s Notes
By Russell Kasselman
MBSI Editor/Publisher
It seems each time I begin putting together an issue of this journal I find myself wondering what I’m
going to fill it with. By the end of the process, I’m consistently amazed at the fantastic content that has made itself available from our members who have such great stories to share. If you haven’t yet shared the story of one of the pieces in your collection, or an experience you had as a member of this society, please consider doing so. Imagine yourself at “Show and Tell” in grammar school and let the rest of us see the joy you have in being part of this hobby.
I owe thanks to Matt Jaro (now MBSI vice president if you hadn’t heard) for his regular Nickel Notes column with great coverage of the Reidy collection and their mechanical music story.
Thanks also go to regular contrib.utor Dr. Robert Penna for his article on the Silver Swan, a masterpiece created more than 200 years ago from 30 pounds of silver and currently on display in England.
Dr. Albert Lötz has contributed another detailed piece of writing, this time covering a method he has used to create digital MP3 audio files from photographs of a disc. You can even listen to the results of his work on the MBSI website.
Mark Singleton, recently retired and finding himself with more time to write, sent in a report on a music box recital held at a church in Germany. It’s another good example of mechan.ical music lovers exposing more of the public to the machines and music we already know and appreciate. I applaud both the efforts of the recital presenter and the author for bringing this event to our attention.
I am also quite excited to note that this issue contains something that’s been missing from this magazine for far too long, chapter reports! We have two reports from the Southern Cali.fornia Chapter, one from the National Capital Chapter and an update from the Northwest International Chapter. Everyone is taking precautions to stay safe while the pandemic continues, but it is absolutely wonderful (in my humble opinion) to see people getting together again to listen and look at music boxes.
Traditionally, the November/Decem.ber issue of this magazine is filled with images from, and an article about, the MBSI Annual Meeting that has just taken place. The timing of the meeting this year, and some circumstances beyond our control, have resulted in a slight delay to that schedule.
Don’t despair, though, as we have received a deluge of wonderful photos from those who were able to attend the convention. We’ll have a great write-up to go along with it as well as the minutes from the annual Board
MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial / Advertising 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
of Trustees meeting and the minutes from the annual general membership meeting.
Financial reports for the most recent year are available in this issue for your review, starting on Page 8.
The cover for this issue comes from Lowell Boehland’s set of photos taken during the tour of William Edgerton’s collection. The photo features an 1876 Dufner barrel organ, one of only three known Dufner machines left in the world and a fabulous example. Look for more photos of this machine and others from Lowell in the next issue.
I would like to welcome new photo.graphic contributor Robert Thomas in this issue as well. Two double-page spread photos from Robert’s annual meeting experience can be found on pages 34 and 36 in this issue. Addi.tional shots from Robert and also from Trustee Edward Cooley will be making great impressions on you in the coming year.
In closing, I wish you all the merri.est of holidays and a wonderful start to your new year. I hope to see you all in sunny California next fall for the joint MBSI/AMICA annual meeting in San Mateo, CA.

Welcome new members!
Rich LeVangie & Kathy Dunn August 2021 Nashua, NH Amanda Ho Kim Westphalen North Brunswick, NJ Lakewood Ranch, FL Kathleen & Terry Hillis Dean Bullock & Bryan MaloneNevada City, CA Folsom, CA Robert Howard Kevin Kline Newport News, VA Miami, FL Elizabeth & Thomas Fisher-York Ithaca, NY September 2021Allen Salyer Ryan JonasTroy, MI Elkhorn, WI Mark Mills & Scott Haynes Memphis, TN John & Jan Osborne Stanton, CA Sponsor: Ardis Prescott Brian & Deborah Schmidt Watauga, TX Holly Thiercof Pasadena, CA John Tresch Sacramento, CA Sponsor: Don Caine

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7 8 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021 November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9 10 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

Nickel Notes
By Matthew Jaro

The Reidy Collection

This edition of Nickel Notes is proud to present the wonderful and unique home of Dianne and David Reidy in Santa Ana, CA.
The Reidys have been longtime members of MBSI, dating back to 1974. They not only have musical instru.ments, but they have a 1900s soda fountain surrounded by ice cream parlor furniture and memorabilia, Hollywood memorabilia (including photos, costumes and many fine wax figures of the stars), post cards from mechanical music museums and soda fountains, stained glass, automata, and so many other things that your eyes can’t take it all in at once. Each succeeding glance around a room yields more objects that you hadn’t seen before. All the objects are of the finest quality. Dianne is very charm.ing and always has a ready smile. David tells stories and histories so interesting that listeners quickly find themselves entirely spellbound.
As always, I ask people how they got started in mechanical music and how they acquired their collections. Here is the interesting response:
Introduction to Mechanical Music
David met Dianne at the hospital where they both worked. They went to an antique show together and found themselves intrigued by the old things, while all around them the people they knew at the time were busy acquiring new things. They felt they needed a theme, and were introduced to the theme of the piano world, then to automated music, then to Hollywood memorabilia. They also collected old post cards related to their other collections.

In 1976, David and Dianne were looking for a piano, not any particular kind, just a piano to play. They saw an ad where somebody had an early square grand piano in Los Angeles, CA, and they made an appointment to see it. They went to the house and saw a square grand piano. The seller took the Reidys into a room where everything was covered with sheets. The seller said he was building a piano room and that’s why everything was covered over. David was asked if he played piano, and David said, “No, I don’t play piano.”

The seller said “Then why would you buy a square grand piano when you could have one of these pianos?” So, he took the sheet off of one of the pianos, put a roll on it, and the piano played itself! David asked, “What is that?” and the seller responded, “That’s a Reproducing Grand Piano.” The highlight of this story is that the seller was Ben and Mary Lilien, long.time MBSI members.
David asked where he could get one, and Ben said there are two people that could help him. One was Q. David Bowers and the other was a fellow
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11
named Richard Rigg. David turned out not to be available to help at the time, but he did call up Richard who intro.duced the Reidys to George and Susie Coade. David also called the Coades (all this happened within a week) and Susie said they were hosting a get-to.gether at their house the following week. She invited the Reidys to visit, and also mentioned that they had a piano available for possible purchase, a Queen Anne Ampico B.
The music room
The Reidys and Richard Rigg arrived at George and Susie’s house and Susie said, “Go out back, there’s a music room there with our guests.” It turned out the guests were Q. David Bowers, Terry Hathaway, Mike and Marilyn Ames, Dick Carty, Ivor Becklund, the Maxwells and Jerry and Sylvia Cohen. The get-together was to demonstrate to everyone George’s newly acquired Weber Maesto. In fact, you can see George Coade sitting in front of this instrument on Page 242 of “Player Piano Treasury,” a book written by Harvey Roehl and published by Vestal Press.
Almost everything discussed during this get together was new to the Reidys, and they certainly didn’t realize until later that they were meeting with such a group of renowned collectors on that particular day. They quickly agreed to join the next meeting at the Cohens’ home where George and Susie Coade introduced the Reidys to what would eventually become their very own Ampico B piano.
The Knabe Louis XV Ampico A
In the time between the first meet.ing and the second, the Reidys were reading the want ads in the Orange County Register and saw that there was a Louis XV reproducing piano for sale. Richard Rigg accompanied them to Lake Forest, CA, (a near-by community) to look at the piano. The sellers were the original owners and the piano looked new. It was a 1922 Louis XV Knabe Ampico A. It turned out the sellers took a liking to the Reidys and wanted to visit their house twice a year to listen to the piano. The sellers actually made it a stipulation of the purchase. The Reidys borrowed the money for the purchase from the Orange County Credit Union. Diane and David remembered the folks at the credit union couldn’t imagine why someone would be borrowing money to buy a piano instead of a house or a car.

Richard Rigg, who was president of the Southern California chapter of the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association (AMICA) at the time, and Dorothy Bromage, a very active AMICA member, recognized the

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
Reidys as like-minded souls and asked them to join the organization.
Additional Items
During a trip to a local flea mart, David noticed a tag swinging from an umbrella which stated “Ampico Record Cabinet for sale.” David asked the dealer, “How do you know it’s an Ampico Record Cabinet?” The dealer replied, “It says it right on the door.” So after the flea market was over he went to the seller’s house and sure enough, he had a Louis XVI Ampico roll cabinet. The gentleman had no idea what he had and wanted $200. The Reidys bought it and took it home.
The Reidys visited a collector in Los Angeles named Bill Schutz to buy their first music box. As they walked into his living room, they saw a very large instrument. He asked what the instrument was and Bill replied, “Oh, you like that? It’s a Seeburg H and it’s only $10,000.” The Reidys then went into the garage to see approximately 50 clocks and 25 music boxes. David said he was new to the hobby, but he would like to buy something really nice, so he asked Bill to show him one of his favorites. Bill had a 15.-inch Reginaphone music box with a nick.el-plated horn and the Reidys took it home.
Their collection grew with a Swiss Chalet music box, a few nice phono.graphs, a 78-rpm record cabinet, and a Mills Violano acquired from Dr. Rudy Edwards, who became a very good friend over the years.
In 1976, two years after the Reidys joined MBSI, they attended their first convention hosted by their local chap.ter at the Grand Hotel in Anaheim, CA, next to Disneyland. The convention committee asked the Reidys to do several miscellaneous assignments. One of the tasks was to help attendees find local attractions. David remem.bers that while he was standing in the lobby of the hotel, a well-dressed gentleman limped over and asked him for a ride to the McKinnon auction in Santa Fe Springs, CA. David, who was driving a 1971 El Camino at the time, told the man there would be just enough room for the two of them. David learned from his passenger that McKinnon had just purchased Hathaway and Bowers, Inc., and was holding its first auction. On the way to Santa Fe Springs, the pair exchanged casual conversation. Arriving at the auction, the man asked David to be sure not to leave him behind. David said he would be sure not do that. When the man entered the auction he was met with much enthusiasm and escorted right to the front. After the auction, David had more time to talk with his passenger while sitting in heavy Los Angeles traffic.

He explained that he and his wife were new collectors who owned only one music box and one reproducing piano. David politely asked the man if he had any music boxes. The man said he had several. Later in the conver.sation David asked what happened to cause the man to limp. The man replied that he had dropped a music box on his foot! After returning to the hotel the man invited David and his wife to visit him in New York City if they were ever in town.
When David returned to the conven.tion table people asked him if he knew who he had just driven around town. David shrugged and said no. Then they told him, “You just spent the afternoon with Murtogh Guinness!”
Years later, while attending a reception in New York for the Smith mechanical music/coin-op auction at Sotheby’s, the Reidys were reintro.duced to Murtogh Guinness. He asked Dianne and David if they would be his guests the next afternoon. They accepted and the next afternoon was spent walking around a local street fair with their host. That evening he gave the Reidys a tour of his home, which housed his three-block-long collection. Around 9:30 p.m. he told the couple it was his bedtime but asked them to stay to play and enjoy all his instruments. David remembers it was quite an evening.
Building a Music Room
When David and Dianne were relatively new to the hobby, Southern California was a major destination for the collecting world that was interested in Automatic Musical Instruments. The Reidys admired the music rooms of long-time AMICA members, Bill Allen, Rudy Edwards, Jerry Cohen, and George Coade. Then they decided to build a music room in their own home. Many music rooms they had observed were themed as saloons, or carousels, but the Reidys decided to do something different. They went with a soda fountain theme. Traveling around the country in the early 1980s, they bought architectural objects related to soda fountains. They were fortunate enough to obtain a 1900s-era soda fountain manufactured
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

The circa 1900 soda fountain that sets the tone for the Reidys’ themed music room.

The room features hundreds of pieces of Hollywood memorabilia in display cases and on every wall.
14 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
in Chicago. Today, their soda fountain music room is truly wonderful and unique.
The Wurlitzer PianOrchestra
In December 1990, the Reidys received a call from a friend in the antique business, who said there was someone who would like to see their collection. So, this friend came to the Reidys’ house accompanied by a group of Japanese collectors. The group informed the Reidys they were representing a buyer in Japan who wanted to acquire instruments. David showed them his collection and told them none of the items were currently available. The Japanese group admired the machines, then headed east to continue their search. David took note of their names and contact information in case he heard of something that became available.
As it happened, a few days later David attended a car swap meet and ran into a friend of his, John Ekman, who happened to own a PianOrchestra Style 12. David learned that Rudy Edwards and George Baker also owned PianOrchestras and that George’s instrument was on display at the Evans Car Museum in San Diego, CA, for a wedding. After the wedding George had planned to sell the PianOrchestra.
David went to the museum thinking that the Japanese buyers might be interested. Well, as it turned out David and Dianne sold their entire collection to the Japanese buyers and bought the PianOrchestra to replace it. They learned later that the Japanese collec.tor built a museum to house the Reidy collection.
David and Dianne, who were now the proud owners of a PianOrchestra Style 12, learned that the machine had originally been delivered to Lewiston, ME, in 1915 and then went to New Brunswick, Canada, sometime in the 1920s. There it was used in a skating rink for many years. In 1985 it was discovered by a steam engine collec.tor and then sold to Q. David Bowers. In 1988 George Baker bought it from
Q. David Bowers and restored it.
I find it amazing that out of only 99 PianOrchestras made, three would end up in Southern California within 20 miles of each other.

Instrument Acquisition
Collector and AMICA member Kenneth Vaughn, who had a large house in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, maintained a garage for classic cars on the left and a big music room on the right of his house. Kenneth was co-owner of Hill and Vaughn, a world-class antique car restoration business. He employed an old-time instrument restorer, Warren Dale. Warren was one of the first restorers in Southern California and worked out of his shop in Azusa, CA.
Kenneth’s collection of automated musical instruments featured many items formerly owned by Robert Caudill, who was known as Dolby Doc in the 1960s.
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

A wider view of the music room showing many of the collected wax figures, glass lampshades and other Hollywood history.
Caudill operated the Last Frontier Village, the first themed attraction on the Las Vegas, NV, strip. He had thousands of pieces of historical significance taken from Elko County, NV, including many automatic musical instruments. After the Last Frontier Village closed, Caudill moved all of his collection to a cluster of warehouses that he owned near the Las Vegas airport.
Most of these instruments were later purchased by Kenneth and sent to Warren to be restored. After retir.ing, Kenneth moved to Coeur d’Alene, ID, and took his collection with him.
In 1999 David Reidy received a call from Warren to let him know that Kenneth’s collection was available for purchase. David and Dianne flew to Coeur d’Alene and purchased a Coinola CO, a Seeburg K with Xylo.phone, and a Knabe Louis XV Ampico A piano.
Thinking back to the 1970s, David remembers visiting the collection

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
of one of the founding members of MBSI, Gene Ballard, in Los Angeles. He saw a late model Mills Violano with an original band box attached to it. When Gene passed away, David bought the Mills without the orchestra box through Rudy Edwards. Bob Gilson made six reproduction band boxes and David purchased one from Ken Rubin in New York. To this day, the Mills is completely unrestored and still plays wonderfully.
David said he was visiting Mike Argain in Fresno, CA, when he saw a beautiful 1940 Louis XV Ampico B piano that looked new. It had been housed in a museum in Fresno, but it wasn’t playing so the museum sold it to Mike. David and Dianne bought it from him. It’s all original and David was fortunate enough to find a match.ing roll cabinet from Roger Morrison, who worked at the Nethercutt Collec.tion in Sylmar, CA.
The Seeburg Liquor Cabinet
When people visited the Seeburg factory in its heyday no booze was allowed, this being the era of prohi.bition. J.P. Seeburg made a miniature Seeburg L liquor cabinet looking just like a piano. On the back there was a bracket so it could be chained to the wall. When the Seeburg factory closed, there were two items left, the liquor cabinet and a piano. They both went to the caretaker. A collector and restorer, Roger Kisslingbury, sold the cabinet to Don Rand and Ed Open.shaw, who later sold it to David and Dianne.
Sam the Mechanical Man
The first figure David ever bought was Sam the Mechanical Man who sits in front of the Coinola. David first saw Sam in an antique store in Los Angeles called Off the Wall.
He did not buy it at the time. Years later on a convention trip, David was looking at some photos that Mike Gorski had, and lo and behold, there was Sam. He was originally located at Moody’s Musical Museum in McGre.gor, IA. Later, he was moved to the The Toy Box in Burlington, IA. David purchased Sam through Mike and had it shipped out to California. Sam now

sits on a piano bench and plays the automaton made in 1915 for the San Coinola. Francisco Exposition World’s Fair. After the fair she was sent to the Sutro The Lady in the Moon Baths, a large, privately-owned public The Lady in the Moon was an saltwater swimming pool complex in
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17
San Francisco, CA. In the late 1960s, the piece was bought by Jim Deroin at the auction featuring the Sutro collec.tion. It was later sold to an antique dealer, Neil Rasmussen, who discov.ered the piece in Jim’s chicken-coop in Northern California. Later, it was bought by a collector/dealer in Los Angeles, who had it for years and then sold it to the Reidys. It is the earliest dated wax figure in their collection.
Hollywood Wax Figures
Dianne worked with a nurse, Marga.ret O’Brien, who said to Dianne, “We really need to meet the legendary Margaret O’Brien.”
The legendary Margaret O’Brien was a Hollywood star (after whom Dianne’s co-worker was named). So Margaret O’Brien the nurse contacted the manager of Margaret O’Brien the Hollywood star and arranged to meet her at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel. Legendary Margaret O’Brien and her manager, Randal Malone, took a liking to the Reidys and invited them to join The Southern California Motion Picture Council. This organization has many events and gives lifetime achievement awards to legendary Hollywood stars and other motion picture related celebrities. In the last 15 years, as part of the organization, the Reidys met many stars, attended many events, and became increasingly interested in old Hollywood. They collected autographed photographs of the stars, but their next step was really amazing — collecting Hollywood wax figures.
Powell and Loy barroom
I asked David how he got started with this “wax” phase of a remarkable collecting history. David said he saw an article in a newspaper called The Collector in Orange County, CA. It said the Movieland Wax Museum, the third largest attraction in Orange County, was going to close and everything in the building was up for sale.
David said he thought it would be fun to pick up a few of the characters and place them in the house around the instruments. At the 2006 Movieland Wax Museum auction, the Reidys won the bid on 15 figures from the museum. David’s interest was piqued and he began to research other wax figures for sale and met many curators and owners of wax museums around the country. After visiting several wax museums, the Reidys began collecting retired figures from many of the world famous wax museums. Recently the Reidys have opened their own private wax museum, housing many of the old Hollywood legends.

The Western Electric Style X
A very famous collector in Southern California, Bill Allen, began collecting pianos about as early as anyone in

18 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

Dianne and David with George Burns in the wax museum they have opened.

Paul Newman guards the rolls in the ice cream parlor music room. Wax figures in vintage Hollywood costumes look like they just stepped off a film set.
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 19

California. He was an early member of MBSI. When you visited his house he had a piano room in the back, but he would pull down a ladder and take you up to where there was a small piano. Allen said that this was the first piano he ever owned and he bought it with Walter Knott (of Knott’s Berry Farm fame). The Western Electric Style X with mandolin and piano was sold to Rudy Edwards, who, in turn, sold it to David, who really wanted to have a piece of history.
Nipper

David and Dianne even have a “Nipper” dog (the RCA Victor mascot). It was in Ken Vaughn’s collection. The dog was originally seated in the Pasadena Music Store in Pasadena, CA. David passed on purchasing the dog at the time, but one day got a call from Wolfgang Schweppe who wanted to swap the dog for an Ampichron Clock mecha.nism. The papier-mâché dog was picked up in Chicago by a mover/collector and delivered to David. The dog was lodged between two pianos on the way from Chicago to California and was squashed in the move. The dog went to the papier-mâché doctor and he is as good as new.
The Reidys really enjoy their collections, but the real

The Western Electric Style X, once owned by Bill Allen and Walter Knott of Knott’s Berry Farm fame.

lifetime achievement award for them has been meeting all the wonderful MBSI members and sharing each other’s treasures.
I hope you enjoyed our little trip to the Reidy household.
Email Matt Jaro at mjaro@verizon.net if you would like any information about style “A”, “G”, “4X”, “H” or “O” rolls. Also, comments and suggestions for this column will be appreciated.
Reprinted with permission of the author and The Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association (AMICA). Orig.inally printed in the March/April 2016 issue of The AMICA Bulletin.

20 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
News from overseas
A Musical Box Recital at the church of St. Georg, Kandel, Germany.
By Mark Singleton, European correspondent.
On the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 26, a small ensemble of musical boxes from the Nicole Family performed a recital in the church of St Georg in the town of Kandel, Southern Germany. The event was organised by the inim.itable Walter Behrent, inspirational collector and friend to many within our community.
The recital was part of an informal musical afternoon at St. Georg, start.ing with an appreciable performance on the church organ by Wolfgang Heilmann, before attentions turned to the musical boxes.
An excited hush pervaded amongst the gathering, where Walter conducted proceedings by giving a brief but inter.esting introduction to the musical box.
The reader may appreciate that the majority of those in attendance would be unaware of the existence of such instruments and did not know quite what to expect.
First on the agenda was a fine Nicole Frères Oratorio box. It delivered a splendid and, given the occasion, a most fitting virtuoso performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” The arrangement on this box is partic.ularly noteworthy, making sublime use of the forte-piano expression. The somewhat ethereal atmosphere within the church was intense, with many eyes wide in amazement. This is a wonderful box to listen to at any time, with the forte-piano overture format, sporting a 13-inch by 3.-inch cylinder. The acoustics in the ecclesi.astical environment, however, caused a visible shiver to run through all in attendance.
The piece, composed in 1741, is a true testament to Christianity, as earnings from the early performances of this oratorio were used to help the poor, needy, orphaned, widowed, and sick.

The second box was another Nicole, of a similar format, but this time we heard a more relaxing performance. It featured variations on “The Last Rose of Summer,” arranged by Thalberg. This is a box that allows the listener to relax and immerse oneself in.
Third, and last, but by no means least, was a quite passionate perfor.mance of the overture to Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” delivered on a snuff box by the absolute grand master of them all, François Nicole. What a breath-taking finale!
The rapturous applause of appreci.ation from attendees lifted the roof. It must have been a very satisfying moment for Walter, ever the ambassa.dor of our interest, knowing his efforts were appreciated.
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 21
His own words in this quest were, “I’m hoping to spread the enthusiasm to a wider audience.”
The sea of smiling eyes indicated a job well done. For sure a memorable event for all who attended, and no doubt much of the enthusiasm will certainly have rubbed off.
Hopefully some of us can take a leaf from Herr Behrendt’s book and help spread the word.

Editor’s Note: If anyone outside of the U.S. is hosting a mechanical music themed event, please feel free to contact Mark directly at: Mikado54mark@gmail.com so it may be reported within these pages.

The publicity flyer for the event.

WE WANT YOUR STORY!
Every mechanical musical instrument has a tale to tell. Share the history of people who owned your instrument before you, or the story of its restoration, or just what makes it an interesting piece. Send stories via email to editor@mbsi.org or mail your story to Iron Dog Media, 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
22 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
Deconstructing A Collection
Preparing Your Family To Handle Your Investment Down The Road
Thomas H. Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP®, Founder & CEO, Destiny Family Office.
The fire in me to build a sports memorabilia collection was quite liter.ally “in the cards.” Like many children, I loved playing baseball and watching it on television. My buddy’s dad was a newspaper photographer who took us to some Yankees’ spring training games.
I’d wait by the dugout to get players to autograph my baseball and began bringing baseball cards. The collecting bug bit me hard.
I made up my mind to build a complete set of 792 autographed 1989 Topps baseball cards. By the time I finished college, I had completed the set and realized I was investing in something I greatly enjoyed. Over time, I became more discerning as a collector and sold all my cards that didn’t have a prized autograph.
While the 1989 set of cards wasn’t particularly noteworthy, in the decades since, I’ve built a significant sports memorabilia collection. Based on that experience, as well as that of serving as a financial advisor for other collectors, here are some basic consid.erations for making the most of your investment and ensuring your family is prepared to handle your collection when you no longer can yourself.
Investing In Your Passion
With more than 200 million collec.tors worldwide, it’s not surprising that many of my high net worth and ultra high net worth clients are acquiring all kinds of collectibles, such as artwork, fine wine and spirits, jewelry, coins, vintage and classic cars, and arms and armaments as investments.
Right now, if I were to sell some of my memorabilia collection, I would do well financially. But there’s a liquidity risk on that type of investment and a risk I might have to sell in a down

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle autographed card
market. Think 2008, when artwork was devalued significantly on its auction value.
The long-term intent, by and large, is not to buy a collectible as an investment and sell it two or three years later. From a true collector’s vantage point, you want to buy an asset you’ll enjoy that will appreciate in value while you own it. Enjoyment is an important factor in determining what type of collection or collections you’ll build. Diversification can also be important if you are buying collect.ibles as investments. Trends can change, making prices volatile.
Objective Investment View
How do you manage the emotional quotient involved in deciding whether to buy collectibles?
Most people look at them as long.term investments — just like a client who is considering buying a beach house for $10 million knowing they will want to sell it down the road. The beach house market is pretty high right now. If this client wanted to flip
A note about this article
This article was first published on Forbes.com. While it does not specifically address musical box collections, it is included here as a feature of general interest to collectors, some of whom may be able to relate to the situations described and find the advice contained within useful for future planning.
If you have made a plan for the future of your collection and you feel it might benefit others in the Musical Box Society International, please feel free to share it by emailing your story to editor@mbsi.org.
it in a year or two, I’d say, “Don’t do it.” But if instead, they wanted to consider selling it 10 years down the road, that’s a different conversation.
Taking a long-term view alleviates a lot of the pressure, but you still want to have the mindset of “Even if I will enjoy this, I still want to look at it through the lens of its appreciation potential, as well.”
When Collecting Intersects With Your Worst Day
Even with all its complexities and nuances, collecting can be a passion project for the collector who understands and appreciates the intrinsic and extrinsic value of that collection. But what are the ramifica.tions for family members who don’t understand, appreciate or have an interest in a collection, if something were to happen to you? How do you prepare your family and advisors and institutionalize or socialize this for the greatest benefit to those you care about?
I will admit what I should do to protect myself and my family and
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 23
what I’ve done have not always been as closely aligned as they should have been. For example:

My collections are categorized and valuated.


If there is a fire or other disaster, my collections are insured.

However, there are additional steps I’ve talked about but haven’t fully executed. These are steps I encourage fellow collectors to take, as well. For example, it’s one thing to make comments to your spouse like, “Hey, if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, don’t start selling off my stuff without under.standing what you’re selling.” What you need to have in place is something that says, “I have a list of assets, and this is where it is, who you should discuss this with and what should happen to these assets to ensure you get the greatest benefit from them.”
Also make sure to:

Talk with dealers, auctioneers and others you trust ahead of time. If your family wants to sell the assets, document who your trusted resources are for them.


Create a detailed plan on how to liquidate a significant number of assets. Even family members who are engaged with your collection could benefit from such a plan.


If you’re married, consider what happens if you and your spouse get in a car wreck together; who steps in at that point to ensure the greatest benefit to your remaining family?

The Moral Of The Story
Make sure your heirs understand the value of things they might not have taken an interest in before — you don’t want them giving away a piece of a collection, such as a baseball card, without knowing what that card may be worth.
A few other considerations:


It’s important to have a trusted advisor in place to mitigate potential taxable events, includ.ing estate taxes.


You should have a well-thought.out plan of what to do with your assets.


There should be people, systems and processes in place to ensure your plan will be successfully executed.

Being a collector has informed how I interact with — and coach
— like-minded collectors as a finan.cial advisor. Every collector needs financial planning that reflects their passions and the individuality of their collections and also takes a multi-generational perspective of their collection.
The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.

24 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
Curiouser
and
Curiouser

The amazing Silver Swan automaton
By Dr. Robert Penna

What if Alice had stumbled upon a cache of mechanical characters in her journey through Wonderland. Just what would she say if she saw a life-sized swan made of precious silver swimming along, preening its feathers and swallowing silver fish? She likely would have been amazed and uttered the famous words, “curiouser and curiouser” at
these automatons.
The term automaton conjures a range of images from futuristic robots to musical and mechanical creations of the
18th and 19th centuries. Basically, autom atons are mechanical objects that follow a prescribed set of movements once they are
manually put into operation. Supposedly these kinetic or moving sculp tures have entertained and
inspired awe in their audiences for thou
sands of years.
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

Swiss watchmaker John Joseph Merlin, creator of the Silver Swan automaton.
There are early accounts of autom.atons during the Han Dynasty in China dating to the 3rd century BC. It is recorded that an elaborate auto.mated orchestra was constructed and entertained the emperor. Automatons were also popular in China during the Sui Dynasty (581-615) and during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) where autom.atons served as entertainment at the imperial court. Records describe both animal and human automatons includ.ing flying birds, an otter, a monk and singing women.1
Although Greek and Roman records mention several automated devices activated by steam, water and moving weights, few details remain. Similarly, automatons were not unknown in the royal courts of the Islamic world. The famous water-powered floating orchestra of Al-Jazari entertained the sultan with an orchestra playing tunes while rowers propelled a boat around a lake in the 13th century.2
During the Renaissance, the manu.facture of automatons in Europe rose to new heights. Likely because of increased trade with Asia and the translation of early Greek texts, inter.est in designing and manufacturing these novelties increased. Gold and
Catalogue in which the sale of Silver Swan is included, July 1834

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

A closeup shot of the detailed and layered feathers along the swan’s body.
silversmiths, as well as clockmakers, became essential in the construction of automatons as they had the skills necessary to construct and install the intricate mechanical parts needed.
Around 1784, Swiss watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz invented the singing bird box which entertained audiences with its ability to mimic bird songs, flap their wings and move their heads, beaks, wings, and tails. Real hummingbird feathers helped the illusion of a real bird. The box upon which the bird sat hid bellows and whistles.3
More amazing is the life-size autom.aton swan made almost entirely of silver which mimics the actions of a live creature. Presently housed in County Durham at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Teesdale, this clockwork-driven device holds a music box to accompany its realistic actions. The swan sits in a stream made of glass rods which is surrounded by silver leaves. Small fish are visible swimming in the waters. the glass rods rotate giving an illusion After winding three separate clock-of rippling water. After preening itself, work motors, the music box plays, and the mechanical swan looks from side

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 27

The Silver Swan on display during its automated sequence bending its neck to “catch” a fish in its beak.
to side, gracefully bends it long neck, catches and appears to eat one of the fish. After swallowing a fish, the swan returns to its original position and the music stops. The whole episode lasts only 32 seconds, yet it captivates all who witness the action.
In 1773, inventor, watchmaker, and instrument maker John Joseph Merlin built this life-size automaton swan employing 30 pounds of silver. Although there are some references to James Cox as the inventor, research demonstrates that Merlin was the creator and Cox was the entrepre.neur who displayed and marketed it. According to authorities, in the early 1770s Cox “claimed to employ between 800 and 1,000 workmen. Most of them were part of a unique network of independent suppliers and craftsmen that existed in London in the second half of the eighteenth century. These craftsmen rarely signed their work.” Unfortunately, some historians have mistakenly given Cox full credit for the Silver Swan. Yet it would be fair to assume that both men collaborated on its construction.4
Just imagine the sensation the Silver Swan created when it was first exhibited at the Mechanical Museum in London. Reports indicate that it “was first recorded in 1774 as a crowd puller in the Mechanical Museum of James Cox, a London showman and dealer.”5 The privately owned museum, located at Spring Garden, London, was open until 1775 where it received rave reviews. Some authori.ties believe many of the reviews were actually planted by Cox who was discovered to be quite a showman and self-promoter.6
The novelty and beauty of the Silver Swan and the other automata exhib.ited at the Mechanical Museum drew large crowds. Cox’s Museum was among the most expensive exhibitions in London. The price of admission (5 shillings) was high not only to limit audience sizes, but also to draw the literati and upper classes.
The Mechanical Museum closed in May 1775 and its stock was sold by lottery. It is known that the swan was additionally sold several times.7
It next appears in the July 1834 auction catalogue of the firm Messrs
E. Foster & Son who were selling off the “valuable property forming the late Mr. Weeks’ Museum.” The auction was held on the premises of the museum over the course of three days. Dozens of automata are listed. The catalogue reads, “The late Mr. Weeks, after an unusually long and laborious life, devoted to the perfection of the most complicated and difficult principles of Mechanism, formed…the perfect Collection of Mechanical Curiosities extant.”8
On the third day, the Silver Swan was auctioned to the highest bidder. As Lot 273, the Silver Swan creation is described in the catalogue as:
The Silver Swan described above with its “Magnificent Temple’” would be much larger than the model on display at the Bowes Museum today. The original display combined both parts. In 1773, the Silver Swan had become so renowned, it was described in an Act of Parliament as being 3 feet (0.91 m) in diameter and 18 feet
(5.49 m) high. What remains today is no longer that tall. It is said that there was originally a waterfall behind the swan, which was stolen while it was on tour. This possibly could explain the reduced height.9
The Silver Swan appeared at the Exposition Universelle held in Paris in 1867. At that event, the automaton was observed by Mark Twain who recorded his reaction in a chapter of his book “Innocents Abroad,” writing “I watched the Silver Swan, which had a living grace about his movement and a living intelligence in his eyes,

28 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

The Bowes Museum where the Silver Swan automaton is currently on display.
watched him swimming about as comfortably and unconcernedly as if he had been born in a morass instead of a jeweller’s shop.”10
It was at this same exhibition that John and Josephine Bowes saw the Silver Swan. Bowes, a wealthy land and mine owner was a serious collector of art. His wife, daughter of a clockmaker, was fascinated by this automaton and five years later in 1872, John Bowes purchased the swan for his wife for $318 (equivalent of $32,000 today) from a Parisian jeweler named Monsieur Briquet. Housed in the Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle, the Silver Swan is now on display.11
Understanding complex 18th century technology is needed to maintain this treasure which has undergone exten.sive restoration at various times in its history. In fact, because of the recent shutdown of the museum due to the COVID emergency, gears have frozen, and another restoration project must be undertaken.
There are many intricate parts in the Silver Swan automaton. The eight-tune musical repertoire is created by steel hammers striking bells under the swan. Utilizing a series of camshafts, rollers and levers to activate twisted glass rods, the appearance of moving water is created in which the swan seems to swim. The most complex machinery is found in the neck which utilizes four springs, five levers and 113 rings. In all there are 50 parts (plus screws), including five chains of vary.ing thicknesses that run over a series of rollers within the neck to link the parts. These chains are the originals made by children and young mothers whose hands were small enough for such fine work.12
There are many videos available that demonstrate the unique beauty of the Silver Swan. Some of the best are to found at: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=cOGBP-5SxiI or scan the QR code below with your smart phone to watch now.

Sources

1. M.S. Rau Staff. “Automatons and Their Rich History,” M.S. Rau 7. “James Cox – Inventor” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/ Ltd. wiki/James_Cox_(inventor)
2. https://rauantiques.com/blogs/canvases-carats-and-curiosi-8. Ibid. ties/automatons-and-their-rich-history
9. Bulletin of the Musical Box Society International, MBSI, Re.

3. Penna, Robert. “The Genius of Al-Jazari: An Automatic Musical minder 1968, Volume 14, Number 6 Instrument from the 13th Century,” Mechanical Music, MBSI,
10. “Silver Swan – Automaton” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/
July/August 2020.
wiki/Silver_Swan_(automaton)

4. “Singing Bird Boxes – Valuations, History & Guide,” Mark Littler 11. Kennedy, Maev. “Mechanical Silver Swan That Entranced Mark Ltd., https://www.marklittler.com/singing-bird-box/
Twain Lands at Science Museum,” The Guardian. February

5.
Vincent, Clare & Leopold, J. H. “James Cox (ca. 1723-1800 : 2, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/ Goldsmith and Entrepreneur,” The Met. https://www.metmuse-feb/02/mechanical-silver-swan-flies-nest-robots-exhibition-sci.um.org/toah/hd/jcox/hd_jcox.htm ence-museum

6.
“The Silver Swan,” The Bowes Museum. https://www.thebow-12. Holledge, Richard. “Magic Wrought by a Merlin,” World Street esmuseum.org.uk/Collection/Explore-The-Collection/The-Sil-Journal, December 21, 2012. ver-Swan

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 29

The Digitization of Music Box Discs from Photographs
By Albert Lötz
the often rich and
these discs. It also
as MIDI files that played with programs and
undistorted image the disc perforations. This can, in principle, be obtained by scan-
that measure up
area are not readily
can analyze the a photograph taken

slightly distorted, which happens almost every time since most photographs are taken without special equipment ensuring the camera’s line of sight is exactly perpendicular to the plane of the disc. Fig. 1 shows a photograph of a Poly.phon 15.-inch disc with typical image distortions, and yet its music can still be obtained accurately by the program. The outer yellow circle is set at an identical distance from the center of the disc everywhere on its circumference. The blue traces indicating the perforations of the disc do not maintain the same identical distance from the center. The disc rim is also not the same distance from the center all the way around. It is obvious that the perforations cannot be assigned to the notes on the comb if these distortions are not taken into account adequately.
Fig. 1: The analysis of a 15.-inch Polyphon disc with the title “An der Weser” (On the Weser, a German river flowing into the North Sea at Bremen). The deviation of the perfect great yellow circle around the disc center from the blue non-circular traces for the notes demonstrates the perspective distortion. In each of the eight sectors (see Fig. 1a), the traces vary lin.early with the angle in their distance from the disc center, and can be calculated simply from the corresponding values on the adjacent sector borders. The values on the sector borders are provisionally extrapolated from traces of smaller diameter with a formula for the perspective distortion, and finally from the actual position of the disc perforations on the trace. The perforations appear as blue rectangles with a bright center. The red dots are the prediction from the extrapolation.

30 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
Figure 1a: A single disc sector.
The Method
The disc is divided into any number of equal-sized angled sectors. The program used for this article was tested with between four and 36 sectors. The intersections of the blue traces for notes with the borderlines of each sector have a certain distance from the center of the disc whose best measurement is aimed at in this program, because this is more or less the solution to the problem. The traces between two intersections are an approximation to the true traces by a linear variation of the distance to the disc center with the angle. This is not supported by the theory of the main causes of distortion, but it works well in practice. In any case, should this not work satisfactorily, the number of sectors can be increased with correspondent reduction in the curvature of the arcs replacing the actual traces. As can be seen from Fig. 1, the arcs generally represent the actual perforations (blue rectangles) quite well.
How do we get the trace distances from the center at the
sector boundaries? This
is a two-step procedure.
First, we assume that
the series of intersec.
tions on a boundary
can be represented by
the simple function
R=(a+b*i)/(1+c*i)
(*=multiplication).
Here, R is the distance
from the disc center of
trace number i, with
i=1 for the trace with
smallest distance.
The letters a, b, and

c are numbers that
must take such
values that the series
of intersections on
a sector boundary
is represented as
best as possible.1
This function
for R derives
in a somewhat
simplified manner
from central
projection, very
well known as
the reduction in size of objects with distance, a main cause of distortion. It could be demonstrated to fit the distances on the sector borders very well by manually changing the parameters a, b, and c. However, this function is not used for the final determination of the distances to the center. It just serves for an extrapolation from all intersections with lower trace number to that following next. From its value, the arcs can be calculated, and the perforations lying on these arcs can be assigned to the note represented by the trace.
Only after this assignment for a complete trace, the intersections of that trace are calculated from the actual positions of the assigned perfo.rations by fitting the intersections and thus also the arcs to the positions of
1. On account of the non-linear dependence of R from c, the parameters a, b, and c must be calculated iteratively by the Newton-Raphson method, i.e. by a series of systematic approximations down to the required accuracy.
the perforations.2 This means that the determination of a trace on the disc is based on the actual positions of the perforations on this trace and thus includes any distortion, which is the essential point.
The extrapolation of the function R from already completely determined trace intersections with the sector boundaries requires an answer to how this process is started. It was found that the first three traces could still be approximated by perfect circles, so that the assignment of the projections in that region is simple. Nevertheless, the intersections were calculated afterwards on the basis of the actual positions of the projections as in the case of traces with higher trace number. In order to stabilize the extrapolation step, especially in the case of a succession of empty traces, the disc rim distances to the center are used. The disc rim is well defined by a systematic search procedure of the pixels of the disc image. In the case of the disc in Fig. 1, the rim was originally given by 6000 points from which approximately 70 were chosen (the red points in Fig. 1). Then the distances at the intersections of the sector boundaries with the disc rim and the arcs following from them were fitted (red line). The rim can be assigned a formal trace number from measurements on the real disc. That number, usually non-integer, and the rim distances from the center at the sector boundaries are included in every extrapolation with the function R.
The Transformation to the Music Score
It is best if the disc is photographed by being hung up on a cord in front of a white wall dimly illuminated by lamps in a darkened room. The digital color photograph should then be reduced to black-and-white (no shades of grey) with an appropriately chosen transi.tion limit in an image editing program (Photoshop, or GIMP). This is done in parts, because the illumination is
2. Using the method of Lagrange multipliers. The resulting system of linear equations is solved by Gaussian elimination with pivoting.
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 31

Fig. 2: A part of the score on a disc of a Symphonion 21.-inch with 10 bells showing the first measure of the main theme of the Intermezzo from the opera “Cavalleria Rusticana,” by Pietro Mascagni. The music for the bells appears in the uppermost staff.
usually not uniform. The detection of the perforations by the program proceeds as described in an earlier article of the author on organ rolls.3 The whole assignment process of the perforations to the traces is performed in polar coordinates (distance from the disc center and angle from the beginning of the disc). The process ends with the storage of a text file which has the number of traces in its first line, and in every following line first the number of perforations on the corresponding trace, and then the polar angle (in degrees) of each perforation.
The final part of the program prepares the input file for the music engraving program Lilypond4 that also outputs a MIDI file. This part needs a specification of the music box for which the disc was made. At the moment, three music boxes are incorporated, a Polyphon 15.-inch, a
3. Albert Lz, Zwei Computerprogramme zur Konvertierung von Notenrollen in Musiknoten und MIDI (Two Computer Programs for the Conversion of Music Rolls to Scores and MIDI), Das Mechanische Musikinstrument, No.141 (Resheim, 2021), p. 34.
4. lilypond.org
Symphonion 21.-inch (with 10 bells), and a Polyphon 24.-inch. The scale of each instrument5 is divided into voices (four to six) taking into account the partially diatonic tuning that requires certain keys. A note of a music box (formally a percussion instrument) cannot have a duration in the proper sense. Yet, in order to avoid too many rests in the score, each note is ascribed a duration that results from the difference in angle to the next note within the same voice. Before doing so, all angles of the whole file are multiplied by a factor of order of magnitude 10, so that a measure as required by the melody consists of 128 units (=1) for 4/4 or 96 for 3/4 time, i.e. the smallest unit used is a 128th note.
5. The scales for the two bigger instruments published in Kevin McElhone, The Disc Musical Box (Musical Box Society of Great Britain, 2012) each contain a printing error. The first (=lowest) note on the upper comb of the Symphonion 21.-inch must be F. instead of F (p. 255), and the ninth note on the upper comb of the Polyphon 24.-inch must be F instead of F. (p. 243), because else these notes do not fit harmonically to other ones sounded simultaneously in both cases, a result of this digitization, and corroborated by direct inspection of the real disc. The scales used in this program are lower by a semitone (two semitones) in the case of the Symphonion 21.-inch (Polyphon 24.-inch).
Notes of shorter duration are assigned to chords. On account of small irregu.larities on the disc and other reasons, there may be a very short note at the beginning or end of a measure belong.ing musically to the adjacent measure. This is not music written on a table, but actually played! The discretization of the angle differences to note duration leaves a remainder after the rounding to an integer. This remainder is added to (or subtracted from) the next note before its discretization. Notes whose duration does not have a note symbol,
e.g. five 16ths, are written as two or more notes with ties.
The Polyphon 24.-inch discs require a further treatment, because it was found that the projections in the bass section advance the treble projections on the real disc in order to compensate the much larger trace length in the treble for the same swept angle. Only by this expedient, a treble and a bass note can be plucked simultaneously. Some experimenting on four different discs resulted in the application of a delay to the bass section of 0.038*(94.
i) degrees (i=trace number) up to trace 93.

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

Fig. 3: The same music as arranged for a Polyphon 24.-inch disc.
The Intermezzo from “Cavalleria Rusticana”
As an example of the application of the program, the Intermezzo from the opera “Cavalleria Rusticana,” by Pietro Mascagni, was chosen. As to the arrangement on the Polyphon 15.-inch, it suffices to say that the arrangement is not of high quality, but that is not the result of the smaller size of the disc. There are many quite excellent arrangements for this instru.ment, some of which have already been digitized with this method.
Fig. 2 shows the arrangement of the first measure of the main theme in the case of the Symphonion 21.-inch. The notes for the 10 bells are on the uppermost staff. They play the melody that begins with a D followed by an F, and then a B
(only the beginning of this note can be seen as the last note on the staff). The melody is also played in a mandolin-like fashion by the voice on the third staff from above that plays the notes B
and D in rapid succession, the first two notes of the triad of B
major. When the bells play F, the third voice changes to the two upper notes A and C of the F major triad which is completed by the F in the second voice from above that plays this note likewise in mandolin fashion. The two voices of the bass accompany the three treble voices by notes from the triad of B
major and later F major, with small parts of their voices in rapid notes for a rhythmic accent. Note the sub-contra B
, the lowest note of the comb, played together with the great F, in the beginning of the fifth voice from above. The result of this arrangement of the Intermezzo is a very clear and pleasant sound in mandolin fashion which can be heard throughout the whole piece.
The corresponding arrangement for the Polyphon 24.-inch can be seen in Fig. 3, likewise in B
major. The theme appears most clearly in the second voice from above that plays a D and later F in mandolin fashion, however with much less rapid repetition than in the Symphonion instrument (16th instead of 32nd or 64th notes). The first voice also plays these notes in mando.lin fashion, alternating between two Ds separated by one octave. The third voice plays the notes of the theme more slowly, but in a rhythmic accen.tuated fashion. The fourth and fifth voices accompany the treble voices with notes of the B
major and F major triad, in the fourth voice rhythmically, while the sixth voice plays the basic notes of the harmonic succession. The sound resulting and continuing in this manner is very beautiful and rich. Also, the introduction to the Inter.mezzo in the style of an arioso is so finely executed that the disc can only be qualified as most excellent.

Scan the QR codes below to listen to MP3s on the MBSI website. The sound files were prepared from the MIDI files of the dig.itization using the Winamp program that contains the Microsoft GS Wavetable with the music box and bell sounds. Conversion to MP3 was performed with Audacity.

“An der Weser’’

Intermezzo from

Intermezzo from
“Cavalleria Rusticana’’
“Cavalleria Rusticana’’
on Symphonion 211/4.
on Polyphon 241/2-inch
inch disc
disc
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 33

Sneak Peak
Missed the 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting in Ft. Myers, FL, this year? We’ll have all the details for you in an upcoming issue of this publication. For now, however, enjoy this image taken by Robert Thomas on a tour of Mark and Christel Yaffe’s collection in Tampa, FL.
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 35

This image of a photoplayer complete with cameras, screen and movie theater seats that was taken by Robert Thomas on a tour of Joel and Pam Jancko’s wonderful collection in Plantation, FL.
Sneak Peak
Interesting Tidbits

By Charles Wilson
In 1987, we attended the meeting in St. Paul, MN. We were relatively new to music boxes at that time, so we really enjoyed all of the activities. I attended several of the informal activities about restoration. I was really impressed with the techniques demonstrated by the premier restorer, Elton Norwood.
We were strolling around the park, taking in the marvelous machines on display. To my surprise, the same Elton Norwood appeared with one of his puppets. I was extremely lucky to be able to take this photo. I just happened to be at the right place at the exact right time. Of all of my hundreds of 35 mm slides I have accumulated over the years, I consider it one of my best. The surprise and delight of the little girl, the love visually expressed by the father, say more than inade.quate words.

Southern California Chapter
Chapter Chair: Robin Biggins Reporter: Robin Biggins Photographer: Lowell Boehland
Aug. 14, 2021 — Dana Point, CA
It has been a long time since we have had a meeting because of the virus pandemic, so on Saturday, Aug. 14, we kicked off with one of the great collections in our area!
We have missed the hospitality of our hosts and the companionship of our chapter friends, all because of COVID-19. Now we had the oppor.tunity to enjoy the wonderful array of mechanical music in the Choate collection. Automatic pianos, Nickel.odeons, band organs, musical boxes, orchestrions and many more instru.ments were played and discussed by our hosts.

Mike Choate demonstrates the Lösche orchestrion for a visitor. An overview of the music room featuring jukeboxes, orchestrions, nickelodeons and more.

Members enjoying the sound of a DeCap dance organ.

Music is everywhere in the Choate home. A Cremona J Orchestrion plays a tune for the crowd.
40 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

All members were fully vaccinated and mostly wore masks except when outside enjoying a beautiful day around the swimming pool.
Mike and Kathy Choate provided snacks and beverages while we listened to the musical instruments, many of which were operated by the MIDI system, which added interest and contributed to much discussion. We particularly enjoyed the Wurlitzer harp, DeCap dance organ, DeCap street organ and the Cremona J. There were 35 members in attendance, including two guests and one new member.
We held a brief business meeting and reminded everyone that we will be sending out a dues notice before the year end, since we have had a dues hiatus for two years.
Some members had a three-hour drive each way to attend this meeting but they agreed it was well worth it.

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

National Capital Chapter
Chapter Chair: Matthew Jaro Reporter: Paul Senger Photographers: Jan Bender, Knowles & Ginny Little and Paul Senger
Sept. 18, 2021 — Bowie, MD
The National Capital Chapter (NCC) held its first Organ Grind and Music Box Demonstration at the Old Bowie Celebrates Festival. The festival included musicians, arts and crafts vendors, art exhibits, magicians, stilt walkers, food vendors, lots of hands-on activities for kids, a train ride and more. This is a startup event to revive a previous yearly large celebration.
Our group set up by the railroad museum, which includes an interlock tower, railroad library, and passenger shelter. The event organizers provided us with canopies and tables, so it was a great place to be located and play our instruments. The town was origi.nally called Huntington City after the man who financed the railroad. John King who is a National Capital Chap.ter member and also the economic development director of the City of Bowie invited us more than a year ago to participate in this event. It was delayed from May 2021 to September because of the COVID pandemic.
Many visitors stopped by our tables showing lots of enthusiasm after a long year and a half of quarantine. There were lots of smiles. It turned out to be a great event. The chief organizer, Verna Teasdale, stopped by and thanked us for our demonstration as did John King.
Terry and Jan Bender demonstrated their R20/78 custom “Original Raffin,” with six melody stops with tenor and base accompaniment. Lots of kids of all ages tried their hand at cranking Paul Senger’s John Smith 20-note organ, and all left with smiles and Organ Grinder Certificates of Achieve.ment. It’s always fun to watch the

Paul Senger plays a tune for a visiting family.

A young visitor enjoys playing Paul Senger’s John Smith organ. She was rewarded with an Organ Grinder certificate.
Theresa Kraus and John King try their hand organ at grinding.

Jan Bender and Engineer Ernie discuss their unique talents.

Knowles Little at the kids’ table. An attendee tries out the Gem roller organ.
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43
music go through the organ. Knowles Little manned the music box and organ table. We had a 15.-inch Regina music box from 1906, a Gem roller organ, a circa 1790 Serinette, Mechanical Organette, and Wurlitzer Juke Box music box that played punched paper strips. People were amazed at the instruments from 100 years ago and older that still played. We had some musically inclined people that were fascinated by the music and instru.ments. Young people were wowed at history of mechanical music before electronics.
Ginny Little worked with the younger crowd at the Touch Table as they played a jack-in-the box, mechanical ostrich, paper strip music box, Knowles Little’s first music box, a circa 1945 juke box, big and small music boxes of all kinds and a loud train whistle that was perfect at the train station.
Thanks to everybody who came Saturday to display our hobby.
Last minute update
We were recently notified that “The Old Bowie Steering Committee wants to give the MBSI an honorarium for providing your time, talent, and music boxes” at the festival. “You were all much appreciated and enjoyed. One person stopped me to say you were the best event at the festival!”

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
Southern California Chapter
Chapter Chair: Robin Biggins Reporter: Robin Biggins Photographer: Lowell Boehland
Oct. 2, 2021 —Fullerton, CA
This is our second chapter meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and while we are still recovering what a recovery this was! It is the first time our members have visited Bob and Judy Burtscher’s fabulous collection of mechanical music in their beautiful home. The Burtschers obtained their first musical box about 30 years ago, but because of other interests did not really get involved with the hobby until they joined MBSI in November 2019. Then, they really got involved! In the last two years they have collected over 200 machines ranging from deli.cate Sur Plateau miniatures to a Mills Violano, a Symphonion Eroica and all sizes of Regina and other disc boxes. Their cylinder box collection is really outstanding, including Nicoles, Pail-lards, Mermods (one with 18 20-inch cylinders!) and many others with different formats. There are singing bird boxes and cages, a Station box, boxes with bells and organs, a box with seven dancing dolls and every piece is in perfect restored condition.
Twenty-eight members attended, and Bob gave an interesting talk and played many of the cylinder and disc machines before the chapter business meeting. Bob and Judy were applauded for their hospitality and the delicious array of food and beverages. It was noted that there were two recipients of the MBSI Trustees Award for 2021 from our chapter. Jody Krav.itz and Robbie Rhodes were honored for contributing greatly to the interest in mechanical music through the website Mechanical Music Digest. It was noted that chapter dues have not been collected for the last two years because of the pandemic although some who did pay dues will be cred.ited for 2022.

The Geo. Baker with seven dancing dolls enhanced by the rear mirror. Bob shows more of his musical boxes.

Bob shows the 20-inch Mermod with some of the 18 cylinders. Bob describes a box in his collection to a guest.

Bob discusses the 20-inch Mermod with a group of onlookers.
46 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

An overview of the music room.

The dining room set up with a display.
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 47
Following the business meeting, Bob continued to talk about his collection and, in particular, the smaller snuff boxes. He was assisted by Christian Eric. Members visited around the pool and koi pond, and walked through the fantastic garden described below by Bob.
The Garden of Judy and Bob Burtscher
My wife, Judy, and l have been avid gardeners for most of our 48 years of marriage. In 1972, while I was away, Judy dug out a tree stump and planted a Sago Palm. That act sparked my interest, and the result is what you see today.
This is our second garden on the property. Beginning in 2014 we started specializing in rare palms, especially those from Madagascar and New Caledonia. These palms are mostly tropical so in our area they are difficult to grow and they grow very slowly. We have more than 150 species of palms from dwarf to very large.
After planting the palms, we then added unusual companion plants and rock features. We chose plants with unique shapes and leaf sizes. For contrast, we incorporated different colored plants ranging from silver to burgundy. As you walk through our garden, you will see palms, cycads, succulents, tillandsias, orchids, ferns, bromeliads, pachypodiums, aloes, and agaves just to mention a few. We have also invested a lot of time into having points of interest throughout the garden. We first added a koi pond, a couple waterfalls, a dry riverbed and an underwater garden. In those we used many types of rocks which include Jade, Mexican Onyx, pink quartz, white quartz, various colors of Mexican pebbles, lava rock, turquoise and tumbled rock. Other points of interest like fossils, shells, coral, minerals, crystals, ironwood, petrified wood, burled wood, stalactites and stalagmites have been added during the years.
Our garden has been enjoyed by avid gardeners from all over the world. If you visit, we hope you will take time to notice all the details as that is the true beauty of our garden.

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

Just a small part of the stunning garden showing flowering stem-succulents and Pachypodium Lameri among other varieties.

The group gathers for a photo on the shaded patio among the wonderful plants and musical boxes.
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 49

Northwest International Chapter
Chapter Chair: Rick Swaney
The Northwest International Chap.ter covers the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, plus British Columbia, Canada. We normally meet four times a year, most frequently near Seattle, but with at least one meeting in Canada each year. Because of the driving distances involved for some members, our meetings are usually two-day events. Three of the meetings include an open house hosted by a member, a dinner in a restaurant, and some interesting place or event to visit. The December meeting is a one-day luncheon and holiday cookie exchange.
We are a relatively small chapter. There are currently 10 family member.ships, corresponding to 17 members. One of the advantages of being small is that all the members are able to host meetings in their homes.
Due to the social gathering restric.tions and the closed Canadian border, we have not held a chapter meeting since 2019. The last meeting we had was a holiday luncheon in December 2019 hosted by Annie Tyvand. This was a joint event between our chapter and the Pacific Can-Am AMICA chapter.
The AMICA chapter experimented with Zoom meetings in 2021. They invited our chapter to join them for their June meeting. Several of our members did join in. The meeting included a couple virtual collection tours.
We are hopeful that our chapter can resume in-person meetings before the end of this year.

A reminder on viewing etiquette when visiting collections
Most of us know what to do, and what not to do when visiting a collection. Although we may own similar pieces, some instruments can be unique in the way they operate. Of course there can be various stages of restoration or operating order so remember these common-sense rules when visiting collections:

Always ask the host if photo.graphs or video may be taken. If you intend to publish these photographs/videos, please get the host’s permission to do so and ask whether the host wants the collection identified.


Do not smoke inside the home and ask permission to smoke outside the home on the owner’s property.


Never bring food or drink near

any of the instruments.

Hands Off is the best policy and beware of belt buckles and other objects that could cause damage.


Do not play any instrument unless given permission by the host to do so. It is always best if the host turns on the instrument – some of them can be pretty finicky.


Never try to adjust or repair an instrument unless asked to do so by the host.


Do not ask the host or instrument owner the value of an instrument or how much it would cost to purchase one. Several mechanical music dealers are listed on the MBSI web site and they could be contacted for guidance about a particular instrument.


Unless an instrument is marked “For Sale” don’t ask the host if

a particular instrument can be purchased. After attending a meeting, please send a note of appreciation. In the note you could express admiration for a particular instrument and advise the host of your potential interest should it ever become available.

Meeting hosts generously open their homes and collections to members. Be sure to introduce yourself to them and sign any guest book. Thank the hosts when you leave and a thank you note would be most welcome.


When instruments are being played, please refrain from talking. This is especially true when softly voiced instruments (such as musical boxes, bird boxes, etc.) are being played.

WE WANT YOUR STORY!
Every mechanical musical instrument has a tale to tell. Share the history of people who owned your instrument before you, or the story of its restoration, or just what makes it an interesting piece. Send stories via email to editor@mbsi.org or mail your story to Iron Dog Media, 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Marilyn Ames — 1932-2021
By Anne Ames
Mike and Marilyn Ames joined the Musical Box Society in 1969. They enjoyed hosting MBSI functions, attending functions and the camara.derie of the fellow members over the past 50-plus years.
The collection at Solana Instru.ments is not only unique but beautiful and Marilyn played a significant role in ensuring that the building was well laid out, beautiful, and was welcoming for guests. Her personal interest was in glassware and lamps, furniture, and the provenance of the various instruments that they collected over the years.
Marilyn was born in Los Angeles, CA, daughter to Margaret and Carl Weber and older sister to Arthur. She attended La Jolla High School, was valedictorian, and went on to obtain her bachelor’s degree from UC Berk.ley where she graduated summa cum laude. She was truly a brilliant woman whose intellect was equally matched with kindness, compassion, and care for others. In 1958 Marilyn married Michael Ames while working as secre.tary to the director of Oceanographic Instrumentation at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Later Marilyn was the executive secretary to the head of fusion research at General Atomic.

Her first of two daughters, Anne, was born in 1960 and Alison arrived in 1966. Marilyn was a truly dedicated mother, working as a teaching assis.tant grading AP literature papers at Torrey Pines High School where both of her daughters graduated.
She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Mike and daughters Anne and Alison. Mom was beautiful, had a good sense of humor, loved sports and animals, and was our number one supporter. We miss you so much Mom. Rest in peace.

Herb Mercer — 1932-2021
The Southern California Chapter enthusiastic collectors of mechanical reports that member Herb Mercer music machines. He will be sorely passed away Aug. 15 after a years missed. long battle with cancer. Herb was always so upbeat and positive in every Condolences can be directed to: way. He and Rochelle hosted several Rochelle Mercer Southern California Chapter meet-31940 Foxfield Dr. ings at their home and were always West Lake Village CA 91361

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 51
Advertise in The Mart

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 by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Go online to place your advertisement at www.mbsi.org, fill out the form in the Mart section, or contact Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 to get started. You may also email advertisements to editor@mbsi.org

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 man’s 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
– Ernest Becker, Philosopher
The Musical Box Society International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations to the Endowment Fund are tax deductible. A gift of any size is welcome.

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

Missed the Annual Meeting?

Table favors from MBSI’s 71st annual meeting, held in Fort Myers, FL., are now available for purchase. In keeping with the theme “Young at Heart” these playful carousels are reminiscent of younger times. As the horses revolve, the song of the Sunshine State, “You are my Sunshine,” plays.
Favors are $25 each,
or 2 for $45, plus shipping.
$10 for East Coast,
$15 West Coast,
$12 in between.
Instructions for winding,
placing the ˜ag and
the label are in the
mailing box.
Send your check, made payable to “Southeast MBSI” and the number of favors desired to Wayne and Mary Ellen Myers, 2165 Blue Iris Place, Longwood, Fl 32779. Call 407-739-5086 or 407-630-1360 for more info.

58th Annual Meeting of the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors 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

Stanton’s Auctioneers Upcoming Music Machine Auction Located at 1350 N. M-37 Highway, at the Barry Expo Center, Hastings, Michigan on: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, January 6, 7, and 8, 2022 We have now begun work on our winter music machine auction. The sale already includes the Ron Sitko Estate Collection including machines and related phonographs with a Rare Berliner Tin Can Ratchet Wind example, Berliner JS, 2 Edison Bijou Coin-operated phonographs, Bettini reproducers, cabinets, and more. In addition to the Sitko Estate, we have also received the collections of the Chris Janko Estate and the Koontz Estate both from Northern California. These collections contain disc and cylinder music boxes, clocks, and wood horn phonographs. In addition to these collections, the sale will also include the Leland Fletcher Estate Collection from San Diego that includes an excellent representation of music boxes, Mills Violano with Midi, Reginaphone OAK Lions Head Style 240 combination music box and phonograph, a fantastic collection of clocks and watches, and more. We are currently accepting individual machines and collections of phonographs, music boxes, nickelodeons, and band organs, as well as high end antiques and coin operated items. Call us to discuss your items, collections, and the estates that you may be representing. We also continue to work with museums around North America in the deaccession of items and our efforts to find interested buyers for the items through our catalogs, online promotion, mailers, and phone bidding. Stanton’s can arrange pickup of your collections anywhere around the country.
Stanton’s Auctioneers, Steven E. Stanton Appraisers, & Realtors (517) 331-8150 cellular144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146 ’E-mail – stevenEstanton@gmail.comVermontville, MI 49096 SAUCTIONEERS & REALTORS TANTONS Phone: (517) 726-0181 Michael C. Bleisch Fax: (517) 726-0060 (517) 231-0868 cellular E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com Website: www.stantons-auctions.com

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 it’s 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 121/4” or15 1/
“ discs, and table models with beautiful cabinets created for us in Italy. Also we can
occasions.
P.O Box 424 Randolph, VT 05060

support.

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 [8.27” . 11.70”; Profusely illustrated in
Supplement to

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
ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9
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.
Supplement to

Compiled and Edited by Kevin McElhone
100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27” . 11.70”; 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 November/December 2021

4-4time.com
“I am still delighted with the machines I bought from you. Your prices were fair, everything was just as you described it.”
– Joe… Baraboo, WI, April 2020
Browse our selection of music boxes,

Call / Text: 256-702-7453 Email: four.four_time@yahoo.com

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 59

MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 3 May/June 2017
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 1 January/February 2017

CIRCULATION
Mechanical Music is mailed to more than 1,500 members of the Musical Box Society International six (6) times per year.
ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
The Musical Box Society International
accepts VISA, Mastercard and online
payments via PayPal.
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
DISPLAY ADVERTISING DIMENSIONS & PER ISSUE COSTS

Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $247
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43

Non-members pay a 10% surcharge on the above rates
Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads
10% Discount 6 consecutive ads
15% Discount
EIGHTH CLASSIFIED ADS PAGE
QUARTER
3.5” x 2.125” • 47¢ per word
FULL PAGE PAGE
• ALL CAPS, italicized and
3.5” x 4.5”
bold words: 60¢ each.
8.75” X 11.25”
• Minimum Charge: $11.
(0.5” bleed)
• Limit: One ad in each category
7.25” x 9.75”
• Format: See ads for style
(live area) HALF PAGE
• Restrictions: Ads are strictly
HORIZONTAL
limited to mechanical musi.
7.25” x 4.5”
cal instruments and related items and services

PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
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

PRINTING & ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
Mechanical Music is printed on 70 lb gloss Email fi les to: paper, with a 100 lb gloss cover, sad-mbsi@irondogmedia.com dle-stitched. Trim size is 8.25” x 10.75”.
USPS or Fed Ex to: Artwork is accepted in the following for-Iron Dog Media, LLC mats: PDF, PSD, AI, EPS, TIF. All images 130 Coral Court and colors should be CMYK or Grayscale Pismo Beach, CA 93449 and all fonts should be embedded or converted to outlines. Images should be a minimum of 300 dpi resolution.
Of Special Interest!

I have just acquired the collection of the late Charlie Moore, well-known restorer and collector of Organettes, as well as the only person known to have made reproduction roller organ cobs. Charlie was honest and gentle, quick with a smile and a hug…one of those people who you wish there were more of in the world. He was giving of his knowledge of his ‘hobby’ and enjoyed sharing his passion.
It is now time to find appreciative homes for the things he treasured most. There are over 150 pieces in the collection and it will take time to inventory everything, but all items are for sale now. Call me!
Part of the collection consists of over 40 roller organs playing 6” cobs including Concert Roller Organs, early cob organs, open bellows, enclosed square cased, home models, etc. Because of the number of repetitive pieces, these will be sold by the piece or in quantity at a discount. There are paper roll Organettes; Organettes playing cardboard and zinc discs, and machines playing cardboard book music. There are five GRAND ROLLER ORGANS. There are at least 70 cartons to open that should contain both new and original cobs and maybe some interesting surprises! There are empty cases, parts/project boxes, and cardboard boxes filled with…????

Nancy Fratti Music Boxes
PO Box 400 – Canastota NY 13032 USA 315-684-9977 — musicbox@frontiernet.net

VINTAGE 1972 REUGE 4.50 MUSIC BOX
THE MART
burlwood inlay with butterflies. Mechanism
RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a serviced professionally 8/2021. Plays four
variety of antique musical boxes, discs, arrangements composed by Strauss. Rich
orphan cylinders, reproducing piano rolls & resonance. $1,200.00. Contact MARY-HOPE
out of print books about mechanical music. MILLIGAN, at (704) 437-0495
BILL WINEBURGH 973-927-0484 Web:
Display Advertising Dimensions and Costs
Dimensions 1 issue 3 issues* 6 issues*
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $246
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43
Add a 10% surcharge to the prices shown above if you are not a member of MBSI.
*Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount

ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.
ADVERTISING DEADLINES:
The 1st day of each even month: Feb., Apr., Jun, Aug., Oct. and Dec.
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.
CLASSIFIED ADS

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 member’s name must appear in ad


Non-members may advertise at the rates listed plus a 10% surcharge

PLEASE NOTE:
The first two words (or more at your choice) and the member’s name will be printed in all caps/bold and charged at 60¢ per word.
Mechanical Music
Mechanical Music is mailed to all members at the beginning of every odd month — 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.
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 you’ll find it to be one of the most interesting, inspiring, informative books you have in your library–or 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.
http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.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
SUBMIT ADS TO:
MBSI Ads 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (253) 228-1634 Email: editor@mbsi.org

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

Display Advertisers
BAND ORGAN wanted. Wurlitzer 153 with lights. Good playing condition. Contact DON KRONLEIN, at fbac@one-eleven.net or (217) 620-8650

REPRODUCTION POLYPHON discs; Cata.logs available for 19 5/8”, 22 1/8”, and 24 1/2”. DAVID CORKRUM 5826 Roberts Ave, Oakland, CA 94605-1156, 510-569-3110, www.polyphonmusic.com

SAVE $’s on REUGE & THORENS MUSIC BOX REPAIR & RESTORATION – 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. We’re 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 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 by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Fill out the form below and mail to MBSI at 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449. Call (253) 228.1634 with questions.
3………. Renaissance Antiques 52…….. Music Box Restorations 52…….. Miller Organ Clock 53…….. Morphy Auctions 54…….. Southeast Chapter 55…….. Golden Gate Chapter 56…….. Stanton Auctions 57…….. Porter Music Box Company 58…….. MBSGB 58…….. American Treasure Tour 59…….. Reeder Pianos 59…….. Cottone Auctions 59…….. Ben’s Player Piano Service 59…….. 4-4Time.com 61…….. Nancy Fratti Music Boxes 66…….. Marty Persky Music Boxes 67…….. Special Auction Services 68…….. Auction Team Breker
Name Phone Email Text of ad

ORDER EXTRA COPIES
Call MBSI Administrator Jacque Beeman at
(417) 886-8839 or send a check to: Musical Box Society International P.O. Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 63

OFFICERS, TRUSTEES & COMMITTEES of the MUSICAL BOX SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL®
OFFICERS COMMITTEES Membership Committee Nominating Committee
Chair, TBD Dan Wilson, Chair
President Audit
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
Southeast Southeast musikwerke@att.net

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
Publications Committee

24219 Clematis Dr B Bronson Rob Pollock, Mid-America Bob Caletti, Chair, Trustee Gaithersburg, MD 20882 Wayne Wolf Paul Senger, National Capital Richard Dutton, Trustee mjaro@verizon.net Dan Wilson, Piedmont
Executive Committee Steve Boehck
Gerald Yorioka, Northwest Int’l

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 541 TBD, Sunbelt Publications
Dave Calendine, Trustee
Sub-Committee
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

Bob Caletti, Trustee Museum Committee
Website Committee

scarletpimpernel28@yahoo.com 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 Don Henry
Ken Envall, Southern California

3615 North Campbell Avenue Edward Cooley, Trustee Knowles Little, Web Secretary
Julian Grace, Sunbelt
Chicago, IL 60618 Peter Both Richard Simpson, East Coast Special Exhibits Committeeekozak1970@gmail.com

Marketing Committee Chair Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,
Museum Sub-Committees

Bob Smith, Chair Southeast
Ohio Operations

Dave Calendine, Trustee David Corkrum, President,
Rob Pollock, Mid-America

TRUSTEES Judy Caletti Golden Gate Dave Calendine Donald Caine, Southern California
Meetings Committee
Bob Caletti SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Jack Hostetler, Southeast
Matt Jaro, Chair, Vice President
Edward Cooley Knowles Little, National Capital
Judy Caletti Publications Back Issues:
David Corkrum Judy Miller, Piedmont
Tom Chase Jacque Beeman
Richard Dutton Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan
Cotton Morlock
G.Wayne Finger Regina Certificates: Wayne Myers, Southeast
Rich Poppe
Matt Jaro B Bronson Rick Swaney, Northwest Int’l Tom Kuehn
MBSI Pins and Seals: MBSI Editorial Office:

Mary Ellen Myers Jacque Beeman Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court
Librarian:
Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Jerry Maler editor@mbsi.org
Historian:
Bob Yates
MBSI FUNDS

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 author’s 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 author’s approval. All articles statements.
64 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
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

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know! Send in your information by Dec. 1, 2021, for the January/February 2022 issue. Don’t hold your questions until the next chapter meeting.
Ask them today on our Facebook discussion group – the Music Box Society Forum.
Please send dates for the Calendar of Events to Russell Kasselman (editor@mbsi.org)
CONTACTS

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 jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Traveling MBSI Display Bill Endlein 21547 NW 154th Pl. High Springs, FL 32643-4519 Phone (386) 454-8359 sembsi@yahoo.com
Regina Certificates: Cost $5. B Bronson Box 154 Dundee, MI 48131 Phone (734) 529-2087 art@d-pcomm.net
Advertising for Mechanical Music Russell Kasselman Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Phone (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
CHAPTERS
Snowbelt
Chair: Tracy Tolzmann (651) 674-5149 Dues $10 to Gary Goldsmith 17160 – 245th Avenue Big Lake, MN 55309
Southeast
Chair: Jack Hostetler (352) 633-1942 Dues $5 to Clay Witt 820 Del Rio Way Unit 203 Merritt Island, FL 32953
Museum Donations Sally Craig, 2720 Old Orchard Road Lancaster, PA 17601 Phone (717) 295-9188 rosebud441@juno.com
MBSI website Rick Swaney, 4302 209th Avenue NE Sammamish, WA 98074 Phone (425) 836-3586 r_swaney@msn.com
Web Secretary Knowles Little 9109 Scott Dr. Rockville, MD 20850 Phone (301) 762-6253 kglittle@verizon.net
CHAPTERS
East Coast
Chair: Elise Low (203) 457-9888 Dues $5 to Roger Wiegand 281 Concord Road Wayland, MA 01778 or pay via PayPal, send to treasurereccmbsi@gmail.com
Golden Gate
Chair: Jonathan Hoyt jenjenhoyt@yahoo.com Dues $5 to Dave Corkrum 5826 Roberts Ave. Oakland, CA 94605
Japan
Chair: Naoki Shibata 81-72986-1169 naotabibito396amb@salsa.ocn.ne.jp Treasurer: Makiko Watanabe makikomakiko62@yahoo.co.jp
Lake Michigan
Chair: Aaron Muller (847) 962-2330 Dues $5 to James Huffer 7930 N. Kildare Skokie, Illinois 60076

Mid-America
Chair: Rob Pollock (937) 508-4984 Dues $10 to Harold Wade 4616 Boneta Road Medina, OH 44256
National Capital
Chair: Matthew Jaro (301) 482-2008 Dues $5 to Florie Hirsch 8917 Wooden Bridge Road Potomac, MD 20854
Northwest International
Chair: Rick Swaney (425) 836-3586 Dues $7.50/person to Kathy Baer 8210 Comox Road Blaine, WA 98230
Piedmont

Temp Chair: Dan Wilson (919) 740-6579 musicboxmac@mac.com Dues $10 to Dan Wilson 4804 Latimer Road Raleigh, NC. 276099
Southern California
Chair: Robin Biggins (310) 377-1472 Dues $10 to Diane Lloyd 1201 Edgeview Drive Cowan Hgts, CA 92705
Sunbelt
Chair: Ray Dickey (713) 467-0349 Dues $10 to Diane Caudill 4585 Felder Road Washington, TX 77880

Copyright 2021 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
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 65
7

Mechanical Music at its Best -Visit www.Mechmusic.com
Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

Welte 4 Concert Violina Orchestra Wurlitzer CX with Bells Hupfeld Helios II/25 Welte Brisgovia C Luxus

Weber Unika Weber Maesto Weber Otero Seeburg KT Special Bowfront Violano

Regina 35 w Clock Nelson Wiggen Style 8 Symphonion 25st

Call Marty Persky 847-675-6144 or email: Marty@Mechmusic.com for further information on these and other fine instruments.

MECHANICAL MUSIC
November 30th 2021

To include musical boxes from the estate of the late Graham Webb

A ‘Rigid Notation’ musical box by F. Nicole, playing one overture in two rotations and one other air, all by Rossini; and (above) one of several musical snuff boxes
Enquiries: Hugo Marsh Hugo@specialauctionservices.com
Special Auction Services Telephone: +44 1635 580595
Plenty Close
Off Hambridge Road Email: mail@specialauctionservices.com
NEWBURY RG14 5RL
UNITED KINGDOM www.specialauctionservices.com

»SG-38« School Glider, 1942
Edmund Schneider factory in Grunau, Silesia. The most prolific aircraft for solo flight training in the German Reich.
L.M. Ericsson Skeleton-Telephone No. 370
(1. Model), 1884 onwards Estimate: 7.000 – 8.000 ˜ /

Estimate: 16.000 – 25.000 ˜ / 8,500 – 10,000 US$ 19,000 – 30,000 US$
Laboratory Test Model of »Sputnik 1 EMC/EMI«, 1957
English Fairground Carousel, c. 1960
Full-Scale model of the »Sputnik-1«
Fully functioning children’s carousel.
satellite. An historically important
Ø approx. 8 m/315 in., electric drive,
artefact from the dawn of the space age,
can be demounted for transport.

Early Telephone made by one of very few surviving examples.
Estimate: 15.000 – 20.000 ˜ / 18,000 – 24,000 US$

L.M. Ericsson, 1878 Estimate: 200.000 – 250.000 ˜ / One of the first Ericsson
240,000 – 280,000 US$ telephones from 1878–79 Estimate: 9,000 – 12.000 ˜ /10,800 – 14,500 US$
Summicron 2/35 with M3 Spectacle World’s Leading Specialty Auctions Viewfinder, 1963 Estimate: 2.200 – 2.800 ˜ /
»Science & Technology« · »Aerospace«
2,600 – 3,300 US$
»Telephone & Office Icons«
»Lavochkin V-751« Supersonic Flying Laboratory, 1957
»Mechanical Music« Two-stage rocket, length 10,8 m/425 in.. Estimate: 15.000 – 25.000 ˜ /
»Fairground Attractions«
18,000 – 30,000 US$
»Photographica & Film«
6 November 2021
CIAM-NASA Hypersonic Flying Laboratory »Kholod«, 1991

Developed by the Central Institute of Aviation Motors
(CIAM) USSR. Fastest series-produced flying object from Ericsson Telephone from the 1991 to 1998. Only 3 more known worldwide. Royal Castle in Oslo, c. 1880 Estimate: 40.000 – 70.000 ˜ / 48,000 – 84,000 US$ Estimate: 18.000 – 25.000 ˜ /
Tellurium and Lunarium by
22,000 – 30,000 US$
Svanstr & Rylander, c. 1890 Estimate: 1.200 – 2.000 ˜ /1,450 – 2,400 US$
French Box Microscope, c. 1760 Estimate:
9.000 – 12.000 ˜ /Gebrer Bruder Universum Fairground Organ, c. 1925 10,800 – 14,400 US$ Original front, excellent playing condition, on trailer. Estimate: 30.000 – 35.000 ˜ / 35,000 – 42,000 US$ English Ellis-Type Aquatic Brass Microscope with Box Base, c. 1770
Estimate: 3.000 – 5.000 ˜ /3,500 – 6,000 US$

Märklin Wonder Wheel, c. 1956
Nuremberg Cuff-Type Compound The First Complete
Total height 128 cm/51 in.

Microscope, 1750 onwards Wall Telephone Set by
Estimate: 3.000 – 5.000 ˜ /
An early and very rare microscope L.M. Ericsson, 1880
3,500 – 6,000 US$

of Nuremberg production! Extraordinarily rare, Estimate: 5.000 – 7.000 ˜ / produced for one year 6,000 – 8,500 US$ only!
Estimate:
10.000 – 12.000 ˜ /12,000 – 15,000 US$

Waldkirch Automaton Organ by Bruder, c. 1860 »Ruth / Voigt« Fairground Organ 8 melodies,14 carved and Ruth organ, c. 1890, rebuilt by Heinrich Voigt 1938. Curta Type I Calculator, 1959 painted moving figures Excellent playing condition. The smallest miniature stepped.
(Napoleon on horse etc).

Estimate: 50.000 – 60.000 ˜ / 60,000 – 72,000 US$ drum machine and a true Estimate: 25.000 – 40.000 ˜ / milestone in calculating history!
30,000 – 50,000 US$
Estimate: 500 – 800 ˜ /
…and many more !
600 – 1,000 US$

For more information and large colour photographs of some more of the upcoming Highlights please visit our website at: www.Breker.com / New Highlights and youtube.com/auctionteambreker Fully-illustrated bilingual (Engl.-German) COLOUR Catalogue available against prepayment only: Euro 28.– (Europe) or elsewhere Euro 37.– (approx. US$ 44.– / Overseas)
. Consignments are welcome at any time!
Small Children’s Carousel, c. 1990

6 animals, Ø 2,20 m/79 in., height approx. 3,20 m/126 in. Summicron 2/35, 1974 Estimate: 12.000 – 15.000 ˜ /
Estimate: 2.000 – 2.500 ˜ / – The Specialists in »Technical Antiques« – 14,500 – 18,000 US$ 2,400 – 3,000 US$ P. O. Box 50 11 19, 50971 Koeln/Germany · Tel.: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 40 · Fax: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 430 Otto-Hahn-Str. 10, 50997 Koeln (Godorf)/Germany e-mail: Auction@Breker.com · www.breker.com · Business Hours: Tue – Fri 9 am – 5 pm
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES: Japan: Murakami Taizou, Tel./Fax (06) 68 45 86 28 * murakami@ops.dti.ne.jp · China: Jiang Feng, Tel. 138 620 620 75 * jiangfengde@gmail.com Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore: Alex Shih-Chieh Lin, (HK), Tel. (+852) 94 90 41 13 * alexsclin@gmail.com England: Tel. +49 (0) 176 991 40593 * AuctionTeamBrekerUK@outlook.de · France: Pierre J. Bickart, Tel. (01) 43 33 86 71 * AuctionTeamKoln@aol.com Russia: Maksim Suravegin, Tel. +7 903 558 02 50 * Maksim-ATB.ru@gmx.net · U.S.A.: Andrew Truman, Tel. (207) 485 8343 * AndrewAuctionTeamBreker@gmail.com
.

Volume 67, No. 5 September/October 2021

MECHANICAL MUSIC

Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 67, No. 5 September/October 2021

PURCHASE • SALES • CONSIGNMENT
of Quality Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes, Musical Clocks & Automata
For over forty years we’ve placed fine antiques in collections around the world. Our reputation has been built upon appreciative buyers and satisfied sellers. Pictured are a few of the musical antiques in our current and recent inventories.

496 First Street, California 93463 • Ron & Julie Palladino Open Seven Days a Week 10-6 • 805-452-5700 www.renantiques.com
PURCHASE • SALES • CONSIGNMENT Visit the charming Danish Village of Solvang, half an hour above Santa Barbara in the beautiful Central Coast Wine Country

Editor/Publisher
Russell Kasselman (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
MBSI Editorial Office:
Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 editor@mbsi.org

MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 67, No. 5 September/October 2021

MBSI NEWS
5 President’s Message 7 Editor’s Notes 8 Outreach Corner
53 In Memoriam

Publications Chair
Bob Caletti
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 author’s approval. All articles are considered to be the author’s 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 2021. 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

Features
11 Nickel Notes by Matt Jaro
24 A Family Affair
31 A Tip on Repairing a Tuning Lead
33 An Italian Organ Grind.er’s Life
41 The SEGA Grand Pianist
47 A Fortunate Find
52 Interesting Tidbits

MBSI has replanted 146 trees so far as part of the Print ReLeaf program.

On the Cover
Matt Jaro took this detailed shot of a Hupfeld Excelsior Pan Orchester case while on a tour of the Nether.cutt Collection’s music room. Read more about the entire collection in Nickel Notes on Page 11.

M
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 you’ll 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
Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Copy this page, and give it to a potential new member. Spread the word about MBSI.
Last name First Name Initial
Last Name First Name Initial
Address

City State / Zip Postal Code / Country
Phone Fax E-mail
Sponsor (optional)

Membership Dues
US members (per household)……………………………………….$60 Student Membership $20
(online journal access only)
Canada…………………………………………………………………………$70 Other International………………………………………………………$75
(Add $20 for International air mail.)
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
Visa/MasterCard

Exp. Date CCV
Signature

By Tom Kuehn
MBSI President
As my term of office comes to an end, I’d like to say that it has been a privilege and an honor to serve as your president. Two years ago, at the conclusion of the business meeting in Rockville, MD, when I was elected to serve as the 37th president of MBSI, I said I would do my best to serve you. I have tried to live up to that promise.
In the course of these turbulent two years, the main disruption, caused by a global pandemic, was something no one could have seen coming. Our soci.ety, however, continued to function well even at a reduced activity level.
Chapter meetings, among our most popular events, were put on hold for the most part, but a few enterprising chapters found ways to conduct well-attended virtual meetings. One lesson learned from that experience is that virtual meetings can remain a viable option to connect those who might be unable to attend future meet.ings in person. In my opinion, face to face interactions will always be pref.erable since one never knows what topics of conversation and nuggets of information will be shared between individuals cruising the buffet table or examining a mechanical music machine at a member’s home.
In fact, I may have never completed the band organ replica I began 30 years ago if not for the tips, advice and assistance graciously provided by members of the Snowbelt Chapter. That said, however, I believe we should not shy away from using technological advancements like virtual meetings to continue to share our wonderful hobby with as many people as we can. Distance and disease don’t exist in the virtual world, which means even those who live far away or are recuperating from illness or injury can still enjoy fellowship with other members and experience the wonderful music and machines we all love.

Our publication, Mechanical Music, continues to be a high-quality font of information thanks to everyone who contributes articles, the extensive list of those who review each issue before it goes to press and our very capable editor, Russell Kasselman. Don’t hesitate to contact him if you have something interesting to share with the rest of us. Also don’t forget that past issues and articles are available on our website should you wish to search for a specific topic.
Several forms, our website and copies of Mechanical Music articles are now available in languages besides English. This should assist those who are not native English speakers and attract new members from around the world to our international organization.
Our society would not function without the dedication of a large number of members who volunteer their time and talents for chapter meetings, annual meetings, society committees and leadership positions. Approximately 60 individuals are listed near the back of each issue of Mechanical Music, but I know the total number of volunteers who make our society great is much larger than that.
I want to thank each of you for continuing to support our society. We have endured difficult times together and I think everyone looks forward to resuming more normal activities. I encourage you to continue to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with those who may not be familiar with our hobby.
Keep the music flowing!

Mail any MBSI Editorial / Advertising materials to 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Emails with attachments can be sent to editor@mbsi.org
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 ÿrst year’s 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 year’s 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 “sponsor” 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 certiÿcate.
Gift Membership Name

Address, City, State, ZIP Phone Email Sponsor
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more ÿrst-year MBSI gift memberships at $45 each U.S., $55 Canadian, or $60 other Interna.tional and you will receive $5 off your next year’s MBSI membership renewal for each “New Member” gift.
Please mail this form together with your check made payable to “MBSI” 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.
Editor’s Notes
By Russell Kasselman
MBSI Editor/Publisher
It’s rare when I get a chance to share a bit of a timely news story in this space so I’m excited to get to it, but,
before I do, I want to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful writers who contributed to making this another fantastic issue. In order of appear.ance, Jack Hostetler, Matt Jaro, Henry Bennett, Jamie Brewer, Dr. Robert Penna, Uwe Generet, Harold Wade and Paul Senger all deserve big pats on the back for contributing visually interesting and mentally stimulating content for all of us to enjoy. There is so much to this hobby, I feel like I’m learning something new each time I put together another issue. I encour.age everyone to keep sending in articles that let us all learn and grow together in our pursuit of mechanical music nirvana.
Now, to timely news. Recently, I received a letter from Musical Box Society of Great Britain Vice-President Alison Biden that really didn’t look like it would fit anywhere else in this issue so I’ve chosen to include it here.
“I wonder if you would care to publish this letter in Mechanical Music to bring members of the MBSI up-to.date with developments surrounding one of the subjects I included in my workshop at the 2019 convention in Rockville? Those who were present may remember my talking about the precarious future of a rare Imhof & Mukle orchestrion which had been installed under the stairs in Kinloch Castle, an Edwardian-era hunting lodge on the Scottish Island of Rum. Not only was the orchestrion (often referred to, albeit erroneously, as ‘Queen Victoria’s Orchestrion’) deteriorating, but the entire castle, which had been left to the state by its last private owner, was in danger of falling into ruin. A charitable organi.zation, the Friends of Kinloch Castle Association, was hoping to raise enough funds to rescue both the castle and its contents.
Following the impact of Covid on tourism, and the restrictions on movement generally, it has been decided by the owner (Scottish Nature – the equivalent of the English National Trust) to put it up for sale. This has been reported widely in the British press, although reports vary as to whether the asking price is a nominal £1 (GBP) or a modest £70K.
This is an opportunity for someone to own a piece of Scottish heritage – as well as a fine mechanical musical instrument — although any would-be purchaser is advised that the orches.trion requires repairs last estimated at £50,000, and the ‘castle’ requires several million spent to restore it.
Good background information can be found at https://bit.ly/2VOhOVq. It is also possible to learn more by
MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial / Advertising 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
searching ‘Kinloch Castle’ on the
internet:
One hopes a benefactor will come
forward so the orchestrion, if not the
castle, may be saved.
Kind regards
Alison”
This sort of information seems like it plays directly to our society’s mission, which calls for MBSI to cooperate with individuals and other organizations in exhibiting automatic music for the education of the general public. Our mission statement also encourages the society to generally stimulate interest in automatic music. (Read the full mission statement at www.mbsi.org/about/mission.)
I’m certainly not advocating for the society to take direct action on this particular item since that would be something best left to the Board of Trustees and might likely need to be voted on by the full membership.
My only goal here is to expose a wonderful opportunity for any one member or group of members of this society to support the continued pres.ervation of this significant place and the mechanical music within.

Welcome new members!
David VanSciver & Lowell Collins June 2021 Marlton, NJ Daniel Walker Greg Minuskin Renton, WA Tustin, CA Lanny Hunter Sponsor: Don CaineSarasota, FL Sponsor: Glen Gurwit July 2021MaryHope Milligan Amanda HoStatesville, NC North Brunswick, NJBarrie Wright Kathleen & Terry Hillis Fairfax, VA Nevada City, CA Russell Kriegel & Mark Williams San Jose, CA Robert Howard Newport News, VA Elizabeth & Thomas Fisher-York Ithaca, NY Allen Salyer Troy, MI Rich LeVangie & Kathy Dunn Nashua, NH Kim Westphalen Lakewood Ranch, FL Dean Bullock & Bryan Malone Folsom, CA

Special exhibit opportunities abound
By Jack Hostetler
Special Exhibits Committee Member,
Southeast Chapter
I am writing this article to point out opportunities that surely exist in your hometown for special exhibits of mechanical music. Every town has festivals, parades, restored antique homes and buildings, science centers, outdoor parks and other venues that welcome our special exhibits. One selling point they all love is when members of our society offer to put on an exhibit for free! Let me tell you a bit about how the Southeast Chapter makes sharing our hobby happen here in The Villages, FL.
Mary-Ann and I joined MBSI in 2012. We quickly formed a small local club called the Mechanical Music Society of The Villages. I was sure that this club could help smooth the path for MBSI to put on special exhibits of instruments and present information to others who might find an interest in this hobby in The Villages. So far, it’s worked very well and the society has gained some new members through our efforts.
Our club began planning special exhibits for The Villages almost immediately. I contacted Wayne and Mary Ellen Myers to see what the international society might do to bring mechanical music machines here for display. Wayne and Mary Ellen agreed to visit The Villages to see how this city of over-55-year-olds functioned.
We contacted the city’s recreation department and they arranged for us to participate in a two-day Christmas exhibit that would run alongside an annual model railroad club exhibit. This was in 2013.
Our first show was a success. We had a room filled with music machines and several MBSI members attended to demonstrate and talk about them. Hundreds of people came through the display, and it has since become an annual event.

Over time, our display grew larger, and we found that some machines were louder than others, so we now use two rooms. One room is for softer playing machines and the other for the more outspoken. We also had a Wurlitzer 105 organ parked on a trailer outside the recreation center to welcome people as they arrived in the parking lot. Our 2021 show will be our eighth annual presentation. We “lost” last year to the pandemic.
Wayne and Mary Ellen developed a teaching exercise that allows children to build and decorate their own music box. They introduced this event at the Orlando Science Center several years ago and continue to present it at our special exhibit with great success.
The Villages Recreation Depart.ment heard of the program and they contacted us to see if we would be willing to put on an encore. They present programs every summer for visiting grandchildren to work with grandparents, called Summer Camp. We have now presented our Summer Camp music box building program six times as of this year. We usually see 30 or more children with grandparents taking part in building a music box. They also learn how music is made in the box.

Mary Ellen Myers assists Summer Campers with their music box construc.tion project.
Our indoor activities came to the attention of the The Villages Enter.tainment Department, which is in charge of providing outdoor activities. They asked if we could have a display at one of their festivals. We said sure. So, for three years now we have had a display in the downtown area during a festival and parade. We had lots of people come to our display attracted by the large organ on a trailer (our “Pied Piper”).
Word then got around in The Villages that we could present wonderful displays for both indoor and outdoor events, and all free! I was contacted by a group that has been restoring a home built ca. 1892. The Baker House, as it is called, was the home of a Florida senator who moved there in 1890 or so. The group restoring the house asked if we might display some mechanical music machines from that period in the house during their annual Legacy Festival. I said we sure would.
I displayed my Concert Roller Organ and my Edison Home Phonograph in the front parlor. Many people came to see the house and were fascinated with the machines and music from that time. I repeated the exhibit the next year. Each time was another opportunity to talk about MBSI and the mechanical music hobby.

In 2020, the pandemic caused the Legacy Festival to be canceled. Even so, we received another request to put on a show-and-tell at a local Rotary club. We were ready to go, but the meeting was put on hold until Rotary meetings can resume. We will be ready when they are.
In summary, our experiences so far have shown us that MBSI special exhibits are well received everywhere because they offer good music, wonderful machines with history, nostalgia, and entertainment. Plus, the organizers of these events love that we do it for free!
All you need to do to get started is to contact someone in charge of festivi.ties in your area. Perhaps start with your local chamber of commerce, Rotary or Lions club, or even your city’s recreation department. Offer to conduct your exhibit along with what.ever other displays are happening at the time. You might even consider presenting single-day exhibits at a high school or nearby college in association with a celebration of a historically significant date or other holiday event or even at an assisted care facility.

All it takes is one good presentation to start spreading the word that you are available to present an exhibit that will entertain crowds and soon you will be quite popular!
Bring advertising pamphlets (avail.able from the MBSI administrator) and registration forms for MBSI to display next to your exhibits. We have signed up several new MBSI members at our exhibits and we’d love to see you do the same. Putting on a special exhibit of mechanical music at a local event where people can experience the joy of this hobby is a win-win situation if ever there was one.

Nickel Notes
By Matthew Jaro

The Nethercutt Collection
The Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, CA (near Los Angeles), houses the largest array of mechanical musical instruments on public display in the United States. J.B. Nethercutt, along with his aunt, Merle Norman, founded Merle Norman Cosmetics. J.B. started collecting and restoring antique auto.mobiles in 1956. In 1971, he and his wife, Dorothy, built a museum which has been free to the public since its inception. The first tours began in 1974. Now, J.B.’s eldest son, Jack, is head of the corporation and the museum foundation.
This article chronicles a conver.sation I had with the curator of the mechanical music collection and master technician. His name is Kyle B. Irwin.
The start of the mechanical music collection
I knew that the Nethercutt Collec.tion had started with automobiles, so I asked how J.B. Nethercutt became interested in mechanical music. Kyle said that J.B. had already started construction on a building to house his collection when he decided to buy his wife a present. He found a beautiful cloisonné music box. It was the size of a powder box (about three inches). When you played it, a little bird would pop up and sing. While shopping for the music box, J.B. couldn’t help but notice the large display of nickelode.ons and orchestrions around him. Why? Well, because he happened to be shopping at Hathaway and Bowers!
For our younger readers, let me

In the Grand Salon room of the music building are even more cars. The floor below and the floor above this are filled with music
boxes, automata, French furniture and more.
explain that Hathaway and Bowers, the store named for owners Terry Hathaway and Q. David Bowers, was a source for all types of mechanical musical instruments. Located in Santa Fe Springs, CA, the store had a sales floor where you could buy almost any instrument. Hathaway and Bowers published catalogs that created intense public interest in the instruments we all know and love today. It would be hard to overestimate their influence on the hobby of collecting mechanical music machines. Older readers might remember that in the 1950s nickel.odeons were being destroyed in large numbers because they were consid.ered obsolete machines with little or no value. European mechanical music machines were largely unknown in the United States at the time. Hatha.way and Bowers helped turn the tide and made mechanical music machines attractive and valuable again.
Anyway, J.B. Nethercutt looked around at all the wonderful machines, asking Hathaway and Bowers to demonstrate them. Kyle said J.B. just went a little nuts with it. He loved music and anything mechanical (cars, trains, etc.). He literally purchased one of the finest museum reference collec.tions in the world – the Hathaway and Bowers Collection. While machines in the Hathaway and Bowers Collection were not exactly for sale – it was strictly intended to be a reference collection – Mr. Nethercutt made them an offer they couldn’t refuse and the rest is history.
Growing the Collection
There are currently two buildings in the Nethercutt Collection. The first building was begun in 1971 and completed in 1974. There was an earthquake in Sylmar, CA, in 1971. The building was only a skeletal frame when the earthquake occurred. None of the collections were in this building at the time. Since the building was only a frame, the builders were able to retrofit the building for better earthquake tolerance. Eventually, the collection outgrew the original build.ing, and in the year 2000, construction on the museum building was begun. This building houses 150 additional cars and has a separate area in the back for the train.
The Nethercutt Collection includes a massive, 5,000-pipe Wurlitzer Theatre organ, also Kyle’s responsibility.
Short Biography
I asked Kyle to describe his years before obtaining the dream job of being curator of the Nethercutt Collection.
Kyle said he always loved music. He grew up in a church-going family and instead of going to Sunday School, Kyle always wanted to go to the big church to hear the organ play. He absolutely fell in love with it. At the end of the service, when the organist would play exit music, Kyle would run up to the organ and the organist would pick him up and sit him next to her. Kyle would watch her play. When the organist finished, she would turn on the bells and without banging or anything Kyle would play the melody line, by ear, of what she had just finished playing.

The organist became Kyle’s first piano teacher when he was 4 years old. He started playing the organ for church services when he was 7 or 8 years old. Kyle has been an organist pretty much all his life. He’s still an organist and choirmaster at a church in downtown Los Angeles (one of the founding churches of the city).
Kyle’s love for pipe organs grew so great that he wanted to know how they worked. He apprenticed and learned how to service, tune and rebuild organs to some extent. Many years later, he owned his own company servicing pipe organs. They would maintain, tune and rebuild pipe organs all over Southern California. Then his business partner passed away. Kyle was going to dissolve the business and retire, but during that period J.B. Nethercutt contacted Kyle and asked him to come and take care of his collection. Kyle said he just couldn’t say no. Thirteen years later, he is still going strong.
Museum Tours
The Nethercutt Museum (which consists mainly of the automobile collection) is open for self-guided tours Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Nether.cutt Collection (separate from the museum) is available to view by guided tour only. Unfortunately for all us mechanical music lovers, the tour is temporarily closed with no reserva.tions being accepted at this time.
The two-hour tour normally takes people to four floors of the collection building. The building houses some of the finer cars in the Nethercutt Collection, plus 18th and 19th century French furniture, clocks and watches, automata, reproducing pianos, nick.elodeons, orchestrions, more than 100 music boxes, not to mention the third largest theatre pipe organ in the world. All tours are entirely free to the public.

The Fifth Floor
There is a fifth floor which is not open to the public since there is no safe way to bring groups of people in.
The elevator only holds six people. On the fifth floor, there is a library of more than 40,000 music rolls. The roll library is still growing, and many people donate new rolls each year. On this floor is an example of almost every player piano system ever built. They even have a Tel-Electric. The

Kyle demonstrates the Tel-Electric in the fifth-floor workshop The Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra, Style 40, featuring 42
area.
beauty of the Nethercutt Collection is that everything in it works! J.B. Nethercutt’s dream was to preserve and share the beauty of these instru.ments but never to hoard them. Even though there are a lot of pianos on the fifth floor, no two are alike. Each has a different player system. They have rolls for the original Stoddard-Ampico, the Ampico-A and B, red Welte, green Welte, Recordo, Apollo, Themodist and 88-note rolls. They have early and later Duo-Art reproducing pianos, a rare electric Duo-Art, all the Welte systems, and pianos that will play all of those rolls.
There are more than 8,000 Ampico rolls in the collection. Docents donated their time one summer to help organize the Ampico rolls.
One of the newer acquisitions was the Blüthner Triphonola (supposedly

violin pipes, 12 violas, 30 cellos and so much more.
the only one in the United States).
I asked Kyle about the problem of the roll paper. As most of our readers know, the original Ampico and Duo-Art rolls are brittle and they tend to shred. Kyle said they only have original Wurlitzer APP rolls and the paper is quite brittle for these as well. He expressed a need to obtain copies (recuts) of APP rolls to play on the instruments. Kyle said he also needs Pianino rolls. He only has six original rolls for the Pianino and that’s it.
Nickelodeons and Orchestrions
I asked Kyle for a short list of the nickelodeons and orchestrions in the collection. There is no actual list, so Kyle had to look through the file cabinet to name the instruments in the collection. The following are details of the American machines (and machines distributed by American companies).
Seeburg L: The smallest Seeburg model with piano and mandolin rail. It plays A rolls.
Seeburg KT: A G-roll piano with mandolin rail, xylophone, castanets, triangle, tambourine and (rare) snare drum.
Seeburg Photoplayer: A pipe-organ orchestra, Style R, with violin, flute, cello, Vox Humana, xylophone, cathe.dral chimes, tremolo, bass drum, snare drum, cymbal, crash cymbal, triangle, organ swell, 88-note piano, castanets, tambourine, mandolin, tom-tom effect, telephone bell, doorbell, fire gong, horse trot, tympani effect, steamboat whistle, bird whistle, baby cry, wind siren and thunder effect.
Wurlitzer Pianino: A 44-note piano, the pianino was in production for more than 25 years although few remain

The music roll library, featuring more than 40,000 rolls.
today.
Wurlitzer LX: Introduced in mid-1921, the LX was the last in the keyboard orchestrions series. It has a piano with mandolin rail, 38 violin pipes, 38 flute pipes, a set of orchestra bells, bass drum, snare drum and triangle.
Wurlitzer Automatic Harp: Tiny mechanical fingers actually pluck the strings.
Wurlitzer Mandolin Quartette: It has 34 notes and a separate 27-note repeating mandolin mechanism. When a note plays in the mandolin section, the pneumatic pushes a wooden lever into the path of a rotating camshaft. This causes the small, hard felt-covered hammer to repeat rapidly against the strings producing a loud metallic tone. Dave Ramey has a wonderful video of the machine in action. Search YouTube for Wurlitzer Mandolin Quartette.
Wurlitzer Tonophone: The first Wurlitzer coin piano. The machines were made from 1899 to 1908. Early machines were made by DeKleist. The first machines used a 10-tune wooden Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra: cylinder and were later converted to Style 40 with piano, mandolin, 42 violin play Wurlitzer APP rolls. The Tono-pipes, 12 violas, 30 cellos, xylophone, phone in the collection is a barrel drums and percussion effects. These piano. machines were built by Philipps.

The Encore Banjo was the first coin-operated musical instru-A Regina Sublima Piano and Mandolin Orchestra powered by
ment, marketed in late 1896.
Wurlitzer Concert PianOrchestra: A Philipps Pianella Model 32 (Caecilia) with piano, 56 violins, 30 cellos, 30 violas, 26 saxophones, 30 flutes, 30 piccolos, 30 clarinets, 30 oboes, 26 French horns, chimes, bass and snare drums, triangle, tambourine, castanets, tremolo, kettle drum and cymbals.
Encore Banjo: This was the first coin-operated musical instrument, marketed in late 1896. It consists of four metal pickers and 40 leather-faced fingerings buttons. It has a two-octave range and many duplicate notes. It can play a melody and accompaniment at the same time.
Mills Bow-front Violano Virtuoso: This style was the commercial model and was popular from 1912-1915. The Mills is an electrically operated instrument, instead of the pneumatic systems used by most of the nickelodeons and

a spring motor that must be wound by hand.
orchestrions. It has a violin and piano.
Mills Double Violano Virtuoso: This style plays two violins and has a heavier piano than used in the home models. Both violins play the same notes.
Regina Sublima Piano and Mandolin Orchestra: This is powered by a spring motor which must be wound by hand. It plays a five-tune roll on heavy manila paper. Metal fingers read the perfora.tions. The piano hammer re-iterates, producing an effect like a mandolin.
Automatic Musical Company, Automatic Self-Playing Xylophone: Since the bars are metal, it is technically a glocken.spiel. It was made in 1905. This is the only example known to exist. It’s a solo instrument, having a xylophone only. The company was in Bingham.ton, NY, and would eventually become the Link Company.
Multiphone Cylinder Changer: This
can only roughly be described as a mechanical music machine. It is a coin-operated juke box that plays Edison cylinders. One of 24 cylinders can be selected.
And now we move on to some details of the European Machines in the collection.
Gloria Monopol Double-disk Music Box: This was sold by George Schneider and has his name in gold letters on the front. The two discs rotate in opposite directions, unlike most music boxes. It is known for its superb tone.
Weber Maestro: Musically one of the finest German orchestrions ever made. It has 112 pipes, 28 each of violins, flutes, trumpets/saxophones and clarinets. There is a three-speed vibrato, piano with mandolin attachment, 28-note xylophone, bass drum, tympani effect, snare drum,

The Hupfeld Excelsior Pan Orchester is the largest example of this type of machine ever made. It once played in the Postzegel Hotel in Holland but came to America in 1966. This machine is located above the Grand Salon in the music building.
cymbal, triangle, castanets, wood block and tambourine. It has a pipe and xylophone solo capability and an automatic register for piano treble.
Weber Brabo: This machine has a piano with mandolin, 28 violin pipes, vibrato and 28-note repeating xylo.phone. It has an elaborate expression mechanism. Solo instruments can be heard alone.
Welte Wotan: This is one of the Welte Brass Band Orchestrion series. The Wotan would replace a brass band of about 30 to 35 men. This instrument sold for $5,000 in 1912. This orches.trion has first and second cornets, first and second clarinets, trumpet, alto, trombone, French horn, baritone, bass, contra bass, saxophone, bour.don, piccolo, oboe, flutes, xylophone, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals and triangle. It is 12 feet, 9 inches high and 9 feet, 3 inches wide. The middle panel represents the fire scene from the Walküre picturing Siegfried and Brünnhilde.
Welte Style III Cottage Orchestrion: This beautiful orchestrion has 134 pipes and 44 notes. It has bass drum, tympani effect, snare drum, cymbal and triangle. It is 9 feet, 7 inches high.
Welte Philharmonic Organ Orchestrion: These machines were automatic pipe organs. They were supplied in various sizes and configurations.
Hupfeld Excelsior Pan Orchestra: This is the largest example ever made. It took two years to build and was delivered to the Postzegel Hotel in Holland. It remained there until it was acquired by Eugene DeRoy in 1966. He cared for it from the delivery date to the present. Using a heavily multi.plexed 124-note roll, several different orchestral voices could be played simultaneously. The piano portion is a reproducing piano so that original expression is maintained.
Hupfeld Helios Lb/29 Orchestrion: An overstrung piano with mandolin, regis.ters of pipes for violin, flute and cello, orchestral bells, bass drum, Chinese cymbal, snare drum and expression effects.
Hupfeld Phonoliszt Violana: A machine with three violins bowed by a circular horsehair bow. Mechanical fingers select the notes. A piano plays the accompaniment.
Mortier Style 41 Café Organ: It uses fully chromatic 84-key cardboard books. It has 311 pipes, bass drum, snare drum, cymbal and wood block. There are ranks of melody jazz flute, violin, and unda maris pipes. For countermelody, there is a Vox Celeste, flute and cello. There are also bass pipes.
Philipps Model 3 Paganini Orchestrion (Wurlitzer Paganini Violin Piano, Style 3) (on the fifth floor): This machine has 39 loud violins, 39 soft violins, 27

flageolets, 12 extended octave violins, 44-note harmonium (metal reeds) accompaniment and variable speed tremolo. This is the only surviving example imported and sold by Wurlitzer.
Philipps Keyboard Style Paganini Orchestrion Style 3: This machine has 117 pipes, 39 each of loud and soft violins, 27 flageolets, 12 high-octave violins, variable speed vibrato, 44 harmonium reeds and piano.
Popper Salon Orchestra No. 1: Manufactured from about 1912 until well into the 1920s, this was one of the most popular Popper models ever made. It consists of a piano, mandolin, xylophone, bells, bass and snare drums, cymbals and triangle. An extended rank of pipes is arranged in a double row and represents violin and cello. There is a harmonium as well. The top of the case has louvered swell shutters for expression. The front is a motion picture effect scene that is backlighted and shows two waxing and waning torches in the marble patio of an ancient Roman villa. It’s 9 feet, 4 inches high.
Popper Gladiator (No. 7) Symphony Orchestra: This machine has a piano, mandolin, xylophone, bells, piccolo flute, violin pipes, muted strings, violin solo, clarinet, flute, violoncello,

The Popper Gladiator is 14 feet wide and 11 feet, 4 inches tall. The Popper Iduna Orchestrion was built in 1915. It is located The Philipps Model 3 Paganini can play loud and soft violins.

in the automobile building.
viola, horn, bass flute, trombone, bass violin, bass, snare drum, kettle drum, cymbals and triangle. It’s 11 feet, 4 inches high by 14 feet wide. Four of these were sold in Belgium in the late 1920s. This example is the only one currently known to exist.
Popper Jazz Flute: This is one of the latest orchestrions made by Popper, dating from the late 1920s. Its modern case design is about 11 feet high. The featured solo instrument is the Swanee Whistle mounted in a niche on the front. Above this, there is a series of recessed panels which constantly change color. Instrumen.tation includes piano, mandolin, ranks of pipes including a large rank of saxophones, and drum and trap effects. This orchestrion has a jazz theme since the saxophone is the

It is the only surviving example of its kind.
most prominent pipe rank.
Popper Othello Orchestrion: The Popper catalogue states that it is a “Mechanical piano orchestrion with mandolin and xylophone. Othello is delivered in a tasteful case with painted glass panels and contains 31 piano keys, 18 of which operate the mandolin, 10 xylophone keys, drum, cymbals and triangle. Othello is delivered with two barrels, playing six different tunes.”
Popper Iduna Orchestrion (1915): This machine is located in the car building and provides an excellent background. It has a piano, mandolin, several ranks of pipes, xylophone, bells, drums, triangle and cymbal. It was billed by Popper as “A first class concert orchestra suitable also for dancing.”
I would like to acknowledge Q.
David Bowers and his “Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments” as well as Arthur Reblitz and his book, “The Golden Age of Automatic Musical Instruments,” for providing the detailed information on the instru.ments listed above.
Pianos
There are some truly remarkable pianos in the Nethercutt Collection. These include:
Hupfeld Triphonola: This is one of the most recent acquisitions. Prior to production of this model, Hupfeld had offered the Solophonola and Duoph.onola systems. This machine plays all 88 piano notes (unlike the Ampico and Duo-Art systems), with 10 notes for expression. The Duophonola and the Triphonola were identical except that the Triphonola has foot pedals for pumping in addition to an electric motor. The Triphonola was the first Hupfeld instrument with a tracking device (to keep the holes properly aligned on the tracker bar).

Erhbar Piano with Hupfeld DEA Vorsetzer: This very ornate piano was completed in 1898 and was a gift from the Friedrich Erhbar Company to Emperor Franz Josef in the year he celebrated his 50-year reign. It’s an Opus 10,000 and has a mahogany case with 18 coats of hand-rubbed Chinese lacquer and gold ormolu all the way around (representing the various provinces of Austria) applied over a green Chinese silk velvet background. It measures a full 8 feet, 10 inches long. The Hupfeld DEA Vorsetzer is the only reproducing system that appeared as both complete pianos and vorsetzers. A vorsetzer (literally front sitter) is a device that can be pushed up to a piano so that pneumatic fingers can actuate the keys.
The DEA used wide rolls, approxi.mately 16 inches across, and a 106-note tracker bar with 85 playing notes. The DEA had a very complex system with variable bass and treble divisions. Some of the greatest pianists recorded for the DEA. Among them were D’Al.bert, Busoni, Corot, Godowsky, Grieg, Landowska, Mascagni, Saint-Saëns, Plante, Reger, Scharwenka, Scriabin and others. Kyle said that the DEA is a very sensitive reproducing system.
Steinway “Villa Leon” Piano with Duo-Art Mechanism: In 1929, the Steinway Piano Company sent a nine-foot Concert Grand to the Aeolian Company and asked them to design a one-of-a-kind Louis XV art case to accommodate a special Duo-Art reproducing mechanism. Because the piano was located in an estate called the “Villa Leon” it is now known by that name.
Steinway Grand with Welte Red-Roll Vorsetzer: The Welte was the only company to offer a competing vorsetzer to the Hupfeld. The red-roll machines and the rolls are pretty rare now.
The Tel-Electric Piano Player: This machine is unusual in that is uses a brass roll (instead of paper), three thousandths of an inch thick. The roll The Wurlitzer Theatre Organ is encased in a cylinder 51/8 inches The showcase of the Nethercutt long. Collection is the beautiful Wurlitzer

Virtually every reproducing and 4/74 Theatre Organ. It’s the largest player piano system are represented theatre organ on the West Coast and in this collection. They are too numer-the third largest in the world. It has ous to mention here. 5,123 pipes and 74 ranks. The largest

Top photo: the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ console. Bottom photo: some of the 5,123 pipes the organ uses to produce music.
in the world is the Jasper Sanfilippo organ, a 5/80, which means five manu.als and 80 ranks. The second largest is the Organ Stop Pizza Organ in Mesa, AZ, with 4 manuals and 78 ranks.
The Nethercutts insist that every.thing on the showroom floor remain in pristine condition. The museum formerly employed eight or nine people in the music department, but now there’s just Kyle. It’s his respon.sibility to take care of everything, so he does all the restoration and main.tenance work except for any major piano tuning. A piano technician comes in to do that on a regular basis. Kyle tunes all the organ pipes himself.
Kyle says his main focus is to make sure the organ is always playable. There are enough instruments in the collection that one can be rotated off the floor if it needs to be serviced, but this one organ is unique and must play for every single tour.
Kyle said there was one day it didn’t play and he heard an earful about it. I asked about servicing the organ and suggested that there must be a million relays. He said there might originally have been that many, but now it’s all solid state. They use the Uniflex system because the organ is so big.
Kyle says the organ is an amazing instrument and notes it is thrilling to play. He fires it up every morning and plays for half an hour to an hour. He makes sure he plays every note, to see if there’s anything dead. The organ is 97 years old, so it’s common for things to quit working. Magnets can die or pneumatics blow out on a daily basis. Most of the organ was re-leathered in 1984 and then more of it was done in 1993.
The museum has a collection of thousands of LP records featuring organ music with Leon Berry (who played the Nethercutt organ), George Wright (who, unfortunately never played there), Rex Khoury, Tom Hazelton, Ron Rhodes and Lyn Larsen. Many of these people were like house organists.
Instrument Maintenance
I asked Kyle if he ever had to move machines into the shop to work on them. Kyle said there are special hoists built into the organ and into the workshop on the fifth floor. There is a freight elevator for the orchestrions. All the machines are on wheels. The wheels can be unlocked from their stationary position and then the machines can be wheeled into the freight elevator. I asked what happens if a gear or a metal part breaks. Kyle said he takes the part into the auto shop and the guys there make him a new one. If they can’t make a part, they send it out and have it done by a specialist. The machine shop guys have a cloth wire-wrapping machine so they can duplicate any part in any instrument or any part in any car as long as they have an original part or details of what the original cloth-wrapped wire measurement looked like.

I asked Kyle if he really has the dream job, and he said yes but added that it’s still a lot of work. Kyle said the keys to keeping it fun are to not take too many things apart, keep a level head and prioritize. He said if he gets bored or frustrated with one machine, he moves on to another because it gives him a fresh plate from which to work. All the maintenance and restoration work has to take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because Kyle gives tours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. He takes Sundays and Mondays off.
Temperature and humidity in the museum buildings are kept constant. Many of these instruments came from a damp Europe to a dry California and there would be problems without regulation. The humidity is kept at 40 percent to 60 percent. If there were to be two or three hours without regu.lation, the instruments might start to misbehave, or there would be cyphers, and mistracking. Plus, the paper would change, too. The downside to keeping the humidity so high is that the relative dampness tends to rust the wires fastening the crystals in the chandeliers hanging from the ceilings.

I imagine, however, these wires can be replaced a lot more easily than repair.ing the mechanical music machines constantly. Remember that Sylmar, CA, is almost the desert, so conditions are very dry.
New Acquisitions and Donations
I asked about acquiring instru.ments. Kyle said the first thing they do is heavy research. For example, the Triphonola is in a very bizarre case. It looks simple from under the case, but when you start taking things apart, it’s a whole other story. Kyle hasn’t had much of a chance to work on it yet because it has an extremely low priority.
I asked how they decided what rolls to add to the collection. Kyle said they are generally not too picky about it, except for standard 88-note rolls because they already have so many. I found that funny because the player piano outlasted all of the other instruments as did the art of making rolls for them. You can get rolls for music written a few years ago. Reproducing rolls are very important and if someone offers these rolls, Kyle said he will absolutely take them regardless of whether they would be duplicates or not because they do need to be preserved. Duplicates are important because the probability that a roll might be ruined while playing is relatively high, Kyle said. Plus, “We are in earthquake country and things do happen, so you never know,” he added.
Kyle said they lost quite a few rolls in the 1994 earthquake, not because of the shaking but because one of the main water lines broke. It flooded the roll room and anything that was six inches to a foot off the floor was destroyed. The good thing was nobody was hurt and the machines in the collection were safe.
I mentioned that people might want to donate instruments to the museum. Kyle said he would dearly love to have a band organ. “That would be so much fun, to display near the train for special events,” he said. The Neth.ercutts are open to donations being made to the collection. I mentioned that when people donate instruments or rolls to the Smithsonian or similar organizations, they are generally just shelved or maybe even thrown out. In the Nethercutt Collection it is quite the opposite. When they get donations, Kyle said the machines and rolls will be used. They don’t want something that is just going to sit there. They get offers all the time for pump pianos, but they can’t take those. Kyle said that, lately, there has been a spate of square grands offered as donations.
He said that as beautiful as they were for furniture, they are useless as musi.cal instruments.
The spirit of the collection is so nice. It has a very warm feeling. J.B. Nethercutt said that the purpose of the collection would be to preserve and not to hoard. His collected cars are taken out and driven. His instru.ments are kept in pristine working condition and played on a daily basis. His collection lives on.
CEO Jack Nethercutt also loves the instruments. He’s the oldest son of the founder. He used to be a professional racer. When he hosts special guests, he often wants people to hear the “Phan.tom of the Opera” medley played by Lyn Larsen and Chris Gorsuch’s rendi.tion of “Chattanooga Choo-Choo.”
Plans for the future
The entire collection was converted into a foundation in 2003-2004, just prior to J.B Nethercutt’s passing, so it will be well protected for a long time. It cannot be sold off or liquidated, and any profits from any sale would have to go back into the foundation, not to the family. J.B. planned very well to protect his work and his son has been doing a very good job of taking it into the next generation. Jack’s wife has done a great job of assisting and adding her input to the collection as well. There will be more generations to come.
The website, www.nethercuttcol.lection.org features an equal balance between cars and music.
If you find yourself in the Los Ange.les area, the Nethercutt Collection should be on your must-see list. It’s an absolutely fabulous place to visit and words can’t do justice to the thrill of seeing all the instruments in action. Best of all, as mentioned before, all the tours are entirely free to the public.

Email Matt Jaro at mjaro@verizon. net if you would like any information about style “A”, “G”, “4X”, “H” or “O” rolls. Also, comments and suggestions for this column will be appreciated.
Reprinted with permission of the author and The Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association (AMICA). Originally printed in the January-February 2016 issue of The AMICA Bulletin.

A ‘Family Affair’
The Intriguing Tale of an Imhof & Mukle Flute Organ
By Henry Bennett

It was a rainy afternoon in the autumn of 1963 when, as a bored teenager, I accompanied my mother to collect something she remembered from her childhood home. We drove into a dark wood near the village of Eastleach in the Cotswolds that intrigued me as it was known as Macaroni Wood. I was further intrigued when we came to a rectangular clearing deep in the wood and a gloomy looking Nissen Hut left over from a secret World War II camp. My mother produced a key and inside was a verita.ble Aladdin’s cave of stuffy Victorian artefacts which had been hastily removed from nearby Hatherop Castle when it was requisitioned for wartime use by the military. Ignoring chandeliers and stuffed animal trophies galore, my eyes lit on a couple of wooden cases on the floor, one bulging with iron wheels and levers, the other stacked with strange looking wooden organ pipes. I was learning to play the organ at school and, typical for a boy, had become fasci.nated by their complicated mechanisms. But what on earth was this? All carefully packed up, but the pipes were not normal pipes and I could see a mass of lead tubing but no keyboard. “Oh, that’s the old Flute Organ” said my mother casually and continued rummaging around. But on the way home I quizzed her endlessly and begged to have another look. Thinking back, it reminds me now of Tutankhamun’s Tomb! We lived on a farm and had a large outhouse where we boys spent our days with games and gadgets. A plan rapidly developed in my head to approach the relevant uncle and my long-suffering parents and persuade them all that I was just the one to rescue the instrument, whatever it might turn out to be. I have no memory of who helped, for help was certainly needed, but a trailer was found and in due course an extremely heavy object found its way to our outhouse.
For a period of at least two years I was left entirely to myself on the project. I knew nothing myself and obviously my family knew even less, but they listened to my daily frustrations with great patience and helped where they could. At first it was just a matter of careful dismantling and observation. Then gradual replacement of worn mate.rials. Looking back on my youth and the marked isolation of our life on the farm, I have no idea how I was able to obtain leather of the right grade or master the art of mixing
Members attending the 2019 convention held in Rockville may have attended one of the workshops presented by British member, Alison Biden, featuring three unusual instruments in Britain with precarious futures. One is an orchestrion made by Imhof and Mukle, currently mouldering on the Scottish island of Rum, while a team of dedicated would-be-rescuers try to raise the funds to have it restored. As a consequence of their activity, there are a number of articles about this instrument posted on the internet. Sometime during the late Summer of 2020, MBSI Award-winning author Kevin McElhone, was contacted by a gentleman by the name of Henry Bennett, who had learned about Kevin and the Musical Box Society of Great Britain through his on-line research as he sought information about Imhof & Mukle, makers of a flute organ he had just taken possession of.
Henry was keen to meet others who might share his passion for similar instruments, so his request was passed to the Editor of the MBSGB’s magazine The Music Box. During their conversation it transpired that Henry’s flute organ had been in his family for generations, but had had a somewhat vagabond life since he had first seen it as a child. He had finally had it completely restored professionally – and on visiting the workshop of restorers Goetze & Gwynn had met the great-grandson of no lesser a person than Daniel Imhof himself.
This is music to an editor’s ears – what a story! Henry Bennett was persuaded to write an article about his flute organ. And what a story it turned out to be.
hot animal glue, though miraculously we already had the proper cast iron glue pot and we came to love the smell of the glue. The main feeder bellows were simply a matter of copying what was done before. There were three pairs of these, two pairs to supply the wind for the pipes and the third pair working in opposite mode to provide a vacuum for the playing mechanism. But that mechanism was far more delicate, a three-stage process where each note is triggered by a row of tiny needles popping up through holes punched in the paper music roll. These needles let air into two rows of “puffers,” about the size of a matchbox and lined with very thin leather. They in turn are connected to larger bellows, the size of fish fingers, which collapse under vacuum, and those are the fingers which play the notes. In

Joe Marsden, left, and Dominic Gwynn, one of the partners in the organ building firm of Goetz & Gwynn, coaxing the flute organ across the author’s garden to spend a year undergoing a complete professional restoration.
theory of course! I do remember the endless persistence and some major setbacks. How, for instance, to cover the little “puffers” which required some extremely thin and sensitive material. My mother “came up trumps” – she had a whole drawer full of ladies’ white kid gloves, a relic from the halcyon days of grand dinner parties and dances in the house where the organ used to play. She allowed me to cut them all up into 66 small squares and glue them in place. At last, everything was back in place for the great test, the first sounds in 50 years, and I pressed the button – but absolutely nothing – complete silence! That got me talking to a wider circle and I happened on an organ builder who sent me some Zephyr pigskin made from unborn piglets. I still remember it arriving and starting the laborious process all over again, and with much better results. Then the original 1905 electric motor was thought to be unusable so I bought something second-hand with my pocket money on Exchange & Mart. It was pale green and completely unsuitable, and the result was a scary rendition of the Corelli “Pastorale” played at least double speed! The orig.inal motor had a wonderful switch comprising two open pots of mercury into which prongs of a fork dipped in and out with blinding flashes (which had terrified my mother as a girl). Sadly, that switch has been lost but eventually I was able to adapt the original motor which still ran as good as new in perfect silence.
It was only when these first faltering steps progressed to some amazingly virtuoso, yet wholly unreliable, performances that anyone (besides me) took the slightest interest in the flute organ. Only at that point did my mother mention that my uncle still had the original organ case where it took pride of place in his house as a very splendid

Joe Marsden, of Goetze & Gwynn, was in charge of the restoration.
wardrobe. Nothing is ever complicated when one is young, but I can imagine now that she needed a great deal of tact in persuading her brother to give up his main wardrobe for his nephew’s white elephant project. But, it seemed to me quite normal that we should turn up at his house with a trailer and remove it. The instrument then came together properly for the first time in 50 years. It had probably not functioned since before the First World War. Its future was bound to be precarious. Initially, I loaned the instrument to a village museum in Bibury where it shared company with ancient water wheels and flour milling machinery, and there it languished while I went off to university.
Parental pressure then piled on, and a scheme was hatched whereby John Bailey, an organ builder friend from Bishops and Sons in Ipswich, undertook to restore the instrument to greater reliability and loan it to the Cotton Mechanical Music Museum in Stowmarket. Our family heirloom went out of my life entirely for some 40 years. I entered working life and this obsession of teenage years was forgotten entirely.
But not for ever.

Is this what they mean by second childhood? Approach.ing retirement, I looked back one day and suddenly wondered what had become of the old flute organ? I rang my long-lost friend. It was as if breaking a spell. The Cotton Museum had just reported to him that they could no longer house the instrument unless they owned it, so what should he do? By any standards this was still a white elephant of a musical box but could I really let it go? Surely, all problems are meant to be solved!
Our garden near Cambridge had a small barn which was nearly collapsed but the flint walls and tiled roof had been rebuilt. Cold in winter, cool in summer, it was much like a church, in fact, so why not have an organ in there? It was a real retirement project. Soon it became obvious that the flute organ’s decades in the museum had been far too peaceful. Its whole life had been a cycle of triumphs, doldrums and rescues, and my white elephant was clearly once again not functioning. Would it return to a peaceful slumber once more? Not yet. This lucky machine’s fortunes would turn anew as I was introduced to the firm of Goetze & Gwynn in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. They were dedicated

Thomas Bazley, the author’s great-grandfather, on his Otto Dicycle in Cirencester.
to the restoration of historic pipe organs and to the manu.facture of new classical organs, including reconstructions of historic organs. My brother worked for the firm but, since a 19th century orchestrion was hardly typical of their normal work, I had never dreamt of involving them. To my surprise, Dominic Gwynn, one of the partners, heard about the project and was obviously intrigued. He contacted me. He had the perfect person, Joe Marsden, who loved complicated mechanisms to set to work on it. So the next thing I saw was Dominic and Joe coaxing my flute organ across our garden to spend a year under their tender care.
Meanwhile, a little history? The organ was built in 1862 in Vöhrenbach in the Black Forest, Germany. This is the region famous for its cuckoo clocks often built by farm.ing families to keep themselves busy during cold winter months. Vöhrenbach became the hub for more and more complex musical devices that appealed to rich customers throughout Europe and America before the advent of gramophones or radio. This one is signed by F. Heine, one of a large family in the orchestrion business, probably Fidel noted in the catalogue of the Black Forest trade exhibition in 1858, where it says, “Fidel Heine from Vöhrenbach – a lovely Viennese flute work with 2 rollers, in which the lovely flute tone is particularly praised.” The family traded with their friend Daniel Imhof (more on him later), who
Pipes on their way from the backyard barn to the restoration shop of Goetz & Gwynn.
also set up a base in London to serve the new market being fuelled by the industrial revolution.
My great-grandfather Thomas Bazley moved down to Gloucestershire in 1867 from Manchester where he had prospered in the cotton industry. He was a true Victorian polymath, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, with wide ranging interests in every new development. He was a keen astronomer and one of his telescopes has just been restored to full use in Southport, Lancashire. He owned a Holtzappfel lathe and produced intricate engine turned works in ivory. He wrote the definitive book on the Geometric Chuck used to produce the complex patterns on bank notes designed to prevent forgery. He gave Glouces.ter Cathedral their new tower clock. He also had a Welte Mignon piano player with wooden keys to fit over a piano keyboard.
The flute organ was procured for him by Daniel Imhof in London. We don’t know the exact date, but we do have a letter from 1964 recalling the “Flute Instrument” in 1897, still with large wooden barrels 30 inches to 36 inches long and wound up with a tool like a car handle. Apparently, it did not stop itself, and there is a note stating, “I never hear the end of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto without remembering the wild dash down the library to put it off lest it spoil the barrel.” I hope that Mendelssohn would

The collection of cassettes featuring classical music that are used to play the flute organ.
have been amused that such wonderful music could be pinned onto a wooden barrel!
The letter says that Thomas Bazley’s son had it “elec.trified,” or converted to a pneumatic system designed by Imhof & Mukle during the early years of the century, The letter writer adds that Imhof & Mukle were later asked to repair the flute organ when it no longer worked but was told “they no longer do that kind of thing – they only go in for wireless etc.” World War I dashed all hopes of repair, and in fact nothing is then heard of the instrument until I discovered it myself in 1963 carefully packed away. The house itself continued in full swing between the wars. One hears of parties and even motor rallies, but I suspect the flute organ, large though it was, simply languished.
Meanwhile, back in the workshop, the flute organ was now receiving proper treatment at last, bearing in mind that every stage was new and experimental. The original maker’s signature was discovered inside some wind trunking but all his work was found to be in generally good condition and superbly made. The Imhof & Mukle mechanism added later was more complex and required much more care and adjustment, including replacement of all leather work.
Naturally, something so different attracted much interest from the usual clientele and led by a happy coincidence to the appearance of Nicholas Frayling, retired Dean of Chichester Cathedral, for the very good reason that he was the great-grandson of Daniel Imhof. A special meeting was arranged in the workshop for him and myself, great-grand.sons of the maker and purchaser respectively, and we marked the completion of the restoration with a grand performance of Wagner’s overture from “Tannhäuser.”
The organ has 150 wooden pipes all with round mouths, commonly termed Viennese Flute and somewhat unusual in normal organ design. These are played from wooden cassettes of manila paper, 200 millimetres wide and extremely tough. Spring-loaded needles pop up through holes punched in the card and trigger a three-stage vacuum pneumatic mechanism. The pipes are arranged in three ranks, or ‘stops,’ of loud, medium and soft, controlled by needles at the edge of the roll to vary the volume, and another needle rewinds the music at the end and switches the motor off.

The original collection was 26 cassettes of classical music, Beethoven, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, etc. Sadly, during its itinerant history, a few of the rolls became separated and were lost. It would be lovely to trace them.
Their general character is very lively but sweet toned, very redolent of a bygone era before gramophones brought music in the home to a wider public.
And so this chequered history of over 150 years ends on a happy note, for the time being at least. But what of the future? It was always perhaps a rarity, many would say a White Elephant, but nonetheless a fascination. I would love to hear from anyone with interest in or knowledge of anything similar, or with ideas for its future. Obviously it would be sad for the family connection to be broken after so many years, but if this article results in any new connec.tions that would certainly be good.
Editor’s note: Please make contact with Henry in the first instance by emailing: editor@mbsgb.org.uk
Update on Imhof & Mukle Flute Organ
The original article by Henry Bennett featuring the story of his Imhof & Mukle flute organ appeared in Vol 29, No 7 (Autumn 2020) of The Music Box. At the end of the

The finished product safely installed back in the author’s backyard barn.
article there was a request from the author for anyone with relevant knowledge or interest to contact him. Nicholas Simons responded, and it is thanks to him that we have another piece in the history of this instrument.
“I am pleased to see your article in the latest Music Box magazine. I immediately recognised your organ as I had seen it a few times previously. I first saw it in the late 1980s (I think it was around then) when I visited Harold Smith of Saddington Hall. Harold was a very well-known collector in the early days of our society and lived in a ramshackle large house in Leicestershire. He had a large wide-ranging collection which included the famous 97-key Imhof barrel orchestrion, now at the Speyer museum. I became good friends with him up to his death in 2001. Your organ was sitting at the back of his large entrance hall, and Harold told me that he was looking after it for a friend, John Bailey. A few years later it had gone, to be replaced by a Model W Orchestrelle. Harold showed me a couple of music cassettes that he had liberated from the original collection, as payment for looking after the organ. I explained to him that he would probably never be able to sell these, as such were made specif.ically for each organ and were not standard scales. Harold was a law unto himself and it was best to never disagree with him, on pain of never being spoken to again. We continued to be friends with Harold and Nora up to his death in 2001 and Nora’s move to a much more comfortable house locally.
Harold’s collection was sold by Gildings on 28 May 2002 and I have checked my catalogue of the sale. It appears the two cassettes had disappeared before the sale, where to one cannot know.
I saw the organ again on my many visits to the Cotton museum, and was told it was owned by John Bailey. The organ was nonfunctional. I wrote to John expressing an interest to buy, but received no reply.
I am pleased that you have returned the organ to its right.ful place in your family, and have had it restored. I’m sure it will give much pleasure to you and your family for many generations to come.”
To which Henry replied:

“My copy of the magazine arrived yesterday and it is so
impressive! … the front cover is very striking – it teaches one
how powerful a picture can become in the right hands.
Wonderful too that extra glimpse of life in the hands of Harold Smith. My brother now recalls going there with John Bailey, but hadn’t told me, and would not have known about the missing cassettes (of which there are four) …”
Henry’s search for those missing cassettes continues. If anyone reading this thinks they can help locate them, please do get in touch via the editor of The Music Box (who incidentally was introduced to MBSGB by the very same Harold Smith). Henry’s organ is now in its permanent location at home, accompanied by a large portrait of his great-great grandfather, father of the original owner.
Latest on Imhof & Mukle Flute Organ Rolls
From Henry Bennett:
“You will recall the recent article in the Autumn edition of this publication. Documenting the history of this Imhof & Mukle instrument has been the perfect Lockdown Project. Starting with a family letter recalling it playing in 1897, I now have a much clearer idea of its more recent history. A photograph discovered only in December shows me restoring the organ in 1963/4 aged 18, but it needed a more secure plan for the future. Our friend John Bailey was to complete repairs and arrange a long-term loan to the Cotton Collec.tion in Stowmarket. It left our house in about 1978 bound for Ipswich, but found a temporary home with Harold Smith in Saddington near Leicester until Bishop and Sons, Organ Builders, were ready to take it for repair. It was then housed by the Cotton Collection for some twenty years before going to Bishop and Sons and then finally back to me in 2010.
“I was aware of four missing music rolls, but another of the photographs just discovered from the 1960’s shows that the full set (or at least those that survived the house parties of the inter-war period) totalled 29 music rolls, which indicated that somehow seven rolls had gone missing. I am delighted to report that the articles in The Music Box have led directly to the recovery of two of them. These were given to Richard Cole, for safe keeping, by Harold Smith before he died. Real.ising that such rolls were specific to just one instrument, Richard lodged them in the Musical Museum near Kew with a clear note of origin, and it was a very happy moment when he was able to match organ and music rolls and I was able to meet him and return them to the original set.
“(As an aside: I had no knowledge of the Saddington Hall episode or the Musical Museum involvement when I wrote the first article – all I knew was that the organ had been housed in the Cotton Collection sometime during its ‘absence.’ That, however, is no excuse for my jumping to the conclusion that four rolls had disappeared while in its care, and offer my apologies for having suggested this.)
“However, Sherlock Holmes would still be intrigued. Somehow, somewhere, in this short period of residence with Harold Smith, it seems seven rolls became separated from the collection. Of these, two have now been returned, another located, and there is a suggestion that a further two went to Germany. The final two may still be adorning the shelves of people uncertain of their true origin.
“I am a new member of the Society and can well imagine additional happy outcomes from this story. This is such an unusual instrument, being dedicated purely to classical music, and it would be wonderful if the publicity can some.how trace its remaining missing repertoire. Such a happy reunion might even lead to the “Flute Organ” eventually finding a good home. I am now retired and I will not be able to enjoy it and look after it for ever! So, if this jogs any memories or prompts any thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact the Editor.
“It would also be good to meet other people with similar interests, when this is permitted.”

A low-tech tuning lead repair
By Jamie Brewer
I so enjoy reading about the involved restorations documented in Mechan.ical Music. Many of these articles describe repairs that are way beyond the scope of the average hobbyist’s skill set. I have background training in watchmaking, so that greatly helps in problem solving of the mechanical stuff I collect. Unfortunately for me, I never have had the luxury of a high-tech workshop.
Looking back to 120-plus years ago, I see a world with a much different mechanical environment as compared to the electronics age we now live in. Maintaining a Ford Model T in the first quarter of the 20th century is an example of how a person with average skills could keep an internal combus.tion engine operational. Automotive repair tips were even given in popular songs. My favorite “Ford tip” is from “The Little Ford Rambled Right Along,” which advises, “If the power gets thick, just hit it with a brick!” This last verse can be found on the Edison issue of that song as the diamond disc and Blue Amberol cylinders had a longer playback time versus a 78 rpm record.
Well, back to my story. I needed
to do some soundboard repair to my Mermod Frères Sublime Harmonie Piccolo box. The inner workings had been restored a few years earlier and the work included installing new leads for the lower comb. In my collecting experience, those lower combs seem to be prone to what collectors call “lead disease.”
I’ve learned from restorers that when soldering a new block of lead to the comb to replace old corroding tuning weights, it can be a crap shoot for the entire block to fully bond.
When I lifted the works out of the case of my sublime harmonie box, I

A folded piece of copy paper coated with Scotch tape was used as a cradle to hold the lead in place while the epoxy cured.
was not happy to find a stray piece of lead resting on the soundboard instead of connected to the comb tooth where it had once been attached.
In my opinion, replacing a tuning lead should be a simple problem to remedy, even for a hobbyist. The last thing I wanted to do was to remove the comb and ship it away. I also did not want to have to send the entire box out to a restorer for repair to correct what seemed to me like a minor and solvable problem.
I should also mention that for decades I enjoyed the National Public Radio show called “Car Talk,” that was hosted by Tom and Ray Magliozzi. They will spend eternity known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers.” The brothers spent their airtime giving car maintenance advice and bantering with each other. The Tappet brothers always offered two stock pieces of advice as last resort measures for two common vehicle problems.
The first advice covered the instance of an engine that might be worn out, making noise or burning oil. In this case, they advised adding any oil concoction with “Marvel,” “Mystery,” or “Electric” in the product descrip.tion. For years I carried a bottle of Marvel Mystery Oil that I added to my ticking engine that had started making noises after 200,000 miles. The second piece of advice from the Tappet broth.ers related to patching or gluing parts together. They always recommended “J B Weld” as their product of choice. They would always say, “We don’t know what it’s made with. All we know is that it works!”
I could write a book about how J B Weld has bailed me out of some night.mare repairs in many of the jobs I’ve done over the years. The following will be just a few short paragraphs explaining how J B Weld fixed my particular problem with a detached tuning lead.
To begin with, I knew I definitely didn’t want to risk messing up the temper of the comb or melting the tuning lead into a puddle by trying to solder this piece of lead back in place. I theorized that by utilizing a little bit of J B Weld instead I would lose nothing but a small amount of my own time if it didn’t work. The lead would just fall off again and I could then just remove the comb and send it off to a professional restorer to do the job.
Preparing for the task at hand, I figured the easiest way to clamp this repair in place would be to use an improvised cradle. I folded a piece of copy paper from my printer over and over so that it would be just thick enough to make a snug fit between each of the adjoining teeth of the comb. I covered this paper cradle in Scotch tape so any stray epoxy would not adhere to the paper and cause it to stick to the metal. I didn’t want to have to clean excess paper bits off the comb when I was done. I made a few dry runs sliding the lead into place before I mixed the epoxy.
I found it did not require much glue to be applied to both the tooth and tuning lead to achieve my goal. Once the lead was placed into the cradle, it was carefully snugged into place onto the comb tooth.
The hardest part was not touching the repair for 24 hours to allow for a full cure. Once fully cured, I took a thin razor blade and ran it between the tape-covered paper, the tooth, and the tuning lead. Only a tiny bit of glue had oozed onto the tape. Once the paper cradle was separated from the glue, it was carefully removed. Joyfully, I saw that the lead stayed in place.
The excess dried epoxy was shaved off the tooth sides with the razor blade. To be double sure of a good bond, I added a bit more epoxy to the entire perimeter of lead/tooth joint and allowed it to cure for another 24 hours. This was again smoothed over with the thin razor blade.
This low-tech repair was done nearly two years ago and is still hold.ing strong.

Let’s 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 editor@mbsi.org, call (253) 228-1634
or mail to: Mechanical Music 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449

In a screen grab from a video posted to YouTube, girls can be seen dancing in the streets of London while an organ grinder provides the music. The video was shot in 1896. Smartphone users can scan the QR code in the corner of the image to be taken directly to the video online.
The Italian Organ Grinder:
His Life Revealed
By Dr. Robert Penna
Over the years, much has been written about grinder instruments played in parks and on the streets in the 19th and early 20th centuries to entertain the masses. Several articles can be found describing the instru.ments and their manufacturers, but that is not the focus here. This article concentrates on the people turning the cranks. The people who played these instruments, called by different names in different localities, sought not only to make a living, but to also provide entertainment. Children and young people often danced to the tunes as the organ grinder turned a handle to activate the mechanism. An example of this behavior can be seen in a video from 1896 showing young girls dancing in the street on Drury Lane, London. Well worth the few minutes it takes to watch, the video can be found at https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=xFRdEGPr5zo.
Whether it was a street piano or grinder organ, the results of the music filling the air were often the same. Many people enjoyed, some tolerated and many hated the grinders and the music they played. Perhaps for those who disliked the grinders it was because of the repetition of songs or the squeaking and wheezing of a poorly-maintained instrument. Others may have loathed the music because it was a bit out-of-tune. There may have even been some who disliked the sounds because it attracted crowds of children who would laugh or sing along. Or, perhaps there were other more subtle reasons that this article will attempt to uncover.

Reasons detailed in previous arti.cles by this author and other writers have explained why this type of music disappeared from the streets over time. According to Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume, the disappearance of organ grinders from European streets was in large part due to the early application of national and interna.tional copyright laws. “At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, European publishers of sheet music and holders of copyrights to the most popular operatic tunes of the day banded together to enforce collection of performance duties from any musician playing their property in any venue. When faced with notaries and the hounding of legal representa.tives of the music industry of the time, organ grinders began to disappear.”1 Yet, this cannot be the sole reason as we know that in the case of the steinkjerpositives, Norwegian grinder organs, barrels were pinned with local music gleaned from songs the fiddlers played at weddings and celebratory gatherings and thus were not subject to similar legal issues.2
Another assumption put forth for the demise of organ grinders explains that the rise of the movie industry, radio and the phonograph brought about a decline in the number of organ grinders able to make a living.3 This is a logical theory, yet it does not explain why a vast number of restrictive laws were passed outlawing grinders in cities and towns across the United States and Great Britain. In fact, so many laws were passed in large cities and small towns declaring these auto.matic musical instruments and the practice of grinding them illegal that authorities often encouraged police.men to treat the grinders as beggars or public nuisances.4 The result of these laws and their over-enthusiastic enforcement was that barrel organ grinders were systematically hounded out of existence. In my opinion, this is truly a sad commentary on municipal governments.

Fewer organ grinders to play the instruments meant many instruments and barrels were destroyed or discarded as scrap. In some instances, those barrels contained the only record of the popular music of the day. The loss of a barrel meant there was no longer any trace of the songs recorded on it. Some music of the era was undoubtedly lost.5
But what if there might be another more insidious reason for these attacks on organ grinders? The indi.viduals who practiced this profession were not wealthy nor were they influential. Organ grinders tended to be marginalized members of society. There were some who were amputee veterans from the civil war, who, because of loss of a limb, could no longer do manual labor.6 A small number of African Americans tried to earn a living as organ grinders, but with no formal education and facing heavy racial discrimination not many succeeded in this venture. The vast majority of grinders were recent immigrants. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Italian organ grinders flooded the United States. When cities became rife with husker grinders, these men would move to smaller and smaller towns always hoping to reap the benefits of being a novel entertainment.
Let us look at the lives of these individuals. Organ grinders were a hard-working group of men who either pushed a mechanism on a cart or carried it with a strap across their shoulders, often resting it upon a pole when cranking the instrument. They spent their days standing at one location or tiredly walking the streets for hours. Day by day, usually seven days a week, these men worked through any changes in weather. Cold bitter winds of winter, or a sudden shower, or hot summer days standing in a burning sun, did not deter these individuals. After all, if you and your family relied on small change from passersby or neighborhood children, likely you had to overcome all those hardships in order to survive.

Nowadays photos of these grinders are viewed with nostalgia. Who were these men? Photographs demonstrate that they filled every age group from children to old men. Yet, one wonders how 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? Where did they live? Why were they harassed?
Research shows that from the middle to late 1800s the large numbers of Italian immigrants came to the United States to escape poverty and the harsh conditions which followed the unifi.cation of Italy. True of all immigrants moving to a major city, they sought to live near others of their home country. That is why, even today, there are sections known as Little Italy, Greek Town, Chinatown and others. These special neighborhoods offered stores which carried goods with which the immigrants were familiar. People in their neighborhoods spoke the same language and their specific customs were recognized and not suspected.
A study of this era shows Italian immigrant organ grinders lived in appalling conditions. Low rents encouraged them to move to the poor.est, most rundown neighborhoods. Many old tenement houses in these areas were turned into basic boarding houses and most of these living spaces were squalid and unhygienic with no running water. Trying to survive in these miserable, damp, overcrowded conditions that were rife with disease and often infested with rats, the unwary immigrant could easily became a virtual slave to unscrupulous padrones.7 Padrone is an Italian term that originally meant an employer who provides living arrangements and controls common laborers.
Young Italian children were espe.cially targeted for exploitation. Agents of padrones would recruit youngsters from poor remote villages whose families had no idea they were sending their children into these conditions. The children would accompany the street musicians and beg for pennies. Sometimes, as they grew older, they would crank the barrel organs them.selves. Yet all their earnings had to be handed over to the padrone. If they did not earn enough, they would be

An artist’s sketch depicts the mob that gathered in New Orleans, LA, in 1891 to “avenge” the police chief’s murder. Photo courtesy Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group Editorial/UIG via Getty Images
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.8
Very few of these immigrants were fortunate enough to have their own street organs. The less fortunate wretches would have to hire a weighty contraption for the day, which they then had to transport by carrying it slung over their backs. 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 some pennies. For those who couldn’t afford their own street organs and had to rent, rental costs were set at such a rate that many grinders did not produce enough of a profit to escape the life of poverty.9
To make matters so much worse, it was an era where extreme national.ism reigned in the United States. All immigrants faced prejudice. Not only did African Americans face intoler.ance, but so did any who were new

The caption for this photo reads: “An organ grinder. Here is a familiar street scene, no less entertaining and amusing because so often before our doors. It is a jolly Italian family and the donkey, it is pleasant to remark, looks as satisfied and happy as the baby. There is no case here for the attention of the Humane Society, which is more than can be said of all foreign families who come to our shores. The organ, prudently done up in a mackintosh, is one of hose melancholy instruments that drone forth selections from ‘Faust’ and the ‘Barber of Seville’ with a wheezy catch in its strings and a pause when the performer collects a nickel. Sometimes the handle goes around without making any tune until there is a little click inside and away it goes on ‘Wacht Am Rhein’ or the ‘Marseillaise.’ No fine discriminator is our organ grinder. He plays ‘The Dead March’ with a hop-skip-and-a-jump, and his liveliest waltz with slow ponderous measure that would make even the donkey go asleep. While the music of a street piano will perhaps fail to give the liveliest satisfaction to a cultivated ear, it certainly affords great entertainment for that portion of society known as the ‘street gamin,’ whose opportunities for hearing any kind of music are very limited, with a corresponding increase in his capacity for enjoying it. There is still an Old World flavor about the group which has not had time to get rubbed off against our American ways. When we note the expression on the faces, especially that of the little girl in her mother’s arms, there can be no question that the picture was taken directly from life.”
arrivals to this country. Signs appeared in windows cautioning newcomers with “Irish Need Not Apply,” or “We Do Not Serve Germans,” and “No Jobs for Italians.” According to Tony Hernandez on a blog post at the Immigrant Archive Project, “it’s worth noting that this anti-immigrant fervor usually subsides. And more often than not, the newcomer is eventually woven into the fabric of America.”10
But that didn’t happen until after many of the immigrants grinding organs had suffered and died. At the time that this jingoistic attitude perme.ated our society, the Italian immigrant organ grinder was an especially easy target. Working alone outside of the neighborhood in which he lived, he was often victimized by belligerent groups. Gangs and bullies extorted money and most police did not offer protection for the poor immigrant grinder. Lacking language skills to express himself, he was often blamed for crimes he did not commit.
A prime example of how the media of the time supported injustices appeared in an editorial found in Puck Magazine. Originally printed Apr. 15, 1891, it seems to justify attacks on Italian immigrants and Italian organ grinders. The article unsympathet.ically describes the plight of the average organ grinder and his monkey. If the article had stopped at this point, it would have been somewhat informative, even though it mocked the Italian’s language skills with such phrases as “nice-a-man,” “the lady who give-a ten cents,” and “Lady-who-seta da dog on.”
The article goes on to describe the politics between Italy and the United States at the time, claiming that the Italian government had overreacted to a “recent breach of the peace in New Orleans” and had withdrawn their diplomats. In the article, the “breach of the peace” was not described. Perhaps the audience was cognizant about what this “breach of the peace” was, perhaps not. As readers of this article some 130 years later, we likely would not know.
So why was the Italian government so provoked so as to withdraw its diplomat? What was this “breach of the peace” or “unpleasantness” to which this article refers? A quick review of history of the time shows that one month earlier, Italians were the victims of the largest mass lynch.ings in the history of the United States.

According to a story published in the The Washington Post, on Mar. 14, 1891, a crowd of 8,000 assembled on Canal Street in New Orleans and stormed a prison in which some Italians were held. The crowd was reacting to the acquittal of several Italians who had been accused of the murder of the New Orleans police chief. Although they were later found innocent, the anti-Italian sentiment in the city ran high and a sacrifice was demanded.11 The victims were hated simply because they were Italian immigrants. These 11 men were either shot point blank or dragged outside and hanged from lamp posts. According to Ryan Prior of CNN, “Ital.ians were regular victims of nativist hostility in the 1890s, and more than 20 were lynched in episodes around the country throughout the decade.”12
Instead of expressing compassion for the lives of the 11 men unjustly and cruelly murdered or trying to explain the outrage felt by the Italian government, the Washington Post arti.cle simply misrepresents the number of men killed and attacks the Italian government for recalling its minister. Think about how we, as Americans, feel today when our innocent civilians are attacked in foreign lands and their governments do little or nothing to bring the criminals to justice? How must those Italian immigrant organ grinders felt?
Most literature of the time demon.ized immigrants, especially Italian organ grinders. One example is an ordinary melodrama for the stage from the early 1900s entitled “The Mummy and the Hummingbird.” It describes the villain as a base Italian organ grinder, even though his background demonstrates that he is a supposedly intelligent author who has had to flee his homeland.13
Many more examples of this type of negativity can be found in political cartoons of the day. Attached to this article are several examples of the prejudice faced by immigrant Italian organ grinders gleaned from publi.cations of the time. Often appearing in weekly magazines, the Brother Jonathan cartoon character was used to represent the United States before the Uncle Sam caricature was created. In the attached cartoon, he is advising the Italian organ grinder to send his instrument referred to as a squeak machine to P.T. Barnum’s circus, take a weapon, and go back to Italy.

One drawing shows what an illus.trator drew as a typical Italian organ grinder, revealing him to look like the basest criminal. The drawing was sure to give small children nightmares. Another cartoon of the day calls the Italian organ grinder a “dago” which is an extremely disparaging and contemptuous term used to refer to a person of Italian origin.
A photo appearing in a local news.paper of the day shows an apparently well cared for grinder organ on a donkey-pulled cart with an Italian family. In comparison to an average street husker, this is an unbelievably prosperous grinder. The photo is likely staged, but the caption refers to the mechanism as “one of those melancholy instruments that drones forth selections … with a wheezy catch. … No fine discriminator is our organ grinder.” The caption goes on to state that the music will fail to give the cultivated listener satisfaction. The article does add, however, “it certainly affords great entertainment for that portion of society familiarly known as the ‘street gamins.’” Street gamins are defined as homeless children left to wander the neighborhood, or street urchins. So, according to this piece, only the uneducated homeless can enjoy the sounds of a cranked instru.ment played by this Italian family.
To many, the organ grinders brought joy and pleasure from their humdrum existences and were a wonderful part of their lives. They never knew of the suffering often borne by many of these men. Besides living in deplorable conditions, faced with prejudice and often undisguised hatred, their days consisted of push.ing or carrying a heavy instrument in all sorts of weather. Imagine standing continuously for long hours and monotonously turning a crank to hear the same few songs day after day. This assuredly took not only strength, but patience. Let us never forget what these individuals endured as they played their wonderful instruments that we enjoy to this day.
A poem (see Page 40) which appeared in an 1873 issue of Harp.er’s New Monthly Magazine shows the human cost of an organ grinder. It speculates on the history of the elderly organ grinder’s past and what he thinks as he repetitiously grinds his instrument.14

Footnotes

1.
Penna, Robert. “Organ Grinders, the Mayor and Cartoons of the 1930’s,” Mechanical Music, Music Box Society International, Volume 64, No. 1, January/February 2018, page 36

2.
Steinkjerpositiv. http://www.nostalgeek.no/barrel.htm

3.
Penna, Robert. “Cartoon Crankers,” Mechanical Music, Music Box Society International, Volume 65, No. 4, July/August 2019, page 38

4.
Penna, Robert. “Barrel Organs and Monkey Performers in Our Nation’s Capital,” Carousel Organ, Carousel Organ Association of America, Issue #83, April 2020, page 4.

5.
Ibid. page 4

6.
Penna, Robert. “Barrel Organs and the Disabled Civil War Veteran,” Mechanical Music, Music Box Society International, Volume 64, No. 3, May/June 2018, page 28

7.
Penna, Robert. “Joy and Suffering: The Organ Grinders of London and Manchester,” The Music Box, Musical Box Society of Great Brit.ain, Volume 29 No. 7, Autumn 2020, page 268.

8.
Ibid. page 268

9.
Ibid. page 271

10.
“A Brief History of Anti-Immigrant Propaganda.” Immigrant Archive Project. https://immigrantarchiveproject.org/brief-history-anti-immi.grant-propaganda/

11.
Italian-American One Voice Coalition. 2018. http://www.iaovc.org/lynching-of-italians/

12.
Prior, Ryan. CNN. Published 3:12 PM (EDT) Monday, April 1, 2019.

13.
Penna, Robert. “The Mummy, the Hummingbird, and the Italian Organ Grinder, Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, volume 63, No. 5, September/October 2017.

14.
Zucchi, John E. The Little Slaves of the Harp. Buffalo, NY: McGill’s-Queens University Press 1992.

An organ-grinder, meagre and sorrowful, Stops in the sun in the street below; The ragged street children come trooping about him,
Crowding and eager and glad, I know, Their bright eyes peering through tangled tresses With childish wonder and happy trust:
Even the boys stare, quiet a moment, Scraping their toes through the tawney dust.
But the organ-grinder is bent and weary; Nothing is new to him under the sun; The tinkling of notes of the old, old music Mean scanty crusts when the day is done. A waltz may come, or an Ave Maria; The children may listen or run away; The organ-grinder is old and weary, And he turns this handle the livelong day.
What is he thinking, our tired brother? What do these sorrowful gray eyes see? Vacantly gazing – at nothing about him – Is he looking in faces that used to be? Is he thinking of old, old times and people, Of days when the sun in truth was bright, When the sweet winds blew to him perfumed fancies, And sunset castles rose fair in his sight?
Does he hear, instead of the old, old music His brown, stiff fingers are grinding out, The dear wife’s laugh in the pleasant twilight, And the baby’s step and tiny shout? Does he feel the pressure of loving fingers .Deadly chill when he touched them last! .Biding the troubled dream of the present In the gracious glow from the real past?
Our worn-out brother! He is only weary; no fairy dreams are kissing his eyes; His life is sordid and narrow and sorrowful; The pennies fall rarely – for this he sighs No lovely phantoms are floating about him; No echoes are sounding within his breast From the voice divine of that love supernal Which shall surely somewhere give him rest. And the bruised spirit is mate with the body; He will hear with a stare that God is good. Silently add to the store of his pennies, And brighten his desolate solitude. Stifle the Pharisee pity that rises! Who links the merciless chain of fate? Through what dim cycles slow gather its atoms? In what fine junctions – while we wait?
Poem and cartoon from The Little Slaves of the Harp. Reprinted from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, 1873.
The SEGA Grand Pianist
The following article was first published in German by Das Mechanische Musikinstrument (No. 141, August 2021) the magazine of the German Association for Self-playing Mechan.ical Instruments.
By Uwe Gernert
Original intro: In May 2021 I found some new entries in Jody and Robbie’s Mechanical Music Digest (MMD) about a piece of technology not familiar to me before, called the SEGA Grand Pianist, a toy piano in 1/6 scale. It is a fully electronic device with some features worthy enough to be pointed out in a collector’s magazine, which also counts as an audience a group of people who are interested in MIDI technology.
SEGA and SEGA Toys
To warm up, I would like to talk a little about the history of the SEGA Corporation. The company was founded in 1940 in Honolulu, HI, by Americans Martin Bromley, Irving Bromberg and James Humpert. It was then called Standard Games and it produced coin-operated amusement machines, including slot machines for military bases. In 1946 the name was changed to SErvice GAmes, shortened in marketing materials to SEGA, as it continued to focus selling its products mainly on military bases. The U.S. outlawed slot machines in its territories around 1952 and SEGA could foresee a decline in sales, so the founders moved their business to Tokyo in 1951. The name of the company was changed to SErvice GAmes of Japan. The main business of SEGA was still the import of coin-op.erated automatons for American forces stationed in Japan at the time. In 1965 SEGA fused with Rosen Enter.prises, also a Tokyo-based business. Rosen Enterprises imported all sorts of electromechanical devices ranging from photobooths to mechanical playing machines found in arcades. In 1966 SEGA developed a submarine simulator called “Periscope” which became a worldwide export success and brought the company a world.wide reputation. The company began to develop between eight and 10 new arcade games per year.

In 1969, Rosen Enterprises and other shareholders decided to sell SEGA to Gulf & Western Industry Inc., a company engaged in making cars, clothing, sugar and a lot of other prod.ucts. When SEGA debuted its arcade game titled “Heavyweight Champ,” it was the first commercially successful Japanese video game. The company’s name continues to be associated with profitable products in video games and game consoles. In 1982, worldwide sales reached $214 million. The following decades saw SEGA experience many changes because of new competitors like Atari, Sony and Nintendo. Despite some mergers and takeovers, technological and commercial successes like the 16-bit game console called Mega Drive in the 1990s, reestablished the company in international markets.
Yonezawa Toys, which was founded in the 1950s in Tokyo, was the biggest producer of toys in Japan after WWII. They specialized in the 1970s in the production of thousands of different battery-driven mechanical toys. In the 1980s they began producing radio-controlled toys. In 1991 that company was bought by SEGA and the new trademark of the company was Sega-Yonezawa. In April 1998 the name of the founder was deleted from the company’s name and a new trade.mark, SEGA Toys, was established.
Further development saw the parent company SEGA as a supplier of software for the consoles of former competitors, for which games and simulations were and are still developed. On Sept. 9, 2003, SEGA announced to the press a new corpo.rate strategy of entering into more partnerships, including with Chunsoft, Vivarium, and THQ, for whom SEGA distributed games in Japan. The corpo.rate strategy included supporting next generation consoles such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo’s Wii with new video game software. SEGA also bought up several animation and game development studios in the 2000s and later, thus ensuring success in that market segment.

On Dec. 8, 2003, Sammy, one of Japan’s largest slot machine manufac.turers, bought 22.4 percent of SEGA’s stock and with that buy became the largest shareholder of the company after a failed attempt to merge with SEGA in the same year. On May 18, 2004, Sammy and SEGA declared they would fully merge in October to form a joint group called “Sega Sammy Holdings.” After this merger, SEGA Toys was also reorganized, becoming a division of SEGA entertainment. Sega Toys, however, continued to market itself completely independently of the parent company, even though there was cooperation between the two.
The Grand Pianist
As stated in the short introduction, the SEGA Grand Pianist came to my attention due to some short articles in MMD in May 2021. After watching videos at some of the links provided on YouTube, I knew I must have one of these machines and I began to search the web to find one for sale. I found some offered on eBay by international sellers from Japan who wanted $200 or so for them. Some of the offers from U.S. sellers were a lot more expensive so I decided to buy from a Japanese seller for the first time ever. I must say, I was not disappointed. The seller’s communication was excellent, and the instrument was sent on its way to me extremely fast.
Most Japanese sellers on eBay ship their goods free via FedEx worldwide. This is a very convenient way to obtain goods in Europe. FedEx handles all that customs stuff and sends you a bill for the costs about 14 days after deliv.ery. For those who are keen on getting original packaging and the manual (only available in Japanese) for the toy piano, you will have to pay a higher price and only likely deal with sellers from Japan. I wasn’t worried about missing those pieces because I was mainly interested in the completeness and condition of the instrument.
The SEGA Grand Pianist was produced in a white version, but they are rarely offered for sale nowadays and they are more expensive. I would say you might have to add $500 or more to the cost compared to a black version, but if white better fits with your furniture, I could see you saying, “so what?” There are also some editions, I call them “Cinderella-Edi.tions,” that were produced for an even smaller buyer’s market. Mostly, these were white instruments that had printings on the piano’s cover. In my opinion, these would only impress some Japanese or American buyers who might buy the instrument for a child’s room.
The SEGA Grand Pianist is a replica of an 88-key YAMAHA Grand piano. I think it is one of the famous YAMA-HA-series Type C2 pianos, which was also offered as a “Disklavier.” In the display panel of the toy, you might recognize the “Deja-vus.” The Deja.vus is a concept of sorting the files of different genres of music into differ.ent folders labeled A through F. The instrument in its 1/6 scale is practically identical to a reproduced YAMAHA, right down to the music holder. It was originally offered to the public in Japan in the first quarter of 2007.
The instrument’s 88 keys (white ones measuring 4 millimeters while black ones measure 3 millimeters in width) are actuated by small electro solenoids which will be moved according to the song being played. In manual mode the piano keys can be actuated by hand (perhaps even better with a matchstick). The instrument comes with 100 pieces of different music pre-programmed, ranging from classic to popular music, pop classics and of course “Happy Birthday” and “Silent Night.”

The repertoire was chosen by an internationally known Japanese composer and violinist named Taro Hakase. You may recognize his name, as he accompanied Celine Dion from the 1990s on her world tours as a violinist. The playlist can be extended by inserting an SD card into the inte.grated card reader slot. The machine is able to read cards up to a capacity of 2 GB. The dimensions of the piano are 250 millimeters wide, 180 milli.meters high and 330 millimeters long. The weight is about 3.6 kilograms. The Japanese obviously thought about a worldwide distribution for the instrument. The AC/DC adapter is a universal part which covers an AC input from 100 volts (at 100 volts the Japanese current is the worldwide lowest) to 240 volts. When buying an instrument from Japan you should always confirm that the adapter is original and not changed. Even the difference between 100 volts AC and the American voltage of 110/120 volts AC can do irreparable damage to the adapter and the instrument. The power plug on the adapter is NEMA-standard (National Electrical Manufacturers Association), so you don’t even need an adapter.
It is not hard to understand why this instrument found no interna.tional market. SEGA trademarked the instrument in the U.S. but never came up with any kind of marketing campaign to attract people to this product. Another problem was the price tag, which was $400. Delivery could be made only directly from Japan. Robbie Rhodes, in MMD of May 15, 2007, found a “Buy it now price” of $637 on eBay, which was far too much to make this product an economical success abroad.
It also wasn’t helpful at all that the instruction manual and display on the instrument were available only in Japanese. To completely detail all the failures of the marketing strategy for this piano, it would take an expert on the SEGA firm’s history who has a better knowledge of the Japanese language than me. Also regarding the level of commercial success, I only can speculate since I couldn’t obtain any information about how many of these pianos were produced versus how many were sold.
As a children’s toy, the SEGA Grand Pianist was not only too expensive, but also certainly not suitable for youngsters. Operating the instrument requires a high level of technical skill and there are simply too many parts that can break when it is used as a toy. It was also unsuitable for the broader Japanese population, partly because of a lack of living space in Japanese cities, but also contributing to the problem was the hefty price of 47,000 yen. Americans might call something like the SEGA Grand Pianist an “exec.utive desk toy.” As a collector’s item, there probably isn’t much money to be made with it either. I personally can’t see any real target group for marketing this instrument to. It seems to me that 14-year-olds to 16-year-olds certainly had (and still have) other needs greater than a miniature piano.
The instrument’s speaker is another weak point. The electromechanics that operate the keys are loud, only

When turning the piano on, you may see the keys move as part of a testing program.
drowned out when playing songs at full volume but then the quality of the sound isn’t great either. I esti.mated it at a maximum of 2.5 watts on the built-in speaker. According to the manufacturer, it can produce 3 watts of power. You can remedy this shortfall if you use the output jack available on the instrument and employ an external speaker option. I would advise you to look for devices made around the same time as this instrument. For example, you might try the speaker cube NX-A01 that was offered by YAMAHA about that time. Currently on the second-hand market you won’t find any of these speakers in black, only white are available. As collectors, however, we all know that hope always dies last! Maybe one day I’ll find a way to acquire a white version of the SEGA Grand Pianist, then buy a YAMAHA speaker in white also for less than $100. Of course, a Bluetooth TX-adapter together with a corresponding speaker can also offer an alternative to this collector’s dream combination. This Bluetooth option works wirelessly and can also be purchased for less than $100. I thought I might be able to turn off the key action in the original instrument to reduce the noise they make, but it turns out this would require software and possibly hardware hacks that not easily done unless you are an expert computer builder and programmer. With the external speaker attached, however, it is possible to obtain 6 to 10 watts of speaker volume which is quite suitable to overcome the back.ground noises produced by the piano.

When it comes to expanding the playlist for the piano, I have already mentioned that you can use a 2 GB SD card. You can even find some for sale that come with ready-recorded music, but even on eBay these cards are rarely available. Plus, sellers of these cards charge quite high prices and it is even more disappointing when you realize these cards only make a small number of additional tracks available.
There is a bit of software, called Musicbox, from a third-party-pro.ducer that is available and can be

Two SEGA Grand Pianists on top of a Steck Aeolian Pianola in the author’s home.
downloaded from the internet making it possible for you to convert MIDI-files to the format needed to save them on SD cards that are compatible with the toy piano. (Filenames after conversion end with *.FEM)
I was astonished that this software that dates back to 2010 (the version is 1.0.0.1, and is copyrighted in 2004) doesn’t have any problems running on Windows 10.
Don’t listen if somebody tells you to just change a filename extension from *.MID to *.FEM This will not work. Make all changes to your MIDI files with a program designed to work with those types of files before running the conversion through the Musicbox software. If you simply try to edit a MIDI file with a standard code-editor it will result in a corruption of that MIDI file.
Use of the Musicbox software is quite simple even if the export for the toy piano is hidden in a submenu called “List” as a button labeled . In that submenu you will find the choice for saving as . Please make sure to save the files in the root of the SD card since the piano can’t read file structures. Also be sure not to use SD cards with a capacity of more than 2 GB, otherwise the piano can’t read them. Also, not all brands of SD cards available can be read by the piano. I recommend you experiment with some of your old cards first. The usual formatting for the cards is the FAT32-formatting.

The SEGA Grand Pianist comes with a very simple menu structure. You can only choose between playing from media or manual playing. Starting up the piano with an SD card in the slot will provide you with a submenu. The first choice is playing from media. You may choose between SD and the onboard music. The first choice is to play from SD and you don’t even have to know Japanese because the term SD can be clearly identified in the menu.
Press the enter key in the menu three times and the music from the external SD card will start. Quality and range will depend on the MIDIs you use. It does seem, however, that there are many possibilities when playing around with MIDIs using the SEGA Grand Pianist since there are thousands of files available to convert.

Some YouTube videos assert that the toy piano’s keys are actuated at random while playing from self-made SD cards. This tells me that most of the makers of these videos had no knowledge that the Musicbox conver.sion software exists. In my opinion, the piano’s keys are actuated in total congruence with the notes played from the SD card. For those who are curious about the inner workings of the piano, I have included a picture of the inside. If something were to go wrong in there, I’m quite sure it would be easier to buy a new toy than to repair it. Or, maybe you have as much technical insight as the Japanese friend from the internet who sent me the picture that appears on Page 45.

Seeking your stories for ….
Did you once spend time finding the perfect musical
The Hunt
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 of others. visit your home? We look forward to hearing
Answer these questions and you will have the perfect from you. story for “The Hunt” column in Mechanical Music.
Every mechanical music instrument has a story Email your story to editor Russell Kasselman at behind it and the readers of Mechanical Music love to editor@mbsi.org or mail a copy to: read them all.
Editing help is available if you have a story, but you are MBSI Editorial Offices not sure how to organize it or present it. The important 130 Coral Court thing is to get it down and pass it on for the enjoyment Pismo Beach, CA 93449

A fortunate find
The story of how a Crown Style 16 20.-inch upright disc music box came into my collection

One of the original discs purchased by the author. Note that the label spells Pittsburg without an “h.”
By Harold Wade

Crown 20.-inch disc music box to play Pa.” At the time these discs were
them on since I knew that the discs produced, Pittsburg (without the “h”)
In 2018, sometime in Spring, I would play perfectly on my Olympia was the correct spelling of the name unexpectedly found and bought four 20.-inch (serial No. 11037) table of the city until it was changed on original Crown 20.-inch discs at a model music box. I was happy with Jul. 11, 1911. It would be interesting Stanton’s Auctioneers auction in Hast-that. As mentioned, all the discs are in to hear from other Crown disc music ing, MI. They were in perfect condition excellent condition and each disc has box owners whether their discs have and, in my opinion, reasonably priced. printed on it the words “Crown Music the “h” or no “h” on their Crown disc I never worried that I didn’t have Box–H. Kleber and Bro. Co–Pittsburg, labels.

This image shows the repaired soundboard. Note, also, the small, white instruction label just below the bedplate.
Disc numbers, song titles and composers from the four discs I purchased are listed at top of Page 49.
A year or so later, while searching eBay, I found a music box described as a Regina upright disc music box, but I could tell from the pictures that it looked like an F. G. Otto 20.-inch disc music box. When I called the seller, Dennis Warren from Albany, NY, he told me that an antique music box dealer in New York state told him it was not a Regina but an F. G. Otto disc music box. I requested pictures of the music box and the discs. I was pretty sure it was a Crown 20.-inch disc music box that was manufactured by F. G. Otto and Sons in Jersey City, NJ. The pictures arrived and all nine discs had Crown Music Box labels on them. This convinced me it was worth looking at this item with some

No. Song Title
5065 Marching Through Georgia,
Song 1865
5070 Listen to the Mocking Bird,
March, (Horen Sie den Spottischen Vogel) 1856
Good
5128 Tis the Last Rose of Sum.
mer, from Martha, (Letzte
Rose, Lied) 1847
5281 Il Trovatore, Anvil Chorus
Music from Act 2 Scene 1
1853

Music Box Company in Randolph, VT.
“Pat. May 20, 1902 No: 700550.” The simply, Music Box. It was filed Dec.
boxes of every size
same label on almost all F.

short bedplate installations. The base
The author’s restored Crown 201/2-inch disc music box.
boxes with original base cabinets. MBSI members Mike Perry, who owns a Criterion serial No. 6373 in Ohio, and Alvin Zamba, who owns a Criterion serial No. 8506 in Pennsylvania, have the same cabinet for their machines.
The sole distributor of Crown disc music boxes made by F. G. Otto was Henry Kleber and Brothers, originally located at 1st 501 Wood Street and then at 221-223 Fifth Avenue in Pittsburg, PA, between 1903 and 1904. Kleber, born in Darmstadt, Germany, was an active participant in the city’s musical affairs for years. He had a music store in Pittsburgh for many years selling Knabe, Henry F Miller, Crown Orches.tra, Straube and Opera Pianos, plus many other musical items including Imperial Symphonion disc music boxes, Washington Mandolins, guitars, banjos, zithers and Peerless Piano Players. An interesting side note, I own an Imperial Symphonion 20-inch disc music box with a label inside reading, “H. Kleber & Bro. 221-223 Fifth Ave. Pittsburg—Everything in the music line– Baldwin & Gleason Company, N.Y.” I purchased that box in Pittsburgh some years ago.
The Crown disc music boxes were exact copies of Criterion or Olym.pia or Euphonia music boxes, and possibly even the same as Sterling music boxes though I’ve never seen one of those. I found that the discs are interchangeable since they all have a 3/8-inch diameter center hole and edge drive. The Crown 20.-inch disc numbers (5XXX) are the same numbers as Criterion and Olympia 20.-inch disc boxes. This information comes from an article by Al Choffnes printed in the MBSI journal that is dated Winter 1983 (Vol. 29, No. 3).
The Crown music boxes I’ve seen are plain with no markings. MBSI member Bob Yates has a small Crown disc music box, size 8.-inches with 44 teeth, that has 16 (2XXX) discs. Also Bob’s music box has a label reading “Number 1,” which I believe is the model (looking at Q. David Bowers’ “Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes” on page 299). Bob purchased his Crown disc music box from an antique dealer in Pittsburgh who bought the Henry Kleber store when it went out of business some 40 years ago. MBSI member Colson Conn had a 14-inch or 15.-inch Crown disc music box that he bought on eBay from a small town just east of Pittsburgh some years back. Also, the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ, has on display a Crown 15.-inch disc music box that is on loan from Jane A. George and is pictured in Mechanical Music (Vol. 63, No. 3, May/June 2017, Page 20). I think it would be interesting to know how this Crown 20.-inch disc music box made its way to upstate New York from Pittsburgh, PA.

Ron Connolly, at the Porter Music Box Company, started restoring my Crown music box on Sept. 28, 2020. Ron said the combs were not badly worn and cleaned up nicely. He reported that the number one star wheel on the bass end of the combs was badly worn because the first bass teeth in both the upper and lower comb were too heavy. He added that the spring barrel and drive spring both contained dried-up grease from more than 116 years of use, but they also cleaned up nicely. The drive gear on the shaft was pinned over, instead of using a set screw, to hold it to the shaft, Ron said. He drilled it out and corrected it. Next, he noted that the speed lever and assembly for

The front and back side of a Liberty V nickel, found in the base cabinet of the author’s Crown disc box during restoration.
controlling disc speed was missing, so he made a copy using Jim Farr’s Criterion 15.-inch disc music box which happened to be in Porter’s shop for restoration at the same time. Thank you Jim. The sound board in my Crown music box had shrunken slightly so it was moved over slightly and a Sitka spruce piece was glued in to fill the space and prevent rattles, then sanded to a smooth surface and stained to color match the original. The back board of the music box had shrunken also so the panels were loose causing a rattle. The back panel was taken apart, cleaned up and glued back together to solve this problem. The restoration of my music box was completed in early 2021. The box was delivered to Alvin Zamba’s residence on May 11, 2021. Alvin made a copy of the beautiful gallery from his Criterion 20.-inch box to replace the missing gallery on mine. This made the music box look complete.
Another interesting side note is that Ron found a 1900 Liberty V Nickel in the base cabinet of my music box. It was dirty, but in perfect condition. My guess is that the coin had been laying in the bottom of the base cabinet for more than 110 years.

No. Song Title Composer
5038 Adeste Fideles Portuguese Chapel Hymn (O Come, All Ye Faithful) 1743 Tr. J. R. Beste
5048 The Palms, Scared Song 1872 Jean-Baptiste Faure
5070 Listen to The Mocking Bird, March, (Horen Sie den Spottischen Vogel) 1856 Good Alice Hawthorne
5088 The Holy City, Sacred Song 1892 Stephen Adams
5141 Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Hymn 1862 Joseph P Holbrook
5251 Wizard of the Nile, Star Light, Star Bright Waltz, Song Burlesque Operetta 1895 Victor Herbert
5281 Il Trovatore, Anvil Chorus Music from Act 2 Scene 1 1853 Excellent Giuseppe Verdi
5450 Blaze Away, March and Two Step 1901 Abraham Abe Holzmann
5510 Bedelia Song (A Irish Serenade),(I Want to Steal Ye, Bedelia, I Love You So) 1903 Jean Schwartz & William Jerome

On this page is a table showing the nine discs that came with my Crown 20.-inch disc music box.
It has been an enjoyable journey acquiring this unusual disc music box, having it restored and now enjoying the beautiful music which it can produce. I must thank Dwight Porter and Ron Connolly once again for the excellent restoration. Also, many thanks to Alvin Zamba for the beauti.ful gallery on the top of the music box that he made. Thanks also go to Mary Zamba for taking some photos and assisting with this article.

WE WANT YOUR STORY!
Every mechanical musical instrument has a tale to tell. Share the history of people who owned your instrument before you, or the story of its restoration, or just what makes it an interesting piece. Send stories via email to editor@mbsi.org or mail your story to Iron Dog Media, 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Interesting Tidbits

H.O. Studley, Veteran Piano Maker, at His Bench in the Poole Factory.
The small article accompanying this photo, found in the March 30, 1890, issue of The Music Trade Review, reads:
“In the accompanying picture, taken in the Poole Piano Co.’s factory, Boston, the portrait of H.O. Studley, who is one of the trade’s most interesting characters, will be noted. Mr. Studley has been a piano man for forty-six years, and has been with the Poole Piano Co. for over twenty, and is still in active harness with this well-known Boston piano manufacturing institution. The tool set also shown in this picture represents the collection of a lifetime, and the handsome case as well as a number of the tools were made by Mr. Studley, who is a veteran of the Civil War, and a staunch American.”
Several articles are available online providing more detail about the man and his tool chest, which is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution. Read more at:

19th-Century Tool Box Is Meticulously Designed to Hold 300 Tools


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_O._Studley


http://ggober.com/shop/documents/FW_Stud.ley_Smithsonian.pdf


https://lostartpress.com/collections/books/products/ virtuoso

Margie Epstein — 1935-2021
By Paul Senger
I am sad to announce the passing
of Margery “Margie” Epstein on Jun.
2, 2021, at the age of 85 after a long
illness. She was born in Trenton, NJ,
and was a resident of Silver Spring,
MD, for more than 40 years. After
raising three children, she started
a successful tutoring business that
she ran for nearly 20 years. She was
predeceased by her husband of 62
years, Seymour “Sy” Epstein, in 2018.
Together they were able to pursue
many passions including travel,
game collection and appreciation for
antique music boxes. They also loved
to go to musical shows including
the annual John Philip Sousa tribute
concerts by the Marine Band, and live
performances at local venues. She
loved to talk to the musicians and
performers after shows. Margie was
also enthusiastic in her participation
in the League of Women Voters. Sy
and Margie had been members of the
National Capital Chapter for over 15
years and enthusiastic contributors

to our chapter including our Annual daughter, Sharon Ross (Greg); flowers, donations can be made to the
Convention in 2011. grandchildren, Ericka and Neil, sister, League of Women Voters, American Margie will be greatly missed. Our Barbara Waksler; and brother, Roger Cancer Society and American Heart
condolences go out to the family. Pitasky. Association. She is survived by sons, Bruce A memorial service was held Read more at www.sagelbloomfield.
(Rachael) and Jeff (Virginia); Jul.j 11 in Rockville, MD. In lieu of com/obituary/Margery-Epstein

Lelland Fletcher — 1926-2021
The Southern California Chapter is collector who attended many chapter sorry to have to announce that our meetings as well as national mechan.dear friend, Lelland Fletcher, passed ical musical enthusiast meetings in away on Jul. 21, 2021, at a care center. the U.S., Japan and Europe. He will be
July 28 would have been his 95th sorely missed. birthday. “Fletcher” was a gentle man A memorial service in San Diego, and a long-term MBSI member and CA, was held Aug. 6.

Advertise in The Mart

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 by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Go online to place your advertisement at www.mbsi.org, fill out the form in the Mart section, or contact Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 to get started. You may also email advertisements to editor@mbsi.org

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 man’s 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
– Ernest Becker, Philosopher

The Musical Box Society International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations to the Endowment Fund are tax deductible. A gift of any size is welcome.
Aug. 31 – Sept. 5, 2022
72nd Annual Meeting of the Musical Box Society International & 58th Annual Meeting of the

and the MBSI Golden Gate Chapter Location: San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport in San Mateo, California

Stanton’s Auctioneers,
Vermontville, MI 49096 Phone: (517) 726-0181 Michael C. Bleisch Fax: (517) 726-0060 (517) 231-0868 cellular E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com Website: www.stantons-auctions.com

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 it’s 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 121/4” or15 1/
“ discs, and table models with beautiful cabinets created for us in Italy. Also we can
occasions.
P.O Box 424 Randolph, VT 05060

support.

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 [8.27” . 11.70”; Profusely illustrated in
Supplement to

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
ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9
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.
Supplement to
Compiled and Edited by Kevin McElhone
100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27” . 11.70”; 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

MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 3 May/June 2017
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 1 January/February 2017

CIRCULATION
Mechanical Music is mailed to more than 1,500 members of the Musical Box Society International six (6) times per year.
ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
The Musical Box Society International
accepts VISA, Mastercard and online
payments via PayPal.

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
DISPLAY ADVERTISING DIMENSIONS & PER ISSUE COSTS
Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $247
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43

Non-members pay a 10% surcharge on the above rates
Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads
10% Discount 6 consecutive ads
15% Discount

EIGHTH CLASSIFIED ADS PAGE
QUARTER
3.5” x 2.125” • 47¢ per word
FULL PAGE PAGE

• ALL CAPS, italicized and
3.5” x 4.5”
bold words: 60¢ each.
8.75” X 11.25”

• Minimum Charge: $11.
(0.5” bleed)
• Limit: One ad in each category
7.25” x 9.75”

• Format: See ads for style
(live area) HALF PAGE
• Restrictions: Ads are strictly
HORIZONTAL
limited to mechanical musi.
7.25” x 4.5”
cal instruments and related items and services
PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
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

PRINTING & ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
Mechanical Music is printed on 70 lb gloss Email ÿ les to: paper, with a 100 lb gloss cover, sad-mbsi@irondogmedia.com dle-stitched. Trim size is 8.25” x 10.75”.
USPS or Fed Ex to: Artwork is accepted in the following for-Iron Dog Media, LLC mats: PDF, PSD, AI, EPS, TIF. All images 130 Coral Court and colors should be CMYK or Grayscale Pismo Beach, CA 93449 and all fonts should be embedded or converted to outlines. Images should be a minimum of 300 dpi resolution.
Contact MBSI Publisher Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 or editor@mbsi.org

Style “C” with spiral
spring motor.
10 impeccable cuffs.

Fully restored mahogany case and movement.

Mermod Freres, 17” cylinder, 10 tunes.

REGINA 151/2 MUSIC BOX. Mechanism was
THE MART

professionally restored. Bought new combs RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a from Porter and they have been tuned and
Display Advertising Dimensions and Costs
Dimensions 1 issue 3 issues* 6 issues*
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $246
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43
Add a 10% surcharge to the prices shown above if you are not a member of MBSI.
*Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount

ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.
ADVERTISING DEADLINES:

The 1st day of each even month: Feb., Apr., Jun, Aug., Oct. and Dec.
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.
CLASSIFIED ADS

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 member’s name must appear in ad


Non-members may advertise at the rates listed plus a 10% surcharge

PLEASE NOTE:
The first two words (or more at your choice) and the member’s name will be printed in all caps/bold and charged at 60¢ per word.
Mechanical Music
Mechanical Music is mailed to all members at the beginning of every odd month — 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.
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 you’ll find it to be one of the most interesting, inspiring, informative books you have in your library–or 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.
http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

installed. Plays as it should. New top repro.duced. Have receipts for work and parts. $2,100.00. Call JON GULBRANDSON, at (763) 923 5748
MILLS VIOLANO #3931 purchased from Mills Novelty Co. in 2003. 100-point restoration done by the most well-known and respected Violano technician in the country. Flawless brown mahogany case. Instrument plays and sounds great. It has been serviced regularly. Plays from collection of 12 recut rolls or MIDI system with over 300 songs on hard drive. Retired, moving, need to sell. Will accept any reasonable offer. Contact RON SCHULTZ, at rpsdds@hvc.rr.com or (845) 386-2773
MARVELS OF MECHANICAL MUSIC -MBSI Video. Fascinating and beautifully-made film which explains the origins of automatic
SUBMIT ADS TO:
MBSI Ads 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (253) 228-1634 Email: editor@mbsi.org

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

SEEKING PLANS or measurement for a Polyphon lower cabinet for 19.5 size disc. Contact ROD MOORE, rodcrna4u@gmail. com or (336) 337-1165 North Carolina

REPRODUCTION POLYPHON discs; Cata.logs available for 19 5/8”, 22 1/8”, and 24 1/2”. DAVID CORKRUM 5826 Roberts Ave, Oakland, CA 94605-1156, 510-569-3110, www.polyphonmusic.com

Display Advertisers
SAVE $’s on REUGE & THORENS MUSIC BOX REPAIR & RESTORATION – 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. We’re 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 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 by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Fill out the form below and mail to MBSI at 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449. Call (253) 228.1634 with questions.
3………. Renaissance Antiques 54…….. Music Box Restorations 54…….. Miller Organ Clock 55…….. Golden Gate Chapter 56…….. Stanton Auctions 57…….. Porter Music Box Company 58…….. MBSGB 58…….. American Treasure Tour 59…….. Reeder Pianos 59…….. Cottone Auctions 59…….. Ben’s Player Piano Service 59…….. 4-4Time.com 61…….. Nancy Fratti Music Boxes 66…….. Marty Persky Music Boxes 67…….. Morphy Auctions 68…….. Auction Team Breker

Name Phone Email Text of ad

ORDER EXTRA COPIES
Call MBSI Administrator Jacque Beeman at
(417) 886-8839 or send a check to: Musical Box Society International P.O. Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196

OFFICERS, TRUSTEES & COMMITTEES of the MUSICAL BOX SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL®
OFFICERS President
Tom Kuehn 4 Williams Woods Mahtomedi, MN 55115 kuehn001@umn.edu
Vice President
David Corkrum 5826 Roberts Avenue Oakland, CA 94605 musikwerke@att.net
Recording Secretary
Linda Birkitt PO Box 541 San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693 scarletpimpernel28@yahoo.com
Treasurer
Edward Kozak 3615 North Campbell Avenue Chicago, IL 60618 ekozak1970@gmail.com
TRUSTEES
Dave Calendine Bob Caletti Ed Cooley Dave Corkrum
G.Wayne Finger Matt Jaro Tom Kuehn Mary Ellen Myers
MBSI FUNDS

COMMITTEES Audit
Edward Cooley, Chair, Trustee Dave Calendine, Trustee Matt Jaro, Trustee
Endowment Committee
Edward Kozak, Treasurer, Chair Edward Cooley, Trustee Dave Calendine, Trustee B Bronson Wayne Wolf
Executive Committee
Tom Kuehn, Chair, President David Corkrum, Vice President Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres.
G.Wayne Finger, Trustee Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee
Finance Committee
Edward Kozak, Chair, Treasurer Wayne Wolf, Vice Chair David Corkrum, Vice President Edward Cooley, Trustee Peter Both
Marketing Committee
Bob Smith, Chair Dave Calendine, Trustee
G.Wayne Finger, Trustee Judy Caletti
Meetings Committee
Matt Jaro, Chair, Trustee Judy Caletti Tom Chase Cotton Morlock Rich Poppe
Membership Committee
Chair, TBD Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,
Southeast Linda Birkitt, Southern California Gary Goldsmith, Snowbelt Christine Hopwood, Golden Gate Julie Morlock, Southeast Rob Pollock, Mid-America Dan Wilson, Piedmont Gerald Yorioka, Northwest Int’l TBD, East Coast TBD, Great Lakes TBD, National Capital TBD, Sunbelt
Museum Committee
Sally Craig, Chair Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres. Glenn Crater, National Capital Ken Envall, Southern California Julian Grace, Sunbelt Matt Jaro, National Capital Rob Pollock, Mid-America Richard Simpson, East Coast
Museum Sub-Committees
Ohio Operations Rob Pollock

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Publications Back Issues:
Jacque Beeman

Regina Certificates:
B Bronson

MBSI Pins and Seals:
Jacque Beeman
Librarian:
Jerry Maler
Historian:
Bob Yates
Nominating Committee
Dan Wilson, Chair Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres. Bob Caletti, Golden Gate, Trustee Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,
Southeast Jonathan Hoyt, Golden Gate Robin Biggins, Southern California Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan
Publications Committee
Bob Caletti, Chair, Trustee Steve Boehck Dave Corkrum, Vice President Christian Eric Kathleen Eric Terry Smythe
Publications Sub-Committee
Website Committee Rick Swaney, Chair B Bronson Don Henry Knowles Little, Web Secretary
Special Exhibits Committee
Chair Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee, Southeast David Corkrum, Vice President,
Golden Gate Donald Caine, Southern California Jack Hostetler, Southeast Knowles Little, National Capital Judy Miller, Piedmont Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan Wayne Myers, Southeast Rick Swaney, Northwest Int’l
MBSI Editorial Office:
Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 editor@mbsi.org

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 author’s 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 author’s approval. All articles statements.
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

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know! Send in your information by Oct. 1, 2021, for the November/December issue. Don’t hold your questions until the next chapter meeting. Ask them today on our Facebook discussion group
-the Music Box Society Forum.

Please send dates for the Calendar of Events to Russell Kasselman (editor@mbsi.org)
CONTACTS

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 jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Traveling MBSI Display Bill Endlein 21547 NW 154th Pl. High Springs, FL 32643-4519 Phone (386) 454-8359 sembsi@yahoo.com
Regina Certificates: Cost $5. B Bronson Box 154 Dundee, MI 48131 Phone (734) 529-2087 art@d-pcomm.net
Advertising for Mechanical Music Russell Kasselman Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Phone (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
CHAPTERS
Snowbelt

Chair: Tracy Tolzmann (651) 674-5149 Dues $10 to Gary Goldsmith 17160 – 245th Avenue Big Lake, MN 55309
Southeast

Chair: Jack Hostetler (352) 633-1942 Dues $5 to Clay Witt 820 Del Rio Way Unit 203 Merritt Island, FL 32953
Museum Donations Sally Craig, 2720 Old Orchard Road Lancaster, PA 17601 Phone (717) 295-9188 rosebud441@juno.com
MBSI website Rick Swaney, 4302 209th Avenue NE Sammamish, WA 98074 Phone (425) 836-3586 r_swaney@msn.com
Web Secretary Knowles Little 9109 Scott Dr. Rockville, MD 20850 Phone (301) 762-6253 kglittle@verizon.net
CHAPTERS
East Coast
Chair: Elise Low (203) 457-9888 Dues $5 to Roger Wiegand 281 Concord Road Wayland, MA 01778 or pay via PayPal, send to treasurereccmbsi@gmail.com
Golden Gate
Chair: Jonathan Hoyt jenjenhoyt@yahoo.com Dues $5 to Dave Corkrum 5826 Roberts Ave. Oakland, CA 94605
Japan
Chair: Naoki Shibata 81-72986-1169 naotabibito396amb@salsa.ocn.ne.jp Treasurer: Makiko Watanabe makikomakiko62@yahoo.co.jp
Lake Michigan
Chair: Aaron Muller (847) 962-2330 Dues $5 to James Huffer 7930 N. Kildare Skokie, Illinois 60076

Mid-America
Chair: Rob Pollock (937) 508-4984 Dues $10 to Harold Wade 4616 Boneta Road Medina, OH 44256
National Capital
Chair: Matthew Jaro (301) 482-2008 Dues $5 to Florie Hirsch 8917 Wooden Bridge Road Potomac, MD 20854
Northwest International
Chair: Rick Swaney (425) 836-3586 Dues $7.50/person to Kathy Baer 8210 Comox Road Blaine, WA 98230
Piedmont
Temp Chair: Dan Wilson (919) 740-6579 musicboxmac@mac.com Dues $10 to Dan Wilson 4804 Latimer Road Raleigh, NC. 276099
Southern California
Chair: Robin Biggins (310) 377-1472 Dues $10 to Diane Lloyd 1201 Edgeview Drive Cowan Hgts, CA 92705
Sunbelt
Chair: Ray Dickey (713) 467-0349 Dues $10 to Diane Caudill 4585 Felder Road Washington, TX 77880

Copyright 2021 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
7

Mechanical Music at its Best -Visit www.Mechmusic.com
Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

Welte 4 Concert Violina Orchestra Wurlitzer CX with Bells Hupfeld Helios II/25 Welte Brisgovia C Luxus

Weber Unika Weber Maesto Weber Otero Seeburg KT Special Bowfront Violano

Regina 35 w Clock Nelson Wiggen Style 8 Symphonion 25st

Call Marty Persky 847-675-6144 or email: Marty@Mechmusic.com for further information on these and other fine instruments.

Bacigalupo violinopan barrel 2-seater elephant sofa in theorgan, Model 9, c. 1895 fairground style, c. 1980
Estimate: 5.000 – 7.000 ˜ / Estimate: 2.000 – 2.500 ˜ /$ 5.900 – 8.260
$ 2.360 – 2.950

“Princess”, 2-inch scale model of a Fowler showman’s engine Estimate: 5.000 – 8.000 ˜ / $ 5.900 – 9.440
World’s Leading Specialty Auctions

»Mechanical Music & Carousel«
24 + 25 September 2021 5 + 6 November 2021

Galloper carousel horse, Arthur E. Anderson, Designer & Wood Carver, Bristol, c. 1920 Estimate: 7.000 – 9.000 ˜ / $ 8.260 – 10.620
“Bimbo Box” with mechanical monkeys, Automatenfabrik Bk, Betlinghausen Estimate: 2.500 – 2.500 ˜ / $ 2.950 – 2.950
Fairground working model of a gondola switchback Estimate: 1.200 – 1.800 ˜ / $ 1.415 – 2.120 Unusual horn gramophone Estimate: 1.200 – 1.800 ˜ / $ 1.415 – 2.120
Hupfeld Clavitist electric piano, c. 1910
Estimate: 2.500 – 3.500 ˜ / $ 2.950 – 4.130

Friedrich Heyn Carousel Horse, Caroussel-Pferde und Kunstfiguren Fabrik, Neustadt an der Orla, c 1900 Estimate: 5.000 – 7.000 ˜ / $ 5.900 – 8.260
Book-playing fairground organ by Alfred Bruder, Waldkirch, c. 1928 Estimate: 20.000 – 30.000 ˜ / $ 23.600 – 35.400
…and many more!

For more information and large colour photographs of some more of the upcoming Highlights please visit our website at: www.Breker.com / New Highlights and youtube.com/auctionteambreker Fully-illustrated bilingual (Engl.-German) COLOUR Catalogue available against prepayment only:
Euro 28.– (Europe) or elsewhere Euro 37.– (approx. US$ 44.– / Overseas)
. Consignments are welcome at any time!
Polyphon Style 104 disc musical box, Polyphon Musikwerke, Leipzig, c. 1899“Buffalo Bill” smoking automaton

Estimate: 6.000 – 8.000 ˜ /

by Gustave Vichy, c. 1890 – The Specialists in »Technical Antiques« –
$ 7.080 – 9.440 Estimate: 7.000 – 9.000 ˜ / P. O. Box 50 11 19, 50971 Koeln/Germany · Tel.: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 40 · Fax: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 430 $ 8.260 – 10.620

Otto-Hahn-Str. 10, 50997 Koeln (Godorf)/Germanye-mail: Auction@Breker.com · www.breker.com · Business Hours: Tue – Fri 9 am – 5 pm
.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES: Japan: Murakami Taizou, Tel./Fax (06) 68 45 86 28 * murakami@ops.dti.ne.jp · China: Jiang Feng, Tel. 138 620 620 75 * jiangfengde@gmail.com Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore: Alex Shih-Chieh Lin, (HK), Tel. (+852) 94 90 41 13 * alexsclin@gmail.com England: Tel. +49 (0) 176 991 40593 * AuctionTeamBrekerUK@outlook.de · France: Pierre J. Bickart, Tel. (01) 43 33 86 71 * AuctionTeamKoln@aol.com
Russia: Maksim Suravegin, Tel. +7 903 558 02 50 * Maksim-ATB.ru@gmx.net U.S.A.: Andrew Truman, Tel. (207) 485 8343 * AndrewAuctionTeamBreker@gmail.com · Australia & New Zealand: P. Bardenheier, (NZ), Tel./Fax (+64) (0)9 817 72 68 * dbarden@orcon.net.nz

Volume 67, No. 4 July/August 2021

Mechanical Music

Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

Volume 67, No. 4 July/August 2021

PuRchAse • sAles • consignment

of Quality Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes, Musical Clocks & Automata

For over forty years we’ve placed fine antiques in collections around the world.
Our reputation has been built upon appreciative buyers and satisfied sellers.
Pictured are a few of the musical antiques in our current and recent inventories.

496 First Street, California 93463 • Ron & Julie Palladino
Open Seven Days a Week 10-6 • 805-452-5700
www.renantiques.com

Visit the charming Danish Village of Solvang, half an hour above Santa Barbara in the beautiful Central Coast Wine Country
RENAISSANCE ANTIQUE S

Renaissance Antiques of solvang

Editor/Publisher

Russell Kasselman

(253) 228-1634

editor@mbsi.org

MBSI Editorial Office:

Iron Dog Media

130 Coral Court

Pismo Beach, CA 93449

editor@mbsi.org

Publications Chair

Bob Caletti

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 author’s
approval. All articles are considered to be the
author’s 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 Directory
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 2021. The Musical Box Society International,
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

Mechanical Music

Journal of the Musical Box Society International

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

Volume 67, No. 4 July/August 2021

MBSI NEWS
5 President’s Message
7 Outreach Corner

51 In Memoriam

Features

10 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro

16 The Braamcamp Clock

29 History of the
Steinkjerpositives

35 Building a Bird Box

39 An Unforgettable Buying
Trip

43 Treasured Memories

48 Bob’s Symphonion

On the Cover

The Braamcamp Clock, restored
and displayed in Museum
Speelklok. Read the story of the
restoration starting on Page 16.

Steinkjerpositives

Strange name, interesting history.
Page 29.

MBSI has replanted
146 trees so far as
part of the Print
ReLeaf program.

Bob’s Symphonion

Sometimes you find “The One” and
simply marvel that it makes its way
to your collection. Page 48.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 3

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
M
M
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, Museums,
and Dealers.

The only requirements for membership are an interest in
automatic music machines and the desire to share information
about them. And you’ll 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

Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net

Copy this page, and give it to a potential new member. Spread the word about MBSI.

Last name First Name Initial

Last Name First Name Initial

Address

City State / Zip Postal Code / Country

Phone Fax E-mail

Sponsor (optional)

Membership Dues

US members (per household)……………………………………….$60
Student Membership $20

(online journal access only)

Canada…………………………………………………………………………$70
Other International………………………………………………………$75

(Add $20 for International air mail.)

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

Visa/MasterCard

Exp. Date CCV

Signature

4 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

By Tom Kuehn

MBSI President

The President’s desk has been
relatively quiet the past two months,
a welcome respite from all the additional
activity necessitated by the
pandemic during the past year and a
half. So, I will be brief.

My family has made arrangements
to attend the 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting
in Ft. Myers, FL. Members of the
Southeast Chapter have been working
diligently over the past several years
to make this year’s meeting really
special. Those of you who have never
attended an annual meeting should
know you may be missing one of the
best benefits of membership in this
society. The meetings are fun, informative,
part holiday and part reunion
with an opportunity to make and
renew friendships. If you have not
had an occasion to smile for a while,
plan to attend the meeting. I assure
you, it will not disappoint.

Those of us in the U.S. are experiencing
what should be the end of the
COVID pandemic in our country. I
realize this is not the case everywhere.
Travel restrictions and other impediments
may prevent many of our
international members who routinely
attend our meetings from participating
this year. Hopefully this will be the
last year those hurdles exist.

I hope all of you are having a look forward to seeing many of you in
relaxed and enjoyable summer and I person in Ft. Myers.

Welcome new members!
Steve & Diane EpsteinApril 2021
Columbia, MO
James & Angela Mayer Dennis Tynes
St Louis, MO San Diego, CA
May 2021 Dave Menna
Scarsdale, NY
Lynn Meyer Sponsor: Joe Moffitt
Macomb, MI
Matthew Bjork & Lisa Voth
Davis, CA
Richard & Kaye Moyer
Anaheim, CA
Richard Parker
Walla Walla, WA
Andrew Warner
Harvard, MA

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 rst year’s 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 year’s
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 “sponsor” 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.



★★
®
(INTERNATIONAL)
ORGANIZED IN 1949
DEVOTED TO ALL MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS


★★
®
(INTERNATIONAL)
ORGANIZED IN 1949
DEVOTED TO ALL MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Musical Box Society International
P.O. Box 10196
Springeld, MO 65808-0196
Phone/Fax: (417) 886-8839
Musical Box Society International
P.O. Box 10196
Springeld, MO 65808-0196
Phone/Fax: (417) 886-8839
Dues Voucher –$15
New U.S. members may join MBSI for one year at $45 (instead
of $60); Canadians $55 (instead of $70; and, other International
members at $60 (instead of $75). This certicate must accom-
pany payment and a copy of the completed membership
application from page 4 of this issue of Mechanical Music.
New Member Name(s):
Authorized by MBSI Administrator
NEW MEMBER
GIFT CERTIFICATE
New members are those who have never been members of MBSI
or those who have not been members for three years prior to
submission of this voucher.
New members are those who have never
been members of MBSI or those who have
not been members for three years prior to
submission of this certicate.

Gift Membership Name

Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
Sponsor

SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-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 “New Member” gift.

Please mail this form together with your check made payable to “MBSI” 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.

Outreach Corner Outreach Corner
A Special Exhibit . . . during COVID

If you can’t go to the show, bring it to you!

By Mary Ellen Myers

Special Exhibits Committee Chair

Year 2020 dragged on at a snail’s
pace. Folks (especially those sharing
our condo address) were desirous
of interesting, enjoyable yet safe,
live entertainment during this time
of social isolation. Neighbors and
friends talked of interests and hobbies
and how they missed the normalcy of
engaging in these. Could this be an
opportune time to introduce folks to
mechanical music?

As a background, our second home
(hopefully to eventually become our
primary home), in Sarasota, FL, is
center stage to many professional
artistic venues, including productions
of the Ringling School of Art,
the Sarasota Ballet Company, the
Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota
Opera Company, many museums,
live theater arts, and, of course, the
Circus. Area colleges also focus on
the arts and provide student entertainment.
Many retirees, especially those
from the north, have chosen this area
for continued enrichment. The onset
and intensity of the COVID Pandemic
canceled all public performances and
proclaimed an indefinite furlough
pending the status of the pandemic. As
a result, area residents became hungry
for entertainment of an artistic nature,
while being extremely cautious in
all health and safety matters. Some
programs were privately streamed
over the internet but it was just not
the same as being there amongst a live
audience. What was needed was live,
in-person programs.

Creativity was needed to provide
social yet safe activities in our 69-unit
condo community. We all seemed to
be craving something stimulating,
interesting yet free of concern. As a

A promotional table set up in the condo common area to advertise the show.

A cylinder music box from Wayne and Mary Ellen Myers’ collection demonstrated
during the show.

Condo Social Committee planner, I pandemic imposed social restrictions.
had considered a mechanical music I floated the idea around a bit, without
exhibit in our newly-renovated condo much interest. (The community is an
common-area in compliance with over-fifty group, very conscious of

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

Advertising is important. A simple sign in the condo lobby Flyers were made available to residents of the condo to gauge
attracted attention when it was clear seating would be limited. interest and control the number of attendees.

everything and anything safety.) Being
a retired healthcare professional, safety
was my primary objective as well.

I sent out flyers of introduction and
questionnaires regarding interests,
specifying that events would only
happen if we could guarantee compliance
with COVID mandates. Still, I
received mediocre interest in return.
Lastly, I sent out specifics about
exactly how an event like this would
be accomplished, displaying sign-ups
and charts for limited seating. Something
about the word limited proved
enticing to those reading my advertisements.
A few days later, every spot
was filled! I set the show date close to
St. Paddy’s Day, so green refreshments

were also offered in a safe manner.

Food does draw interest!

On Mar. 14, 2021, the show did go on.

The history and science of
mechanical music and instrument
demonstrations were presented five
times during the day, each session
lasting about one hour. We coined
the phrase “Home Entertainment of
bygone years — from Inside to Out.”
Instruments demonstrated included
a cylinder box, and two kinds of disc
players for the in-home part. A roller
organ (aka preacher’s organ) and a
Taylor street organ brought mechanical
music out of the home. A table of
other curiosities, including past MBSI
table favors, was also on display.

Wayne Myers, Sally Craig and I
were the presenters explaining and
demonstrating each instrument.
Audience members were invited to
be organ grinders for a few minutes.
MBSI brochures were made available.
Two prizes (orphan music boxes from
a bygone convention) were awarded
at the end of the day.

This was a fun and satisfying experience
for the presenters and audience.
Hopefully there will never be a need
to take such rigid safety precautions
again. I do apologize that no photos of
the actual presentation are available.
We were all too busy conducting the
show that day! The best news to come
out of all of this? No one got COVID!

Music is nothing unless it is shared

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Participants were invited to become organ crankers on this
Taylor street organ. A roller organ demonstrated during the show.

A Molinari monkey organ that became part of the show. Visitors saw and heard this disc box during the presentation.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro

The restoration of Seeburg K #57046

It was a little over six years ago
when I thought I could squeeze one
more nickelodeon into my music
room. The question was, what should
I get? I already had a Seeburg K
with xylophone, a Nelson-Wiggen
4X restored by David Ramey, Jr.
(see Mechanical Music, November/
December 2019, or Vol. 50, No. 5 of
the AMICA Bulletin), a Seeburg G, a
Seeburg H (see Mechanical Music,
July/August 2016, or Vol. 47, No. 3 of
the AMICA Bulletin), a Wurlitzer 153
Band Organ and a Chickering Ampico
A piano.

Remember, I really like the music,
so a plentiful supply of rolls was
important to me. The Link machines
have wonderful arrangements, but
changing rolls is difficult and I change
rolls all the time. Cremona machines
are wonderful, but M rolls are relatively
hard to obtain.

I’ve always loved the Wurlitzer
CX which uses five-tune APP rolls. I
thought seriously about this machine,
but then I realized that I would have
to get all available rolls, since I’m a
real roll addict. My house is already
overflowing with rolls, and I really
don’t have room for another large set
of rolls. I think there are thousands of
APP rolls. For the same reason an O
machine, like the Coinola SO, would
be impractical.

Then I hit upon the idea of getting
a Seeburg K machine with pipes. I
already have a large A roll collection,
so I wouldn’t have to buy a bunch of
rolls, and it would be a completely

different sound from my K with
xylophone.

As luck would have it, Dave Ramey,
Jr.’s mother had such a machine. It
originally belonged to Dave Ramey,
Sr. who bought it years ago for his
personal collection. It had a set of
flute pipes, but Dave, Sr. had a set of
violin pipes made by Bruce Newman.
So here I am presented with the idea
of owning a machine with two sets of
interchangeable pipes. I could choose
the sound I liked!! Unfortunately for
us all, Dave, Sr. died before he could
restore this machine.

I bought the machine from Dave,
Jr.’s mother and since it was already
in Dave, Jr.’s shop, I got on his list

of projects to do. Dave, Jr.’s work on
my Nelson-Wiggen 4-X machine was
so incredibly great, that I was more
than happy to have him restore this
machine, too.

So here I am, embarking on another
adventure!

Again, there was a lot to do in
order to restore a machine. I like my
machines to look like they just came
out of the Seeburg factory. The case
should look new, and the parts should
be shiny. The machine should sound
like it was brand new.

This machine dates from 1914 and
has the rare Dancing Girl art glass and
the old gate-post coin accumulator.
The stained glass did not have the

Decals used to restore the faces of the dancing girls in the art glass.

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

The piano action before restoration. The piano action after restoration.

The gatepost coin accumulator before restoration.

The gatepost coin accumulator after restoration.

faces on the dancing girls (they were Restore Cabinet • Replace plating or clean and age
just blank) and several pieces were • Patch veneer on sides and lid hardware
the wrong color. Decals had to be • Replace veneer on toes and • Restore art glass with decals
made in order to restore the faces. In bottom stringer
addition, work needed to be done on • Fabricate new bottom to replace Restore Piano
the trim. splintered/warped original • Patch and refinish soundboard

The following is a list of the tasks • Supply lock and key • Install new tuning pins
performed (other than the stained • Install new casters • Install new strings
glass): • Refinish cabinet • Refinish piano plate

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

• Replace plating on hardware
• Clean and rebuild action wippens
• Install new butts and hammers
• Install new damper felts
• Fabricate and install original style
mandolin rail and mechanism
Restore Electric Components

• Restore coin mechanism
• Fabricate coin collection box and
housing
• Replace plating on hardware
• Install relay and cover (lessens
wear on coin mech contacts)
• Fabricate spring motor base
• Replace wiring of hanging socket
Restore Pipe chest

• Replace all gaskets
• Replace all coverings
• Fabricate new pneumatic boards
• Refinish components
• Clean pipes
Restore Piano Stack

• Replace all valve pouches and
valve face leathers
• Replace all gaskets
• Fabricate new pneumatic boards
• Replace all coverings
• Refinish components
Restore Vacuum/Pressure Pump

• Replace outer coverings with
laminated leather
• Make and install new inner and
outer flap valves
• Refinish pump body
• Replace plating of hardware
• Install new friction drive tire
• Change how pump mounts to
channel deck for easy removal
Restore Music Roll Frame

• Clean mechanism
• Clean and polish tracker bar
• Restore rewind/play unit
• Replace rubber tubing
• Make and install missing tubing
cover
Restore other Pneumatic
Components

• Replace all valve pouches and
valve face leathers
• Replace all gaskets
• Replace all coverings
• Make and install missing pedal
The interior of the machine before restoration.

The interior after restoration.

hardware collection at Svoboda’s Nickelodeon

• Supply original coin slide entry Tavern and Museum. Around 1970,
• Replace rubber tubing Dave, Sr. began a full-time restoration
business. Dave trained a number of
Dave Ramey, Sr. started receiving skilled craftsmen. He introduced the
his automatic music education in 1955 Banjo-Orchestra in 1994 and the D.C.
while maintaining the nickelodeon Ramey Piano Company has since sold

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

The pump before restoration.

The template for new pump leather with stiffeners.

many units. Dave Ramey, Sr. passed away in July 2006. His
son started in the family business full time in 1986 after
years of working after school and summers alongside his
father. Dustin Hott worked with Dave and he did much of
the piano work for the restoration project.

One fine day, Dave, Jr. pulled up to my house with
my brand-new (old) Seeburg K. If I ordered one from
Seeburg, it couldn’t have looked better. Can you imagine
taking a wreck of a machine and creating something truly
wonderful?

It’s been several years now, and I can’t stop playing it. I’m
sticking to the violin pipes for now since I like the sound
better than that of the flute, but I can always change.

Dave Ramey, Jr. can be reached at dcramey@dcramey.
com and his phone is (708) 602-3961. Visit his website
dcramey.com.

The spool frame before (top photo) and restored to a like-new
condition (bottom photo).

Email Matt Jaro at mjaro@verizon.net if you would like any
information about style “A”, “G”, “4X”, “H” or “O” rolls. Also,
comments and suggestions for this column will be appreciated.

Reprinted with permission of the author and The Automatic
Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association (AMICA). Originally
printed in the November-December 2015 issue of The
AMICA Bulletin.

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Many, many valves were cleaned and
restored during the process of renewing
the Seeburg K.

WE WANT YOUR
STORY!
Every mechanical musical
instrument has a tale to tell.
Share the history of people
who owned your instrument
before you, or the story of its
restoration, or just what makes
it an interesting piece. Send
stories via email to
editor@mbsi.org, or
mail your story to:
130 Coral Court,
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
New strings help make the piano sound like it just came off the factory floor.

More of the valve work in progress.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

The

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Braamcamp Clock

In September 2016, a long-
cherished wish came true for
the Dutch Museum Speelklok
in Utrecht, Netherlands. With
the help of some donations and
foundations, the director of
Speelklok, Marian van Dijk, and
the head of the collection, Anne-
Sophie van Leeuwen, were able to
acquire the so-called “Braamcamp
clock” at a Sotheby’s auction in
Paris, France. The purchase of this
prestigious flute clock also marked
its return to Holland, where it
had once been part of the rich
collection of fine and applied arts
of the merchant Gerrit Braamcamp
(1699–1771) in the late 18th century.

Reprinted with permission of Das Mechanische
Musikinstrument and the Gesellschaft für Selbstspielende
Musikinstrumente e.V. (German Society for Self-Playing
Musical Instruments)

Editor’s note from Das Mechanische Musikinstrument:

In the newsletter of Museum Speelklok
I read the account of an employee of
the Rijksmuseum, in Amsterdam, which
concerned the restoration of the so-called
“Braamcamp Clock.” The article was available
in English, but it was so exciting that I asked
the author, Tirza Mol, if I could translate it into
German and publish it in Das Mechanische
Musikinstrument. Tirza emailed me back that
she wanted to discuss it first with her boss, the
head of the furniture restoration department at
the Rijksmuseum. I then received the following
report on the restoration, which I have
transcribed from English in consultation with
those involved. First, a word about Charles
Clay and the clock, whose purchase was by no
means as unspectacular as our authors’ text
suggests. The clock was sold at auction on
Sept. 28, 2016, at the Sotheby’s auction house
in Paris, France, and came from the collection
of a well-known French collector, Robert de
Balkany. It was bought by Museum Speelklok
for the remarkable price of 867,000 euros. This
set a world record for the price of a clock made
by Charles Clay. At the time the clock was
made, England, and London in particular, was
the center of the clockmaking world. Clay was
a purveyor to the court of the English crown
and a contemporary of Thomas Tompion and
George Graham, the absolute grand masters of
English clockmaking.

Thanks to the Authors’ collective which
consisted of Tirza Mol, Paul van Duin, Duncan
Bull from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and
Anne-Sophie van Leeuwen, Marieke Lefeber-
Morsman, Erwin Roubal and Tristan Budel
from Museum Speelklok, Utrecht.

All photographs are courtesy of Museum
Speelklok, Utrecht, Netherlands.

— Uwe Gernert
July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17

The clock was probably made in the
late 1730s by Charles Clay, a London
master clockmaker who was at the
time a member of His Majesty’s Board
of Works as a court clockmaker. He
held that position until a few years
before his death in 1740. Because of
its sophisticated musical mechanism,
the acquisition of the Braamcamp
clock had always been a heartfelt wish
of Jan Jaap Haspels during his time as
director of Museum Speelklok from
1970 to 2006. When the museum celebrated
its 50th anniversary in 2006, the
monumental clock was the highlight
of the anniversary exhibition titled
Royal Music Machines.

Made of oak, the overman-high
furniture of the Braamcamp clock is
veneered with mahogany in the lower
part and ebony in the upper part. The
case houses a clockwork, a weight-
driven organ movement, and a large
musical cylinder 340 millimeters in
diameter. When the clock and organ
movement were originally assembled
into the case, it must have been
discovered that the two parts did not
really fit together. At different places
in the clock and organ movement,
it’s obvious that interventions took
place to remedy this situation. These
interventions do not all seem to have
been really optimal and significantly
affected the clock’s construction.
The ornaments consist of fire-gilded
bronze decorations and cast brass
elements. The side and the rear arched
windows of the upper part are also
filled with “ajour” work made of fire-
gilded bronze, the openings of which
are covered with red fabric from the
back.

The movement

The first thing restorers noticed
were two small, closed openings on
the clock dial. These were probably
intended as holes for winding the
clock, but when the clock came into the
possession of Museum Speelklok, the
movement was being wound through
openings in the side parts of the case.
It was surmised that the reason the
openings in the dial were closed had
to do with the enormous effort necessary
to wind the clock through the
dial. In order to do this, it would have

A drawing of Gerrit Braamcamp.

required the entire, huge upper part
of the case to be pushed completely
upwards and held there while the
clock was wound. Someone may once
have considered putting a door in the
upper part of the case to assist with
the winding, but had such a door been
installed, it would have hidden part
of the magnificent ornamentation
from view, and that would have been
highly undesirable. Putting smaller
openings on the sides of the upper
part of the case and employing angular
gears attached to the shafts of the
movement so that the clock could be
wound without removing the case was
clearly a better solution for the person
responsible for the modification. The
angular winding gears, however, put
a different load on the movement’s
bearings than the original mechanism
could tolerate and ended up causing
some corresponding damage. After a
thorough examination, it was decided
that the movement and its winding
method should be restored to the
original condition. For this purpose,
the original winding holes on the dial
were reopened, the added parts of the
winding system were removed, and
thus the complete winding system
was restored to its original form.

Also, of course, the damage
caused to the movement itself had
to be repaired. The forces applied
by the angular gears in the winding

The two padded wooden blocks used to
hold the clock casing high enough to be
able to wind the mechanism.

mechanism had caused a crack in one
of the axles. This crack was milled
out and refilled with iron. Holes
were drilled in the front plate of the
movement and in the corresponding
shafts to be able to attach the earlier
modification. All of these holes were
also resealed. The worn, out-of-round
bearing bores were replaced, the
shafts were re-turned to size, and the
cones were polished. The contact
patterns of the gears were no longer
suitable due to the changed positions
of the winding mechanism, and the
meshing of the gears was thus no
longer guaranteed. This was remedied
by concavely re-milling the teeth of
the corresponding gears, thus restoring
a suitable contact pattern.

The sliding case/cover was also
restored to its original state. Now, to
wind the movement, the entire upper
part of the case has to be pushed up
about 30 centimeters. The original
owner likely had servants and therefore
could marshal enough manpower
to do this regularly, but today it is
much harder to find people willing
to assist with this, not only for the

18 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The drawing for the restoration
of the drive mechanism
July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 19

physical labor involved but also they
fear dropping the case, or otherwise
damaging anything in the clock. There
is no fixture in the case that holds the
top in this position, so we now make
use of two padded wooden blocks,
which are slid under the top to hold
it in place while the clock is wound.
In the base cabinet under the clock,
there is enough storage space to hold
these blocks and the winding keys.

The dial is housed in the front round
arch but is relatively small with a
diameter of 15 centimeters. This dial
is embedded in a large copper plate,
artfully decorated with sculptural
elements in front of an oil painting
of Apollo and the Muses on Mount
Parnassus with Minerva. The painting
can almost certainly be attributed to
the Venetian painter Jacopo Amigoni
(ca. 1685–1752). The front of the clock
is framed by a bas-relief of fire-gilded
bronze, intended to create the impression
of three-dimensional architecture
and consisting of two obelisks, each
crowned with a vase, and two other
ornate vases. In high relief are the
figures of Apollo and Diana in cast
silver. These were made by John
Michael Rysbrack (1694–1770).
Rysbrack is also responsible for the
vividly depicted group representing
the “Four Arts” below the figures,
which are also cast in silver as high
reliefs.

We encounter Rysbrack’s reliefs on a
whole series of Clay’s musical clocks,
while Amigoni is also responsible for
painting all four sides of Clay’s probably
most accomplished clock on the
theme of “The Four Great Monarchies
of the World,” now part of the British
Royal Collection and on display at
Kensington Palace. Rysbrack and
Amigoni, as leading artistic figures
of the time, were naturally at home
in London’s musical world, so Clay’s
choice to commission them to design
it to complement Handel’s music is
not surprising.

Repertoire

The music automaton consists of
an organ that plays 10 different melodies,
probably all by George Frideric
Handel (1685–1759). Handel (from
Halle), Amigoni (from Naples) and

Detail of the dial face of the
Braamcamp Clock showing the
bronze sculptures on either corner,
cast-silver figures inset and finally
an oil painting of Apollo and the
Muses on Mount Parnassus with
Minerva in the background that
creates a three-dimensional artwork
effect.

At right and facing page: Details of
the bellows section and the flute
ranks with pinned cylinder featuring
10 tunes.

20 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 21

Rysbrack (from Antwerp) were the
three main figures of London’s cultural
life in the first half of the 18th century
and as such were familiar with the
most popular and fashionable art form
of the time, Italian opera. As the most
famous musician of the time, Handel
was naturally the first choice to create
the music for such an extravagant
and expensive piece as Clay’s clock,
and it could be possible that he was
responsible for arranging his melodies
specifically for this work, but equally
for Clay’s other organ clocks.

The range of the flute organ is quite
extensive:

c’-d-e-f-fis-g-a-bes-b-c”-cis-d-dis-ef-
fis-g-gis-a-bes-b-c’’’

Every three hours the organ plays a
melody. The first piece on the cylinder
is the “Minuet from the Overture to
Arianna.” The opera “Arianna” was
first performed in 1734. In order to
make this minuet playable for the
organ work of the clock, the arranger
shortened it and omitted the middle
register. Five of the other melodies
in the repertoire have not (yet)
been identified. There is a distinct
possibility that one or the other of
these melodies may have originally
belonged to another organ clock
repertoire. Three of these five pieces
are also found on another clock by
Charles Clay, which is preserved in
Windsor Castle and dated to a year of
construction around 1739.

To make minor adjustments to the
keys of the organ movement means
simply removing a smaller part of
the upper section. To tune the organ
movement, however, the upper case
must be removed completely.

This is a time-consuming operation.
In order to get the case to a reasonable
working height, formwork panels
must be set up on scaffolding around
the clock and even then, lifting the
case is difficult because the lower
cabinet is still quite wide and anyone
recruited for the work would have to
lean their upper bodies over the clock
as they lifted. To solve this problem, a
supporting frame of four additionally
clad and interconnected wooden
beams was constructed. Probably

These photos show the scale of the clock plus the scaffolding and padded crossbar
mechanism that are used to remove the case when the instrument must be tuned.

22 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The top photo shows a cast silver figurine
before restoration and the photo
below is after. The third photo shows
the silver cast image of Diana with her
quiver that had been missing when the
museum took possession of the clock.
The quiver was reconstructed using old
photos of the Braamcamp clock. The
bottom photo shows the scale of the
quiver compared to a human hand. The
attention to detail during the restoration
was a high priority.

The organ work undergoing restoration at Museum Speelklok.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 23

a similar construction was used in
earlier times.

In front of and behind the organ
movement, there are two solid brass
arches that serve as guides for the
upper part and ensure that it remains
in position and does not collide with
the organ movement. Additionally,
these arches support the dial and give
the movement some rigidity. Similar
construction has not yet been found
on other Clay movements, so it seems
to be a design specifically done for
this clock.

The first owner of the clock is
unknown, it probably came into the
possession of Gerrit Braamcamp in
Amsterdam in 1759. After his death,
the clock was sold at auction and
acquired by members of a branch of
the Braamcamp family that had settled
in Portugal. The clock was passed
through several collections there,
including that of the Infanta Maria
Isabel, and remained in Portugal until
the 20th century. Around 1972, the
clock was purchased by the Parisian
collector Robert de Balkany and then
it passed into the hands of Museum
Speelklok in 2016.

The restoration of the case and
its base, as well as the ornamental
elements, was supervised by
the restoration workshops of the
Rijksmuseum shortly after it was
purchased. Rijksmuseum employees
possessed the necessary experience
and restoration expertise not only in
the field of woodwork, but also for the
metalwork and oil painting. Although
at first glance the furniture appeared
to be in quite good condition, a closer
look revealed some major challenges.

Closer inspection revealed that not
only was the mahogany veneer loose
and standing out from the wooden
base, but there were also cracks
and dents in both the veneer and the
carved mahogany elements. The solid
wood of both the side panels and the
base had cracks, and in these cracked
areas the veneer had also cracked and
was blistering. Color changes were
also discovered in the veneer along
these cracks.

The fire-gilded bronzes and silver
and brass decorations were dirty and
partially corroded. Diana’s quiver cast

A detail shot of the base showing the veneer pulling away from the wood.

in silver, a characteristic attribute
of the goddess of the hunt, had been
lost, and the red fabric behind the
openwork of the upper part was loose,
faded and damaged. The surface of the
painting was dirty and also showed
damage caused by the peeling of oil
paint from the copper background.

Although the lacquer coating on
the base was in reasonably good
condition, the high gloss and reddish
tint were both found to be distracting.
Light reflections caused by the high-
gloss finish prevented the enjoyment
of seeing the subtle nuances of the
mahogany veneer’s grain. Due to
the thick application of the varnish,
the carvings also suffered, their
edges looking far too soft as a result.
Examination with ultraviolet light in
conjunction with pyrolysis gas chromatography
analysis revealed that the
high gloss varnish was a shellac that
had been applied after the original
finish which was a mixture of different
resins such as pine, limb cypress, shellac
and larch dissolved in turpentine
had been removed. In the areas of
the corpus that are more difficult to
reach, there were still remnants of this
mixture first used, which fluoresced
greenish under ultraviolet irradiation.
Scrape marks on the veneer proved
that the turpentine resins had been
mechanically removed.

Museum Speelklok wanted to have
the case restored to a condition that
matched the original, so that the original
condition would be visible again
and the high quality of the materials
and craftsmanship would be evident.
The high-gloss varnish on the base
was thus completely removed with

solvents. Several layers of beeswax
were then applied. The silky patina
of the beeswax, the use of which was
common practice in the first half of the
18th century, now allows one to experience
the three-dimensional effects
of the grain of the mahogany. Cracks
and depressions in the veneer and the
solid wood body were filled and loose
parts were glued back in place.

After consultations with the
Rijksmuseum’s metal conservation
department, it was decided to clean
all metal decorations and polish the
pieces to a soft shine. The fire-gilded
bronzes were cleaned and given a
transparent varnish to protect them
from corrosion in the future.

A replacement was created in silver
casting for Diana’s lost quiver, using
old photographs of the Braamcamp
clock as a pattern.

The painting restoration workshop
of the Rijksmuseum examined the
painted dial with infrared and ultraviolet
light. The surface of the painting
was cleaned and damaged areas were
repaired.

The fabric, which the textile
conservation conservators at the
Rijksmuseum identified as a modern
synthetic fabric, was removed and
replaced with a silk fabric dyed to the
appropriate red hue.

The restoration of the Braamcamp
clock is an outstanding example of
interdisciplinary collaboration. On
behalf of the case, Paul van Duin,
head of furniture restoration at the
Rijksmuseum, coordinated the work
and supervised the project. Furniture
restorer Tirza Mol was commissioned
to carry out the necessary restoration

24 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Restorers replace synthetic fabric with dyed silk.

Photos showing various pieces of
the wind chest during the restoration
The channels of the wind chest, some of which had to be delicately repaired. process.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

work. A freelance textile restorer,
Anja Semts, dyed and mounted the
silk fabric. The painting was worked
on by painting conservator Giulia De
Vivo, while metal conservator Arie
Pappot worked with Tirza Mol on the
reconstruction of Diana’s quiver. The
high level of art historical expertise of
the Rijksmuseum curator Duncan Bull
and Anne-Sophie van Leeuwen helped
to provide a better understanding of
the context in which the clock was
created in London in the 18th century.

The organ work

On the sides of the organ work it is
easy to see that the original plan for
installation was changed. There are
holes in the wood, which are unusable
because the pumping mechanism for
the bellows is now placed there. In
the lowest part of the organ work is
the bellows system. This part was in
an extremely bad condition. After the
entire bellows system was incorporated
into the sides of the wood, it had
become very thin and compromised
in structure. Since this part was actually
impossible to restore, Museum
Speelklok restoration experts copied
and refinished this piece. The part of
the air supply to the windchest and
the fastening of the bolts, on the other
hand, was preserved.

The scoops on the bellows clearly
show that the intake valves were
probably mounted close to the hinge
point of the bellows in the past. These
wooden valves are glued onto a frame
and thus lie somewhat elevated above
the respective scoop bellows. The
result was that they hit the upper
bearing of the bellows and thus could
only function poorly. The cracks have
been eliminated and the bellows have
also been restored. Paper was glued
to the outer and inner sides to ensure
optimal tightness of the scoops. Bone
glue was used for bonding so that
the joints can be separated again if
necessary.

In the middle part of the organ
movement is the wind chest. The
board on which the wind chest is
fixed, and where the air supply of the
magazine bellows is also located, was
broken in two places. This board was
restored and sealed. It was noticeable

A side view of the clock showing the base that houses the pumping mechanism and
gears that drive the cylinder.

that the air supply was not accomplished
through a large opening, as
was common and usual, but through
a grating with several slits that could
be interrupted by a pull. Museum
staff wondered what could have been
the function of this draught. Might
it have been to interrupt the music?
After all, this could be done in other,
simpler ways, such as shutting off
all the stops or blocking the impeller
on the centrifugal governor. Another
idea for the arrangement was that
the intended effect of this pull was to
cause a tremolo in the tone, although

a tremulant for a mechanical organ
of that time is highly unlikely. In any
case, this pull never worked, mainly
because of the lack of space when the
organ was made.

The windchest itself was in good
condition and was glued out with bone
glue on the inside as a precaution to
prevent it from blowing through into
other channels or chambers in each
case. The old leather of the valves
was renewed and the valves were
readjusted in their old place.

The top part houses the organ pipes
and the gear train for the organ and

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

An unusual brass strip found
on the cylinder to ensure all

keys are briefly lifted before the
mechanism is set in motion. It
is thought that this allows air
to fill the pipes of the organ
and helps to ensure that the
wind-pressure is correct before
play starts.

At far right is another view of
the cylinder with all keys in
place and ready to play.

Smartphone users can scan the QR code to watch a video

about the restoration on YouTube.

clockwork. The arrangement of the
pipes was changed at the time of origin
to make room for the clockwork. This
can be clearly seen in the channels in
the board on which the organ pipes
are placed; this was actually longer.
The board itself was in quite good
condition, but the channels had to be
worked on. Because some of the ducts
cross each other, they were sealed
against each other with leather in an
earlier restoration. This leather had
disintegrated over the years, allowing
air to cross between these channels.
With steam and a lot of patience, we
replaced this leather. The holes were
again sealed with bone glue. By using
the bone glue, this intervention in the
original substance can also be easily
reversed.

This was also true for the thin and
long channels that supply the pipes of
the 4-inch reed stop with air. The wood
between these channels is extremely
thin and probably wood has already
broken out of these channels during

manufacturing. In addition, due to
the aforementioned lack of space in
the organ, these pipes were placed
in a different position than originally
intended. Therefore, the channels
were lengthened, and in the process,
more parts of the wood broke away.
The missing parts were replaced, and
thin leather was inserted over the
cracks with bone glue.

The organ clock has four pipe
registers whose state of preservation
varied greatly. The small pipes in the
4-inch reed flute stop were almost
all clogged with dirt, and many of
the glue joints in the pipework were
no longer tight. The 8-inch reed flute
stop was in reasonably good condition,
only the stoppers needed to be
re-leathered, and the pipes needed
tuning. The formerly open 8-inch
pipe stop had been dacked and was
in exceedingly poor condition. In a
previous restoration, the pipes of this
stop were sawed off to make a dacked
stop. We removed the stoppers and

made extensions for each of the pipes.
Then the pipes were sawed to the
correct length at the extensions and
tuned. Now this stop is again a stop
with open pipes. The fourth register
again consisted of a row of 8-inch
dacked pipes. It was noticeable that
these were made of a different wood
than the rest of the pipes. The pipes
were restored, and all the stoppers
were re-leathered.

The barrel/cylinder, keys,
and stickers

The large brass barrel is located
above the movement. In the course
of its life, it was probably polished
several times with brass polish. Thus,
quite a lot of polish got left between
the large number of pins and bridges.
Unfortunately, polish has an abrasive
effect because it consists largely of
chalk. This chalk, accumulated over
the centuries, caused abrasion on the
keys as well as the pins and bridges.
Now and then, the chalk then also fell

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 27

into the movement to cause further
damage. Restorers used benzine,
paintbrushes and brushes to remove
the remains of the cleaning agent.

One unusual feature found during
the restoration was a brass strip in
the lane of the barrel. This brass strip
ensures that, shortly before the entire
playing mechanism is set in motion,
all keys are briefly lifted. This makes
it possible to adjust all keys at the
same time. This could be intended to
ensure that the music won’t play too
legato, but also not too staccato. The
fine-tuning doesn’t have to be done on
the basis of the pins and bridges on
the barrel anymore.

Another, additional explanation for
this device could be that it helped
the flywheel and thus the rest of the
mechanics to come up to the necessary
circulation speed. When the flywheel
starts to rotate, the bellows coupled to
it are also set in motion, thus building
up the necessary wind in the organ. So,
in order to get the flywheel going from
a standstill, it makes perfect sense to
let the air supply to the valves of the
pipework “run into the void.” After
all the keys are opened by the lifting,
the air flows through all the pipes
without resistance, without reaching
a wind pressure that makes the pipes
respond. This, in turn, ensures that
the action can start moving without
further stress from the buildup of
wind for the pipes.

Four “protrusions” had appeared
on the brass strip. This meant that
keys could get caught on these raised
areas when the pin roller was moved
sideways. Restorers compensated
for these flaws in the brass strip
with appropriate dovetail joints.
Originally, the stickers were made of
steel, but these stickers were later
replaced with wooden stickers in an
earlier restoration. The stickers were

The Braamcamp Clock is now on permanent display in Museum Speelklok.

returned to an original state. The which helped with establishing their
order of the keys, which had been orientation.
changed at some point, was restored The Braamcamp clock is on display
to the best condition possible. Some in the permanent exhibition of
of the keys were still marked with Museum Speelklok from December
the corresponding inscriptions, 2019.

28 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The history of the Steinkjerpositive

By Dr. Robert Penna

In the mid to late 19th century, the
small Norwegian town of Steinkjer
became known for the manufacture of
quality barrel organs. It is surprising
that one small town and its environs
produced more than 500 hand-cranked
instruments. Certainly, this was
many more than organ enthusiasts
locally would ever need. So, why did
this location become such a hub of
production? Who were these Norse
craftsmen? How could there be such
a demand? How did these instruments
spread throughout the region? How
did it all start and why are these barrel
organs known as “positives”?

A barrel organ is known by many
names. In different locations, one can
hear the term street organ, monkey
organ, grinder organ, roll organ, crank
organ, hand organ, cylinder organ and
even incorrectly, hurdy gurdy.1 Yet, in
one location, they are called positives.

Throughout Norway, the Steinkjerpositive
was a well-known local brand
of barrel organ. Other European barrel
organs from the same period were
usually more lightweight and easier to
carry. The ones produced in Steinkjer,
especially the two larger versions,
were more like portable organs by
comparison. Though heavier and
harder to move from place to place,
the machines were well built and the
sound quality excellent. Further, what
set them apart was the fact that the
music was taken from the traditional
local tunes used by fiddlers throughout
the district. Because of these
reasons, you could be “positive” they
were from Steinkjer.

Some 40 kilometers south of Steinkjer,
the town of Levanger hosted a
market each December and March.
Begun in 1829, farmers, tradespeople
and families visited to sell their goods,
shop, catch up on the news and find
entertainment for the children. The
market also attracted visitors from
foreign lands including barrel organ

grinders. One can imagine the novelty
of the instrument caught many a
person’s attention.

Among those fascinated by the
barrel organ was Thomas Fosnaes
(1813–1870), an instrument maker,
clockmaker and musician from
Steinkjer. Fosnaes began building
barrel organs before 1849 as several
of his instruments have been found
which precede this date. It is likely

Photograph of a Norwegian organ grinder. Photo from the Nordlandsmuseet’s
collection

that he earned some business from
itinerant grinders who sought his
assistance to repair or retune their
instruments as they passed through
his area. Then, an incident in about
1850 ignited Fosnaes’s passion and he
began manufacturing barrel organs
on a larger scale. The catalyst for this
change was the reported death of an
Italian barrel organ player who had
lived in the town of Beitstad some 16

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 29

kilometers northwest of Steinkjer. It
is thought that because of Fosnaes’s
reputation as a violinist, the Italian’s
unclaimed mechanical device was
given to him.

After taking the instrument apart,
Fosnaes decided he would continue to
make his own instruments and improve
on their construction based on what he
learned from the Italian’s instrument.
One of his early decisions was to
contact two brothers who were well
known locally for casting fine quality
brass objects. Christian (1839–1922)
and Torris Tharaldsen (born 1848) not
only excelled in brass work but were
also talented carpenters. At first, they
cast parts for the organs built by Fosnaes,
but as the need for more positives
grew, the Tharaldsen brothers began to
build their own barrel organs. Christian
made the internal parts and some of
the decoration, while Torris made the
cases.

The ability to pin the music to the
barrels is a difficult task, far beyond
the ability of most carpenters or metal
workers. Fosnaes was a celebrated
local violinist, well known for playing
at concerts and weddings. He also
gave lessons to aspiring violinists.
One of his most talented students
was Jacob Schjefte (born 1841). The
increasing demand for positives and
the public desire for more and varied
tunes inspired Fosnaes to recruit and
train Schjefte to prepare barrels for
the positives as regular employment.
Although by trade a shoemaker, Jacob
became known as a master at pinning
barrels for these instruments. He is
known to have pinned the barrels for
the organs made by Christian Tharaldsen
as well as for those made by Ola
Fjeldhaug (born 1829) and others.

Over a period of 50 years, others from
the area joined the group constructing
positives, either making important
parts or building an entire instrument.
Among them were Ola Fjeldhaug,
Theodor Bentzen, Ole Ramstad, Paul
Landsem, Mathias Klaebo, brothers
Peter and Odin Tveras, Nils Opdahl
and Jacob Bredesmo.

Ola Fjeldhaug spent his free time
making furniture and violins. In the
summer, Fjeldhaug worked in the local
brick factory and in the winter at his

A Steinkjerpositive barrel cylinder.

Christian (Kristian) Tharaldsen, maker of the majority of the Steinkjerpositives. He
was an excellent brazier (maker of brass objects), a trade he learned from his father.
Photo courtesy Digital Museum For The Steinkjerpositives.

local croft in the forest. Any free time
was spent assisting Schjefte building
positives or pinning the music into
the barrels of the positives he made.
Another individual who assisted in
pinning the barrels was Theodor
Bentzen (born 1843), a local violin

maker and brick layer who became
involved in the effort. Although the
majority of the instruments made in
Steinkjer bear the name of Christian
Tharaldsen, he often had others make
parts and his workshop assembled
them into the positives.

30 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

A restored Tharaldsen positive from 1893.

This group of local craftsmen often
worked in small workshops at their
homes. Residents of the town built
more than 500 barrel organs in a span
of slightly more than 50 years. Most of
the Steinkjerpositives (400-plus) carry
Christian Tharaldsen’s name. Those
signed by Jacob Schjefte or Thomas
Fosnaes are not significantly different
from those sporting the name of
Christian. No instruments have been
located which carry the name of
Teodor Bentzen, but it is understood
he manufactured several and a large
number of the barrels.

At least 13 men contributed to the
manufacture of these barrel organs in
the Steinkjer area. The manufacture of
the Steinkjerpositive was of significant
importance to the community. The
money made from the sale of these
instruments had a profound impact on
their lives. Several of these men were

Photo of the south side of Steinkjer. Photo courtesy Digital Museum For The
Steinkjerpositives.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 31

poor tenant farmers who worked
long hours for little pay. In making
positives, they found a life changing
opportunity. The barrel organ manufacturing
business provided enough
income for them to leave some of
their financial woes behind. Several
used their money to leave their tenant
farmer status behind and purchase
land of their own. In an area that had
had limited manufacture of goods, this
was a significant boost to the local
economy.2

Considering that more than 500
positives were built in Steinkjer
and neighboring villages, one has
to wonder where they were used.
Obviously, the local market would
have been saturated many times
over. The production of these instruments,
however, coincided with the
growth of trade throughout Norway.
Innhrredjekt, or jekts, were being
produced at this time. The jekts, a
type of windjammer sailing boat,
sailed the coastal waters and opened
a market for the large-scale export of
the Steinkjerpositives. The merchants
aboard the jekts first sailed north with
timber and farmers’ produce which
was exchanged for fish and then south
to trade the fish for other goods and
back to their home ports. This triangular
trade route gave the barrel organ
makers a relatively large market in
which to operate.

It is reported that when a jekt was
launched, it was necessary to play
celebratory music from a Steinkjerpositive.
The belief was “if not, then
things at sea could go wrong.”3

Whether a foolish superstition or
a brilliant marketing ploy, tradition
dictated that there would be three
parties before a jekt could be placed
in the water. Positives were often used
for the music at the prelaunch parties.
In addition, in order to maintain a
good atmosphere during the maiden
voyage, the instrument continued to
be played on board. Positives were
also played when entering a harbor or
to greet one as it returned, ensuring
a party on the docks. In this manner,
the Steinkjerpositive spread along the
Norwegian coast and to other ports as
well. As these well-respected instruments
spread, the need for increased

A view along Kongens gate in the north side of Steinkjer. Photo courtesy Digital
Museum For The Steinkjerpositives.

A restored Tharaldsen positive from 1871.

production was met by the crafts-it not uncommon to find these barrel
men of Steinkjer. Also, it should be organs in unexpected places.
mentioned that as some Norwegians Known for their colorful tunes, the
emigrated to new lands, they took Steinkjerpositives played the local
their instruments with them, making music used by the fiddlers throughout

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

the district. At first, waltzes, polkas,
reinlenders, galops, marches and
mazurkas were the initial tunes placed
on the barrel. It is fascinating to note
that this is the only source of the
music of the region during this time
period. The music of the fiddlers was
merely passed down and memorized
by the musicians; none was ever
written down to be preserved. Without
the barrels, these tunes would
have been lost forever. It is because
of these barrel organs that the music
that reflects the culture and musical
history of the region at this time has
been preserved. Sadly, the titles of
many of the tunes have been lost as
the builders did not list the tunes on
the barrels nor in the boxes.

As the Steinkjerpositives became
ever more popular and spread to new
areas, a demand arose for a greater
repertoire of tunes. To meet that
need, more music was borrowed from
German dance tunes. To date, around
1,200 tunes have been recorded from
the surviving positives. To hear many
of the tunes that have been recorded
from surviving Steinkjerpositives,
visit steinkjerpositiv.com/music.html.
The tunes are listed according to
type and year of issue. To date, only
one barrel has been discovered with
religious hymns used in the churches
of that era.

The three sizes most commonly
found in these barrel organs are 22
keys (known as the little), 25 keys
(known as the middle) and 28 keys
(known as the large). Because there
were several builders of these instruments
over a long period of time,
variations exist. So, it is not uncommon
to find Steinkjerpositives with
23 and 24 keys. They were, however,
all built in the same pattern and are
relatively similar in design.4

The earliest machines were built
entirely of pine. But craftsmen like
Christian Tharaldsen built his in the
finest quality using mahogany and
decorative moldings. Goat hide was
used for bellows. The pipes and many
internal parts were still made from
pine, but parts of the pipes that needed
a harder wood used material from fruit
and nut trees. Some Steinkjerpositives
have mechanical parts made of iron,

A restored Schjefte positive from 1891.

A jekt or typical windjammer from Steinkjer, Norway. Tradition stated that it was
an absolute necessity to play music from a Steinkjerpositive before launching.
Otherwise, “if not, things at sea could go wrong.” Pictured is one of the last remain-
ing Steinkjer jekts, the Pauline from the 1800s. Photo courtesy Digital Museum For
The Steinkjerpositives.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 33

but those made by Christian Tharaldsen
were made almost entirely of
brass. Barrels were made of wooden
staves glued together to form a tube.
End caps were then placed on the
tube so that the interior of the barrel
was hollow. This reduced the weight
and eliminated cracking. Often a light
brown or green paper was glued on to
the barrel to make it smooth and even.
The pins and bridges were made of
brass.

After many decades of service, one
by one these magnificent machines fell
silent. Some were forgotten in attics
or barns, others simply destroyed.
Finally, in the 1970s, Otto Nielsen, an
employee of the Norwegian Broadcasting
Company and a local historian
named Charles Karlsen investigated
the history of the Steinkjerpositives.
Others soon joined the effort, and
the background of these historic
machines was rediscovered.5

Additional details on the manufacture
of the Steinkjerpositives, their
makers, music and internal workings
can be found on websites developed
by Harald Sakshaug, referred to in
the footnotes of this article. Much of
the materials and photographs were
supplied with his gracious consent.

Examples of music and traditional
dancing can be found at: www.
nostalgeek.no/barrel.htm. Additional
examples of Steinkjerpositive music
can be found at /www.steinkjerpositiv.
no/en/music.html.

Theodor Nilsen Bentzen likely made some instruments but was well known for the
pegging of barrels. Photo courtesy Digital Museum For The Steinkjerpositives.

In this resource, the music is
organized by different types: waltz,
reinlender, galop, march, mazurka,
pol (Nowegian folk dance), polka, and
hymns.

Footnotes

1. “Barrel Organ,” Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Barrel_organ
2. “The Instrument Makers,” Steinkjerpositives.
http://www.steinkjerpositiv.
com/makers.html
3. “The Story of a Barrel Organ”
Busker Organ Forum. www.
tapatalk.com/groups/buskerorgan/
the-story-and-journey-of-a-barrel-organ-
which-was–t774.html
4. “The Positives,” Steinkjerpositives.
www.steinkjerpositiv.no/en/instruments.
html
5. Steinkjerpositiv. www.nostalgeek.no/
barrel.htm
Two photos of an unrestored Steinkjerpositive. Positives were
made from approximately 1848 to 1900. They often spent long
hours entertaining on land and sea, so heavy wear and use
have taken their toll. This one is ready for restoration.

34 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

A Singing Bird Box

How modern technology helped recreate an ‘old’ Objet d’Art

By Mike Chalifoux

My previous life was in flight
testing in the U.S. Air Force. After
I retired, I did some woodworking
and made some puzzle boxes. These
required some precision work which
led to outfitting my workshop with
CNC (Computer Numerical Control)
mills and the building of a CNC Rose
engine lathe. I have built my own CNC
version of a Rose engine. While a

CNC machine is run by a computer, an
often-overlooked fact is that a person
first has to tell the computer what to
do. That is where the artist can come
into play.

The need for precision also attracted
me to the clock/watch making world.
I crossed paths with Brittany Cox,
who works on restoration of various
mechanical devices and that led me to
singing bird boxes.

The construction of these devices

can encompass a lifetime’s worth
of work. Just making the parts has
taken me years (pretty much self-
taught). I had to learn about metal
working in jewelry classes, and take
classes in enameling and painting so
I could decorate the containers for
the works. I also studied the history
of Fabergé works, which have decorations
applied.

Singing bird boxes first came to
my attention in 2014. Brittany, an

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 35

antiquarian horologist, was doing a
restoration on one of the amazing
devices. I thought, how could these
devices operate in such a small space?
How could the craftsmen of the 1780s
have made them? Many YouTube
videos exist showing the inner workings,
which only increased my interest.

A bit of research turned up two
works, one by Geoffrey T. Mayson,
“Mechanical Singing-Bird Tabatières”
printed in 2000 and one by Sharon
and Christian Bailly, “Flights of Fancy

-Mechanical Singing Birds” printed in
2001.
The work by the Baillys seemed
to be more about the artistry of the
boxes. For technical information
Mayson’s book is recommended.

My local library was able to secure
me a copy of Mayson’s book for me
via an interlibrary loan. The text is
fascinating, with chapters on the inner
workings such as the air cams, the
bellows and the miniature bird itself.
I wondered: would it be possible to
make a miniature bird? I knew it would
definitely stretch my capabilities. The
small size of the bird, the whistle, the
bellows, the mechanism, the box that
it would ultimately reside in, would all
be new to me and serve to grow my
skills.

A reference would be needed as
a guide, and it was quickly obvious
that the work of Mayson was the best
to begin with. This book is relatively
rare and rather expensive. There were
approximately 30 libraries around the
world that had copies and about as
many book sellers had them for sale.
“Flights of Fancy – Mechanical Singing
Birds” was even more difficult to find
with only five copies in libraries and
one bookseller offering it for sale.

It seemed that this work was slowly
disappearing, so I set out to see how
it could be preserved. I learned that
individuals wanting to duplicate an
out-of-print book must contact the
authors to ask permission. Unfortunately
for me, Mayson had passed
on in 1996 and attempts to contact
his widow were unsuccessful. His
publisher has also passed on and the
publishing house was acquired by
another publisher. That publisher did
not acquire the rights to the book and

An image from Geoffrey Mayson’s book showing a complete bellows and whistle for
a singing bird box.

Another image from Geoffrey Mayson’s book showing the movement with bird and
bellows attached. Below is the cover of Mayson’s book.

could not provide any information
about the Maysons.

I then set about a lengthy and
convoluted process to get an Orphan
Works license (N. 127). It took about
six months of work and following
due diligence checklists. This license
is for non-commercial use only. Any
commercial use would require a
further application to be made. The
British Library, as the national library
of the United Kingdom, has this work
and could provide a digital copy. They
reviewed the license and provided a
high-definition copy in PDF format.
They also provided the images in .tif
format (which means that there is no
data loss due to file compression).

Once I had successfully obtained

36 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

A drawing of bird whistle workings that was printed in Mechanical Music, Vol. 54, No. 6, November/December 2008.

the necessary license, I was ready
to release copies of the book to the
public. My original plans were to travel
to Britain and attend an annual general
meeting of the Society of Ornamental
Turners to announce the availability
of the book, but the COVID Pandemic
prevented travel.

What I discovered while working
on this musical item is that there are
areas that would-be potential challenges.
Among these are:

• Bellows
• Whistle
• Feathering a bird
• Working on small parts
Each of these points presents difficulties.
The type of glue used in the
bellows was said to be rubber cement
and a specific type of thinner was
noted. I did run into a bit of a language
issue here as the item Mayson called
rubber cement would be known to me

The tail lever. A computer-aided model of a frame.

as contact cement. These are quite
different materials. Also, Zephyr skin
(a very thin leather made from animal
intestines) is not readily available
in the U.S., so other materials were
tried. Thin rubber is quite airtight, but
I knew it could deteriorate over time.
Polyethylene film is difficult to glue,
but with the appropriate primers it
could make a good seal. I thought a
replacement material used in cuckoo
clock bellows might be acceptable.
It is a nonwoven synthetic material

known in the U.S. as Tyvek and is
about .005 inches thick. It needs to be
softened but seems to work well with
regular hide glue.

The whistle was a major problem.
Examining the pictures in the book
as carefully as possible led to experiments
with several whistles, none of
which were satisfactory. They did not
have the range needed, or the amplitude
and did not seem to “start quickly
enough.” The pictures provided some
information, but I was still having

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 37

problems. Fortunately, I came across an article published
by the Music Box Society International about Karl Griesbaum.
One of the pictures in the article contained detailed
drawings of a whistle! A satisfactory whistle was made
very shortly thereafter.

The original birds were feathered with hummingbird
feathers. The Migratory Bird Protection Act of 1918 made
that illegal but there are acceptable alternatives. There is
an artist, Kerri Pajutee, who is able to feather small birds
quite nicely, with two tutorials on dyeing the feathers and
feathering a bird.

Learning how to work on a small scale has its challenges.
Trying to lay out, mark, and drill parts and then fit them
to work together was almost impossible. The components
of a bird have been modeled and a small CNC system is
used to scribe the lines on small brass stock. The parts are
cut out using a jeweler’s saw under a stereo microscope.
A high-speed dental drill and fine, No. 6 files were used to
finish a part.

Future plans

A repository of information regarding singing birds
would be useful. This repository could also store additional
information that may be useful to other creators of these
little jewels.

Sources & Acknowledgments

I have graciously been given permission from several
sources to reprint their works:

• “Singing Birds” Chapter XVIII, Vol. II, from the book
Le Monde des Automates (The World of Automata),
written by Alfred Chapuis and Edouard Gelis, translated
by Wade Jenkins Mechanical Music, Vol. 42, No.
2, Autumn 1996,
• “The Karl Griesbaum Singing Bird Workshop in
Triberg,” translated by George Coade, Mechanical
Music, Vol. 54 No. 6, November/December 2008
• Die Karl-Griesbaum-Singvogelwerkstätten in Triberg’
by Siegfried Wendel, Das Mechanische Musikinstrument,
No. 87, August 2003
From Kerri Pajutee (www.kerripajutee.com):

• Tutorial for feathering a small bird
• Tutorial for dyeing the feathers
I do hope that this article will encourage others to work
on such devices and share the results of their efforts.

Finally, please visit the Facebook group “Mechanical
Singing Birds” at facebook.com/groups/712717722847011

Editor’s Note: This site has the copies of the works mentioned above,
Geoffrey T. Mayson’s work, and author Mike Chalifoux CAD files of a
bird.

The files are also available on Dropbox at: https://www.dropbox.com/
sh/0tjunm7kdqitw8g/AADxPeI19UBj25Nv26RiPH1La?dl=0

This photo gives a sense of the scale of the parts used in lay-
ing out the frame on the previous page.

Mike Chalifoux, from Massachusetts, became fascinated by singing
bird boxes, which set him off on a mission to produce his own. He
shares with us here a brief account of how he achieved his aim after
many years. So enthused, he has set up a Facebook page where he shares
the various resources he drew on.

As virtually self-taught, this project presented a number of challenges,
including the ‘common language which divides us’ – terms in common
use in one country are not necessarily the same in another Anglophone
country.

Portions of this article were previously published by the Musical Box
Society of Great Britain in The Music Box, Vol. 29 No 8.

Anyone with further advice to offer, is welcome to contact the editor
of this publication who will pass along the information.

38 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The gleaming cylinder from a David Langdorff overture music box purchased during the author’s memorable trip to California.

A buying trip I will never forget

By James Kracht

It was a Saturday morning in early
January 2019. I’m an early riser
and went to my PDA to look for the
night’s email. There was one from my
friend and restorer Reg Smith which
always starts my day off with a good
beginning. This one was no exception.
It alerted me to a huge liquidation of
mechanical musical instruments in
Southern California, with a website
address and phone number. But
for this email, I never would have
learned of this extraordinary buying
opportunity.

The website, albeit extremely
well done, was not accessible to me
as a blind music box collector, so I
had to wait until the hour was more
reasonable and I could call the seller
to discuss his collection. It didn’t take
me more than five minutes on that call
to know that I wanted to hear more.

For the next hour or so, Howie
Schack, the son of the late Ralph
Schack (MBSI President 2004-2005),
and Ralph’s wife, Gloria, were liquidating
what I was soon to learn was
an expansive, all-inclusive collection
of more than a hundred mechanical
musical instruments of all types and

ages, some very large. Howie’s descriptions
were very detailed, and that,
coupled with some time that I later
spent with Reg looking at the website
led me to understand that I needed to
have a serious conversation with my
wife, Pat. Rather than put that off, we
sat down by 1 p.m. and I informed her
that I very much wanted to go out to
California to look at this collection. I
wanted to buy some prized pieces to
add to our collection, and because
some of my prior buying experiences
were less than favorable, I wanted to
take Reg with me to examine prospective
purchases. After much back and

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 39

The lid of the David Langdorff four-overture music box.

The lid, case front and cylinder of the B.A. Bremond overture
box from the Schack collection.

forth, Pat was on board, but she did tell me that if I was
going to go to California, I had to agree to first visit my two
sisters in Western Washington state. For a Florida boy that
particular condition turned out to be a very cold endeavor,
but I was glad to start this trip visiting my siblings.

The wheels were in motion and the trip plans began to
unfold. Reg agreed to meet me in Los Angeles, CA, and a
very good friend agreed to meet us at the airport and host
us for a few days. Little did I know then that I would also
be making a huge dent in his champagne stash, just to get
through the whole experience. We had a great four days
together which made the trip to Los Angeles even more
memorable.

We were set to meet Howie Schack at his parents’
beautiful home in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, at 10 a.m. on

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The cylinder from the Rzebitschek music box.

a Friday morning. I don’t remember
getting much sleep the night before.
Reg and I had spent many hours on
the phone reviewing the website and
I had narrowed it down to 16 to 18
music boxes that I wanted to look at
and listen to.

We arrived at the Schack home on
schedule, and I immediately stopped
to look at a large piece in the entry hall
and got better acquainted with Howie
Schack. He was every bit as kind and
thoughtful as I had expected him
to be and is a wonderful individual.
The Schack home is quite lovely. The
tasks of examination, selection and
acquisition was underway, all to be
completed before 3 p.m.

Having passed on a beautiful overture
box at a recent auction, one of my
first tasks, after looking at a beautiful
little Rzebitschek sample not unlike
one that I had unsuccessfully bid on at
a Breker auction the prior November,
was to audition any overture boxes in
Schack collection. There were several.
I quickly narrowed it down to two that

I was seriously interested in. My first
choice was a fantastic David Langdorff
overture box, and the second was a

B.A. Bremond overture box. We went
through the rest of the collection and
Reg and I decided what we wanted to
try for and determine how far I could
stretch my available funds.
Howie and I quickly came to terms
on the Langdorff and the Rzebitschek.
Then we completed examination,
discussion and deals on four other
music boxes. These included a Frères
Nicole, a Metert, a Lawater, and an
1827 Lecoultre. That gave me six
priceless additions to my collection.
Howie had pushed to the end our
negotiations on his parents’ beautiful
Polyphon Emerald, a machine which
I desperately wanted to have. So, with
deals concluded on six machines we
started to trade ideas about it. Thanks
to Howie’s persuasive ways and my
determination, I ended up with the
16-bell Polyphon Emerald. I truly love
this music box.

Needless to say, the day was an

overwhelming success in my opinion.
I came back to our friend’s home on a
total high and to celebrate, our host,
Reg and I enjoyed an incredible steak
dinner at Mastriani’s Steakhouse in
Beverly Hills, CA.

My friend, Tom, kindly arranged to
pick up the music boxes after Howie
and his son and lady friend packed
them. Tom would store them until I
figured out shipping. As many of you
know, that can be a real challenge. I
finally settled on shipping them with
Metropolitan White Glove Services,
also known as Metropolitan Warehouse.
Although expensive, seven
music boxes arrived at our Miami, FL,
home without damage and they were
quickly absorbed into our collection
to play on for many years to come.

Fast forward to early December.
Howie was arranging to send the bulk
of his remaining unsold collection
to auction. I asked him about two
machines. One was a Ducommun-Girod
box that had already gone to
the auction house, but I was not a

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

The two snuff boxes that became part of the author’s collection after an interest was sparked from another auction.

successful bidder thereon. The other
coincidently was the B.A. Bremond
overture box which I had starred on
my list as really wanting, but I had
stopped at seven purchases during
my February visit. Howie still had the

B.A. Bremond box, and it was one of
two remaining boxes he offered me,
as he wanted to keep the other one for
himself. I thought, how unbelievable,
and then based on our prior dealings
he was willing to let it go for a very
reasonable price. Hence, I now have
eight music boxes from the Schack
collection in mine.
But the story does not end there.
At the music box convention in
Rockville, MD, in September 2019, I
almost looked at two snuff boxes for

sale. Not wanting to be tempted by the
excitement of the Mart, however, I left
the hotel. Then I had another opportunity
to see both of the snuff boxes at
an upcoming chapter meeting. Alas, I
never knew I wanted a snuff box, but
I was totally infatuated. I came home
and was writing Howie Schack again
as part of my now established relationship
with him. It so happened that
he had two snuff boxes he didn’t want,
but the auction house would not take
them. Yes, they are now mine, as is a
third 1810 sectional comb miniature
that I bought from Reg.

So ends the story of a wonderful
buying trip to Southern California. I
greatly cherish and totally love all of
these boxes. They are all in impeccable

condition. Such is no surprise, as the
Schacks bought and kept only the very
best.

As with other music boxes that I
have written about, I cannot let this
story end without commenting about
my friendship with Howie. He is a
truly great person, with the utmost
integrity, and he did his parents proud
in liquidating their vast collection.
None of this would have been possible
had it not been for that early Saturday
morning email from my good friend
and restorer Reg Smith. Thank you
Howie and Reg.

I think of you both every time I
play one of the 11 music boxes which
are now such a central part of my
collection.

42 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Treasured Memories

By Jamie Brewer

Murray Savauge was an early music box
collector. He and his family were great friends
with Barclay Holmes, who was a high-end
antique dealer in Vineland, Ontario, Canada.
Barclay and Murtogh Guinness were very
close friends back in the day.
I first met Barclay in the early 1980s. How
I wish I had kept a journal
back then. It drives me crazy
to not have the resources
to fact check. I was still
driving my 1975 Duster
when I would make those
early trips crossing the
Canadian border to visit
Vineland. Barclay was
only some 40 miles from
my house in Lockport,
NY. Many Sunday
afternoons were spent
making spur-of-themoment
trips to his shop.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43

One visit to Barclay’s I hold particularly
close was when I was living with
my best friend, Joe, in 1998 waiting
for a job transfer to Tuscaloosa, AL. It
was a warm sunny day in spring and
I just wanted to get away for a while.
I decided to drive to Barclay’s on the
back way over country roads to the
Lewiston Bridge. On the way I found
my friend John Cornelius walking on
the side of the road not far from where
his parents lived. I pulled over and told
John to get in the truck, we are going
to Canada. To better understand this,
you really have to have known John:
he was very quiet and soft spoken. He
was truly one of the kindest people
I have ever met. He tried to put up a
fight but I just told him to “Hush up
and get in this truck!” We ended up
at Barclay’s having the best time. We
came home the long way through
Buffalo and caught “Happy Hour” at
Buddies. John always related how he
had never done anything so spur of the
moment and how much fun he had.
John succumbed to throat cancer. It
is bittersweet to remember but I’m so
glad we had that afternoon together.

Back when I had my Plymouth
Duster, I was a “mule” bringing
treasures over the border to deliver
to Murtogh from Barclay. I made
frequent trips to New York City in
those days. My Duster had a lockable
trunk that was never inspected at the
border. That old car was totaled out in
December 1981. My next vehicle was
a hatchback so the luxury of having
things totally out of view was gone.
The things you do when you are young
and dumb! Today I would be petrified
to sneak items over the border, given
the way the inspection checks have
evolved and intensified.

Barclay had a beautiful historic
brick farmhouse furnished with
period antiques. One big room at the
end served as his shop. Barclay loved
his coffee as much as I do. We always
shared a few cups in his kitchen. He
was “old school” so the coffee was
always served in a china cup on a
saucer.

Barclay was born and raised in
Lexington, KY. He taught me a lot
on what to expect when I moved
south. How he laughed when I said

innocently one visit, “I don’t understand
it. All the people I’ve met in the
south say they have never met anyone
like me before!” Talk about a loaded
statement! We were sitting on the
porch to his shop in the evening when
I told him that. The porch is small with
a bench along the side of each railing.
We sat watching the red sun descend
in the west over the fields and vineyards
of the Niagara Peninsula. It was
one of those times to be treasured, you
just knew when it was happening that
it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The stories Barclay regaled me
with. He and Murtogh did quite a bit of
traveling overseas together. Murtogh
always booked first class on sailings
and hotels. They were very involved
with the “old school” of the Musical
Box Society International. How I treasure
the time we spent trading stories.

When Murray died, Barclay worked
with Murray’s daughter Judy to sell
off his collection. This was done over
an extended period of time. The last
music box remaining in Judy’s possession
was the Mermod Frères Sublime
Harmony Piccolo box. I have a letter
going back to Oct. 6, 1960, linking this
music box to the Savauge family. Judy
loved this music box as did Barclay.

Over the years I was able to do some
minor basic repairs for Judy to keep
this beautiful box running.

Barclay was able to buy this music
box from Judy in 2001. Barclay had
a legal paper signed whereby if he
predeceased Judy the music box
would revert back to her. Barclay was
so thrilled to finally possess this music
box. I have correspondence covering
the purchase and minute details of the
box Barclay sent me over the years.

It was Nov. 30, 2005, when Judy sent
me an email informing me of Barclay’s
death. Barclay lived alone and was
pretty much estranged from his immediate
family. Judy told me he was so
afraid of dying and not being found for
days. Unfortunately, that is just what
occurred. The family arranged a short
memorial service figuring that nobody
would attend. This family was shocked
when people from all over the region
showed up. Those in attendance were
asked to say a few words about their
relationship with Barclay. Judy gave

a short speech and then read this
portion of an email I had sent her:

“I just think of the happy hours
spent at the long table in the kitchen
enjoying coffee and cookies. His
clocks were always on time and ticking.
Barclay always saved a fruitcake
made by a special friend for me. I
will treasure the remains of the last
fruitcake I have in the freezer that he
gave me in September.”

Barclay’s family descended upon

his estate like a plague of locusts.

They had no intentions of honoring

his requests of bequests to his friends

and extended family. Judy, however, is

a fighter and she took off the gloves

to regain possession of the music box.

The end result was it was returned to

her.
It was in June 2010, Judy sent me an

email which contained the following:

The initial reason I contacted you
is because I’m updating my will, and
if you’re around when I’m not, I’d
like you to have the ‘Mermod Freres
Ideal Sublime’ as well as a very odd
painting connected with it (about
which more at another time). To that
end, I need your full name, address,
phone #, email. I wasn’t going to tell
you any of this, but when Facebook
indicated you lived in Birmingham,
I got nervous, and emailed.

OK. Why you? Many reasons.
You’ve had an association with the
box over the years. You’ve repaired
bits & pieces of it a couple of times.
The box is important to me, was
important to Barclay. And Barclay
was very fond of you. (Me too). I also
believe that you were ‘fond’ of the box!
But I suppose the main reason is that
you certainly appreciate the box, and
frankly, I don’t know anyone else
who does, in the same way. It would
make me feel good to know that it has
another good home: first my father,
then me, then Barclay, me again, and
then you.

Five years later, in February 2015,
Judy contacted me via Facebook to
tell me I could pick up the music box
from her home in Canada, but I had

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The Mermod Frères Sublime Harmony Piccolo music box and the painting connected to it, in the author’s home.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 45

to come as soon as I possibly could.
This meant renewing my passport for
starters.

It took a great deal of preparation
to build a crate to hold the box as it
would have to travel in the bed of my
truck and also be easily accessible in
case customs needed to do an inspection.
I departed Tuscaloosa, AL, on
May 10 and arrived in Lockport, NY,
on the 11th.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, I slept in till

7:30 a.m. Then I took a hot shower and
did a last-minute double check of the
moving and packing supplies. Joe was
up at 8:30 a.m. and made coffee.
I took a to-go cup and tried my old
“autopilot” to get to the Lewiston
Bridge to Canada. My GPS does not
work in Canada. I had a detailed
Google map.

It had been many years since I
crossed the Canadian border. Lucky
for me, the border guard crossing into
Canada was laid back. There was no
traffic on the bridge. I had timed it just
right. I can’t lie to save my life so I had
my story all worked out.

These border guards must hear
every story in the book. When he questioned
me as to the reason for my trip
to Canada and then wondered further
why anyone not related to me would
gift me such a valuable music box, I
replied, “It’s a long-involved story.” He
smiled and said, “I’ve got lots of time!”

I explained the entire story of how
my good friend Barclay was a prestigious
antique dealer in Vineland,
Ontario, who was good friends with
Judy’s family. I went on how Barclay
brokered sales of music boxes from
Judy’s family over the years and how
he coveted this particular music box.
Judy sold Barclay the music box under
the condition, if he predeceased her,
she would get it back. Sadly, Barclay
died some six years ago. Barclay was
ostracized from his family, but they
sure scooped in to “pick the bones
clean.” Things got really ugly and this
family was not going to honor the
paperwork returning this box to Judy.

By the time I finished up my story
this guard was leaning back in his
chair and I had my arms folded on
the truck window sill. I had the guard
shaking his head at all this! I asked if

he needed to check over any of the
packing supplies I was bringing in. He
said I was fine and to just go on.

I got the music box and cabinet all
packed up. This was not the final packing
as there was a chance of a border
inspection and then I had to unload
the thing at Joe’s house. I was amazed
how I was just waved on through U.S.
customs on my return trip.

Once I got the music box set up
here in Tuscaloosa, AL, I contacted
Dave and Carol Beck about doing a
restoration. There was some comb
work that needed to be done to make
it right. They agreed to take on the job.

In early June the box was again
packed up and this time I transported
it to Atlanta, GA. It is only about a
four-hour drive but due to the traffic
and congestion it is a drive I detest.
Dave and Carol were very impressed
with the music box. They said there
should not be any surprises as it was
in good condition overall.

It only took a month for Dave and
Carol to do the restoration work on
the music box and cylinders. They did
a road trip to Tuscaloosa to drop it off
and sightsee a bit. I am thrilled at the
work that was done on it.

This music box has such a special
place in my life. I play this pretty
much daily. When I listen to this, it is
much more than just hearing beautiful
music. In my mind I can travel to so
many places and situations associated
with this instrument. On warm, quiet
summer nights I can hear this while in
my front porch swing. To daydream to
the sweet tones of this box watching
the sunset in a brilliant orange and
Tiffany blue sky is magic.

I can never thank Judy enough for
her gift of this to me. My life has been
so enriched.

Judy was a teacher before her
illness. One student she had such an
impact upon, gifted her the painting
that hangs just above the music box in
my home. It is fitting these two pieces
stay together.

On a sad note. I got a mail from Judy
on Facebook on Oct. 18, 2019.

Jamie – things happen at an unexpected
pace. Federal Govt. passed
the MAiD option in 2015 (Medical

Assistance in Dying). I qualify with
Terminal cancer & a bunch of other
things. I wanted to wait until the

U.S. election but in the last few days
things have happened and I am using
the option on Sunday. There’s no good
way to say it all. I’ve enjoyed you from
a far – so much, and wish we
had more time. Enjoy all things -and
cats! I will miss my polydactyl big
boy Jack who is a treat; however my
friend Joan is adopting him. Enjoy
all things.
After reading this the pieces fell into
place as to why Judy wanted me to do
the pick-up in 2015. She had suffered
so. Her quality of life had been pretty
grim.

I was able to get this written history
to her. She replied:

What a thrill to read this wonderful
piece, Jamie. I always thought you
should be a famous writer: your
writing is magnificent. Thank you for
all this. You have made the few days
I have left so special & meaningful.
As I said, I love the piece, the history,
the photos – all. And I will forward
this to my friend & former student,
Norm Edwards, now living in British
Columbia on his tiny boat, who
gave me the painting to go with the
box. I actually am ‘doing the deed’
on Tuesday rather than tomorrow. I
needed more time. I don’t know what
to expect, if anything, but for the most
part it’s been a good ride. Oops. Put
the emoji in the wrong place. I still
can’t do Facebook. Actually – is it
possible to send your wonderful piece
to my email so it is easier to print
out? Or is there something I don’t
know re how to do that.

I answered her back. Judy was
never one to navigate the world of
computers or the internet. This was
my final communication with Judy.

I’ve been in contact with Norm
Edwards who was so close to Judy
as a student and who gifted her the
painting.

Norm related via email the story
how he found this painting to gift to
Judy.

46 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

“The painting I found in the Thirroul
Antique Centre in New South
Wales. Owned by Mark Rose, who’s
family were amongst the first “free
settlers” to arrive in Oz – a fact the
family were quick to inform me of.
“Not convicts”!

Mark carried on as if he were an
English gentleman who had just
stepped off the ship. The shop was his
cocoon full of fine furniture, clocks,
scientific instruments and a couple of
the music boxes, the style with the big
metal discs.

This “odd” painting was in the
shop, tucked in a corner, it wasn’t one
of his better paintings, but it spoke
to me as it was around the time that
Judy was having to battle the family
to have her father’s box returned and
there was Judy in the painting with
a music box!

The link you include is wonderful
thank you! I hadn’t seen the family
music box when I found the painting
and to now see what sort of box
“inspired” the painting completes the
picture. It seems perfect to have over
the box! Thanks for hanging it in
your home.

We will have to go antiquing
together one day! I pop into the
secondhand shops daily here in
Sidney BC – you never know what you
might find! Living on the boat limits
my collection size, most “finds” I give
to friends who I hope will appreciate
them.”

I had explained to Norm how the

music box in the painting is a repre

sentation of a “Station Box” with the

dancing dolls.
To have this kind of documentation

makes any piece special in my book.
The upside of keeping a journal is

it is not hard to research. Here is my

journal entry in regards to this music

box from Oct. 18, 2019:

Talk about “ying” and “yang” in
your life. After the drama I had

concerning the death of my friend
Bill’s dad last weekend I opened this
E-mail first thing this a.m. from my
friend Judy S who lives in St. Catherines,
Ontario.

“Quick info – Fed Govt 2015 passed
MAiD option (Medical Assistance in
Dying). I qualify but was waiting
til after US election. Sudden change,
decision yesterday – I will be dying
this Sunday. I very much treasure
you and all you are. Thank you
for taking the Mermod Freres!. Too
rushed & ill to say anything profound.
Enjoy all things.”

Judy has an autoimmune disease
which has left her in declining health
for too many years. Her quality of life
has been so horrible as of late.

I sent Judy the following reply:

Good morning Judy,

I understand your decision and
back you 100%. Have been thinking
so much of you and Barclay as of
late. Next weekend I will be acquiring
two more cylinders for the music
box which I believe were used in the
factory where they were produced. I
have coveted those cylinders since I
first heard them play over 30 years
ago. One has excerpts of Beethoven’s
7th Symphony and the other has runs
and trills of no tunes in particular. I
believe it was used as a “test cylinder”
for calibrating in the factory.

I plan to write up a detailed history
of the music box and wanted to get
permission to use you and your
family’s name in it. The Musical Box
Society has a feature in their publication
where they solicit submissions
for how you discovered different
instruments in your collection. I’ve
done up a couple of submissions. The
story of your family and friendship
with Barclay should be shared. There
are few members of the society left
who had associations with Barclay.
At 67 I’m one of the “old timers” now.

I play that box pretty much daily.
On quiet nights you can clearly hear
it on my front porch. It is such a part

of my life now. I have shared the story
behind it to many people.

I am going to get to work on that
writing today and hopefully will have
a rough draft to send off to you by this
afternoon.

You are a brave woman Judy… you
deserve peace…

One of the most profound statements
of life I’ve ever read was said
by an elderly woman in an interview
for the book, “Let Us Build Us A City,
11 Lost Towns of Arkansas.” This
woman simply said, “I like to think
in later years you will think of me.”
In the long haul that is all we can hope
for is to be remembered. You, your
family, and Barclay are remembered
whenever I play the music box. It is
one of my most treasured possessions.

I can’t thank you enough for gifting
it to me.

Know you are loved and remembered
for as long as I’m on this earth…

Love… Jamie

On a happy note the clock has been
running like gangbusters and is right
on time. Holly gave me another scare.
If I don’t see her every few hours, I
like to do a check up on her. I had not
seen her all afternoon. She was not in
any of her “usual spots.” This is when
I do a closet check. My little girl was
on the closet shelf sacked out on my
ancient rag wool sweater!

Going to get started on the Music
Box history. I’d like Judy to be able to
read at least a rough draft before she
passes on…my day has been decided
for me… so glad I have this kind of
latitude in my life to live each day as
it comes…

When I play this music box my
mind takes me to so many places to
interact with so many memories. It
is so much more than just hearing
musical sounds.

I like to think sharing the back
story of this music box it will be
appreciated more as time goes on….

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 47

Bob’s Symphonion

By Mark Singleton

Back in the early days of my
collecting, by a pure mix of chance
and circumstance, I was introduced to
mechanical music enthusiast and true
master of disc box restoration, Bob
Minney.

Little did I know that for the next 25
years I would be a regular visitor to
his home, which entailed a four to five
hours drive in each direction.

Bob was recently retired from
his profession as a design engineer
at Vauxhall (GM) motors in Luton,
Bedfordshire, a career which obviously
stood him in good stead for what was
one of his great pleasures: mechanical
music. He had a brusque, no nonsense
demeanor, which commanded immediate
respect. So, you knew from the
off exactly where you stood, and woe
betide anyone who didn’t play to these
old school rules.

It didn’t take long for me to realize
that behind this hard man’s exterior,
lay an extremely helpful and willing
soul, a man who would strive hard to
help, with expert restoration, knowledgeable
advice, interspersed with
relevant tales from past encounters
with both man and machine. Bob was
a recognized authority/guru/genius on
all matters relating to disc boxes, and
I lived and breathed for them (still do).
He had a great collection, and I was
trying to build one (still am): so I’m
sure you get the picture.

In the corner of Bob’s lounge/
workshop sat a big impressive-looking
Symphonion. I was so nervous on my
first visit, I hardly dared to look at it.
On my return home I quickly consulted
the Q. David Bowers “Encyclopedia of
Automatic Musical Instruments” and
looked it up. It was a Grand Monster
Automat 192. The number referred
to the number of teeth on the combs,
set in duplex fashion. It plays discs of
25¼-inch in diameter.

Upon my return to Bob’s shop some
three months later to collect a small
job he had agreed to help me with, I

plucked up my courage, cleared my
throat and said, “Excuse me, but I
couldn’t help notice that wonderful
looking machine last time I called and
wondered if I may hear it play?”

Bob gestured towards the instrument,
and I literally tripped over my
own feet as I made my way to this
machine. Looking feverishly around
for a penny, he pointed out it had a
push/pull start behind the winding
handle. With bated breath, mouth agog,
and a huge adrenalin rush, I started it,
not knowing what to actually expect.
I stood back and was blown away
by its ethereal performance. It was
soft, mellow, sonorous, with a deep
fully rounded, yet gentle bass, liquid
mid-range and a silver bells treble.

Wow! I looked over at Bob, who
gave a gentle, all knowing “What about
that then!“ type nod. I inquired if this
was the same machine credited to him
in Graham Webb’s “The Disc Musical
Box Handbook”?

“Good gracious, no!” was his swift
reply. “That was a dreadful machine.
Actually, this machine came from up
North where you live!”

“Oh?” I said encouragingly and he
proceeded to tell me the following
story.

Back in 1958, two young lads,
the Moss bothers, traveled by train
to Blackpool for a weekend trip.
Blackpool is a somewhat frothy and
often bracing seaside resort, home
to England’s answer to New York’s
Coney Island.

On alighting from the train, the
brothers set off to find accommodation
and within minutes they heard a
music box playing in a guest house.
They knocked on the door and upon
it being answered by the landlady of
the establishment, one brother simply
stated, “Excuse me, but you have a
music box playing.”

She answered that yes, she did.

“May we come in and listen?” asked
the brothers.

Again, the answer was yes. It
was rather normal in days gone by

to knock on a boarding house and
inspect the premises to be sure they
were to your suiting before handing
over any money.

After listening, and obviously
impressed, the brothers asked if it
might be for sale. It was, and after a
little haggle they agreed on the then
princely sum of 11 pounds.

At this point the Moss brothers
returned to the train station, armed
themselves with a sack truck apiece,
and forwent their planned weekend of
wine, women and song. They split the
machine in two and returned home
carrying the Symphonion a couple of
hundred miles South.

Some 5 years later, in 1963, a young
Bob Minney had to part with 40
pounds to acquire this same piece. It
was a considerable sum, I guess, back
then.

So began my quest to find a
Symphonion for myself. Along the
way, I asked just about everyone I
met within the Musical Box Society of
Great Britain. Back then it was a very
friendly society, full of old boys, happy
and willing to share their knowledge.
Many knew this type of machine and
referred to it as “The One.” It soon
became apparent to me that not only
was this case style rare, but this
particular machine was held in high
regard by all that knew her.

Many years passed before one
surfaced. It was an incredible survivor,
having sat in a small house in
the midlands where it was sent for
repair in 1926. The mainspring was
broken, as was the endless screw. It
was repaired alright, by myself, about
75 years later, and fortunately due to
its early commercial retirement all
was shipshape on the bedplate, and
it played beautifully. What was not to
like? So, I acquired it. Well, I found out
after some time that it just could not
compare to “The One!”

Upon my next visit to Bob, collecting
a job for myself, and leaving a
Polyphon bedplate for an acquaintance,
I told him of my eventual good

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Bob’s Symphonion in the author’s home where he always wanted to see it.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 49

fortune in finding a Symphonion, but
explained how it just didn’t compare
to his. “Well, what did you expect?”
was his very matter of fact response.
Right then I was inspired to throw
caution to the wind, not knowing if
I would be thrown out on my ear, or
what, for that sort of thing had been
known to happen in Bob’s shop.

“It’s like this Bob, I have never
coveted anything belonging to any
man in my life, but barely a week
passes without me thinking of that
machine! I was wondering if you were
to ever consider parting with it, would
you please consider me as the next
keeper?”

He looked at me and quick on
the uptake, he cut to the quick and
replied, “Sorry. You are out of luck;
when anything happens to me, the
Moss brothers want it back. OK?”

Well, that was that!

Sometime later, out of the blue, Bob
rang me, seething, spitting feathers
and raised merry Hell with me! “What’s
this you told that chap who came to
collect the bedplate that the Symph is
yours one day! I told you . . . Etc. Etc.”
came spilling out over the phone line.

Naturally, I was shocked. I felt physically
sick, for I had said no such thing,
and told him I had merely advised this
chap to listen if the opportunity arose,
adding that I would have loved the
chance one day, but it was not to be.
A five-second eternal silence ensued.
Then he said, “OK, as long as we are
clear, I suppose that’s that then!”

I said, “Crystal, Bob, you suppose
right, and that is that!” We both hung
up with one thing evident, emotions
were running high.

Sometime later in the mid 2000s, I
called in to Bob on a social visit while
passing by, for he lived no more than
two minutes from an arterial freeway
serving London. After a little chit chat,
and quite out of the blue, his tone
changed to something more serious.

“Had the Moss brothers ’round
yesterday,” he said, nodding in the
direction of the Symphonion. “Gave

her a good thrashing, we had a most
pleasurable afternoon.”

“Oh wow, that’s great” I started to
reply, but was cut off mid-sentence.

“No, listen!” Bob said. “We had a
good chat. We are all getting old, and
they agreed they had their enjoyment
of the machine. I’ve had mine, so it’s
your machine!”

With my forehead sweating, throat
dry and mind trying to take it in,
Bob added, with a genuinely humble
request, “But do you mind if it stays
there for now.?

Well, obviously I did not mind at
all. After all he was keeper of this
machine, and I felt truly honored to be
next in line.

Later that year, I was visiting a
collection in Germany, accompanied
by a friend, John Harold, who
happened to know Bob as well. Both
of us were intrigued to hear the same
Symphonion model, that we were
assured by the owner, speaking with
great pride, was something special.
Indeed, it was a fine box, but John
took the words out of my mind when
he later turned to me with a wry smile
and said, “Obviously they never heard
Bob’s then!”

Around 2010, a couple of days before
a long-planned family trip to the U.S.,
Bob’s daughter, Marilyn, rang to inform
me of his passing. After offering my
condolences, I apologized in advance
for my inevitable non-attendance at
his memorial. She understood fully,
of course, but before hanging up she
added that the agreement I had with
her father about the Symphonion still
stood.

Of course, I would have preferred
Bob had remained on this earth longer,
but I was happy that the Symphonion
was headed back to the Blackpool
area after a 50-plus year hiatus.

Once home, out went my Symphonion
and in went Bob’s Symphonion
to much shaking of heads by family
members who thought I had lost the
plot.

Now, this machine had sat on a

carpet in Bob’s home, with a curtain
to one side, and a fabric sofa with soft
cushions immediately to the front. I
had seriously underestimated how
this altered its acoustic properties.
In my home, it sat on a traditional
suspended bare hardwood floor, quite
spartan in comparison, that acted
like a soundboard. Out went the
super smooth, mellow machine that
we all knew and loved and in came a
powerful voice akin to Pavarotti in his
heyday.

It was different again, but retained
its unique colors, tonal qualities, musical
ability and true soul.

A German collector/dealer friend
called to see me at my then place of
business to collect a large Polyphon
disc player one day and after loading
he asked, ‘“Mark, is it true you have
this machine they called The One?”

He must have spoken to a really Old
Boy along the line, because most still
alive now, know it by its current name,
Bob’s Symphonion.

After a brief discussion, he followed
me to my home and cast his “disc box
man” eye over it. Ten seconds into the
performance, with finger in the air, he
declared “Now I do understand!”

Of course, we all have our own
favorites, and one man’s meat and all
that, but at youtu.be/OmFFwT4VhYY,
you may hear Bob’s Symphonion play,
or just search for Silvertone Music
Boxes in your web browser to find this
article.

Note that the video only gives a
fair representation of the real thing
as the microphone struggles with
the complex frequencies and creates
much distortion, even from outside
the room. Anyone reading this,
however, is more than welcome to
listen to Bob’s Symphonion in person
should they find themselves in the
Blackpool area.

This article originally appeared on the
author’s website, silvertonemusicboxes.co.uk/
Please visit the website to see more content
from this author.

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Herbert Singe, Sr. — 1926-2020

Compiled from internet sources

The family of Herbert J. “Herb”
Singe, collector, restorer, mechanic
and driver of antique cars has
announced his passing after a brief
illness in December 2020.

Herb was interested in most
anything mechanical, electrical or
the combination of the two as long as
it was more than 100 years old. This
included mechanical musical devices,
flashlights and other battery operated
lighted items, model airplane motors
and the miniature race cars that they
powered. He was a lifelong resident
of Hillside, NJ. He served in the U.S.
Navy from 1944-46.

Herb was a 70-year member of the
Horseless Carriage Club of America
(HCCA), the Antique Automobile Club
of America (AACA), and the Vintage
Motor Car Club of America. He was
a 50-year Rotarian, a Mason and
belonged to the Early Ford V-8 Club.
He was an MBSI member for many
years. Herb loved attending antique car
shows, tours and flea markets throughout
the U.S., England and France. He
participated in more than 70 AACA
Eastern Fall National Meets, beginning
with Devon, PA, in 1949 through
Gettysburg, PA, in 2020. Herb visited
all 66 Hershey Fall Car Meets. He
was eminently proud of this accomplishment.
He loved walking and later
“scootering” around old car swap
meets where he purchased mechanical
and electrical treasures from the
past 125 years.

Herb and his late wife, Margaret,
traveled extensively around America,
the Caribbean and Europe. They spent
time at their summer home at the
Jersey Shore. Herb loved to cruise

Herb Singe with his Wurlitzer 150 Band Organ in 2010.

with his family in Barnegat Bay in his
Chris Craft convertible cruiser, the
Wiki Wiki. They enjoyed meeting and
talking to their many friends over the
years. Herb was especially at home
working with his hands and tools in
his garage and driving 110-year-old
automobiles.

Herb and Margaret (and later,
their son, Herb) built the Addressing
Machine & Supply Co., which began
with Herb carrying a tool bag. They
built it into one of the most successful
companies that sold, serviced,
and rebuilt mailing machinery and
equipment. Herb’s family and his
friends were most important to
him. Herb was predeceased by his
mother, Lottie Mae; father, Herb,

a true craftsman who taught him
much about metal and woodworking
and who also made it to age 94; his
younger sister, Marilyn, and his
beloved wife and partner of 61 years,
Margaret.

Herb is survived by his loving children,
daughter Peggysue and son Herb
R. (note: subsequent to the writing of
this obituary Herb R. sadly passed
away); Herb R.’s wife, Belinda, and
Herb R. and Belinda’s children, Herb
William and Heidi, as well as many
friends and colleagues too numerous
to mention.

Herb hoped you would take to heart
what he believed: Life is for the living.
Most importantly, make the most of
your time here on Earth.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 51

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Bill Harris — 1932-2021

The story of a collector and lover of mechanical music

By Kathleen and Christian Eric

William “Bill” Harris was born in
Des Lacs, ND, the oldest son of Max
and Sophie Harris. Bill was of Norwegian
descent and proud of it. He did
not have a typical carefree childhood,
but it is unlikely that he looked at it
as anything but idyllic. He lived with
his grandparents from a young age
and attended school in Des Lacs. Bill
moved with his grandparents from
Des Lacs to Baudette, MN, in the Fall
of 1941 after the crops were harvested
(which was an important consideration
in a rural community). He loved
living with his grandparents, and he
loved living in Minnesota. His grandparents
had purchased a streetcar
from the city of Duluth, MN, and made
it into their home. They placed this
home on the banks of the Rainy River.
His Grandpa, Fred, passed away when
Bill was 11 years old. A little over a
year later his Grandma died too and
Bill moved in with his father and
stepmother. This didn’t last long and
he struck out on his own. He headed
to Minnesota where he cut pulp wood
and kept up with the seasoned adult
lumber workers. This is no small
thing, as anyone connected with the
lumber industry will tell you. As a
former Oregonian, myself, I’m familiar
with the “old time” lumber trade skills
and I know that you counted yourself
lucky if you had all of your fingers at
the end of any given day.

Bill was 16 when he earned his pilot’s
license. He was a natural fit for the
Air Force, joining in 1950. Stationed
at Hamilton Air Force Base in San
Francisco, CA, he enjoyed a few warm

Bill Harris Bill and Rosanna Harris

California winters away from the frigid
temperatures of North Dakota. He kept
his pilot’s license for 72 years.

Bill was a man of many occupations.
After his military service, he returned
to North Dakota and worked for 11
years as a telegrapher for the Great
Northern Railroad. He bought and
sold agricultural steam tractors. Next,
he published a daily sheet called the
“Noon News” which was delivered
daily to a variety of restaurants in
Minot, ND. He also published a collector’s
magazine and various books,
one focused on the details of early
Winchester rifles. The printing press
for this publication was in the basement
of his family home. His young
pre-teen son, Fred, ran the press.

Bill was a collector of top-of-theline
Winchester rifles. He eventually
sold his collection to finance another
venture, a gun shop called Dakota
Firearms.

A major flood, and the additional
sadness of a divorce, prompted a
move to Denver, CO. He had intended
to make his way to Phoenix, AZ, but
his traveling money ran low before
he could get all the way to his destination.
Since he enjoyed skiing, hiking
and fishing, and Colorado had all of
these amenities, he felt like it wasn’t
a bad rest stop. While “resting” in
Denver, Bill also found himself the
fortunate winner of the Lotto. Well,
the “marital Lotto” that is. He met his
future wife, Rosanna, and as they say,
the rest is history. Those who knew
Bill know Rosanna was the love of his
life. While remaining absolute individuals,
Bill and Rosanna complimented
and supported one another in every
way. They married in 1979 and in the
ensuing years they were seldom apart.
Hollywood could not have cast a more
perfect script than when “Bill met
Rosanna.”

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Bill’s many interests led him to
finding new occupations in Colorado.
He published several magazines and a
variety of books. He bought and sold
vintage slot machines and restored
them for use in collectors’ homes. He
and his able crew of carvers produced
“slot statues” in the shape/form of a
full-size man. These statues held a
working slot machine as part of the
body form.

In addition to rifles and slot
machines, Bill had a growing collection
of nickelodeons, pianos, and
orchestrions. There came a point,
however, when, in order to grow his
burgeoning vintage slot machine
business, he and Rosanna found it
necessary to sell the piano collection.
Their Seeburg G was the prize of the
collection. Once sold, Bill thought he
would never see the machine again. In
this way, Bill and Rosanna found out
that collecting can sometimes be a
hellish pursuit, but a little of the sting
of having to sell his Seeburg G was
taken out of this transaction when the
machine was purchased by premier
restorer and collector Art Reblitz. It
always makes a collector happy to see
a cherished piece go to the right home.
Later in life, as fate would have it, while
trading one thing for another, Bill was
able to acquire another Seeburg G. His
new Seeburg was a top-notch machine
that he bought from an original owner
through a broker. Of the five pianos
in Bill’s collection this one was his
favorite.

In the late 1970s Bill began enjoying
trips to a large event in England, the
Great Dorset Steam Fair, founded in
1969. There, Bill met a 100-key Mortier
dance organ. It was 17-feet-6-inches
tall and needed a bit of open space to
perform. In 1981, while Rosanna and
Bill were attending this event together,
Bill told Rosanna he would like to own
an organ just like that Mortier. They
both knew it wouldn’t happen overnight
as they were still in the process
of growing their slot machine and
publishing businesses. As previously
mentioned, collectors always face a
choice, sometimes painful, especially
for passionate lovers of mechanical
music: do you make a living, or do you
collect yourselves into oblivion?

In 1996, Bill and Rosanna moved to
the hills of South Dakota where Bill
designed a log home, drawing from
his past experience in the multiple
trades and skills he had acquired since
living, surviving and thriving with his
beloved grandparents. He still had
the dream of owning a Mortier and
he was no spring chicken, but that
made no impact on his decisions.
He contracted with a young man
named Mark Hartman to build Bill
and Rosanna’s dream log home, one
that would also become home to their
expanding collection of European
dance organs, fairground organs, cafe
organs and orchestrions. A 90-footby-
40-foot building was constructed
with an inside ceiling height of 18
feet. It was just tall enough to fit the
Mortier dance organ with the facade
fully assembled. Bill and Rosanna
then went on a serious search to find
a Mortier. Bill, ever the overachiever,
found two and bought both of them.
To own even one of these physically
massive and musically monumental
machines would have been more than
enough for almost anyone, but as
many of the collectors in our society
know, that isn’t how collecting works.

For those of you who knew Bill, or
have enjoyed the Harris hospitality, as
well as their stunning collection, the
idea that this is the end of an era will
likely come to mind.

As Rosanna put it, “Bill was a writer,
a publisher, a salesman, a carpenter,

Rosanna and Bill Harris riding the Parker Carousel in Abilene, KS, in 2013.

a railroad man, a talker (oh yeah), a
font of knowledge and information,
restorer, collector and a seeker. He
was always interested in learning
more.”

Bill Harris passed away while
Rosanna played his favorite organs,
talking to him and recounting the
adventures they enjoyed acquiring
each of their treasures. He passed on
while listening to this music and we
assume, he now has a Mortier cranked
up playing his own particular favorites
while enjoying some beer and brats.
He’s probably wishing he had a bit
more time with his Rose.

Rest in peace you hard-headed
Norwegian.

Thank you to Rosanna Harris for
allowing me to crib from her formal
memorial, and as we both know, there
are so many more tales to tell. Perhaps
one day we will get the chance to do so.

Bill joined MBSI in 1968 when
Harvey Roehl was president of the
society so that he could attend the
convention in Binghamton, NY, that
year. Just as I was completing this
article, I heard from Rosanna who
assured us that, just as Bill would
have wanted it, she will continue to
invite interested people to see, hear
and appreciate the collection she
and Bill acquired. In fact, she said, if
one of the instruments still on their
want list comes on the market, she’ll
most likely acquire it and add to their
collection!

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 53

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Emery Prior — 1936-2021

By Carl and Joyce Mueller

It is with deep sadness that I
announce the passing of my friend
Emery “Driz” Prior on Apr. 9, 2021, at
home surrounded by his family. Emery
was born in Chagrin Falls, OH, in 1936
and spent his entire life in Northeast
Ohio. As a longtime member of MBSI
and the Automatic Musical Instrument
Collectors’ Association (AMICA),
Emery was an avid collector and
supporter of mechanical music,
amassing a sizable and unique collection
of outstanding pieces over the
years. He chaired various MBSI events
in Ohio and was in charge of the MBSI
Museum Committee Ohio Operation
in Northeast Ohio. He was a recipient
of numerous awards for his support
and dedication to many cultural and
civic organizations, including MBSI.

Emery spoke on numerous occasions
to these organizations about
mechanical music. He especially
enjoyed talking to school children
about mechanical music. He would
say he felt it was important to engage
young people in this hobby. His

friends from around the world. They
enjoyed leisurely days of swimming,
boating, and fishing.

One of our fondest memories was
at a picnic hosted by Emery and Tara
for some of his collector friends. This
turned into a hilarious event. After
lunch, he fired up his 1920 La France
Fire Truck, with everyone piled on the
running boards and back perch. Emery
then proceeded to drive us all through

collection was always open for fundraisers,
historical societies, and other
cultural groups. He traveled far and
wide, both here and in Europe, attending
numerous music conventions and
touring various musical collections
and events.

Emery was also an antique car
enthusiast, owning many rare and
unique examples of gas, electric
and steam automobiles. We traveled
together many miles attending car
shows and participated in numerous
car tours (runs) across the country.
One highlight was the Fall antique car
meet in Hershey, PA.

I also treasure our weekly lunch get
togethers that usually lasted well into
the afternoon.

Emery spent most of his working
career in the die cast industry. He
began as a salesman and ended up as
the owner of a company.

A highlight Emery often shared
about his family was a months-long
vacation on their Georgian Bay isla