Volume 67, No. 3 May/June 2021

Mechanical Music

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

Volume 67, No. 3 May/June 2021

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Mechanical Music

Journal of the Musical Box Society International

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

Volume 67, No. 3 May/June 2021

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 The article will not be published with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

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

11 Mid-Year Trustee
Meeting Minutes

14 Trustee Nominee Bio,
Richard Dutton

50 In Memoriam

Chapter Reports

51 Golden Gate

Features

16 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro

23 A changeable cylinder
box prototype

30 Plérodienique, a special
kind of music box

44 Organilleros, Mexico
City’s music makers

MBSI has replanted 139 trees so far as
part of the Print ReLeaf program.

On the Cover

A changeable cylinder prototype
of unknown maker is detailed
by Bill Wineburgh who recently
restored this instrument to pristine
condition. Page 23.

Plérodienique

Peter Both delves into the known
boxes of this type, providing details
on each one. Page 30.

May/June 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 May/June 2021

By Tom Kuehn

MBSI President

Several items deserve attention as
we transition from spring into summer.
I will begin with some important
decisions made at the recent Trustees’
mid-year meeting held via Zoom on
March 20. See the minutes on pages
11–13.

The COVID pandemic continues
to shape many of our discussions.
The most important decision before
the board was whether to continue
planning for our annual meeting at
the end of the summer to be hosted by
the Southeast Chapter. I asked Matt
Jaro, chair of our Meetings Committee,
to conduct a brief survey of our
members who normally attend annual
meetings to determine if they would
attend an annual meeting this year if
it was conducted in a safe manner.
Results showed that approximately
2/3 would do so. There was sentiment
that not holding a meeting again
this year could lead to a decrease in
meeting attendance in the future.
Members of the Southeast Chapter
voted to continue the planning efforts
at their March 19th meeting. The next
day, the trustees voted unanimously
to continue preparations under the
assumption that the pandemic would
largely be over by the end of the
summer and additional safety precautions
would be implemented to protect
the attendees. Registration fees will be
fully refunded up to August 1st to help
alleviate members’ financial concerns.
So let’s remain optimistic that many of
us will be able to meet again at the end
of August and share a wonderful time
together.

The Trustees voted to grant $10,000
from the MBSI Endowment Fund
to the endowment fund that helps
support the Herschell Carrousel
Factory Museum for restoration and
maintenance of band organs and roll
perforating equipment. The initial
request had been made last year. The
trustees received additional clarifying

information concerning the museum’s
endowment fund that allowed the
request to be granted at this meeting.

Amendments to the society’s bylaws
and policy and procedures documents
were approved by the board. Some
changes were approved at the emergency
board meeting held last May
as a result of the cancellation of the
annual meeting last year. The substantive
changes this time completed the
changes in society operation that
would be needed should an annual
meeting be canceled or held without
a quorum. After the board approved
the changes, members of the Executive
Committee went through both
final documents very carefully before
giving their approval. Copies of both
revised documents can be found on
the “Members Only” section of our
website.

The bylaws and supplemental

material submitted by the new Japan
Chapter were approved by the board.
Naoki Shibata is the new Chapter
Chair. I sent Naoki my congratulations
for completing the last requirement
for the establishment of a new MBSI
chapter.

In other matters, the Executive
Committee agreed to a request by
our sister organization in France,
AAIMM, to reprint, in French, the
article “The Queen, the Sultan and
the Organ Clock” by Dr. Robert Penna
published in the September/October
2020 issue of Mechanical Music. The
article is scheduled to appear shortly
in the AAIMM publication, issue 118.
It is refreshing to know that our sister
organizations can collaborate in a
number of ways.

I wish all of you a safe and rewarding
summer and hope to see many of
you in Ft. Myers.

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.

Editor’s Notes

We seem to be slowly but surely
advancing toward a time when we can
all look back at the global pandemic
restrictions on travel and public gatherings
and marvel at how we were able
to stay sane during this time. I can tell
people are itching to get out of their
homes and go anywhere, as evidenced
by the Golden Gate Chapter’s report
in this issue. Time to socialize was
mentioned in only one line of the
report, but it was clear by the pictures
showing happy faces sharing their
mechanical music and fellowship with
other enthusiasts, sometimes for the
first time in a year, that told me when
the green light is finally given, chapter
activities across the nation will ramp
up faster than we can blink.

It makes me excited to think that
this year’s annual meeting might be

MAILING ADDRESS

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

EMAIL ADDRESS

editor@mbsi.org

PHONE

(253) 228-1634

one of the best in some time, not for
the collections toured or presentations
given, but rather for the friendships
renewed and new connections being
formed between both long-time and
brand-new members.

I encourage everyone to stay safe
and healthy, which to me means
taking whatever time you need to
re-enter society on a level where you
feel comfortable. Once you reach that
point, however, I say get out there and
enjoy spending time with each other.
Share the music. Share the machines.
Invite new people over. Aaron Muller
has good thoughts on this in his
Outreach Corner column in this issue.
Be sure to give it a read.

Huge thanks go out to Linda Birkitt
for compiling the Mid-Year Trustee
Meeting Minutes, which is a monster

job each year. She has taken on the
task performed for so long by David
Corkrum and is really getting the hang
of it.

I can’t forget to thank our contributors
in this issue as well. Matt Jaro’s
Nickel Notes column is a roller-coaster
ride through the history of Welte-Mignon.
Bill Wineburgh details a curious
prototype changeable cylinder box
found in a storage locker. Peter Both
gives us the lowdown on the Plérodienique
style musical box and Robert
Penna introduces us to the Organilleros
of Mexico City. Enjoy!

Welcome new members!
Ellen Domeny & Brad GowinFebruary 2021
Greenbrae, CA
Elaine Pease Janey & Frank BrandonGlendale, GA Sulphur Springs, TXRandy Garner Michael Hammond
Albuquerque, NM San Francisco, CA
Sponsor: Don Caine
Greg Keefover March 2021
Centennial, CO
Philippe & Eve CrasseCarole Ann Brown
Toulouse, Haute Garonne, France Dallas, TX
Kevin & Maryann OswaldEric Johnson
Titusville, NJHenderson, NV
Rod & Linda Moore Sponsor: Don Caine
Greensboro, NC
Sponsor: Bob Caletti
William Kearns & Tom English
Tampa, FL
John Banta
Chester, PA
Ziwen Fan
Beijing, China

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.

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

Outreach Corner Outreach Corner
By Aaron Muller

Special Exhibits Committee Member

Hello fellow members.

Many changes have come about in
the past 60 days since we published
part one of “Mixing Play with Work.”
Most significantly, vaccinations are
now being offered to help combat
COVID-19. This is great news! First and
foremost, the health benefits that all
of us will begin to enjoy will be significant.
Secondly, we may have begun
to turn the corner on a pandemic that
shook the world. For many the healing
process has just begun and for others
the sense of loss may never subside.
Let us pray for loved ones lost and
give thanks to those who sacrificed so
much in the fight against this devastating
virus. MBSI may not be the most
well-known group out there, but we
can do our part. After all, how many
organizations can lay claim to playing
the “Happiest Music on Earth”?

Undoubtedly, happiness is what
most of us are after anyway and MBSI
is perfectly positioned to provide
exactly that to a public soon to be in
search of in-person entertainment
outside their own homes. If you don’t
already have a special exhibit in mind
for the day when we are all free to
gather again in groups, now might
be the most ideal time to put one
together. It won’t take much, just pick
out your favorite machine or two and
find a way to spread the joy.

In this, the second half of my
Outreach Corner article, we will look
at exactly how to do that. The possibilities
are endless, but for now I will
share with you a few of the different
ways the Lake Michigan Chapter has
tried to make the world a happier
place. Each event we host is given the
consideration of inviting the press or
media. In the March/April 2021 issue
of Mechanical Music you saw pictures
of a newspaper article telling the story
of the “Magic of Music.” That particular
day, like many others, we made the

We saw our Special Exhibit in the Barrington Resale Mini Museum grow by a number
of instruments. Special thanks must go out to an anonymous family whose incredible
generosity made it possible for us to purchase nine additional instruments from
their private collection. We added seven new music boxes, a KT Special and this
1916 Wurlitzer 146 band organ to our ever-growing museum. The Carousel Dropper
Board is from a 1900s British Switchback. It is 9 feet long and 3 feet tall and features
a depiction (painting) of Lord Edward Roberts from the Boer war of 1899. We will be
bringing the Wurlitzer out front to play for the public on Sunday afternoons.

Mini Museum available to a group of in a few weeks earlier and told me how
kids and their chaperones. The group the class was learning about sound
came from the Christian Liberty Acad-and how it traveled through different
emy located near our resale shop in materials such as wood, glass, water
Algonquin, IL. Their teacher had come and air. I showed her how we could

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

Always a good idea to have some MBSI material on hand when setting up a special exhibit. Just the basics will do. The MBSI trifold
brochures and a membership application should be enough to hand out to anyone who might be interested. These should
both contain the MBSI website address and, if possible, a link to our MBSI video.

put our elbows on the edge of a larger
Regina music box and our hands over
our ears and listen to the bass notes
resonate in our ears through bone
conduction. After trying it for herself,
she quickly asked if I wouldn’t mind
showing that fun technique to her
entire classroom of children. Not only
did the kids love it, but each group
that came after that seemed to grow
larger and larger until we had almost
one adult for every child. Sharing a
special exhibit like this is always a
two-way street. The kids were having
a great time and so was I.

In my last article, I also spoke about
utilizing new resources as they become
increasingly available. Right now, the
newest and best resource I know of
is the internet. I have compiled a list
of helpful Facebook groups that have
some very helpful people as members.
On Facebook, simply search any of
the following terms to find the group:

• Musical Box Society Forum
• Band Organs, Fairground Organ
and Street Organs
• Antique Phonograph Enthusiast
• Player Piano Enthusiast
• Mechanical Music Chat
Roadside attractions can also be a very fun and effective way to get the word out
about mechanical music instruments, especially if you have a friend who will let you
borrow the company calliope truck for your chapter meeting. We had many families
and individuals stop by for pictures and videos with the Fisher Calliope Truck. Most
of them never having seen or heard one before. Special thanks to Jeffrey Sanfilippo
and the Sanfilippo Family Foundation for letting us borrow this wonderful instrument
every few years for a chapter meeting.

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

Newcomers to the special exhibit at Barrington Resale are a A special exhibit doesn’t have to be very large. Two or three
15½-inch mahogany serpentine case Reginaphone and base machines and a fun banner can do the trick just fine.

cabinet next to a Seeburg KT Special.

• Mechanical Musical Instruments,
• Association of Musical Box
Collectors (AMBC)
• McClinsey’s House of Music
• Orchestrions of Europe
• Mechanical Musical Instrument
and Parts Sales/Wanted UK
• National Carousel Association
• Orchestrions of America
• Carousel Connoisseurs
• AMICA (Automatic Musical
Instrument Collectors’
Association)
• American Carousel Organs
• Musical Box Society of Great
Britain
• Mechanical Music Media
• Mechanical Music and Midi
Systems
• Mechanical Music Parade
• Band Organ Music, Carousel
Music, Mechanical Music
• Australian Collectors of Mechanical
Musical Instruments Inc.
• Vintage Fairground Stuff and
Organs Chat Sales and Wants
• Organists and Organ Lovers
I cannot imagine being a part of
mechanical music in today’s world
without being in touch with these
groups. Information can be shared
around the planet instantly. If I have
a question about anything related to
mechanical music, I can go to one of
my groups that most closely fits my
question and ask them.

There must be a group for everything
on Facebook. In fact, social
media comes in a lot of formats but
by far I think the most popular one is
still Facebook. The list of websites on
the internet you can find to visit is just
as endless when you search through
Google or any other search engine.
Many times, however, I have simply
started with the Facebook groups and
almost every time they will send me

a direct link to a very useful website
without all the need to search on
your own. Usually, it ends up being a
website I have never heard of before.
Access to this level of knowledge and
expertise is why I am such a strong
believer in Facebook and the new
friends I have made all over the world
because of it.

That is about all the information I
had to share with you for now. I hope
you have enjoyed reading my two-part
article and I look forward to writing
more in the future. Remember, special
exhibits can be any size and just about
any place. Check with your local
museum or historical society and
see if they will let you come in for a
day with a couple of your machines. I
like to go camping from time to time
and even bring a machine with me
for that. You never know when you
can brighten someone’s day through
mechanical music.

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

MBSI Mid-Year Trustees’
Meeting Minutes

Top row, left to right: Mary Ellen Myers, Dave Calendine, Clay Witt, Bob Caletti. Second row, left to right: Tom Kuehn, Matt Jaro,

Ed Cooley, Linda Birkitt. Bottom row, left to right: Wayne Finger, David Corkrum.

Mar. 20, 2021

These minutes will be official when
approved and voted upon during the
annual meeting of the Board of Trustees
in Fort Myers, FL, in 2021.

On Mar. 20, 2021, at 9:05 a.m., the
2021 Mid-year Trustee Meeting was
called to order by President Kuehn.
The following Trustees were present:
Tom Kuehn, President presiding, Dave
Calendine, Bob Caletti, Ed Cooley,
David Corkrum, Wayne Finger, Matt
Jaro, Mary Ellen Myers and Clay Witt
(nine of nine present, a quorum).
Linda Birkitt attended as recording
secretary.

President Kuehn informed the group
that Trustee Witt will be retiring as
a trustee as of the conclusion of this
meeting, Trustee Witt acknowledged
that it was his great privilege to serve
MBSI, and that he will miss some, but
not other aspects of the position. He
then thanked this body for all their
hard work. President Kuehn thanked
him for his many years of service.

The minutes of the Sept. 4, 2020,

Trustees’ Meeting were presented
by Secretary Birkitt. Trustee Finger
moved to approve the minutes, with
corrections noted by Trustee Witt. The
motion carried and the minutes were
approved as corrected.

Old Business

Secretary Birkitt presented the
current board actions for review.

Trustee Jaro reported on the progress
of CDL – Controlled Digital Lending.
Digital Controlled Circulation is used
to circulate electronic copies of books,
but there is no software for DCC, so
circulation evolves through the honor
system. Although Jerry Maler is our
lending librarian, he reports only two
to three books have been checked
out over several years. Trustee Finger
indicated that we need a webmaster
to develop this electronic library to
provide value to the membership.
Trustee Witt suggested that Russell
Kasselman work with Trustee Caletti
to develop this electronic lending
library system.

Trustee Finger commented that
Terry Smythe deserves a response

back regarding his gift of 29 scanned
books. Smythe also has other historical
materials digitized which would be
invaluable to MBSI.

The status and possible development
and use of rack cards for
advertising MBSI at the American
Treasure Tour (A.T.T.) Museum in
Oaks, PA, was briefly re-addressed.
More information is needed on the
whereabouts of the initial content
and drawings for the proposed card
design. The use and value of these to
MBSI was also discussed.

President Kuehn then presented
the Herschell Carrousel Factory
Museum Funds request which will
be funded by our Endowment Fund.
During the discussion, Trustee Witt
noted that now MBSI has received
the additional documentation from
the museum requested by the board.
During the initial discussion, Trustee
Calendine moved that the board
approve the grant request in the
amount of $10,000. During the course
of discussion after the main motion
was seconded, Trustee Witt offered
the following motion as a substitution

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

for the main motion: “I move that we
approve a grant of $10,000 from MBSI’s
Endowment Fund to the Herschell
Carrousel Society of the Niagara
Frontier Endowment Fund to be used
for the restoration and maintenance
of band and carousel organs and roll
perforating equipment at the Herschell
Carrousel Factory Museum.” After the
amendment motion was seconded and
debated, it was adopted by a seven to
two majority via voice vote. There
being no further discussion, the main
motion was unanimously adopted as
amended.

Officers’, Administrator’s And
Committee Reports

Vice President Corkrum presented
the Vice President’s report. He
informed the trustees that he is
responsible for coordinating the
annual awards process and ensuring
timely nominations are presented to
the board at the mid-year meeting.
Additionally, he is required to create
the annual report for MBSI which is
submitted to the Board of Regents of
the University of New York by June
2021. He also gives guidance and
advice to the society’s chapters, keeps
himself informed of chapter activities,
and reviews and recommends
revisions of bylaws and policies and
procedures. The report was received.

Since Treasurer Ed Kozak was not
present, President Kuehn read the
treasurer’s report, Finance Committee
report and the Endowment Committee
report. There is no change to the
budget approved at the last meeting.
The treasurer’s report was received.

6a. Endowment Committee report.
As of Dec. 31, 2020, MBSI’s financial
statements reported the Endowment
Fund balance, a perpetual duration
asset, to be $160,270. The fund balance
increased by $4765 from the previous
year’s balance of $155,505. The
“Endowment Interest Earned Fund”
has a balance of $52,511 as of Dec.
31, 2020. Two-thirds of this amount is
available at this date for projects or
programs. The trustees are reviewing
the additional information submitted
by the Herschell Carrousel Factory
Museum, to support a donation to
their endowment fund. The report was

received.

6b. Finance Committee report. A
question from Vice President Corkrum
about museum restoration funds will
have to be postponed as there was no
museum committee representative at
the meeting who had that information.
The report was received.

President Kuehn read the Administrator’s
Report. As of Dec. 31, 2020,
MBSI totaled 1,003 memberships. This
compares to 2019’s numbers of 1,079
members. Currently, the membership
has grown to 1,073 as of Mar. 1, 2021.
Twenty-six new members between
Jul. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, joined
MBSI. Of these 26, 20 (77 percent)
were generated via the website. For
the calendar year 2020 the grand total
was 58 new members, of which 42 (72
percent) were website generated. The
report was received.

Chair Cooley presented the Audit
Committee report. As is required by
New York statutes and regulations
which govern MBSI, our financial
statements must by reviewed annually
by an independent CPA. Cinda
Rogers, CPA, has been doing this and
has agreed to an additional contract
extension. Although two new revenue
standards were written in 2019,
they had no financial impact on our
accounting. The Audit Committee will
no longer audit the comparison of
sales items to reported income as the
monies generated were insignificant
monetarily. Treasurer Kozak’s revenue
analysis indicates that the MBSI net
membership revenue for 2020 was
$69,029. Using 2019 data, the total
estimated revenue would be $71,100.
The difference is -2.9 percent and this
percentage difference will continue
to increase annually since declining
membership impacts this analysis.

The Audit Committee audited the
returned Conflict of Interest (COI)
forms and found that nine were missing
for the current year. All Officers,
Trustees and Committee members are
required by MBSI policy to sign these
forms yearly and be conversant and
compliant with the policies governing
COIs.

The report also made suggestions
concerning setting a specific time
of year for COI statements to be

gathered and about developing easier
to use methods of transmitting them
electronically. Trustee Witt noted that
we have legal constraints and agreed
to do some research concerning what
we are allowed to do about the matters
raised and to work with the Secretary
and Vice President to determine what
might be done to reduce the annual
COI statement gathering burden. The
report was received.

The Marketing Committee Report
was presented by Trustee Finger. The
video interview project is evolving
slowly as one interview has been
completed and two are in the works. If
sufficient funds are available, a fourth
interview will be included. Trustee
Finger and the Editor of Mechanical
Music (MM) are promoting a Facebook
Forum discussion group. The
certificate program giving auction
houses the ability to award one
free year of membership when they
hold auctions is being evaluated. To
enhance membership involvement, a
quiz or puzzle related to our hobby will
appear in Mechanical Music thanks
to Judy Caletti. The committee is
looking for other ideas to make MBSI
more visible to the public and attract
more new members. The report was
received.

Chair Jaro read the Meetings
Committee Report. This year’s Annual
Meeting is in the planning stages for an
in-person meeting. The event will be
held in Fort Myers, FL, at the Crowne
Plaza Hotel between Aug. 30 and Sept.
4, 2021. Trustees Jaro and Calendine
surveyed a group of MBSI members
to see, if they were vaccinated, would
they attend the Annual Meeting. Sixty-
eight percent indicated they would, if
proper distancing and masking were
utilized. Additionally, the Southeast
Chapter voted unanimously at their
Mar. 19 meeting to move forward
with hosting the meeting. European
attendees are concerned about a
refund policy if the meeting should be
canceled. Trustee Calendine moved to
provide a full registration refund for
any reason for the Annual Meeting in
Florida, up to Aug. 1, 2021. After that
date, a case-by-case decision will be
made. Motion carried.

Dave Calendine has graciously

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

agreed to serve on the Meetings
Committee, replacing the late Mary
Pollock. The report was received.

President Kuehn was asked if the
Japan Chapter will host an Annual
Meeting. He will investigate this question.
Trustee Jaro suggested that Japan
hold a Special Meeting which would
not be as expansive as an Annual
Meeting. Trustee Myers suggested that
we include Japan Chapter meetings
reports in MM.

Trustee Jaro gave the Museum
Committee report as Chair Sally Craig
was not present. The Guitarophone
and the PAPA JANO donations are now
on display and working at the A.T.T.
The repair cost for the Guitarophone
was completed. Due to Covid-19,
the A.T.T. Museum was closed most
of this past year. Final Inventory
reconciliation is still open regarding
the Barry Johnson donation to MBSI
for the A.T.T. Museum until all items
have been received. This item requires
annual review until 2023 as per Board
Action. The report was received.

The Nominating Committee Report
was read by President Kuehn as Chair
Dan Wilson was unavailable. Trustee
Witt is resigning as a trustee as of
Mar. 20, 2021. His position will remain
open until the election during the next
annual meeting. Richard Dutton has
been nominated to begin his first four-
year term as a trustee at the upcoming
annual meeting.

The Nominating Committee’s
recommendation for officers and
trustees to be approved by the board
for presentation to the members for
election at the 2021 MBSI Annual
Meeting is as follows:

• David Corkrum to serve a
two-year term as President
• Matt Jaro to serve a one-year
term as Vice President
• Richard Dutton to serve his first
four-year term as a Trustee
• Tom Kuehn to serve an additional
two-year term as a Trustee per
the bylaws
• Ed Kozak to serve another
one-year term as Treasurer
• Linda Birkitt to serve another
one-year term as Recording
Secretary

The report was received.

President Kuehn asked for a motion
to approve the committee’s slate of
officers and trustees. Trustee Witt
moved to approve the new slate of
officers and trustees. The motion
carried.

Special Exhibits committee chair
Mary Ellen Myers presented her
committee’s report. The Special
Exhibits committee has been
hampered somewhat by Covid19;
however, with Chair Myers’
innovations, she has surmounted the
problem. A new Outreach Corner in
Mechanical Music was initiated in
the November/December 2020 issue
of Mechanical Music with an article
written by Wayne Myers. Aaron Muller
has also written one article and plans
to write a follow-up article for the next
issue. Jack Hostetler has reported that
the Christmas Show at the Villages in
Florida is scheduled for the weekend
before Christmas, subject to pandemic
restrictions that might be in effect.
The report was received.

Publications Committee Chair
Caletti presented the committee’s
report. He noted that our editor had
been able to convert our journal to a
text version on the website going back
as far as 2015. These text versions can
be translated to other languages on
the website and used by non-English
speakers along with the images in
the printed version. The report was
received.

The editor’s report was presented by
Trustee Caletti. Per the editor, advertising
revenue and pages are moving
both up and down in Mechanical
Music. New advertisers in Mechanical
Music can now receive free ads on
the MBSI website that may encourage
more advertising. Several new authors
submitted articles for Mechanical
Music this past year. The report was
received.

The Website Sub-Committee Report
was presented by Chair Rick Swaney.
MBSI now has a Facebook Forum. It
is a Facebook group with easy posting
procedures. Currently there are 335
members in the Facebook Forum.

The emphasis of the Facebook Forum
is to increase membership renewal.
There are also plans to redesign the
MBSI website’s homepage to improve
interest in the site. The report was
received.

New Business

Bylaws and Policies and Procedures
documents were updated by the President’s
Special Committee consisting
of Vice President Corkrum, Trustee
Finger and chaired by Trustee Witt.
President Kuehn requested a motion
to approve the updated Bylaws and
P&P documents as recommended by
the committee. Trustee Calendine so
moved with the correction of the date
of the mid-year meeting from Mar. 19,
to Mar. 20, 2021. The motion carried
unanimously.

President Kuehn presented the
Japan Chapter’s draft of their bylaws
and supplemental material. Trustee
Witt stated that in Article ll on amendments
to the bylaws, the amendments
should be approved by MBSI before
they go into effect for the Japan
Chapter. A motion was requested to
approve the Japan Chapter bylaws and
supplemental material. Vice President
Corkrum so moved. The motion was
approved unanimously.

President Kuehn stated that the
Membership Committee Chair has
been vacant since Rob Pollock vacated
the position. President Kuehn had tried
to find a chair for this committee, but
without success. Trustee Myers noted
that four chapters have no members
on this committee. She suggested two
potential candidates. The search for a
Chair of the Membership Committee
will continue.

The Trustees entered a closed
session to evaluate nominations for
MBSI awards.

Trustee Calendine moved, seconded
by Trustee Cooley, to adjourn the
meeting. The motion passed. The
Mid-Year Trustees’ Meeting adjourned
at 2:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted on Mar. 26, 2021
Linda Birkitt
Recording Secretary

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

MBSI Trustee Nominee Richard Dutton

I was first exposed to mechanical
music when I was only a small boy.
In 1953, when I was six years old, my
father brought home a Concert roller
organ and 30 rollers (“cobs”) which
he had bought at a roadside auction
on Long Island, NY, for $6. The case
was dark brown with age and the
stenciling barely visible, but the organ
itself played well. I was immediately
fascinated with it and, because no one
else in the family cared about it as
much as I did, it became a plaything of
mine growing up. I played each one of
the cobs many, many times and knew
every note of every tune and each tune
by name (except for the titles of tunes
on two cobs without labels, which I
did not learn until many years later).
Often, I would drag the organ around
the way other children carry a favorite
toy and I would play it for my friends
on the picnic table in our backyard.

By the time I reached my teens, I was
less interested in the organ, and after
I went away to college, it spent many
years in the cellar before I took it to
Rita Ford’s music box shop in New
York City, NY, in 1977 and had one of
her repairmen completely overhaul it.
At that time, I became seriously interested
in acquiring additional cobs to
play on it, but (in the days long before
eBay) I had no idea where to look for
them. Rita sold me a few and I was
able to buy a few more from a woman
who at that time had a music box
shop up in Westchester County, NY. I
bought a larger number from a fellow
out on Long Island who, I somehow
found out, at that time bought and
sold roller organs and repaired them
in his basement.

Then, more than a decade later, in
the mid-1990s, I heard from an antique
dealer I had contacted about cobs that
there was a mechanical music show
being held in Bound Brook, NJ, and
when I went to it my whole perspective
on roller organ cobs changed.
While I had always thought that my
roller organ was very special and rare,
I found that there were a number of
other people around who had them

and that there were even people who
specialized in cob roller organs and
had large numbers of cobs for sale,
such as the late Alvin Moersfelder in
Wisconsin (who had driven all the way
to Bound Brook in his old Cadillac,
loaded up with roller organs and cobs,
catching naps at rest stops on the
way). At that point, I began acquiring
any cobs I could find that I did not
have, sometimes buying large lots of
them, sight unseen, often with organs,
keeping the cobs I needed and trading
the duplicates for others I could add
to my collection. I met more and more
people in the mechanical music realm
as one transaction led to another
and, with the advent of eBay, I began
buying cobs and organs in online
auctions as well. In my “wheeling and
dealing” I eventually completed nearly
500 transactions and expanded my
collection to more than 1,000 different
cobs, all but about a dozen of the
1,050-plus 20-note cobs known to have
been made.

As I acquired cobs, often in large
batches that included many without
a label containing a legible number or
title, I found that I had a special ability
to remember tunes and associate them
with titles and then numbers so that,
after a while, I was able to recognize
hundreds of tunes on the roller organ
and identify cobs immediately upon
hearing them played. As a result of
this, people all over the world send
me cobs or recordings of cobs with
missing, partial or illegible labels for
me to identify by ear. Sometimes, they
even call me and play them for me
over the phone.

In 2002, at the “mart” at an annual
meeting of MBSI in Chicago, IL, I had
the opportunity to buy a Grand roller
organ, the larger, much scarcer 32-note
model that plays 13-inch cobs, and I
immediately went back to my roller
organ contacts to acquire as many
different Grand cobs as I could find. I
now have all but four of the 160 Grand
cobs known to have been made.

The records I kept of my hundreds
of transactions involving roller organ

Richard Dutton

cobs provide a large volume of data
about the frequency with which the
various cobs have turned up. I have
organized this data and assigned each
cob a “scarcity rating” of either “most
common” (MC), “very common” (VC),
“common” (C), “less common” (LC),
“scarce” (S), “very scarce” (VS) or
“no known copy” (N). The rating of
“most common” was given to just five
cobs that turn up many times more
than the others. Perhaps these were
manufactured in much larger quantities
because they were included with
an organ as a “starter package.” At the
other extreme are cobs of which I am
unaware of any existing copy. Of these
14, all but four are Spanish or Polish
titles.

I have always been interested in
the music on the roller organ as
well, the hymns because of my own
religious background and long-standing
interest in hymnology, and the
popular songs, dance tunes, classical
pieces, etc. because of my general
fascination with the “roller organ era”
and the prevailing popular culture of
that time. My love and appreciation
for the music stem in part from the
fact that so many of the cobs contain
appealing, harmonious, full arrangements
of very pretty tunes. It was a
remarkable accomplishment for the
Autophone Company of Ithaca, NY,
the manufacturer of all cob roller
organs and cobs, to put hundreds and

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

hundreds of musical pieces popular in
the mid-1880s through the early 1920s
onto pinned cobs and it is a joy for me
to crank through them and listen to
them.

The late Todd Augsburger generously
provided me space on his roller
organ website, rollerorgans.com, for
my long-standing and ongoing project,
Dutton’s Roller Organ Cob Handbook,
which includes statistical information
about the relative scarcity of the various
roller organ cobs and combines it
with details concerning the individual
tunes—how they came to be written,
who performed or popularized them,

what role they played in the culture of
the times, etc.—as well as providing
references to sources of sheet music
for anyone interested in finding lyrics
or playing the tunes on their own
musical instruments.

I have now, after more than 13
years, completed my individual write
ups about the pieces on all but about
20 of the 1,200-plus 20-note and Grand
cobs and I hope to add to the website
my paragraphs about the remaining
ones shortly.

Professionally, I am a retired lawyer
who spent more than 32 years at
the same large Wall Street law firm

practicing in the area of wills, trusts
and estates. I graduated from Yale
College, received a master’s degree
in Celtic Languages and Literatures at
Harvard, specializing in Irish literature
and folklore (including traditional
music; consistent with my interest
in reed instruments, I play the Anglo
concertina), but instead of completing
my Ph.D. thesis there I returned to
Yale for law school.

I currently live with my wife of 36
years, Marlene, in Little Egg Harbor,
NJ, a nautical community in the southern
part of the New Jersey shore on
the edge of the Pine Barrens.

Interesting Tidbits

A piano specially constructed for use by the bedridden. This photo is reported to be taken in Great Britain around
1935. Image provided by the Dutch National Archives / Spaarnestad Collection / Photographer unknown. For a
variety of other interesting historical photos, feel free to visit https://beeldbank.spaarnestadphoto.com/

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro

A Music Trade Press Reader’s
History of the Welte-Mignon – Part Two

In the last exciting episode of And the following week this Sale of Welte Stock
Nickel Notes, Edwin Welte went back appeared on Page 21. On Mar. 22, 1919, (after the end of
to Germany to serve in the German the war) this appeared on Page 22 of
army in 1914. An agreement was MTR.
reached between Welte and the Auto
Pneumatic Action Company with the
evil George W. Gittins as president
of Kohler and Campbell (the parent
company of Auto Pneumatic).

Now, the U.S. declares war on
Germany and I left the reader to
wonder what would happen to Edwin
Welte’s business interests in the U.S.

The Alien Property Custodian

On Jun. 29, 1918, the following
appeared on Page 20 in the Music
Trade Review (MTR).

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

The advertisement at left appeared on Page 23 of the
Mar. 22, 1919, issue.

Gittins Steps In

In May 1924, the article at the bottom of this page
appeared in the Music Trades.

Notice that Gittins did not waste any time in buying the
Welte Company from Mitchell – gee, do you think this was
planned all along? According to Doug Hickling (September
1971 AMICA Bulletin):

Gittins considered it a serious personal affront that Kohler
had failed to name him as an executor of his will and had
instead named Richard W. Lawrence, who was at that time President
of Autopiano Company and a relative newcomer to the
family of Kohler businesses. Friction immediately developed

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17

between Gittins and Lawrence with
the result that Gittins was let go,
Lawrence replacing him as President
of Kohler & Campbell.

Thereafter, in 1917, Gittins
acquired control of the Estey Piano
Company, which had a large factory
at 133rd Street and Lincoln Avenue,
Bronx, New York.

When, in 1919, the Alien Property
Custodian auctioned certain Welte
patents and the controlling shares
of the stock of M. Welte &Sons, Inc.,
Lawrence sent an underling to the
sale with limited authority to bid
on the Welte assets. Lawrence’s
agent was outbid, however, by a
group of businessmen who, having
paid $100,000 to the Alien Property
Custodian for the property, promptly
sold their acquisition to George W.
Gittins. Gittins thus gained control,
not only of the Welte physical assets
and patents, but of the right of M.
Welte &Sons, Inc., to receive royalties
from the manufacturers of reproducing
piano mechanisms, including a
payment of $30,000.00 a year from
the Auto Pneumatic Action Company
under the terms of the Licensee agreement
under which Auto Pneumatic
built and marketed the Welte-Mignon
(Licensee) reproducing piano mechanism.
Since Auto Pneumatic was one
of the Kohler industries, Gittins’ coup
must have been particularly galling
to Lawrence.

The Factory Sale

The article above appeared in
August of 1919, in MTR on Page 25.
Notice that Gittins bought the entire
Welte enterprise including patents for

$100,000 and sold the factory alone for
$150,000 a few months later.

So now, in December 1919, it was
apparently time for a little flag-waving,
and Gittins, the new president of
Welte announces:

This passage seems so self-serving
to me. Gittins had nothing to do with
the tradition of Welte. He got the business
for next to nothing and he talks
about American ownership.

Moving Right Along

Things get pretty complex and intertwined
at this point.

On Feb. 7, 1920, an arrangement
was consummated where M. Welte
and Sons, Amphion Piano Player
Company and Kohler Industries (for
the Auto Pneumatic Company) would
control all of the Welte reproducing
piano patents. (The American Piano
Company owned Amphion). The
music rolls would be cut from the vast
Welte library. Kohler got a recording
piano from Welte so that new rolls
could be recorded (the DeLuxe Reproducing
Roll Corp.). Kohler would be
building a new roll plant.

At the same time, the Amphion
Piano Player Company is ready to
market a reproducing piano invented
by Lewis B. Doman. Note that Doman
was involved in the Stoddard Ampico
system.

Also, the American Piano Company

(Ampico) has admitted the validity of
the Welte Bockisch patents.

In March 1920, Gittins formed a new
corporation named the Welte Mignon
Corp. and from now on M. Welte and
Sons would be known as the Welte
Mignon Corporation with a capitalization
of $1 million.

In a lawsuit trial, a woman who
bought a Welte licensee piano was
told by a Welte representative that she
did not have an original Welte. She
sued on the grounds that the piano she
bought was misrepresented. The trial
showed that the mechanisms were
identical, with the exception of the
tracker bar and therefore she had no
grounds to complain.

The article below appeared in the
Mar. 20, 1920, issue of MTR, Page 27.

Further News

On Sept. 17, 1921, the Aeolian Corp.
after being sued for infringement of
the Welte patents, settled out of court
and agreed to pay royalties to Welte.

On Nov. 5, 1921, the Auto-Pneumatic
Company began recutting the original
Welte Mignon to the standard nine
holes per inch format. (More on the
roll formats later).

It must have been painful for Edwin
Welte to have all of his assets in the
United States seized. Notice that the
article below from Jun. 11, 1927, says
they are descendants and does not

18 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

mention anything about their contribution
to the success of the company.

In one respect, he was an enemy
combatant, having enlisted in the
German army, but on the other hand,
he was talking about becoming an
American citizen, and I think he was
really just caught in the middle. I don’t
think he ever received compensation
for the seized business, and it must
have been hard to visit the Welte
studios years later.

Receivership

Now it seems like Mr. Gittins has
run the company into the ground.
It can’t pay its debts and is placed
in receivership. It looks like Gittins
overextended the business, since he
acquired six subsidiaries a few months
earlier.

An article in the Nov. 26, 1927, issue
on Page 29 reported the news.

To summarize some of the events
that follow: The appointed receivers
wanted to sell the Estey piano business
in order to free up cash to pay
the creditors. They did this in March
1928. At the same time, the good old
Auto Pneumatic Action Company was
quick to point out that they were doing
fine and they were not associated
with the original Welte Company – so

customers should continue to buy the
licensee pianos without worry.

The receivership was finally ended
with a reorganized Welte-Mignon
Company.

On Jan. 5, 1929, William C. Heaton
resigned as sales manager of Welte
Mignon. He had held the position only
since the spring. He quickly found a
job as manager of sales for the Fada
Radio Corporation. Earlier, Heaton
was president of the Auto Pneumatic
Action Company. It’s funny how
people’s fortunes changed. Since Auto
Pneumatic was responsible for the
licensee business, maybe Gittins was
hoping to attract customers back to
the original Welte-Mignon Company.

The End of the Line

By February 1929 Welte-Mignon was
back in receivership. This time, the
explanation was that the company had
to be protected from small lawsuits.

On Jul. 15, 1929, Donald F. Tripp
(a Wall Street financier) bought the
Welte organ business for $79,000 at
auction – that’s less than it would cost
you to buy one organ today. The new
company was named the Welte-Tripp
Organ Company.

Tripp moved the organ business into
a modern new plant at Sound Beach,
CT, but there was no production for
over a year. Mr. Tripp lost his considerable
fortune in the continuing slide
of the stock market and was forced
to liquidate his assets to pay off creditors.
He sold the business to the W.W.
Kimball Company on Jul. 1, 1931, for
the sum of $35,000. Kimball marketed
the organ as the Kimball-Welte but
did not record any new rolls. Installations
continued into the late 1930s.
After World War II, Kimball worked
on developing electronic organs and
abandoned the pipe organ business
(according to Doug Hickling).

In February 1930, the Krakauer
Brothers bought the contents of the
Welte Factory, which included several
hundred unfinished grand pianos.
The name Welte-Mignon was sold by
the receivers to a group that would
become known as the Welte-Mignon
Piano Corporation. They continued to
install Welte mechanisms in people’s
pianos.

They ran the ad above until 1931
and then there was no more heard
from them. The most important Welte
patents expired in the 1930s.

Loose Ends

What ever happened to our friends
in the pneumatic action business?
Remember that Kohler and Campbell
owned the businesses.

In the October 1930 Presto, this
article appeared on Page 31.

What happened to our friend
Gittins? He was squeezed out of the
corporation by the receivers and his
common stock was worthless. Further,
in March 1931, Presto reported:

What about all the rolls? In 1932, the
MTR had the following classified ad.

As far as the German interests were
concerned, in 1931 the Welte firm in
Germany turned out its last repro-
ducing instrument and Edwin Welte

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 19

resigned.

Finally, in 1932, the notice above
appeared in the Zeitschrift für Instrumentbau
(ZI).

It announces that the Welte firm
went into receivership.

Edwin Welte

During World War II, the retired
Edwin Welte worked on an idea for
an electronic organ, but it did not get
support.

In 1947 Richard Simonton struck
up a friendship with Edwin Welte and
they exchanged about 150 letters.

The Welte factory was destroyed by
Allied bombs during World War II and
living conditions in Post-War Germany
were harsh.

“Our fine old city [of Freiburg] was
within 20 minutes time and without
any defense by an aerial attack to 2/3
destroyed, with it also completely the
factories of M. Welte and sons with
everything in it.

My private house was saved. I
live now in three rooms of it, with
my wife and daughter. The rest of
the house is occupied [requisitioned
without rent] by a French officer and
his family.” 4-30-47

“The French officer cut off the
radiators of my apartment to save
coal for the first floor. Naturally there
is only one furnace in my house and
no stoves. Heavy snowfall today and
the rooms ice cold. SO I write this
letter in the kitchen where we have
a kitchen-hearth which is heatable
with coal or wood. Mrs. Welte is just
running around in the town to find

somebody to place a little stove in
the bedroom. I do not think that such
things do happen in the American or
English zone.” 11-18-47

“We cannot escape our destiny,
when we see and hear about the lives
of other people we are satisfied again.
The conditions here in regard to food,
clothing and housing are intolerable.
We have an excellent archbishop in
Freiburg, who does everything possible
to help. He showed a great deal
of courage during the Nazi-period.”
11-18-47

The Welte Rolls

In order to end this article on a
happier note, I would like to say a few
words about the rolls. The Aeolian
DuoArt was the only system that never
changed encoding schemes. Ampico
had the A and B systems, although
these were largely compatible with
each other. Welte, on the other hand,
had quite an evolution.

The first system was the T-100
rolls or “red Welte rolls.” These rolls
were 127/8 inches wide and had 100
holes with 80 playing notes, motor
speed controls and assorted control
channels. These rolls had no tempo
markings because the motor could be
sped up by means of the two lock and
cancel signals.

The instruments made in Germany
and imported to America before
World War I used red rolls. The Welte
Artistic Player, made in America prior
to the war, used pianos such as Mason
& Hamlin and Krakauer that also used
the red rolls.

The T-98 or “green Welte rolls” were
the standard 11¼ inches wide with
nine holes to the inch. There were a
full 88 playing notes and 10 control
notes. Instead of lock and cancels, the

green rolls used chain perforations
for the control. This made it the only
reproducing system that could play
a piano’s full 88 key compass. All the
green rolls run at the same speed. The
green Welte mechanisms were never
marketed in America.

The Welte-Mignon “licensee rolls”
were the standard 11¼ inches wide
with nine holes to the inch with 80
playing notes and 18 control channels.
The licensee rolls’ use of the lock and
cancel required two channels for each
function and therefore there are only
80 playing notes.

The licensee rolls were primarily
made by the Deluxe Reproducing
Roll Corp. (a subsidiary of the Auto
Pneumatic Action Company). Many of
the original Welte rolls were recoded
and reissued to play on the licensee
pianos. See image on the facing page.

This concludes my marathon writing
sessions to produce this two-part article.
I find the story to be fascinating.
There has been much written about
the history of nickelodeons but not
much about the reproducing pianos
in the last 40 years. I hope my minor
effort goes some way to alleviating
this deficiency.

Please contact me with questions or
comments. I have tried to be accurate,
but I may have made some mistakes
or rash judgments. Please tell me!!

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
September-October 2015 issue of The
AMICA Bulletin.

20 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 21 May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 21

22 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021 22 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

A Changeable Cylinder Box Prototype

Questions remain as to who made this particular musical box as it has markings indicating Jaccard but has no definitive

provenance.

By Bill Wineburgh

Not too long ago I restored an interesting
changeable cylinder musical
box. It came out of a storage unit in
nearby Yonkers, NY. It had belonged
to a recently deceased collector (of
many things) whose daughter needed
to clear out the storage unit. It has a
unique design that is unlike any I have
ever seen. I would like to share it with
you.

A Jaccard / Cuendet / Abrahams
Prototype

The subject piece has a grain-
painted case with side handles and
transfer borders made to look like
inlaid wood trim and color floral decorations
on the lid and front to also
look like inlays. There is a drawer in

the base that can hold three cylinders.
The design is quite like those by B H
Abrahams of Ste Croix, Switzerland
and London, England, who was also
the London agent for Jules Cuendet.

It came with three cylinders that
measure 13 inches in length and 21/8
inches in diameter. Two of the cylinders,
numbered 60702 and 60712, have
accompanying tune sheets. The third
cylinder is numbered 60704 and has
no tune sheet. Each cylinder plays six
airs.

The two tune sheets are the “terrace
at right” design, seen as Sheet No.
6 in H.A.V. Bulleid’s book “Tune
Sheets” and is used by Jules Cuendet
in his catalog. The tune sheets are
marked “Lith. Picard-Lion Geneve”
on the lower left and “DEPOSÉE” on
the lower right. The tune names are

typewritten rather than written in pen.

The bedplate is forged with “Jaccard
BRS” on the underside (which Jaccard
brothers?). It has numerous holes that
have been filled in where it may have
once been prepared to use for another
set-up (1).

The comb has 93 teeth (92 playing)
and gamme number ‘1766’ on the bass
lead, referring to the comb’s tuning,
and the comb base (plinth) is marked
for tuning to exclude the highest treble
tooth and has a “J” and “99” (or “66”?)
impressed in the underside (again,
which Jaccard?).

The cylinder drive and locking
mechanisms are unique to this mechanism
and are unlike any I have seen.
The mechanism matches a patent by
Eugène Félix Jaccard of Ste Croix,
Switzerland. The German patent is

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 23

Completely restored and ready for play, this unique musical box includes a drawer to hold three cylinders.

No. 42511, dated Feb. 22, 1888, and the

U.S. patent is No. 382,879, dated May
15, 1888. The Swiss patent is No. 421,
dated Dec. 14, 1888. Illustrations from
the American patent accompany this
article.
The cylinder drive mechanism
works using an indented groove in a
drive plate that is turned by a double
spring barrel and governor control
mechanism. The cylinders have a pin
extending from the left end of the
cylinder that fits into that groove. As
with any interchangeable cylinder

box, at the tune’s end, the comb teeth
are aligned with the break in the
pinning, allowing the user to change
the cylinder without damage to the
cylinder pins. Changing these cylinders
demands some caution as there
are no “handles” on the cylinder ends
with which to lift the cylinder. Later
interchangeable musical boxes such
as those by Mermod Frères and others
incorporated handles or extended
cylinder shafts to allow lifting the
cylinder up and off the mechanism
without fear of damaging the cylinder

pins (2).

The tail stock has an indented steel
bar at its left end that marries with
the pointed pin on the right end of the
cylinder shaft. The steel bar is spring
tensioned within an iron housing that
is part of the cast bedplate. The right
end of the steel bar is bored to hold
a perpendicular steel rod that can
be rotated towards the front of the
mechanism along a curved lip in the
cast housing in order to release the
cylinder tail stock. The top of the rod
has a knurled cap that can be removed

24 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

Restored bedplate and cylinder installed. Caution is required when changing tunes as the cylinder has no handles.

The left end of cylinder no. 60712 with
rod extended to catch the drive gear. The right end of cylinder no. 60712.

The cylinder drive notch and drive mechanism. Patent images for this technology
are shown on pages 28 and 29 of this issue.

when removing the wooden start/
stop and change/repeat cover. I noted
that the curved lip was worn from
repeated movement of the release rod
and needed some repair in order to
work as intended (3).

So, who made this? There are no
numbers or other marks anywhere
on the bedplate or works to help
identify the maker. We know it was
made after 1888 as that is the date of
the E.F. Jaccard patent and none of
the listed tunes were published after
that year. The bedplate casting is by
one of the Jaccards. The tune sheets
are Cuendet’s design and the case is
a typical Abrahams design used in
Britannia, Imperial disc boxes as well
as in cylinder boxes. Phillipe, Jules &
Charles Cuendet, Ami, Charles, Justin
and other Jaccards, from Ste Croix
and L’Auberson, and Barnett H. Abra-
hams of Ste Croix, the London agent
for Cuendet, seem to be the players.

A Similar Prototype by L’Épée

David Evans wrote an article in the
Winter 2019/2020, Issue 19, of Mechanical
Music World, published by the
Association of Musical Box Collectors
(AMBC), about a L’Épée experimental
changeable cylinder movement. The
similarities and differences to the
example that I recently restored are
most interesting.

A patent for the L’Épée mechanism
was issued to James Yates Johnson
dated Oct. 14, 1887, about four months

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

The cylinder pin holder shown with the cylinder removed.

A closeup of the cylinder pin holder in the released position.

Jaccard BRS as seen on the bedplate, but no indications are
made as to what set of Jaccard brothers made it.

The cylinder pin holder extended as it would normally be while
playing the musical box.

earlier than Jaccard’s German patent
referenced earlier.

The differences between the L’Épée
prototype described by Evans and
the piece described in this article lie
in both the cylinder drive mechanism
and in the tail stock design. The drive
mechanism is reversed from one to
the other, and the tail stock in the
Jaccard design adds the internal
tension spring to better hold the cylinder
in place and a steel shaft to release
the cylinder from above the fall board.
Both designs use a typical snail cam
on the right end of the cylinder and a

coil spring on the left end of the cylinder
shaft to help steady the cylinder
on its shaft.

Competition Among Makers

At the time these patents and
prototypes were made, the German
disc musical box manufacturing was
severely impacting Swiss cylinder
box sales. As a result, the Swiss and
French cylinder box manufacturers
were struggling to compete. One way
to do that was to add more music to
the fixed number of tunes on pinned
cylinders. This was done in several

ways. One method was to either make
the distance between the tooth tips
further apart to allow more pins to be
placed between them and thus more
tunes to be pinned on a cylinder, or to
use only every other tooth in a comb by
clipping off the tip of alternate teeth.
Another method was to pin two tunes
in a single rotation, thus doubling the
number of (albeit shorter) tunes on
a cylinder. Fat cylinders were also
employed (having a larger diameter)
that would allow for a longer program
or for two tunes of more normal
length in one rotation. The revolver

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

A sideways letter J and the number 99 are impressed into the comb plinth, but it is not clear which Jaccard cast this piece.

Markings on the comb plinth (shown before restoration) indicate that the highest treble piece is to be excluded when tuning.

box provided a very complicated Competition among the cylinder My observations and research lead
and expensive way to do this as well. box makers must have been fast and me to believe that this piece was a
Further, and appropriate to this arti-furious and new ideas likely spread prototype for a mechanism that was
cle, providing additional cylinders was quickly among them. That might never put into production for at least
also tried, using either changeable or account for the similarities between the three reasons noted at (1), (2) and
interchangeable cylinders. the L’Épée and Jaccard designs. (3) above, as well as the likely high

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 27

One of the two typewritten tune sheets that came with the musical box.

An image from American Patent No. 382,879 showing a cylinder change mechanism.

28 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

Another image from American Patent No. 382,879, this time
showing the cylinder drive mechanism.

In this image you can see the additional holes in the bedplate
that were later filled in as if the bedplate had been originally
used in a different configuration.

An example of a B H Abrahams musical box that somewhat
resembles the box detailed in this article.

cost of manufacturing it. I attribute it to one of the Cuendets,
likely in the 1890s, as an attempt to make a changeable
cylinder box to compete with other cylinder box makers as
well as with the German disc musical boxes. If any reader
knows of another movement like this, please let me know.
Perhaps further research can help nail down the maker.

Samples of the music may be heard at:

https://youtu.be/OsqURW0xCvw

https://youtu.be/vYuY8eZEJro

Smartphone users may scan the QR codes at right to go
directly to the videos.

More online
Smartphone users can scan the QR code above to be
taken directly to videos showing the box in this article
playing tunes.
May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 29

PlérodieniquePlérodienique Plérodienique
A special kind
of music box

Text by Peter Both

(Translated by Deepl.com and corrected by

Carol and David Beck, and Alison Biden)

Photos from various sources

Plérodienique 9735, located at Museum Speelklok, Utrecht.
The exterior of the case features boulle inlays, a technique
named after André Charles Boulle who introduced it in the
first half of the 17th century. Here this technique was used
on ebonized ground by inlaying engraved brass, ivory and
mother-of-pearl.

For every collector and enthusiast of mechanical
music there are extraordinary objects. One of them is
the Plérodienique. Unfortunately, one rarely gets to
see and hear them.

Rediscovery

From the very beginning the name had something
mysterious about it. It is composed of ancient Greek,
here phonetically rewritten as “pleres” which translates
to “abundantly equipped, densely populated,” and
“dienekes” which translates to “continuous, continuous,
connected, uninterrupted.” An inquiry about the
origin and meaning of the word Plérodienique was
answered like this in Mechanical Music in 1963:

“Dear Mrs. Fabel

With reference to your inquiry on the word Plérodienique,
I am pleased to inform you that, since I do
not consider myself an expert, I contacted the French,
the Swiss Embassy and the Music Department of the
Library of Congress here in Washington D.C. and it
comes to this: “Plero” is a word of Greek origin
meaning “many” [and] “dienique”
is just a word ending. Therefore,
Plérodienique could mean
many sounds, fullness, full
volume or the name or type of a
of a music box. Also the following
address was furnished for technical
information – The Chambre Suisse
d’Horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds,

Switzerland. I hope to have helped a
little. Sincerely,
Maria A. Balanger”

As early as 1938, L.G. Jaccard
wrote the following in a series of
articles on “The Origin and Devel

opment of the Music Box” in the
magazine Hobbies, thus encouraging
the first generation of American
collectors to specifically search for

this type:

“Plérodienique
In about 1878 Albert Jeanrenaud

invented a new type of rechange
cylinder, the ‘’Plérodienique.” It may
be considered the most perfect of long
tune music boxes ever made and is
capable of playing, without interruption,
one tune of six revolutions. The
chief characteristic of this piece is that tunes of
unequal length can be played on the six revolutions.

The cylinders are about twenty inches long and thirty-
six lines in diameter and require about two hundred
prongs on two combs of equal length. Similar to the
Sublime Harmonie type. The cylinder was made in two
sections on a common shaft, with a coil spring between
them, pushing each section against its respective “limacon”.
When the first revolution is ended, section one
stops and changes, meanwhile section two continues to
play. After the change takes place it resumes playing
and gives time for section two to go through the same
process of stopping and changing of revolution; the two
sections are now in position to play simultaneously.
The music will cease to play at the sixth revolution if
set at “stop.” Regardless of the oncoming of the popular
tune sheet music box, the phonograph and the player
pianos, this beautiful piece retains its unique position
because of its unusual mechanism.”

It is not surprising that many of the 18 researched
boxes known today were once owned by MBSI
co-founders. Again and again, more details were
sought after, as the following excerpts from Mechanical
Music show. As early as July 1960 in the article
“Simple ways to determine the age of music boxes”
written by Marguerite Fabel, we read the following,
among others:

“Remember that Interchangeable Music Boxes were
not invented until 1878, and also by this time the
different combinations of music were in use, Sublime
Harmony, Piccolo, Tremolo, and all sorts of combinations
of these. By this time the music box industry had
really advanced and the larger table boxes and elaborate
models were much in evidence.

It is well to remember too, that nickel plating was

not discovered until 1878, so boxes with it are apt to be

from 1880 on.

The Longue Marche, the music box with the long
playing capacity was made in 1876. The Revolver type,
1878, the Plérodienique (split cylinder) 1878, this box
was capable of playing tunes of unequal length. In 1886
the Ideal Interchangeable Boxes were started, there are
a lot of these, and they produce quite pleasing music. By
this time too, boxes wound with cranks on the outside,
and we now begin to find disc boxes.”

In 1963 Murtogh Guinness wrote an article with
questions that still occupy us today:

“Plérodienique or telescope music box”

“It would be interesting to know how many of our
members own a Plérodienique; it is said that there are
five or six known; that would make them seem rare, but
as to how many were made, it would be harder to know,

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 31

Plérodienique No. 21296, located at the Bayernhof Museum, Pittsburgh, PA.

unless some records ever turn up.

Anyone might easily pass one by
not knowing what it was unless they
had seen one, or had a description.

Roughly, the combs are like a
Sublime Harmony the cylinders made
in two halves, on one shaft, usually a
small band round the middle fills the
gap between the two halves. There is a
star wheel snail tune changer at each
end; a spring in the middle between the
two halves of the cylinder, keeps both
halves pressed against their snails;
an important point to understand in
the operation of this mechanism, is
that snails are not set in exactly the
same place at both ends, one being
further round the cylinder than the
other, by a very small amount, so that
while one half of the cylinder is being
pushed inwards, and not playing;
after both ends have changed, they

play together, as in most musical
boxes. The advantage of this system
is, that since one half changes while
the other is playing, it makes possible
continuous playing of music, for as
many revolutions as the cylinder was
made for, or for several shorter pieces.
If anyone is on the lookout for one,
things to look for are: a band round
the middle of the cylinder, (Fig. 1).
and a tune changing snail at each
end.” (Fig. 2)

Fig. 1, showing the band at the middle
of a cylinder.

Fig. 2, showing the tune changing snails
at either end of the cylinder.

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

Present

My wife and I were soon made
aware of these music boxes and
wanted to listen to them at every
available opportunity. Unfortunately
for us, we have never been able to
hear the instrument exhibited at CIMA
(Musée du CIMA [Centre International
de la Mécanique d’Art], Sainte-Croix,
Switzerland) until now. It remained
under lock and key during all our
visits. Another one, in the Nethercutt
Collection in San Sylmar, CA, was not
played during our visit either as it had
been damaged in an earthquake. We
were lucky to hear one at Francis and
Esther Crawford’s home and at the
Morris Museum. At the 2019 MBSI
Annual Meeting, I attended Alison
Biden’s talk titled “Sleeping Beauties:
A Happy Ending or Grimm Fairytale.”
On this occasion Alison presented
the Plérodienique of the Pitt-Rivers
Collection, which unfortunately is
stored in the museum’s depot and will
remain hidden from the public for the
time being. I further learned that Alison
was looking for information about
the Plérodienique. When we recently
added a music box of this type to our
collection ourselves, I contacted her
and we decided, together with Dave
and Carol Beck, to look for more
information. We also wanted to find
the whereabouts of all the known
instruments. The research with the
help of many collectors and museums
has resulted in the following.

The manufacturer of the Plérodienique
is listed as Paillard & Cie.
of Ste-Croix, Switzerland, although
a single insert cylinder music box
(Seewen) is signed “G. Mermod
& Bornand, Successeurs d’Albert
Jeanrenaud” and the “Rosenberg
box” is often referred to as the only
Mermod Plérodienique. Jearenaud
was the inventor of the system but his

U.S. patent of 1882 is assigned to M.J
Paillard & Co, New York. It could also
happen that the sales agent used his
name as a trademark (for example J.
Manger).
Details and contradictions

We distinguish basically two different
types. On the one hand there
are the Plérodienique boxes with

Plérodienique No. 11025 in the collection of Peter and Jacqueline Both.

a fixed cylinder. The Museum fuer
Musikautomaten in Seewen and the
Nagamori Culture Foundation each
have an example in their collection.
The cylinder is about 42 centimeters
long with a diameter of 6.5 centimeters
and it plays six revolutions in just
under 6 minutes. On the other hand,
there are the Plérodienique music
boxes with interchangeable cylinders
in two sizes, 42 centimeters and 53.5
centimeters with a diameter of 5.5
centimeters and 6.5 centimeters,
respectively. The cases were individually
manufactured according to taste.
Probably, they were not only made in
Ste Croix, but also in England. The
exact release date of the first boxes
of this genre is by no means clear.
According to Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume,
a Plérodienique was presented at the
1862 London Industrial Exhibition. A

closer study of the sources, however,
reveals that John E.T. Clark already
wrote in his book, published in 1948,
that Messers Paillard of Ste. Croix
presented a very large and elaborate
music box with a greatly improved
cylinder exchange system in London
in 1862. It was the largest and most
complicated music box ever seen in
this country, with six telescopic interchangeable
cylinders. Clark examined
this instrument and further notes that
the cylinder was 53 centimeters long
and “The Barber of Seville” could be
heard on one and on another “Invitation
à la Valse.” Although both works
were composed long before, one
must assume that Clark was mistaken
about the date and that the whole
thing probably took place 15–20 years
later. Probably, Ord-Hume’s statement
was also based on Clark’s dating. It is

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 33

hard to imagine that all Plérodieniques
still in existence are attributed to
the period between 1880 and 1890,
implying that it took 20 years before
this type was built in larger numbers.
Paillard’s company history would also
contradict this. According to Laurent
Tissot, the Paillard brothers were
bankrupt on Apr. 3, 1861. During the
subsequent liquidation it turned out
that Marius-Justin Paillard from New
York was also involved in the bankruptcy
because of some real estate.
It was agreed to continue producing
music boxes and to establish a rescue
company called C. Paillard & Cie. in
1865. The new company flourished
not least because of Amédée Paillard’s
inventions, such as a new, simpler
exchangeable cylinder system, the
Sublime Harmonie and the so-called
revolver system. The Plérodienique
was another such new development.
In 1873, it was possible to pay back the
debts and the Paillard brothers were
rehabilitated at the court in Grandson
in 1874. Be that as it may, it is very
difficult to find reliable time sources.
Patent offices were partly established
later: France in 1792 (1900), USA in
1836, England in 1852, Germany in
1877 and Switzerland in 1888. Other
music box patents can be found from
1869 on.

Jere Ryder of the Morris Museum
recalls the following incident that
supports this thesis.

“I recall about 40 years ago,
during a visit to Guinness’ residence
by Speelklok Exec. Dir. Dr.
Jan Jaap Haspels, Jan Jaap related
to Murtogh & ourselves the story of
after having purchased their piece,
they proceeded to remove the heavy
mirror inside the lid, because the

backing material had been chafing
against the silvered side so much
so as to create heavy wear & silver
losses. As they removed the mirror,
hand fulls of old account ledger paper
fell out. To their surprise & pleasure,
they were original business debtor’s
journals, sort of an original version of
local business credit reports, a TRW of
their day. They were all from & about
London businesses & craftsmen, who
owed how much, when & to whom.

Murtogh, Jan Jaap & ourselves
looked at Murtogh’s mirror and sure
enough, there were distinct demarcation
lines of paper edges, wearing at
the mirrors rear silvered side. After
a brief discussion, we went ahead
& removed the mirror & discovered
exactly the same London debtors
journals used as packing on this
box. I seem to recall they were dated
between 1882-84, but can’t be certain.
Murtogh saved these brittle papers in
a drawer at the house, but upon his
passing they were sadly all tossed
out by contractors clearing “old stuff”
deemed unimportant.”

We have recently learned that the
papers actually still exist and have
been examined and preserved in
England with Murtogh Guinness’s
permission and will be returned to the
Morris Museum in due course.

Thanks to the long playing time of
about 6 minutes, the Plérodienique
music boxes were suitable for playing
longer pieces of music, especially
overtures, complex pieces that could
be arranged artfully. It is not surprising
that the William Tell Overture is part
of the repertoire in almost every copy.
Unfortunately for us, we have not yet
been able to make an inventory of all
the music pieces of all 18 examples.

This research is not always easy, but
thanks to colleagues, the various
museums and the internet, one can
get a lot of information within a short
time. It would be nice if readers of this
article would provide me with even
more information. By the way, there
must be two more examples. One with
a fixed cylinder, which was offered in
an auction as lot number 162.

As stated in the catalog it plays an
overture (probably Der Freischütz)
and Tales from the Vienna Woods.
According to a contemporary witness,
more than 30 years ago the movement
was separated from the case, installed
in a crystal case and sold to the Middle
East. The other specimen, the Horie
Orgel Museum Plérodienique in Chippendale
Barley twist style with seven
large cylinders (53.5 centimeters by

6.5 centimeters), was offered for sale
in 1996. Please do not hesitate to point
out any errors in my research or to
share your findings with me.
Outlook

Unfortunately, due to their complexity
and the length of the music pieces,
these music boxes are rather less
suitable for a museum tour and are
thus usually relegated to inactivity
in a quiet corner, in contrast to the
specimens in private collections.
However, the Museum of Music
Automatons in Seewen is planning
a special exhibition, “Jeu continu…
Swiss Music Boxes in a Class of their
Own” from Oct. 1, 2021 to Apr. 24,
2022, with masterpieces from its own
collections and those of other collections
in Switzerland and abroad. I am
convinced that music box lovers will
be delighted.

References

Special thanks go to the following persons
and institutions who helped with information
and thus made this article possible:

Alison Biden, Dave and Carol Beck, Raphael
Lüthi (Museum für Musikautomaten in
Seewen), Jere Ryder (Morris Museum, New
Jersey), Marieke Lefeber (Museum Speelklok,

Utrecht), Norm Dolder, Dwight Porter, Bob
Yates, Johan Goyvaerts, Michel Bourgoz, Denis
Margot, Reto Breitenmoser, Laurence Fisher,
Jean-Marc Lebout, Ralph J. Schultz, Lawrence
Crawford, Mark Yaffe, Marty Persky, Paul
Bellamy, Kyle B. Irwin (Nethercutt Collection),
David Worrall, Hana Matsuura, Bonhams NY,
Taizou Murakami, Joji Funakijo, Sachiko
Kawano, Mechanical Music, MBSGB, SFMM,
“The Musical Box” by Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume,

“Origin and Development of the Music Box” by

L.G. Jaccard 1938, “Musical Boxes, A History
and an Appreciation” by John E.T. Clark,
published in 1948, “The Curious History of
Music Boxes” by Roy Mosoriak, published in
1943, E. Paillard & Cie, S.A. “Une Entreprise
Vaudoise,” by Laurent Tissot, published in
1987.
34 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

Listing of the Plérodienique music boxes known to us
(and their repertoire, as far as known):

1. Bayernhof Plérodienique No. 21296 (Bayernhof-Museum, Pittsburgh, PA)
A large music box with three existing cylinders 53.5 pieces each and the third cylinder plays two pieces with

centimeters by 6.5 centimeters. Two cylinders play three a total playing time of 6.5 minutes per cylinder.
Of course, this music box also has an eventful history
in the U.S., which can be traced back to Lloyd Kelly
(founding member and first vice president of MBSI and
also former owner of the brand “Regina Music Box”).
In 1948 Kelly sold the movement and cylinders to a
collector in Kentucky who later resold it to the American
restorer and collector couple Carol and Dave Beck. The
Becks completely overhauled the movement and passed
it on to Norman Dolder and Bill Griffin in Florida. These
two commissioned Dwight Porter, of Porter Music Box
Co., to make a new case for the previously loose musical
movement, modeled on the box in the CIMA in Ste-Croix.
The completed music box was finally sold this year to the
Bayernhof Museum in Pittsburgh, PA (former residence
of Charlie Brown). Unfortunately for us researchers, we
do not know the music repertoire yet.

2. Beck Plérodienique No. 198829 (8833) (Private collection)
An elegant piece of
medium size inlaid
mahogany case on
table. There are eight
cylinders measuring
42 centimeters by 5.5
centimeters, which
play a total of 13
pieces. An original
melody card with the
inscription “Nouveau
Système — Ouvertures
Completes” by

P.V.F. is preserved. A
nickel-plated plate
next to the playing plate shows the following engraving:
Paillard Vaucher & Co. / Manufacturers, / Ste. Croix / & /
London. / P.V.F.
The table with curved black legs has two drawers, each
with space for four cylinders. The music box was bought
by Clarence Fabel (founding member and first treasurer
of MBSI) in 1948 in an antique store in the Georgetown
neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It was later repaired
by him. After Clarence passed away, his wife, Marguerite,

sold it to Carol and Dave Beck in 1993. The repairs they
made to this machine were to clean the mechanism
(except for all the cylinders), replace one tooth and
damper the combs. They also built a safety check which
is an exact replica of the ones on Paillard music boxes.

Cyl. Program

1 Les Diamants De La Couronne, Ouverture, Auber

2 Semiramis, Ouverture, Rossini

3 Fra Diavolo, Ouverture, Auber

4 Le Barbier de Seville, Ouverture, Rossini

5 Invitation à la Valse, Weber

6 Freischütz, Ouverture, Weber& Geschichten aus dem
Wienerwald, Valse, Strauss

7 Norma, Casta Diva, Bellini & Il Travatore, Miserere,
Verdi & Pardon de Ploermel, Ombre Legere, Meyerbeer

8 Les Noces d’Olivette, Valse, Audran & Les Contes
d’Hoffmann, Barcarolle, Offenbach & Orphée aux
Enfers, Galop, Offenbach

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 35

3. Both Plérodienique No. 11025 (private collection)
Display piece in English
oak case, on carved chest of
drawers with pediment. Ten
cylinders of 42 centimeters
length and 5.5 centimeters
diameter, a total of 16 pieces
of music. No tune card available,
but the repertoire is
widely known and includes
Chopin and Liszt. The
music box was owned by
the unknown first owner in
England until the 1920s and
was sold to a Dyke family
at that time. Since 1974 the machine was no longer
playable. In Spring 2020, Belgian dealer Johan Goyvaerts
acquired the rare object. He made the musical work
playable again by a first restoration measure. By lucky
coincidence, we, Jacqueline and Peter Both, were able to
secure the rare piece for our collection. Michel Bourgoz
carried out further restoration work last summer, so that
the music box now plays perfectly again. Exceptional is
the Longue-Marche drive with four coupled spring housings.
Although made by Paillard, a plaque by J. Manger /

Geneva London decorates the inside of the lid.

Cyl. No. Program
1 11257 Les Diamants de la Couronne, Ouverture,
Auber
2 11258 Wilhelm Tell, Ouverture, Rossini
3 11259 Fra Diavolo, Ouverture, Auber
4 11260 Semiramis, Ouverture, Rossini
5 11261 Grand Valse Brillante, Chopin & Mazurka No.
5 Chopin
6 11262 La Radieuse, Valse Op. 72, Gottschalk & ???
unknown
7 11263 Rigoletto, Bella Figlia dell’Verdi & ???
unknown
8 11264 Olivette, Valse, Audran & Les Contes
d’Hoffmann, Barcarolle, Offenbach & Athalia
March, Mendelssohn
9 11265 Leonore, Ouverture No. 3, Beethoven
10 11266 Ungarische Rhapsodie No. 2, Schiller Marsch,
Meyerbeer & Liszt

4. Musée des Arts et Sciences (MAS) de Ste-Croix Plérodienique No. 104914 (exhibited at the Musée
CIMA, Ste Croix)
Imposing, curved music box table in Louis XV style.
Two existing cylinders 53.5 centimeters by 6.5 centimeters.
According to tradition it is the last Plérodienique
ever made by Paillard. The technical design with a
centrifugal governor for speed regulation suggests that
this movement was only made around 1900, which is
considerably later than the other known Plérodieniques.
Until 1960, this music box was part of the company’s own
product collection. After that, the music box went to the
local museum of Sainte-Croix (MAS). Two tune cards
with the music program of the corresponding cylinders
are available.

Cylinder 1 # 18540: Freyschutz, Ouverture, von Weber
& Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald, Valse, Strauss

Cylinder 2 # 13204 Rhaposdie Hongroise, Liszt & Hochzeitsmarsch,
Mendelssohn

36 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

5. Crawford Plérodienique No. 6999 (private collection)
Francis and Esther Crawford,
founding members of MBSI in
1949 and parents of the current
owner Lawrence, purchased this
exceptional piece in the 1940s
from Lloyd Kelly of Hannover, MA.
It has four cylinders of 42 centimeters
length and 5.5 centimeters
in diameter. This is the only Plérodienique
with a reference to an
English patent Sublime Harmonie
1874, a rather early Plérodienique
with interchangeable cylinders.
The Crawfords are collectors of
the first order who kept Jaccard’s
articles and collected many
exceptional music boxes.

6. Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Genève Plérodienique No. 18761
Music box in a very simple design, it was part of the
estate of Etienne Blyelle. Originally without a table; it
comes with five cylinders of 53.5 centimeters length and

6.5 centimeters diameter and zither.
The tune cards assign the music box the number
12230. The number 18761, on the other hand, is stamped
into a holder of the mechanism. The musical repertoire

is also nothing unusual. Something special, however, are
the recordings of Etienne. In 1994, he described how
he played two of his cylinders on the Seewen box and
vice versa to check whether the cylinders were indeed
“interchangeable”.

The five cylinders play the following 10 pieces

Cyl. No. Program
1 13202 Le Pardon de Ploermel, Ombre légère, Meyerbeer
& Il Trovatore, Choeur des forgerons,
Verdi & Il Trovatore, Stride la vampa, Verdi &
La Norma, Casta Diva, Bellini
2 16790 Les Diamants de la Couronne, Ouverture,
Auber
3 18537 Le Barbier de Seville, Ouverture, Rossini
4 18541 Valse Brillante, No. 1 Op 18, Chopin & Johns
Mazurka No. 5, Chopin
5 18763 Rigoletto, Quatuor, Verdi & Ernani, Septuor,
Verdi

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 37

7. Guinness Plérodienique No. 10277 The Murtogh D. Guinness collection of mechanical musical instruments
and automatons, Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
Extraordinary music box table, made around 1885, in
the style of Napoleon III, with inlays in chased brass,
mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell (boulle technique) and
gilded applications. In my opinion, together with the twin

from Utrecht, the most beautiful case of a Plérodienique.
The preserved tune card from P.V.F. also points out the
constructive peculiarities of the musical work:

“Le seul Système permettant de jouer des Ouvertures
entières sans interruption” and “Nouveau Système
perfectionné. Jouant des Ouvertures completes.”

There are six cylinders of 42 centimeters length and

5.5 centimeters diameter with nine different melodies:
Cyl. Program

1 Freyschütz, Ouverture, Weber & Geschichten aus dem
Wiener Wald, Waltz, Strauss

2 Le Barbier de Seville, Ouverture, Rossini

3 Sémiramis, Ouverture, Rossini

4 Guillaume Tell, Ouverture, Rossini

5 La Norma, Cavatine, Bellini & Il Trovatore, Miserere, Verdi &
Pardon de Ploermel, Ombre légère, Meyerbeer

6 Invitation à la Valse, rondo-valse, Weber

8. Kiyosato Moeginomura Plérodienique (Kiyosato Moeginomura Museum) No. 18762
Unfortunately for me, I only know this music box from
an article that appeared in Mechanical Music in 1995,
in which the author Coulson Conn praised the Plérodienique
by Joji Funaki and Jun Natori for a cylinder with
the music of Gilbert & Sullivan. The music pieces were:

• March of the Peers from “Iolanthe”
• If You Go In trio from “Iolanthe”
• Tit Willow from “Mikado”
• I Have a Song To Sing, Oh! from “Yeomen of the
Guard
I hope to learn more soon. It must be a later copy,
since Yeomen of the Guard was not composed until 1888.

38 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

9. Nagamori Rechange Plérodienique (Nagamori Culture Foundation Collection)
This example comes on a desk / ladies’ secretary Louis

XV. It once belonged to Dr. Byron Merrick (founding
member and first president of MBSI).
Byron’s collection was sold in 1986 at Wolf’s Gallery
in Cleveland, OH. This piece was purchased by Graham
Webb for Mr. Namura in Japan. After the closure of
the Orugoru no Chiisana Hakubutsukan Museum, the
collection was sold to Shigenobu Nagamori, founder and
chairman of Nidec-Sankyo, which manufactures music
boxes, among other things. A new museum for music
boxes is planned in Kyoto and should be ready and
house the collection in 2021, which is unfortunately not
accessible at the moment.

There are six cylinders of 42 centimeters length and

5.5 centimeters diameter with nine different melodies:
Cyl. Program

1 Les Diamants de la Couronne, Overture, Auber

2 Guillaume Tell, Overture, Rossini

3 La Norma, Bellini & Il Trovatore, Miserere, Verdi & Sémiramis,
Rossini

4 Rhapsodie hongroise, Liszt & Schiller Marche, Meyerbeer

5 Les Huguenots, Bénédiction, Meyerbeer & Bahn frei, Polka,
Strauss & La Fiammina Mazurka & Petersburg Champagne
Galop

6 Olivette Valse, Audran & Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Barcarolle,
Offenbach & Athalia Marche, Mendelssohn

10. Nagamori Plérodienique with fixed cylinder (Nagamori Culture Foundation Collection)
This music box probably corresponds in type and
execution to that of Seewen: the tune card of the Pail-
lard company mentions, in addition to the designation
“Sublime Harmonie Piccolo / Système Plérodienique
jouant sans Interruption en 6 Tours,” the only piece
played by this music box is “Les Diamants de la
Couronne,” an overture by D.F.E. Auber, composed in
1841. The cylinder is not interchangeable in this work.
May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 39

11. Nethercutt Plérodienique (The Nethercutt Collection, Sylmar, CA)
A beautiful specimen, the case was probably
completely rebuilt because the box was damaged in an
earthquake. We know very few details as the museum is
not very willing to give information. The restorer, David
Wells, said the complete mechanism is nickel plated.
12. Pitt Rivers Plérodienique No. 24190 (Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford)
This Plérodienique is unfortunately not accessible to
the public. The Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford, England,
is part of Oxford University and has housed its anthropological
and archaeological collection since 1884. No
wonder that mechanical music does not enjoy top priority.
The music boxes are stored in a depot and will be
moved further in the course of the reorganization of the
museum. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to have a look at
some details of this box.

According to museum staff, there are two versions of
the museum catalog that are not 100 percent consistent.
The box was acquired in 1943 (i.e. during the Second
World War) from the estate of an A.J.A. Symons; at
that time two different catalogs were kept in case one
of them was destroyed by enemy action. A separate
museum piece consists of a chest of drawers (not
matching the actual music box), which contains further
Plérodienique cylinders. It is assumed that they belong to
this mechanism. Since they are inaccessible, neither the
melodies nor the exact number are known. The number
on the ends of the cylinders that were visible seem to
correspond to the number on the end of the cylinder in Mozart, Wenzel Mueller. Indeed, when Mozart’s works
situ in the box. According to the catalogs, there could be were first catalogued by Ludwig von Koechel in the early
three or six additional cylinders to those listed on the 1860s, he was unsure of the authenticity and assigned it
tune card attached to the inside of the lid. Chilcott and to an annex in his catalogue published at the time.
Co. in Bristol, England, were the sales agents. Before

A.J.A. Symons, the music box belonged to a Colonel
Cyl. Program

H. Biden, who ordered it in Bristol and whose heirs
1 Kyrie (6 turns)

subsequently sold it to A.J.A. Symons. The case is simple
and not dissimilar to that of the Plérodienique in Geneva 2 Gloria (4 turns) & Qui Tollis (2 turns)
and Seewen. It comes with six cylinders measuring 53

3 Quoniam (4¼ turns) & Cum sancto spiritu (1¾ turns)

centimeters long and 6.5 centimeters diameter.

4 Credo (1¼ turns) & Et incarnatus est (2 turns) & Et

The tune plaque for this Plérodienique declares the

resurrexit (2¾ turns)

music on its six cylinders are arrangements of Mozart’s
12th Mass. Today, however, following detailed study and 5 Sanctus (1 turn) & Benedictus (5 turns)
research, this Mass is now considered by the musical

6 Agnus Dei (2¼ turns) & Dona nobis (3 ¾ turns)

authorities as being the work of a contemporary of

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

13. Rosenberg Plérodienique No. 15229 (private collection)
An exceptional piece in a carved case of solid mahogany
wood, with matching table. Cases of this kind are
automatically associated with the late Idéal Interchangeable
Music Boxes by Mermod Frères, which were very
often sold in similar cases in America. Here too, Mermod
is mentioned as the manufacturer, but this seems highly
doubtful. It is also stated that the music box was sold
around 1894 by Samuel Troll (Geneva).

There are four cylinders with a length of 53.5 centimeters
for the music box. I do not know the pieces. The
music box is owned by S. Rosenberg and once belonged
to Mark Yaffe and before him to Marty Roenigk, who
acquired it from a household liquidation.

14. Seewen Interchangeable Plérodienique 16783 (Museum für Musikautomaten, Seewen)
The museum founder and collector Heinrich
Weiss-Stauffacher acquired his large Plérodienique via

H.P. Kyburz from the English collector Jack Donovan,
ca. 1978–1980. Originally, this music box was probably
accompanied by a table with a drawer for the exchangeable
cylinders. There are two cylinders 53.6 centimeters
by 6.7 centimeters. Cylinder two contains tunes from the
opera “Dorothy by Cellier” but the music on the other
cylinders is not yet identified. The music box is listed
in the inventory of the Museum of Music Automatons
under the number MMA 71697.
15. Seewen Plérodienique fixed Cylinder 12257 (Museum für Musikautomaten, Seewen)
The Museum of Music Automatons in Seewen also
owns a beautiful simple Plérodienique with a fixed
cylinder and at the same time the only known music
box whose tune sheet states, “G. Mermod & Bornand,
Successeurs d’Albert Jeanrenaud.” The carefully
hand-labeled sheet does not give any information about
the music played. The cylinder of this music box has
the dimensions 42.1 centimeters by 6.2 centimeters and
plays two pieces at the usual six revolutions. The first
one is not yet determined, the second is the “Olivette –
Valse” from the opera “Les Noces d’Olivette von Edmond
Audran,” composed in 1879, which can be heard on
numerous Plérodieniques. It also features an artistically
chiseled Zither. The music box is listed as MMA 71696 in
the inventory of the Museum of Music Automatons.

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

16. Utrecht Interchangeable Plérodienique 9735 (Museum Speelklok, Utrecht)
The exterior of the case in Napoleon III style is inlaid
with boulle inlays, a technique named after André
Charles Boulle who introduced it in the first half of the
17th century. Here this technique was used on ebonized
ground by inlaying engraved brass, ivory and mother-of-
pearl. This extremely luxurious music box has a large
musical repertoire due to the many additional cylinders
that are safely stored in its drawers. There are three
versions of the tune card.
This Plérodienique was the star of the Sotheby’s
Belgravia auction on Jun. 9, 1977, and fetched a record
price of approximately 60,000 Swiss Francs (or $64,943
U.S. dollars).
At Museum Speelklok there are nine cylinders of 42
centimeters length and 5.5 centimeters diameter with 14
different pieces of music.
Cyl. Program
1 Les Diamants de la Couronne, Overture
2 Le Barbier de Séville Overture
3 Sémiramis Overture
4 Fra Diavolo Overture
5 Invitation à la Valse
6 Guillaume Tell Overture
7 1. La Norma Casta Diva; 2. Il Trovatore Miserere; 3.
Dinorah, Ombre Légère
Cyl. Program
8 1. Les Noces d’Olivette Waltz; 2. Contes d’Hoffmann
Barcarole; 3. Orphée aux Enfers Galop
9 1. Valse Brillante, Chopin 2. Mazurka, Chopin
17. Virginia Plérodienique (Virginia Musical Museum, Williamsburg, VA)
The Museum purchased the music box from an
industrialist, the founder of the first Smithfield Ham Co.,
who bought it from the fourth-generation nephew of
President James Madison. The case is very similar to the
Nagamori box. Although there is only one cylinder left,
the still existing original piece list allows us to present
all the titles.

Cyl. Program

1 Maritana, 3 Stücke, Wallace

2 Il Trovatore, 4 Stücke, Verdi

3 Erminie, 3 Stücke, Jakobowski

4 Dorothy, 3 Stücke, Cellier

5 Ungarische Rhapsodie, Liszt & Schiller, Marsch,
Meyerbeer

6 Le Barbier de Seville, Ouverture, Rossini

42 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

Museum of Music Automatons to host
Plérodienique special exhibition

Manufacturers along the Swiss
Jura arc once produced large and
exceptional music boxes, either for
exhibitions or on order. Technical
innovations made it possible to
play long pieces of music without
interruption – a novelty in those
days. The “Plérodienique” category
of music boxes, together with music
boxes featuring “hélicoïdal” and
“semi-hélicoïdal” tracking, are true
masterpieces of Swiss manufacture
that quicken the pulse of collectors
and enthusiasts around the globe. The
elegant musical furniture of the Belle
Époque offered a blend of precision
mechanics and particularly impressive
musical performance encased in
a dignified exterior.

The Museum of Music Automatons
in Seewen near Basel, Switzerland,
is the first in the world to showcase
the diversity of these rare exhibits
in a remarkable special exhibition
beginning Oct. 1, 2021 and extending
through Apr. 24, 2022.

Outstanding items from the museum’s
collection will be supplemented
by loans from private collectors and
museums in Europe. The exhibition
marks the first time some of the items
will be on public display.

An international collectors’ meeting
will be held at the Museum of Music
Automatons on Oct. 2, 2021, in partnership
with the Swiss Friends of
Mechanical Music SFMM.

The international collectors’
meeting will provide an opportunity
for visiting – and experiencing in the
presence of recognized experts – the
Museum of Music Automatons and,
in particular, the special exhibition
titled, “Jeu continu…” Rounding out
the event will be brief presentations,
talks and a glimpse of the museum’s
extensive collection.

A program, information and registration
for the collectors’ meeting
in Seewen can be found at www.
musikautomaten.ch or request
information by email from musikautomaten@
bak.admin.ch

Detail of a large « Plérodienique » musical box, C. Paillard & Cie., Sainte-Croix c.
1890MMA-71697 (© Seewen Museum of Music Automatons)

Large musical box on matching table with interchangeable
cylinders for continuous playing
(semi-hélicoïdal system). François Conchon,
Geneva c. 1894MMA-97706 (© Seewen Museum of
Music Automatons).

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43

Organilleros

The Organ Grinders of Mexico

By Dr. Robert Penna, Ph.D

magine you are on vacation and decide to travel
outside the United States. As you wander the
streets in this foreign land, you note how different
things are from your hometown. Few signs are
written in English and passersby are speaking in
a language you recognize but cannot understand.
As you follow the map graciously provided by
your hotel clerk, you walk the labyrinth streets
to each historic location in the old town when
suddenly you hear the high-pitched sounds of an
out-of-tune street organ. More interested in seeing
and hearing this instrument, you delay your visit
to yet another cathedral and follow the sounds.

An organillero plays for passing crowds at a tourist
attraction in Mexico City. Photo by Marco Antonio
Gómez/Flickr

Organilleros ply their trade on the
streets of Mexico City. Above,
Photo by Israel Gonzalez/Flickr. Right,
Photo by Organilleros de Mexico/
Facebook.

There in the plaza directly across
from a venerable old church stands
a uniformed man patiently grinding
away at a barrel organ. Certainly, this
must be Europe, the birthplace of
player street organs and pianos, but
no, this is Mexico City.

Wearing an official cap and dressed
in a beige uniform with a Mexican flag
emblazoned on his chest and a red
silhouette of a bullfighter on his back,
the organillero patiently turns a crank
as the crowds walk around him. Few
seem to stop and even fewer toss him
a coin or two for his efforts. Once quite
popular, Mexico City’s organ grinders
are no longer in vogue and almost
certainly only tolerated by the public.

At the end of the 19th century, most
barrel organs in Mexico were imported
from Germany and were an instant hit

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 45

An organillera walks home, instrument slung across her back after a days work.
Photo by Organilleros de Mexico/Facebook

with the wealthy. Often used for entertainment
at private parties, they were
looked upon as the height of fashion.
As time progressed, the barrel organ
music became prized by the general
public as well. Organ grinders made
their way through the streets and were
welcomed by all.1

Many believe that the first barrel
organs arrived when European
circuses came to entertain in Mexico.2
Others believe the first organs were
a gift from the German government
to Mexican president Porfirio Diaz
who held office from 1876–1911.
Later, many instruments were made
in Central and South America.3 At
first, these organs were handed out as
bonuses to reward political favorites
and, perhaps later, to veterans who
had suffered the loss of a limb.

One of the earliest examples of
veterans gaining barrel organs is noted
by Alexander Buchner. He explained
that often barrel organs were given to
amputee veterans so they could earn a
living. This practice appeared as early
as the Seven Years War (1756–1763)
and was especially encouraged in the
German-speaking regions of Europe.
Empress Maria Theresa of Austria
was the first to authorize permits to
crank a Leierkasten (barrel organ) in
public. In 1810, Prussia copied Austria
and issued permits as well.4 American
Union veterans of the Civil War who

had suffered the loss of limbs sometimes
received barrel organs from
church and civic groups to help them
support themselves.5

In the United States, the practice
of organ grinders disappeared almost
entirely as politicians helped pass laws
outlawing their use. The most famous
of these bans was passed by New York
City Mayor Fiorello Henry LaGuardia
who dismissed them as public
nuisances.6 One of his reasons for
the ban was that the playing of these
instruments endangered children by
placing them close to automobile traffic.
He also argued that organ grinders
encouraged begging, and, as the vast
majority of the organ grinders in
New York were Italian, they were the
pawns of Mafia gangsters who rented
them their instruments and locations.7

In Mexico, the practice of organ
grinders had been held in esteem until
fairly recent days. Many of the younger
people fail to see the heritage of and
craft in the organ grinder’s work.
Money formerly given them is now
provided to street acts such as mimes,
musicians, superhero costumed characters
and street acrobats. Not so long
ago, however, the organ grinders of
Mexico were a respected part of the
culture actually receiving government
health and housing benefits.8 Unfortunately
for their ilk, this was one of
the first perks taken from them. Yet,

Above: An organillero is ignored by
most of the crowd around him. Photo by
Eduardo Meza Soto/Flickr

even today, they remain licensed and
unionized.

The decline in donations and
government support has had a negative
impact on the organilleros. In the
past, grinding was a respected occupation,
one that would be a lifelong
vocation and would see instruments
and even locations handed down
through a family. Organilleros often
worked in pairs; while one played a

46 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

Right: An organillero seeks tips from
passersby on the street. Photo by
Eduardo Meza Soto/Flickr

barrel organ, the other would solicit
donations or tend to a merrily dressed
monkey. Nowadays, the organilleros
struggle to make a living. The cost of
repair of the instruments has become
high and many cannot afford the basic
maintenance. This is why the organ
sounds one hears on the streets are
often much out of tune and also a
reason why so many instruments are
no longer owned outright but merely

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 47

rented.

At first the barrel organs played
European music, mostly waltzes
and operatic overtures, but over the
years, Mexican tunes became the
norm. Songs such as “Cielito Lindo”
and “Volver, Volver” were demanded
by the public. And, of course, the
organilleros complied. One waltz
which is a perennial favorite and will
be instantly recognized by most with
different titles is “Sobre las Olas,”
written in 1888 by Juventino Rosas. It
can be heard played on a poorly tuned
barrel organ at https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=mAry89RLvVA and on a
restored German organ at https://www.
youtube.com/watch?v=9R9I_Oop9Ds.

Many do not realize the pride in
their work felt by these grinders.
They work in hot weather carrying a
heavy instrument and constantly turn
the lever in rhythm appropriate to the
song. No matter how tired or heated
they get, the grinding must remain
consistent.

One local critic of the organilleros
complained that the songs are
endlessly repeated, out of tune, and
dated. He expressed the opinion
that the noises they make should be
banned by the government. Yet many,
especially older citizens, love the
nostalgic atmosphere they create and
praise the grinders’ hard work.9

Reports indicate that there are
fake organ grinders sneaking into the
profession. These are frowned upon
by the professionals. These imposters
carry empty organ cases with a CD

A uniformed organillero plays with his hat out for tips in Mexico City. Photo by
Angélica Portales/Flickr. Facing page, Photo by Alfredo Peñaloza/Flickr

Footnotes:

1 Cocking, Lauren. “Meet Mexico
City’s Street Organ Grinders,” Culture
Trip, June 7, 2017. https://theculturetrip.
com/north-america/mexico/articles/
meet-mexico-citys-street-organ-grinders/

2 “Mexico City’s Organ Grinders Defying
the Changing Times, Keep on Playing”, EFE
News, April 1, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=vsJRz-HuPpo

3 Cocking, Lauren. “Meet Mexico
City’s Street Organ Grinders,” Culture
Trip, June 7, 2017. https://theculturetrip.
com/north-america/mexico/articles/
meet-mexico-citys-street-organ-grinders/

player inside. They merely mimic the
actions of the true organilleros.

Fortunately for these true grinders,
during the late 1990s and the early
2000s, the Mexico City Government
launched a project to restore the

4 Buchner, Alexander 1959. Mechanical
Musical Instruments, translated by Iris
Urwin. London: Batchworth.

5 Penna, Robert “The Barrel Organ and the
Disabled Civil War Veteran,” MBSI Journal,
Musical Box Society International Journal,
May/June 2018

6 Penna, Robert “Organ Grinders, the Mayor
and Cartoons of the 1930’s,” MBSI Journal,
Musical Box Society International, January/
February 2018

7 Yavner, Louise “Why La Guardia Put an
End to Organ Grinding,” letter to the editor
of The New York Times, January 5, 1982. Ms.

historic city center. The plan also
called for preserving the organ grinders
as an institution. Perhaps there
is hope that this fascinating piece of
culture will continue to endure for
both locals and foreign visitors.

Yavner was the president of the La Guardia
Centennial and his former Commissioner of
Investigation.

8 Markowitz, Martin “Mexico’s Organ
Grinders dwindle in Popularity,” CCTV-America
report, https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=YZlykOmm8ag

9 Ahmed, Azam, “Mexico City’s Organ
Grinders Once Beloved, Feel Shunned,” New
York Times, September 12, 2016. https://
www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/world/
americas/mexico-city-organ-grinders.
html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&fbclid=IwAR3kGaH4CBmmw_
OyBbuj6LpmAlbtXOhXcNeTKJXvllnY0MbuDFPoUcHXCkQ

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 49

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Don Lundry – 1936-2021

By Paul Senger

I am sad to announce the passing
of National Capital Chapter member
Donald “Don” W. Lundry of Locust
Grove, VA, at home, at the age of 84 on
Sunday Feb. 14. Don loved activities
with MBSI and Automatic Musical
Instrument Collectors’ Association and
was an avid collector of music boxes
and player pianos. Don and Peggy
“Peg” Lundry were regular attendees
at chapter events, annual meetings,
and were major contributors to the
2011 MBSI Annual Meeting including
serving as a tour bus captains. Don
was always cheerful with wonderful
stories, jokes and mischiefs.

Don had been dealing with multiple
illnesses, privately at home for about a
year, with the help of doctors, in-home
health aides, hospice, and his loving
wife of 12 years, Peg.

Don’s many interests included
reading, bridge, music, and travel.
Don’s love of books and reading,
particularly science fiction, led him
to join the New York Science Fiction

Society in the early 1970s. He chaired
multiple science fiction conventions
around the world. Most recently, Don
joined the county library board as
their Member-at-Large. As a bridge
player he reached LifeTime Bridge
Master status. His travels included
a European honeymoon on a Vespa
motorbike and multiple cruises.

Over the years he worked for IBM,
General Electric, and other firms as a
software engineer and manager. Don
served his country as a U.S. Army
Reservist in the Signal Corps for
approximately 30 years achieving the
rank of colonel. He was particularly
proud of his graduation from the U.S.
Army War College.

Previously, Don was married to
Grace Campbell Lundry for 40 years
before her passing in 2003. Don is
survived by his wife Peg and his three
children, 10 grandchildren and three
sisters.

Don will return to Illinois, to his
birthplace for a private burial.

Our condolences go out to Peg and
the family.

Bus Captains Don and Peg at the 2011
Annual Meeting.

Peg and Don at the 2014 MBSI Annual
Meeting.

Andy Ware – 1943-2021

It is with great sadness that we friends.
report the death of long-time Sunbelt After owning and operating a phar-
Chapter member Andy Ware. macy in California and a wholesale

Andy and Frances made the long greenhouse in Florida, Andy and Fran-
trek from Boerne, FL, to almost every ces retired to Boerne, where Andy had
Sunbelt meeting. He will certainly be space and time to pursue his hobbies
missed. of mechanical musical instruments,

Our thoughts and prayers are with plants, antique clocks and Model T
Frances and the rest of his family and Fords.

Frances and Andy Ware at a 2020
Sunbelt Chapter meeting.

MBSI has also learned that Henry Childs has passed away. Our most sincere condolences are extended to his family.

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

Golden Gate Chapter

Chair: Jonathan Hoyt
Reporters: Chuck and Peggy Shoppe
Photographers: Marc Kaufman, Chuck
and Peggy Shoppe, Bob and Judy
Caletti, Alan and Mary Erb

Mar. 21, 2021 – Zoom

A small, but mighty, group of Golden
Gate Chapter members had a Zoom
chapter meeting on Sunday, Mar. 21.
We began with a discussion of the
joint Musical Box Society International/
Automatic Musical Instrument
Collectors’ Association convention set
for 2022, followed by a brief business
meeting led by Jonathan Hoyt, and
then the real fun started.

There was plenty of socializing as
we gathered together for the first time
in more than a year. The music started
with a virtual trip to Minnesota and the
viewing of a video documentary from
the Kiven Lukes collection. He shared
many pristinely-restored instruments
including a Steinway grand reproducing
piano, a Seeburg cabinet piano,
a 27-inch Regina changer, a cylinder
music box, a roller organ, and other
musical instruments in his collection.
When his collection outgrew his
house, he built a very large hall/music
room where friends could gather to
share the enthusiasm and music.

Our chapter members shared their
treasures too. Marc Kaufman played
his rare Sirion 19-inch disc shifting
upright music box. Gordon Ulrickson
played a lovely early key-wind cylinder
box. Chuck and Peggy Shoppe played
a Decap self-playing accordion and a
newly acquired 18½-inch Mira console
grand music box. We were also joined
by Alan and Mary Erb! It was the first
time many of us had seen Alan and
Mary since they moved to Nevada.
They played a large upright Regina
27-inch disc box and a small barrel
organ. Bob and Judy Caletti played a
Boogie Woogie song on their Seeburg
H with a recently added MIDI system.

All in all, it was a great meeting!

Above: Chuck and Peggy Shoppe’s
Decap accordion, alongside a Kalliope
musical box.

Left: Alan Erb plays a small barrel organ
from his collection.

(More photos on Page 52)

Closed and open views of Chuck and Peggy Shoppe’s newly-acquired 18½-inch Mira console disc box.

Marc Kaufman’s rare 19-inch Sirion
upright disc-shifting music box.

Bob Caletti with his Seeburg H, playing a Boogie Woogie tune.

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

Photography tips

When taking photos at your chapter meeting or other
MBSI gathering, remember these simple tips to get great
images for the rest of the membership to enjoy.

1. If someone is looking at a musical instrument, ask them
to turn and look at you while you take the picture. It’s
always better to see someone’s face rather than the
back of their head.
2. When taking a picture of a person and a musical instrument,
ask the person to step slightly to the side of the
instrument so that you can capture their face and the
instrument at the same time. It’s great to see people
enjoying wonderful instruments, but it’s even better
when the beauty of the instrument isn’t blocked by
bodies.
3. Try to get people “in action” while they are enjoying the
music. Some of the most natural smiles and enjoyable
photos happen when people aren’t aware they are being
photographed.
4. Don’t be afraid to snap a shot with your cell phone
camera. This is a great way to capture a spontaneous
photo and most cell phone cameras take photos that are
large enough to reproduce in the magazine.
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 below, or contact Russell Kasselman at

(253) 228-1634 to get started. You may also email advertisements
to editor@mbsi.org
May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 53

* Wurlitzer Style 153 Duplex
Military Band Organ
* Cremona K * Wurlitzer Style C Decap Dance Organ
* Nicole Frères Overture Music Box
* Hupfeld Universal * Mills Violano Virtuoso
Grand Deluxe
Biedermeier Style 34 Ruth & Söhne
Fairground Organ

* Bontems Bird Cage
Automatons Weber Unika

www.dutchauctioncompany.com www.swissauctioncompany.com * Instruments marked with (*) are from the
mail: retonio@dreamfactory.ch Retonio: +41 79 5301111 Jerry Doring Collections. Located in LA.

Swiss
Music Box
with 24
Cylinders
“Trois-Corps” Bureau
with 10 cylinders
* 80-key Baby Taj Mahal

RINGBAAN NOORD 5 • TILBURG • THE NETHERLANDSSATURDAY • 19 JUNE • 2021
RINGBAAN NOORD 5 • TILBURG • THE NETHERLANDSSATURDAY • 19 JUNE • 2021
• AUCTION FOR MECHANICAL MUSIC INSTRUMENTS AND AMAZING COLLECTIBLES
• FLOOR AND INTERNET BIDDING WITH LIVESTREAM
• CONSOLIDATED SHIPPING TO THE US & ASIA
• VISIT WWW.DUTCHAUCTIONCOMPANY.COM FOR MORE INFO & CATALOG ORDER
www.dutchauctioncompany.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

56 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

(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

We’re getting our vaccine shots.
We’ve made our plans.
It’s time to make yours!
Fantastic
Collection
Tours
Don’t miss an opportunity to see the Southeast’s premier
collections of mechanical music. This is a once-in-a-lifetime
chance to see and hear these marvelous instruments, live and
in person. These are each “must see” collections.
Amazing instruments! Workshops! The Mart!
Entertainment! Ice Cream Social!
International experts! Local “open houses”
This is going to be a
GREAT convention!
Aug. 30 Sept.
4, 2021
pianos ever made), and the 1876 Dufner Barrel orchestrion with
nine barrels that is one of only three known Dufner instruments.
Also see and hear his replica Seeburg KT Special nickelodeon,
one of about 60 he manufactured in the 1980s! Tour his work-
shop and a display of mechanical music, automata and opera
Registration forms for this meeting will be
in the May/June issue of Mechanical Music.
Fort Myers, Florida
We’re getting our vaccine shots.
We’ve made our plans.
It’s time to make yours!
Fantastic
Collection
Tours
Don’t miss an opportunity to see the Southeast’s premier
collections of mechanical music. This is a once-in-a-lifetime
chance to see and hear these marvelous instruments, live and
in person. These are each “must see” collections.
Amazing instruments! Workshops! The Mart!
Entertainment! Ice Cream Social!
International experts! Local “open houses”
This is going to be a
GREAT convention!
Aug. 30 Sept.
4, 2021
pianos ever made), and the 1876 Dufner Barrel orchestrion with
nine barrels that is one of only three known Dufner instruments.
Also see and hear his replica Seeburg KT Special nickelodeon,
one of about 60 he manufactured in the 1980s! Tour his work-
shop and a display of mechanical music, automata and opera
Registration forms for this meeting will be
in the May/June issue of Mechanical Music.
Fort Myers, Florida
The JANCKO Collections

Joel and Pam Jancko’s “Backyard Museum” features a group
of buildings each with a magical display of Americana from
the Civil War through WWI. The Barn is where you will see
and hear a wide variety of automatic musical instruments,
including an Imhof & Mukle, Seeburg H, Wurlitzer CX, Double
Mills Violano, Cremona K, Weber Unica, Encore Banjo, Model
B Harp, Bruder band organ, Limonaire band organ, Bruder
monkey organ, American Photo Player and classic Mortier, as
well as a variety of cylinder and disc music boxes, organettes
and phonographs. Also walk through a service station, fire
station, bicycle shop, and cinema. In the Annex you will see
rare military artifacts (including a working Gatling gun) and
an authentic log cabin, general store, 1910 soda fountain,
game room and saloon. Outside, explore the fort. Listen to a
performance on the crown jewel of the collection – the OPUS
1616, a 3/23 Wurlitzer Theater Organ, installed in the newly
constructed dance hall.

The EDGERTON Collection

Bill Edgerton’s collection has it all -big and small. It includes
four fairground organs (Gavioli, Bruder, Limonaire and
Gasparini), a large Decap, an Ampico A piano with some
unusual music choices, several special cylinder and disc
boxes, barrel pianos and barrel organs, an Orpheus disc-playing
piano, a Piano Melodico (one of the most ornate 65-note

posters. You must see his framed artwork that smiles at you….
then it doesn’t!

The YAFFE Collection

Find a comfortable couch and enjoy Mark and Christel Ya§e’s
beautifully-appointed venue while listening to their large and
varied group of instruments, including the earliest known
Francois Nicole overture music box plus Falcone, Reymond
Nicole, F Nicole and Nicole grand format overture boxes.
Single overture boxes by Ducommon Girod, Mertert, and
Nicole and a Captains table interchangeable overture cylinder
box with 12 cylinders are on the menu. See rare and unique
automata – a drunk on the bench, a Cambodian dancer (one of
two known), a life size flute player, a Japanese mask seller and
an acrobat. Don’t forget the organs, an 84-key Mortier cafe,
112-key Mortier dance organ, 121-key DeCap dance organ plus
European orchestrions (Marenghi orchestrion, Welte style 3 in
custom case, Weber Otero, Weber violano, Weber Unika,
Popper Roland, Hupfeld universe with moving scene, Hupfeld
Helios 1/31, Phillips Paganini 3 Orchestrion), custom art case
pianos (Kanabe, Mason Hamlin and Chickering); the latest
known Hupfeld Phonolizt Violina; American nickelodeons
(Mills double violano in custom Gothic case, Encore original
(not repo) banjo, Wurlitzer, Violano, Seeburg J with bird pipes,
Nelson Wiggins 6x and 8x, Cremona J and G, Link with endless
roll). And much more!

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”
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”
4-4time.com

“I am still
delighted with
the machines
I bought from
you. Your prices

Purchasing single pieces or entire collections.
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
Call / Text: 256-702-7453
Email: four.four_time@yahoo.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
May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 59

A FANTASTIC AUCTION
Antique Music Boxes, Phonographs & Related ItemsAndrew & Harriet Ellis Collection
A FANTASTIC AUCTION
Antique Music Boxes, Phonographs & Related ItemsAndrew & Harriet Ellis Collection
To be held in the Barry Expo Center, on the Barry County Fairgrounds at 1350 N. M-37 Highway,
Hastings, Michigan – 4-1/2 miles northwest of Hastings on M-37 or approx. 20 miles southeast of

Grand Rapids on Beltline/M-37 to the auction location on:

Thursday, Friday & Saturday, September 2, 3 & 4, 2021Thursday starts at 1:00 P.M. following the luncheonFriday and Saturday begin at 9:00 A.M. each dayThis collection is phenomenal and the content is
staggering. Hundreds of machines, rarity afterrarity, and multiples of desirable and sought after
examples about. As found examples acquired and
accumulated by Mr. and Mrs. Ellis over the course

of five decades, makes this an offering that any

collector, museum and investor will not want to
miss.

Regretfully, Mr. Ellis passed away on February 27at the age of 87. This collection is a tribute to his
efforts to acquire and accumulate wonderful and

desirable machines in this field, along with his wife

Harriet during their 68 year marriage.

Plan on attending this terrific event. Call for your

copy of a complete catalog with over 1,000 pictures.

Rare Edison
Class M with
5” mandrel

Rare Multiphone Banjo Model
coin operated 24 cylinder
phonograph

Symphonion Eroica triple disc music
box in the Haydn Model, an extremely

hard to find example.

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

Stanton’s 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 – stevenEstanton@gmail.com

FOR SALE
CIRCA 1990s Reuge musical movements

THE MART

never used, in original packaging, pristine

RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a condition: two 4/50 (45008 & 45079); one

variety of antique musical boxes, discs, 3/72 (37213); and one 3/144 (314403)..

orphan cylinders, reproducing piano rolls & Contact DAVID CROTHERS, at dwcboxes@

out of print books about mechanical music. me.com or 267-280-2376

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 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.

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
REGINA 151/2 MUSIC BOX. Mechanism was
professionally restored. Bought new combs
from Porter and they have been tuned and
installed. Plays as it should. New top reproduced.
Have receipts for work and parts.
$2,100.00. Call JON GULBRANDSON, at
(763) 923 5748

SYMPHONION TWIN DISCS 19 sets of 11
7/8” discs for Symphonion table model twin
disc machine. $600.00. Regina 20 3/4” discs
in good to fair condition. Lot of 12 discs,
$300.00. Contact ART MUELLER, at amuellerjr@
verizon.net or (410) 564-8987.

MILLS VIOLANO – Seriously consider this

SUBMIT ADS TO:

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

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

one! Choice playing condition, sounds great,
holds tune well, looks great, roll library.
Price reduced to sell, $18,950: CARL FREI
CONCERT FAIR ORGAN, plays Gavioli G4
scale arrangements by Carl Frei, Prinsen, Van
Boxtel, Gustav Bruder. 1600 meters of books
alone valued at $30M+ including overtures,
musicals, popular, waltzes, marches. Nine
carved figures. Has been indoors for past
40 years. Big organ sound. Need to move,
so must sell. Price reduced to $99,500. Call
for more details. HERB BRABANDT (502)
425-4263, johebra3@twc.com

SEEBURG GREYHOUND Dog Race nickelodeon.
Completely restored. Excellent
condition. https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=YscJpQHTzJI Contact BILL
KAVOURAS, at deekav@aol.com or call
352-527-9390

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

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.
WANTED
LOWREY OR HAMMOND ORGAN that plays
piano rolls or the player part, working or not.
These were made in the early 1980s. Contact
LES BEEBE, at (609) 654-2789.

COINOLA “X” or C-2. Also Regina 216 music
box with bells. Contact DON KROENLEIN, at
fbac@one-eleven.net or (217) 620-8650

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

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?
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 to place your ad for the
July/August 2019 issue.
Add a photo to your ad!

Photos are only $30 extra per issue.

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

Display Advertisers

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

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
May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 63

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
kozak@seldenfox.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
Richard Simpson, East Coast

Museum Sub-Committees

Ohio Operations
Emery Prior

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.

64 MECHANICAL MUSIC May/June 2021

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event Location Sponsor
Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting Ft. Myers, FL Southeast Chapter

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know!
Send in your information by Jun. 1, 2021, for the July/August 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

May/June 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 65

HALF PAGE
HORIZONTAL
7.25” x 4.5”
QUARTER
PAGE
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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
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7

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Volume 67, No. 2 March/April 2021

Mechanical Music

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

Volume 67, No. 2 March/April 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

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RENAISSANCE ANTIQUE S

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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. 2 March/April 2021

MBSI NEWS

5 President’s Message
7 Editor’s Notes
8 Outreach Corner

49 In Memoriam

Features

15 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro

21 La Cracovienne, a
key-wind music box by
an unknown maker

25 The origins of the A D
Cunliffe Musical Box
Register

28 Farny Wurlitzer
addresses the American
Theatre Organ Society,
Part 2

47 The mechanics of a
child’s musical rocking
chair

MBSI has replanted 132 trees so far as
part of the Print ReLeaf program.

On the Cover
A 33/56 Konzert Drehorgel by
Christian Wittmann Orgelbau.
Read about Gordie Davidson’s
experiences cranking for crowds
and find out why he likes Christian
Wittmann’s organs so much. (Photo
by Sue Brown) Page 40.
La Cracovienne

Paul Bellamy discusses the details
of a pre-1860 key-wind music box
in his collection. Page 21.

March/April 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 March/April 2021

By Tom Kuehn

MBSI President

As we March into spring, we leave
winter, and hopefully the worst of
the pandemic, behind us. Although
many normal activities have been
put on hold, our hobby continues in
other ways. I want to bring two recent
developments to your attention.

The first is the release of the book,
“The Reblitz-Bowers Encyclopedia
of American Coin-Operated Pianos
and Orchestrions and Related Instruments”
by Art Reblitz and Q. David
Bowers. (See Book Review, Page
12.) As many of you know, this book
has been in the works for several
years. The layout was performed by
Terry Smythe who brought a draft
of the manuscript with him when he
attended our last annual meeting in
Rockville, MD, more than 18 months
ago, to receive the MBSI Literary
Award. The draft appeared to fill
one-half of a suitcase. The list of credits
and acknowledgments covers three
pages and is a veritable who’s who in
mechanical music in America. The
authors include some new wrinkles
such as a numerical scheme for accurately
cataloging instruments. Many
obscure firms and their products are
included in a publication such as this
for the first time. I offer my congratulations
to all who played a role in this
significant new publication.

It may be of interest to note that
the heyday of the American coin
piano industry lasted only about 25
years, from around 1903 to 1928. The
“Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical
Instruments” by Q. David Bowers was
first printed in 1972, nearly 50 years
ago. That’s twice the length of time as
the duration of the original industry.

The second development is the
advent of presentations streamed live
via Zoom. One example, The Wonders
of Mechanical Music and Carousels, is
available on the first Monday of every
month. These online show and talk
sessions were initiated last summer

by the Carousel Organ Association of
America (COAA) to partially compensate
for the lack of organ rallies. Our
own East Coast Chapter is one of the
co-sponsors.

The presentations are free to anyone
who wishes to attend, but they require
advance registration. The initial focus
was on organs and carousels but has
expanded to include most other types
of mechanical musical instruments.
Some of the past presentations can be
accessed on YouTube, including one
where Arnold Chase demonstrates
some of the instruments in his collection.
Close-up and interior views are
provided that would not normally be
seen by visitors.

The speaker for February’s presentation
was none other than MBSI
Trustee Matt Jaro, who gave an informative
talk on nickelodeon music that

included audio recordings from three
of Matt’s own Seeburg machines. At
least 130 people were in attendance.
I suggest you look at the schedule
of future presentations to determine
what topics interest you and volunteer
if you would like to make a presentation
yourself.

On a more administrative note, the
next meeting of the Board of Trustees
is scheduled to be held on Mar. 20
via Zoom. MBSI officers, trustees
and preparers of the various reports
have been notified well in advance. I
promised to provide a virtual lunch to
all attendees.

The sun may be coming out from
behind the clouds, and as I look ahead,
I see what appears to be clear weather
and calm seas. Hopefully, this is not a
mirage and not too distant. I wish all
of you the best. Stay safe, be well.



★★
®
(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
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.
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
Sponsor
Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-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.


★★
®
(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
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.
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
Sponsor
Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-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.

Editor’s Notes

By Russell Kasselman

MBSI Editor/Publisher

If there’s one good thing about
people being stuck inside because of
a pandemic, it seems to be that the
inspiration to write strikes more folks
more often than it ever has before in
my time editing this journal.

It is fantastic to see writers who
haven’t contributed to Mechanical
Music before bringing their material
to the pages of this magazine and
working with me to revise and refine
their articles to get them in the best
shape possible for presentation to you.
I thank them for their patience with
me and I’m grateful to have gotten to
know each of them a bit better.

This issue we welcome Gordie

MAILING ADDRESS

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

EMAIL ADDRESS

editor@mbsi.org

PHONE

(253) 228-1634

Davidson writing the cover article.
Gordie shares his love of busker
organs and his experience over 40
years playing for crowds in a wide
variety of places. Careful, though, it
might make you itch for the pre-pandemic
days when we could actually
travel with much less worry.

Aaron Muller, author of the Outreach
Corner column for this issue, is also
a first-time contributor with a great
message that should be quite encouraging
for anyone just starting out
in the hobby. Check it out and take
some time to think about how you got
started, or who/what got you inspired.
If you feel like it, write it up and send
it in. We’d all love to hear it.

Of course this journal wouldn’t
be what it is without our regular

contributors. Matt Jaro, Alison Biden,
Robin Biggins and Paul Bellamy all
bring solid articles to this issue covering
a variety of topics. I want to thank
each of them for their consistency
and willingness to take so much of
their time to research and write about
subjects that can hold our interest so
strongly.

If you have an interest in writing
something for the journal, please get
in touch. My contact information is
just above. Get in touch and we can
chat a bit about it.

Welcome new members!
December 2020 January 2021
Kelly Jameson Sari Melamed
Akron, OH Beverly Hills, CA
Gary Kinnunen Sponsor: Don Caine
Richland, WA Anne Weinkauf
Ed Neal Indianapolis, IN
Oxford, NC Sponsor: Don Caine
Christian Wittmann Orgelbau Otmar & Gabriele Seemann
Wolfsgraben, Austria Vienna, Austria
Sponsor: Gordie Davidson Adam Lenkin
Bruce Norden Bethesda, MD
Bettendorf, IA Sponsor: Ronald Lenkin
Parker Maas
Decatur, IN
Craig Lenkin
Rockville, MD
Sponsor: Ronald Lenkin
James & Robin Dryden
Moorestown, NJ
Jerry & Ann Maske
Sullivan, ME
Linda & Thomas Talcott
Willoughby Hills, OH
William Schutz
Traverse City, MI

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.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

Outreach Corner Outreach Corner
Mixing play with work

By Aaron Muller

Special Exhibits Committee Member

Hello fellow members. This is
the first part of a two-part article I’ll
be writing for our new “Outreach
Corner” column. Please let me start
by sending a heartfelt thank you to
Special Exhibits Committee Chair and
MBSI Trustee Mary Ellen Myers (and
her husband Wayne) for inviting me
to join this committee. I am a strong
believer in face-to-face contact with
people when it comes to our hobby.
Live exhibits are perfect for that and
I have already been active in this
area for many years. This committee
seems like a perfect fit for me and I
look forward to making a meaningful
contribution to our members through
the work it does.

What I have to say picks up right
where Mary Ellen and Wayne’s previous
column entitled “What’s in the
Box” left off, since I believe most of
us collectors have in common the
fact that we love sharing and showing
mechanical music to those who have
never seen it before. And, let’s face it,
most of us get excited when it’s our
turn to talk about our two favorite
subjects, ourselves and our stuff.
Most collectors I’ve talked with would
agree that show and tell is probably
the most fun part of our hobby.

I’ll admit, I fit that bill perfectly! In
fact, I like to share my collection with
others so much that I brought it into
work with me. How does the old saying
go? “Love what you do and you’ll never
work a day in your life.” That saying
couldn’t ring more true for me. It was
quite easy to convince myself I was
doing the right thing since all I had to
do was whisper things to myself like,
“after all, I have to be there anyway,
so why not have some fun.” Another
of my favorite lines was, “It won’t take

Jasper Sanfilippo with Aaron Muller.

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

A view of the mini museum featuring Aaron Muller’s collection that he has set up in his Barrington Resale store.

up much space and people will love
it.” And then there was the idea that
“Other stores have attractions inside
of them, why can’t I have one?” It’s
not like I’m building a theme park or
Gander Mountain or anything.

You see how easy that was? A little
justification, and I was off to the
races. Now, before I get too far ahead
of myself, I think some of you might
like a bit more information so you
can answer questions like “who is this
guy?” and “where did he come from?”
Some of you may even be wondering
“why should I read any further?”
Well, please allow me to make my
introductions.

I am a small business owner and
the immediate past chair of the Lake
Michigan Chapter (2018–2019). About
10 years ago I was invited to join MBSI
by a couple of people whose names

might sound a little more familiar
to you, Jasper Sanfilippo and Marty
Persky. Jasper first introduced me to
mechanical musical instruments and
his collection in 1994. Marty, as the
curator of that collection, was (and
is), in my eyes, the man to know if
you’re trying to learn something about
mechanical music. I felt like I was
surely in the right place at the right
time when I met him. I desperately
wanted to learn and Marty (perhaps
slightly reluctantly at first) wanted
to teach. To say I feel lucky to have
gotten to know Marty would definitely
be an understatement. Without him I
don’t think I would’ve gotten half the
enjoyment I receive from this hobby.

The news hit me hard in January
2019 when it was reported Jasper
had passed away. It was a sad day
for mechanical music enthusiasts

indeed, but we soon took hope when
we learned that Jasper and his family
had ensured a legacy that will last
for generations to come through the
Sanfilippo Family Foundation. In my
mind, Jasper and his wife, Marian, set
the example of how to use automatic
and mechanical musical instruments
as the ultimate special exhibit, one that
can and will touch the lives of countless
people. When I think back about
it, I realize that it wasn’t Jasper and
Marian’s shared passion for collecting
these marvelous musical instruments
that inspired me; rather it was their
desire to bring other people along
with them so others could enjoy it too.
What we can learn from Jasper and
Marian is that for most of us, building
a collection might not entirely satiate
our desire to enjoy the machines and
the music because we also need other

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

people to enjoy it with. For me, this
could not be more true.

It was Jasper and Marian’s example
that inspired me to include an exhibit
of my collection as part of my business
and workplace. My story and
collection, like that of most members,
is a bit more modest than the Sanfilippos’,
but it doesn’t mean I’m any less
enthusiastic about it. In my short time
as a member, I’ve seen a number of
collections that are larger than mine
and many that have more flashy or
expensive pieces. I mostly focus on
introducing beginners to our hobby
using beginner level machines. If they
get involved and choose to advance
into membership in MBSI and then
start attending events, I know they
will quickly find bigger and more elaborate
collections are waiting for them
to explore.

Which brings me to another saying,
“it’s not the size of your organ, but
rather how you use it, that matters.” I
like to look at it this way, my collection
is not necessarily very valuable, but
the good times I have and the friends
I share it with are priceless. After all,
when we share mechanical music
with others what we really share with
them is happiness. We refer to the
wonderful sounds our machines make
as “the happiest music on earth” for
a reason. Something joyful happens
inside us the moment we hear these
musical marvels begin to play.

I know I keep talking about bringing
my collection to work with me, but
I bet you are wondering what’s in
my collection. Well, my collecting
career began when my grandmother
left behind a small Polyphon disc
music box. Being the youngest of
five grandchildren, and with nobody
else in the family wanting it, the box
was left to me. It was sometime in
the mid 1980s when it actually came
physically into my possession. It sat
around for another decade or so until
I met Jasper and attended a few MBSI
events. That was when I got interested
enough to take a look at my Polyphon
box and see if I could get it running.

It turned out to be an easy fix and
in 15 minutes I had my first repaired
and running vintage music box. It was
so exciting to listen to something that

A local newspaper wrote up an article about fourth-graders getting a tour of the mini
museum in Aaron Muller’s store.

no one had heard for decades. I’m
sure it was broken for 30 or 40 years,
probably more.

It wasn’t until about 2013 that I
officially joined MBSI. By then I had
collected 25 or 30 low budget Victrolas,
a couple more music boxes and,
thanks to someone with the initials

J.B. (another member of the Sanfilippo
group that I will identify later), my
first Seeburg style L nickelodeon. All
of this, combined with some pretty
nice artwork and accessories, would
be the beginning of what would
eventually become the Free Mini
Museum, Educational and Historical
Center for Mechanical Musical Instruments
at Barrington Resale, or the
F.M.M.E.H.C.M.M.I. for short. It’s OK
to laugh, it’s supposed to be funny!
I started my business, Barrington
Resale, in 2001. It took me 12 years to
slowly put together my collection the
way it exists today. Many hours after
work and late nights were spent refurbishing,
reconditioning and repairing
mostly middle of the road, entry level
collector machines. Mostly I collected
what I could afford to purchase on the
side while still keeping the business
running. I ended up with various
models of phonographs, four different
types of roll-playing pianos, a few
cylinder and disc-playing music boxes
and one buildup orchestrion from
1994, called the “Maccordion.” It was
nothing any swanky auction house
would get too excited about for sure,
but it was mine and everything was
finally in working condition. When

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Another view of Aaron Muller’s mini museum classroom where he seeks to expose people to mechanical music for the first time.

I decided to display it, I realized my
only problem was, I had never done an
exhibit setup before. Everything was
basically just in a pile in the back of
my shop and that wouldn’t do.

Along came a couple people whose
names you might have heard before:
Jerry Biasella (the guy who sold me
my first real Nickelodeon), and Greg
Leifel. Jerry works at Sanfilippo’s

with Marty and Greg is the executive
director of the Sanfilippo Family
Foundation. I could not have been
blessed with a better group of guys to
help do the initial setup with me. It’s
been eight years now since I opened
my free mini museum. Hundreds
of people have been introduced to
mechanical music instruments who
may have never heard about them

if not for my shop and its “Special
Exhibit.”

Next month I’ll take a closer look at
how to spread the word about special
exhibits using the internet, advertising,
social media, word of mouth, events,
groups and roadside attractions like
the “Fisher Nut Company Calliope
Truck.”

Stay tuned.

A Lake Michigan Chapter meeting held in the Barrington Resale store showed other MBSI members how they might share their
own collections with others.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

Book Review Book Review
The Reblitz–Bowers Encyclopedia of American Coin-OperatedPianos and Orchestrions and Related Instruments

Reviewed by Glenn Thomas

Mechanical Music readers have
a literary treat available to them. I
recently received my copy of “The
Reblitz–Bowers Encyclopedia of
American Coin-Operated Pianos and
Orchestrions and Related Instruments.”
My immediate surprise in the
book’s unboxing revealed a gorgeous,
glossy cover picturing a Seeburg H on a
900+ page count weighing about seven
pounds. Flipping quickly through the
pages, I noticed an attractive two-column
layout in large type, profusely
illustrated. Most of the images are in
black and white, but there are many
color plates, especially for the larger,
more attractive instruments. Rather
than a random statistical soup, I
found the book organized into 63
alphabetical chapters, each title with
a specific brand or company for easy
reference. That’s followed in the front
by a separate alphabetical, expanded
easy-finding list that further dissects
this into trade names and manufacturers.
The book’s end features a
35-page index that has the expected
microscopic list one would expect of
a good index.

Art Reblitz and David Bowers
worked 10 years writing and compiling
the book. It is completely new
and not an update of any previous
volume. Yet, comparisons of the
similarly titled 1972 “Encyclopedia of
Automatic Musical Instrument” by Q.
David Bowers are inescapable. The
earlier Bowers book was written in a
different day and style, with different
technology, and a different set of
information. The type face was much
smaller and the layout quite different.
I’ve had that book since its inception,
and it has been an indispensable

reference.

The new Reblitz–
Bowers Encyclopedia
is not an update of
the former, but a
completely new
volume. It’s been
nearly 50 years from
the original Encyclopedia,
and the
authors have gathered
a whole new
set of information,
data, and images. The
focus is now on types
of instruments in the
title with a logical,
easy-to-read story.
I felt like being in a
room listening to the
authors telling a story,
showing images. My
questions seemed to
be anticipated in the
narrative.

I found each
chapter, covering a
separate company
with its founding
history, instruments,

music, marketing,
and demise to be a story and novel
within itself. It’s a great reference and
can be used that way, but I was most
taken by reading over 60 separate
illustrated chapters. I’ve been in this
hobby over 50 years, have every book,
and been active every possible way,
but I am learning more than I could
possibly have imagined by going
through the chapters.

The production quality is stellar.
Think of this also as a “coffee table”
book, proud to be a centerpiece of any
table in your front room. You will want
to refer to it, but read it like story, and

share with others. I highly recommend
this book as one of the finest reference/
stories of mechanical music.

About the Reviewer and How to Obtain the
Book: Glenn Thomas is a member of MBSI and
the editor of The AMICA Bulletin published by
the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’
Association, which also published this book.
To buy a copy for $100, go to www.amica.org
and look for the link on that page with complete
payment instructions. For questions and more
information, contact the book sales manager,
Michael Walter; email: mikew_14086@yahoo.
com; 65 Running Brook Drive; Lancaster, NY
14086-3314; Phone 716-656-9583.

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Ragtime
at the
Morris
Museum

By Jere Ryder

The Morris Museum in Morristown,
NJ, recently unveiled a new exhibit
called “Those Beautiful Rags,” which
is a tribute to ragtime music and Tin
Pan Alley.

The display opened Jan. 30 and will
run through Oct. 10. American ragtime,
a precursor of early jazz, is a musical
style that enjoyed immense popularity
in the late 1800s through World War I.

Above: A view into the exhibit.
At right: One of the original sheet music
covers displayed as part of the exhibit.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

The term ragtime was coined for its
“ragged,” syncopated rhythms that
arose from African-American musical
traditions.

The emergence of ragtime occurred
at the height of the industrial revolution
when the expanding middle class
could afford new inventions for home
and business entertainment. A wide
range of musical boxes, player pianos,
nickelodeons, and early phonographs
provided families and customers with
access to the newest, most popular
music of the day.

This Morris Museum exhibition
features rare ragtime sheet music
cover art from the world-renowned
Guinness Collection and highlights
a variety of mechanical musical
instruments, including the Seeburg
L coin piano, the Regina Hexaphone,
an Olympia disc musical box by F.G.
Otto, an original Style A Wurlitzer
Automatic Harp, a 201/2-inch Regina
Corona Sublima auto-changer and
more. Interactive listening stations
feature examples of early “ragged”
and syncopated arrangements
performed by these and other period
music machines. These instruments,
audio kiosks and provocative period
illustrations on sheet music covers
encourage visitors to come away with
a deeper appreciation of the art and
the music of this uniquely American
product.

One particularly notable item
in the exhibit is a recent donation
to the Morris Museum, an Aeolian
Technola Player, circa 1915–1920.
This instrument was gifted to the
museum by MBSI member Ruth
Reininghaus-Smith. Ruth and her late
husband, Al, received this machine in
a bequest upon the passing of Murtogh

D. Guinness. Ruth and Al were longtime
friends of Murtogh, collectors
themselves and neighbors in New
York, NY. Ruth and Al helped facilitate
MBSI open houses at Murtogh’s home.
The Technola was lovingly restored
for Guinness by Alan Lightcap.

Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum
is an award-winning, multifaceted arts
and cultural institution serving the
public through its exhibitions and
performances. As New Jersey’s only
Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, it is
also the first museum in the state to be
accredited by the American Alliance

Another piece of sheet music cover art on display at the Morris Museum now
through Oct. 10, 2020.

of Museums. It has been designated a
Major Arts Institution and has received
the New Jersey State Council on the
Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among
other awards. The Morris Museum
is a Blue Star Museum, offering free
admission to active duty military
personnel and their families, from
Memorial Day to Labor Day.

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro

A Music Trade Press Reader’s History of the Welte-Mignon

Part One

Several months ago, I wrote a column
about the history of the Ampico piano
system and then the history of the
Duo-Art system. Now we come to the
last of the three major reproducing
piano systems, the Welte-Mignon.
Welte is the oldest and probably the
most venerable of all the companies in
the mechanical music field. Welte was
also the first to develop a reproducing
mechanism. I have primarily used the
trade press newspapers as a source
for this history. I don’t think much of
what I have discovered is anything
that was previously unknown, but
the information is rather obscure and
difficult to find, so I hope you simply
find my story presented in a way that
is both interesting and accurate.

One difficulty with using the trade
press as a historical source is that
these publications derived revenue
from advertisements paid for by
the very companies on which they
reported. Consequently, many articles
are “puff pieces,” sometimes portraying
the most corrupt manipulators
of finance as wonderful, upstanding
citizens. With some work, however,
the truth can be extracted.

There is a comprehensive book
written about the Welte-Mignon, “The
Welte-Mignon: Its Music and Musicians”
by Charles Davis Smith and
Richard James Howe (Vestal Press,

for AMICA, 1994), which received
excellent reviews and covered almost
all aspects of the company and the
machines it produced. It took six years
to create the book, but, unfortunately
for all of us, it is now long out of print.

Early History

I started my information gathering
with a Wikipedia article about Welte.

From 1832 until 1932, the firm
produced mechanical musical instruments
of the highest quality. The firm’s
founder, Michael Welte (1807-1880),
and his company were prominent
in the technical development and
construction of orchestrions from
1850, until the early 20th century.

In 1872, the firm moved from the
remote Black Forest town of Vöhrenbach
to a newly developed business
complex beneath the main railway
station in Freiburg, Germany. They
created an epoch-making development
when they substituted the
playing gear of their instruments
from fragile wood pinned cylinders
to perforated paper rolls. In 1883,
Emil Welte (1841-1923), the eldest
son of Michael, who had emigrated to
the United States in 1865, patented
the paper roll method (U.S. Patent
287,599), the model of the later piano
roll. In 1889, the technique was

further perfected, and again protected
through patents. Later, Welte built
only instruments using the new
technique, which was also licensed
to other companies. With branches in
New York and Moscow, and representatives
throughout the world, Welte
became very well known.

The firm was already famous for its
inventions in the field of the reproduction
of music when Welte introduced
the Welte-Mignon reproducing piano
in 1904. “It automatically replayed
the tempo, phrasing, dynamics and
pedaling of a particular performance,
and not just the notes of the music, as
was the case with other player pianos
of the time.” In September, 1904, the
Mignon was demonstrated in the
Leipzig Trade Fair. In March, 1905 it
became better known when showcased
“at the showrooms of Hugo Popper,
a manufacturer of roll-operated
orchestrions”. By 1906, the Mignon
was also exported to the United
States, installed to pianos by the
firms Feurich and Steinway & Sons.
As a result of this invention by Edwin
Welte (1876-1958) and his brother-inlaw
Karl Bockisch (1874-1952), one
could now record and reproduce the
music played by a pianist as true to
life as was technologically possible at
the time.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

The July 1882 issue of the Music
Trade Review (MTR) has this notice:

The ad below, appearing in 1890 in
the Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau
(or ZI) introduces paper rolls (instead
of pinned cylinders) to Welte’s pneumatic
instruments.

The early pinned-cylinder machines
required changing a heavy cylinder
to hear new music. The expense of
the cylinders also meant that people
were stuck with the same music for a
long time. The advent of the paper roll
meant new music could be duplicated
easily and inexpensively. Thus, a large
library of music could be amassed by
a Welte orchestrion owner.

Since one of the main topics of
Nickel Notes has been coin-operated
instruments, I was really intrigued to
run into the little notice shown at the
top of the next column, from a 1905
issue of MTR. The Englehardt Piano
Company made the first coin-operated
piano in 1898 and the Encore Banjo
dating from the late 1890s is probably
the first automatic coin-operated
instrument. You can see that Welte

was not far behind:

The Welte-Mignon

The June 23, 1906, issue of MTR
has a full-page article describing the
Mignon system complete with testimonials
from the likes of Paderewski,
Saint-Saens and Richard Strauss. (See
Page 13.) The testimonials are truly
from some of the greatest names in
music. Notice that the player has no
keyboard. The article also indicates
that a complete recording system had
been developed.

Below is a Welte advertisement
from 1906.

Notice that the system is now
referred to as the Welte Artistic Player
Piano. Also the address of their studios
is certainly not Park Avenue — a fault
which will be remedied later. The
fact that the Welte achieved so much
artistic recognition as early as 1906
was an amazing feat — considering
that the Ampico and Duo-Art systems
were many years away.

The Vorsetzer

In Germany, 1907, the ad above
appeared and promoted the Vorsetzer

— a device that is placed in front of
the keyboard of a conventional piano
that plays the piano like fingers would
do. This enabled a person to have a
reproducing piano without modifying
the piano. It’s interesting to note that
neither MTR nor the Presto newspaper
have any occurrences of the word
“vorsetzer.” Much serious music has
been reproduced using the Vorsetzer
on a modern piano. Notably, there
were a number of radio programs,
entitled “Keyboard Immortals Play
Again in Stereo,” presented by Joseph
Tushinsky, President of Sony Super-
scope in the 1960-70s.
The Vorsetzer is shown above as it
would look in front of a piano. (The
picture is from the Wiki Creative
Commons.) The Vorsetzer was heavily
advertised in Germany, but not in the
U.S.

Continued Success for Welte

In January 1907, MTR reports that
orders for Welte-Mignon pianos far
surpass their ability to manufacture
them.

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17

This was probably not just a “puff”
piece, because there were a number of
articles with a similar story.

Keyboard Reproducing Pianos

Remember that none of these
Mignon pianos had a keyboard,
but in March 1908 Welte made an
announcement.

They added a keyboard so the piano
could be played manually. They also
announced a new grand piano. These
were available earlier in Germany (see
the 1907 advertisement, above for
Steinway-Welte).

Steinway Rumor

In 1908 a rumor circulated that Steinway
would put Welte mechanisms in
their pianos. This was emphatically
denied by Steinway. We know that
the next year (1909), Steinway would
enter into an agreement with Aeolian.
The agreement stated that Aeolian

would have the exclusive right to
incorporate their Pianola mechanisms
in Steinway instruments. Steinway
agreed not to enter the player-piano
market and Aeolian agreed not to
exploit straight pianos (particularly
the Weber). Another stipulation was
that Aeolian would buy and pay for a
minimum of 600 new Steinway pianos
per year for the installation of the
Pianola. So, Steinway was not lying.
They did not build pianos with player
mechanisms.

Obviously, there was no animosity
between Welte and Steinway, since
Welte commissioned Steinway to
make cases for them and Steinway
participated in Welte demonstrations.

You can see from this newspaper
clipping, the enormous influence of
Steinway. It also speaks to why the
agreement of Steinway and Duo-Art
was of paramount importance. Obviously,
Steinway and Welte met to
discuss the cases and an informant
must have told an MTR reporter that

Steinway was planning to incorporate
Welte mechanisms into its pianos.

Incorporation in the United States

In March 1912 the incorporation of
“M. Welte and Sons” in the U.S. was
announced.

This venture
would have $1
million in capital
for the purpose
of constructing
a factory. The
new company
would combine
the New York
branch of M.
Welte and Sohne
of Freiburg,
Germany, and the Welte Artistic Play-
er-Piano Company (both concerns
being owned by the same people).
They decided to build a factory in
Poughkeepsie, NY. In December 1912
the factory was ready (fast work!).
Shareholders were mostly family
members, including Barney Dreyfuss,
Edwin’s brother-in-law.

You can see from the picture of the
new Welte factory (Page 15) that it was
a considerable undertaking. I remember
reading somewhere that the land
was donated by the city of Poughkeepsie,
but I can’t find the reference, so
make of that what you will. Anyway,
there must have been zero red tape in
order to construct such a massive site
in only nine months:

1914 The War Begins

On Sept. 5, 1914, a postcard was
received from Edwin Welte after war
was declared in Germany. Remember,
that the United States did not enter
into World War I until September 1917:

Dear Mr. Collver:-We will have war
and I will be called probably to-day to
serve. Please stick to our American
business, to which I have associated
the best years of my life. Kindest
regards to you, your wife and daughter,
and to all the employees of our
American branch. Hurrah !

– Edwin Welte
The Auto-Pneumatic Agreement

This appeared in the Sept. 28, 1916,

Edwin Welte in
1912

18 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

The Welte & Sons factory in Poughkeepsie, NY, that was finished in December 1912.

issue of Presto:

This agreement was a little surprising
to me. I wonder if Edwin Welte
knew about it beforehand. It gave the

Auto-Pneumatic Company the right
to manufacture Welte mechanisms
themselves. Was this giving away the
store? Was business slow and was
the Welte Company in urgent need of
revenue or was the demand so great
as to necessitate alternative avenues
of manufacture? I hope they got a
good royalty. The pianos made under
this agreement were known as “Welte
licensee pianos.”

The Auto Pneumatic Action
Company

The Auto Pneumatic Action
Company was incorporated in June
1909. The following is an interesting
sequence of events, important to both
the Ampico and Welte reproducing
pianos:

Charles Kohler is named president
of the Auto Pneumatic Action
Company. He was a partner in the
Kohler and Campbell Piano Company
and eventually became sole owner
when Campbell died. Kohler also
controlled the Autopiano Co.

George W. Gittins was named as
secretary of the corporation. This
name is very important later on — so
remember it (just think of “Kittens”).

The Auto Pneumatic Action
Company made two grades of action,
these were called the Standard and
the De Luxe.

On Jul. 16, 1910, the Auto Pneumatic
Action Company announced that
William J. Keeley would be president
(taking over from Charles Kohler),
and that the Auto Pneumatic Action
Company would no longer make two
grades of piano actions

There is also a full page ad in the
MTR stating the same thing. So, Auto
Pneumatic is discontinuing the Standard
Action and keeping only the De
Luxe.

On Jul. 21, 1910, the very next issue
of the MTR, this was published:

Notice the choice of name for the
new company. It can’t be a coincidence

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 19

that Auto terminates their Standard
line, replaces their president, and
the very next week there is a new
company named Standard.

The address of the Autopiano
Company is: 12th Avenue between
51st and 52nd Street.

The address of the Auto Pneumatic
Action Company is: 619-629 West 50th
Street.

The address of the Standard Pneumatic
Action Company is: 638-652
West 52nd Street.

These three companies are all in
a contiguous two block area of New
York City (off of 12th Avenue), part of
the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

Both Standard and Auto Pneumatic
actions were manufactured under the
same patents and were of the double
valve type, according to a posting by
Jeffrey R. Wood in Mechanical Music
Digest (MMD) on Jan. 17, 2010.

In my opinion, Charles Kohler did a
very good job of hiding the fact that
both Auto and Standard were owned
by him. None of the officers are in
common and the trade press makes no
mention of ownership of the Standard
Pneumatic Action Company.

In 1913, Charles Kohler died. George

W. Gittins then became president of
Kohler and Campbell.
Why Is This Important?

In 1916 the Auto Pneumatic Action
Company would produce the Welte
(licensee) actions as a result of the
agreement. Remember that Auto
Pneumatic is owned by Kohler and
Campbell. This would be fine except
for the fact that a Kohler-controlled
company also produced the Ampico

actions. George Foster, the president

of the American Piano Company, did

not like this arrangement, and there

fore switched to Amphion in 1917.
Arthur Reblitz, in his book “Golden

Age of Mechanical Music” in a list of

manufacturers, states:

Kohler & Campbell (Kohler Industries;
Kohler & Campbell Industries).
New York City, 1896-c. 1930. An
industrial giant, which controlled
Autopiano and other piano companies,
the Auto Pneumatic Action Co.
(founded circa 1900; incorporated
1909), the Standard Pneumatic
Action Co. (c. 1910), and the Republic
Player Roll Corporation and DeLuxe
Reproducing Roll Corporation
(1918). The Auto Pneumatic Action
Co. supplied Ampico reproducing
piano mechanisms to the American
Piano Company, 1912-1917, and to

M. Welte & Sons for “Red Welte” (12
7/8″ T-100) reproducing pianos made
in the United States, circa 19101918.
Auto Pneumatic also made
mechanisms for the Auto Deluxe
Welte-Mignon (using 11¼” 9 per inch
rolls) sold in over 100 piano brands.
In 1917 the Standard Pneumatic
Action Co. employed 600 people and
manufactured about 800 player
actions per week. Production ceased
about 1930. After World War II,
Kohler Industries made hand-played
pianos, eventually moving to Granite
Falls, NC. Piano production ceased
circa 1980s. In 1917, Welte incorporated
the Welte-Mignon Music Roll
Company in order to manufacture
music rolls.
Other people have noticed that the
Auto Pneumatic Action Company
and the Standard Pneumatic Action
Company had the same ownership.
Specifically, Automatic Musical
Instrument Collectors’ Association
(AMICA) member Doug Hickling
contributed many articles about the
history of reproducing pianos for the
AMICA Bulletin. You can read these
on the AMICA website.

I think I may be the first person to
notice that the Standard line of piano
actions was discontinued by the Auto
Pneumatic Action Company and a
new company was formed to produce
that action the following week. This
took many hours of searching through
the MTR and Presto.

The U.S. Declares War
on Germany

In September 1917, the U.S. entered
the war against Germany. I was
wondering when this fact would enter
into Welte’s business affairs. Well, in
the Jun. 29, 1918 MTR, it did — and
Gittins will figure in it.

To see the exciting conclusion to this
serial, you will have to wait for the next
edition of Mechanical Music.

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
July-August 2015 issue of The AMICA
Bulletin.

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

20 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

La Cracovienne

Plus Meet me by Moonlight and more

Fig. 1, showing the music box of unknown origin with original stain (wine, perhaps?) on the lid.

By Paul Bellamy

The musical programme of a music
box can often be overlooked or
misunderstood, but sometimes there
is a wealth of historical information
behind what may appear to be an
innocuous programme or piece of
music.

I acquired one of my earlier musical
boxes for two major reasons, one
being an unusual tune sheet, which,
at the time, had not been recorded by
the late HAV Bulleid. The other was
because it was by an unknown maker.
There were, of course, other minor
reasons such as the good musical
arrangements played on a finely-cut,
114-toothed comb plus the fact that it
was a key-wind movement and therefore
would have been made pre-1860.
After 1860 most movements were
ratchet-operated lever-wind movements.
Bulleid called the pre-1860
years the golden age of the musical

box. To coin a pun, there did seem to
be a key change in music box direction
around the time of the early 1860s.

Figure 1 shows the case in its
unrestored condition. Whilst in my
possession, it will stay that way
because it has honestly earned its
slightly stained lid. No doubt a glass
of wine stood upon it as the owner
and family listened to it play. The lid’s
inlay is very simple, in plain white
wood displaying leaves and flowers
surrounding a horn, trumpet and triangle,
a nice subject for a musical box.

A sign of quality is the triple
boxwood stringing to the lid, although
it surmounted what was becoming
common at the time, a cheaper
decorated case with scumble finish,
simulating the mahogany veneer of
the lid. That in itself was surprising
because Figure 2 (Page 22) shows
the substantial structure of the case
which, unlike many made of fruit
wood, seemed to be a solid hardwood

throughout, possibly mahogany. I am
certain the scumble is original and
therefore decided not to investigate
the real wood underneath.

The three controls, tune change,
start and instant stop, are covered by
a fold-down end-flap held closed by a
hook and peg, just visible at the left
hand fixed inner panel. A pin, barely
visible, holds the flap in place when
the lid is closed. The movement had
no comb markings, and the only other
marks were the serial number, 6829,
stamped at the top left side of the
smooth brass bedplate and repeated
on the tune sheet, visible in Figure 3
(Page 22).

The tune sheet was in almost perfect
condition and worthy of close inspection.
Its floral border is entwined
with numerous images of children
apparently at play, but closer inspection
reveals they were industriously at
work! The top cartouche has the image
of a hammer and compass. On either

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 21

Fig. 2, showing the solid construction of the box and key-wind mechanism.

side are children with measuring
instruments. At the bottom left corner
are two children forging iron and
in the opposite corner two children
looking through a telescope. Nearby
is a gigantic water wheel powering
machinery. All quite extraordinary!
The script is beautifully written by
quill pen and possibly home-made
ink, no doubt dried by a scatter of fine
sand.

The tune sheet is nothing like the
patterns found in Geneva, Switzerland,
but more like the images found
on later musical boxes in Saint Croix,
Switzerland. Mermod, Cuendet,
L’Épée and other music box makers
used similar images of children at play
but usually with musical instruments,
not telescopes and hammers. Also,
the Mermod, Cuendet and L’Épée
music boxes are usually dated in the
late 1800s, not pre-1860. With so little
information to go on, finding a maker
is almost impossible. My nearest guess

Fig. 3, a closeup of the tune sheet, shows the children hard at work.

would be Paillard and, if correct, The tune entitled “The Cracoviwould
fit the Bulleid date line for 1854. enne” refers to a person performing a

22 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Fig. 4, showing choreographer Joseph
Mazilier in top hat and frock coat.

popular Polish dance of the era called
the Krakowiat. It was a popular
two-step folk dance that originated in
an area near Krakow, Poland, at the
end of the 1700s. The city still retains
its pretty medieval architecture and
was once the former capital of Poland.
The dance was performed at a rapid
pace consisting of square, diagonal
and star-shaped patterns interspersed
at the corners and ends with fast
circular movements.

A French dancer, Joseph Mazilier
(1801–1868), choreographed the
dance in 1839 for a Grand Opera called
“La Gypsy,” which was composed by

N. C. Bocsha. It premiered in 1839 at
the Paris Opera. Figure 4 shows him
dressed in top hat and frock coat
looking directly at the camera. The
dancer at the Paris Opera was Fanny
Elssler (1810–1884). Figure 5A shows
Fanny Elssler on the cover of sheet
music. For some unexplained reason
she wore a costume comprising a
military jacket for her dance routine.
Not always though, as seen in Figure
5B (Page 24) you can see her in a more
traditional dress dancing the same
part.
Tune four, “La Ghitani,” meaning
The Gypsy, was from the same opera.

Fig. 5A, showing Paris Opera dancer Fanny Elssler on the cover of sheet music for
“La Gypsy,” which was composed by N.C. Bocsha and premiered in 1839.

Tunes two and three were not. Tune
two, “My beautiful Rhine,” was a
popular ballad called “Die Weiner”
from an operatic drama called “Spirit
of the Rhine,” written in 1840 for an
opera. Figure 6 (Page 24) is the cover
of a piece of sheet music featuring the
singer Mrs. Honey.

Surprisingly, tune three is the non-
operatic exception. Called “Meet
me by Moonlight,” it was a romantic
ballad written and composed in 1812
by Joseph Augustine Wade. He was
born in Dublin, Ireland, and became a
surgeon before moving to London in
1821. Music was, however, the passion
that led him to become a conductor
at London’s King’s Theatre. He wrote
an oratorio called “The Prophecy,” a

comic opera called “The Two Houses
of Grenada,” as well as popular songs
of the day such as “I’ve Wandered in
Dreams” and “A Woodland Life.” His
most famous song was “Meet me by
Moonlight.” The lyrics are presented
below:

Meet me by moonlight alone
And then, I will tell you a tale
Must be told by the moonlight

alone
In the grove at the end of the vale.
You must propose to come for I
said
I would shew the night flowers
their Queen.
Nay turn not away thy sweet head
’Tis the lovli-est ever was seen.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 23

Fig. 5B, showing dancer Fanny Elssler in more traditional cos-Fig. 6, showing sheet music for the singer Mrs. Honey.

tume dancing in “La Gypsy.”

[REFRAIN]
Oh! meet me by moonlight alone,
Meet me by moonlight alone.

Daylight may do for the gay,

The thoughtless, the heartless, the

free

But there’s something about the

moon’s sky,

That is sweeter to you and to me,

Oh! remember be sure to be there

For tho’ dearly a moonlight I prize

I care not for all in the air

If I want the sweet light of your

eyes

[REFRAIN]

So meet me by moonlight alone,

Meet me by moonlight alone.

I expect the reader of this lovely
old song, written in the early 1800s by
our romantic Irishman, has read the
first verse and not given it a second
thought. And what nonsense. Night
flowers? Who would expect to see
beautiful flowers at night? And why

would the lady he adored be more
beautiful, their queen?

The answer lies in the language of
flowers. In far off times, courtship and
other social interactions were often
expressed by means of flowers. It has
been a form of silent communication
for many cultures for hundreds of
years. It is called fluorography. The
word flirtatious comes from the origins
of the word for flower. The romantic
Irishman knew how to express this
in the words of his song. But what
flowers could possibly bloom in the
moonlight?

There are many that only bloom in
the light of the moon. And that fact
made sense to the courting couples of
long ago. Like their daytime cousins,
they radiated colour and scent in
response to moonlight. Moths and
other insects responded to their scent
and color, a symbiotic relationship
that pollinated the flowers and fed the
insects.

The owner of my musical box must

have been a passionate opera lover
of his or her day. To know something
about the music that was popular at
the time adds pleasure to what might
otherwise be regarded as quite an
ordinary musical box of the period.

Oh, I almost forgot. I never did find
out who actually made my music
box, but before I go, I feel that this
story would not be complete without
a picture of one of the many moonlighting
flowers, which you can see in
Figure 7.

Fig. 7, a flower blooming in moonlight.

24 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Origins of the A D Cunliffe
Musical Box Register

Formerly known as the International Cylinder Box Register

By Alison Biden

It is thought that Arthur Cunliffe
first conceived the idea for a register
of cylinder boxes sometime during
the 1960s. It was very much his own
initiative, and he was the first person
(and probably still the only one) to
tackle this enormous project. It was
not, however, the first register he had
undertaken to compile. Inspired by an
interest in motorcycles, over the years
he had created a register of vintage
motorcycles, which he eventually
passed to the British vehicle licencing
authority for its own use.
According to Arthur, his register of
cylinder music boxes was launched
in 1975, but issues of The Music Box
contain mentions of the idea as early Arthur Cunliffe demonstrates how the register works to an interested guest.
as 1973. That is when he appealed to
members of the Musical Box Society
of Great Britain (MBSGB) to send
in data on cylinder boxes already in
their possession. A registration form
inserted in one of the MBSGB’s journals
that year sought basic descriptive
data — length, height, width, tunes
listed on the tune sheet and maker —
from every cylinder music box owner
who was willing to participate in the
census.
Arthur’s first motive was to gather
as much information as possible on
existing music boxes so that he could
try to estimate how many boxes had
originally been made. This was a
topic of serious interest, as founding
MBSGB member and author John E
T Clark believed many were sent to
continental Europe during the 1914–18
war to comfort recuperating injured Originally, records for the register were collected on 3-by-5 note cards.
troops. Afterwards there seemed to
be little consideration paid as to how pattern would emerge from serial recovered stolen property, although
they were disposed of. numbers, tune titles, and other marks. details of the rightful owner were
Arthur’s next desire was to try and Finally, he believed that a register never (and are still not) recorded or
date boxes accurately, believing a would assist police in identifying retained.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

Initially the response to his appeal
was slow, but he was able to extrapolate
valuable information even from
the earliest replies to his request for
information. Spring 1976 saw the
publication of his first “Register News”
column in The Music Box. Although it
started as only an occasional feature,
it eventually developed into a regular
column. Information sent in from
owners and other parties was for many
years recorded manually on index
cards. Eventually these, and their
accompanying photographs, became
numerous enough to warrant Arthur
himself constructing wooden storage
boxes. The cards were arranged in
alphabetical order of maker (where
known).

Later, with the wider use of computers,
he began the laborious task of
entering all the accumulated data,
as well as fresh information, into a
rudimentary database. He used a
programme called MASTERFILE
PC, which ran in DOS, and over the
years became obsolete. In 1994, in a
private letter, he wrote, “The Register
changes almost every day and I
am finding it very time consuming
indeed to keep up with the project.”
Presciently he continued, “One day,
I feel the Register will be the largest
single source of information on cylinder
boxes. The photographic record
to go with it is already between three
and four hundred and I have prints of
items I have never ever seen before.
These seem to have come mainly from
America.”

Arthur was the first to admit that, like
many of us, he struggled in later years
with technology, preferring to stick
with outmoded computer programmes
which he had mastered rather than
keep updating to newer ones. In 2011
his register was transferred into a
Microsoft Access database, but only
after Arthur had tried several different
other ideas. It was Arthur’s policy to
keep strict control over the data, only
allowing the addition of entries made
by himself, in order to preserve its
integrity. He was also sensitive that
having spent more than 40 years and
an estimated several thousand pounds
of his own money on the project, it
should not be available for general

Some of the many, many boxes Arthur filled during his years as the official registrar
of the A D Cunliffe Musical Box Register.

or unauthorised exploitation. As a
consequence, he took it upon himself
to continually answer individual bona
fide requests for information about
cylinder boxes.

Some years before his death, Arthur
made it known that he was passing
ownership of the register to the
MBSGB, with a request that it should
bear his name, and that he should
continue in the role of registrar until
such time as he could no longer fulfill
the duties. In order that the work
should continue after he was gone,
he chose his own successor, David
Worrall, MBE, who has been ghosting

Arthur for several years, and who
now takes over officially in the role of
registrar.

Subject to confirmation, the number
of boxes registered by Arthur before
his death is estimated to be around
12,800 with another several dozen still
waiting to be entered.

Writing as Editor of The Music
Box in 1973, Arthur J W G Ord-Hume
said, “Arthur Cunliffe has assigned
to himself a vast task and one which
can never be complete … it can only
be to every Member’s interest to try
to help in the collection of these data
… the fruits of Mr Cunliffe’s work are

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

likely to benefit us all.” Meanwhile,
many collectors, owners, authors and
researchers have already benefited
significantly from the register as a
resource.

As an example of the benefit of
the register, Arthur Cunliffe wrote in
January 1996, “I am pleased to say I
have proved beyond all doubt which
Lecoultre boxes were the product of
the Lecoultre Brechet liaison thanks
to the computer! By entering in all the

L.B. information on combs and then
putting the boxes in serial number
order, they all turned up in the middle
of the Lecoultre listing. These boxes
corresponded accurately with the
dates Brechet started and left the
Lecoultre’s.”
Arthur’s dedication to the topic
should be an inspiration to us all.
The new registrar may be contacted
by emailing registrar@mbsgb.org.uk,
and a copy of the registration form, in
PDF and Microsoft Word format can
be found on the MBSGB’s website,
mbsgb.org.uk.

Two sections of the original register in open boxes illustrate the organized and detailed mind of the man who created it.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 27

Farny Wurlitzer Speaks to the
American Theatre Organ Society

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted by
permission of The American Theatre Organ Society
(ATOS). It was originally printed in two parts, in the
March/April 2012 and May/June 2012 issues of Theatre
Organ, the journal of ATOS. We will also print it in two
parts. Part 2 begins below.

This article came to the attention of MBSI through the
efforts of Gary Rasmussen and Bill Griess who received
rough copies of the speech from various sources in their
respective orbits. Gary and Bill offered these rough copies
to MBSI and other organizations which led to the collaboration
with ATOS via their president, Dave Calendine,
and journal editor, Mike Bryant. Enjoy!

A note from Mike Bryant

Through an oversight on our part at ATOS, we neglected
to give credit where credit is due when we gave MBSI
permission to reprint. The text was originally transcribed
from an audio recording of Farny’s address to ATOS, and
the recording quality was not what one would expect
today. The late Don Thompson, a theatre organist probably
known to many MBSI members, spent a great deal of time
transcribing the recording and enlisting several additional
people to confirm that he properly “interpreted” many
things which were not readily intelligible.

This is not to minimize the contribution of Don Feely,
who edited Don Thompson’s transcription to give it more
logical structure, a major task in itself. Farny’s speech
was not a rigidly-structured presentation; topics jumped
around, came and went, then sometimes returned. We
felt that the published piece would benefit from a bit of
organization.

Farny Wurlitzer in his office. — Mike Bryant, Editor, Theatre Organ

ATOS Editor’s Notes [part of the
original printing in 2012] In this,
the conclusion of Farny Wurlitzer’s
1964 speech to the American Theatre
Organ Enthusiasts, he recounts the
success of the Liberty Theatre in
Seattle, memories of Sid Grauman
and Adolph Zukor, and why he
never attended the opening of a new
Wurlitzer in a theatre.

We continue as Mr. Wurlitzer
describes the year 1914—by all
accounts a turning point in the
history of the Wurlitzer company.
Rudolph Wurlitzer, the patriarch

of the family, died on January
14, Robert Hope-Jones committed
suicide on September 13, and the
Seattle Liberty Theatre opened on
October 27.

Rudolph Wurlitzer actively led the
company, serving as Chairman of
the Board until his death. He took
frequent business trips to his old
homeland and also strove to maintain
that connection for his sons
(Howard, Rudolph Jr., and Farny),
all of whom were born in America.
Rudolph saw to it that all of them
learned to speak German. Farny, the

youngest son, graduated from the
Technical Institute of Cincinnati
in 1891 and spent time in Europe,
acquiring technical expertise by
working for enterprises in Switzerland
(Paillard Company), Germany
(Phillips), and France (Pellisson).

Howard Wurlitzer succeeded his
father as president of the company,
remaining in Cincinnati. Farny
oversaw all the manufacturing at the
North Tonawanda plant. His speech
shows an extensive understanding of
all plant activities—not to mention
an excellent memory. Most of these

28 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Wurlitzer promotional material describes the Seattle Liberty
Theatre.

An interior view of the Liberty Theatre.

Lines outside the Liberty Theatre were a regular occurrence.

events happened 40–50 years earlier.

Upon Howard’s death in 1928,
Rudolph Jr. became president of the
company. Farny took over as president
in 1932 and became Chairman
of the Board in 1942. He remained
on the board until his death in 1972.

In 1960, the company opened a
subsidiary, Deutsche Wurlitzer, in
Hüllhorst, Germany. That company
still manufactures jukeboxes. In the
mid 1980s the American company
was purchased by Baldwin Piano
and Organ. They continued to make
pianos carrying the Wurlitzer name.
In 2001, Baldwin was purchased
by the Gibson Guitar Corporation.
Five years later they also purchased
Deutsche Wurlitzer, and Gibson now
controls the Wurlitzer brand.

The Seattle Liberty Theatre

The first outstanding organ; it isn’t
by any means the first organ we built
in a theatre; that was the one that we
sold to the Liberty Theatre in Seattle.
We shipped that in late 1914. That was
a tremendous success. The theatre
was built especially as a motion
picture theatre. They had no provision
for an orchestra—they depended
entirely on our organ for music and
the theatre was quite original. You
see, up to that time nearly all other
theatres were remodeled theatres.
And they had one feature that at that
time was unusual, was a ramp to go up
to the balcony instead of having stairs.
Well, the theatre was such a tremendous
success at the start—I’m not
exaggerating in telling you this—that

for three weeks the Seattle police had
to take care of the crowds that stood
for three blocks waiting their turn to
get into the Liberty Theatre.

Well that, of course, was a great
help to us, the success of that theatre,
and the business grew especially on
the Pacific coast. I recall that there
was a theatre, so I was told, in San
Francisco—it was way out on Market
Street, not downtown—that it closed
23 times. Maybe they exaggerated
when they told me. We put an organ
in there and it was a success. It
wasn’t a large one. And at that time
Sid Grauman, who had a theatre in
San Francisco on Market Street, he
became interested in our organs, and
a little later on he arranged to install
an organ in his new theatre in Los

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 29

Adolph Zukor,
president of
Paramount
Pictures from
1912 to 1936

Angeles, called the Million Dollar
Theatre, on Broadway. And that was a
very successful installation.

Sid Grauman and Adolph Zukor

To my mind Sid Grauman was
perhaps the greatest moving-picture
showman that we have ever had. He
was a most unusual character. I could
tell you stories by the hour of many
things he did that were very unusual.
He was very absent-minded but he
was very gifted. When he put on a
show at the Million Dollar Theatre
he had his usherettes
– not men
ushers, usherettes

– in the costume
that suited the
picture. If it was
Oriental they
had an Oriental
costume. If it was
something else,
why, they wore
that costume.
The shows were
usually on for
more than one
week. They were
usually on for
six weeks or so.
And he was very
enthusiastic about
our organ, and
he did so much
to sell the idea
of our organ to
other moving-pic-
Barney Balaban, ture people. For
one of the instance, Balaban
founders of the

and Katz. Sam

Balaban and Katz

Katz came out

theatre chain. He

there to Los Ange-

was president

les; Sid Grauman

of Paramount

made it a special

Pictures from

chore for him to

1936 to 1964.

sell Sam Katz. The

same thing with
Mr. Zukor who was the father of the
Paramount organization. And when
Mr. Zukor came out he gave him a
special demonstration after the show
was over, and our representative out
there, who was also a director of our
company, Buzz Lyons, met Mr. Zukor
and started to talk to him about organs
for all their theatres, because they had

Grauman’s Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, California.

many throughout the United States.
Mr. Zukor said “I’m too busy to talk
to you now, but I’m leaving tomorrow
evening on the train for San Francisco.
I have a drawing room and if you’ll be
on that train we’ll talk about it.”

So it was arranged that the board of
directors of the Wurlitzer Company,
[and] the board of directors of the
Paramount organization were to meet

and discuss the buying of Wurlitzer
organs for all of their theatres. Well,
three of us went down. I went down;
Mr. Lyons was there from the coast
and Mr. Ryan, who was also a member
of the board, was present. But we
didn’t meet with their board. We met
with Mr. Connick who was running the
Paramount organization for the banks
because they had gotten involved

30 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Douglas Fairbanks (seated at the organ) and Sid Grauman at
A large movie-going crowd outside the Million Dollar Theatre. the Wurlitzer in the Million Dollar Theatre.

An interior view of the Million Dollar Theatre.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 31

John Philip Sousa’s band performs at the Denver Auditorium in 1921. The audito

rium could seat 12,000.

financially. Mr. Connick knew a good
deal about church organs. His thought
was “How many stops did we have in
this model; how many in that?” and we
changed the subject always because
that was one thing that we didn’t want
to discuss because, with the Hope-
Jones system—the Unit system—we
didn’t use as many stops as church
organs did. But we got the results.
Well, I can make the story short: Mr.
Connick said “It appears as if none of
us know too much about the organs!”
But we did get the orders, and we did
install Wurlitzer organs in all the Paramount
Theatres, and the same way
with Balaban and Katz in Chicago.
And as you know, Mr. Balaban is
today President of the Paramount
organization. And we had the business
of practically all the chains—the Keith
circuit, and Loew’s—really all of them.

Our organs cost more than those
of any other make, and there was a
reason for it. The materials and the
design were expensive and the workmanship
that went into them. We used
only the very finest grade of sugar pine
first and second, and a solid mahogany
or solid cherry because they didn’t
chip when you bored into them. And

of course, Hope-Jones had laid the
foundation for this quality which we
believed in and followed.

Denver City Auditorium

In 1918 we installed the organ in
the Denver City Auditorium. That was
the largest organ that we ever built. I
remember being out there when we
were trying to get the contract, and
Madame Schumann-Heink sang in the
auditorium. Well, she was returning
to Chicago the next day, but at noon
there was a meeting at the Rotary
Club and I met Schumann-Heink. She
had a big sign across her chest saying
“Baby Ernestine” so when I met her
in a sleeping car that night (in those
days it took much longer to go to
Chicago than it does nowadays—the
trains are faster), why, I said “Good
evening Ernestine!” She just stepped
back quite shocked. She said “I don’t
remember your first name!”

I told her who I was and she knew
our family in Cincinnati. She had
sung there many times, and she had
a drawing room. She also had her
accompanist, a woman who was with
her in another compartment. Well, the
next morning when I got up earlier

The Denver Auditorium presented daily

organ recitals by organist Clarence
Reynolds.

Internationally renowned opera star
Ernestine Schumann-Heink.

than she did, when her drawing room
was being made up I said “Don’t you
want to sit in my seat here?” I only had
a berth. And so she joined me. Well
she spent the whole morning and she
told me the history of her life. It was
most interesting. She was a wonderful
woman. She told me about each of her
husbands. There were four of them!

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Margaret Wilson (daughter of President Woodrow Wilson) singing at the Denver Auditorium Organ Dedication in March 1918.

What their characteristics were, and
about her present husband that she
had. And she had a large number of
children. And this was in February
1917. It was just at the time when Von
Bernstorff had been given his walking
papers by Washington because I think
the Lusitania had been torpedoed. And
we were about to break off relations
with Germany, and she said to me
“You know, my heart bleeds, because
I have sons that are in the German
army. I have sons that are in the American
army” she said, “they’ll be fighting
each other.” She, at that time, had a

home in San Diego, California. And
so I met the one son that was with her
in Denver, and she was a very warmhearted
individual. When she got on
the stage, why, the audience was just
with her. They knew that they were
part of her, and she had that ability.
She was idolized in Denver.

She was very much loved in Denver,
and a very good friend of the mayor.
And the mayor was the one who would
decide the question of the organ. Well,
we got the order for the organ, and
we had a lot of problems. The organ
had 50-inch wind pressure, and to

get 50 inches of wind pressure the
wind is heated an awful lot through
the blower and the friction, and we
couldn’t keep the organ in tune. The
temperature up in the organ chambers
was 120 degrees, and Louis Lockwood,
who was Superintendent of the plant
spent, I believe, almost a year out
there. We had the blower companies
come out to help us—they couldn’t do
anything. He finally solved the problem
in a very simple way. There was
an immense volume of air, of course,
blown through these blowers. He took
a garden hose, turned the water on,

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 33

Jesse Crawford at the 4/36 Wurlitzer in the New York Albert Hay Mallotte at the Metropolitan Theatre, Los Angeles,

Paramount Theatre.

and put it in the blower. That cooled
the air immediately. The evaporation
of the water brought the temperature
down and we had no trouble after that.

But, there were many things like
that that we’d run into. We had many
problems with architects. They didn’t
realize the necessity of giving us the
right location for our organs, so that
the tone could come out.

All they thought of was the design
of the theatre and the beauty of it,
and we’d have to put up quite a fight,
and we’d appeal to the buyer and say
“Now do you want to buy an organ
from us and pay that much money, and
then get only 25 or 50 percent results?
That’s what’s going to happen if you
don’t let us have proper openings to
the tone that comes out of the chambers.”
Well we fortunately won out in,
I think, almost all the cases.

Early Organists

One of our early problems was

California.

finding men to play our organs. You
see, church organists didn’t know
how to play a theatre organ and follow
the music, you see, in the early days.
The films were silent and they had to
depend on the music to interpret the
picture. So we tried to train people
to play our organs, and gradually, of
course, the famous names developed,
that really did interpret what could
be done with the Wurlitzer organ as
well as the other makes of organs. (I
don’t wish to slight the competition!)
Names that I know most of you know.
Jesse Crawford is, I think, the best
known of all of them. He played here
in Buffalo for Mike Shea at Shea’s
Buffalo Theatre. Albert Hay Mallotte
had played for Mike Shea at Shea’s
Hippodrome. He’s the composer of
“The Lord’s Prayer.” And there were
many others. Henry Murtagh was the
man that opened the Liberty Theatre
in Seattle. He was followed by a very
brilliant man, Ollie G. Wallace.

Organist Oliver Wallace in a publicity
shot from the 1920s.

And I might tell you a little more
going back, of some of the failures. We
put an organ in the New Pitt Theatre
in Pittsburgh where there was a
regular stage show. Unfortunately the

34 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Ohio River got higher than it should
and entered the theatre and the organ
was drowned! So that ended rather
unfortunately, but that was one of the
many experiences that we had, and
disappointments.

Roosevelt Memorial Park

Perhaps the most powerful organ
that we ever built was for the Roosevelt
Memorial Park Cemetery, and
they wanted the organ powerful
enough so that it could be heard for a
mile or two as the funeral procession
approached the park. And that, also,
was built on 50-inch wind pressure on
several of the stops. And that organ
was played by rolls as well as having a
console so it could be played by hand.
I do want to mention something about
the roll attachment. We made two
different rolls. One had 160 holes in
the tracker bar cross-wise; the other
one had 105, and we were building
organs for homes, most of them with
the smaller roll. This larger one has
never been duplicated. With 160 holes
cross-wise we operated 340 different
things, either keys or stops. Now the
way we did that was that, for 10 of the
holes there were 10 vertically as well
as cross-wise. One was a firing hole,
and depending upon which one of
these holes was passing over the bar
of the hundred (you see there are 10
times 10) why that would fire back on
any number of them.

And in that way we were able to
play this organ as a two manual organ
or a three manual organ at times. And
we had an organ in the studio. That
was not the whole thing. We had a
perforating machine so that when
the organists, and Jesse Crawford for
instance recorded for us, played, one
minute after he’d finished playing, we
could play the roll back for him and
let him hear what he had done. And in
those days there wasn’t the tape that
we have today for an organist to hear
himself play. And nearly every one of
them that came here to record for us,
and we had many prominent organists
come, they were all quite astonished
to hear themselves play because the
organist doesn’t hear himself when
he’s at the console—he’s busy playing.
And I know one of them, perhaps

Organist Henry B. Murtagh shows the inner workings of the Brooklyn Paramount
Wurlitzer to his sister Jessie. (Brooklyn Magazine; November 1928).

The Roosevelt Memorial Park console (Photo courtesy of Mike Friese).

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 35

more than one did it, he said “Give me
that roll.” He just tore it up. I wouldn’t
do it again. He wasn’t happy with what
he had done.

One of my great regrets is that we
didn’t keep all this, but the depression
came along and we sold the organs,
and the recording organs, and all the
equipment that we had and didn’t
keep it. I wish I had it today. It was
a question of our survival during the
depression.

Radio City Music Hall

As many of you know, we installed
an organ in Radio City Music Hall
and that is the largest theatre organ
that we built. And it’s used today in
all of their shows. Radio City, when
they purchased that organ from us,
purchased not only one but four organs
from us. One for the Music Hall, a large
four-manual organ upstairs above the
theatre for the organist to practice on
so that they could practice what they
were going to play in the show. And
then they had an organ in the Rainbow
Room which was the restaurant on the
top floor of Radio City. Then they built
a theatre just across the street from
the Music Hall on Fiftieth Street and
they installed an organ in there. That
one, however, has been discontinued,
so it’s no longer there. I am happy that
Radio City continues to use the organ.

When talking pictures came along
we realized that the days of the theatre
organ were approaching an end. Our
businesses continued in other parts of
the world. We did quite a business in
England, in Australia, in fact in most
of the countries of the world. Some
in Germany, a few in France, one in
Spain, one in India, in Japan. I believe
that is still in use. It’s in one of the
large department stores there. Business,
however, dwindled. The Radio
City Music Hall was one of the last
organs that we built in this country
for a theatre, but we kept on shipping
abroad. Then the war started in ’39
and that was the end of the export
business. Even though there were
talking pictures, they continued to use
the organs in England. In this country
they didn’t to any great extent.

I imagine that many of you may
wonder why we didn’t continue in the

One of several freight cars used to transport the 4/17 Wurlitzer to Roosevelt
Memorial Park in Gardena, California.

Radio City Music Hall in New York City; 4/58 with twin consoles.

pipe organ business. The main reason
is that our costs were so much higher
than those of church organ builders,
that we felt we had no chance of selling
to churches. They couldn’t afford
to pay the price that we had to charge.
Furthermore, we had the antagonism
of 99-plus percent of the church

organists of the United States. They
didn’t like the unit system; they didn’t
like the theatre organs. Many of them,
I think, have been converted since
then, but I am sure that there are a lot
of them that still feel the same way.
And those were the reasons that we
didn’t carry on with the business. To

36 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Women running cables and wiring relays at the Wurlitzer Many employees of the Hope-Jones factory in Elmira went

factory. on to develop the Unit Orchestra at the Wurlitzer Company.
These included James Nuttall, Gus Noterman, JJ Caruthers,
Fred Smith, Earl Beach and David Marr.

New Theatre Openings
In building organs for theatres, it
was always a problem to have that
organ there for the day of the opening,
and that was sometimes difficult. I
recall one instance where our men
worked for 35 hours without sleep in
order to get that organ finished and
packed and expressed. We had to
send it by express so it would be there
The Wurlitzer factory in the 1960s.

my mind it was a wonderful business.
I mean it was fascinating. We had a
marvelous crew of men. They were
devoted artisans and they put their
hearts and souls into the work.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 37

for opening day. And those openings
were always a trying time, because we
installed the organ when they were
still doing plastering work and all the
kinds of other work, and dust and dirt,
and, you know, that’s one thing that
doesn’t agree with an organ, is dirt.
It causes ciphers. And a cipher, of
course, is terrible when the audience
is there. To hear that pipe squealing
that shouldn’t squeal. And so, I always
avoided openings. I didn’t go!

Factory Craftsman

I feel that it may be of interest to you
to have me read a list of the people
that came from Elmira in May 1910.
There was Fred Smith, Dave Marr,
James Nuttall, Joe Carruthers, Harry
Carruthers, John Colton, Earle Beach,
Gus Garrickson, Jack Hirst who was in
charge of the metal pipe department.
James Nuttall, I forgot to say, was the
head voicer. John Badger, Charles
Russell, Carl Johnson, Gus Noterman
and his son Gus. And then a Mrs. John
Linhares who came up from Elmira to
teach our women and girls how to do
this intricate work on the Hope-Jones
organs, because we ran all our own
cables, and every organ that was built,
the cables were different, so we had
long tables that we’d run these cables
on, and form them out in advance,
and of course, our drawing office had
to lay everything out on paper before
it was built, and that was an intricate
part of the work, and very important.

Then there were many men who
came a little later on that weren’t here
originally, and I do want to mention
the names of some of them. There was

W. Meakin Jones, no relative of Robert
Hope-Jones, but he had been associated
with Hope-Jones in England. He
came over in 1912. Louis S. Lockwood
took over as superintendent when
some of the other men left because
a number of these men melted away
from us between the time that we
moved them up here and the time
when Hope-Jones died. So Lockwood
was responsible for a great deal of the
success of our later work, and he was
responsible along with Howard Maver
for developing the roll system and this
marvelous tracker bar.
I forgot to mention this tracker

Organist Eddie Dunstedter.

bar. You see, with paper you had the
problem that it shrinks and expands
according to the humidity. This
tracker bar had two cuts in it. And
there were two small leaves on the
side of the tracker bar. If the paper
expanded those leaves were pushed
out and electrically the tracker bar
would open up. It couldn’t open very
much of course, because otherwise
your music wouldn’t track. It opened
up just enough so that it would not
cause any trouble. And then if the
paper shrank again, why, the bar
would come back to the correct size,
with just a tiny fraction of an inch that
opened up, each one of these slots.
Howard Maver helped to develop that
and I regard his work very highly.

There was Manley Cockcroft who
was with us. Fred Wood, Walter Berry,
David Arthur who was one of our
voicers. Tom Ruggles succeeded with
being the chief voicer, and I always
felt very indebted to him for what he
did for us because he carried on the
Hope-Jones type of voicing and, the
most important factor, he trained the
young men to follow—something that
the original voicers didn’t want to do.
They didn’t want to teach anybody.
They wanted to keep it a secret art,
and the business was expanding too
much. We had to have more voicers.
There was Bob Shreeve: he succeeded
to management of the metal pipe
department after Jack Hirst left us.
Louis Markowitz was with us. Elmer
Godfrey for many years was in charge
of our drawing office. And I’m very

Organist Clarence Reynolds, organist
at the Ocean Grove Auditorium and the
Denver Auditorium (Photo courtesy of
the Historical Society of Ocean Grove).

grateful to all of those people who
helped us and who did such a marvelous
job in building the Wurlitzer
organs.

Notable Organists

I am also very grateful to all the many
organists who made it possible for the
Wurlitzer organ to achieve fame, and
they did a wonderful job. You know
Jesse Crawford, his wife Helen. There
was Eddie Dunstedter. One of the
early ones was Henry Murtagh. There
was Dick Liebert who was the head
organist at Radio City Music Hall. And
Milton Charles, Clarence Reynolds—
he was the organist at Denver and had
been the organist at Ocean Grove. And
there was C. Sharp Minor, who was a

38 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

great showman but a poor musician.
But he really did show off the organ
and people liked it. Carl Pullman here
in Buffalo, and Tom Grierson from
Rochester who played here in Buffalo
and is one of our very good friends. I
am grateful to all of them, and please
don’t feel offended if I didn’t mention
the name of all of them that helped us
so much.

I want to thank, especially, the
Wurlitzer “widows” because I know it
took a lot of patience and help from
the wives of the members when they
purchased an organ and installed
it. And without the support of their
wives it couldn’t have been accomplished.
Many of them helped with the

actual work and all of them showed
patience. And this applies not only to
Wurlitzer widows but to the wives of
all members, whatever make of organ
they may have. And my appreciation
to all of you for your patience and your
loyalty. And of course, my very great
appreciation goes to all of you who
have purchased theatre organs. Naturally
I appreciate most of all purchase
of the Wurlitzer organs from theatres,
so that these are preserved because
otherwise their lives would have been
very short, and the present generation
would have forgotten them.

I can’t close without thanking Ben
Hall for the marvelous book that he
wrote, “The Best Remaining Seats”

and the study that he made of the early
history of the motion picture industry.
I think that was very important to
preserve for future generations.

Thank you.

Listen to Mr. Wurlitzer’s actual speech
online at atos.org. Smartphone users can scan
the QR code below to be taken directly to the
website.

Seeking your stories for ….
Did you once spend time finding the perfect musical
antique to round out your collection? What was it? How The Hunt 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 “The Hunt” 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
you are not sure how to organize it or present it. The MBSI Editorial Offices
important thing is to get it down and pass it on for the 130 Coral Court
enjoyment of others. Pismo Beach, CA 93449
We look forward to hearing from you.
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.

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 39

The Christian Wittmann Buskers and more

By Gordie Davidson

Set in Wolfsgraben, Austria, a suburb about 35
minutes west of Vienna, is the home and organ
workshop of 42-year-old Christian Wittmann.
Visitors passing by this suburban, two-story
dwelling might not notice it as different from
any of the others lining the same street, but
once invited behind the door, it becomes clear
why this is such a special place in the world.
The aroma of rough-sawn, kiln-dried cherry
or walnut waiting to be formed by Christian’s
expert hands makes you feel instantly welcome.
The workshop covers the entire bottom floor
of the home, serving as both his research and
design studio and production facility.

Christian, who successfully passed the rigorous
Austrian Master Organ Builder Exam in the
fall of 2009, and subsequently opened his own
workshop, is a gracious and engaging host. He
offers tours of his workshop by appointment.
I spent two days with him several years ago
watching him build a busker organ for fellow
MBSI member David Mahr. It was clear to me
that he is truly a gifted, master wood worker.

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Christian Wittmann with the
author’s 33/56 Konzert Drehorgel
in Wolfsgraben prior to shipping
to the U.S., circa 2017.
35
organ
ittmann.
story
from
but
clear
world.
cherry
s
welcome.
floor
and
rigor-
the
own
He
appointment.
ago
fellow
me
worker.
ittmann Orgelbauittmann Orgelbau
Christian Wittmann with the
author’s 33/56 Konzert Drehorgel
in Wolfsgraben prior to shipping
to the U.S., circa 2017.
35
organ
ittmann.
story
from
but
clear
world.
cherry
s
welcome.
floor
and
rigor-
the
own
He
appointment.
ago
fellow
me
worker.
ittmann Orgelbauittmann Orgelbau
March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

A selection of 20er and 31er buskers by Christian Wittmann shown with cherry and walnut cases. Several have inlaid wood
purfling. Some come with roll frames, some with MIDI controllers, and some with both MIDI controllers and roll frames.

During his apprenticeship with Robert
Niemeczek, owner of Der Orgelbau
Im Wienerwald, an Austrian firm
specializing in church organs, Christian
designed and produced a first
generation, lightweight bauchorgel,
or busker organ. It was marketed as
a Wittmann and Niemeczek crank
organ; several of these buskers are
still active in the USA today.

Designing and building a
second-generation of his lightweight
busker organ under his own name
was Christian’s first task after starting
his own business. The notable axiom,
good things come in small packages,
best describes the Wittmann 20-note
busker organ. Characterized by precision
design, impeccable construction
and world-class performance, Wittmann
buskers deliver more sound
per pound than any other production
busker, in my humble opinion. Christian
has built dozens of 20er busker
organs for customers worldwide.
The 20er busker organ remains his

A look at attention to detail throughout production. Need a key frame controller for
book music? No problem, just ask.

benchmark instrument with several
wood case and scale variations
available to clients. He also builds
a superb 31er busker weighing in at
about 26 pounds. It is portable, but
better suited to a small cart over time.

Christian also builds custom carts for
his larger street organs.

The 20er weighs in at about
15 pounds. Known as a “belly
organ,” it is one of the smallest
crank organs currently available that

42 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

A young Christian Wittmann and author shown with a pair of A second-generation 20er constructed of stained cherry with
first generation 20er buskers, circa 2007. Behind is a replica inlaid purfling and custom wheel crank mechanism mounted
Wurlitzer Style 105 built from Bob Stanoszek plans. It features at the back. The leather strap makes this model easily portaa
roll frame and MIDI controller. ble and playable for hours on the street.

On the left is an organ with both 20er and 31er roll frames and a Watterott MIDI controller. It has a 36-note scale, three stops
and rotating figurines. On the right is a 31/36 organ with a 31er roll frame and Watterott MIDI controller.

plays the standard 110mm, 20-note solid cherry or walnut wood and can seven in the lower case. Thirteen pipes
roll. Its compact dimensions do not be decorated with inlaid mosaic strips are visible from the front of the organ.
limit its bellows or air capacity. It or purfling. A leather shoulder strap Figurines can be added to the organ by
has a full, stable sound that comes is also included, and the crank can be request. The organ can be ordered in
into its own when used as a street mounted on the back or on the right. It three configurations, paper-roll only,
instrument. The housing is made of features 20 Bourdon pipes, including MIDI-only, and a combination paper

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43

An interesting and multi-functional Konzert Drehorgel. This organ features both 20er and 31er roll frames as well as a Watterott
MIDI controller. Truly, the best of all media worlds. The figurine rotates on the pedestal. Notice the matching custom cart constructed
with the same cherry wood as the organ case.

roll and MIDI.

Personally, now in my 70s, I prefer
the MIDI version as it offers the
opportunity to stroll and play dozens
of tunes without hauling multiple
suitcases of paper rolls to and from
one’s car along with perhaps a cart,
monkey and other gear. Plus, with
MIDI control, you can turn the crank
in either direction without having
to maintain a consistent tempo to
hear a great tune. My Wittmann 33/56
concert crank organ features a quad
bellows powered by dual cam arms
that outputs 110mm/4.3 inches of air
pressure, so even kids as young as
three can crank and sound great. Many
small production crank organs have
undersized bellows and consequently
fall short on air; Christian’s organs just
punch through.

As a mechanical music buff for
nearly 40 years cranking organs in
rallies and all over the greater Kansas
City, MO, area, I’ve owned my fair
share of organs. Metaphorically, I tend
to think of these organs as boats in
that you often like the one you have,
but you get out on the water and you
see another one you want. That’s what
an organ rally is like for me. I’ve owned

The author entertaining crowds with his 33/56 Konzert Drehorgel.

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

three Raffin organs and a 45-note Bacigalupo
replica custom built for me by
Alan Pell in the U.K. I’m on my fourth
organ purchased from Christian and,
in my opinion, the instruments he
constructs, repairs and refurbishes
in his facility represent the best in
quality design, harmonious sound and
European craftsmanship.

I first caught the street organ bug
while serving in the U.S. Army, Berlin
Brigade. I attended the biannual street
organ festivals in what as then West
Berlin in 1982 and 1984. The sound of
the music echoing down the Kurfürstendamm
was wonderful to listen to
and spurred memories of my time as
a non-music major at Michigan State
University. My college roommate
was an organ major, so I’m sure that
contributed something to my pursuit
of this hobby. I waited until I returned
to the United States to buy my first
organ, but ever since I’ve enjoyed
the hobby immensely. I once spent

Another example of the fine detail work Christian is capable of in his workshop.

a memorable summer playing every
Saturday at the historic Union Train
Station in Kansas City, MO, letting the
sound of my Raffin 20/78 crank organ
echo throughout that huge hall. It just
immediately attracted attention from
all kinds of people. I performed for

This is a chromatic 49er organ with
double melody Bourdons. The case is
made of stone pine (German “Zirbe”),
which is a typical Austrian wood grown
in the alps. It is highly aromatic, but
not the best choice for an organ used
outdoors.

15 years on the Country Club Plaza
in Kansas City and once during the
annual Plaza Art Fair. In one memorable
moment, I found myself playing
for a well-dressed man who remained
for several tunes and asked many curiosity
based questions. Afterward, the

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 45

A spectacular 42er book Konzert Drehorgel that features Bourdons, wood-flutes, pan flutes, a wooden xylophone, Helikon reed
basses, manual cymbal, bells and train whistle. Notice the beautiful mix of woods in the pipe configuration.

gentleman came up and introduced
himself as Lee Iacocca, the famous
automobile executive. He handed me
his business card and thanked me for
adding some fun to his afternoon. You
just never know who is standing in
front of you.

These days, my playing is limited to
a few gigs each summer in and around
Western Michigan. Hopefully after the
pandemic, the time will come when
we can get together in groups again.
I encourage anyone who might be
interested to get out there and join in
the fun of an organ rally.

If you are in the market for an
instrument, I highly recommend

Christian Wittmann, as he will enthusiastically
entertain any organ design
criteria from clients anywhere in the
world. The photos accompanying this
article are just a small set of examples
of his unequaled, one-of-kind, marvels
of mechanical music, most of them
built in the last five years. Christian
handles all aspects of building in his
workshop, from designing, cutting,
planing, routing, turning, drilling,
sanding, assembling, gluing, voicing,
tuning, arranging, punching and more.
He is also an accomplished musician
and arranger. He can provide roll
punching services to clients along
with his arrangements.

For further interest, readers are
welcome to visit my website at www.
grindergordie.com to view and listen
to several Wittmann instruments. The
Christian Wittmann Orgelbau website
is at www.drehorgelmusik.net.
Christian is a native German speaker
who writes and speaks impeccable
English. He promptly responds to
email requests. Finally, as a one-man
workshop, the answer is yes, he has a
waiting list.

Gordie Davidson is a retired Army Foreign
Area Officer who developed his interest in
mechanical music during his tour with the

U.S. Army Berlin Brigade.
46 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

How does a musical movement

ing chair.

anism clearly

Fig. 1, above, shows the movement
mounted on the lower-right rocker arm
of the chair. Fig. 2, at left, shows how the
movement is oriented to take advantage of
the rocking motion

Fig. 3, a closeup showing the mounted
mechanism attached with two screws.

Fig. 4, showing the eight-note mechanism that is mounted under the seat.

child rocks in the chair.

Figure 5 shows the two pawls that
engage with the ratchet gear mounted
on the cylinder. You can see that if the
vertical rod is moved down, the angled
rods expand and when the vertical rod
moves up, the angled rods contract.

Now, the arrows point to pins that
are attached to the pawls, and they are
loose through a large hole in the lower
angled rods. So, as the angled rods
expand, the left hand pawl is raised
out of engagement with the ratchet
gear and the right hand pawl engages
to turn the cylinder.

When the vertical rod rises and
causes the angled rods to contract, the
right hand pawl is raised and the left
hand pawl engages to turn the cylinder.
So, the rotation of the cylinder is
almost constant and the tune is easily
recognized.

The tune, which seems fitting, is the
nursery song, “Rock-a-bye baby.” The
first verse is:

Rock–a-bye-baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle
will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle
will fall
And down will come baby, cradle
and all.

Fig. 5, showing the pins attached to pawls that drive the cylinder.

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Arthur Dudley Cunliffe — 1927–2020

Creator of the International Cylinder Box Register

By Alison Biden

Arthur Cunliffe, born Nov. 7, 1927,
and died Dec. 5, 2020, was for several
years a British member of MBSI, as
well as a long-standing member of its
sister organisation, the Musical Box
Society of Great Britain. He lived
in an industrial area of North West
Britain shortly before the onset of the
Great Depression, the fifth child of
the Rev. William Cunliffe, a Church of
England vicar, and his wife, Eleanor.
At the start of the second World War
Arthur was responsible for tending
the family’s garden allotment and
chickens before being conscripted
into a wartime workforce called
“Bevin’s Boys.” The name came from
then Minister for Labour and National
Service, Ernest Bevin, who introduced
a scheme whereby 10 percent of
men of military conscript age were
selected by ballot and sent to work in
the country’s coal mines rather than
into the armed forces in an attempt to
increase falling coal production. Later,
Arthur joined the Royal Navy, following
in the footsteps of two of his older
brothers. After the war, he followed a
career in education, remaining in the
North West of England.

From an early age Arthur was
intrigued by machines and how they
worked. They played a big part in
his recreation. As a young man he
salvaged old motorcycles and restored
them, before putting them to the test
in trials and rallies around the country.
He also bought and restored a 1926
Morris Cowley car, which he kept for
25 years, and which is believed still to
be running.

Arthur will best be remembered for
creating and maintaining a register

of cylinder boxes, now known as the
A D Cunliffe Musical Box Register.
His interest in mechanical music was
piqued by a musical box belonging
to his maternal grandmother, which
he inherited at around the age of 10.
He joined the Musical Box Society
of Great Britain, with membership
number 435, and is recalled as being
an active member by 1970. His
contributions to the field of interest
include several articles published in
the MBSGB’s journal, The Music Box,
arranging meetings, giving presentations
and acting as the MBSGB’s
recording secretary for a number of
years. He was well-known internationally
for his research and study
of cylinder boxes, and frequently
exchanged ideas and information with
others on the subject, including the

late H A V Bulleid, known for his regular
magazine contribution, a column
called “Oddments.” After Mr Bulleid’s
passing, Arthur regularly contributed
his own column entitled “This, that
and t’other …,” to compensate.

It is thought that Arthur first
conceived the idea of compiling a
register of cylinder boxes sometime
in the 1960s, although it was not until
1973 that this project was launched
with an article and appeal for data in
The Music Box. Periodically he would
report on its progress, until “Register
News” also became a regular feature.
(See Page 25 for an article about on
the register.) The data contained in
the A D Cunliffe Musical Box Register
(which remains in active development

ARTHUR | See Page 50

March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 49

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Nancy Dickey — 1937–2020

MBSI has learned that Nancy Dean
Dickey, wife of Sunbelt Chapter Chair
Ray Dickey, passed away on Jan. 11 at
the age of 83, after losing a brief battle
against COVID pneumonia.

Nancy was born in Buffalo, OK, in
1937. She lived there 10 years before
moving to Port Arthur, TX. She graduated
from Thomas Jefferson High
School in 1955 and then from the
University of North Texas in 1959.

She became a high school physical
education teacher in Houston, TX,
where she met and married Ray. They
moved to Oak Lane in Piney Point
Village, TX, in 1971 and raised their
two kids there.

Nancy is described as faithful,
care-free, and quick-witted. Her beautiful
eyes and smile would light up the
room. Her inquisitive nature and sense

of humor always made conversations
easy and allowed her to make friends
wherever she went.

She was athletic and loved playing
tennis and watching her grandsons
play through the years. Nancy loved
Jesus and was involved in Community
Bible Study beginning in 1982, making
many lifelong friends during those
years. She was also an active member
of Chapelwood United Methodist
church, where she was involved in
ministries such as the UMW Vivian
Osbourn Circle, Stephen Ministry,
Monday prayer group, and Candle-
lighters Sunday School Class.

Over the years she and Ray went on
various backpacking trips to Colorado
with Chapelwood friends, as well as
countless trips to Europe with the
Chancel Choir. She also supported

Ray’s passion for music box collec-
tion and traveled every year to the
Musical Box Society International
conventions.

ARTHUR | From Page 49

today), has been a valuable resource
for a number of scholars and authors,
and was a significant source of information
in the production of the book
“The Nicole Factor,” for which Arthur
additionally wrote a section.

Arthur joined many related organisations,
and as a consequence,
travelled up and down the country as
well as overseas along with his wife,
Noreen. Mrs. Cunliffe recalls they
enjoyed some wonderful trips, meeting
many interesting people, although
due to work commitments, Arthur
was never able to visit the USA. He
became president/chair of the MBSGB
in 2006, a post he held for seven years.
His tenure of office was exceeded by
only one other president. He presided

over the society’s 50th anniversary in
2012, and although he wished to retire
at that point, was persuaded it was
in the society’s best interest for him
to remain in office for another year.
He was recognised for his immeasurable
contribution to the field of
mechanical music, first by the MBSI
in 2009, receiving its Trustees’ Award
and then receiving an Honorary Life
Membership from the MBSGB in 2012.
(In 58 years only 11 of these have been
awarded.)

Those who knew him personally
recall a polite, kind person, with a
gentle sense of humour, interested
more in people than things. Those
aware of his achievements will
appreciate his talents, determination,
meticulous and methodical approach
to all tasks, and his lively brain.

Respectful of others and always ready
to listen, he himself had an innate
ability to command respect – sometimes
much needed during his term as
president!

After a number of years of gradually
declining health, Arthur was admitted
to hospital at the end of last November
suffering from respiratory difficulties,
and sadly passed away about a week
later. It is ironic — or possibly fitting

— that such an unassuming man
should leave such a huge legacy to
the world in the form of his research
and data compilation. What is visible
to the public generally is but the tip of
the iceberg, and it is possible that no
single person will ever fully appreciate
the extent of his contribution. Our
thoughts and condolences go to his
widow, family and friends.
MBSI has also learned that member Glenn Smith passed away in August 2020.

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Excellent TWO-DAY Music Machine Collections
To Be Sold At Auction …by Stanton’s Auctioneers
We are proud to announce that Stanton’s Auctioneers have
been contracted to sell the David J. Palter of Long Island,
New York, the Lelland Fletcher of San Diego, and the Royce
Waggoner of Colorado Springs, Colorado in our upcoming
Spring Music Auction.

The sale will be conducted at the Barry Expo Center, 1350 N.
M-37 Highway, Hastings, Michigan

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, APRIL 16 & 17, 2021

9:00 A.M. EACH DAY
Preview Thursday, April 15th – 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Gathered from Coast to Coast is a wonderful, rare and
quality collection of machines including a Multiphone “Lyre”
24-cylinder record coin operated phonograph; Link endless roll
piano nickelodeon, Gamble Automatic Entertainer, Excellent
music boxes including cylinders, disc music boxes including
Rookwood and other rare examples, Automatic changers,
Reginaphones, as well as phonographs, A Bettini reproducer,
a nice clock collection and an excellent group of toys. The
collections, quality, diversity and overall offering is excellent.

Plan on attending this excellent offering.
Call us for a free catalog.

Stanton’s Auctioneers,
Appraisers, & Realtors

144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146
Vermontville, MI 49096
Phone: (517) 726-0181
Fax: (517) 726-0060
E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net
Website: www.stantons-auctions.com

AUCTIONEERS & REALTORSSTANTON’S
Steven E. Stanton

(517) 331-8150 cellular
E-mail – stevenEstanton@gmail.com

Michael C. Bleisch

(517) 231-0868 cellular
E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com

Photography and video tips

When taking photos or videos at your chapter meeting or
other MBSI gathering, remember these simple tips to get
great images for the rest of the membership to enjoy.

1. If someone is looking at a musical instrument, ask them
to turn and look at you while you take the picture. It’s
always better to see someone’s face rather than the
back of their head.
2. When taking a picture of a person and a musical instrument,
ask the person to step slightly to the side of the
instrument so that you can capture their face and the
instrument at the same time. It’s great to see people
enjoying wonderful instruments, but it’s even better
when the beauty of the instrument isn’t blocked by
bodies.
3. Try to get people “in action” while they are enjoying the
music. Some of the most natural smiles and enjoyable
photos happen when people aren’t aware they are being
photographed.
4. Don’t be afraid to snap a shot with your cell phone
camera. This is a great way to capture a spontaneous
photo and most cell phone cameras take photos that are
large enough to reproduce in the magazine.
5. If you are shooting a video, turn your phone sideways
(horizontal) so that your video will better fit television
and computer screens as well as phone screens.
52 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

Historic 5 Day auction

featuring

coin-op, aDvertising,
petroliana & railroaDiana

Join us for this historic 5-day auction event featuring coin-op & gambling machines,
music machines, advertising, railroad memorabilia, automobilia & petroliana
and much more!

May 8-12, 2021

2000 N. READING ROAD | DENVER, PA 17517 | INFO@MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM | 877-968-8880 | MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM

www.dreamfactory.ch www.swissauctioncompany.com
mail: oce@dreamfactory.ch Retonio: +41 79 5301111
The following fantastic instruments from
the Jerry Doring Collection,
Los Angeles are for sale
Please check www.swissauctioncompany.com
and go to Jerry Doring Collection for details
Hupfeld Helios Model I/II 31 C with 105 rolls
Cremona Orchestral K with 157 rolls
Bruder Elite Orchestra “Apollo Fairground Organ”
with 49 BAB and 165 Wurlitzer rolls
Mills Violano Virtuoso with 72 rolls
North Tonawanda Pianolin with 12 endless rolls & 12 damaged rolls
All original Polyphon Style 100 “Savoyard”
Steinway B Piano 6’11 with Welte Push-UP with 50 rolls
Hupfeld Universal Grand Deluxe with 70 rolls
Weber Otero with moving picture and 120 rolls
Wurlitzer Style 153 Duplex Military Band Organ with 160 rolls
Wurlitzer Style C Orchestrion with 70 rolls
64 key Vander Beken Fairground Organ
Hupfeld Helios Model I/II 31 C with 105 rolls
www.dreamfactory.ch www.swissauctioncompany.com
mail: oce@dreamfactory.ch Retonio: +41 79 5301111
The following fantastic instruments from
the Jerry Doring Collection,
Los Angeles are for sale
Please check www.swissauctioncompany.com
and go to Jerry Doring Collection for details
Hupfeld Helios Model I/II 31 C with 105 rolls
Cremona Orchestral K with 157 rolls
Bruder Elite Orchestra “Apollo Fairground Organ”
with 49 BAB and 165 Wurlitzer rolls
Mills Violano Virtuoso with 72 rolls
North Tonawanda Pianolin with 12 endless rolls & 12 damaged rolls
All original Polyphon Style 100 “Savoyard”
Steinway B Piano 6’11 with Welte Push-UP with 50 rolls
Hupfeld Universal Grand Deluxe with 70 rolls
Weber Otero with moving picture and 120 rolls
Wurlitzer Style 153 Duplex Military Band Organ with 160 rolls
Wurlitzer Style C Orchestrion with 70 rolls
64 key Vander Beken Fairground Organ
Hupfeld Helios Model I/II 31 C with 105 rolls
STEINWAY DUO-ART REPRODUCING PIANO MODEL M
MAHOGANY 1925 6’2″ SERIAL #237742 STYLE XR

Michael Tilson Thomas with the Boston $20,000.00
Phiharmonic made a recording with this
piano of Gershwin playing Gershwin on Contact Al Alicanti (917) 939-9516 or
Columbia Records. rosesbycarole@yahoo.com

54 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

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.

************************************************************************************************************************
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

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.

56 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

(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

We’re getting our vaccine shots.
We’ve made our plans.
It’s time to make yours!
Fantastic
Collection
Tours
Don’t miss an opportunity to see the Southeast’s premier
collections of mechanical music. This is a once-in-a-lifetime
chance to see and hear these marvelous instruments, live and
in person. These are each “must see” collections.
The JANCKO Collections
Joel and Pam Jancko’s “Backyard Museum” features a group
of buildings each with a magical display of Americana from
the Civil War through WWI. The Barn is where you will see
and hear a wide variety of automatic musical instruments,
including an Imhof & Mukle, Seeburg H, Wurlitzer CX, Double
Mills Violano, Cremona K, Weber Unica, Encore Banjo, Model
B Harp, Bruder band organ, Limonaire band organ, Bruder
monkey organ, American Photo Player and classic Mortier, as
well as a variety of cylinder and disc music boxes, organettes
and phonographs. Also walk through a service station, fire
station, bicycle shop, and cinema. In the Annex you will see
rare military artifacts (including a working Gatling gun) and
an authentic log cabin, general store, 1910 soda fountain,
game room and saloon. Outside, explore the fort. Listen to a
performance on the crown jewel of the collection – the OPUS
1616, a 3/23 Wurlitzer Theater Organ, installed in the newly
constructed dance hall.
The EDGERTON Collection
Bill Edgerton’s collection has it all -big and small. It includes
four fairground organs (Gavioli, Bruder, Limonaire and
Gasparini), a large Decap, an Ampico A piano with some
unusual music choices, several special cylinder and disc
boxes, barrel pianos and barrel organs, an Orpheus disc-play-
ing piano, a Piano Melodico (one of the most ornate 65-note
Amazing instruments! Workshops! The Mart!
Entertainment! Ice Cream Social!
International experts! Local “open houses”
This is going to be a
GREAT convention!
Aug. 30 Sept.
4, 2021
pianos ever made), and the 1876 Dufner Barrel orchestrion with
nine barrels that is one of only three known Dufner instruments.
Also see and hear his replica Seeburg KT Special nickelodeon,
one of about 60 he manufactured in the 1980s! Tour his work-
shop and a display of mechanical music, automata and opera
posters. You must see his framed artwork that smiles at you….
then it doesn’t!
The YAFFE Collection
Find a comfortable couch and enjoy Mark and Christel Ya§e’s
beautifully-appointed venue while listening to their large and
varied group of instruments, including the earliest known
Francois Nicole overture music box plus Falcone, Reymond
Nicole, F Nicole and Nicole grand format overture boxes.
Single overture boxes by Ducommon Girod, Mertert, and
Nicole and a Captains table interchangeable overture cylinder
box with 12 cylinders are on the menu. See rare and unique
automata – a drunk on the bench, a Cambodian dancer (one of
two known), a life size flute player, a Japanese mask seller and
an acrobat. Don’t forget the organs, an 84-key Mortier cafe,
112-key Mortier dance organ, 121-key DeCap dance organ plus
European orchestrions (Marenghi orchestrion, Welte style 3 in
custom case, Weber Otero, Weber violano, Weber Unika,
Popper Roland, Hupfeld universe with moving scene, Hupfeld
Helios 1/31, Phillips Paganini 3 Orchestrion), custom art case
pianos (Kanabe, Mason Hamlin and Chickering); the latest
known Hupfeld Phonolizt Violina; American nickelodeons
(Mills double violano in custom Gothic case, Encore original
(not repo) banjo, Wurlitzer, Violano, Seeburg J with bird pipes,
Nelson Wiggins 6x and 8x, Cremona J and G, Link with endless
roll). And much more!
Registration forms for this meeting will be
in the May/June issue of Mechanical Music.
Fort Myers, Florida
We’re getting our vaccine shots.
We’ve made our plans.
It’s time to make yours!
Fantastic
Collection
Tours
Don’t miss an opportunity to see the Southeast’s premier
collections of mechanical music. This is a once-in-a-lifetime
chance to see and hear these marvelous instruments, live and
in person. These are each “must see” collections.
The JANCKO Collections
Joel and Pam Jancko’s “Backyard Museum” features a group
of buildings each with a magical display of Americana from
the Civil War through WWI. The Barn is where you will see
and hear a wide variety of automatic musical instruments,
including an Imhof & Mukle, Seeburg H, Wurlitzer CX, Double
Mills Violano, Cremona K, Weber Unica, Encore Banjo, Model
B Harp, Bruder band organ, Limonaire band organ, Bruder
monkey organ, American Photo Player and classic Mortier, as
well as a variety of cylinder and disc music boxes, organettes
and phonographs. Also walk through a service station, fire
station, bicycle shop, and cinema. In the Annex you will see
rare military artifacts (including a working Gatling gun) and
an authentic log cabin, general store, 1910 soda fountain,
game room and saloon. Outside, explore the fort. Listen to a
performance on the crown jewel of the collection – the OPUS
1616, a 3/23 Wurlitzer Theater Organ, installed in the newly
constructed dance hall.
The EDGERTON Collection
Bill Edgerton’s collection has it all -big and small. It includes
four fairground organs (Gavioli, Bruder, Limonaire and
Gasparini), a large Decap, an Ampico A piano with some
unusual music choices, several special cylinder and disc
boxes, barrel pianos and barrel organs, an Orpheus disc-play-
ing piano, a Piano Melodico (one of the most ornate 65-note
Amazing instruments! Workshops! The Mart!
Entertainment! Ice Cream Social!
International experts! Local “open houses”
This is going to be a
GREAT convention!
Aug. 30 Sept.
4, 2021
pianos ever made), and the 1876 Dufner Barrel orchestrion with
nine barrels that is one of only three known Dufner instruments.
Also see and hear his replica Seeburg KT Special nickelodeon,
one of about 60 he manufactured in the 1980s! Tour his work-
shop and a display of mechanical music, automata and opera
posters. You must see his framed artwork that smiles at you….
then it doesn’t!
The YAFFE Collection
Find a comfortable couch and enjoy Mark and Christel Ya§e’s
beautifully-appointed venue while listening to their large and
varied group of instruments, including the earliest known
Francois Nicole overture music box plus Falcone, Reymond
Nicole, F Nicole and Nicole grand format overture boxes.
Single overture boxes by Ducommon Girod, Mertert, and
Nicole and a Captains table interchangeable overture cylinder
box with 12 cylinders are on the menu. See rare and unique
automata – a drunk on the bench, a Cambodian dancer (one of
two known), a life size flute player, a Japanese mask seller and
an acrobat. Don’t forget the organs, an 84-key Mortier cafe,
112-key Mortier dance organ, 121-key DeCap dance organ plus
European orchestrions (Marenghi orchestrion, Welte style 3 in
custom case, Weber Otero, Weber violano, Weber Unika,
Popper Roland, Hupfeld universe with moving scene, Hupfeld
Helios 1/31, Phillips Paganini 3 Orchestrion), custom art case
pianos (Kanabe, Mason Hamlin and Chickering); the latest
known Hupfeld Phonolizt Violina; American nickelodeons
(Mills double violano in custom Gothic case, Encore original
(not repo) banjo, Wurlitzer, Violano, Seeburg J with bird pipes,
Nelson Wiggins 6x and 8x, Cremona J and G, Link with endless
roll). And much more!
Registration forms for this meeting will be
in the May/June issue of Mechanical Music.
Fort Myers, Florida

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.comAdvertise 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
March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 59

B. A. Bremond
8 tune Organ Box with
16 ¼” x 2 5/8” cylinder.
Burl case, restored.
Beautiful balance between the organ
and combs, with mostly classical tunes.
Excellent tune arrangements!
…Over 30 Organettes, including FOUR GRAND ROLLER ORGANS, 24 note
Amorette; Clarionas, Celestinas, a 20 note Symphonia; a 16 note Musette; Gem
Home and Concert and Organetta Expressive cob organettes; Ariston, Ariosa;
Tournaphone; and many more! Some restored, some needing bellows work.
Call me!
Nancy Fratti Music Boxes
P.O. Box 400 – Canastota, NY 13032 USA
315-684-9977 — musicbox@frontiernet.net
www.nancyfrattimusicboxes.com

T hank You…from Stanton’s Auctioneers
Columbia K “Bell Tainter” cylinder
phonograph – $7,200.00

Edison Ideal cylinder phonograph $
12,650

Early Berliner

“funnel type”

horn

$3,300

As everyone is aware, 2020 was an unusual, stressful and obviously an
interesting year. Even dealing with the postponements, virus, cancellations
and other factors, we would like to thank everyone for their business and
continued support.

2020 began in the music machine world with the auction liquidating the
excellent collection of the Nick Monios Estate from Long Beach, California in
March. As the virus progressed, we found ourselves postponing the Andrew
Ellis Collection Auction in August. That collection, being one of the best
groups of music boxes, and phonographs from a private collection including
a Multiphone, Automatic Changers, Music Box Clocks, Bell & Cuff Boxes, and
so much more, is in the process of being rescheduled at this time. Continue
to watch our website for additional information on that sale.

Even with the factors that 2020 presented, Stanton’s conducted over 150
auctions of all types throughout the year with sales of estates, collections,
real estate offerings, machinery and more. We are looking forward to 2021
as another excellent year, continuing with the strong market results that we
experienced in the previous months.

Our January 14, 15, and 16 sale, just completed, saw participation by onsite
and online buyers from all over the United States, Canada, England, Ireland,
Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Australia and Qatar. The sale
generated nearly $750,000.00 in sales liquidating machines and collections
from 8 states and Canada.

Many of you know us for our onsite and estate auctions, some for our large
specialized sales of phonographs and music boxes, others have seen us
selling antique automobiles, coin operated machines, gas engines… maybe
you have attended our monthly firearm and military auctions, participated
in our petroliana, advertising and country store auctions, or possibly you
have been one of the bidders or even sellers in one of the specialized sales

Multiphone, scheduled to sell

Haydn model Eroica –
Scheduled to sell in 2021

of Art Glass, Lamps, Pottery or auctions of antique furniture. Whatever your
involvement has been, we want to thank you for working with us during this
past year, and permitting our firm to continue to grow and carry on what was
started 67 years ago, when William J. Stanton founded the business. 2021
represents Steve Stanton’s 51st year in the business. Our firm has conducted
over 8,500 individual auctions during this time and continue to market all

Regina Style

types of quality items throughout the state and around the country…

44 – 20-3/4”

traveling from Coast to Coast working with sellers.

console

If you have collections, or items, that you are interested in selling, contact us

music box

to discuss our complete service. Referrals and pickup are available.

$9,625

Edison Nickelplated Triumph in
Hawthorne & Sheble Cabinet – $19,800

One of the many music boxes
scheduled to sell this year

Victor VI phonograph with
mahogany spear tip horn – $4,600

Porcelain Victor Record
Advertising Sign – $2,400

Seeburg K Nickelodeon –
Schedule to sell in 2021

Stanton’s Auctioneers,
Appraisers, & Realtors

144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146
Vermontville, MI 49096
Phone: (517) 726-0181
Fax: (517) 726-0060
E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net
Website: www.stantons-auctions.com

AUCTIONEERS & REALTORSSTANTON’S
Steven E. Stanton

(517) 331-8150 cellular
E-mail – stevenEstanton@gmail.com

Michael C. Bleisch

(517) 231-0868 cellular
E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com

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:

THE MART

FOR SALE
WURLITZER 190 B THEATER ORGAN with
piano attached. Many capabilities. $15,000
OBO. AMERICAN-BUILT SCOPITONES with
several extra films available. Two for $1,500
or one for $1,000, OBO. SEEBURG JUKEBOX
with records and wall box. $750 OBO. DUO
ART STROUD PIANO, restored. $750 OBO.
BUSH AND LANE grand reproducing piano.
Player action needs restoration. $500 OBO.
Deacon Chimes. $350 OBO. Several hundred
plus piano rolls, all types. One accordion
setup that ties into theatre organ or similar
device. $300 OBO. Contact JON CARPENTER
joncarol54@gmail.com

CIRCA 1990s Reuge musical movements
never used, in original packaging, pristine
condition: two 4/50 (45008 & 45079); one
3/72 (37213); and one 3/144 (314403)..
Contact DAVID CROTHERS, at dwcboxes@
me.com or 267-280-2376

MARY POLLOCK ESTATE Mechanical Music

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
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instruments and related items and
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• MBSI member’s name must
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rates listed plus a 10% surcharge
PLEASE NOTE:

The first two words (or more
at your choice) and the member’s
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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.

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

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:
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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.

Each One
Reach One
New Member
SUBMIT ADS TO:

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

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

at Auction. Automaton: Two seated articulated
dolls porcelain heads. Manivelle movement
Polyphon Style 65a Coin-Op 15½ “ Disc
Music Box. Restored Regina Style 14 15 ½
Disc Music Box. Original Mason & Wendell
Ampico A Upright Reproducing Piano. Older
restoration Stroud Duo-Art Upright Reproducing
Piano. Older restoration Discs, Piano
Rolls, Roller Organ, Manivelles, small music
boxes, ephemera Music Boxes sell on 13 Mar
2021, Pianos sell on 17 Apr 2021. Contact
PHIL THOMPSON, Auctioneer at 937-6060588
Auctionzip #5640

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

WANTED
COINOLA “X” or C-2. Also Regina 216 music
box with bells. Contact DON KROENLEIN, at
fbac@one-eleven.net or (217) 620-8650

WANTED
Display Advertisers

LOWREY OR HAMMOND ORGAN that plays
piano rolls or the player part, working or not.
These were made in the early 1980s. Contact
LES BEEBE, at (609) 654-2789.

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
3………. Renaissance Antiques
51…….. Stanton Auctions
52…….. Music Box Restorations
52…….. Miller Organ Clock
53…….. Morphy Auctions
54…….. Dreamfactory
54…….. Al Alicante
55…….. Miller and Miller Auctions
56…….. MBSGB
56…….. American Treasure Tour
57…….. Porter Music Box Company
58…….. Southeast Chapter
59…….. Reeder Pianos
59…….. Cottone Auctions
59…….. Ben’s Player Piano Service
60…….. Nancy Fratti Music Boxes
61…….. Stanton Auctions
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.

Fill out the form below and mail to MBSI at 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA
93449. Call (253) 228-1634 with questions.

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
March/April 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 63

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
kozak@seldenfox.com

TRUSTEES

Dave Calendine
Bob Caletti
Ed Cooley
Dave Corkrum

G.Wayne Finger
Matt Jaro
Tom Kuehn
Mary Ellen Myers
Clay Witt
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

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
Richard Simpson, East Coast

Museum Sub-Committees

Ohio Operations
Emery Prior

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.

64 MECHANICAL MUSIC March/April 2021

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event Location Sponsor
Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting Ft. Myers, FL Southeast Chapter

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know!
Send in your information by Apr. 1, 2021 for the May/June 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

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 Pro Tem: Sachiya Sasaki
Vice Chair Pro Tem: Naoki Shibata

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

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

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

March/April 2021 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
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CLASSIFIED ADS
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• Format: See ads for style
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Mechanical Music at its Best

Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

Mechmusic.com
11’ tall
Welte 4 Concert Violina Orchestra Hupfeld Helios II/25 Welte Brisgovia C Luxus

Schoenstein Pipes
Lösche “Angeles” Violin Pipes & Xylophone Wurlitzer CX with Bells

Jaeger Brommer
42’er Violinopan 20’er Automaton
45’er Niemuth
Bacigalupo Visit: Mechmusic.com Mills Bowfront Violano
Call Marty Persky at 847-675-6144 or Email: Marty@Mechmusic.com
for further information on these and other fine instruments.

…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)
(Bank draft, cash or by Credit Card with CVV and expiry date: MasterCard/Visa/AmEx)
☛ Consignments are welcome at any time! ☛
– The Specialists in »Technical Antiques« –
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 · Australia & New Zealand: P. Bardenheier, (NZ), Tel./Fax (+64) (0)9 817 72 68 * dbarden@orcon.net.nz
Eckhardt’s Patent Musical Revolving
Christmas Tree Stand
with Angel Chimes, c. 1905
Estimate:  700 – 1.000 /
US$ 850 – 1,200
Symphonion
Coin-Operated
Gramophone, c. 1910
Estimate:
 2.000 – 3.000 /
US$ 2,400 – 3,600
“Wilhelm Bruder Model 64”
Fairground Organ, c. 1925
Estimate:  4.000 – 6.000 /
US$ 5,200 – 7,200
“Zonophone Type C”
Gramophone, c. 1900
Estimate:  1.200 – 1.800 /
US$ 1,400 – 2,200 Phonograph “Columbia Graphophone
Type N ‘Bijou’”, 1895 onwards
Estimate:  900 – 1.200 / US$ 1,100 – 1,500
“Aeolian Vocalian”
Chinoiserie Floor
Gramophone, c. 1920
Estimate:
 9.000 – 12.000 /
US$ 11,000 – 15,000
“Wurlitzer Jukebox Model
1080” (Colonial), 1947
With 24 Original Discs
Estimate:  7.000 – 10.000 /
US$ 8,400 – 12,000
“Regina Style 34”, c. 1903
Automatic Disc-Changing
Musical Box for 12 Discs.
Estimate:  22.000 – 25.000 /
US$ 25,000 – 30,000
World’s Leading Specialty Auctions
»Mechanical Music Instruments«
23/24 April 2021
Victor M Horn Gramophone,
c. 1905
Estimate: 1.500 – 2.000  /
US$ 1,800 – 2,400
Automaton Singing Bird Jardinière
by Blaise Bontems, c. 1890
Estimate: 8.000 – 12.000  /
US$ 9,500 – 14,000
Pathé Concert Model 5 Coin-
Operated Phonograph, c. 1912
Estimate:  7.000 – 9.000 /
US$ 8,500 – 11,000
Large Collection of 78 rpm records
by Caruso to Beatles, 1905 – 1963
Next closing date for entries: 5 March 2021

Volume 67, No. 1 January/February 2021

Mechanical Music

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

Volume 67, No. 1 January/February 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. 1 January/February 2021

MBSI NEWS
5 President’s Message
7 Editor’s Notes

48 In Memoriam

Chapter Reports

46 National Capital

Features

8 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro
16 Sacred music on cylinders
– Part 6
22 Portable phonographs
31 The Hunt
34 Farny Wurlitzer address
the ATOS
41 The Hooghuys, an organ
family legacy

MBSI has replanted 124 trees so far as
part of the Print ReLeaf program.

On the Cover
Rick Swaney introduces his collec-
tion of portable phonographs. Not
small enough for your pocket, of
course, but certainly more porta-
ble than an Edison Standard.
Page 22.
The Hunt

James Kracht recalls his trip to
New York to purchase one of his
most treasured cylinder music
boxes. Page 31.

January/February 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 January/February 2021

By Tom Kuehn

MBSI President

As we begin a new year, it is appropriate
to look back at some of the
changes and accomplishments made
in 2020 despite the tumultuous events
that have affected our daily lives.

The most significant event was, of
course, the emergence of the coronavirus
pandemic. That forced us to
change the mid-year trustees meeting
from an in-person session set for March
in Santa Ana, CA, to a hastily arranged
teleconference. Unfortunately for the
trustees as well as for the members of
the Southern California Chapter, the
planned collection tours and get-together
that would have been part of
that weekend’s meeting were canceled
and unable to be rescheduled.

We have now added multilingual
web pages and basic society documents
to MBSI.org to assist those who
are not native English speakers.

The musical instrument loan agreement
with the Musical Instrument
Museum in Phoenix, AZ, was extended
for another five years. This museum
hosts thousands of visitors each year
where the MBSI display helps to
inform and educate the public about
the wide range of mechanical musical
instruments crafted over the years.

The board held a special meeting
in May where it made the decision to
cancel the society’s annual meeting
that was planned for early September
2020. The board also made the

decision to use a mail ballot
for the election of officers
and trustees rather than the
in-person election that is
normally held at an annual
meeting.

We welcomed the new
Japan Chapter to the list of
society chapters.

The board met again in
September via teleconference,
replacing the meeting
usually held in the conference
hotel just prior to each
annual meeting.

A contract was negotiated
and signed with the San
Mateo Marriott San Francisco
Airport Hotel to hold
our annual meeting there
Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 2022, which
is a two-year postponement
of the canceled 2020 meeting.
The 2022 MBSI Annual
Meeting will be a joint
meeting with the Automatic
Musical Instrument Collectors’
Association (AMICA).
It will be hosted on behalf
of MBSI by the Golden Gate

Chapter.

The contract with our publisher, Iron
Dog Media, was renewed for another
three years so we will continue to
receive the excellent Mechanical
Music publication we have come to
expect. Thanks to everyone who
submitted articles for the rest of us to
enjoy.

I wish to thank all the members who
have volunteered their time and effort
to accomplish the tasks listed above
and many more who keep our society
vibrant in these exceedingly difficult
times. I wish all of you the best as we
embark on another year with its own
set of challenges and opportunities.

Welcome new members!
Fred Martin October 2020
Thousand Oaks, CA
Kirstin Canner Terry Dieterich & Nancy Carrao
Harleysville, PA Beaver Dam, WI
Sponsor: Sally Craig
Rex Schell November 2020
Gresham, OR
Jack & Kim Thornburg Sponsor: William Wineburgh
Fredericksburg, VA Peter Beda
Brent Johnson Whiting, IN
Hagerstown, MD
Grace He
Plymouth, MN
Sponsor: Thomas Kuehn
Angie & Chris Hougen
Bell Canyon, CA
Tom & Louise Tolworthy
Granville, NY
William & Cynthia Chapman
West Point, NY



★★
®
(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
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.
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
Sponsor
Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-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.


★★
®
(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
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.
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
Sponsor
Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-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.

Editor’s Notes

By Russell Kasselman

MBSI Editor/Publisher

The personal interplanetary rocket
ship I ordered back in 1985 still has

not been delivered and I cannot seem
to calibrate my time machine correctly
in order to go back and prevent myself
from making that overly large deposit
now that I’m confident the manufacturer
will never actually build the
thing. This is 2021, right? Where is all
my cool stuff?

I often wonder what the folks living
at the time when music boxes were
the height of technology might think
of all the advancements in today’s
world that I find myself too frequently
taking for granted. I guess that’s what
makes it so great to be part of a society
where I can get a regular reminder
that human imagination has really
never known a boundary that could

not be breached (eventually).

Once again, many members have
contributed to making this an issue
full of engaging content for you to
enjoy while either stuck at home
waiting for a coronavirus vaccine or
simply just hoping the ice will melt so
you can get to the grocery store.

Matt Jaro takes us to California to
the home of Sandy Swirsky and Lyle
Merithew for a tour of their fabulous
collection. Then David Worrall wraps
up his series of articles on sacred
music pinned to cylinder boxes,
providing new information not yet
published elsewhere. Rick Swaney
introduces his collection of portable
phonographs with some wonderful
photos and descriptions that might get
you surfing eBay almost immediately.

James Kracht takes us down
memory lane for our recurring feature
called The Hunt. He recalls his trip

MAILING ADDRESS

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

EMAIL ADDRESS

editor@mbsi.org

PHONE

(253) 228-1634

to New York City to purchase an
outstanding Mermod Frêres cylinder
box and built a long-term friendship in
the process.

A sincere thank you goes to the
American Theatre Organ Society for
granting us permission to reprint
a speech by Farny Wurlitzer that
contains many details of the history
of the company behind the organs we
are all so familiar with. Part 1 is in this
issue with Part 2 set for next issue.

Dr. Robert Penna then rounds us out
with solidly-researched history of the
Hooghuys family of organ builders I’m
sure you will enjoy.

Still stuck inside? Try writing an
article and send it in! We’d love to read
it.

Are people having trouble finding you?
Make sure your information is up
to date in the MBSI online directory.
Go to mbsi.org/update-membership-information/
or scan the QR code below to update your address
phone, website and other information.
NEW ADDRESSES TO NOTE:
Steve Greatrex
Foxlea Cottage, The Street
Lea, Malmesbury, Wiltshire
SN16 9PG United Kingdom
Tim Trager’s correct email address is:
gavioli110@gmail.com
MECHANICAL MUSICJournal of the Musical Box Society InternationalDevoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 66, No. 6 November/December 2020Correction
The image on the cover of the
November/December 2020 edition
of Mechanical Music was iden-
tified incorrectly. The image on
the cover shows a Regina Style 67
music box from the collection of
Harold Wade.
January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro & Lyle Merithew

For this edition of Nickel Notes we
have a first: a profile of a West Coast
member. In the past I would select
people that lived within a reasonable
drive from my house in Maryland, but
this time, the topic of the article is
Sandy Swirsky and Lyle Merithew in
San Jose, CA. Lyle and Sandy are, of
course, the membership secretaries
for the Automatic Musical Instrument
Collectors’ Association (AMICA).
They are also very active in MBSI,
being the co-chairs of the 2022 joint
MBSI-AMICA annual meeting to be
held in the San Francisco, CA, area.
They give a great deal of their time to
both organizations and it’s only fitting
that we learn more about them and
their wonderful collection. Because
of the distance involved, I offered to
interview Lyle over the phone, but
he graciously volunteered to write a
document about his life and collection.
In the interests of space and flow,
I have edited the text, but the words
are mostly Lyle’s.

Early Life

I believe my first encounter with an
automated musical instrument was at
the house of the woman who “baby
sat” me for the first several years of my
life. She had a cylinder music box with
bells and, though I don’t remember
hearing it until much later, I assume
she played it for me as soon as I was
able to listen to it.

When I was probably 5 or 6 years
old I got a wind-up phonograph that
I listened to a lot until my nephew
(a year younger than I) over-wound
it and broke the spring. I remember
making a cardboard model of a phonograph
after the real one was broken

(nerdiness starts early) and a few
years later got a radio-phonograph
combination.

Like most of the collectors I talked
with who grew up in the Los Angeles,
CA, area, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry
Farm loom large in understanding my
interest in mechanical music. Disneyland
opened when I was 9 years old.
Living in Long Beach, CA, about half
an hour from Disneyland, we went to
the amusement park occasionally. I’m
not exactly sure when the player piano
shop opened on Disney’s Main Street
but it instantly became a hit with me.

The room I’m writing this in is
decorated with four album covers,
Disneyland’s Life of the Party volumes
one and two, Jack Shaindlan’s Silent
Movie Music and Knuckles’ O’Toole
Goes to Paris all of which I bought

as a child. Then there was possibly
the biggest musical automaton in the
world, the Enchanted Tiki Room,
which has always been my favorite
attraction at Disneyland.

Even though we visited Knott’s
Berry Farm a lot from an early age, I
don’t remember paying much attention
to the coin operated pianos until I
was in high school – particularly after
I got my driver’s license in my junior
year and was able to go there myself.

I do remember that some time
during my high school years a friend
of my parents bought an old pumper
and rebuilt it by replacing the tubing.
We went over and saw it and I wanted
one but my parents weren’t interested.

My main introduction to the wider
world of music was at the home of
a woman who lived alone in a small

Sandy Swirsky and Lyle Merithew with their Seeburg G, which was originally part of
Dave Ramey Sr.’s collection

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

A Marshall and Wendell Ampico in Sandy and Lyle’s home. Note the Regina style 35 changer in the background.

house down the block from us. Her
son worked for RCA in the record division
and sent her pretty much every
78-rpm album that they put out. She
had shelves of albums and, from an
early age, I would spend an afternoon
listing while she played them. I believe
that my first foray into classical music
was an album titled “Peer Gynt and
the Trolls,” narrated by Milton Cross.
It told a story with music from the
suites in the background.

College and Early Career

By the time I went off to college I
was hooked on mechanical music in
various forms. I attended Cal Tech
(California Institute of Technology
in Pasadena, CA) for two years and
then transferred to Pomona College in
Claremont, CA. After some graduate
work I applied to IBM and got a job

starting in March, 1968, as a customer
engineer repairing computers in Los
Angeles.

Improvements in hardware diagnostic
software meant that fewer
hardware customer engineers were
needed. The IBM labs were generating
a lot of software and needed programmers.
Most of the programmers were
told they had to transfer to the labs
to keep their jobs (back when IBM
didn’t lay people off) and many of the
hardware customer engineers were
“promoted” to fixing the software.
I transferred to San Jose, CA, and
became a software tester. I later
switched to development.

In 1976 I had two boys and was
divorced with joint custody. I had
purchased the house Sandy and I are
living in now, a 1,400 square foot home
near where my ex-wife and I had been

living, so my boys would be able to
keep their neighborhood friends.

Meanwhile, Sandy, who is two years
younger than I, had also grown up in
the Los Angeles area, gone to junior
college and the University of Southern
California. She spent several years in
Atlanta getting two master’s degrees
and teaching. She moved back to California
in 1976 to teach and found a job
in San Jose. We met at a singles group
Halloween party. Sandy and I immediately
hit it off. She didn’t have an
interest in mechanical music but she
had managed to pick up an interest in
carousels somewhere.

After a few years my ex-wife got
married again and Sandy moved in
with me, I believe the same weekend.
In summer of 1981 we were completing
the first addition to our house and
decided that we should get married

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

The roll-storage room, an 8-foot-wide-by-23-foot-long room added on to the house.

and have a child. Sandy had been a
good step-mother to the two boys but
we wanted a child of our own. In April
of 1982 our daughter, Rachel, was
born.

The Collection Begins

Somewhere along the line Sandy
had started to refinish an old upright
piano that we had purchased for our
oldest son to practice on. It needed
some ivories and ebonies replaced
and Sandy started calling around
to piano technicians trying to find
someone who would sell her ivories
and ebonies. Most had none, but Jack
Gustafson, who lived a couple of
miles from us, said he had ivories he
had replaced with plastic and some
ebonies. Sandy went over to his house

to pick them up and he showed her
the theater organ he had in his music
room. She had no idea there were
people who would put a theater organ
in their house. He also was selling a
player piano he had rebuilt.

Soon after our daughter was born,
we purchased the pumper (which is
now in our music room) and it arrived
in July with about 12 rolls. I was really
interested in the piano, not the music.
At the time, rolls seemed expensive so
Sandy and our daughter would have to
sit in the music store while I listened
to many rolls deciding which to buy. At
this point the pumper was mostly my
toy. Later our house would be full of
rolls as my interest in the music grew.
Sandy liked the piano, but she wanted
a carousel horse. It was considered

bad form to encourage the breaking
up of carousels to sell the horses
individually. We contemplated buying
a new horse but never found one we
both liked and felt we could afford.

We joined AMICA but didn’t really
participate in the local chapter at first.
About five years later we purchased
a Marshall & Wendell baby grand
AMPICO A from Jack which he had
partially rebuilt. It had spent its entire
life in San Jose and is now in our living
room. I attended AMICA’s 25th anniversary
convention in San Francisco
(1988) by commuting from home. I
remember several things about the
convention. There was a presentation
of Conlin Nancarro’s music, a Mills
Violano for sale at what would seem a
few years later a very reasonable price
and, on Sunday, a house tour that both
Sandy and I went to. The host had a
relatively small living room full of
three grand pianos and a couch. That
seemed like a lot of pianos for one
house. Little did we know…

Expansion

Now with two pianos, we were
having some trouble figuring out
where to keep the rolls. In 1991 we
added a “roll closet” onto the house.
It is 8 feet wide by 23 feet long. We
haven’t managed to fill it with rolls
(but we have filled it with other stuff).
We have managed to fill shelves 17
feet long by 8 feet high with rolls. This
doesn’t count the organ rolls which
are in the family room with the organ
and the Phonoliszt rolls which are in
the music room.

Over the next couple of years we
picked up a Western Electric Mascot
from Alan Erb. It was a simple coin
piano with just a piano and mandolin.
One of the things that appealed to
us was that instead of doors on the
bottom, it had a glass panel so you
could see the pump and motor. Alan
said that he had heard that it had been
in the Wells Fargo collection. We also
bought from Alan, at Sandy’s insistence,
a Stella disk box in a simple oak
case that played 151/5-inch disks. We
took it home and put it on an oak table
and were unimpressed. I made a pine
table that fit over the oak table (since
we had no place to store the oak table)

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

and that greatly improved the sound.
It is still on the same pine table in our
living room. John MottoRos sold us
a 1946 RockOla jukebox which is in
our family room. Later, John sold us
a Seeburg Audiophone jukebox that
was made in 1929.

AMICA

In 2000 we volunteered to help organize
and put on the AMICA convention
in Sacramento, CA. This was my
second convention and Sandy’s first.
We attended the 2003 convention
in Portland, OR, as well. The next
convention we attended, 2006 in
Chicago, IL, had a very big effect on
our collecting.

One of the tours at the Chicago
convention was to the house of Jim
and Sherrie Krughoff. While I was
drooling over the orchestrions, Sandy
found a Regina style 35 changer in a
room near the kitchen. After asking
one of the docents to play it several
times, she found me and had me come
and see it. One of the following tours
was to the house/workshop of Al
Choffnes. He had a Regina style 35
changer with clock and stained glass
for sale. As soon as we got home from
the convention, we purchased it and
put it in our living room.

One of the open houses scheduled
for the convention was the home of
Dave and Lavina Ramey. Dave had
passed away on the prior Friday and
we arrived to a combination convention
open house and an open house
where people were paying respects
to Lavina and their children. While we
were there we saw several instruments
including a Banjo-Orchestra that Dave
had built and a Seeburg G that Dave
had built up from a cabinet. He had
purchased it with only the piano in it.

The Celestina

In early 2007 we made possibly
the strangest purchase we have ever
made. We received an email saying
that a local collector was going to die
soon and that he was trying to sell
some of his collection. We went to
his house and found out that he had
terminal cancer and was planning to
discontinue his medications in about
a week. He and his wife had owned

A 1946 RockOla Jukebox sold to Sandy and Lyle by John MottoRos.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

an antique store in New Orleans, LA,
and had moved to California (before
Hurricane Katrina) with a great deal
of their stuff. We purchased a 20-note
Mechanical Orguinette Co. Celestina
and a vase from him. I don’t remember
how much we paid for them but I
do remember that we didn’t feel like
haggling over the price.

The Raffin Organ

In 2007, the AMICA “convention”
was a tour of mechanical music-related
places in Holland and Germany.
We visited three workshops in
Germany that made small organs suitable
for taking to organ rallies. The
one we found most interesting was the
Raffin organ workshop in Überlingen.
We decided we wanted to buy one. By
the time we got home, the exchange
rate had shifted so that it was not in
our favor so we put the purchase off.
About a year later the exchange rate
was improving to our benefit so we
contacted the Raffin representative
in the U.S. He sent us a CD of case
styles and some CDs of rolls available
from the company. Sandy wanted an
inlaid case but Raffin didn’t have any
in stock and they would have had to
buy a dozen of the panels from their
supplier so the inlaid case was out.
Sandy, our daughter, our son-in-law
and I each looked at the case selection
and selected the same case. We
ordered it and paid for it on the day
before the presidential election in
2008. Because the woman that painted
this particular case was ill, it wasn’t
sent to the U.S. until March. It arrived
at the San Francisco airport in the
middle of a series of rain storms. I
found what appeared to be a break in
the rain a few days later and a friend
from work and I went up to the airport
and picked it up. When we got to our
house Sandy was still at school so we
set it up and my work friend and I tried
it out. It had survived shipping and a
little rain on the way home. We have
taken it to one or two rallies a year
and I have even arranged a couple of
rolls to play.

Additional Acquisitions

In 2009 when Lavina Ramey put
several items up for sale, we purchased

The Raffin Organ that survived a trip from Europe and a rain storm in San Francisco
to become a treasured part of Sandy and Lyle’s collection.

the Seeburg G we had seen nine years
earlier. David (Jr.) had moved to Ohio
and the Seeburg G was at his shop.
David wanted to do some work on it
before sending it to us. That summer
we were visiting our oldest son, who
lives in Dayton, OH, (about an hour
and a half from David’s) so we went
over to talk to him about the machine
we were buying. As we were leaving,
he gave us three CDs of recordings of
the Banjo-Orchestra.

In the spring of 2011 Sandy’s mother
passed away in Southern California.
While driving down to meet her brother
and sisters to close up the house and
get it ready for sale, we were listening

to the Banjo-Orchestra CDs that David
Ramey had given us more than a year
earlier. Sandy suggested we could use
the inheritance from her mother to
purchase one. We contacted David
and found out that Richard Reutlinger
had also decided to purchase one.
David agreed to bring them out here
without charging for shipping if he
could display one of them at the MBSI
convention in San Francisco in 2012.
He and Richard decided to display his
so David delivered and set up ours a
couple of days before the convention.
While he was at our house he also did
some work on the Seeburg G. Both our
Seeburg G and the Banjo-Orchestra

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

The Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina that spent a few years without the top crest in order to make it fit in Sandy and Lyle’s living room

which only had 8-foot-high ceilings.

were on display at the San Francisco
AMICA convention in 2013.

In fall of 2013 Sandy finally got her
carousel horse. It is a Charles Carmel
carved between 1905 and 1920.

The Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina

At various open houses and on the
trip to Germany we had seen an assortment
of Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violinas.
We were both, needless to say, very
impressed with them. The National

Carousel Association convention
in 2012 went to see the carousel at
Jasper and Marian SanFilippo’s house
in Illinois. While we were wandering
around in the American instrument
section of the main house (which we
hadn’t gotten to spend much time in
on a previous visit), we encountered
Jerry Biasella. Somehow the conversation
got to Phonoliszt-Violinas
and Jerry said that Tim Trager had
a couple for sale. After considering

it for a while we decided that we
might be able to manage to purchase
one. We would need to again add on
to the house because we didn’t have
any place to put another instrument.
Also, the Phonoliszt is a bit taller than
8 feet high and our 1970s tract house
didn’t have any room tall enough for
it. We contacted Tim and decided that
a reproduction was within our budget
(or less out of our budget than an original).
We bought the Phonoliszt and

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

Sandy and Lyle’s Seeburg G sits just inside their front door.

the subscription
to 200 recuts that
the current owner
had committed to.
We had started the
process of adding
on to the house
when we agreed
to purchase the
Phonoliszt, but
the construction
permitting process
had gotten much
more difficult in
the years since our
last addition. The
Phonoliszt arrived
before the work
had really started
and so it was placed
in our living room,
and the couch it
displaced was set in
front of the sliding
glass door that was
scheduled to be
removed to allow
access to the music
room. The living

room has an 8-foot
ceiling and the Phonoliszt just fit (with
a quarter of an inch to spare) but we
had to remove the top piece with the
Hupfeld name on it.

When the music room was finally
finished and the time came to move
the Phonoliszt to its new location we
realized the opening between the two
rooms is only 6-feet-8-inches tall. After
some discussion, and even though
they lived more than two hours away,
we decided to hire the movers that had
helped us transport our Banjo-Orchestra
and Seeburg G to the 2013 AMICA
convention. We had seen how careful
they were with our machines and
were confident they could do the job
well. We told them that they needed
four movers for the job. When they
arrived to move the Phonoliszt, they
commented that four people seemed
to be more than was necessary. After

removing the violin from the top of the
piano (without being able to tilt it at
all in the living room), they agreed that
four was the correct number.

Many Happy Returns

All of the pianos in our home are
placed where we can hear them from
our bedroom and we often listen to
them as we are getting ready for bed. I
still can’t bring myself to listen to the
Phonoliszt when I can’t watch it, since
I really enjoy seeing the violins move
and the bow change speed.

We do have hobbies other than
mechanical music and carousels.
Sandy is active in the Woman’s Club of
San Jose and the local Quilting Guild.
We both square dance an average of
four nights a week.

Sandy and Lyle can be reached at
sswirsky@sbcglobal.net

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 2015 issue of
The AMICA Bulletin.

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

The new music room (note the raised ceiling)
with the Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina, Ramey Banjo-
Orchestra and upright pumper piano taking up one full wall.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

Sacred Music On
Cylinder Musical Boxes

Part 6: Corrigenda, Addenda and Final Thoughts.

By David Worrall

In Part 3 of this series of articles
on Sacred Music, titled “Hymns,” I
referred to Bremond serial No. 19710
which posed something of an enigma
at the time of writing. Research has
since resolved this and we now know
that the words on the tune sheet are
biblical texts, not those from hymns.
Also, the hymn numbers on the tune
sheet relate to a Society for the
Promotion of Christian Knowledge
(SPCK) publication called “Church
Hymns. Published under the direction
of the Tract Committee.” A words-only
edition is all that is available.

Some editions of hymn books
include a biblical text either as the
source that inspired the hymn writer
in the first instance or to reflect the
sentiments expressed in the verses.
Placed as these were, in the centre
and immediately above the words
or musical score of the hymn, those

unfamiliar with this practice could
easily take them as a hymn title,
which they most definitely were not.
The appearance of these texts on this
particular tune sheet is like that.

Subsequent restoration and recording
of the musical programme has
enabled five of the six tunes to be
identified. They are all as familiar
today as they were in 1881-1882, the
time serial No. 19710 was made. The
sixth tune remains to be identified. As
for the words of the hymns to which
the numbers on the tune sheet refer,
only three are in use today. So, what
appeared at first to be a music box
with an unusual and perhaps unique
musical programme has turned out
to be just another standard sacred air
music box playing a programme of
familiar hymn tunes hidden behind a
screen of biblical texts! None of this
should be allowed to detract in any

Fig. 11: Bremond serial No. 19710 tune sheet with the “unusual” tune titles
referred to in the text.

Thoughts and
Background Notes

This series of articles was first
published in 2017-2018 in The
Music Box, the Journal of The Musical
Box Society of Great Britain. It
arose from research prompted by
the extracts from Mechanical Music
Digest (www.mmdigest.com). Originally,
it was intended to be short and
so was published in a single edition
of The Music Box. As the research
progressed, however, the scope
gradually increased to the extent
that necessitated publication in five
parts, each part being explained in
the text of the article itself.

These articles are now being
republished in Mechanical Music
with all changes necessitated by this
new material as of November 2020.

Throughout this article, the term
“sacred” is used entirely with reference
to the Christian faith and then
in relation to the music identified
and referred to herein.

Parts 1 to 4 gave the background
to the article, defined sacred music,
gave overall statistical details of its
extent on cylinder musical boxes and
discussed results from the analysis
of classical sacred music, hymns,
evangelical and gospel songs. Part 5
discussed some hybrid, interchangeable
and unusual programmes.

Whilst this series has been
running, new information has come
to light that either corrects or extends
what has gone before in Parts 1-5.

It is thought appropriate, therefore
to add Part 6 to the series to cover
such material.

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

way from the quality of serial No. 19710 and the attractive Table 16 below.
arrangements it plays. As restored, it is an excellent exam2.
The hymn numbers are in the same hand and ink
ple of its type and one for which the soubriquet “Hymn as the texts. This is unusual as, when present, this
Box,” so beloved by some in our interest for anything with feature is usually in a different ink and hand, the
sacred airs, can be truly applied. hymn numbers having been added sometime after
The Tune Sheet for Bremond serial No. 19710 is now at purchase by an owner. For Bremond serial No.
Fig 11. Table 16 summarises the information discussed 19710, however, being in the same hand and ink
above. There are two further points of interest to note surely means that the source was in the author’s
about the tune sheet: hand when the tune sheet was drafted for the script
1. The words on this copy bring to light a number of writer or when the script itself was written.
errors in Part 3 of my series. The corrections are in

Air
Tune Sheet Detail –
With Corrections
Highlighted.
Biblical Source – Authorised
Version
First Line of
Hymn in SPCK
“Church Hymns”
Hymn Tune Pinned on
Cylinder; & the hymn
with which it is more
usually associated.
Times, Seasons &
Festivals associated
with the Tune
1
One of the two who
heard John speak.
Hymn 158.
John 1:40:
One of the two which heard
John speak, and followed him,
was Andrew, Simon Peter’s
brother.
158. “O Jesu, our
redeeming Lord”
Winchester Old.
“While shepherds
watched.”
Christmas
2 The Lord is risen
indeed. Hymn 136.
Luke 24:34:
saying, The Lord is risen in-
deed, and hath appeared to
Simon Peter.
136. “Jesus Christ
is risen today,
Alleluia”
Easter Morn or Easter
Hymn.
“Jesus Christ is risen
today, Alleluia”; also,
“Christ The Lord is risen
today, Alleluia.”
Easter
3
Christ our Passover is
sacrificed for us. Hymn
128.
1 Corinthians 5:7:
Purge out therefore the old
leaven that ye may be a new
lump, as ye are unleavened.
For even Christ our Passover
is sacrificed for us.
128. “At the
Lamb’s high feast
we sing”
St Georges, Windsor.
“Come ye thankful
people come.”
Harvest
4
Come for all things and
are now ready.
Hymn 212.
Luke 14:17:
and sent his servant at supper
time to say to them that were
bidden, Come; for all things
are now ready.
212. “My God,
and is Thy table
spread”
Rockingham.
“When I survey the
wondrous Cross.”
Holy Week
5
Although the fields shall
yield no meat. Hymn
267.
Habakkuk 3:17:
Although the fig tree shall not
blossom, neither shall fruit be
in the vines; the labour of the
olive shall fail, and the fields
shall yield no meat; the flock
shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall be no herd in
the stalls.
267. “What our
Father does is
well”
Arrangement of Spanish
Chant or Spanish Hymn
Sometimes set to the
Charles Wesley’s hymn
“Christ whose Glory fills
the skies.”
Morning
6
He that is least in the
Kingdom of God. Hymn
178.
Luke 7:28:
For I say unto you, among
those that are born of women
there is not a greater prophet
than John the Baptist: but he
that is least in the kingdom of
God is greater than he.
178. “When Christ
the Lord would
come on earth”
Yet to be Identified.
Possibly a hymn tune
associated with an
evening hymn to
complete the above
series?
Table 16: Bremond serial No. 19710. Details of Text Corrections (highlighted in yellow), biblical text sources and hymntunes
identified.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17

Addenda: Tune Sheets in Foreign
Languages

The vast majority of music boxes
with sacred airs identified during
research for this series of articles have
tune sheets with the sacred air titles
written in English, with or without
sundry spelling mistakes and some
wild, indeed very wild interpretations
of some indecipherable and faded
script. Very occasionally, however,
one comes to light with its tune sheet
in a foreign language and some examples
of these follow.

Fig. 12 shows the tune sheet of
a music box produced by Mermod
Frêres in the early 1900s clearly for
the German-speaking market, either
sold in Germany itself or to the
German speaking area of Switzerland.
I am not a linguist, but I have listed the
hymns in Table 18 and in the second
column of the table I present a literal
translation obtained from the internet.
I have not been able to translate any
of these titles further into the English
idiom (British or American) to see if
they relate to any of the hymns that
have been otherwise identified in my
research so far. Perhaps a reader may
be able to help in this matter by taking
the translation further.

A second example of a tune sheet
in a foreign language is at Fig. 13.
It is from serial No. 8049 made by
Karrer in the mid 1880s, again for the
German-speaking market but in this
case some of the hymns are more
recognisable.

As the image quality is rather poor,
I have set out the musical programme
in Table 19.

The Karrer business, located in
Teufental, Switzerland, to the southeast
of Berne was not amongst the
front runners for producing music
boxes with any form of sacred music
included in their programmes. Perhaps
this was because they were less
well-known as makers in the United
Kingdom where most of the sacred-air
music boxes seem to have been sold.
At the time I released my first article
on this subject for publication, only
four Karrer music boxes had come
to light with a total between them
of just 15 sacred airs. Some of them
were repeats and one, the six-air box,

Fig. 12: Mermod Frêres serial No. 117368 with eight sacred airs, the titles in German.

Hymn Title – in German Literal Translation into English
1. Alleluia, lof zig den heer 1. Alleluia, tens of armies
2. En hoogen God Alleen zig ser 2. ???
3. Mein hertzen Jesu meine Lust 3. My love for Jesus
4. Goed heid Gods! Nosit regt ge-
prezen!
4. Goodness of God! Nosit is rightly
praised!
5. Jesu, meines Lebens Leben 5. Jesus, life of my life
6. Sollt ich meinem Gott nicht singen. 6. Shouldn’t I sing to my God
7. Öd, enkel licht. 7. Desolate, grandson light
8. Nun ruhen alle Walder. 8. Now all forests are resting.

Table 18: The hymn titles in German from the tune sheet of Mermod Frêres serial
No. 117368

shown in Fig. 13, had an all-in German
list of tunes that was indecipherable
for the most part because of the image
quality.

As I was writing these notes, a
second box by Karrer came to light.
This one, serial No. 15528, was made in
the 1890s with titles on the tune sheet
in English but with a rather unusual
mix in its musical programme, as may
be seen in Table 20. It has a single,
secular air at tune No. 1 with sacred
airs for the remainder of the six-air
programme. Usually, music boxes are
produced the other way around with
just one sacred air in an otherwise
secular programme.

The musical programme for this
music box is set out in Table 20.

Mixed Languages Tune Sheets

Occasionally, a tune sheet has come
to light with a glorious admixture of
languages. Such a one is at Fig. 15 with
at least three languages recognisable:
Italian, Latin and French.

A second, rather extreme example
of this has just been sent to me. It is
the brass tune plaque shown in Fig.

16. The brass plaque is on the case of
what was said at the time of referral
to be an otherwise ordinary run-of-the
mill 12-air box by Ducommun-Girod,
serial No. 39429, Gamme 2930, made
circa 1861-1862. Again, in view of
the rather poor image, the musical
programme is set out in text format in
the representation in Table 21.
Caveat Emptor! I also discovered

18 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

Fig. 13: Tune Sheet for Karrer serial No. 8049. Apologies for
the poor quality of the image; none better was available.

Hymn Title – in German Literal Translation into English
1. Das ?? Blut. ????? 1.
2 Wacht auf! Ruft uns die
Stimme 2.
3. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott 3. Luther’s Hymn “A Safe
Stronghold is our God”
4. O Gott, o Gott o Licht des
lebens 4.
5. Ho finds die Seele die Heimath
die Ruh? 5.
6 Harre mein Seele 6. Hark My Soul

Table 19: The hymn titles in German of Karrer serial No. 8049

Fig. 14: Karrer serial No. 15528. One secular air in an otherwise
sacred air programme.

Tune No. Title Notes
1 Boccaccio Waltz – von
Suppe. The single Secular Air!
2
Ring the Bells of Heaven.
William Orcutt Cushing/Root.
650.
Circa 1865
Noted on 13 boxes by
other makers.
3 Once For All. Percy Bliss
Author & Composer. 143.
About 1872. This is
pinned on one other
Karrer Box.
4
Far Away Where Angels
Dwell!! by Jacob Blumenthal.
Circa 1879.
See also the further
comments below.
5
Beautiful Star in Heaven so
Bright [Star of the Evening]
by J.M. Sayles.
Circa 1860. The first instance
for this particular
hymn.
6 Jesus of Nazareth [Passeth
By]. Campbell/Perkins. 77.
Circa 1865.
This is pinned on one
other Karrer Box.

Table 20: The hymn titles on the tune sheet of Karrer serial
No. 8049. Research on Tune 4 above revealed two possibilities
and, after some consideration and with help from the restorer
of this box, it was confirmed as the version by Blumenthal, as
indicated on the tune sheet. The alternative was a tune set to
different words but with the same title, by George W. Persley,
of 1873. I have not encountered either tune before and, having
read the verses of both versions, I think both are well out on
the fringes of being considered a sacred air in any of the categories
identified in this series of articles.

Fig. 15: Tune sheet of unattributed music box with an unrecognisable
serial number, but with a mixture of languages.

Fig. 16: Brass tune plaque referred to in the text. The titles are
in text format at Table 21 on Page 20.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 19

that the music box with this intriguing
brass tune plaque recently appeared
for auction in the U.S. Close examination
by members of several musical
box societies identified features that
clearly showed it was not what it
was supposed to be, which is a 12-air
sacred music box by Ducommun-Girod.
The chief clue that led to this
assessment is the manner in which
the very ordinary looking 12-air
Ducommun-Girod movement is fitted
into the case which, considering its
proportions and quality, is better
suited to either a 12-air two-per-turn
or an overture movement. Also, the
serial number (No. 39429) is stamped
on the underside of the base in a style
suggestive of another well-known
maker, but not Ducommun-Girod. In
my opinion, this was a forced marriage
where the movement and case have
little in common with one another.

In further support of my theory that
this box is a forced marriage of case
and movement, I have compared the
brass plaque seen in Fig. 16 with the
elaborate design work seen on the
silvered or brass plaques of contemporary
boxes by makers such as Nicole
Frêres. I can say confidently that it
is very doubtful any such maker of
quality music boxes would have had a
plaque, with several spelling mistakes
and changes in style, made and fitted
to one of their products prior to sale.
Indeed, the plaque recognises neither
the maker nor the serial number on the
underside of the base, just squeezing
what is now thought to be the Gamme
Number in along the top.

The Arthur D Cunliffe Register of
Cylinder Musical Boxes also bears no
evidence as yet concerning a serial
No. 39429 by any maker. So, without
any witness holes giving evidence of
the brass plaque having replaced an
earlier tune sheet, it is thought to be
part of the original casework for an
erstwhile serial No. 39429 the movement
for which, for the present at
least, can be considered mislaid, lost
or destroyed.

To my eye, this seems to be an
example of an attempt by a vendor
or first owner to enhance the value/
appearance of the music box by
having a brass plaque fitted rather

12 TUNES – 2930
1. Cantique XXII Grosser Gotte wir loben. Haydn
2. Come ye disconsolate.
3. Oh How Happy the are A Sacred Song.
4. Hymn XLII M. Luther’s.
5. O praise the lord. Handel
6. The old Hundredth.
7. Choral de Luther. Seingeur, ramparte
8. Pslam XXXIII. Lett all the juste.
9. He Comete. he Comet Hymn
10. Llandaff, adapted Choral. Bach
11. Grand Choeur de la Creation. Haydn
12. Cantique XXXVII. Handel

Table 21: Sacred Air Titles from the Brass Plaque at Fig. 16. Mistakes are not

corrected.

than an ordinary tune sheet. It still
leaves, however, a tune plaque of
interest to consider within the bounds
of this series of articles, to say nothing
of its strange mix of English sprinkled
with French and German.

It will take some research to identify
exactly what most of these titles are
or to what sacred airs they might refer.
Indeed, some will be unidentifiable
unless the related original movement
can be heard.

The Opera “Nabucco,” or
Nebuchadnezzar

In Part 1 of this series, I remarked
that composers and their librettists
often turned to the Bible as a source
for stories for a libretto, whether
for an oratorio or, indeed an opera.
An extreme example of the latter
is the opera “Nabucco,” short for
Nabucodonosor, or in English, Nebuchadnezzar.
This was written by Verdi
and first performed in 1842.

The opera, with its plot of romance
and politics, uses historical events
taken from the Bible as a background,
and in doing so follows the plight of the
Jews as their homeland is conquered
by the Babylonian king, Nabucco, with
the Temple in Jerusalem sacked and
the Jews themselves taken into exile
and slavery in Babylon. Whilst there,
their thoughts and dreams return to
their homeland, musically portrayed
by Verdi in the best-known number

from the opera, the “Chorus of the
Hebrew Slaves,” “Va, pensiero, sull’ali
dorate” or “Fly, thought, on golden
wings.”

This biblical background apart,
the story of the opera is entirely
secular and so, although Verdi’s arias
and choruses from “Nabucco” have
been identified on 40 music boxes
registered to date, none form part of
musical programmes of sacred airs.

For these reasons, it was excluded
from Part 2 of the series but is added
here by way of a footnote to the series
explaining its earlier exclusion.

Final Thoughts

Music boxes with sacred airs forming
all or just part of their musical
programme continue to come to
light. At the end of September 2020 a
total of 12,828 surviving music boxes
had been identified, 12,776 having
been registered and the remaining 52
coming from other sources. Of these,
5,590 have no details of their musical
programme. Of the remaining 7,238, a
total of 6,423 play only secular items,
leaving just 815 (or 11.26 percent)
with musical programmes, including
at least a single sacred air.

The revised breakdown of musical
programme formats within that total
is in Table 22. This shows that whilst
the subtotals and ratios, as set out in
Table 2 in Part 1 of the series may have
altered, they have not done so by any

20 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

significant margin since first published
in 2019.

New Sacred Airs

New titles not seen before in this
research continue to come to light.
Apart from those already referred to
above, other examples are listed in
Table 23.

All have just a single occurrence,
reinforcing the view that many sacred
air titles were arranged and pinned to
meet particular requests from customers.
This thought raises again questions
about music box production in the 19th
century, such as how were such orders
made? How was music, both new and
strange to a Swiss arranger, arranged
and what was needed to accomplish
this? Who made the arrangements and
at what cost? In what timescales were
the makers and their arrangers able
to meet such requests? Perhaps, and
rather sadly, we shall never know as
so many records have been destroyed
or lost over the intervening years.

Acknowledgments

I end these final thoughts with a
note of acknowledgment and thanks
to those members of MBSI who have
helped in this research by sending
details of music boxes with sacred airs
and by their helpful and constructive
comments made when doing so. In the
past I have chosen not to name them
and I continue with that tradition now,
but they each know who they are and
I wish them to know that they all are
very much appreciated.

Research such as this by its nature
can never be complete and would
not be possible at all without the aid
of The Arthur D Cunliffe Register of
Cylinder Musical Boxes. It is gratifying
to know that surviving boxes are
still coming “out of hiding” and being
drawn to the attention of both Arthur
Cunliffe and myself. All such finds add
to our knowledge of this form of home
entertainment of former years.

Musical Programme End Sep 2020 February 2019
Format No. of MB’s Percentage No. of MB’s Percentage
Complete Programme of
Sacred Music 414 50.80% 389 51.80%
Partial Programme of Sacred
Music – Two or More Airs 89 10.92% 88 11.72%
Single Item of Sacred Music 249 30.55% 213 28.36%
Subtotals 752 92.27% 690 91.88%
Registered as “Hymn Box”
but without supporting
details – Unidentifiable
63 7.73% 61 8.12%
Overall Totals 815 100.00% 751 100.00%

Table 22: Programme extent of musical boxes pinned with sacred music as at end
September 2020. Sacred air popularity remains much the same with “The Messiah”
(309 occurrences), “Creation” (300 occurrences) and “Elijah” (222 occurrences) topping
the list in that order as the most popular oratorios. Still, rather surprisingly to
me, the chorus “The Heavens are Telling” from “Creation” remains the most popular
single classical sacred air with no less than 128 occurrences compared to the next
most popular, “O Rest in the Lord,” from “Elijah” with 109 occurrences. Furthermore,
“The Heavens are Telling,” the grand chorus from “Creation” remains the most popular
single sacred air overall.

Hymns show little change in their order of popularity. “Old Hundredth” (119 occurrences)
remains the most popular by a significant margin followed by “Evening
Hymn” (93 occurrences) and “Morning Hymn” (78 occurrences). Of note in this section,
though, is that the Christmas carol “Silent Night” occurred no less than seven
times in the musical programmes of the additional boxes recently identified. This is
a significant increase.

Amongst Evangelical and Gospel Songs, “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” (69 occurrences)
and “Hold the Fort” (65 occurrences) remain at the top by comfortable
margins.

Tune Notes
Jesus Shall Reign (where ere the sun) A surprising first occurrence for this
well-known hymn.
Jesus Loves Me; This I know A hymn written with children in mind.
I Hear Thy Welcome Voice
Angel hovering round
Once I was dead in sin
I hear the Saviour say
Beautiful Star in Heaven so Bright J.M. Sayles, 1858
Kingdom coming
Guide us Saviour T.C.O’ Kane
Battling for The Lord T.E. Perkins
Spirit Voices S.J. Vail
Home of The Soul H. Phillips
It is Well with my Soul
Washed in the Blood of The Lamb

Table 23: Additional sacred air titles found during recent research.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 21

Music To Go

An introduction to portable phonographs

by Rick Swaney

Phonographs make up a significant portion
of my mechanical music collection. In
fact, my collecting began with an Edison
cylinder phonograph I encountered
at a local antique store. Some of my
favorite machines to demonstrate are
portable phonographs. I don’t mean
phonographs that are inherently portable
due to their small size, but rather
phonographs that are designed to be
disassembled and/or compressed for
transporting. They are great examples

of the ingenuity of mechanical design
prior to the age of electronics.
I have four portable phonographs.
Each one demonstrates a different

approach to shrinking for transport. I’ve found
from hosting chapter meetings and open
houses that more than a few collectors are not
familiar with this type of phonograph. Let this
article serve as an introduction to this interesting
phonograph sub-genre.

Mikiphone

The smallest of the portables, and the most
popular for collectors, is the Mikiphone.
Contrary to what I thought, it has nothing to do
with the famous Disney mouse. It is named after
its inventor, Hungarian designer Miklós Vadász.
The Mikiphone was manufactured by the Swiss
company Maison Paillard. They produced
between 150,000 and 200,000 of them in the mid
1920s.

The phonograph is shaped like a large pocket

watch and was

The Mikiphone unpacked from its compact case and ready to be assembled in order to play a record.

The Mikiphone is now ready to receive and play a record. Note the pushpin plug in the center that would anchor a record to the

device and prevent it from tipping over due to the weight of the reproducer.

advertised as a pocket phonograph.
Given its weight of more than two
pounds and diameter of 4.5 inches,
it’s unlikely that many owners carried
one in their pocket. Designed to be as
small as possible, there is no wasted
space inside. The pieces must be
positioned precisely to fit, as indicated
by the layout drawing conveniently
included in the lid.

The Mikiphone replaces the traditional
horn with a Bakelite resonator
box. This box splits into two shallow
cups which nest together for packing.
One cup has a hole near the bottom
for accepting the reproducer and a
series of small holes at the top for the
sound to come through. The reproducer
is standard except for a clip on
the back to fasten it to the resonator

and a section of support arm attached
to its side.

The turntable is a 4-inch diameter
steel disk. It has a hole in the center
for sliding onto the motor spindle.
Four other holes are present for parts
to stick through when it is packed. A
10-inch record on this turntable would
tip from the weight of the needle, so
a pushpin-shaped plug is included

24 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

which inserts into the top of the spindle
to hold down the record.

The reproducer’s support arm
consists of two halves joined with a
swivel hinge. The back half is attached
to the phonograph body in a way
that allows it to swing outward for
playing. The act of swinging the arm
out releases the brake, activating on
the motor. Swinging out the arm also
controls the speed. The further the
swing, the faster it plays. The front
half of the arm pivots on the back half
allowing the reproducer to track the
record groove.

The spring motor is wound by twisting
the watch’s winding key. It takes a
bit of force to turn the key and takes
up to 50 turns to fully wind the motor.
A fold-up crank was invented which
attaches to the key to make winding
easier. I don’t know if that was available
as an option from Paillard or
was sold as an accessory by another
company.

One item I don’t have – I am told
that it is quite rare – is a rectangular
needle tin that fits within the case. It is
pictured in the layout drawing in the
lid.

Excelda

The Excelda is a portable phonograph
that bears a resemblance to
a popular camera model, a folding
bellows style. That’s the kind with
an accordion-like, adjustable black
tunnel between the lens and the
film. Thorens, the Swiss music box
company, manufactured the Excelda
in the early 1930s.

The case is a long, thin metal box (5
inches by 11 inches by 2 inches) with a
brown crackle finish giving the appearance
of alligator skin. The entire top
is removable once a retaining knob is
unscrewed. The knob screws onto the
end of the motor spindle. When playing
a record, the knob serves a second
purpose, holding the record down on
the small (2.5-inch) turntable.

The spring motor occupies about
one-third of the case. Another third
is devoted to an internal horn. The
rest of the space is taken up by the
reproducer, tone arm, and crank.
Being a later-model phonograph, the
reproducer has an aluminum rather

No space is wasted in the Mikiphone case design.

The Excelda is carried in a metal case with a removable top.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

The winding crank, reproducer and reproducer arm all fit neatly into the Excelda’s case. Assembly is relatively quick and easy.

The Excelda as fully assembled and ready to play a record. The reproducer is made of aluminum and resembles a more modern
speaker that might be seen on a telephone.

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

than mica diaphragm. The disk is
embossed with a set of concentric,
circular mounds much like modern
speakers have. The tonearm has a
rotating sleeve on one end that fits
into a vertical opening in the horn. The
other end attaches to the reproducer
with a typical bayonet mount.

An internal lever acts as both the
brake and speed adjustment. The
further the level is pushed, the faster
the motor runs. A pointer on the edge
of the lever sticks out of a slot in the
side of the case. As the lever moves,
the pointer slides up and down a
metal gauge marked, “Stop — Slow
——— Fast.”

Kameraphone

The Kameraphone, made in the
1920s, is another portable that resembles
a popular camera model, the
classic Brownie box camera. It has
a small, leatherette-covered wooden
case with a leather carrying strap on
the top. The front has knobs for the
brake and speed adjustment and a
hole for inserting the winding crank.
The lid of the case is hinged to give
access to the phonograph parts.

The bulk of the interior is devoted
to the spring motor. It is hidden
under a wooden platform which
has indentations for the reproducer,
horn, support arm and turntable. The
reproducer is of a standard design.
The horn consists of three conical
aluminum segments which nest
together in the case. In use, they lock
together end-to-end to form a 4.5-inchlong
trumpet. The turntable is a small
metal disk with three attached arms.
One arm is fixed in position. The other
two arms swing outward 120 degrees
to form a balanced support for a standard
10-inch record. The reproducer
support arm is an L-shaped metal rod
that sits in a bracket built into the
hinged lid. The fit is loose, allowing
the arm to swivel as a record is played.

I’ve found many variations in the
design of this type of phonograph, all
referred to as Kameraphones. Kameraphone
is a registered trademark, but I
haven’t been able to discover anything
about the company behind it. I suspect
that not all these variations, including
mine, are official Kameraphones. Mine

The Kameraphone is so named because of its resemblance to the Brownie box
camera that is carried in a similar-looking case.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 27

The components that make up the Kameraphone shown unpacked.

The Kameraphone has three arms that swing out at 120-degree angles to support
a record. The horn is made up of three separate conical aluminum pieces that fit
snuggly together.

has no identifying marking inside or
out nor any indication of a missing
plaque.

Polly Portable

My favorite portable is the Polly
Portable Phonograph. It was
manufactured by the Polly Portable
Phonograph Company of New York,
NY, around 1925. It is large for a portable,
but I think it’s the most practical.
The other phonographs are smaller,
but when you realize that you also
must bring records, the Polly makes
sense. Its case is large enough to carry
a stack of five records.

The Polly has a full-size turntable
and the spindle is extra-long to hold
the stack of records in place. The
spring motor is no more than an inch
tall, allowing it to fit under the turntable
despite the slim (2.5-inch) case.
The vertical winding crank goes into
a hole in the front right corner. The
brake lever and speed adjustment
knob are in the front left corner.

What sets the Polly apart from other
phonographs is the reproducer/horn
design. To begin with, there really isn’t
a reproducer. The needle is connected
directly to the horn. And the horn is
nothing more than a piece of paper!

The horn is a 16-inch diameter piece
of stiff paper with an approximately
45-degree wedge cut out of it. To turn
it into a horn, one brings the edges of
the wedge together and fits a rivet on
one edge into a notch on the other.
The result looks something like a
small satellite dish. When not in use,
the horn folds into thirds and is held
under a clip inside the lid.

When in use, the center of the horn
is attached to the needle by trapping
it between two 1-inch aluminum
dishes. The lower dish is permanently
attached to the needle. The upper
dish is removable and screws down
into the lower one with the horn in
between.

I think the tone of the Polly is the
best of the portables. The small metal
horns can sound tinny. The larger,
softer horn produces a more pleasant
tone with plenty of volume.

One more nicety of the Polly is that
it has two built-in needle bins. They

28 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

The Polly Portable Phonograph uses a stiff piece of paper as a horn. When assembled, it looks a bit like a satellite dish.

The Polly Portable Phonograph’s needle is connected directly to the horn.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 29

are automatically revealed when the
horn’s support arm is swung out for
use and are closed when the arm is
put away.

The operating instructions are
printed on a large cardboard disk that
fits on the turntable. The front is in
English. On the back (in tiny print)
are the same instructions in French,
German, Italian, and Spanish.

Finally

This concludes my short introduction
into the world of portable
phonographs. I hope you find them
as interesting as I do. There are many
other models out there, some of
which I hope to own someday. The
good news is they are not too hard
to find. As I write this there are three
Mikiphones, four Kameraphones, and
six Exceldas on eBay.

If you have any questions, or even
better, if you have any additional information
about these or other portables
you can contact me at: r_swaney@

msn.com.

The Polly Portable Phonograph case can carry up to five records along with the
player itself. Note the foldable paper horn neatly clipped into the case.

30 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

The Hunt

Story and Photo By James Kracht

Buying a very special music box

I now own 45 music boxes. Each
one of them has its own history and
special role in my collection. Reliving
and remembering how each of them
came into my possession is part of the
joy and uplifting mood that I get when
I admire and listen to them.

A day that will long be remembered
in my music box collecting journey is
Oct. 20, 2018. The night before I had
flown into the Westchester County
Airport, near White Plains, NY, to meet
a long-time friend from whom I had
wangled an invitation to stay in his
Connecticut home and visit with him
and his family. It was wonderful to see
everyone again, and to get to know
the kids who were still younger than 6
years old but growing fast. I sincerely
enjoyed being in their magnificent
home.

On the morning of Oct. 20, my
friend Sharad, his wife Katherine and I
boarded a train to take us from Darien,
CT, into New York City. I had forgotten
how big the city’s train stations are and
was so glad that I had Katherine and
Sharad with me. We hailed a cab for the
Manhattan apartment of Charles and
Beatrice Blaisdell, the owners of the
music box I hoped I was destined to
purchase. The doorman directed us to
a different apartment number than the
one I had been given, but with nerves
on edge and trepidation we headed up
to the Blaisdells’ apartment. To say
101-year-old Charles Blaisdell and his
wife were charming is an understatement.
They could not have been more
welcoming and delightful. They were

Column Graphic by Mary Clegg
The author’s mahogany-encased Mermod Frêres Interchangeable Ideal Sublime
Harmonie Piccolo music box.

A closeup of the silver “highest award” plaque from the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 31

A view of the cylinder and combs with the glass cover raised shows the immaculate condition of this music box.

so gracious, witty and kind.

After introductions, we approached
the music box sitting in the dining
portion of their apartment and I was
immediately impressed to see the
beautiful carved front of this mahogany
encased music box.

The music box in question was
a Mermod Frêres interchangeable
tabletop music box, an Ideal Sublime
Harmonie Piccolo, serial No. 65948
with four nickel-plated 18.75-inch,
6-air cylinders. Of note, this music box
bears a plaque inside the lid denoting
that it was a top prize winner in the
Columbian Exposition of the 1893
World’s Fair in Chicago, IL.

Turning it on, I was immediately
spellbound and in love. At the time,
my collection consisted of 22 music
boxes, but I owned nothing that
compared to this. It was outstanding

and truly superb. You have to hear
and feel a Mermod Frêres to know the
solid character and quality that make
these music boxes so impressive. I
believe the first song it played that
morning was “The wedding March.” It
was truly beautiful.

Even before I had left for Manhattan,
I knew I badly wanted this music
box. It was unique with the top-prize
plaque and it was beautiful inside and
out. It had been meticulously cared
for. I also learned that it had been
purchased from the Anheuser-Busch
Estate 25 or 30 years earlier.

The Blaisdells and I were $1,000
dollars apart in price when I arrived
at their apartment, and we quickly
agreed to split the difference, and then
the music box was mine. I was so very
excited. Today, the fact that I had the
chance to meet the very special people

that I bought the music box from just
adds to the delight of listening to the
music box play. I think they were the
most delightful people you would ever
want to meet.

I chuckle, however, imagining what
must they have thought of me at the
time. I stood there in their Manhattan
apartment peeling off hundred dollar
bill after hundred dollar bill to pay
them for their prized music box. I
brought cash because I figured they
didn’t know me and they might be
wary of taking a check from a stranger.
Plus, I certainly didn’t want someone
else to come along and buy this music
box out from under me with a cash
offer before my check could clear.

All four cylinders that came with
this music box are incredible, and I
love them. The box that plays them
inspires me with its beauty and sound.

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

When I read the article recently in
Mechanical Music written by Southeast
Chapter member Jamie Brewer
who told his story of recently acquiring
two very special cylinders for the same
model Mermod Frêres I contacted him
for more information. Jamie sent me
a copy of the program of one of the
cylinders, playing Beethoven’s Ninth
Symphony. The program is so unique
and so special. It makes me love my
Mermod Frêres even more. I was so
excited by it that I sent a copy of the
music to Beatrice Blaisdell and she
called me back to tell me how much
she truly loved it.

Though lacking the original tune
card and the matching table that it is
pictured with on Page 51 of Q. David
Bowers’ Encyclopedia of Automatic
Musical Instruments, I do now have
a hand-written copy of all of the
tunes on my four and Jamie’s two
cylinders. I am now in the process of
having a correctly designed tune card
produced.

I will have the tune card put into
a leather folder, because the plaque
showing the Columbian Exposition
World’s Fair top prize status occupies
the inside of the music box lid.

Suffice it to say, I am both honored
and blessed to have this music box as
a premiere music box in my collection.

A closeup of the crank motor, gears and play speed regulator. Note the patent label
listing the date and location of manufacture that is attached to the bedplate.

What is even nicer though, is that
Charles Blaisdell understood and
appreciated my admiration and love of
his music box before he passed away
at 102. As much as I love it though, I
am even more fortunate to have met
the Blaisdells and brought them into
my life. Charles’ memory will live on
forever, and I cherish my wonderful

ongoing friendship with his beautiful
wife Beatrice.

Thank you Charles and Beatrice for
making it possible to have both you
and your music box in my life. Thank
you also to Reg Smith, my Georgia
restorer, who introduced me to the
Blaisdells and made this all possible.

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 “The Hunt” 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

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 33

Farny Wurlitzer Speaks to the
American Theatre Organ Society

(Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted by permission
of The American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS). It was
originally printed in two parts, in the March/April 2012 and
May/June 2012 issues of Theatre Organ, the journal of ATOS.
We will also print it in two parts. Part 1 begins below.

This article came to the attention of MBSI through
the efforts of Gary Rasmussen and Bill Griess who
received rough copies of the speech from various
sources in their respective orbits. Gary and
Bill offered these rough copies to MBSI and
other organizations which led to the collab

oration with ATOS via their president,
Dave Calendine, and journal editor, Mike
Bryant. Enjoy!)

BY Don Feely

The year was 1964 and the ATOE
(American Theatre Organ Enthusiasts; forerunner
to the ATOS) was holding the national
convention in Buffalo, New York. A record
256 members registered for the convention and
on July 6 attendees were treated to a trip to the
Wurlitzer factory in North Tonawanda as guests
of Mr. Farny R. Wurlitzer. Following a concert by
Marvin Korinke on the new Wurlitzer 4000 organ,
Mr. Wurlitzer gave a speech to the crowd, sharing his
recollections of the formative years of the Unit Orchestra.
His remarks included personal stories about Robert
Hope-Jones, memories of significant installations, and
other company anecdotes. Invitations had been sent
to all members of the ATOE, as well as other
prominent guests. Following the formal
presentation, a buffet luncheon
was served to all the attendees,
compliments of the Wurlitzer

Company.

The North Tonawanda
plant was a fitting site for
Mr. Wurlitzer’s recollections

— it was his leadership
there that guided Wurlitzer
through the manufacture
of band organs, to photo
players, to theatre organs,
to jukeboxes, and finally
electronic organs. While
we may wish to believe
that it was his undying
34 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

passion for the Unit Orchestra that
lead to its tremendous success in
theatres, in reality it was his manufacturing
and business savvy that allowed
the Wurlitzer company to excel in
many different ventures.

Repeatedly, the business would
pick up the pieces of some defunct
company, make some modifications
on the idea, and then market it with
a great deal of panache. In 1908
Wurlitzer bought the DeKleist Musical
Instrument Manufacturing Company
(and factory) in North Tonawanda,
continuing their production of automatic
musical instruments: player
pianos, band organs, and pianorchestras.
Farny, the youngest of Rudolph
Wurlitzer’s three sons, was sent in
1909 to take over operations at the
plant. He then oversaw the hiring of
Robert Hope-Jones in 1910 to direct
the organ department, in addition to
purchasing the assets of the bankrupt
Hope-Jones Organ Company.

By 1933, the advent of talking
pictures coupled with the Great
Depression had almost put the
Wurlitzer Company out of business.
In 1928 Wurlitzer’s shares sold at
$119 a share. In 1933 the price was

$10 a share and the company was
almost $5 million in debt. At great
risk, Farny gambled and bought the
Simplex Manufacturing Company
from Homer Capehart, the developer
of a record changing system called the
Multi-Selector. Under Farny’s leadership,
Capehart became Wurlitzer’s
general manager while gifted designer
Paul Fuller created the iconic styles
that made Wurlitzer the best-selling

jukebox manufacturer in the world.

Farny served as president of the
company from 1932 until 1941, and
continued on the Board of Directors
until his death in 1972. He had been a
friend of the ATOE since its inception
and was named an Honorary Member
at the 1960 annual meeting. In 1964 he
was, at 82 years old, the only surviving
son of Rudolph Wurlitzer and still
Chairman of the Board. His speech to

Farney Wurlitzer (sic) was named an Honorary Member of ATOE at the second
annual convention in 1960

Mr. Wurlitzer accepts a plaque of appreciation from W. “Tiny”
James, ATOE President

Mr. Wurlitzer signs an autograph for a young well-wisher
following the program

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 35

the convention attendees contained
many vibrant memories from the Unit
Orchestra era of manufacturing.

(ATOS Editor’s note: The Journal
is grateful to Don Thompson for
providing this rare recording for
transcription. It was given to him
many years ago by W. “Tiny” James,
former ATOE president.)

The Speech

ATOE President-elect, Carl Norvell:
I would like to express the sincere
thanks of all the members of ATOE for
this wonderful concert made possible
by the generosity of the Wurlitzer
company. It is now my pleasure and
honor to introduce a gentleman who
is not only the most gracious host,
but who is primarily responsible
for the development of the musical
instrument to which this organization
is dedicated—the theatre organ. It
is my pleasure to present Mr. Farny
Wurlitzer, Chairman of the Board of
Directors of the Wurlitzer Company,
who will describe some of his early
experiences and association of the
bygone years.

Niagara-Frontier Chapter President,
Grant Whitcomb: Mr. Wurlitzer, to mark
this most special occasion, the Niagara
Frontier Chapter and the ATOE have
prepared this plaque to honor you and
the theatre organ which we would like
to present to you at this time, and I’m
going to ask Tiny James to read the
inscription.

ATOE President, Tiny James: This
reads: “With sincere admiration and
respect, the American Association of
Theatre Organ Enthusiasts take great
pleasure in presenting this plaque to
our host, Mr. Farny R. Wurlitzer, on
the occasion of a luncheon attended
by him at a meeting of the National
Convention, North Tonawanda, July
6th 1964. Farny Wurlitzer, in creating
that glorious instrument which we all
know and love, and which we choose
to call the theatre organ, has already
assured both he and his company a
permanent place in the musical history
of America. It is impossible to vision
the countless hours of enjoyment, the
flights into fantasy, the innumerable

day dreams, as well as plain ordinary
every-day enthusiasm, that has been
engendered in the minds of the
millions who have ever listened to his
mighty Wurlitzer. It is therefore, with
great pleasure that we present Mr.
Farny Wurlitzer with this small token
as a measure of the esteem in which
he is held by all members of this organization.
Signed by myself and Grant
Whitcomb, representing the Niagara
Frontier Chapter.”

Mr. Wurlitzer:

You’re all far too kind to me. I

Writer Ben Hall congratulates Mr. Wurlitzer following his remarks.

appreciate this very, very much and
you may be sure that it will have a
place in my office where I can see it
daily. I appreciate the kindness that all
of you have shown.

This is really a red letter day for me
because it brings back many happy
memories of the past. I go back to
January 1909 when we purchased the
business from the DeKleist Musical
Instrument Manufacturing Company,
and I was chosen to come up here to
take charge of the business. I was 26
at that time. I feel, however, you will
be interested in having a brief history

36 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

After the program, from left: Roy Waltemade, Harold Schwartz, Farny Wurlitzer,
Richard Simonton, A. Donald Arsem, Louis Hollingsworth, Gaylord Carter

of what brought us into the theatre
organ business.

The family traces its history back
to the first Wurlitzer in 1596—Heinrich
Wurlitzer. And in 1659 the first
Wurlitzer was born that made a
musical instrument, and it is unusual
perhaps, but in every generation
that succeeded him there was either
a maker or a dealer in musical
instruments. My grandfather dealt
in musical instruments in the small
village of Schöneck, Saxony, where
my father was born in 1831, and the
musical instrument business at that
time was a home industry to a large
extent. And my grandfather bought
the musical instruments from the
peasants, who made them largely in
the winter season when they weren’t
busy in their fields, and then he resold
them to jobbers and to exporters, and
they eventually came to the United
States.

My father, of course, had experience
in this business and he hoped
to become a partner in his father’s
business. He was the eldest son but
his father decided that that was not
the arrangement he had in mind. He
wanted to keep the business for the
youngest son who was a child at that
time. So my father decided to come to
America. He came to the United States
in 1853. It is a coincidence that in that
same year my mother crossed the

ocean. She was French, my father was
German. My father imported the first
musical instruments from his father in
1856 and it is from that date on that
our business started.

When we were musical instrument
dealers in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Mr.
DeKleist, who had been brought over
here by the merry-go-round manufacturers—
there were three of them in
North Tonawanda at that time from
England—to build merry-go-round
organs for them because the duty
had been increased and they decided
it was necessary to manufacture the
instruments here. So Mr. DeKleist,
with one or two helpers, came over
from England. He made merry-goround
organs for the merry-go-round
manufacturers, but the business got
a little slack, and he decided to see
whether he couldn’t get some additional
business by making trumpets
for the U.S. Army. So he came down
to see my elder brother who was 12
years older than I am, and we did buy
trumpets from him. You see, merrygo-
round organs had brass trumpets
so this was just a short step to making
the instruments such as used in the
army. DeKleist said “Couldn’t you sell
some merry-go-round organs?” Well
I said “Well we might sell one or two
a year, but there’s very little demand
for them, but if you would make a
coin-operated piano for us we could

sell a lot of them.” At that time the
merry-go-round organs that DeKleist
made had wooden cylinders. It had
usually 10 tunes on it and by turning
a lever on the side you could choose
any one of the ten. So he made a
piano the same way. There was a long
wooden cylinder with 10 tunes on
it and when the model was finished
my brother came up to look at it and
after a number of changes, why, he
decided it was satisfactory and he
ordered 200 of them. Mr. DeKleist
didn’t have the funds at that time so
he went to the bank and borrowed
money on the strength of the order.
Well, that business developed and Mr.
DeKleist became prosperous and we
had the sole selling rights to all of the
instruments.

Paper music rolls followed very
shortly after that and the wooden
cylinders that were used in the tonophones
were discontinued. There
were many types of coin-operated
musical instruments, and there was an
era there where the skating rinks were
very popular and the band organs, as
we called them also, were useful, and
many of them were sold and we sold
them to skating rinks at that time.

The moving picture theatres had not
begun. There were nickelodeons, and
for those we had developed an instrument—
various models of them—with
piano, and the smaller ones with one
box on one side, the larger ones with
two, and they had two music rolls.
The one would be rewinding while
the other one was playing and that
way the music could accompany the
picture in the nickelodeon. Motion
pictures were a very short reel, and
you paid a nickel or a dime to go in
to see the show. So that business was
growing and we felt that there was
an opportunity to build instruments
for theatres. We weren’t thinking of
motion picture theatres because the
real motion picture theatre didn’t
exist and we thought of replacing the
orchestras.

And we heard of Robert Hope-
Jones, and he had some financial
difficulty and his company failed in
Elmira, New York. He had a distinguished
lot of stockholders in it.
Mark Twain, Mr. Vail—President of

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 37

the American Telephone Association,
and quite a few others. But Robert
Hope-Jones, whom we investigated
quite thoroughly before we entered
into business relations with him, had
been a continuous failure with everyone
that he had been associated with.
He first began remodeling an organ
in his own church at Birkenhead,
England. He electrified it, and that
was something very new. He brought
the console out of the church and put
it on the outside and then played the
organ on the inside of the church,
which created quite an impression on
the church world in England. He lost
his own money in building organs. He
lost that of his wife, who was a very
fine woman, and then he was backed
by various people, one of them I think,
to the extent of $250,000.

But Hope-Jones was an inventor.
He had a brilliant mind. He was very
persuasive—an unusual looking
man. He had a most unusual crop of
hair. It was pure white and I’ve never
seen one like it before nor since. His
hair stood up straight, and he really
enjoyed walking down Fifth Avenue
or Broadway, holding his hat in his
hand, and everybody turned to look
at him because he was so unusual!
But every time he finished an organ
it wasn’t good enough. He always had
in mind building a better one the next
time, and that was why he lost money,
because every time he built an organ
it was different. He didn’t duplicate
anything. He was with several large
firms in this country—Skinner, and
Austin—and then he formed his own
company in Elmira, which was a
failure.

We knew of all these failures, knew
that it had been continuous, and
perhaps we were conceited enough
to think that we knew how to make
money with Hope-Jones and be a
success. Hope-Jones came up to see
us and he gave us a demonstration
on the organ in St. Paul’s Episcopal
Cathedral in Buffalo, and tried to
interest us in taking over his company
which was in receivership. I recall
that demonstration very well. My
two brothers were there. I was there.
And I was very, very impressed. I’d
never heard an organ sound like that

Robert Hope-Jones in 1910.

before. It was beautiful. While he was
at Elmira he built the Ocean Grove
organ which really was an outstanding
instrument, and is still in use today. We
then went down to Ocean Grove and
heard that organ, which was marvelous.
We entered into a contract with
him in April 1910, and we closed the
deal with the receiver of the company
in May 1910.

Our thinking in the early days when
we took the business over was the
church field, which he had been working
with largely, hotels and theatres.
We didn’t realize that the large movie
theatres were coming, and he had a
contract with the Hotel Statler, which
is now the Hotel Buffalo, and of
course, with the company having gone
into receivership, it was necessary to
renew that contract, and I went down
to see Mr. Statler with Mr. Hope-Jones
and we did get the contract. It was a
most peculiar installation. Mr. Statler
had just built an addition to his hotel
and he had a large banquet room in

the new addition, that was on the
second floor. His grill room, really the
dining room that was used mostly by
him. The problem was that he wanted
the music to be heard both in the
banquet room on the second floor, and
to come through to the dining room
on the ground floor, which had a glass
domed roof over it. So we installed
the organ in two bedrooms that were
there, and a peculiar result occurred.
When we played full organ it was
softer than when we played individual
stops! We realized then that we were
just encountering what is well known
in physics. The sound waves were
melting together. Although this was a
narrow hall that we had the tone come
out into, the tone chambers were on
either side, we built a thin wall—I
don’t think it was over an inch and a
half thick—the full length of the hall.
From then on the results were fine,
because the sound waves couldn’t
mingle any more. Later on when Mr.
Statler built his new hotel, we sold

38 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

The Statler Hotel Dining Room; the organ was installed in 1911.

The Statler Hotel in Buffalo New York, home to the second organ built by Hope-
Jones and Wurlitzer. No opus number was assigned to this instrument

him two organs. One for the main
dining room and one for the ballroom.

We tried many things to develop
the business. We were new at it. This
was a new field. No-one had ever
built organs for theatres before. We
got an order from the Court Theatre
in New York, and also from the Court
Theatre in Chicago, and installed
those replacing the orchestras. Just at
that particular time there had been a
years’ strike of the musicians in New
York, and that made it easier for us to
enter the theatre field. They made it
possible.

Well one of our early installations
was in a theatre that most of you
have never heard of—the Century
Theatre on Central Park West. It was
built by a group of very wealthy men
because they wanted to do something
outstanding for the theatre world and
they only had spectacular shows. The
one that was on, I remember quite
distinctly, when we installed our
organ without expense to the theatre,
was called The Daughter of the Gods.
Oscar Hammerstein had written the
music for it and he was there. So
we put this fairly large instrument
in there and it was demonstrated. It
wasn’t long after that that the Criterion
Theatre (the name was changed
to the Vitagraph Theatre) put on the
first long film show in the history of
moving pictures. It lasted an hour, and
I believe it was called America. Our
organ was the only music that was
used and that was a really historical
event in motion picture history.

I recall when we used the Diaphone
pipes which most of you know were
used to imitate thunder, and did, the
city authorities in New York forbade
the use of them because they were
afraid the plaster ceiling would come
down, which it might have! This,
of course, was not a movie house
built for the purpose. It was an old
theatre changed over, on Forty-third
and Broadway. That was the first and
earliest installation of an organ where
a long film was used.

But to go back a little bit, Hope-
Jones obtained some contracts for
organs for churches, and he’d come to
me and say “You know, this is really
an important installation, but if we

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 39

The Century Theatre auditorium.

The Century Theatre on Central Park West. Opus 4 was
installed in 1912.

could just add this stop and that stop to it, it would make
it perfect and it would mean so much to us in getting other
contracts.” Well we were willing to go along with things
like that and we did, but at the end of two years we had lost
$200,000 in the Hope-Jones Organ Department. Now he
was a very fine man in many, many respects. A real inventor
and a gifted man. He was very persuasive. He could
talk you into believing that black was white, and I think he
succeeded sometimes!

Well, at the end of this period of time we decided that the
only way we could make a success of the business, was to
have Hope-Jones stay out of the factory and have nothing
to do with the actual manufacturing operations. And we
talked to him and also wrote him a letter, and told him that
he no longer had permission to come into the plant, that we
would continue to pay him, just as the contract provided
for, and he had a percentage of any sales price on all the
organs that we sold. And we told him that as soon as the
business was profitable, that we would then establish an
experimental shop for him where he could do the experimental
work, but would not interfere with the current work
going through, because you just cannot manufacture and
make every instrument different than the last one that you
built. And that unfortunately, with his inventive mind, was
the only way that he could manage it. So that discouraged
Hope-Jones, that he could no longer come into the plant. It
discouraged him that he no longer was in the public eye as
much as he had been before, and as many of you know he
committed suicide on September 13th, 1914.

It was a great pity. Had he believed in us, he would have
been well compensated because a little later on the business
grew prosperous. His wife was, in my opinion, a very
wonderful woman. Very kind, and she did so much for all of
the employees that she had known for years. Most of these
people had come over from England with Hope-Jones. We
had many, many problems, many serious problems in those
early days because the loss that we had was a big one for
us. But throughout it all we never lost faith in what the
Hope-Jones organ was, and what he had done. We believed

The Vitagraph (formerly the Criterion) Theatre received Opus
33 in 1914. (Opus 33 was originally Opus 4, which had been
repossessed and enlarged by two ranks).

in his work, and we believed that we could be a success in
it, and we were.

(Editor’s note: This concludes Part 1, look for Part 2 in
the next issue.)

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

The Hooghuys

A legacy of wonderful instruments

By Robert F. Penna, Ph.D.

The distinctive sound of a street,
fairground or dance hall organ,
whether activated by a barrel, paper
roll or cardboard book, is music to
my ears. Whether performing music
perfectly or even slightly out-of-tune,
there is something magical to me
about the sound. Of the many companies
that manufactured organs in
various parts of the world only a few
gained reputations for outstanding
performance and ended up making
music machines that became eagerly
sought by collectors. The Hooghuys
family can count themselves among
that short list.

Family Background

The Hooghuys family significantly
impacted the field of automatic music
for nearly a century and a half after
Louis Francois Hooghuys began the
manufacture of barrel organs in Grammont,
Belgium, in 1880.1 Prior to that,
the Hooghuys family exerted a much
smaller influence on the field of music
as their reputation was centered
around the manufacture of church
organs. The first documented entry
into the music business was in 1806
when Gerrit Simon Hooghuys placed
an advertisement in a paper in Bruges,
Belgium, having just moved from his
home in Middelburg, Netherlands.2
The ad read:

GERARDUS HOOGHUYS, Organ
builder, has the honor to inform the
public that he has come to live in this

1. Penna, Robert & Penna, Angela. “A
Chronological History of the Automatic Musical
Instrument – Part I,” Musical Box Society
International Journal, MBSI, Winter 1986.
2. Isebaert, Bjorn. “Part 1: The Start,”
Hooghuys Organ Pages, updated on Aug.
25, 2006 http://www.hooghuys.com/english/
history/history.htm
town Brugge in the Vlaemingstreet
near the Vlaemingbridge; he charges
himself with the building of new
Organs, and the repair of old ones, all
at moderate prices.

Designing and building church
organs is a very specialized field.
No one knows where Gerrit Simon
Hooghuys learned his trade. Likely,
it was from his father or other male
relative, as occupations and apprenticeships
were closely held by families
and passed down from fathers to sons.
This was the case for Simon Gerard
(1780-1853), the eldest son of Gerrit,
and also Louis Benoit (1822-1885),
Gerrit’s third son. Both followed their
father into the family business. The
church organs built by the Hooghuys
were held in high esteem, especially
those designed and built by Louis
Benoit.

According to Bjorn Isebaert,
who has assembled a history of the
Hooghuys, Louis Benoit Hooghuys
was “the greatest church organ
builder of this family. By 1854 his
reputation as an organ builder was
well established. His work shows both
great craftsmanship and knowledge
His organ building skills rested upon
the gradual simplification of the late
Baroque organ to an early Romantic
instrument. Examination on the
dispositions of his instruments indicates
that for Louis Benoit Hooghuys,
the merge of soft timbre registers was
more important than the contrast
between loud expressive ones.”3

Louis Benoit Hooghuys’ younger
brother, Francois Bernard (18301888),
became his assistant in this
family business. Later Francois
Bernard moved to Geraardsbergen,

3. Isebaert, Bjorn. “Part 1: The Start,”
Hooghuys Organ Pages, updated on Aug.
25, 2006 http://www.hooghuys.com/english/
history/history.htm
Louis Benoit Hooghuys.

Belgium, where he worked in the
church organ works of Charles
Anneessens et Fils with his son, Louis
Francois (1856-1924).4

Organs manufactured by the
Anneessen firm were highly regarded
and can be found in England,
Scotland, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands,
Spain and Portugal. Two of
the most famous examples include
the organ at Bartholomew Church in
Geraardsbergen and the Mount Zion
Methodist Heritage Chapel in Halifax,
Nova Scotia, Canada.5 It is likely that
Louis Francios gained invaluable
experience while working there.

Hooghuys and Player Instruments

It was 1880 when Louis Francois
decided to switch from making

4.. Isebaert, Bjorn. “Part 2: From Church
to Barrel Organ,” Hooghuys Organ Pages,
updated on Aug. 25, 2006, http://www.
hooghuys.com/english/history/history.htm

5. “Organ Details: Mount Zion Anneessens
Organ,” Mount Zion Methodist Heritage
Chapel, Jan. 9, 2019, http://www.mountzionhalifax.
org.uk/Organ.php
January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

1212
Photograph of the workers at the Hooghuys factory with several members of the
Hooghuys family. Family members are identified as: 1-Edouard Joseph; 2-Charles
Francois; 3-Edgard Georges; 4-Franciscus Louis.

The red arrow indicates the location of Manufacture d’Orgues Mecaniques on Place
de la Station, Grammont, Belgium.

church organs to mechanical barrel
organs. Even today, the organs that
came out of his workshop declare the
skill of their maker with their clear
refined sound and rather conservative
construction. Located in Geraardsbergen
(Grammont), the firm was called
Manufacture d’Orgues Mecaniques
Louis Hooghuys. It was first located
on Mill Street, but two years later it
was moved to larger quarters at the
Place de la Station.6

6. Coade, George. “Ghysels Collection
Display in Brussels, Belgium, – L’Alexandre
Fair Organ” Mechanical Music, MBSI, March/
April 2009
34

Most of the records of the company
were destroyed during World War I so
it cannot be ascertained just how many
barrel organs were built in the factory,
but it has been determined that, at
one time, as many as 15 workers were
employed there. Several of these
employees included members of the
Hooghuys family. At first, Hooghuys
exclusively built barrel organs, but
around 1900 the factory converted
a barrel organ to a book mechanism
while still retaining its ability to play
a barrel. From that time on, Hooghuys
built different types of organs from
small fair organs to large dance hall

organs. Not only did the factory make
new organs, but they also repaired any
number of competitor instruments.7

As there was no mass production,
each organ seemed to be made to the
exact specifications of the client who
ordered it. Parts were handmade and
few pieces were interchangeable.
Critics believe the quality of the
Hooghuys products started to deteriorate
after the end of the war (1918).
The company sold some gramophones
and records several years before the
war, but increased focus on that
market after 1918 to supplement their
income as organ sales declined. Eventually,
family infighting between Louis
Francois’ two eldest sons led to the
dissolution of the firm in 1924. Louis
Francois died the same year.8

After the death of Louis Francois,
his two sons went their separate ways.
Louis Francois’s younger son, Edmond
Francois (1882-1963), considered the
more talented of the two, continued
to restore and tune organs until his
death. The older son, Charles Francois
(1878-1951), bought half of the company’s
factory building and continued
to work on the organs begun by his
father. In the former factory, he placed
a café for the Zeeberg brewery in
which he installed a Hooghuys dance
organ (LH620) which was later sold
in 1931. Although he continued some
activities, it seems he mostly left the
profession around 1939. His son,
Romain Charles (1901-1989), developed
a fine reputation for creating
musical arrangements for organ books
and restored several organs (LH605 &
LH552). Romain Charles’s son, Marc
Herwig Hooghuys (1945-), remains in
the family trade and can be found still
restoring Hooghuys organs.

There are three categories of
Hooghuys organs – street organs,
fairground organs and dancehall
organs. Hooghuys barrel mechanisms
can be found on all size instruments.

7. Isebaert, Bjorn. “Part 2: From Church
to Barrel Organ,” Hooghuys Organ Pages,
updated on Aug. 25, 2006 http://www.
hooghuys.com/english/history/history.htm
8. Isebaert, Bjorn. “Part 3: Nothing Lasts
Forever,” Hooghuys Organ Pages, updated
on Jul. 13, 2012 http://www.hooghuys.com/
english/history/history3.htm
42 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

An example of a Hooghuys 92-key
dance organ

The use of cardboard books and paper
rolls coming in after 1900. According
to Isebaert and Marc Hooghuys, the
Hooghuys instruments are unique
for two special reasons. Firstly, there
is no air pressure in the keyframe
itself due to their special pneumatic
systems developed by Louis Francois.
The system is a combination of the
French “keyed” system (as used
by Gavioli and Limonaire) and the
German keyless one where the air
is allowed to escape into the atmosphere
through the openings in the
cardboard books or paper rolls. This
special pneumatic system is why their
organs are able to repeat very rapidly.
Secondly, the Hooghuys organs have a
unique system that causes the keys of
the keyframe to set down at the end
of an organ book. The system is activated
by a separate hole in the book to

A cardboard book label for music produced by Louis Hooghuys

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43

A small Hooghuys barrel organ.

A keyframe for reading books on a Hooghuys dance organ.

exhaust the excess pressure.9

In the early 1900s, Hooghuys experimented with dulcimer-
style stringed harps fitted into the upper facades of his
dance organs. However, renters soon found that problems
with tuning far outweighed the novelty-value of the register.
It was a fun idea and musically added to the instrument
a delightful contrast in tone-color to the pipe ranks. But
the device was largely impractical on a machine which
spent much time being hauled between events. Piano-orchestrions
playing in permanent installations had no such
problems.10

Isebaert and Hooghuys state the reason “Hooghuys
organs are technically and musically almost perfect can
be ascribed to the fact that Louis Hooghuys had a broad
musical formation and also a very long musical tradition…
Nevertheless, one shortcoming should be mentioned —
Hooghuys organs, in their original condition, usually only
had 8 basses (instead of the normal 12). Since Louis was a
very conservative man, he never wanted to change anything
about this. Remember the fact that the firm started with
cylinder organs, where 8 basses were normal.”11

A word on the facades found on Hooghuys organs. Illustrations
indicate that large instruments with façades that
were typical of the era. The style and shapes of the carvings
were similar to those of other manufacturers. Some
Hooghuys organs even carried life-sized figures adorning
their fronts. Colorful, ornate and sometimes mechanical,
they helped to entice and entertain the audience.

Details on individual organs and their present whereabouts
can be found on websites developed by Bjorn
Isebaert which are referred to in the footnotes of this article.
Much of the materials and photographs were supplied
with his gracious consent.

9. Isebaert, Bjorn and Hooghuys, Marc. “Hooghuys – The History
of the Family and of the Company,” Carousel Organ, Carousel Organ
Association of America, Issue 6, January 2001.
10. Seagrave, Shane. “Medal Winner Marenghi,” Mechanical Music,
MBSI, March/April 2011
11. Isebaert, Bjorn and Hooghuys, Marc. “Hooghuys – The History
of the Family and of the Company,” Carousel Organ, Carousel Organ
Association of America, Issue 6, January 2001.
Björn Isebaert, Bill Nunn, Ted Bowman, Marc Hooghuys and
Boz Oram gather together in front of a large Hooghuys organ
(LH553) in 2003. It was the organ’s dedication at Grammont,
Belgium. (Photo courtesy Carousel Organ Association of
America, originally printed in the Carousel Organ, Issue No.
32, July, 2007, Page 6)

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

Writer’s guidelines for Mechanical Music

The MBSI Publications Committee
wants to maintain and improve the
quality of its magazines. The following
guidelines are designed to help you in
preparing your articles for publication.

Title – Please try to include words
which will allow your article to be
categorized and filed in an index of
articles. You may include a subtitle
which may further clarify the title.

Outline – Please organize your
article in a chronological, logical
format. Avoid lengthy paragraphs and
sentences.

Punctuation – In most instances,
quotation marks are typed after
periods and commas. “This example
has the proper format.” Be consistent
with capitalization, numerals, names,
etc. The Associated Press Stylebook
is used as a basic reference tool for
questions of consistency. Decimal
points should be preceded by a 0 if
they are only fractional. Example: 0.25
is correct. The editor and members
of the Publications Committee will
provide proof reading, which is
easier and more accurate if there is
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Footnotes and Bibliography –
Provide footnotes and a bibliography
where appropriate. Also provide
reference websites and a list of further
reading suggestions if available. When
quoting materials, note the numeric
footnote in the text.

Photographs – Provide digital
photos whenever possible. Try to
eliminate background clutter when
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resolution possible. Send in the
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the size for the purposes of email,
instead send several emails with a few
photos in each email. Printed photos

are acceptable but not recommended.

If photos correspond to the text to
illustrate a procedure or particular
piece of a music box, please note this
in the photograph’s file name. For
example, if you refer to Figure 1 in the
text please title the photo Figure1.jpg
to ensure the correct image appears in
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are not able to alter the photograph’s
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If describing the restoration of
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author should explain why he/she
chose to use alternative materials.

No article should be written in such
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and future generations of mechanical
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Please send articles to: MBSI Editor

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Email: editor@mbsi.org

Phone: (253) 228-1634

Copy this page and keep it handy,
then look at your collection. There
certainly must be a musical piece that
you found after either searching for
it for many years or through unusual
circumstances. It could be a subject
for our popular, “The Hunt” series.
We look forward to receiving many
stories in the coming months.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 45

National Capital Chapter

Chapter Chair: Matt Jaro
Reporters: Donna and Gene Borrelli
Photographer: Paul Senger

Nov. 15, 2020, via Zoom

The Coronavirus pandemic
prevented the National Capital
Chapter of MBSI from holding any
business meetings since the December
2019 holiday party, but our first
attempt to hold a virtual meeting was
a resounding success. Ken Gordon
hosted the meeting and there were 28
people in attendance including one
new member and one guest. Since we
hadn’t met in nearly a year, this was
an opportunity for many members to
catch up on events of the past year.

Chapter activities have obviously
been curtailed, but we will hopefully
be able to have our annual demonstration
at the C&O Canal at Great Falls
Park in Maryland next May. In addition,
we are planning a demonstration/
program in Bowie, MD, next Fall if
conditions permit.

Following the business meeting,
Paul Senger played many of the instruments
in his collection. This was not as
straightforward as it sounds. In order
to get good sound quality from each
instrument he had to use some new
features recently added to Zoom as
well as adjust the microphone volume
for each box individually. The following
instruments were demonstrated:

• Seeburg KT with violin pipes
from 1913 and Dancing Girls on
Stained Glass. One of approximately
12 remaining. Plays G
rolls. It was last restored in 1973
and plays very well. He played
several selections from an Art
Reblitz roll.
• John Smith Organ 20 Organ that
he built in 2003
• Mr. Christmas disc box
Paul Senger discusses the case construction on the Seeburg KT.

The Seeburg KT with doors closed.

• Ullman Cylinder Music Box circa
1870-90
• Regina style 11 15½-inch disk box
from 1897. This early box has a
winding crank inside the box
• Wall Box for Seeburg KT
• Edison Standard Cylinder Phonograph
circa 1903
• Roller Organ circa 1900. Has
removable wooden cobs. Works
and sounds like an accordion
• Serinette organ circa 1790. Has
nine piccolo pipes and was once
used to train canaries
• A Biscuit Box with hidden music
box circa 1890
• Russian Mechanical Bird
Overall sound and picture quality
were excellent. Chapter President Matt
Jaro thanked Ken Gordon for hosting
and Paul for the demonstration.

Russian mechanical bird from the Marve
Freund estate.

Paul changes the tune on the serinette. The serinette mechanism with pinned
barrel, bellows, and keys to read barrel.

Paul shows the pipes on the serinette.
Paul explains the Gem roller organ
mechanism, which is similar to a reed in
an accordion.

The Gem roller organ featuring removable
cobs to change the tune.

Paul loads a cylinder onto the circa 1903
Edison Standard Phonograph.

The Biscuit Box showing the front and
bottom with key to wind the mechanism.

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 47

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Mary Pollock – 1927–2020

By Paul Senger

I am sad to announce the passing
of member Mary Pollock at age 93 on
Oct. 17, 2020.

Mary was always at the forefront
of MBSI and the Carousel Organ
Association of America (COAA). She
volunteered for everything and was
bus captain for many MBSI tours
including Rockville, MD, in 2011.
Mary’s bus was always the most fun.

We were on a bus tour one year
and supposed to eat our lunch on the
bus. We were ahead of schedule and
passing a park, so Mary had the driver
pull in. There was a family setting up
for a party in the pavilion, but Mary
convinced them to let us eat lunch
there since their party wasn’t till later.
It was a much better lunch

I was always amazed when Mary
would show up single handed with
her Wurlitzer 125 organ at the COAA
rallies. She must have been in her
early eighties then. It was always fun
to be with Mary. She was one of a kind,
strong and adventurous. You can see
from her obituary (www.shivelyfuner-
alhomes.com/obituary/Mary-Pollock)
she was a world traveler and great
sales person both as a Realtor and
in achievements in our mechanical
music organizations.

Mary was a Trustee of MBSI, a
Chairman of Mid-Am chapter, a founding
member of COAA and a member
of the Automated Music Instrument
Collectors Association (AMICA).

Mary raised her family as an Air
Force spouse establishing temporary
homes in California, Texas, Virginia,
Maryland, Ohio and in Libya, Turkey,
France and Germany.

Our condolences to her family. We
will always remember her.

Mary Pollock at 86 at the 2013 MBSI convention in Chicago dancing to the Bluz
Brothers Band.

Dave Calendine, Mary Pollock, and Robert Pollock (her youngest son) at the 2018
MBSI Annual Meeting.

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Faye Simpson – 1955–2020

By Paul Senger

I am sad to announce the passing
of National Capital Chapter member
Deborah Faye Simpson, wife of
Richard Simpson on Oct. 14, 2020,
at the age of 66, after a long illness.
Faye and Richard were married 28
years and lived in Cochranville, PA.
Faye is survived by Richard, and by
two sisters, numerous nieces, and her
beloved Border Collie Sarah.

Faye worked at Conifer Health
Solutions and the condolences from
her co-workers reflect that she was
a sweet person and much loved. She
was also a religious person.

Faye and Richard joined MBSI
and the National Capital Chapter in
January 2017. She attended multiple
meetings and enjoyed our holiday
gatherings the most. Faye was just
learning about mechanical music and
starting to enjoy the instruments and
visiting with our members. She worked
on the 2019 MBSI Annual Meeting on
the decorations committee, setting up
meeting venues and distributing door
prizes. She was a friendly and quiet
person but always willing to help. We
will miss her very much.

Our condolences to Richard and
the family. Her obituary is online at
www.wildefuneralhome.com/content/
deborah-faye-simpson

Faye at the National Capital Chapter C&O Canal Demonstration in 2018.

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.

In Memoriam In Memoriam
John Field – 1935 – 2020

John Field with Richard Hughes and
John Haskey at a Golden Gate Chapter
Meeting in 2014.

By David Corkrum

Dr. John Austin Field was born on
May 6, 1935, to John (Jack) and Sally
Field in San Francisco, CA. John was
an active and founding member of the
Golden Gate Chapter of MBSI. His
family was academically oriented so
it wasn’t difficult to see that he would
continue in the academic tradition of
his family. At an early age, John was
interested in all things mechanical,
especially trains and radios. As a young
person, he often collected discarded
radios and phonographs from which
to study, sort out and restore. This
became a lifelong endeavor. He
attended Engineering School at UCLA
but switched his major to pre-med
in his final year after working in
the Radiology Dept at UCLA during
the summer. He completed medical
school at UCLA with an internship
and residency at Los Angeles County
General Hospital where he entered
orthopedic medicine.

After serving in the Army Medical
Corps in Korea for two years, he and
his wife, Wilma, settled in Santa Cruz,

John Field demonstrating his Steinway piano to Judy and Bob Caletti at a Golden
Gate Chapter meeting in 2008.

CA, and raised three children. Along
with family activities, John was a high-
ly-engaged antique collector, inventor
and machinist. In the early 1990s he
divorced Wilma and later married
Dianne. They had met through the Los
Angeles Microscope Society where
he was well known for his knowledge
of Leitz microscopes. For the next 21
years they shared their admiration for
classic steam trains, cars, pipe organs,
player pianos and essentially all things
mechanical.

I met John and Dianne at one of
Golden Gate Chapter meetings and
marveled at his depth of knowledge in
so many different fields. He was truly
a gifted collector. One time I was able
to see his microscope collection and I
told him, “You didn’t collect just one,
you had to have the whole set!” This
is the nature of a collector. We see it,
hear it, study it and try to learn more
about it. John was a definite asset to
the field of mechanical music, and I
will miss him.

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Diane Yates 1939-2020

By Al and Mary Zamba

In the early 1980s, after purchasing
a couple of music boxes at an auction,
Al and I learned about MBSI. Al soon
discovered that the MBSI president
at that time was Bob Yates (president
from 1980-1981), and he lived in our
area. A friendship with Diane and
Bob soon blossomed and grew. We
attended MBSI annual meetings, chapter
events, Christmas parties, picnics,
old car tours and dinners together. We
will always cherish our times together
and the memories made. On Thanksgiving
night, 2020, however, our hearts
were broken as we learned of Diane’s
death.

Bob met Diane, the love of his life, in
Grove City, PA, backstage at a Grove
City College theater production.
Diane was on the stage crew while
Bob had a small part in the play. And
so began a college romance culminating
in marriage and a collaboration
that would span 60 years producing
three children, six grandchildren, a
multitude of friendships around the
world and grand collections.

Theater continued to be a passion
for Diane well beyond her college
years. Gilbert and Sullivan, Shakespeare,
George Bernard Shaw – you
name it – Diane reveled in playwrights
past and present. She loved New York
City productions, The Shaw Festival
in Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Ohio
Light Opera series with the Kinters.
She saw the Civic Light Opera and
public theater everywhere (from Pittsburgh,
PA, to Naples, FL, and even
London, England). Diane savored
many fine arts frequenting exhibits
on impressionism, subscribing to
the symphony, attending galleries
and exploring museums at home and
abroad.

An advocate of preservation, Diane

loved history, especially the Victorian
era. She and Bob researched, restored,
and decorated their Victorian home
with period pieces. In vintage dress,
she often opened their home for
Christmas house tours sponsored by
local civic and historical organizations
which she supported. She and
Bob hosted many events for car clubs
and theater organ associates. Friends
invited more friends and Diane
embraced it. A neighborhood Victorian
dinner was just one of many crazy
events Diane and Bob orchestrated.
She did all the planning and cooking
of authentic period foods while Al
and I, as butler and maid, served. It
was wild and wonderful, unique and
memorable.

Diane was always behind the
projector when Bob presented
workshops at MBSI annual meetings.
Months before, Diane could be found
editing Bob’s scripts and working to
match slides to narratives. Workshops
were only the beginning. MBSI annual
meeting banquet programs were
always extravaganza events with Bob
and Diane doing their first one in 1977
for the 28th anniversary entitled “16
Chickens, 11 Roast Beefs and 1 Lake
Erie Perch.” Don’t ask! It was a Yates
original with Diane manning the three
multimedia projectors. That was the
start of many more annual meeting
programs for MBSI anniversary years

-40th, 50th, 60th, 70th. Many members
were featured in the program, some
in unsavory situations resulting in
moans, groans, cheers, and laughs.
At a Chicago MBSI meet, Linda
Perry, Cheryl Hack, and Diane
ventured off downtown. But things
went awry when Diane parked the
car in a tow-away zone and left her
purse in the unlocked car. It got more
complicated when on the return trip,
the threesome disembarked at the

wrong station. They called the police
to straighten that out and eventually
found the car and its contents
untouched and safe. Just another day
in the life of Diane and friends.

Another time Diane and Bob, traveling
with Mike and Penny Kinter,
took a train from Munich, Germany, to
Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.
The overnight stay was almost derailed
when Diane’s envelope containing the
name and number of the hotel was left
on the train. They took a gamble and
boarded a tram that they suspected
would lead them close to the right
hotel, but without a name and in the
dark. Miraculously, they found it.
Lady Luck was with Diane.

Over the years, Diane helped Bob
plan Mid-America Chapter meetings,
opening their beautiful home to many
delighted members. She assisted Bob
on tours of Bayernof, a music box
museum near Pittsburgh. Band Organ/
Monkey Organ rallies found her showing
observers how the calliope worked
or nervously monitoring as Bob made
balloon art for the children while on
stilts. Sundays saw her singing in her

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 51

church’s choir for many years. Music was in her soul.

Diane and Bob traveled extensively and led six “Flying
Pig Tours” through England and Europe. We went on
several. What a blast! Bob would contact the collectors
while Diane, with the help of an agency, but mostly through
her own research, did the detail planning, finding unique
hotels, arranging meals, and uncovering little-known points
of interest. Before GPS, there was Diane. She mapped out
routes and huddled daily with the bus drivers. She had
more maps and better routes than they had. And along the
way, whether it was sheep crossing the road in England, a
man urinating by a tree in France, or the bus driver who
was almost arrested because he refused to move the bus

in Belgium, Diane would declare, “We paid extra for this!”

The Yates’ pursued antiques across the globe nabbing
unique treasures to enhance and expand their many collections.
Diane collected chatelaines, vinaigrettes, valentine
cards, 4-edge books, pop-up books, Victorian jewelry and
vintage clothing. She even collected theater programs
amassing a large collection which she donated to the
University of Pittsburgh’s drama department.

After raising the children, Diane went back to school
earning a Master’s of Library Science from the University
of Pittsburgh. An avid reader, she was able to share her
love for literature by becoming head librarian of the Shaler
North Hills Library. During her 22 years as director, she
oversaw two major library expansions.

Diane never had a bad word to say about anyone and
never complained about anything. She was always
cheerful and full of fun, quick-witted and engaged in the
moment. She lived life to the fullest—an inspiration to us
all. Her contributions to the health and welfare of MBSI are
far-reaching and enduring. In fact, I bet Diane is forming an
MBSI chapter in heaven right now. Listen closely! Can you
hear the music?

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

2000 N. READING ROAD | DENVER, PA 17517 | 877-968-8880 | INFO@MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
Inviting Consignments for
Our April 16 & 17, 2021
Auction
CCOOIINN–OOPP &&
AADDVVEERRTTIISSIINNGG
SOLD $83,000SOLD $61,500 SOLD $67,700
SOLD $80,000SOLD $80,000
2000 N. READING ROAD | DENVER, PA 17517 | 877-968-8880 | INFO@MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
Inviting Consignments for
Our April 16 & 17, 2021
Auction
CCOOIINN–OOPP &&
AADDVVEERRTTIISSIINNGG
SOLD $83,000SOLD $61,500 SOLD $67,700
SOLD $80,000SOLD $80,000

54 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021 54 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

(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

January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 55

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.

************************************************************************************************************************
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

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.

56 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

Fine & Decorative Arts | January 23
Featured Musical & Coin-Op Items
Mermod Freres “Ideal Soprano”Wurlitzer Model
Cylinder Music Box1015 Jukebox
Victor No. 6 Regina
Mahogany Victrola “The Musical Savings Bank”
Criterion Mahogany
Music Box with Cabinet
Mermod Freres
Inlaid Cylinder
Music Box
Adler-Fortuna Mills Novelty Co.Encore Automatic Banjo Disc OrchestrionDouble Violano Virtuoso by Dave Ramey Sublime Harmony
Music Box
Capital Cuff Music Box
Link 2E Coin Piano with Britannia “Smoking Capital Cuff Box Edison Opera Oak Regina Automatic Changer
Mandolin and Marimba Cabinet” Music Box with 9 Records Cylinder Phonograph Music Box
www.FontainesAuction.com
1485 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201 (Route 20)
A+
Phone: 413-448-8922 • Fax: 413-442-1550 • Email: info@fontainesauction.com
AUCTIONEER: JOHN FONTAINE, Mass. Auctioneers License #327 SINCE 1973

SAVE THE DATE

August 30 -September 4, 2021
(Tuesday through Saturday)

Things to do
in 2021
Fort Myers, Florida
MBSI is bringing the
1. Thank God that 2020 is over.
2. Get a Covid vaccine shot.
3. Make plans to attend the
Fall MBSI convention
4. Lose 15 pounds …
Lose 5 pounds …
Try not to gain more weight
Get up before noon.
6. Attend the MBSI convention
in Fort Myers, FL and
5. Wake up and exercise daily …
have great fun with
friends and
music machines
fun back in 2021

• Amazing instruments!
• Workshops!
• Collection tours!
• The Mart!
• Entertainment!
• Experts, fellow collectors and friends
from all over the world!
• Food, fun and fellowship!
Guaranteed to be the best
MBSI Annual Meeting
of this decade so far!

Registration details will be printed in a spring issue of Mechanical Music.

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.comAdvertise 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
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.comAdvertise 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
January/February 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 59

What’s your pleasure?
Bontems Singing Bird
In brass Jardiniere
Lawrencekirk cased
Chevron 2/per Section Comb
Bremond Interchangeable
3 cylinder –
Triple comb
Sublime
Harmony >
< Small 5 tune
Reed Monkey
Organ
Nancy Fratti Music Boxes
PO Box 400 – Canastota NY 13032 – USA
315-684-9977 — musicbox@frontiernet.net
www.nancyfrattimusicboxes

Thursday, Friday & Saturday, Jan. 14, 15 & 16, 2021
AUCTIONEERS & REALTORS STANTON’S
Stanton’s Auctioneers,
Appraisers, & Realtors
144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146
Vermontville, MI 49096
Phone: (517) 726-0181
Fax: (517) 726-0060
E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net
Website: www.stantons-auctions.com
Steven E. Stanton
(517) 331-8150 cellular
(517) 852-0627 evening
E-mail – stevenEstanton@gmail.com
Michael C. Bleisch
(517) 231-0868 cellular
E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com
Location – The sale will be held at its original location, at the Barry Expo Center, on the Barry County
Fairgrounds, at 1350 N. M-37 Hwy., Hastings, Michigan – The facility is located 4-1/2 miles northwest of
Hastings on M-37 or 20 miles southeast of Grand Rapids.
Due to the present situation dealing with the Covid-19 Virus, we will be offering onsite participation
(as usual) at the auction in accordance with the present mandates, as well as online bidding, phone
bidding and pre-sale left bids that we will execute for the buyer competitively.
Pre-Sale Preview Dates – To parties not planning on attending the auction in person, the following days
will be available for hands-on inspection, Monday, January 11th – 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M., Tuesday,
January 12th – 1:00 – 4:00 PM, and Wednesday, January 13th – 9:00-4:00 PM. Additional Preview
Dates are available by appointment following Christmas until the date of the auction.
Changes to the Catalog – We know that we will need to make some changes to the original catalog.
To offer the collection in person, and through the Online Format we will need to change certain lots from
choice to individual lots for the benefit of the online bidders. Also, there is a possibility that the addendum
sheet lots will not be offered and depending on the mandate at the time of the auction, and ability
for the crowd to attend, the parts session may or may not take place.
Bidding Procedures, Changes in Terms and Conditions –
1. The buyer’s premium to all attending the auction will remain at 10% as usual.
2. The buyer’s premium charged to all individuals participating by phone or left bids will be 10%.
a. Please note that phone bidding is only accepted on items with values of $300.00 or more.
3. T he buyer’s premium charged to all individuals purchasing through the online formats will be 23%.
A 3% discount will be given for cash or personal check discount.
Online Bidding: Available at: LiveAuctioneers.com and possibly one other online auction format.
Watch our website at www.stantons-auctions.com for information.
Be sure to register 48 hours in advance to be approved as a bidding for the auction. All Online terms
and conditions apply.
Phone Bidding: Phone bids are accepted items valued of at least $300.00. Email your phone bid list
(lot number and short description) to stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net, Steve Stanton, stevenEstanton@
gmail.com, or Michael C. Bleisch, mcbleisch@gmail.com by noon Tuesday, January 12th, 2020. Include
your name, full address, primary phone number, a backup/secondary phone number and email address.
You will receive an email or phone call to confirm receipt of your phone bids.
Terms –
1. Cash or personal check with proper identification
2. Credit cards are accepted with a 3% handling fee
3. Sale tax will be charged to all bidders unless you are reselling the items, in this case, please provide Stanton’s with a current sales tax
exemption license. If a copy is not provided sales tax will be charged. The only other exemption to sales tax being charged is if an
item is shipped to the purchaser, at an out-of-state location, by a Third-Party Shipper.
Shipping – Stanton’s Auctioneers does not provide packing and shipping services. We do have a list of recommended third party shippers
to assist you in shipping to and from the auction. We have found that our clients have had very good relationship with Pak Mail located at
30 E. Columbia Avenue, Ste. F-1, Battle Creek, Michigan 49015. Their phone number is (269) 660-1985, Fax (269) 660-1987, Email – ship@
pakmailbc.com, Website – www.pakmailbc.com. The contact persons at Pak Mail is David Smoot (owner), and Heather for information and
quotes. Other shipping firms are available in the nearby and surrounding area to the sale site. All shipping costs will be charged to the buyer.
Post-Sale Pickup – Will be available on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, January 18, 19, and 20 from 9:00 A.M.
– 12:00 Noon each day.
Condition – All items are being sold in as-is, where is condition with no expressed or implied warranty of any
kind. All descriptions and information is offered only as a guideline and is not supplied as a warranty of the item
being sold. Stanton’s will be glad to do an inspection of the Items that you have an interest in bidding on however,
that inspection is only our opinion, and it does not imply a warranty or change the fact that all items are
being sold in as-is condition. Final determination of the condition, and other factors regarding the items being
sold, is left to the buyer. All sales are final.
THANK YOU to everyone for working with us in the liquidations of these fine collections
in a difficult time. This auction represents many fine collections that have been assembled
by their owners after years and decades of pursuing the items that they enjoyed so
much. We hope everyone plans on participating in this excellent upcoming event.
Stanton’s Music Machine Auction
– RESCHEDULED –

FOR SALE
VINTAGE SWISS MUSIC MOVEMENTS. NOS.

THE MART

In A/C storage over 45 years; 12 note, 18 note

RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a most original wrap. 10/$25, 100/$200.+

variety of antique musical boxes, discs, shipping. Also Brass Reuge 30 note priced

orphan cylinders, reproducing piano rolls & separately. Location 11787. BILL ZUK,

out of print books about mechanical music. 941-321-1790, wmezuk@gmail.com.

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 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.

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
WURLITZER 190 B THEATER ORGAN with
piano attached. Many capabilities. $15,000
OBO. AMERICAN-BUILT SCOPITONES with
several extra films available. Two for $1,500
or one for $1,000, OBO. SEEBURG JUKEBOX
with records and wall box. $750 OBO. DUO
ART STROUD PIANO, restored. $750 OBO.
BUSH AND LANE grand reproducing piano.
Player action needs restoration. $500 OBO.
Deacon Chimes. $350 OBO. Several hundred
plus piano rolls, all types. One accordion
setup that ties into theatre organ or similar
device. $300 OBO. Contact JON CARPENTER
joncarol54@gmail.com

SUBMIT ADS TO:

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

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

FOR SALE SERVICES FOR SALE SERVICES
Display Advertisers

CIRCA 1990s Reuge musical movements
never used, in original packaging, pristine
condition: two 4/50 (45008 & 45079); one
3/72 (37213); and one 3/144 (314403)..
Contact DAVID CROTHERS, at dwcboxes@
me.com or 267-280-2376

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

WANTED
COINOLA “X” or C-2. Also Regina 216 music
box with bells. Contact DON KROENLEIN, at
fbac@one-eleven.net or (217) 620-8650

RECUT RAGTIME type A rolls for my Seeburg
L and E nickelodeons. Mozart or Beethoven
containing rolls for my Ampico B reproducing
piano. Contact RON SCHULTZ, at 845-3862773
or rpsdds@hvc.rr.com

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
3………. Renaissance Antiques
52…….. Miller Organ Clock
52…….. Bob Caletti
53…….. Morphy Auctions
54…….. Miller & Miller Auctions
55…….. Porter Music Box Company
56…….. MBSGB
56…….. American Treasure Tour
57…….. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery
58…….. Southeast Chapter
59…….. Cottone Auctions
59…….. Reeder Pianos
59…….. Ben’s Player Piano
60…….. Nancy Fratti
61…….. Stanton Auctions
67…….. Marty Persky
68…….. Auction Team Breker

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. Email your advertisement
with photo to editor@mbsi.org or
call (253) 228-1634 for more details.

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.

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)

Get a copy to take with you and one to leave
at home when you travel.

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 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 63

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
kozak@seldenfox.com

TRUSTEES

Dave Calendine
Bob Caletti
Ed Cooley
Dave Corkrum

G.Wayne Finger
Matt Jaro
Tom Kuehn
Mary Ellen Myers
Clay Witt
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

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
Richard Simpson, East Coast

Museum Sub-Committees

Ohio Operations
Emery Prior

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
Robbin 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.

64 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2021

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event Location Sponsor
Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting Ft. Myers, FL Southeast Chapter

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know!
Send in your information by Feb. 1, 2021 for the March/April issue.
The MBSI online discussion group is named Music Box Society Forum and is on Facebook. Show off a new

discovery, post a video of a new disc playing or ask a question today!

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

CHAPTERS

East Coast

Chair: Elise Low
(203) 457-9888
Dues TBD 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 Pro Tem: Sachiya Sasaki
Vice Chair Pro Tem: Naoki Shibata

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

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

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

January/February 2021 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:
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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

Mechanical Music at its Best

Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation
Mechmusic.com
Welte 4 Concert Violina Orchestra Hupfeld Helios II/25 Popper Felix
Wurlitzer CX with Bells Violano Virtuoso Seeburg KT Special

Jaeger Brommer
42’er Violinopan 20’er Automaton
45’er Niemuth
Bacigalupo Visit: Mechmusic.com Mills Bowfront Violano
Call Marty Persky at 847-675-6144 or Email: Marty@Mechmusic.com
for further information on these and other fine instruments.

Frisian musical
hall clock with moon phase
by Arent Jansen Abelius,
Norden, 1796
Sold: 7.250  / $8.480
Large picture clock with Ducommun-
Girod musical movement, c. 1865
Sold: 2.265  / $2.650
Interchangeable forte-piano musical
secretaire by George Baker, c. 1890
Sold: 11.550  / $13.515
Trumpet barrel organ by
Eduard Hilger, Berlin, c. 1912
Sold: 8.185  / $9.570
Musical clock with dulcimer
accompaniment, Berlin, c. 1830
Sold: 7.770  / $9.090
Monkey artist
musical automaton
with clock, c. 1885
Sold: 9.445  / $11.050
Station musical box by
Henri Vidoudez, St. Croix, c. 1895
Sold: 14.245  / $16.670
Black Forest automaton
shelf clock, c. 1890
Sold: 4.280  / $5.000
Marquise automaton
by Leopold Lambert, c. 1885
Sold: 3.980  / $4.655
“Figuraphon” toy gramophone
by Weco, Germany, c. 1925
Sold: 1.410  / $1.650
“Buddha Phonographe Artistique”,
Andia, Paris & Brussels, c. 1924
Sold: 3.590  / $4.200
Auto-Chordephonette
Model 15A, Chordephon
Musikwerke Claus & Co.,
Leipzig, c. 1905
Sold: 2.015  / $2.360
Swiss station musical box with
dancing dolls, drum and bells, c. 1890
Sold: 11.650  / $13.630
››Mechanical Music‹‹
Spring 2021
World’s Leading Specialist Auction for
Closing date for entries: 15 February 2021
– Illustrated are just a few of our highlights from last sales on 31 October 2020 –
Free consignment shipping to Germany – if delivered or sent to our location in Garden City Park,
NY 11040 (10 miles east of JFK Airport)
Free shipping for any major consignment from the U.K.! You just pack – we do the rest!
For more highlights and videos, visit www.Breker.com/New Highlights
or youtube.com/auctionteambreker
Fully-illustrated bilingual (Engl.-German) COLOUR Catalogue available against prepayment only:
Euro 28.– (Europe) or elsewhere Euro 37.– (approx. US$ 44.– / Overseas)
(Bank draft, cash or by Credit Card with CVV and expiry date: MasterCard/Visa/AmEx)
– The Specialists in »Technical Antiques« –
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:
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
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
Consignments are invited
for our next Spring Specialty Auction!

Volume 66, No. 6 November/December 2020

Mechanical Music

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

Volume 66, No. 6 November/December 2020

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 2020. 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 66, No. 6 November/December 2020

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

11 Museum Committee
Report

12 Annual Trustee Meeting
Minutes

17 MBSI Financial
Statements

53 In Memoriam

Features

27 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro

33 Sacred music on cylinders
– Part 5

46 The Hunt – An Edison
Amberola 30

MBSI has replanted 117 trees so far as
part of the Print ReLeaf program.

On the Cover
Harold Wade’s Regina Style 66
featuring painted panels on mahog-
any. This upright 151/2-inch disc
box is quite the sight to behold.
Page 42.
A cylinder for the ages

James Brewer tells the story of a
uniquely-pinned cylinder that found
its way into his collection after
many years. Page 39.

November/December 2020 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 automatical

ly-played machine that produces melodic sound including

discs and cylinder music boxes that pluck a steel comb;

orchestrions and organs that engage many instruments at

once using vacuum and air pressure; player and reproducing

pianos that use variable vacuum to strike piano wires; pho

nographs; 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 November/December 2020

By Tom Kuehn

MBSI President

I hope you all are continuing to enjoy
our hobby as we progress through
these challenging and uncertain times.
According to my Webster’s Dictionary
of the English Language (yes, I still
have the dictionary given to me as a
high school graduation gift), “hobby,
n., a spare time interest or occupation,
esp. one taken up just for pleasure.”

As mentioned in a previous message,
because there was no annual business
meeting this year, the election of officers
was conducted by letter ballot.
Thank you to all who returned your
ballots. The unanimous results were as
follows: David Corkrum to serve one
more year as vice president, Edward
Kozak to serve another one year term
as treasurer, and Linda Birkitt to serve
another one year term as recording
secretary. Dave Calendine was also
elected to a four-year term as a
trustee. All the society officers, board
members and committee chairs are
working especially hard these days
because of the disruptions caused by
the COVID-19 pandemic and deserve
your unfailing support.

August 2020
Stephen Backiel & Terry Vanderplas
Knoxville, TN
September 2020
Kazuo Matsumoto
Odawara-shi, Kanagawa-ken,
Japan
Robert Fox
Parker, CO
Sponsor: Stephen Fox
Peter Danzig
Salt Lake City, UT
Welcome new
members!
All members should have received
the 2020-2021 Mechanical Music
Directory of Members, Museums and
Dealers by now. Our editor, Russell
Kasselman, has done an outstanding
job along with numerous pairs of eyes
who carefully proofread the content.
Of course, this is a snapshot in time of
our membership and contact information
that is also available on our web
site 24/7. Members can update their
information at any time by logging
into the members only section.

The trustees held their annual
board meeting on Friday, Sept. 4, via
teleconference. This was the final
board meeting for Sally Craig as she
completed two four-year terms as
an MBSI Trustee. Members of the
board thanked Sally for her dedicated
service and wished her well. She will
continue to serve the society as chair
of the Museum Committee. Considerable
effort has been made to resolve
the upcoming annual meeting schedule
that was disrupted this year. The
plan is to meet in Florida next year
as originally scheduled and then hold
the meeting in Northern California
the following year, a two-year delay
from the original plan to hold it there
this year. The minutes of this meeting
are published in this issue starting on
Page 12.

Virtual meetings are being discussed
as a mechanism for chapters
to hold meetings and for the society
to provide its membership with alternative
modes of information. These
could include workshops, collection
tours, interviews, or a variety of other
formats. It opens up the possibility
of seeing world class collections in
Japan and Europe that many of us in
the U.S. would never be able to visit
personally. Zoom has become a widely
used platform although others are
being considered. To accomplish this,
however, we need a few volunteers to
help lay the groundwork. Matt Jaro,
chair of our Meetings Committee, has
taken the lead in this initiative. Please
contact Matt if you have ideas or

expertise to share.

Some emergency changes to the
society bylaws and policies and pro-

cedures documents were instituted by
the trustees at the May 22 meeting this
year. With all the disruptions to our
normal operations, however, I have
formed a Presidential Committee to
carefully review both documents
and bring recommendations to the
board at the mid-year meeting to be
held next March. The committee is
chaired by Immediate Past President
Clay Witt, with Vice President David
Corkrum and Trustee Wayne Finger as
members.

As I write this, our maple trees are
in full glory with brilliant yellows,
oranges and various shades of red.
Colder weather is definitely approaching.
My grandmother used to say,
“Minnesota has nine months of winter
and three months of poor sleighing.”
Be safe, stay well.



★★
®
(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
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.
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
Sponsor
Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-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.


★★
®
(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
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.
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
Sponsor
Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-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.

Editor’s Notes MBSI Editorial / Advertising
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
editor@mbsi.org
Editor’s Notes MBSI Editorial / Advertising
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
editor@mbsi.org
By Russell Kasselman

MBSI Editor/Publisher

Welcome to another fantastic issue,
packed with news of the society and
good content to entertain you during
this crazy season. I can’t tell you how
much I’m looking forward to the
holidays this year even if we all have
to celebrate from our own homes
connecting only through computer
screens. I’m ready to get back to a
focus on the things we love, family,
friends and music.

A new column called Outreach Corner
debuts this issue providing useful
tips for chapters and individuals to
share their love of mechanical music
with the public when that becomes
possible again. Written by Mary Ellen
and Wayne Myers, it’s a great kick off
for a new feature that I look forward
to reading regularly. Sally Craig,
Museum Committee chair, also has

an informative column this issue with
some updates on where things stand
with the MBSI collection.

Matt Jaro, in his regular Nickel
Notes column, takes us on another trip
through history via musical press clippings
to tell the story of the Duo-Art
piano. I hope you find it as fascinating
as I did reading about the beginnings
of this new idea, something born of
innovation and iteration that never
existed before and went on to change
the state of music for generations.

David Worrall concludes his five-
part series on sacred music pinned to
cylinders with a thorough discussion
of the one-offs, the odd ball cylinders
that are not commonly found. I’m
truly grateful for David’s contribution
of thorough research on this subject
and glad to know it’s now part of the
society’s official record.

James Brewer and Harold Wade
each sent in accounts of items in

their respective collections with great
pictures to enjoy. No matter whether
these are machines you’ve seen a
hundred times, or are just seeing for
the first time, I’ll bet you’ll admit it’s
great to see members sharing their
stuff with each other and putting it
down on paper for future generations
to enjoy via the MBSI archives. (Got
something you want to share? Send it
in! Email and postal address above.)

First-time contributor Robert
Uhrhammer adds his story of finding an
Edison Amberola 30 and then building
a collection of cylinders with all types
of different music. Read about it in our
column, The Hunt, then write us about
something interesting you found.

Wrapping up, big thanks go to Judy
Caletti for the word-search puzzle
below. Make a copy, share it with the
grandkids, and have fun talking about
what these words mean.

J C Y P I A K L M U R D
K S D I O N O R R C A R
P I A N O G I E E R J O
A D O J R O D K G E A R
D I N K D N M R I A N E
P A J O I C Y L N M B U
B A N L Y D M G A A K G
A C Y M B A L Y J A I E
N C R J K R I G O I L N
J Y C O R O N A J Y N O
O L J O N A K N A B E A

CYLINDER

CYMBAL

DISC

REGINA

GEAR

LINK

OAK

DRUM

PIANO

REUGE

BANJOx2

CORONA

OIL

KNABE

Words can be
found horizontally
and diagonally,
forwards and
backwards.

Answer to the
puzzle is on
Page 54.

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

Outreach Corner Outreach Corner
By Mary Ellen Myers

Special Exhibits Committee Chair

Welcome to our “corner,” a new
recurring space reserved for reports,
stories and chats related to exhibiting,
demonstrating and teaching people
about mechanical music machines and
other mechanical curiosities of other
times. Since my first encounter with
these “magic machines” my thoughts
have always been, “this is too special
not to share!” Twenty years later, my
thoughts are the same.

I am excited to continue in this
direction with some very enthusiastic
Special Exhibit Committee members.
All are committed to the goals of
sharing and promoting awareness
and interest in mechanical music.
This year brings the committee three
new members; Knowles Little from
the National Capital Chapter, Donald
Caine from the Southern California
Chapter, and Aaron Muller from the
Lake Michigan Chapter. Since local
chapters reach far and wide, each
one holds special resources and
diversities. It would be great to for all
chapters to be represented. We learn
so much from each other.

Since the pandemic is currently
setting limits on possibilities for
exhibiting mechanical music, I have
asked committee members to use
this down time to reflect and share
some of their past experiences and
presentations (in part or in entirety)
with MBSI members via this special
column. Successful experiences generate
fresh ideas, and light the spark
for new horizons.

My husband, Wayne, has agreed to
write this inaugural article.

Enjoy and learn!

What’s in the Box

By Wayne Myers

Several years ago, members of the
Southeast Chapter developed a show

A hands-on kit featuring different sizes of combs, gears, levers, damper wires and
even an original repair manual is helpful when explaining the working pieces of a
music box. Why the feather? The quill was the original damper before the steel wire
was used.

and tell learning experience for visitors
to our events. We brought with us
various restored instruments from our
collections to show and play. These
are beautiful cylinder boxes and disc
boxes that sound fantastic and draw
people to our booth wherever we are.
While this approach does inspire some
excitement about mechanical music

from visitors, we found that few people
wanted to become new members
of the society via these venues.

I realized that in order to hold a
person’s interest in the society and
encourage them to become members,
we needed to do something more. In
my experience conducting the show
and tell sessions, one of the most

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Consider using a severely damaged music box that would
be difficult or costly to restore to help explain what types of
repairs are often needed and how a restoration effort might be
started. A box like this can be touched frequently without fear,
unlike a restored box that could be damaged with too much
handling.

difficult things to communicate to people simply watching
a music box play is that there are exciting and interesting
things happening unseen below the cylinder and comb. It’s
hard to explain the size of damper wires, or a worm gear
(endless screw), or to demonstrate how a comb’s teeth are
tuned with lead weights, etc.

So, in an effort to make our presentations more interesting,
David Beck and I collaborated on another approach.
We made a hands-on kit that includes all of the components
of a cylinder box so that we can show each piece separately
and explain what’s happening behind the scenes while the
music box is playing.

Another part of our hands-on kit is an un-restorable
cylinder box, purposefully left in disarray, that we can use
to demonstrate how someone might start undertaking the
restoration of an instrument. Our un-restorable box (circa
1850) has teeth broken off the comb, missing cylinder pins
and other problems that many current MBSI members
are probably very familiar with and might even have
experience repairing themselves. People who are being

Having combs and pinned cylinders available for people to
touch helps increase interest in how music boxes are con-
structed, tuned and repaired. Pieces like these help start
conversations that can lead to new members joining the
society.

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

introduced to the hobby for the first
time, however, will likely never have
seen such interesting things before.
Our thinking was that by introducing
new people to the individual pieces
of a cylinder box and explaining how
each piece works and can be repaired
or restored, their interest might grow
beyond just a simple appreciation of a
restored box playing a delightful tune.

I piloted our new approach at the
Villages, FL, Christmas show last
December with positive results. We
have a potential future venue at the
Orlando Science Center, which draws
thousands of people a day. I hope by
the time this article is published we
might have a program and schedule for
that event, but it all depends on what
happens as current events unfold.

David and Carol Beck have been
restoring cylinder boxes for decades.
They have mentored me over the
years, not teaching me their restoration
techniques, but rather how to
draw new members to MBSI by sharing
and showing mechanical music to
those who have never seen it before.

I encourage each chapter to build its
own show and tell kit and develop a
sheet of paper that chapter members
can use to help explain each of the
individual pieces of a music box, be
it a cylinder, disc, crank organ, band
organ, or whatever else might be available
for display. In this way, you might
find that exhibiting mechanical music
brings new interest to your displays
and may even earn your chapter a new
member or two.

I will provide updates from our
experiences with the hands-on show
and tell kit when we are able to bring
it out into the public. Keep following
the Outreach Corner for new ideas
on spreading the joy of mechanical
music.

Displays like this that label the parts and pieces of a music box can be very useful
when conducting a presentation for the public.

Allowing people to touch and see a worm gear (or endless screw) can really make it
easier to explain what the piece is doing when the music box is playing.

A cardboard roll wrapped with damper
wire helps illustrate how fine the wire
must be in a music box.

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Museum Committee Report Museum Committee Report
By Sally Craig

Museum Committee Chair

I am happy to report the Guitarophone has been restored
by Gerald Wright to the best it could be considering it had
been in poor shape prior to restoration. The instrument has
been returned to the American Treasure Tour for display
and play. This is happy news as this has been a multi-year
process to complete.

A major new donation was completed this year. No.
2 of 10 of the Papa Jano, an original automata made by
Darlene Mirijanian, was added to the MBSI collection. I
had the pleasure to meet with Darlene’s family and get to
know her daughter and granddaughter. It was a wonderful
chance to renew thoughts of Darlene with her husband Jan
Mirijanian.

This original piece is of importance as MBSI has an award
in Darlene’s honor that rewards members for creativity in
music box making. When I visited with the family, I found
Darlene was more widely known than just to MBSI. She
did art work for Dept. 56, Enesco, and other commercial
companies. Her Papa Jano piece was later mass produced
by Enesco.

It was recently discovered when adding several new
items to the society’s online asset database that the instructions
for managing the society’s inventory and recording
new donations needed a bit of clarification as they had not
been updated since 2004. Working with Russell Kasselman,
the editor of the journal, who is currently managing the
database, a set of steps was outlined and is presented here.

When a donation request is received by MBSI, legal
forms authorizing MBSI to accept the donation are signed
by the Museum Committee chair, the MBSI president, and
the person donating the item(s).

Next, an inventory form is filled out for each item of the
donation. Each form should include:

• Donation Date
• The name(s) of the person(s) donating the item
• A name for the item (e.g. Regina 15-inch disc box)
• A description of the item, including any repairs that
need to be made
• A value for the item
• A location where the item will be stored or displayed
(this information should be available only to MBSI
members and not the public)
A copy of the inventory form is then sent to the asset
database manager along with photos of the item that clearly
identify it as the item matching the description on the form.

The asset database manager enters information from the
inventory form into the asset database and assigns an item
identification number for each piece of inventory.

The asset database manager then makes information

The original Papa Jano automaton produced by Darlene
Mirijanian that was recently donated to MBSI by her husband
and family.

about the item available online to MBSI members and the
public via the MBSI website. Members are able to see more
information about each asset than the public.

Periodically, the asset database manager will produce a
spreadsheet showing all the item identification numbers in
the system, descriptions of items, status of items (sold, on
display, in storage, etc.) for the Museum Committee chair
to review.

The asset database includes records of the last-known
location of each item in inventory, and records of any moves
or status changes for each item. The Museum Committee
chair is charged with communicating any status changes
for items currently in the database to the asset database
manager who will record the move in the asset database.

The asset database manager position is currently in need
of a volunteer. Training is available for anyone willing to
serve in this capacity.

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

71st Annual Trustees Meeting

Held via Teleconference on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020

The meeting was called to order at 9

a.m. by President Tom Kuehn, presiding
via Teleconference. The following
board members were present: David
Corkrum, Bob Caletti, Ed Cooley,
Sally Craig, Wayne Finger, Mary Ellen
Myers, Clay Witt and Matt Jaro. (nine
of nine, a quorum). Linda Birkitt was
in attendance as the MBSI recording
secretary as was Dave Calendine. Ed
Kozak joined the group mid-meeting.
President Kuehn recognized Sally
Craig’s retirement as trustee of MBSI.
Mary Ellen had sent a decorated thank
you card to Sally acknowledging her
long years of service to the organization.
Ed Cooley gave Sally a virtual
hug for her service.

1. The minutes of the MBSI May 22,
2020, meeting were approved with the
correction of the adjournment time
of 10:49 a.m. Trustee Witt moved to
approve the corrected minutes with
trustee Craig seconding the motion.
Motion carried.

2. Secretary Birkitt presented
the Board Actions. Vice President
Corkrum recommended that Section
VII Administration/Accountant
should also be included in the Policies
and Procedures (P&P) under
Marketing. Vice President Corkrum
recommended that the subsection on
monitoring membership certificates
will continue and should also be
included in the P&P. The report was
received as presented.
3. Vice President Corkrum reviewed
his report stating that all award
recipients have received their awards,
although there was some difficulty
regarding a duty charge for Paul
Bellamy’s award. Five of the six
award recipients sent in their photos
documenting their receipt with Paul
Bellamy’s photo to follow. Vice President
Corkrum noted that the brass
plaques for literary achievement and
the trustees’ award have been sent to
the museum committee chair.

Two motions were made and
approved by the Executive Committee
since the mid-year meeting: 1. Jun.
10, 2020 – Unanimous approval of
revisions to the P&P as passed by
the trustees on May 22, 2020. 2. Jun.
15, 2020 – Unanimous approval of
the revisions to the bylaws as passed
by the trustees on May 22, 2020. The
report was received as presented.

4a. Ed Kozak, treasurer and chair of
the Finance Committee presented the
committee’s report. The total balance
for MBSI increased by $22,208 for the
year 2019, compared to $30,545 in
2018. However, the 2019 dues revenue
continues to decline from $78,583 to
$74,771. Membership numbers have
declined by 6 percent with corresponding
decreased revenues. The
2019 convention income of $84,530,
exceeded convention expense of
$78,442. Publishing revenues were
$17,115 with publishing expenses
totaling $65,193. Total tax preparation,
accounting and administrative costs
totaled $25,452 in 2019. A renewed
contract with Russell Kasselman
continues until Oct. 31, 2023 with no
increase in publication costs.

Per the Board of Regents, University
of the State of New York requirements,
MBSI must have a review
of its financial statements for the
year ending Dec. 31, 2019. Maturing
CDs continue to be reinvested in the
MBSI’s laddering investment strategy.
As of Dec. 31, 2019, MBSI had operating
investments of $381,599 and
restricted investments of $319,779
with a cash balance of $96,178. An
independent CPA conducted the
review and submitted a report stating
that no material modifications need
be made to the financial statements
in order to conform with generally

accepted accounting principles. Total
fund balances for 2019 increased by
$22,208. Net assets totaled $767,197 as
of Dec. 31, 2019.

A proposed 2021 MBSI budget was
developed and sent via email to all
trustees and committee chairs on
Aug. 12, 2020 requesting input and
comments for the 2021 budget. After
requested responses, the proposed
budget was revised with minor
changes and completed. The trustees
have now received the proposed 2021
budget for their perusal. The proposed
2020-2021 budget contained
minor adjustments with a net deficit
of approximately $21,000.

As of Dec. 31, 2019 MBSI had
$193,178 of financial assets available
within one year of the statement of
financial position consisting of cash
of $95,634, a short-term bond fund
of $15,000, a money market account
of $544, and certificates of deposit
of $82,000 available for liquidity
purposes. The 2021 budget has been
approved by the trustees including
an additional $2,000 designated
for the Marketing Committee. A
motion to accept the amended budget
including the additional $2,000 for the
Marketing Committee was made by
Trustee Witt and seconded by Trustee
Craig. Motion carried. The report was
received as presented.

4b. The Endowment Committee
chaired by Ed Kozak obtained financial
statements as of Dec. 31, 2019
which were compiled by Shaw, Faulkner
& Werner Financial Group, Inc. The
Endowment Fund balance, which is a
donor restricted asset was $155,505.
The Fund balance increased by $2,340
from Dec. 31, 2018 with 36 donations.
As of Dec. 31, 2019, the portfolio fund
is composed of two certificates of
deposit that mature in August 2020
and May 2021, respectively. The par
value of certificates total $152,000.00

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

with interest rates ranging from 1.9
percent to 2.9 percent. Also, the fund
has a money market account with a
balance of $7,717 as of Dec. 31, 2019.

An ongoing concern is that society
membership continues to decline. B.
Bronson, committee member,
received a request from the Herschell
Carousel Factory Museum for a donation
to support their endowment fund,
although no specific dollar amount
was requested. Trustee Craig stated
that $15,000 requested by B. Bronson
appeared to be a great deal of money.
We could consider $10,000 with a contingency
of what they particularly do
with their endowment funds. Two program
requests were received with an
estimated total of $13,000 which have
been submitted to the trustees for
approval. The trustees have requested
additional information for the $10,000
non-society program request and are
awaiting that response. At this time,
no funding has occurred for either
project. This report was received as
presented.

5. The Administrator’s /Accountant
Report was presented by President
Kuehn. As of the end of August 2020,
there were 1,130 family memberships
which was a decrease from the previous
year of 1,204. As of Dec. 31, 2019,
there were 1,079 family memberships
(per minutes of the 2020 mid-year
trustee meeting). Two packets have
been mailed out by Jacque Beeman
for web discounts. During 2019, five
Gift Membership /Sponsor programs
were initiated and five new members
joined via the voucher program. For-
ty-seven new members joined via the
website in 2019 who received the New
Member Web Discount of $15. For the
period Jul. 1, 2019 to Jun. 30, 2020 Bill
Wineburgh is the “dealer” recipient of
a free renewal for sponsoring three
new members and Don Caine and
Robin Biggins are the “member” recipients
of a free renewal for sponsoring
two new members each. The report
was received as presented.
6. Trustee Cooley presented the
Audit Committee report. He is pleased
to report that Trustee Jaro will remain
on the Audit Committee. He will be
joined by new Trustee Dave Calendine
who replaces Trustee Finger. As
required by New York statutes and
regulations, annual MBSI financial
statements must be reviewed by an
independent CPA. As of Dec. 31, 2019,
the year end report was in accordance
with generally accepted accounting
principles used in the United States
of America. Cinda Rogers, CPA, of
Springfield, MO, continues to function
as the independent CPA for MBSI.
The Independent Accountant’s Report
will be available in its entirety on the
MBSI website.

The Compilation Report of Salable
Items is being eliminated by the Audit
Committee as the monetary value of
the items appears to be no more than
$190. The time required to perform
this audit is not worth the committee’s
efforts.

The 2019 revenue analysis includes
the journal’s, printing, and mailing
expenses as developed by Ed Kozak,
treasurer. The net MBSI revenue for
2019 was $74,771. Using 2019 membership
data of 87.6 percent U.S., 1.91
percent Canadian, and 10.42 percent
representing other international members,
the total estimated revenue given
these assumptions would be $75,645.
This -$840 difference amounts to a
-1.16 percent difference which is considered
an acceptable variance. The
average membership for January to
October 2019 is 1,204. The decrease in
average number of members is 72 with
an estimated decrease membership
revenue of $4,320. The net membership
revenue for 2019 is $74,771 and
for the year 2018 was $78,763 resulting
in a decrease in membership revenue
of $3,992.

Vice President Corkrum reminded
the group that we have no Membership
Committee chair, so Rick Swaney will
be contacted to obtain the C-O-I from
Gerald Yorioka. Matt Jaro stated that
Mary Pollock’s name shall be removed
from the C-O-I list due to health issues.
The report was received as presented.

7. The Marketing Committee
Report was presented by Trustee
Wayne Finger for Bob Smith. The
Marketing Committee is in process
of creating four to five one-minute
videos to advertise MBSI on the
MBSI website and other locations.
The committee requests $1,000 for
targeted marketing to mechanical
music related groups on Facebook.
Also, $1,000 for print advertising is
requested. The MBSI organization
should query the 71 new members
for 2019 as to how these members
came to join MBSI. President Kuehn
requested a motion to be made for
these projects. Trustee Finger moved
that $2,550 be made available to the
Marketing Committee for these two
projects and the ongoing marketing
budget. Trustee Witt seconded the
motion. The motion carried.

Trustee Myers suggested “Marvels
of Mechanical Music” on YouTube
would be another venue for MBSI
advertising. Trustee Finger noted
that the video has broad vs targeted
advertising. Trustee Jaro noted that
“Marvels of Mechanical Music” fails
to attract entry level people who don’t
have loads of money to spend on collecting
since the video focuses mainly
on very rare and expensive items,
such as Welte Orchestrions. Trustee
Craig suggested that music schools
could be a potential pool of new MBSI
members. Trustee Jaro also suggested
that Mechanical Music Digest (https://
www.mmdigest.com/ aka MMD) be a
potential contact to develop further
MBSI members. The report was
received as presented.

8. The Meetings Committee report
was delivered by Trustee Jaro. With
regrets, he informed the group that
Mary Pollock will be unable to further
serve on the committee due to health
issues.
The following is the recommended
future meetings schedule:

• 2020 Golden Gate 71st Annual
Meeting was canceled due to the
COVID-19 pandemic.
• 2021 Southeast 72nd Annual
Meeting is to be held at the
Crowne Plaza in Fort Myers, FL
from August 30- September 4,
2021. Hotel rates are $109 King/
sleeper and $119 for a double
with an expected attendance of
200.

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

• 2022 Golden Gate 73rd Annual
Meeting as a joint meeting
with AMICA from August 30 to
September 5, 2022.
• 2023 Snowbelt 74th Annual Meeting
will be hosted by this Chapter
with a planned attendance of 75.
• 2024 Lake Michigan will host
the 75th Annual Meeting in the
Chicago area. This event should
be well attended as it is MBSI’s
diamond anniversary.
• 2025 Southern California Chapter
will host the 76th Annual Meeting
jointly with AMICA which will
take the lead.
Trustee Jaro moved to adopt the
meetings schedule and was seconded
by Trustee Cooley. The motion
carried.

Due to the cancellation of the 71st
Annual Meeting, the purchase of video
equipment will be postponed until
normal meeting schedules return
so that the latest technology may be
obtained. Rich Poppe will be responsible
for purchasing video equipment.

A motion by Trustee Witt was made
to have Trustee Jaro investigate a
Zoom subscription. A second was
made by Trustee Craig. Motion
carried. The report was received as
presented.

9. Chair Craig presented the
Museum Committee report. The
Guitarophone has been restored to
the best level possible considering its
initial condition. As of yet no bill has
been presented for the repair, nor has
the Guitarophone been returned to
the ATT.
The donation #2/10 of the PAPA
JANO original automata by Darlene
Marijanian is now concluded. As
Darlene was well known for her creativity,
an MBSI award was devised in
her honor. As COVID-19 issues closed
the ATT., this automaton has not yet
been placed in the museum.

MBSI needs clarification of rules to
manage inventory. Some donations
were numbered out of sequence
before the Barry Johnson inventory
numbers were completed. The current
editor and Museum Committee
chair will correct the numbering

system via a policy/procedure to refine
how donated items will be handled
going forward. A proposed Museum
Committee inventory procedure has
been written which will be brought
to the appropriate body for approval.
A revised pamphlet for Guidelines
and Suggestions for Planned Giving
to Benefit the Musical Box Society,
International was presented to the
Board. Trustee Witt moved that the
Guidelines for Planned Giving be
reviewed by the Finance Committee
and word smithed. The motion was
seconded by Trustee Myers. Motion
carried. President Kuehn accepted
the museum acquisition form. The
report was received as presented.

10. The Nominating Committee
was presented by Judy Caletti from
chair Dan Wilson’s report. The usual
compliment of committee members
is eight, however, one slot remains
unfilled currently. Each chapter has
a two-year term to complete, and now
Japan is included in the rotation. The
following comprises the Nominating
Committee: Dan Wilson, Chair; Immediate
Past President Clay Witt; Trustee
Bob Caletti; Judy Caletti, Mary Ellen
Myers, Arron Muller, Robin Biggins
and one open position. The Piedmont
Chapter is slated to fill the eighth
committee member, however, at this
time it is recommended that the slot
not be filled.
The Nominating Committee presented
the following slate of officers
and trustees at the mid-year meeting:
Vice President Dave Corkrum to serve
second one-year term; Dave Calendine
to serve first four-year term as trustee;
Treasurer Ed Kozak to serve another
one-year term; Recording Secretary
Linda Birkitt to serve another one-
year term. The report was received as
presented.

11. Chair Mary Ellen Myers presented
the Special Exhibits Report
for the committee. Due to restrictions
caused by the pandemic, a hold has
been placed on public exhibits and
displays so no exhibits have been
held since the mid-year meeting. Due
to the elimination of social activities,
some chapters have employed
Zoom to resume meetings. Zoom
meetings provide a safe modality for
maintaining social distancing. Both
Zoom and YouTube could be used
for educational programs as well as
MBSI meetings. Since the Marketing
Committee is in progress of creating
a short promotional video, they might
consider using footage from previous
special events displays. Russell
Kasselman has graciously offered to
provide space in the journal for Special
Exhibits outreach articles. Trustee
Mary Ellen Myers is preparing an
introductory lead for a journal column
called Outreach Corner. Wayne Myers
will write the initial article under this
heading, targeted for the November/
December issue. Trustee Myers is
requesting the approval of three new
committee members. The report was
received as presented.

12a. Chair Bob Caletti presented the
Publications Committee Report. He
is most appreciative of Terry Smythe
for converting the present Presto and
Music Trade Review (MTR) publications
on our web site from a multipage
to a single page/word searchable PDF.
In their present form the search will
only find the whole publication where
the search item is located, not the
page where it is located. Mechanical
Music is word or phrase searchable to
the page of a journal where the word
or phrase is found which is more
convenient and faster while searching
for data. This makes it possible to
convert the scans Terry did with new
descriptive titles that are consistent
with the naming convention we need
for the searches. The next steps will
be done by Russell which will then
appear on the society web site.

We are trying to use a text version
of the journal and convert it into an
HTML format that can be posted
to the web site and subsequently
translated by the apps that are there
into different languages. This means
non-English speaking people would
receive the journal and then go to the
web site and translate the text version
without pictures so they can read it in
their language. This feature would be
on the members only portion of the
website.

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Proposed P&P changes.

Page 11, section XVII, D 3

3. The book loan term period is
three months with one renewal. Up to
two titles may be borrowed by members.
A $10 (U.S.) fee per book will be
charged. (Trustees 3/28/14; Trustees
revised 3/18/16; Trustees 8/29/17)

Books can be loaned to members
outside the U.S. provided the cost
of international shipping is covered.
Items must be returned within three
months from the date of receipt by
Priority Mail and insured at borrower’s
expense.

Trustee Caletti recommended that
the board approve the change in wording
in the P&P as stated above.

Current website text states, “The
Lending Library books and pamphlets
are available for borrowing by MBSI
members. Books (up to two titles)
may be borrowed by members for not
more than 30 days by paying a $10.00
(U.S.) fee per book. This fee covers
the cost of postage by Priority Mail,
packing materials and insurance.
Items must be returned within 30 days
from date of receipt by Priority Mail
and insured at borrower/s expense.
Items that are not returned promptly
may result in the borrower losing their
MBSI membership privileges. Books
can be loaned to members outside the

U.S. provided the cost of international
shipping is covered.”
Suggested website text for lending
library:
“The Lending Library books and
pamphlets are available for borrowing
by MBSI members. Books (up to two
titles) may be borrowed by members
for not more than 3 months by paying
a $10.00 (U.S.) fee per book. This fee
covers the cost of postage by Priority
Mail, packing materials and insurance.
Please print this form and enclose
with your payment made payable to
MBSI. Items must be returned within
3 months from date of receipt by Priority
Mail and insured at borrower’s
expense. Items that are not returned
promptly may result in the borrower’s
membership being revoked until the
book is returned or a $200.00 fine is
paid.”

Books can be loaned to members
outside the U.S. provided the cost of

international shipping is covered.

Trustee Caletti recommended that
the board approve the change in
wording on the MBSI web site about
our lending library as stated above. A
motion was made by Trustee Caletti
that MBSI books may be loaned for a
period of three months with up to two
titles on loan by a member at one time.
A $10 (U.S.) deposit will be required
per book which will be returned after
the book has been returned. Priority
Mail must be utilized. Trustee Jaro
seconded the motion. The motion carried.
It was noted that the directory
and the website must be consistent
with the wording in the P&P. The
report was received as presented.

12b. The Editor/Publisher report
was presented by Trustee Caletti.
Even though MBSI chapter meetings
and the annual meeting have been
canceled, the usual 68 pages of the
Mechanical Music journal were filled
as usual. Forty-seven writers contributed
to the journal this year compared
to the 43 contributors from last year.
Russell is most grateful to all contributors
who have submitted articles
with such appealing content for publication.
Restoration and maintenance
articles are especially welcome in
order to provide ongoing care and
maintenance for our mechanisms.
Russell is making a special request for
articles focusing on pianos, clocks,
band organs and other less typical
items in your collections.

Advertising percentages have continued
at the same level. In 2019 an
average of 18.66 percent of journal
pages is well within the target range
of 15 percent to 25 percent advertising
per issue. As advertisers choose
to buy online ads or self-market,
Mechanical Music now posts copies
of every print advertisement which
appears in the journal on a dedicated
page of the society website. Each ad
on the page links to the advertiser’s
website so visitors can easily connect
with them.

The society does not have a
database administrator to maintain
the MBSI Asset Database. Russell
has added 49 new items to the database.
Trustee Craig in the capacity

as Museum Chair and Russell have
discussed a process for adding new
items going forward. Therefore, a volunteer
from the Museum Committee
is being sought who would function
as an Asset Database Administrator to
keep the database current. This task
can be performed from any internet
connected device. Russell will train
any volunteer for this post. This report
was received as presented.

13. The Website Subcommittee
Report was presented by Trustee
Caletti. There have been no significant
changes to the website since the midyear
meeting. An announcement about
the convention cancellation is on the
home page. The original provisional
MBSI Charter (1967) has been added
to the members-only page. Previews of
the journals appear in the MBSI news
section. The preview is also posted to
Mechanical Music Digest.
The new category on Organettes has
been added to the instrument gallery.
Nine images, each with a sound clip,
were provided by member Harold
Draper. Six new images from Chair
Rick Swaney’s collection were added
to the Phonograph gallery.

Total view count for the website is
up 15,558 since the mid-year meeting
averaging 98 views per day. Just
over 2,100 referrals to our site came
from Google and Bing. Pinterest and
Facebook came in at 38 each. The
Facebook Forum has now grown to
180 members. The frequency of posts
is still low. The report was received as
presented.

New Business

14. President Kuehn reported that
due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the
election of officers and trustees were
presented to the membership as paper
ballots in their July/August issue of
the Journal. Recording Secretary,
Linda Birkitt, thanked all who voted in
this election. The 413 ballots received
were all cast in the affirmative. David
Corkrum will serve his second term
as vice president; David Calendine
will serve his first four-year term as
trustee; Ed Kozak and Linda Birkitt
will serve a one-year term as treasurer
November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

and recording secretary, respectively.
The report was received as presented.

15. Bylaws and P&P Amendment
update was presented by Trustee
Witt. Per President Kuehn, the bylaws
allow the MBSI president to set up a
Presidential Committee to look at the
bylaws and the P&P. Trustee Witt is
chair of that committee along with
Trustee Finger and Trustee Corkrum.
Per Trustee Witt the Bylaws are 95
percent completed which was accomplished
via Zoom meetings. Only
remaining items are for changes which
allow the directory and the bylaws to
conform with the P&P. Report was
received as presented.
16. Trustee Matt Jaro presented the
Special Report on the Digital Lending
Library. Terry Smythe received the
David Q. Bowers award last year
and as a “thank you.” He purchased
a new book scanner with which he
has already scanned 29 books from
the MBSI Lending Library. Just like
a traditional library, a borrower may
borrow the “scanned” book. However,
no one else can borrow the scanned
book until the initial scanned book is
returned to the Lending Library. This
process is known as Controlled Digital
Lending (CDL). Currently there is
a lawsuit against the Internet Archive
to block this practice. If MBSI had a
Digital Lending Library, it might have
to shut down if the Internet Archive
loses the suit. MBSI owes Terry
Smythe a response which has yet to
be generated. Trustee Jaro responded
to Terry Smythe by stating he would
approach the board during the annual
meeting for a response. Trustee Jaro
thanked him for his efforts and recommends
that the board formulate a
position and draft a formal response.
The report was received as presented.

17. President Kuehn presented the
current board appointments for committees.
The Executive Committee
comprises three ex officio members
and two additional trustees who serve
terms that coincide with the president.
Trustee Finger will continue the second
year of his term. Mary Ellen Myers
has agreed to be appointed as the second
trustee and begin a one-year term.
The board approved these selections.
Trustee Matt Jaro was appointed to a
two-year term as board representative
on the Museum Committee to replace
Sally Craig. Standing committee chairs
and their members were appointed for
one-year terms. Trustee Witt moved,
seconded by Trustee Craig to accept
the appointments for the standing
committees. The motion passed.

18. President Kuehn started a discussion
about having virtual trustees’
meetings via Zoom. There was some
discussion about whether all the trustees
could participate in this manner.
All trustees indicated that they had
cameras and could easily participate
in a Zoom meeting. President Kuehn
will coordinate with Trustee Jaro on
setting up the next mid-year meeting
using this feature.
A motion was made by Vice President
Corkrum to adjourn the meeting
which was seconded by Trustee Craig.
The motion passed. The meeting was
adjourned at 2:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda Birkitt
Recording Secretary, MBSI
Oct. 4, 2020

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17

18 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 19

Award Presentations for 2020

By David Corkrum

MBSI Vice President

Trustees’ Award

This year’s 2020 Trustees’ Award
was presented to Mary Pollock via the

U.S. Postal Service. It is unfortunate
for all of us that COVID-19 interfered
with both our regular annual meeting
and the always entertaining award
presentations. Hopefully, this will not
happen in 2021 or later.
I believe I first met Mary when she
and Betty Toth were bus captains on
an MBSI tour bus. Mary is the ultimate
society member. If something that
needs doing, Mary will be first to step
forward. In 2011, Mary was asked if
she would consider working for the
society as a trustee. Of course, she
accepted and promptly proved to
not only be an excellent trustee but
a proficient parliamentarian as well.
Mary’s term expired in 2019 and the
trustees were sorry to see her leave.
The trustees and officers are proud of
Mary and we thank her for all she has
done for the society.

Darlene Mirijanian Award

The Darlene Mirijanian
Award for 2020 was presented
to Jonathan Herz.
Many of you may not recognize
his name but he has been
making new musical boxes
for many years. His musical
boxes are created from the
ground up. He makes the
clockworks, combs from
carbon tool steel, pinned
cylinders which contain the
same type of sand and rosin
cement used in cylinder
music boxes of the 19th century. His boxes contain a 13-inch cylinder with 8
tunes and he is working on an instrument that will play 12 tunes. The cases are
made in his workshop using most of the same techniques used in early musical
boxes. Jonathan does all of this in the basement of his home in Vermont. He is a
very gifted musician and the members of the Musical Box Society International
extend their congratulations to Jonathan.

Mary Pollock

Johnathan Herz

Sachiya Sasaki

President’s Award

The 2020 President’s Award was
presented to Sachiya Sasaki. Sachiya
was previously a member of the Japanese
International Chapter until its
unfortunate demise. Not satisfied with
simply remaining a member of the
national organization, Sachiya, along
with 20 other MBSI members in Japan,
made plans for and ultimately formed
the new Japan Chapter of MBSI.

The new local chapter was officially
recognized this year. Although I do
not know Sachiya personally, I have
seen him at many of the past MBSI
annual meetings and I know that we,
as a society, are fortunate to have him
as a member. I am sure we will hear
more from him from time to time
about the further exploits of this new
chapter. The president, officers and
trustees extend their congratulations
to Sachiya.

20 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Q. David Bowers Award
The Q. David Bowers Award for
2020 was presented to Paul Bellamy.
Most members have seen and read his
numerous articles on cylinder boxes
but this award was made because of
his most recent book, The Cylinder
Musical Box, A Collector’s and Restorer’s
Handbook. This is an extremely
well composed and well written book
for the amateur enthusiast to learn
basic as well as advanced skills in the
repair of musical boxes. If a person is
skilled with clock and watch making
or related skills in woodwork and metalwork,
this is the book that you need
in order to affect repairs to a musical
box. I, for one, have some basic skills,
but I refer my repairs to a more skilled
repair person. The society congratulates
Paul for this book as well all
those he has authored or co-authored.
Congratulations Paul!

PAUL’S RESPONSE: When David
Corkrum wrote to me earlier this year
informing me of the Q. David Bowers
Award my disappointment in not being

Roehl Ambassador Award

The Roehl Ambassador Award for
this year was presented to Dwight Porter.
Many of us have gone to antique
and gift shops and come across a Porter
Disc Musical Box. I do not doubt
that some of you have even purchased
one or became so intrigued by hearing
the music on one that you ended up
joining the society and starting your
own collection. Dwight’s musical
boxes can be seen in almost every
major city and town and have served
to educate the public on the wonders
of mechanical music. I know that
many of you have moved on to collect
many of the larger instruments. I, for
one, love the music that they produce
so my collection has stayed with this
type of instrument. Dwight’s musical
boxes are not only a treat for those of
us who appreciate them, but also to
those who have never seen or heard
one. He and his company are truly
ambassadors of mechanical music.
The society and the board congratulate
Dwight on all of his achievements.

Juliet Fynes, Chris Fynes, Paul Bellamy, Ted Brown and Don Busby at the informal
presentation ceremony.

able to attend our annual meeting this
year was to a large extent countered
by my delight in the award.

We have all suffered from the
constraints and impositions of the
coronavirus pandemic that has deeply
affected our lives. Having spent eight

Dwight Porter

months on my own under virtual
coronavirus house arrest, the award
was a ray of sunshine. Its journey
from the USA to the UK took many
weeks. Tracking was lost but at last it
arrived, just at a time when lockdown
was being eased a little but on the day
before further constraints were to be
imposed. Thus the team who helped
me to write the “Collector’s and
Restorer’s Handbook” had a window
of opportunity to gather at the home
of MBSI member Ted Brown. Ted
conducted the formalities of presentation
on behalf of MBSI. So, please
forgive the necessary social distancing
requirements that allowed limited
near contact for a very short duration
to pose for the photograph.

“The Collector’s & Restorer’s Handbook”
would not have been possible
without others. From left to right is
Juliet Fynes (proof reader), Chris
Fynes (photography and formatting,)
me, Ted Brown and Don Busby
(graphics).

Just as important was the MBSI
committee, not just for their support
but also for the contributions of
Bob Caletti and Robin Biggins who,
amongst others such as David Evans,
Chris Fynes and the work of the late
HAV Bulleid and John Powell, contributed
to the appendices of the book..

My thanks to everyone.

Sincerely,

Paul

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 21

Award Presentations for 2020

Unsung Hero Award

This year’s Unsung Hero Award was presented to Dianne
Lloyd. I don’t have a lot of first-hand knowledge about
Dianne and her husband, Bob, but her chapter sure knows
the couple well and, as the saying goes, they sing Dianne’s
praises. Dianne is a member of the Southern California
Chapter and has served as the chapter’s secretary and
treasurer for the past 26 years. Most of what she does for
the chapter takes place in the background and many of us
are not aware of all that she is doing to keep their group
functional. Dianne exactly represents what an Unsung
Hero does and the society is proud to present her with this
award. Congratulations Dianne!

Award Nominations

Keep your eyes peeled between now and July 2021 for
members you think deserve an award for their hard work
to benefit the society or promote the mechanical music
hobby. Send in your award nominations to the vice president
of MBSI and the nominations will be considered.
Awards are presented each year during the MBSI annual
meeting. Find descriptions of each award and winners of
past awards at www.mbsi.org on the about page.

Dianne Lloyd

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 “The Hunt” 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

22 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

2020 chapter report summaries

East Coast Chapter

Chair: Elise Low

Vice Chair: Vacant

Secretary: Claudia Molinari-Weiler

Treasurer: Roger Wiegand

Registrar: Bruce Low

The East Coast Chapter officially
covers nine states but has members
in many other locales who once lived
within our area. Currently, ECC has
214 members from 140 households, a
decrease from last year.

We gathered together in person only
one time during this reporting year.
That was back in October for guided
tours of the New England Carousel
Museum and the American Clock &
Watch Museum in Bristol, CT. After
dinner in Thomaston, CT, we enjoyed
the vintage silent film, “Phantom of
the Opera” at an old opera house,
complete with organ accompaniment.

The next day’s agenda included a
business meeting, a workshop presentation
about carousels, their organs
and their music, and a brief show and
tell session. An article with photographs
covering our weekend events
appeared in the March/April issue of
Mechanical Music.

As most other chapters have done
during the coronavirus pandemic, we
arranged for an online meeting this
Spring. On Jun. 20, some 17 members
and one guest connected via Zoom,
first to vote on our main business item

– amending our bylaws to streamline
some language and operations – and
then to enjoy five members’ presentations
of special pieces from their
collections, including the two in the
attached photos.
Plans for immediate future meetings
include joining members of COAA and
an AMICA chapter on Zoom for various
tours and “workshop” presentations.
Our final virtual chapter meeting of
the calendar year will include election
of officers for new two-year terms.

Given our chapter’s large geographic
area, it is proving to be much easier
to arrange for and attract members

to virtual meetings: perhaps this will
continue to be the way of the future,
even after the coronavirus pandemic
is over.

— Elise Low, ECC Chair
Golden Gate

Chair: Jonathan Hoyt
Vice Chair: Vacant
Secretary/Treasurer: David Corkrum
Reporter: Jenny Hoyt

Summary of activities from August
2019 to August 2020

The Golden Gate Chapter has
approximately 40 household memberships
Members are primarily located
within the San Francisco, CA, Bay
Area. Typically, about 20-25 individuals
gather for meetings each quarter,
and joint (MBSI and AMICA) meetings
grow to about 40 in attendance! The
chapter held three meetings this past
year, which is one fewer than normal.

The chapter’s summer 2019 meeting
was held at the home of Richard and
Julie Hughes in Belmont, CA. Notable
pieces in their collection include a
Johnson 125 Military Band Organ,
Seeburg L Nickelodeon, Polyphon
151/2-inch disk upright music box,
Regina 151/2-inch disk changer music
box, Stella 151/2-inch disk music box,
Nicole Freres cylinder music box,
L’Epee Bell & Drum 131/2-inch cylinder
music box, Paillard 21-inch cylinder
music box, Mermod Freres Peerless
long case music box, several musical
bird cages, and various other smaller
music boxes. Organs are another
passion of the Hughes! Visitors to
the home found several, including an
Arther Prinsen Dutch monkey organ,
Schneider monkey organ, and Allen
Pell Harmonette street organ. And
that’s not all. There were several
jukeboxes, a Wurlitzer 1015, 1800,
and Rockola 1422, as well as various
Victrolas, Victor, Edison and Colombia
were all on display. The Hughes’
home was an ideal location to enjoy
our summer meeting, not only for the
fantastic collection but to enjoy their

back patio and amazing views of the
San Francisco Bay.

The autumn meeting was held at the
home of Greg and Chris Hopwood.
Guests enjoyed the incredible view
from the Morgan Hill, CA, home which
is situated hillside and overlooks a
reservoir. Relaxation and time with
friends were the very goal of this gathering,
which included a small mart
and show-and-tell time.

And finally, the San Francisco
Chapter of AMICA kicked off the new
year by hosting our chapter in a joint
gathering at the home of Bob and Bonnie
Gonzalez. The home is in beautiful
Corte Madera, CA, which is just about
15 miles north of San Francisco.
The Gonzalez’s collection includes
a Yamaha C-6 Piano equipped with a
Disklavier reproducing midi player
action, a Weber Duo-Art reproducing
grand player piano, Seeburg KT Special
coin-op piano using G-rolls, and
a Coinola Style C-2 solo flute coin-op
piano using O-rolls. The highlight
of the afternoon was a live concert
played on the Yamaha.

Business and committee meetings
this period were heavily focused on
preparing for the 2020 annual meeting,
which was scheduled to be held
in Redwood City, CA, this September.
The event planning was a collaborative
undertaking between the Founding
Chapter of AMICA and the Golden
Gate Chapter of MBSI. Unfortunately,
the meeting was canceled due to the
pandemic. Nevertheless, the joint
committee had a great time preparing
for the event.

Chapter members are hopeful to
resume our quarterly gatherings in
the near future, and as circumstances
improve further, even begin scheduling
in periodic field trips to local
musical attractions.

–Jenny Hoyt

National Capital Chapter

Chair: Matt Jaro
Co-Vice-Chairs: John Wells & David
Burke

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 23

Co-Secretary/Reporters: Donna &

Gene Borrelli

Treasurer/Membership: Florie

Hirsch.

Musical Notes Editor: Paul Senger

Newsletter Publication: John Wells

& David Burke

Chapter Website: Knowles Little

The National Capital Chapter (NCC)
has 71 memberships as of August
2020 (including five comps), down
nine members from last year. We lost
a few last year due to moving out of
the area, and some are late in paying.
We draw our members mainly from
about a three-hour driving radius
around Washington, DC, and welcome
members from other regions to join
the chapter. The NCC chair or membership
chair contact any new MBSI
members in our area. We welcome
them, make them complimentary
members for that year, and send them
copies of our “Musical Notes” listing
our meeting times and places and
encourage them to join the NCC. Dues
continue at the $5 per year level.

Two meetings were held in total.
These meetings were official regular
meetings with business conducted.
The chapter hosted the 70th MBSI
Annual Meeting in Rockville, MD, last
August-September. The convention
was a success and made money for the
national organization. The chapter did
an excellent job in assuring that the
meeting went smoothly, and everyone
enjoyed themselves.

In October, we had a meeting at
Vince Holter’s house. We presented
awards to all those that significantly
helped with the annual meeting. We
had the annual Christmas Party at Dick
and Cheryl Hack’s home. After this, all
chapter activities were canceled due
to the coronavirus pandemic.

Each of our meetings has an educational
component and they are
described in the Mechanical Music
Reports. The C&O Canal meeting is
designed to educate the public about
mechanical music. It gives us access
to an estimated 3,000 visitors at the
canal. Both children and adults are
amazed that such items were enjoyed
100 years ago. Shupp’s Grove also
provides an educational opportunity

for the general public.

The National Capital Chapter was
approached by the chairperson of the
steering committee of the Old Bowie
Arts and Heritage Festival (in Bowie,
MD) and the director of Economic
Development for the city (who is an
MBSI member). They requested an
“organ grind” at their festival on May
16, 2021, and the chapter enthusiastically
agreed. We have added this to
our calendar for 2021. It is an excellent
way of extending our educational
outreach.

Our newsletter, “Musical Notes”
regularly announces upcoming meeting
details, reports member news, and
provides previous meeting highlights.
Photos feature instruments and NCC
members. We also announce non-
MBSI activities that may be of interest
to our members. The newsletter is
distributed at least four times per
year. The newsletter is also available
to members in electronic form.

We also e-mail meeting and activity
announcements from the newsletter
to give early information ahead of the
printed copy and also e-mail reminders
ahead of the meetings. About
88 percent of our members receive
email. Email inquiries from non-MBSI
members generated from the web
site are answered via email. We have
a chapter website, https://nationalcapital.
mbsi.org/ that is hosted by the
MBSI website. Since it is accessible on
the public MBSI site, it is designed to
acquaint non-members with our chapter
activities. It features recent color
photographs of our members and
instruments at chapter events. Since
the site is public, information such as
collection details, meeting locations,
and people’s names are not included.

Northwest International Chapter

Chair: Rick Swaney
Vice-Chair: Vacant
Co-Secretaries: Larry & Terry Cardy
Treasurer: Kathy Baer

True to our name, the Northwest
International Chapter extends beyond
the border, drawing members from
both the United States and Canada.
Specifically, the chapter’s region

encompasses Washington, Oregon,
Idaho, and British Columbia. We are a
relatively small chapter. There are 28
members representing 16 families.

We meet four times a year. There
are Spring, Summer and Fall regular
meetings, plus a holiday luncheon and
cookie exchange in December. Our
regular meetings are usually two-day
events. On the first day we meet in the
early afternoon at some place of interest,
often a museum or public event.
That evening we have dinner at a local
restaurant. On the following day, the
host holds an open house with brunch
or lunch. That is where we hold the
business meeting, show-and-tell session,
and presentations.

Our meeting hosts have done a good
job finding varied and interesting
places to visit for the meetings. Here
is a sampling:

• Boeing Museum of Flight
• SPARK Museum of Electrical
Invention
• Vintage car show and sand
sculpture competition
• Raptor Center (predatory bird
preserve)
• Salmon cannery tour
The most recent event for our chapter
was a holiday luncheon hosted by
Annie Tyvand. This was a special event
because it was a joint activity between
our chapter and the Pacific Can-Am
AMICA chapter. This is not the first
joint meeting we’ve had, and we hope
to make this a frequent occurrence.

Piedmont Chapter

Several things have transpired this
year that may make it very unlikely
that this chapter will be able to
recover from many years of declining
membership and participation.

First, Vernon Gantt, who had been
serving as chair since 2006, died
suddenly in the spring of this year.
Vernon and Penny Gantt and myself
had been pretty much handling all
of the arrangements of any chapter
events, mostly in conjunction with and
attendance by the Southeast Chapter.
Attendance at, and participation in,
these meetings by folks within the

24 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Piedmont coverage area, other than
open house hosts, was limited.

Then came the pandemic with
restrictions on safe travel and gathering.
We had scheduled our next
meeting to be in Raleigh, NC, in
October, and had sent out a plea at the
beginning of the year to MBSI members
within the Piedmont Chapter
region to make an effort to attend and
possibly rejuvenate the chapter. This
could not happen.

We do have many great collections
and collectors within our coverage
area, and continue to invite any MBSI
members to visit when circumstances
allow. In the meantime, I would
encourage those within the Piedmont
area to join and participate in other
available chapters.

– Respectfully, Dan Wilson
Snowbelt Chapter

Chair: Tracy Tolzmann

Treasurer: Gary Goldsmith

The Snowbelt Chapter of MBSI
held a meeting on Aug. 17, 2019, at
the rural Big Lake, MN, home of Alex
Stolitza and chapter Treasurer Gary
Goldsmith. The gathering was a joint
meeting with the Northern Lights
Chapter of Automatic Musical Instrument
Collectors’ Association (AMICA)
and the Land O’ Lakes Chapter of
the American Theatre Organ Society
(ATOS). This was our chapter’s first
visit to their home, and despite being
relatively new to the hobby, Gary and
Alex’s aggressive interest in musical
boxes has found them building an
impressive collection. Gary’s large
workshop has numerous projects
awaiting restoration, both large and
small instruments.

The chapter’s annual Christmas
party was held on Dec. 8, 2019, at the
Belle Plaine, MN, home of Ralph and
Carol Schultz. The Schultz’s are no
strangers to the chapter or society
members as they have been hosting
meetings for many years in addition
to open houses and tours during MBSI
annual meetings in 2007 and 2016.
Ralph always tries to put a unique
twist on gatherings that he and Carol
host, and the Christmas event was

no exception. As Ralph played his
Prinsen crank organ, local merchant
Craig Kotasek accompanied him on
the banjo!

As a small and aging chapter,
finding hosts for meetings can be
difficult. Gary Goldsmith volunteered
to spearhead a meeting in conjunction
with the Phipps Center for the Arts in
Hudson, WI, as our first event of 2020.
The Phipps is a regional headquarters
for all aspects of the arts as its name
implies and features a wonderful
vintage Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ.
The Phipps’ sponsors an annual organ
concert series, and Gary arranged for
lunch at a neighboring restaurant and
a block of seats for Snowbelt members
for organist Dave Wickerham’s
appearance. With the coronavirus
pandemic gripping the world in the
middle of the month, the Mar. 22, 2020,
concert was canceled.

The Snowbelt Chapter is aware of
similar difficulties in arranging meetings
and maintaining membership in
our sister organizations, AMICA and
ATOS. There is already a considerable
shared membership base in these
organizations, and we have found that
having joint events has been a way to
stage successful meetings, and see
it as a means of keeping the chapter
alive. At one time, there were many
differences in the collecting interests
between MBSI and AMICA, but as
the field of collecting has expanded
to encompass every possible aspect
of automatic music, including phonographs,
our organizations are more
united than ever. The non-collector
members of the theater organ enthusiasts
(ATOS), are less-inclined to join
either group, but their added presence
at events has been beneficial in
expanding interest and conversation
about these fascinating hobbies.

With the ongoing coronavirus situation,
no further chapter activities
have been scheduled. The majority
of members in the Snowbelt Chapter
are retired people who would be considered
at higher risk of coronavirus
infection due to age or pre-existing
conditions. Those members who are
still working have been greatly affected
by the disruption caused by the pandemic.
The Snowbelt officers have

no plans to reconvene until health
authorities suggest the risk is over.

As chapter chair, I have made
telephone contact with many of our
members to check in with them on
how they are faring, and plan to continue
these calls, touching base and
wishing them well as we all await a
happy reunion gathering.

The Snowbelt Chapter is very proud
of our history in hosting the annual
meeting and staging events. We are
delighted that MBSI President Tom
Kuehn is an active local member and
former chapter chair of the Snowbelt
family. We look forward to our continued
future involvement with the
society, and will do all that we can to
perpetuate the preservation and promotion
of musical boxes of all kinds.

Sincerely,

–Tracy M. Tolzmann

Southeast Chapter

Chair: Jack Hostetler

Vice Chair: John Leuenberger

Secretary: Julie Morlock

Treasurer: Clay Witt

Chair Emeritus: Mary Ellen Myers

Committee Leaders:

Librarian: Wayne Finger

Membership: Julie Morlock

Newsletter: Mary-Ann Hostetler

Reporter: Howard Sanford

Webmaster: Clay Witt

The South East Chapter of MBSI
represents Florida, Georgia, Mississippi,
and Alabama. Some MBSI
members from the far north also
belong to our chapter because they
have homes both up north and in
Florida, and spend a good part of the
year down here. Currently we have
101 memberships.

In October 2019 we held our regular
annual chapter meeting in Tampa, FL.

In December 2019 we presented our
8th annual Christmas Show in The
Villages, a special exhibit event, and
we had our 5th annual Summer Camp
Special Exhibit event for children to
make their own music box. We had
three chapter meetings that year.

Our only chapter meeting in 2020

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

was in January in Pensacola, FL. It
was very well attended and entertaining.
On Friday evening we enjoyed a
Charley Chaplin Movie, “The Circus.”
On Saturday and Sunday, we attended
open house tours of collections of
Bob Wingard and John Leuenberger.
Photos from the two collection visits
are attached.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic we
have not been able to schedule more
chapter meetings or special exhibit
events in 2020. We are planning to
have a meeting in January 2021, joint
with COAA, pandemic permitting. We
are still preparing for the 2021 annual

meeting we are hosting in Fort Myers,
FL.

Respectfully submitted,

– Jack Hostetler
Southern California Chapter

Chair: Robin Biggins

Treasurer: Dianne Lloyd

Membership: Linda Birkitt

We have 96 paid memberships, and
unfortunately, because of the corona-
virus we have not had any meetings
since our Christmas joint meeting
with AMICA at the home of Frank Nix.

The report on that meeting was published
in the March/April 2020 issue of
Mechanical Music, Volume 66, No.2,
page 34.

Since then, we have contacted a
number of our most vulnerable elderly
members to see if they need any
assistance. Several email messages
have been sent to all members via the
chapter roster with some interesting
YouTube videos about mechanical
music. We have several potential meeting
venues lined up, waiting for the
pandemic recovery.

Respectively submitted,

— Robin Biggins
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 photographs
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

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro

A music trade press reader’s history of the Duo-Art

Several months ago I wrote a column
about the history of the Ampico
piano system, so it is only natural that
I write a column about the Duo-Art
reproducing pianos. In order to begin,
I would like to quote from that mainstay
of mechanical music literature,
the Wikipedia:

The Duo-Art mechanism was introduced
by the Aeolian Company in
1913. It was most commonly installed
in piano brands manufactured by
Aeolian such as Weber, Steck, Wheelock
and Stroud. Most notably, it was
also available in Steinway pianos
under an exclusive agreement. Aeolian
had been under pressure to make
the mechanism available in Steinway
pianos, but Steinway had no interest
in pursuing a relationship with a
company they saw as a competitor.
In order to satisfy Steinway, Aeolian
agreed to stop promoting its Weber
brand as a premium brand and stop
sponsoring concerts by Paderewski
as well as other great pianists. The
agreement also stipulated that Aeolian
purchase a certain number of
Steinway units each year regardless
of whether or not they were able to
sell them. This contract eventually

became a huge financial burden after
the Wall Street Crash of 1929. In
1925, its peak year, Aeolian produced
more than 190,000 instruments but
the crash, the electric phonograph and
the “talkies” all combined to drive the
business into a terminal decline.[1]

Now that we have some background
let us take a magic carpet ride to
the distant past. The founder of the
Aeolian Organ and Music Company
(eventual manufacturers of the Duo-
Art system) was William B. Tremaine.
According to the Pianola Institute:

In July 1887 the Aeolian Organ
and Music Company was founded in
Meriden, Connecticut, as a merger
between the Mechanical Orguinette
Company of New York and the
Automatic Music Paper Company of
Boston, with substantial extra capital
from a number of Meriden businessmen,
notably Horace Wilcox, who was
also the main investor in the Wilcox
and White Organ Company. A new
factory was built, directly across the
street from Wilcox and White, and for
the first time both instruments and
rolls were manufactured on the same
premises.

Founder of the Aeolian Organ and Music
Company, William B. Tremaine.

I could write a lot about the old
orguinettes but that would be a divergence
from our main topic. Let’s just
say that Aeolian manufactured player
reed organs (The Angelus Symphony,
The Aeolian Orchestrelle and later
the Aeolian Pipe Organs, which
could reproduce performances by
organists).

The Pianola (a pneumatic player
piano), invented by Edwin S. Votey

An example of a Duo-Art mechanism in a 1920s Steinway piano.

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 27

in 1895 became very popular. In
1897, Votey joined Aeolian. In 1903,
Tremaine (Aeolian) absorbed the
Weber Company and became the
Aeolian, Weber Piano and Pianola
Company.

The Metrostyle

The Music Trade Review (MTR) of
Apr. 4, 1903 reports

The Themodist

In 1906, the Themodist
was introduced and it was
almost instantly sold out
as evidenced by the clip
from MTR at right

Puccini wrote the letter
on the right to the Aeolian
Company regarding the
Themodist.

The basis for the Themodist
was a patent from
1900 by Ernest M. Skinner
as seen to the right.

Al Pulis wrote a series
of articles for the AMICA
Bulletin (Volume 25,
number 6 and following
issues), entitled Origins
of the Duo-Art. He talks
about Skinner’s invention
and how that formed the
basis of the later Duo-Art
system. It was 13 years
from the time of Skinner’s
invention until the Duo-
Art was marketed.

The Steinway-Aeolian Agreement

The agreement between Steinway
and Aeolian in 1909 was very important
and would have a number of
ramifications. The following information
about the nature of the agreement
is from William Alfring, who wrote a
history of the Aeolian Company in
1937. The agreement stated that Aeolian
would have the exclusive right to
incorporate their Pianola mechanisms
in Steinway instruments. Steinway
agreed not to enter the player-piano
market and Aeolian agreed not to
exploit straight pianos (particularly
the Weber. Another stipulation was
that Aeolian would buy and pay for a
minimum of 600 new Steinway pianos
per year for the installation of the
Pianola.

The contract with Steinway was a
valuable asset for Aeolian until 1927,
when sales began to fall off. More on
this later.

It is interesting to note that there
exist Steinway pianos fitted with
the Welte mechanism. These were
obtained in one of four ways: 1) the
piano predates the agreement with
Steinway; 2) a customer would buy a
straight Steinway piano and had the
Welte company fit a mechanism to it;

3) a customer would buy a Duo-Art
Steinway and Welte would keep the
Duo-Art stack and replace the Duo-Art
mechanism with a Welte mechanism;
4) the German Steinway pianos were
excluded from this agreement and
could therefore be fitted with Welte
mechanisms.
28 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

The Mar. 7, 1914, announcement in MTR introducing the Duo-
Art Pianola.

The Duo-Art

Finally, on Mar. 7, 1914, the important announcement
arrived (see image above).

Full page advertisements were placed in the newspapers
to promote the Duo-Art (see facing page).

The following week, a notice was printed (see image at
right).

The following notice appeared in the Apr. 18, 1914 issue
of MTR.

The notice above, printed one week after the Duo-Art Pianola
was introduced, describes how it can be used to help pianists
improve performances, or simply to accurately reproduce a
performance on the piano where the Duo-Art is installed.

An article reproduced in the “Encyclopedia of Automatic
Musical Instruments” (page 300) and in “The Player Piano
Treasury” states that the Duo-Art was introduced to the
public in the fall of 1913. However, I can find no reference
to the Duo-Art in the trade press before March 1914. Do
any of our readers know where the aforementioned article
appeared and if there is factual evidence to back it up?

The Steinway Grand Duo-Art was introduced in the Dec.
5, 1914 MTR.

A number of famous musicians produce Duo-Art rolls. (Apr.
10, 1915 MTR)

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 29

A full-page advertisement for the Duo-Art Pianola that appeared in the Mar. 14, 1914, New York Sun.

30 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Harold Bauer and the Duo-Art

Even though the next clip (Mar. 25,
1916 MTR) is fairly long, it presents
some really important points: First,
as early as 1916 there was a Duo-Art
recording piano. Just as modern
musicians have tape recorders or
digital recorders to listen to their own
performances, Bauer remarks that by
means of the Duo-Art he can hear and
improve his own performances. This
would be much better than listening
to phonograph records, since the
quality of an actual piano is much
better and there are more dynamics
than was possible with the acoustic
recording techniques of the time – and
the roll would allow Bauer to review
the performance one note at a time.
Was this the first time something like
this was done? I have never seen any
other earlier reference to an artist
editing his own roll, and improving his
performance by doing so. In the Aug-
Sep, 2007 AMICA Bulletin, there is an
article by Julian Dyer that explains the
recording process in detail.

Aeolian Hall

One of the great attributes of the
Aeolian company was their devotion
to fine music. They built Aeolian Hall
which was a venue for concerts for
many years. Aeolian Hall was built in
1912 and sold in May 1924 (in order to
move to a new building).

According to Time Magazine:

The Schulte Cigar Stores Co.,
runner-up of the omnipresent, ubiquitous
United chain, has invaded the
musical field. It has bought Aeolian
Hall, Manhattan’s most delightful
first-rank concert auditorium. With
the hall itself goes the entire 17-story
skyscraper structure, extending clear
across from 42nd to 43rd Street, complete
with pipe organ, radio station
and numerous offices for concert
managers, retired business men
who wish to retain dignified New
York business offices, and Christian
Science practitioners.

The Aeolian Co., however, will
remain in charge of the site for five
additional years, until May…

A clipping from the Mar. 25, 1916, MTR describing pianist Harold Bauer using the
Duo-Art system to critique his own playing and learn from mistakes.

Technology

The Duo-Art is the only reproducing
system that remained fully compatible
over its entire lifetime. Differences in
coding existed between the English
and American rolls, but the basic
mechanism could play any roll from
1913 until the end of production.
There were technical changes in the
expression controls and valves. In
1930, the Concertola, a 10-roll changer
was introduced. Later Duo-Art pianos
had the spool box in a drawer instead
of on top of the fall board. There were
10 Duo-Art systems built into Steinway
Concert Grand pianos.

Maturity

The Duo-Art mechanisms were
placed in Steinway, Weber, Steck,
Wheelock, Stroud, Stuvesant and Aeolian
pianos (all Aeolian brands except
Steinway). Weber was acquired by
Aeolian in 1903. It seems that the
straight piano manufacturing business
was going great. Consider this Jan. 25,
1913 announcement in the MTR:

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 31

Aeolian Hall, built by the Aeolian company in 1912, served as a concert hall until 1924.

I noticed that Weber pianos were
only advertised as a small notice
talking about the international prestige
of Weber, until 1922 (the 70th
birthday of Weber). Then there is a
full-page ad signed at the bottom by
the Aeolian Company. I wonder if this
was a violation of Steinway’s agreement
with Aeolian. It is possible that
Steinway only cared about concert
pianos and concert artists and did not
view smaller pianos as competition.

In 1925, Aeolian announces decorative
cases for the Weber Duo-Art.

On Feb. 5, 1927, business was so
good that the company declared a
stock dividend.

The year 1928 represented a loss
for Aeolian. There were a number of
problems, the new Aeolian Hall cost
Aeolian excessive rent. The Steinway
contract was now a burden with
inventories of unsold Steinways piling

up. They were forbidden to sell the
Steinways as straight pianos. In 1929,
the American Piano Company went
into receivership and the Mason and
Hamlin Company (owned by American)
was purchased by Aeolian in
1930. Also in 1930, Aeolian had to shut
two of its four plants.

In August, 1932 a combination was
formed with the American Piano
Company (which made Knabe and
Chickering. The new Aeolian-American
Corporation was formed. In 1933,
the contract with Steinway was terminated
“with friendship and good will
continuing between both companies.”
(from William Alfring’s account of the
Aeolian Company, published in the
Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical
Instruments, Q. David Bowers).

The last Duo-Art roll catalog was
dated 1932 and the final roll was
issued in 1939 in England. A question

I can’t answer is when the last Duo-
Art piano was produced. Maybe
some knowledgeable reader(s) could
resolve some of the quandaries posed
today.

The Aeolian-American Company
collapsed in bankruptcy in 1985 and
all the assets were sold off.

It is my sincere hope that this article
generates comments and answers
from our readers.

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
March-April 2015 issue of The AMICA
Bulletin.

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Sacred Music On
Cylinder Musical Boxes

Part 5: Hybrid, Interchangeable and Unusual Programmes

By David Worrall

Musical Boxes with Hybrid Pro-
grammes of Sacred Music.

A total of 240 musical boxes have
now been identified as having mixed
programmes of sacred music. This
reflects the diversity of music that
was available to suit a customer’s
tastes at the time the musical box
was made. The programmes of these
hybrids typically bridge at least two
of the three groups of sacred music
identified earlier. The Tune Sheets
reproduced at Fig. 1 in Part 1 of this
series of articles, and also in Fig. 7
below, are both typical examples of
this type of programme. The tune
sheet seen in Fig. 7 comes from a
late Nicole Freres musical box, Serial
No. 43666, a 10-Air (two per/turn)

Forte-piano musical box made circa
1868 and pinned with five items from
oratorios. Tunes one and three being
arias and tunes two, four and seven
are choruses. The remaining five tunes
are standard hymns that would have
been found in church hymnals of the
time under the tune title given on the
tune sheet, except that for tune six
which happens to be the first line of
a hymn sometimes set to be sung to
a version of the tune “Old Hundredth
(Old 100th)” It is an arrangement of
this tune that is pinned on this particular
musical box.

Another similar hybrid example of
interest came to light recently. This
was a 12-Air, 6-bell box by Junod of
Sainte-Croix, Switzerland, Serial No.

Fig 7: A 10 Air Nicole with oratorio items and hymn tunes.

Thoughts and
Background Notes

This series of articles was first
published in 2017-2018 in The
Music Box, the Journal of The Musical
Box Society of Great Britain. It
arose from research prompted by
the extracts from Mechanical Music
Digest (www.mmdigest.com). Originally,
it was intended to be short
and so published in one edition of
The Music Box. As the research progressed,
however, the scope gradually
increased to the extent that necessitated
publication in five parts over
five consecutive editions, the scope of
each part being explained in the text
of the article itself.

By its nature, such research
becomes outdated as new or additional
material is found on surviving
musical boxes that continue to come
to light. The article is therefor now
republished in Mechanical Music
with all changes necessitated by this
new material as of Sept. 30, 2019.

Throughout this article, the use
of the term “sacred” is used entirely
with reference to the Christian faith
and then in relation to the music
identified and referred to herein.

Parts 1-4 of this article gave the
background to the article, defined
sacred music, gave overall statistical
details of its extent on cylinder
musical boxes and discussed results
from the analysis of classical sacred
music, hymns, evangelical and
gospel songs. Part 5 of the article
addresses hybrid and interchangeable
programmes of sacred music
and a summary and conclusion of
the research.

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 33

Table 13: Musical Programme from Junod Serial No. 16249

Item Notes
1. The Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus. Handel.
2. Elijah: Israel [Baal] We Cry To Thee Although the word “Israel” is used, this almost certainly should be “Baal”; the
chorus from Part 1 of “Elijah” in which the Israelites attempt to invoke their
god, Baal to light a sacrificial fire for them opens with the repeated words
“Baal! We cry to Thee.”
3. Judas Machabee: Chorus. Handel. Most probably “See The Conquering Hero Comes” – the tune being used for
the Eastertide hymn “Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son”
4. The Creation: In splendour bright. Haydn. Uriel’s Recitative at the end of Part 1; sung immediately prior to the final
chorus.
5. Hymn: Old Hundred.
6. The Messiah: Thou that tellest. Handel.
7. The Creation: The Heavens are telling.
Chorus. Haydn.
Chorus sung at the end of Part 1; this has proved to be the most popular sacred
air, not only in its category of Classical Sacred Airs, but overall.
8. Elijah. Lift thine Eyes. Mendelssohn. Semi-chorus for Sopranos 1 & 2 Contralto voices.
9. Kyrie Eleison de la messe. Mozart.
10. Hymn: Morning Hymn. Glory to thee.
11. The Creation. With verdure clad. Haydn.
12. The Messiah. He shall feed his flock. Handel.

16249, registered as an oratorio box.
Its musical programme, listed above
in Table 13, consists of nine arias
and choruses intermixed with two
standard hymns and “Kyrie Eleison,”
probably that from the 12th Mass,
formerly attributed to Mozart. See
discussion below for more. This is
an interesting programme in that
it includes no less than three items
occurring for the first time in the
research for this series of articles.
The chorus “Baal! We Cry to Thee”
and the semi-chorus “Lift Thine Eyes,”
are both from Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,”
then, most intriguingly, from “The
Creation” by Haydn, the recitative, “In
Splendour Bright rises now the sun,”
immediately precedes the chorus
“The Heavens are telling the Glory of
God.” It is unusual to find recitatives,
often not the most melodic of music to
listen to, pinned on a cylinder musical
box. In this case, it would have been
more appropriate, perhaps, if the two
items had been pinned, and so played,
as consecutive tunes, as they are in
the oratorio itself. For each of these
three items, this is the only recorded
occurrence and, unless and until

evidence is found to the contrary, the
inevitable conclusion is that they were
included to meet a customer’s request.

Musical Boxes with
Interchangeable Cylinders.

Generally, maker’s tune list catalogues,
produced to advertise the
availability and choice of cylinders for
their interchangeable musical boxes
have not been included in the research
undertaken for his series of articles for
several reasons. First is because of the
lack of availability of the catalogues in
question. Then, there is uncertainty
as to how many of these advertised
cylinders were actually made and
sold. Finally, of those cylinders that
were made and sold, it is possible that
these tune cards are already in The
Register and thus would be duplicated
material.

Nevertheless, the research generally
has highlighted some interesting
instances of sacred music pinned on
cylinders for interchangeable boxes.
A most unusual, and perhaps extreme
example, can be seen at Tune Sheet
No. 424 in H.A.V. Bulleid’s work
“Musical Box Tune Sheets.” This

particular tune sheet is from a large
interchangeable cylinder box made
with three, 6-Air cylinders which,
in Bulleid’s view “Nicole must have
asked Cuendet to make in 1879 as by
that date their own Geneva production
had come to an end.” The cylinders
are numbered one, two and three and
together present a hybrid programme
of sacred music. The programme for
cylinder one is hymn tunes. Cylinder
three is classical oratorio items whilst
cylinder two does have a more eclectic
mix of tunes of which at least one is
of a more secular origin. The tunes on
all three cylinders are arranged to be
played on two combs tuned to Gamme
No. 3355. The image in the booklet
is of insufficient clarity to reproduce
here and in several cases, to identify
the tune titles. Those that can be identified
are listed in Table 14. Although
entire programmes of sacred music
are not unknown for single cylinders,
both fixed and interchangeable, it
must be very unusual for a single,
interchangeable musical box to have
been commissioned specifically with
three cylinders, the musical pro-
grammes for each of which consist

34 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Table 14: Sacred Music Pinned for Cuendet/Nicole Interchangeable Serial No. 47648

Cylinder Tune Title Notes
1
1 Old Hundredth – sometimes Old 100th Hymn Tune Title – usually set to either the words “All People that on
Earth do Dwell” or “Before Jehovah’s Awful Throne”.
2 Abide With Me Hymn Title – words by HF Lyte usually set to the Tune “Eventide” by
WH Monk.
3 Eternal father, Strong to Save Hymn Title – words by W Whiting usually set to the tune “Melita” by
JB Dykes.
4
Art Thou Weary Hymn Title – of words translated from the original Greek by JM Neale;
may be found set to several hymn tunes most notably “Stephanos”
by HW Baker, “Christus Consolotor” by JB Dykes or “Cuttle
Mills” by W Griffith.
5 Evening Hymn Hymn Tune Title – usually set to the words “Father, in High Heaven
dwelling” by G Rawson.
6 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Probably pinned with the tune “Berlin” by Mendelssohn
2
1 Hark, My Soul Hymn Title – usually found set to the Tune “St Bees” by JB Dykes.
2 Low at Thy feet.- 1st part Hymn
3 Low at Thy feet – 2nd part. Hymn
4 Rock me to Sleep, Mother Setting to music of a poem by Elizabeth Akers Allen; not a Sacred
Air!
5 Unidentifiable ???
6 The Heavens are Telling Chorus from Haydn’s Oratorio “The Creation”
3
1 O Rest in the Lord Aria from Mendelssohn’s Oratorio “Elijah”
2 Gloria in Excelsis Vivaldi
3 Glory to God Chorus from Handel’s Oratorio “The Messiah”
4 Unidentified Unidentified chorus from Handel’s Oratorio “The Messiah”
5 Unidentified Unidentified, but possibly “The Hailstone Chorus” from Handel’s
Opera “Israel in Egypt”
6 Dead March Symphonic music from Act III of Handel’s Oratorio “Saul”

almost entirely of sacred music.

Unusual Items.

Of note under this heading are
four examples of commissioned
programmes of special sacred music.
The first concerns the Roman Catholic
Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes situated
at Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrenees in
southwestern France. For Catholics,
this is the scene of pilgrimage, with
pilgrims gathering there from all over
the world for more than 100 years.
Towards the end of the 19th century,
musical boxes were commissioned
and retailed by the agent F-X Thomas
as a souvenir for a pilgrimage undertaken
to Lourdes. The tune sheet for
one of these can be seen at No. 438
in H.A.V. Bulleid’s book “Musical Box
Tune Sheets.” It is from a 6-Air box

by an unattributed maker and bears
images of the two sites of pilgrimage,
the Cave of Massabielle and of the
Rosary Basillica. The latter is one of
the largest churches in the world with
a capacity of 20,000 people. Tune one
of the box is an arrangement of the
music played by the carillon of the
Rosary Basillica. Tune two is the Bach/
Gounod “Ave Maria,” while tunes three
through six relate to the ceremonies
at Lourdes. See Fig. 8 (Page 36, with
apologies for the rather poor quality
of the original.) It is from a 6-Air box
sold as a souvenir of a pilgrimage to
Lourdes in France. Note that although
a 6-Air box, seven tunes are listed; in
fact tune seven is just a suggestion to
the owner to repeat playing tune one,
the Basillica’s carillon, at will.

The second example is from what

must have been an extreme request
for a musical programme of sacred
airs to be pinned on a cylinder musical
box.

The tune sheet is shown in Fig. 9
(Page 36) but as the image, the best
that is available, is rather blurred,
the tunes are listed in Table 14 (Page
36). It is a complete programme of 12
sacred airs, all previously unrecorded,
possibly from a complete Mass.

Just what the cost would have
been to have all this music specially
arranged for this 12-Air, two per turn
box made by L’Epee circa 1862 is unrecorded.
It illustrates, however, the
importance attached to a musical box
in the mid-19th century as a means of
providing music for those who lacked
the skills to play a musical instrument
themselves.

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 35

Another, and even more extreme
example of this practice of hybridizing
cylinders, also relates to a musical
box with a significant sacred air pro-
gramme. It is a massive Plerodienique
interchangeable located in the Pitt
Rivers Museum in Oxford, England

– Serial No. 24190 by an unknown
maker from the Sainte-Croix region,
but almost certainly to have been
made by Paillard. The programme is
pinned on six cylinders and is stated
to be Mozart’s 12th Mass (see the
silvered plaque at Fig. 10). Although
very popular in the early part of the
19th century, contemporary music
scholars doubted then that this setting
of the Mass was the work of Mozart.
This thinking solidified in 1862 when
the authoritative catalogue of Mozart’s
works was published by the Austrian
musicologist, Ludwig Ritter von
Koekel in which the Mass is consigned
to an Annex and attributed to another
composer. Additional research in
the 20th century supported this and
musical authorities today consider
this Mass to be the work of Mozart’s
contemporary, Wenzel Müller [17671835],
an Austrian theatre musician,
conductor and composer.
The silver-plated tune plaque on the
inside of the lid gives details of the
programme (see Fig 10). Considering
the low quality of the image, the
details are repeated in Table 15 below.

Such a massive work must have
been by special commission. Unfortunately
for us, research to date has
not uncovered any definitive records
to give evidence as to who and/
or why and when such a work was
commissioned. Nor are we able to
learn anything about the costs of both
arranging the music and the making
of such a musical box. If the box was
indeed made by Paillard, then the
Bulleid Dating Charts would place
No. 24190 as having been made circa
1884/5. Research into these aspects of
the history of this particular musical
box is ongoing.

A final example of an unusual sacred
music is more modern in its origin.
During the research for this series of
articles, it was of interest to discover
that a series of small musical boxes,
mostly 2-Air boxes with about 40 teeth

Fig 8: Echoes of Massabielle – Tune sheet at #438 of “Musical Box Tune Sheets” by

H.A.V. Bulleid.
Fig 9: Tune Sheet for L’Epee Serial No. 20930, a 12 Sacred Air 2 per turn box – circa
1862.

Table 14: Musical programme of L’Epee Serial No. 20930

1. Domine Salvum fac 7. Veni Creator.
2. Pange Lingua de Mozart 8. Adoremus pour les Sts Sacrements.
3. Vexilla Regis 9. Adoro te.
4. Priere de Salieri – Cantique a la Croix 10. Gloria in Excelsis.
5. Silence Ciel! Silence Terre! 11. O Salutaris hostia.
6. O Roi de Cieux. 12. Tantum Ergo.

in their combs, were produced in the of the Christian Science movement,
late 1930s by Lador of Sainte-Croix, attributed to its founder, Mrs Mary
Switzerland. The musical programmes Baker Eddy. These are described in
of these were specifically the hymns more detail in an article by Robin

36 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Fig 10: The Silvered Plaque of Serial No 24190 giving details of the parts of the Mass
pinned on each of the 6 Air cylinders of which there are six; note that the number
of turns required of each cylinder for each part of the Mass is given – see Table 15
for details. NB This Mass, formerly attributed to Mozart is now considered by the
musical authorities as being the work of a contemporary of Mozart, Wenzel Mueller.

Table 15: The Musical Programme of Serial Number 24190

Cylinder Number Part of the Mass Number of Cylinder Turns
1 Kyrie 6 Turns
2
Gloria 4 Turns
Qui Tollis 2 Turns
3
Quoniam 41/4 Turns
Cum Sancto Spiritu 13/4 Turns
Credo 11/4 Turns
4 Et Incarnatus Est 2 Turns
Et Resurrexit 23/4 Turns
5
Sanctus 1 Turn
Benedictus 5 Turns
6
Agnus Dei 21/4 Turns
Dona Nobis 33/4 Turns

Biggins that appeared in Mechanical
Music, Journal of The Musical Box
Society International in its September/
October 2007 edition.

In Conclusion –
Some Final Thoughts.

Although this article has been
written with cylinder musical boxes
produced in the 19th century specifically
in mind, sacred music from
each of the three groups identified
was arranged by the makers of other
forms of mechanical music, notably
disk musical boxes, barrel organs and
organettes. Many of the sacred airs

identified above and others will be
found on the disks and rolls and barrels
produced by the makers of these
types of instruments over the latter
years of the 19th and the early years of
the 20th centuries.

As musical boxes were discovered
and added to the research, the inescapable
conclusion has been that many, if
not most, were pinned either in part
or in whole to meet specific requests
from customers. The evidence for
making this rather bold assertion lies
in three observations that have come
to stand out during the research and
analysis for all three categories of

sacred music, but more particularly so
in respect of both hymns and evangelical
and gospel songs:

The number of tunes for which only
one or two instances have been found

64 hymns occurred once and 17
only twice – over 50 percent of the 152
hymns identified altogether;

25 evangelical songs occurred once
and eight more only twice – slightly
less than 50 percent of the 74 identified
altogether.

The number of makers identified
for whom only a single musical box
with an item or items of sacred music
is only 18 (or 37 percent) of the 49
makers identified overall.

The obscure nature of many of the
tunes and/or words associated with
them. An example of this came to light
during the latter stages of the research.
The hymn “A few more years shall
roll,” by the Rev’d H Bonar, was found
on two musical boxes from different
makers, P.V.F of Sainte-Croix and

S. Troll of Geneva. The words were
written in 1844 and are very doleful
and to my mind very 19th century as
they involve looking forward to death
to end life’s miseries and a better life
in the hereafter. The tune pinned on
the cylinder is “Chalvey,” composed in
1868 by Dr. L.G. Hayne, that is named
after a village then near, and now a
suburb of, Slough in the UK.
It is difficult to accept that Swiss
and French makers on their own could
have identified such items of music as
ones that would stimulate the sale of
their musical boxes; and, having done
so, then commit to the dual expense
of commissioning an arrangement
and the pinning of the cylinder for
this music unless otherwise assured
beforehand of a sale for the finished
item.

In addition to the main objective
of the research behind this series of
short articles, to identify the extent
to which sacred music was pinned
on cylinder musical boxes, it is hoped
that in doing so, it has served also to
illustrate how the Arthur D. Cunliffe
Register of Cylinder Musical Boxes
has been developed now to a point
where it is a very useful and powerful
tool for undertaking research of this

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 37

Table 16: The Musical Programme of Nicole Freres Serial Number 31138 – an 8 Air Oratorio
Musical Box.

Tune Title Oratorio Composer Style
1 In Native Worth Creation Haydn Tenor Aria – Part 2
2 Thanks be to God Elijah Mendelssohn Chorus – End of Part 1
3 Glory to God Messiah Handel Chorus – Part 1
4 He shall feed his flock Messiah Handel Alto and/or Soprano Aria – part 1
5 O rest in the Lord Elijah Mendelssohn Contralto Aria – Part 2
6 If with all your hearts Elijah Mendelssohn Tenor Aria – Part 1
7 Rejoice Greatly Messiah Handel Soprano Aria – Part 1
8 Pastoral Symphony Messiah Handel Orchestral Interlude – Part 1

nature. Furthermore, the hope is that
it will encourage or stimulate those
who have not yet registered their
musical boxes with the registrar to
do so. Such a step can only increase
the register’s usefulness as a valuable
research tool.

Earlier in this series of articles, I
referred several times to the inappropriate
and indiscriminate use of the
term “oratorio” and “hymn box” for
describing the musical programmes
of cylinder musical boxes pinned with
sacred airs, perhaps belabouring the
point to boredom for some. I make
no apologies, however, because incidences
of such inappropriate use still
come to light, including most recently
one of the worst I have encountered.
This was on the tune sheet of Nicole
Freres, Serial No. 31138 Gamme 1093,
an 8-Air key-wind Oratorio music
box made circa 1854. It now has a
replacement Tune Sheet gloriously
entitled “8 Old English Hymns.” The
musical programme concerned, set
out in Table 16 below, shows items

that form this programme come from
three Oratorios of which only for “The
Messiah” was the original libretto in
English whilst those for “Creation”
and “Elijah” were in German. Thus,
whilst four of the eight items could be
said to have an “English” origin, none
of them can be described as hymns;
they are arias, choruses and, indeed,
an orchestral interlude from the three
oratorios shown, truly an oratorio
musical box.

Finally, to conclude on a more philosophical
note; this series of articles
began with two intentions:

• to show that “Sacred Music”
[Musique Sacré] is the appropriate
and descriptive generic term
for use rather than “hymn box,”
or indeed “oratorio box”; and
• to provide an answer to the two
questions posed by the collector
who asked through MMD, “Can
anyone tell me what is the
difference between a Hymn
playing box and an Oratorio box?
Is there indeed a difference?”

Hopefully both goals stated above
have been met. First, to establish that
“sacred music” is the most appropriate
overall generic term and second that
there is indeed a difference between
an “oratorio box” and a “hymn box.”
Where musical boxes with complete
programmes of oratorio and hymn
tunes are identified, collectors and
others will be encouraged to use of
their respective and more appropriate
generic terms.

There is an old, old adage, however,
that says, “You can lead any horse to
water, but you cannot make it drink.”
Therefore, I expect “hymn box” and
“oratorio box” will continue to be
applied and used as inappropriately as
they have been hitherto -but should
we be concerned? As long as interest
in cylinder musical boxes continues
and their programmes of music are
enjoyed by fellow enthusiasts, then
perhaps not.

Credits and Further Reading.

• Most of the statistical information in this
article has been obtained from the Arthur
D. Cunliffe Register of Cylinder Musical
Boxes [The Register] and is used with
the kind permission of the Registrar; it
illustrates how powerful and useful The
Register is now as a source of information
when writing articles of this nature. Those
readers who own cylinder musical boxes
who have not registered them with The
Registrar are encouraged to do so and
thereby extend the value of this powerful
research tool.

• “Musical Box Tune Sheets” by H.A.V. Bulleid
and its four Supplements, published
2000 by MBSGB.
• “The Musical Box” by AWJG Orde-Hume,
published in 1995 by Schiffer Publishing
Ltd. of Atglen, Pennsylvania U.S.A.
• “Abide With Me – The World of Victorian
Hymns” by Ian Bradley Published in 1997
by SCM Press ISBN 0 334-02703-9
• The Internet Web Sites, “Hymnary.Org” &
“Wikipaedia” have been used to crosscheck
and verify tune titles and words
appearing on musical box tune sheets and
also the brief biographic notes and anecdotes
relating to Evangelical & Gospel
Songs and their composers and authors.
38 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

A cylinder for the ages

The Sublime Harmonie Piccolo musical box with a custom made base that was constructed in Ontario, Canada, most likely in

the 1950s or 1960s to hold this instrument.

By James Brewer

Sitting here rewriting my original
draft of this article about a special
Mermod Freres 18-inch music box cylinder,
I’m enjoying a YouTube channel
streaming soft relaxing music in the
background.

Enjoying any kind of music on
demand at little or no cost has become
second nature in our lives and I think
we’ve lost sight of what a luxury it
is. All you have to do is look back to
the time when the music boxes we

now collect were new. An 18-inch,
six-tune cylinder for a Sublime Harmonie
Piccolo music box could be
procured at a cost of $55 in 1895. An
entire programme on this size cylinder
plays in sequence for a little over five
minutes before repeating. Using the
relative value calculator at www.
measuringworth.com that $55 in 1895
would be worth about $1,730 in 2019
dollars. Can you imagine paying more
than $1,700 for five minutes of music
today?

Before I dive into any more of

this article, my good friend Steve
Ryder suggested I give the link to
my YouTube video of the exceptional
Mermod cylinder this article is in
reference to. Steve thought the link
should appear early on in my piece so
that if the reader desired, they could
listen while reading. I thought this
was an excellent idea, www.youtube.
com/watch?v=VtSGqAfMv4s (My
apologies that the audio quality is not
up to professional standards as it was
shot using my phone. Music boxes are
notoriously difficult to record.)

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 39

How things have changed since I
joined the MBSI in 1971!

In the late 1970s when Bill Endlein
acquired his Mermod Freres Sublime
Harmonie Piccolo music box, from my
first exposure hearing it, I admired it
as a jewel in his collection. I never in
my wildest dreams imagined I would
ever possess such an instrument. Fate
has a strange way of evolving life in
ways you never would have expected.
I was bequeathed a Mermod Sublime
Harmonie Piccolo musical box, which
I picked up in May 2015. The saga
behind this box involves a number
of early MBSI members, legal drama,
and a memorable international border
crossing into Canada. It is quite an
involved story which may work into a
future article.

Ruth Bornand, a founding member
of MBSI, liquidated her remaining
parts and tools to Nancy Fratti in the
early 1980s. The inventory included
a simple wooden case holding two
18-inch Mermod cylinders. Nancy sold
those cylinders to Bill.

One of the cylinders had some of the
most intricate and complex musical
arrangements I’ve ever heard on a
music box. Ruth related to Bill how
her husband, Adrian, would use this
particular cylinder as a “test cylinder”
when performing repairs to calibrate
dampers etc.

In my nearly 40 years of road trips
to Bill and Linda’s home, I would often
ask to have that cylinder played for

Using a smartphone?
Scan the QR code above to be
taken directly to the YouTube
video featuring this cylinder.
me. I knew the music was composed
by Beethoven but I could not identify
the tunes.

I had the opportunity in the fall of
2019 to purchase those two “Bornand
cylinders” from Bill. On my road trip to
attend the Southeast Chapter meeting
in Plantation, FL, the deal was sealed
and the cylinders were picked up.

When the coronavirus pandemic
shut-down the much of the nation,
I took the opportunity of this “down
time” to do some serious tune
research. Finally, after all these years,
I nailed this cylinder as being the
second movement of Beethoven’s 9th
Symphony.

Operatic overtures had long been a
staple in the high-end cylinder music
box trade as musical box movements
evolved from musical watches and

small snuff boxes. Programming a
symphony to a music box is a whole
different story. The interplay and
dynamics between instruments trading
musical themes back and forth in
complex arrangements is beyond the
scope of transposing to a musical box
comb.

With the exception of this cylinder,
I’m not aware of any symphonies
ever being programmed to music box
cylinders or discs.

When working on an article such
as this, reaching out for help and
information is critical. Steve Ryder
answered my email, “Jere (Steve’s
brother) agrees that because of the
volume and rapidity of tooth-plucking,
this would have made a very good
cylinder for use in testing and making
adjustments during the redampering
of similar model, Sublime Harmonie
Piccolo boxes by Mermod. While Mer-
mod and their New York agent, Jacot,
did entertain custom cylinder-orders,
something of this nature would have
been frightfully expensive. It is at least
equally likely that this may have been
purpose-made for ‘showing what they
can do’ at an exposition in the hope of
taking orders right there from visitors
with refined musical tastes and pocketbooks
to match.”

I think Jere Ryder nailed it in that
this cylinder may have been made up
specifically for an exposition display.

Q. David Bowers in the March/April
2012 issue of Mechanical Music wrote
Number 1058 stamped onto what should be a 500 series
cylinder.

The exterior of the cylinder shipping box where the cylinder is
still stored is rough and has the initials RCB (perhaps for Ruth
Bornand) written on it.

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Packing case for three cylinders. Identical pieces of the bottom supports slip into the side tracks and hold the cylinders firmly

in place when the lid is closed and fastened.

an excellent in-depth article on the
history of Mermod Freres titled, “For
The Parlors of the Millionaire.” This
piece has pictures and a detailed
description of the Mermod exhibit at
the 1893 Columbian Exhibition.

The only reference I’m aware listing
the different cylinders offered for
Mermod Music Boxes is the reprint
catalogue of Heerer Bros. & Co from

the 1895-1896 season. My copy was
purchased from Ruth Bornand more
than 45 years ago. There was no mention
of this elusive “Bornand cylinder”
stamped with No. 1058 being a stock
item. To add to this mystery: Mer-
mod 18-inch cylinders for this style
box were numbered in a 500 series.
The 1000 series belongs to the Ideal
Quatuor Soprano box which played a

20-inch cylinder.

All my research really raises even
more questions. Was this a special-order
cylinder for a wealthy customer
or a “one off” used for exhibition display?
Did Mermod Freres ever issue a
complete Beethoven 9th Symphony on
cylinders?

We can only speculate and continue
to enjoy this glorious music.

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

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

42 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

A tale of two Reginas

By Harold Wade

purchased two Regina music
boxes at a Stanton Auction in Hasting,
MI, in November 2018. Doing some
research, I found that my Regina
Style 66 is Serial No. 78193 and was
shipped on Nov. 21, 1907. I found it
interesting that it still featured a five-
digit serial bedplate since seven-digit
serial numbers started appearing in
early 1905. The other Regina, a Style
67, purchased at the same auction
is serial number 6700006 and was
shipped Dec. 22, 1905.

Both music boxes played quite well
for being more than 100 years old. The
main problem I found with them was
that the glue joints on both cabinets
were loose and previous repairs were
less than professional. The problem
seemed to be that it is hard to glue
vertical wood pieces, (side panels and
leg parts) to horizontal (front and rear
panels) pieces of wood. Also, the Style
67 cabinet finish was quite light due to
fading from sunlight on the outside.

The top panel had been misused
which is common for the tops of disc
music boxes. People from the early
1900s liked to set flower pots on the
nice flat surface at the top of the music
box. I had the top panels on both the
Style 66 and Style 67 repainted by
a woman in Vermont on the recommendation
from Dwight Porter of the
Porter Music Box Company. I found
it interesting that the paintings and
mahogany of inside panels were intact
beautifully and retained that full rich
deep color that was shown originally
on the outside of Regina music boxes
as well.

Both Regina music boxes are
151/2-inch disc music boxes with
Rookwood cabinets. The Style 66 is
a table top style having a top lid that
opens for disc changing and playing.
It features a disc storage rack on the
bottom part of the open cabinet with
dividers for vertical disc storage. The

The Regina Style 67 with a disc loaded and disc storage below. Note the rich
mahogany color of the inside panels and the vividness of the painting on the storage
compartment as compared to the exterior (pictured on the facing page) that faded
and needed to be restored to represent what they might have looked like new.

disc rack pulls out for easy storing of Music Instruments,” both written by
the 151/2-inch discs. The sides of the Q. David Bowers. In fact, I’ve never
base cabinet are open. This disc music seen a picture of a Regina Style 66 disc
box is not pictured in either “The music box in any publication. It seems
Encyclopedia of Disc Musical Boxes” to me to be a quite rare Regina disc
or the “Encyclopedia of Automatic music box and only built for a couple

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43

years by the Regina Company starting
in 1905.

The Regina Style 67 is a vertical cabinet
with two full-length doors that are
interlocked and swing out together
to show the disc 151/2-inch bedplate
horizontally mounted at the top with
a disc storage bin that pivots out for
disc storage on the bottom. There are
Rookwood paintings on both front
doors, upper and lower, both sides of
the cabinet and the front of the disc
storage bin as well as the top of the
cabinet.

Both the Style 66 and Style 67 bed-
plates, combs, star wheels and motors
showed minimal wear so that part
of the restoration was the easy part.
Dwight Porter took both cabinets completely
apart to remove excess glue on
the panels and alignment pins. While
completely apart, Dwight cleaned the
wood panel, legs, moldings, side and
back panels. He said that when the
machine was in pieces, it was much
easier to restore the front doors and
side panels and any wood work that
was required on the mouldings, which
had ding marks in several places. In
my opinion, Dwight did a beautiful job
of refinishing both music boxes which
look absolutely gorgeous. I feel they
are excellent examples of Regina disc
music boxes and I enjoy listening to
them.

The interior of the Regina Style 67 showing the restored bedplate.

Flowers on the top panel of the Regina Style 67 needed
repainting where many a potted plant had left its mark. The exposed bedplate of the Regina Style 66 after restoration.

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Seeking your stories for ….

The disc storage cabinet for the Regina Style 66 featuring
slots to hold extra discs and a restored top panel.

The interior of the Regina Style 66 with distinctive gold lettering
on the interior of the pop-up lid and a disc loaded and
ready to play for guests.

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 “The Hunt” 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

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 45

The Hunt

Story and Photos By Robert Uhrhammer

An Edison Amberola 30

There it was, a surprise! At a local estate sale, in an old
cardboard box, a mechanical phonograph and a stack of
cylinder recordings were found. I purchased the box for
$100 dollars.

After some web browsing, I learned I had purchased
an Edison Amberola 30 (an acoustic phonograph with
no electrical components) along with about four dozen
Blue Amberol 4-minute cylinder recordings. All Edison
phonographs with an internal horn were called Amberolas,
“Amberol” after the new celluloid records and “ola” for
the de facto designation of an internal horn product. This
model was called, Amberola 30, because it sold for $30
dollars.

My special “find” was protected in an old oak case. It
was essentially in perfect condition, just in need of some
cleaning and polishing. Beautifully-grained oak made the
case a stand-out. The mechanical mechanism was in very
good condition. With a little cleaning and tender loving
care, it was playable.

After listening to few recordings, it became apparent
the horn was bumping the sides of the cabinet. The horn
support spring, which supports the horn and allows it to
swing freely as the stylus moves across the record, was
missing. Judging from online reports, a broken or missing
horn support spring is a common problem. Fortunately, I
was able to locate an original spring and install it, fixing
that issue.

Once repaired, the phonograph played the cylinder
recordings with good fidelity. This indicated that the
reproducer (an Edison Diamond C Reproducer), which
converts the mechanical energy picked up by the stylus to
acoustic energy or sound waves, was in good shape and
would not have to be rebuilt. The reproducer has a permanent
diamond stylus which does not have to be replaced.
It is designed to play only the 4-minute cylinder records.
The cylinders are played at a speed of 160 revolutions
per minute as the carriage assembly moves the stylus
and reproducer across the cylinder at a pitch of 200 turns
per inch. The maximum playing time is 4 minutes and 45

Column Graphic by Mary Clegg
Front view with the lid in the open position.

seconds.

The brass plate located inside the cover, on the left
side of the case, identifies this phonograph as Serial No.
SM-145844. The “SM” stands for “spring motor.” The reproducer
is nickel plated and its serial number, found on the
bottom of the reproducer, is 65754.

There were three series of Amberola 30s made from 1915
until 1925 and sold until 1929. To determine when it was
made, I had to do more research. There is no known list of
serial number and dates for the Amberola 30 model. This

46 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Right side view showing the beautiful grain of the oak case.
The crank is for winding the spring motor.

instrument has some characteristics of the second series
which ended in 1917 and some characteristics of the third
series which began in 1918. In October 1916, during the
second series production run, the nickel plated reproducers
were phased out. They were replaced with black painted
reproducers as a cost saving measure. My Amberola has
a brass stamped dataplate on the upper left side of the lid
which indicates it is in the third series which began in 1918.
Thus, it probably has a reproducer that is not original to the
instrument. Another approach to dating the instrument is
to estimate when it was made from the production figures
for the Amberolas in the Edison Archives.

The Amberola sales for fiscal years ending February 28th
are:

Year Sales Number Sold Cumulative Number Sold
1916 $641,000 21,000 21,000
1917 $769,000 25,600 46,600
1918 $1,081,000 36,000 82,600
1919 $1,223,000 40,800 123,400
1920 $1,430,000 47,700 171,100
1921 $1,134,000 37,800 208,900
1922 $112,000 3,700 212,600

Brass serial number plate stamped with model “30” and serial
number “SM-145844.”

Assuming sales were
due to the Amberola
30s ($30 each) and the
cumulative number sold
were proxy for the serial
number, my “find,” No.
SM-145844, would have
been produced no earlier
than October 1919.

After finding the
Amberola 30, I kept looking
for more 4-minute
celluloid Indestructibles
and Blue Amberol cylinder
recordings. At
a second estate sale, I
found 60 cylinders which
I purchased for $30.
Then, at a third sale, I hit
the jackpot with a find
of 250 cylinders. They
wanted $220 but they
took my offer of $150 for
the lot. The 4-minute cylinder
recordings came in
several different colors,
with flat title rims on
the Indestructibles and
the 1912 Edison Blue Amberols. Starting in 1913, Edison
changed to beveled title rims on the Blue Amberols. Both
types used an inner core to support the outer celluloid tube
to counteract the known shrinkage problem, where the
celluloid cylinder would no longer fit on the phonograph
mandrel. Exposure to temperature fluctuations (especially
very cold) and to moisture can cause celluloid to shrink.
The Indestructibles were manufactured from 1908 until
1922 by several companies on several different types of
cores. Albany Indestructibles had a thick cardboard core
and metal reinforcing rings. The Blue Amberols were
manufactured by Edison from October 1912 until 1929 with
celluloid on plaster cores. The Blue Amberols were very
robust and capable of handling thousands of playbacks
without degradation.

After sorting through the cylinders and removing the
broken and/or cracked ones, I found that I had 321 recordings
with only nine duplicates for a total of 312 unique

Bottom view of Diamond C
reproducer serial number
65754.

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 47

Title rim of a Blue Amberol cylinder which gives the record
number ”3229,” title “Hawaiian Butterfly” and artist “Jackson.”
The lettering at the top states “Thomas A. Edison PAT’D.” The
plaster core is seen in this view.

cylinders. The collection includes a number of foreign
language recordings, marches, waltzes, medleys, gospel
songs, Hawaiian songs, plantation songs, and comical
stories. The eclectic mix of these cylinders are listed in
numerical cylinder number order in Table 1. Additionally,
the lot also included five tan colored wax cylinders (all
are recording blanks) and seven 2-minute cylinders which
can’t be played on the Amberola 30.

The University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)
Cylinder Audio Archive (http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/
history-blueamberol.php) lists Blue Amberol cylinder
numbers: 1501-5719, issued between 1912 and 1929, which
featured everything from popular and band music to light
classics; 9425-9462 featuring Swedish and Danish recordings;
22535-22539 featuring Hawaiian recordings; and,
28101-28290 featuring concert and grand opera.

Primary sources for this article are: The Edison Cylinder
Phonograph Companion by George L. Frow edited by Robert
W. Baumbach, First Digital Edition 2014; The Antique
Phonograph Society (http://www.antiquephono.org); The
UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive (http://cylinders.library.

Example of a Blue Amberol cylinder record. The cylinder is
approximately 41/4 inches long and approximately 13/4 inches
in diameter with approximately 1/8 inch taper to fit snugly on
the phonograph mandrel.

edu); and, The Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov)
History of the Cylinder Phonograph; The Talking Machine
Forum (forum.talkingmachine.info) Amberola 30 model
differences; List of Edison Blue Amberol Records (http://
en.wikipedia.org). I thank my wife, Joan, for encouragement
to write this article and for numerous editorial
improvements.

Dr. Robert “Bob” Uhrhammer is a retired research seismologist. His
lifelong hobby has been ham and historical radio operation and repair.
In 2015 he joined the Golden Gate Chapter of MBSI and started his
collection of mechanical phonographs.

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

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

Table 1 – Listing of records in cylinder number order.

# – 1912 Blue Amberol (Flat Title Rim)
C – Columbia
% – Indestructible
S – Swedish & Danish
H – Hawiian
No Symbol – 1913-1929 Blue Amberol (Beveled Title Rim)

No. Title
27 Tenor Belle Brandon
193 Arrah Wanna
218 I’ve Got Rings on My Fingers
232 Dream of the Tyrolienne
243 The Old Rustic Bridge by the Mill
284 When the Bell in the Lighthouse Rings
288 How She Gets Away With It
302 Carnival of Venice
379 Nearer My God to Thee
456 You Taught Me How to Love You
502 Put on Your Slippers, Your in for the Night
519 Dancing on the House Top
565 My Old Girl
602 Asthore Werrenrath
604% Manhattan Beach March
643 Somewhere
676% The Holy City
705% El Miserere From Il Trovatore
744% When You Steal a Kiss or Two
753% March Comique
810# Invercargill March
993% Feed the Kitty
998% Hail to the Stars and Strips March
1020% Uncle Josh and the Sailor
1021% Broncho Bill March
1076% Heine Waltzed on His Hickory Limb
1094% Policeman’s March
1101% Wise Old Indian
1134% Die Wacht am Rhein
1135 Im Mer An Der Wand Lang. Traube.
1144% I am awful glad I met you
1149% Quartette Liza.
1176% El Capitan March
1225% A. Frangesa March
1260% Hunting Song

No. Title
1262% American Aerial Triumph March
1288% Gold and Silver Waltz
1325% Business is Business With Me
1342% Kaiser Friedrich March
1345 Daddy Has a Sweetheart
1346% String Quartette
1350% Red Clover
1356% The Jolly Coppersmith March
1382% The Grasshoppers Dance
1413% Silver Bell Duet
1415% When You Mary a Girl for Looks
1422% When the Bloom is on the Heather
1431% The Coquettes
1438% The Rosary
1506# Over the Waves Waltz
1511# My Uncles Farm
1516# Just Before the Battle
1547# Silver Threads Among the Gold
1550 Casey Jones
1552# Are You Going to Dance
1558# Menuet
1560# The Preacher and the Bear
1561# The Glory Song
1569# Norah Acuchla
1583 Uncle Josh Buys an Automobile
1587# Everybody Two-Step
1596# Good-Night Farewell
1600# Home Sweet Home the World Over
1601# The Holy City
1609# Don’t Turn My Picture
1612# Spirit of Independence March
1626# Patriotic Songs of America
1638# Belle of New York
1642# St Mark 4: & Peace! Be Still!
1644 Unlucky Mose

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 49

No. Title
1648# Dixie Band
1650# Menuett -Gavotte
1719# When the Midnight Choo Choo
1737# That Old Girl of Mine
1743# The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
1750 Blue Danube Waltz
1758# Till the Sands of the Desert Grow Cold
1779# Happy Days
1781# My Hero
1787# As I Sat Upon
1792 You’re a Great Big Blue Eyed Baby
1795# Dream of the Tyrolienne
1796# Snookey Ookums
1802# My Little Persian Rose Medly
1812 Aloha Oe
1817 She’s My Daisy
1819# Just a Wee Deoch an Doris
1822 A Wee Hoose ‘Mang the Heather
1838# I Love You, California
1857 Memories of Home
1861 Wedding of the Winds Waltz
1879 Put on Your Slippers, Your in for the Night
1887 The Prettiest Little Song of All
1912 Show Troupe at Pumpkin Centre
1926 Serenade
1930 Way Back Home
1933 Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming
1960 Boston Cammandery March
1961# The Lighthouse by the Sea
1966 The Kiss
2034 Gold and Silver Waltz
2042 Face to Face
2061 Sweet Longing
2063# Virginia Reel Band
2066 Come on Over Here Elizabeth
2068 When Dreams Come True
2069 I Wish That You Belonged to Me
2078 The International Rag
2080 Maria Padilla
2083 Farewell Marguerite
2084 ‘Aisha’ Indian Intermezzo
2088 The Girl in the Gingham Gown
2093 Musical Wizard and the Bell Boy

No. Title
2097# Cradle Song
2102 Romance From L’Eclair Venetian
2114 Southern Dream Patrol
2121 When I Dream of Old Erin
2125 Where is My Wandering Boy Tonight
2126 My Mothers Old Red Shawl
2131 When I Lost You
2144 From Maine to Oregon March
2150 When the Twilight Comes to Kiss
2151 Sweet Anna Marie
2155 Would You Take Me Back Again
2192 Aunt Mandy
2196 There’s a Girl in Arizona
2203 Columbian Exposition March
2206 Dreaming Waltz
2223 Lullaby
2238 When the Bloom is on the Cotton
2241 Unknown
2251 Trallen
2262 In Dreams My Own
2272 An Afternoon in June
2300 In the Valley of the Moon
2310 She’s Dancing Her Heart Away
2368 A Perfect Day
2371 Kathlyn Waltz
2392 All on Account of You
2399 Kentucky Babe
2400 Lorena Metropolitan Quartet
2402 Over the Alpine Mountains
2449 Let’s Grow Old Together Honey
2453 Somewhere a Voice is Calling
2457 In the Evening by the Moonlight
2473 Spring of Love
2477 The Music of Love
2487 It’s a Long Long Way to Tipperary
2509 Come Back to Me
2609 Lucia
2634 Canadian March
2672 Some Little Girl Named Mary
2685 Medley of Hawaiian Hula’s
2714 Climbing Up the Golden Stairs
2715 The Birds and the Brook
2717 There’s a Little White Church in the Valley

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

No. Title
2719 Daisies Won’t Tell
2724 My Pretty Firefly
2738 Mother Machree
2752 The Blue Paradise Waltz of the Season
2772 Dominion of Canada March
2773 Till the Boy’s Come Home
2803 The Nightingale Song
2817 Love Moon
2893 Railroad Jim
2899 I Seem to Hear You Gently Calling
2916 Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula
2941 Medley of Hawaiian Airs No. 2
2945 Serenade
2971 On the Beach Medley
3010% The Star of Bethlehem
3015% Medley of Plantation Songs
3020% The Arkansas Traveler
3036 Christmas Eve
3045 Kamehameha March
3050% A Semper Fidelis March; B-22 No Reg’t
March
3065 Hawaiian Hula Medley
3070 The Tales of Hoffmann Barcarole
3077 The Rose of No Man’s Land
3117% Then You’ll Remember Me
3122% I’ve Got the Time
3136% I’ll Lend You Everything
3176 Napoleon Have a Heart
3180 Aloha Sunset Land
3221 American Patrol
3229 Hawaiian Butterfly
3241 Canary Cottage
3251% Alexander’s Ragtime Band
3264 For You a Rose
3269 Wiliwili Wai
3292 Buzzin’ The Bee
3310 Aida Selection No. 2
3321 Good-Bye Broadway, Hello France
3361 Medley of Irish Jigs
3367 We’re Going Over
3400 Spanish Fandango
3408% Maui Aloha
3409% Wailana Waltz

No. Title
3424 When You Hear That Raggy Refrain
3433% Smiles
3434% Missouri Waltz
3437 Someone is Waiting for You
3473 Says I to Myself, Says I
3497 A Submarine Attack
3498 K-K-K-Katy
3502 I’m Sorry I Made You Cry
3504 Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight
3554 Jazbo Jazz
3587 Ev’rything ‘s Funny to Me
3646 I’m Always Chasing Rainbows
3649 Ja-Da (Ja Da Ja Da Jing Jing Jing)
3653 That Dreamy Dreamy Lullaby
3670 Till We Meet Again
3688 L’Ardita Magnetic Waltz
3726 How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Dow on the Farm
3742 Bring Back Those Wonderful Days
3798 I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
3821 Memories of You in Dear Hawaii
3833 The Ambassador Polka
3841 I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles Medley Waltz
3862 Uncle Josh and the Honey Bees
3932 In Tyrol Yodel Song
3936 Flanagan’s Real Estate Deal
3939 Pretty Dick Polka
3954 Pretty Little Rainbow Waltz
4023 A Spring Morning Intermezzo
4121 Wailana Waltz
4365 Mindin’ My Bus’ness
4419 Dreamy Hawaiian Waltz
4581 I Want You Back Again
4617 If a Picture Could Paint
4761 Puritani Sound Now
4762 Mother in Ireland
4863 That Old Gang of Mine
4872 Land of My Sunset Dreams
4887 Pal of My Dreams
5140 Always
5720 My Wild Irish Rose
7199 Edison Record Patented molded on side of
cylinder
7498 I Left Because I Love You

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 51

No. Title
8033 Victorious America March
8072 TAE Patented molded on side of cylinder
8207 Second Reg’t N.G.N.J March
8250 U. S. Army Lancers, 1st Half Last Figure
8416 TAE Patented 5 molded on side of cylinder
8475 Parody of Hiawatha
8501 Always in the Way
8590 TAE Patented 4 molded on side of cylinder
8709S Du Du Lichs Mir Im Herzen
8715 Listen to the Mocking Bird
8729 Invitation to the Waltz
8825 Royal Italian March
8841 I’ve Got a Feelin’ For You
8854 Ring the Bells of Heaven
8870 I’m Trying So Hard to Forget You
8920 Minstrels
8956 A Summer Dream
9014 An Autumn Evening
9083 Washington Greys March
9096 Sing Me the Songs of Dixie Land
9098 Selection From Chimes of Normandy
9122 Hungarian Fantasia
9144 When the Evening Breeze is Sighing
9148 The Golden Wedding
9160 Nigger Loves His Possum
9192 The Jolly Blacksmiths Quartet
9194 Caprice Militaire
9199 God Be With You ‘Till We Meet Again
9271 Keep on the Sunny Side
9286 Bells Pretty Pond Lilies
9357 I Don’t Know Where I’m Going But I’m on
my Way
9369 Sisseretta’s Visit to the North
9382 Belle of the East
9426S Norrlandingens Hemlangtan Asplund
9430S Ny Fiskar Vals
9433S Bref Fran Lina Parson

No. Title
9434S Grisarnas Far
9435S Karlenkens Besvarligheter
9437S Tiggaren
9438S Vart Land
9447S Moder Svea No. 2
9448S Min Lilla Vra Bland Bergen
9450S The Bird on Nellie’s Hat
9455S Finska Rytteriete March
9456S Karolinas Trakigheter
9459S Hyllning Till Sverige
9492 All in Down and Out
9527 Flanagan on a Broadway Car
9550 Stand For Jesus
9622 Red Wing
9642 Brother Noah Gave Out Checks for Rain
9665 Medley of Straight Jigs
9847 Just Some One
9974 It’s the Pretty Things You Say
9994 Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming
10037 Honey Lou
10114 I’m Looking for a Sweetheart
10473 There’s a Light in the Window
12277 Breakfast in Bed
15067C Santiago Waltz
22535H Ninipo Paka’s Hawaiians
22539H Akahi Hoi
28012 Beloved, It is Morn
28104% One Sweetly Solemn Thought
28172 Good Bye, Sweet Day
28233 Whispering Hope
28249 Stille Nacht! Heilice Nacht
32236C St. Patrick’s Day at Clancy’s
32277C No Title Information
32394C Little Street in Heaven
32588C ‘Because’
32688C Dainty Little Ingenue

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Ruth Pontius (1939 – 2020)

By Hope Rider

Ruth Pontius of Hartford City, IN,
passed away August 25, 2020. She and
her husband, Kim, raised three sons
and have an extended family. Over the
years, friends and those who shared
a love for mechanical music visited
their music collection and marveled at
Kim’s orderly workshop.

Ruth shared the love of the music
and helped Kim demonstrate their
instruments such as a Regina table
model music box on a matching
cabinet.

They also were proud of a Seeburg
automatic piano that Kim restored,
which is next to their Aeolian Orchestrelle
with more than 100 rolls. Ruth’s
favorite tune was “The Jolly Student
March.”

Kim and Ruth were regulars at MBSI While in the shop working, Kim worked in the Blackford County
meetings and the Mid-Am Band Organ cut off the tip of one finger. Ruth, School System as the School Nurse
Rallies. They always had an organ who received her Registered Nursing and after she retired she went to work
on a trailer to show, rotating through Degree from Ball State University, for Blackford Home Health Care.
various machines including a couple patched him up and he continues to Ruth will certainly be missed by her
built by Kim, himself. pursue the hobby to this day. She family and many friends.

Kim and Ruth Pontius at Mid-Am Rally.

Rhonda Grimes Bryant (1949-2020)

Rhonda Grimes Bryant passed
peacefully in her sleep at home on
Aug. 1, 2020.

Born Aug. 7, 1949, to Wayland and
Dorothy Grimes of Palestine, AR, she
was the oldest of seven brothers and
sisters.

She attended Memphis State University,
now known as the University of
Memphis, where she met her husband
of 51 years, John Mathis Bryant Jr.
Once married, she joined John’s family
as a beloved fourth sister to Jimmy,
Margaret, Faye, and Betty.

Rhonda started work in the

industrial pipe business as a secretary
and worked her way up to owning her
own company, Interstate Pipe Supply.
She was a female entrepreneur in
a male-dominated industry. After
retiring from her career in the pipe
business, she transitioned to John
Bryant Estate Sales and was beloved
by many in the industry who knew
her. She was a resident of the Central
Gardens community for 42 years.

Rhonda was a loving mother to John
Mathis Bryant III, whom everyone
knows as Tiger. Even though she only
had one child, she cooked for an army.

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 53

Her son recalls, “My house was a hub. them feel as though they had been someone everyday she loved them
Friends would come into town know-friends all along. She’d invite anyone because she knew it made them
ing they had a second mother ready to to join their family for a meal, and in happy, and it made her happy. She was
greet them.” her quiet way she made everyone feel involved with the Women’s Guild at St.

She cherished her role as grand-welcome. Peter’s Church, Quota club, and was a
mother to her three grandkids. She cared about her family, people, frequent donor to Memphis Humane

She could talk to anyone, making and friends. She said she tried to tell Society.

Condolences Answers to the puzzle on Page 7

MBSI has learned the following members have recently
passed away: Dave Miner on July 13; Dick Bagwell, on
Sept. 6; Betty Toth on Sept. 13; and John Field, on Oct

7. Our most sincere condolences are extended to their
families and friends.
J C Y P I A K L M U R D
K S D I O N O R R C A R
P I A N O G I E E R J O
A D O J R O D K G E A R
D I N K D N M R I A N E
P A J O I C Y L N M B U
B A N L Y D M G A A K G
A C Y M B A L Y J A I E
N C R J K R I G O I L N
J Y C O R O N A J Y N O
O L J O N A K N A B E A
54 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 55
2000 N. READING ROAD | DENVER, PA 17517 | 877-968-8880 | INFO@MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
Accepting Consignments for
Spring 2021
COIN-OP & ADVERTISING
SOLD $83,000 SOLD $61,500
SOLD $72,000
November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 55
2000 N. READING ROAD | DENVER, PA 17517 | 877-968-8880 | INFO@MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
Accepting Consignments for
Spring 2021
COIN-OP & ADVERTISING
SOLD $83,000 SOLD $61,500
SOLD $72,000

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.

************************************************************************************************************************
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

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.

56 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

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.comAdvertise 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
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.comAdvertise 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
November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 57

SAVE THE DATE

August 30 -September 4, 2021
(Tuesday through Saturday)

Things to do
in 2021
Fort Myers, Florida
MBSI is bringing the
1. Thank God that 2020 is over.
2. Get a Covid vaccine shot.
3. Make plans to attend the
Fall MBSI convention
4. Lose 15 pounds …
Lose 5 pounds …
Try not to gain more weight
Get up before noon.
6. Attend the MBSI convention
in Fort Myers, FL and
5. Wake up and exercise daily …
have great fun with
friends and
music machines
fun back in 2021

• Amazing instruments!
• Workshops!
• Collection tours!
• The Mart!
• Entertainment!
• Experts, fellow collectors and friends
from all over the world!
• Food, fun and fellowship!
Guaranteed to be the best
MBSI Annual Meeting
of this decade so far!

Registration details will be printed in a spring issue of Mechanical Music.

Stanton’s FALL MUSIC MACHINE AUCTION
To be held in the Barry Expo Center, on the Barry County Fairgrounds at 1350 N. M-37 Highway, Hastings, Michigan
– go 4-1/2 miles northwest of Hastings on M-37 to the sale site OR approx. 20 miles southeast of Grand Rapids on
Beltline/M-37 to the auction location on:
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, November 19, 20 & 21, 2020
Thursday Sale begins at 1:00 P.M. following the Complimentary Luncheon
Friday & Saturday’s Sessions begin at 9:00 A.M.
AUCTIONEERS & REALTORS STANTON’S Stanton’s Auctioneers,
Appraisers, & Realtors
144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146
Vermontville, MI 49096
Phone: (517) 726-0181
Fax: (517) 726-0060
E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net
Website: www.stantons-auctions.com
Steven E. Stanton
(517) 331-8150 cellular
(517) 852-0627 evening
E-mail – stevenEstanton@gmail.com
Michael C. Bleisch
(517) 231-0868 cellular
E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com
An excellent event with collections
from the Loyd Davis Estate (Session
1), the Robert Kolba Collection of
Arizona, Bogantz Estate of North
Carolina, Buehler Estate, Ohio
and lots more. The sale includes
Edison Ideal, Columbia K, Edison
Home Banner type with Polyphon
attachment, Tournaphone floor
model Paper roll organ; other roller
organs; Rare Regina Console music
box, Reginaphone lion’s head model
and other Regina, Symphonion,
Polyphon, & Stella examples; Edison
Operas, 3 Regina Hexaphones
(various models), Victor “fighting
dogs”, music boxes, phonographs,
coin-ops, lots and lots of parts,
reproducers, Zon-o-phone A (glass
side), Circassian walnut Victor XVI,
plan on attending our Fall Event.
Watch our website for pictures and
additional information. Another
fantastic offering.
We are still accepting additional collections and machines for this event, call us early
to get your items listed and properly advertised.
Call Steve Stanton, 517-331-8150 • Email – stevenEstanton@gmail.com

FOR SALE
your copy today for $99 plus S/H. MECHANI

THE MART

CAL MUSIC PRESS-M, 70 Wild Ammonoosuc

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

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.

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 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

Rd., Woodsville, NH 03785. (603) 747-2636.

http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

VINTAGE SWISS MUSIC MOVEMENTS. NOS.
In A/C storage over 45 years; 12 note, 18 note
most original wrap. 10/$25, 100/$200.+
shipping. Also Brass Reuge 30 note priced
separately. Location 11787. BILL ZUK, 941321-
1790, wmezuk@gmail.com.

WURLITZER 190 B THEATER ORGAN with
piano attached. Many capabilities. $15,000
OBO. AMERICAN-BUILT SCOPITONES with
several extra films available. Two for $1,500
or one for $1,000, OBO. SEEBURG JUKEBOX
with records and wall box. $750 OBO. DUO
ART STROUD PIANO, restored. $750 OBO.

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.

SUBMIT ADS TO:

MBSI Ads

130 Coral Court

Pismo Beach, CA 93449

(253) 228-1634

Email: editor@mbsi.org

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

BUSH AND LANE grand reproducing piano.
Player action needs restoration. $500 OBO.
Deacon Chimes. $350 OBO. Several hundred
plus piano rolls, all types. One accordion
setup that ties into theatre organ or similar
device. $300 OBO. Contact JON CARPENTER
joncarol54@gmail.com

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 LX. Also wanting 151/2-inch
Regina Style 216 or 217 bell music box.
Contact: DON KROENLEIN, (217) 620-8650

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
fbac@one-eleven.net

LOOKING FOR the following operatic 27”
Regina discs: #4349 “Sicilienne” from Robert
Diable; #4407 “Oh Maiden Fair” and #4418
“Benediction of the Poignards” from Les
Huguenots. Contact JACK KANE, at luvstocook@
gmail.com.
CAPITOL CUFF MUSIC BOX STYLE C (largest)
excellent condition, with reproduction
base,10 cuffs located in Miami, FL $7,000
305-932-7972 HOWARD SANFORD howard-REPRODUCTION POLYPHON discs; Catalogs
sanford@bellsouth.net available for 19 5/8”, 22 1/8”, and 24 1/2”.

SERVICES
DAVID CORKRUM 5826 Roberts Ave, Oak-
MARVELS OF MECHANICAL MUSIC – MBSI land, CA 94605-1156, 510-569-3110,
Video. Fascinating and beautifully-made www.polyphonmusic.com
film which explains the origins of automatic
musical instruments, how they are collected SAVE $’s on REUGE & THORENS MUSIC
and preserved today, and their historic BOX REPAIR & RESTORATION – MBSI

Display Advertisers

3………. Renaissance Antiques
54…….. Miller Organ Clock
54…….. Bob Caletti
55…….. Morpy Auctions
56…….. MBSGB
56…….. American Treasure Tour
57…….. Cottone Auctions
57…….. Reeder Pianos
57…….. Ben’s Player Piano
58…….. Southeast Chapter
59…….. Bertoia Auctions
60…….. Nancy Fratti
61…….. Stanton Auctions
67…….. Marty Persky
68…….. Porter Music Box Company

Add a photo to your ad!

You know the old saying, “A photo
is worth 1,000 words!” Well, it’s
only $30 per issue to add a photo
to your classified advertisement in
the Mart. That’s a lot less than 1,000
words would cost. 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.

Have you tried the MBSI online
classifieds? It’s quick and easy to
place your ad. Pay with Paypal and
see your ad on the website AND in
the journal. Go to www.mbsi.org
and click on the Classifieds link to
get started today.

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.

Name Phone

Email

Text of ad

November/December 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 63

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
kozak@seldenfox.com

TRUSTEES

Dave Calendine
Bob Caletti
Ed Cooley
Dave Corkrum

G.Wayne Finger
Matt Jaro
Tom Kuehn
Mary Ellen Myers
Clay Witt
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

G.Wayne Finger, Trustee
Judy Caletti
Meetings Committee

Matt Jaro, Chair, Trustee
Judy Caletti
Tom Chase
Cotton Morlock
Mary Pollock
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
Richard Simpson, East Coast

Museum Sub-Committees

Ohio Operations
Emery Prior

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
Robbin 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.

64 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2020

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event Location Sponsor
Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting Ft. Myers, FL Southeast Chapter

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know!
Send in your information by Nov. 30, 2020 for the January/February issue.
Do you have a question about music boxes or other music machines? Try asking our FaceBook discussion

group. Find us by searching Facebook for Musical 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

CHAPTERS

East Coast

Chair: Elise Low
(203) 457-9888
Dues $10 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 Pro Tem: Sachiya Sasaki
Vice Chair Pro Tem: Naoki Shibata

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

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

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 2020 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 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 65

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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
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Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
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Volume 66, No. 5 September/October 2020

Mechanical Music

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

Volume 66, No. 5 September/October 2020

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.

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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 2020. 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 66, No. 5 September/October 2020

MBSI NEWS

5 President’s Message
7 Editor’s Notes
7 Japan Chapter Report
55 In Memoriam

Features

8 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro

20 The music of the Austrian
monarchy

32 In search of mechanical
music

37 Sam Clark

38 Sacred Music Part 4,
Evangelical and Gospel
Songs

47 The Hunt

49 The Queen, the Sultan
and the Organ Clock

MBSI has replanted 101 trees so far as
part of the Print ReLeaf program.

On the Cover
One of the earliest Mills Violano’s
produced. This magnificent
machine was part of Paul Mangan-
aro’s collection for many years.
Read more about Paul in Nickel
Notes. Page 8.
Monarchy music

Dr. Helmut Kowar reviews the
music and music boxes of Prague
and Vienna when music boxes were
most popular. Page 20.

September/October 2020 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 automatical

ly-played machine that produces melodic sound including

discs and cylinder music boxes that pluck a steel comb;

orchestrions and organs that engage many instruments at

once using vacuum and air pressure; player and reproducing

pianos that use variable vacuum to strike piano wires; pho

nographs; 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

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Exp. Date CCV

Signature

4 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

By Tom Kuehn

MBSI President

As you are reading this message,
many of us should be in sunny California
participating in our annual meeting
that was to be held jointly with the
Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’
Association (AMICA). Fate,
however, intervened. The MBSI Board
of Trustees decided on May 22 to cancel
our annual meeting this year and
it proved to be fortuitous. We did not
know what the situation would be at
the end of the summer and certainly
did not anticipate the recent increase
in COVID-19 infections in many parts
of the country leading to additional
restrictions.

Some good news, the personnel at
the hotel where we planned to hold the
meeting agreed with our decision to
terminate the contract without paying
cancellation fees and refunded all the
deposits made by MBSI and AMICA.
The current plan is to hold our annual
meeting next year in Ft. Myers, FL,
hosted by the Southeast Chapter. The
schedule for meetings beyond 2021
has not been formalized.

Our annual meetings offer a wonderful
opportunity for members to

socialize with
friends and
visit outstanding
collections
in addition to
the necessary
work that must
be accomplished
during
the business
sessions for
committees
and also for
the society as a
whole. I thank
everyone who
participated
in the election

process this
year that replaced the normal procedure
that would have been held during
the business meeting. The results of
the election will be announced at the
next meeting of the trustees on Sept.
4 and published in the next issue of
Mechanical Music.

Another aspect of an annual meeting
is an opportunity to learn about all the
exciting events organized by the chapters
during the previous year. Activity
has diminished significantly since
March because of the coronavirus but

hopefully will recover soon. Without a
meeting this year, the plan is to publish
the chapter reports in Mechanical
Music for all to read.

One method of keeping mechanical
musical instruments in the public eye is
to play some of them, band organs and
calliopes for example, in parades. The
Wurlitzer 105 band organ replica that I
built 30 years ago has been played in
at least one Fourth of July parade to
celebrate American Independence Day
every year, until now. With parades
canceled, the organ stayed home and
was played for the neighbors instead.
The music chosen was Wurlitzer
Military Band style 125 roll No. 3033.
The first two songs on the 10-tune roll
are America the Beautiful and Stars
and Stripes Forever; the last two are
Yankee Doodle and The Star Spangled
Banner. You won’t find more patriotic
songs than those. A roll or two is played
Sunday afternoons when the weather
cooperates that often entices some of
the neighbors to come over and listen.
Music in the park.

As I wrap up my first year as president
of MBSI, I must say it has been
an interesting year at the least with
no shortage of challenges. I sincerely
hope that all of us will experience
a less stressful, more fulfilling year
ahead.

Welcome new members!
June 2020 July 2020
Wendy & Tim West Herbert & Allison Parkes
Allison Park PA Dover, DE
Amy Gaskin Harold Draper
Los Angeles CA St. Peters, MO
Sponsor: Don Caine Judy Williams
Alan Marsh Vancouver, WA
Marion, IA Sponsor: Don Caine
Ken & Patty Steele John Thomson
Murrieta, CA Tyler, TX
Sponsor: Robin Biggins Sponsor: Don Caine
Jeffrey Kaufman David Bolton
Manchester, NJ Norwalk, CT
Sponsor: Don Caine Sponsor: Ester Stefanidis
Jessica Holden
Alexandria, VA

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.

Editor’s Notes MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial/Advertising
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
Editor’s Notes MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial/Advertising
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
By Russell Kasselman

MBSI Editor/Publisher

This issue is packed with so much
great content, I had to shorten my
column here to only a few words. The
new MBSI Japanese Chapter report
(below) was a late addition, but one

I did not feel should be left out of
the issue since it is quite significant.
Congratulations are in order as this
chapter begins its new adventures.

I wish to extend my warmest thanks
to all our authors who contributed to
this issue. They each deserve a nice
round of applause for their hard work.

New articles are always welcome.
Please send them in any time.

Japan Chapter

By Sachiya Sasaki

On Sunday, Jul. 26, 2020, a commemorative
business meeting to establish
the new MBSI Japan Chapter was held
with 16 members attending.

We were all MBSI members. This
time under the influence of COVID-19,
it was not an in-person meeting but
an online meeting with the technical
support of Hiroshi Ohkawa.

A congratulatory message from
MBSI President Thomas Kuehn was
read in Japanese by Makiko Watanabe

prior to the proceedings.

The outline of the business meeting
was as follows:

1. MBSI Japan Chapter (JC) was
established.
2. Four officers of the board were
elected.
•Sachiya Sasaki, Chair
•Naoki Shibata, Vice-Chair
•Hiroshi Ohkawa, Secretary
•Makiko Watanabe, Treasurer
3. The business plan and the
annual budget were approved.
4. The draft of bylaws was
discussed.
During breaks, members’ music
boxes and automata collections were
also shown online.

It was a good opportunity to deepen
the bonds of friendship with the same
hobbies.

With the support of MBSI members
around the world, we were able to
establish a new Japan Chapter.

We would like to express our deepest
gratitude to all MBSI members.

Members of the new MBSI Japanese Chapter met via Zoom, an online video chat tool, to conduct their first official session.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro

An afternoon with Paul Manganaro

Let’s go back to a simpler time about
six years ago. I visited Paul Manganaro
in rural Pennsylvania. Since that visit,
Paul has largely retired from taking on
big restoration projects. He will still
do small jobs. He has sold most of the
collection that I saw on my visit. His
collection, contribution to mechanical
music and expertise as a restorer all
justify this trip into the past.

It was a rainy October day. I was
driving along the rural roads in Eastern
Pennsylvania on the way to the
house and workshop of Paul Manganaro
in Coopersburg, PA. I’ve known
Paul for some time but I never really
got to spend any time with him. Now
I feel that I’ve really met a new friend.
I guess that’s the way it is with this
hobby. Paul is both a restorer and a
collector of mechanical music and an
avid player piano pumper.

Beginnings

As always, I asked Paul how he got
started in mechanical music. I feel
this is an important question not only
because it might help us learn how to
attract new members to the hobby but
it is often a pivotal event that started
a collector/restorer down this path.
I think it also typically shows how a
person’s life is changed by the musical
machines. Paul’s moment was in high
school when he visited a friend’s
house. There was a player piano in the
basement. Jim, who was the father of
Paul’s friend, enjoyed the mechanical
music hobby and had Larry Givens’

Paul Manganaro

book “Rebuilding the Player Piano”
as well as some catalogs from G.W.
McKinnon and Hathaway and Bowers.
Jim ran a church group and every
Friday night Paul would go over to his
house and the kids would sing around
the piano. Paul was 15 at the time and
wanted nothing to do with the church
group. He thought it was goofy, but he
was interested in mechanical things.
Jim explained that he took the piano
apart twice a year to service it and
described the 88 bellows, valves and
pouches. Paul couldn’t imagine how
all those components could fit in such
a small area. Jim said he would adjust
the piano and clean the bleeds, etc.

Paul asked to be included the next time
he took it apart. As soon as Paul saw
all the mechanical things, he knew he
wanted a player piano. By then, Paul
was 16. One time at Jim’s house, Paul
heard ragtime being played. This was
before the film “The Sting,” so ragtime
wasn’t really popular yet. Right then,
Paul knew that he wanted to play the
piano.

Paul asked Jim “How do you get
a player piano?” Jim replied, “You
ask everyone you know if they know
where there is an old player piano and
someone will tell you where there is
one.” This made no sense to Paul at
the time, but he followed the advice.
One of Paul’s cousins found a player
piano up the street from her house in
a garage. Paul bought it. It was a single-
valve Standard Shoninger located
in Upper Montclair, NJ. He got it for $25
with a box of about 75 rolls. As soon
as he graduated high school, he began
to restore the piano in Jim’s garage.
This was in June 1973. Jim knew
where to get the materials. Also, the
pianos were newer back then (weren’t
we all?) so there wasn’t as much work
required to restore the piano as there
might be now. For example, there was
no need to adjust the valves. Anyway,
Paul got the piano back together and
it worked really well – so he decided
to do restoration work for a living and
that’s how it turned out!

Early Work

Paul lived in Nutley, NJ, with his

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

This North Tonawanda A roll orchestrion
spent time as part of Paul’s collection,
playing many a roll from the stacks at
right.

parents. He started restoring pianos in
their garage the first year and then he
rented a storefront. Paul tells the story
of the time he was going to participate
in an antique show in Bergen County,
in a place called Schuetzen Park. He
hired an assistant, named Freddy
Jason, to move the Shoninger he had
restored with Jim to the park where
he would offer it for sale. Paul planned
to arrive at the park later, since he
was going to church first (it being a
Sunday morning). Paul told Freddy to
demonstrate the piano for people and
if anyone asked how much Freddy
was to give them an asking price
of $2,000. At that time, pianos were
selling for $500 or $750 so it was just
a crazy price Paul was using to discourage
anybody from buying it. Paul
arrived at the antique show just before
noon. Fred announced: “There’s a guy
asking about your piano and wants to

buy it.” A few minutes later, the buyer
approached Paul and said, “I respect
the price and I really like the piano
and I just want to know when I can
have it delivered.” Paul’s jaw dropped
and he thought: “MY PIANO!!” So he

sold it. The piano went to this fellow
in Bergen County and Paul never saw
it again. He went for years (until 1987)
without having another player piano.

Paul’s storefront was in Lyndhurst,
NJ, and he called it “Paul’s Player

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

Paul’s Seeburg Style B orchestrion. This Style E Seeburg spent time in Paul’s home.

A Weber pianola restored by Paul and proudly displayed in his home.

Pianos – player pianos bought, sold
and restored.” Paul visited every
restorer he could and learned about
restoring. The first restoration he did
cost the client $250. Today, because
of all the deterioration that happens

over the years and years, that same
job might cost $7000.

Nickelodeons

It was 1974 and Paul was still
at his parents’ home. He wanted a

nickelodeon. There was a fellow
named Tony Farina who was a piano
dealer. He had a home in Westwood,
NJ. Tony would travel and buy
reproducing pianos and nickelodeons
throughout New Jersey and New

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

York. Tony’s home was lined with
nickelodeons and reproducing pianos.
Paul bought a Seeburg L from Tony for
$2,500. Paul was so happy to finally
own a nickelodeon, but he only owned
it for a couple of months. He needed
the money to buy more pianos, so he
sold it Glenn Crater, who has owned
it for 40 years now. In an effort to
expand his business, at age 20, Paul
began buying and selling automatic
pianos in addition to restoring.

I asked Paul how he got into jukeboxes.
He said there was a coin-op
dealer named Bernie Gold who would
buy nickelodeons from Paul. One day
Bernie said, instead of $7,000 for the
nickelodeon, I’ll give you $6,000 and
a slot machine. Paul said, “But I don’t
want a slot machine.”

Bernie said, “I’m giving you the slot
machine for $1,000 and if you can’t
make $200 on this, I’ll take it back and
give you your thousand dollars.” This
was great since Paul didn’t have to do
anything to it. So he started selling slot
machines.

Paul says he is not sure how he
got into jukeboxes. Maybe he saw
machines like the 1015 bubbler in
collectors’ homes. He certainly has
no memory of them when he was a
kid. But, suddenly he wanted one, and
advertised. Since then he has been
buying and selling jukeboxes.

Pumping Pianos

I asked Paul what got him interested
in pumping pianos rather than having
an electrically-operated piano. He
said he understood right away that
you were supposed to put expression
into the music, and the really old rolls
(around 1910-1912) had very clear
expression markings on them. He
originally just followed the markings
on the roll, and that started to give him
a feel for what he was supposed to be
doing. Later, he could see if there was
a chord coming up that would require
extra volume and he could pedal
faster at those points. I mentioned to
Paul that I would always tend to pump
in rhythm to the music, so that faster
pieces would be exhausting. He said
that he was pumping since the age of
17, and it just came naturally.

The current player piano that Paul

A Seeburg E Special restored by Paul.

Paul plays a tune on the Bush and Lane Player Piano.

owns is a Bush and Lane. Paul says it
is the best player he has ever owned.
Another restorer rescued it from
someone’s basement. The wood is
book-matched walnut and the spool is
veneered, the spool box is walnut and
the back of the piano and three sides
of the posts are veneered as well. It
has a working sostenuto pedal (which
is very unusual for an upright). The
restorer was going to rebuild it, but
Paul begged him to let him buy the
piano the way it is.

During the 1980s, Paul participated

in antique shows run by Irene Stella.
Irene considered Paul’s pianos to be
an attraction at her shows, so Paul
would bring between one and five
player pianos to a shopping mall for a
few days as part of the antique show.
During this time, Paul told Irene that
he had the idea of a player piano
pumping marathon to get in the Guinness
Book of Records. Paul wanted to
do the marathon at this time because
he had just restored a Lauter Humana
player piano which was unbelievably
easy to pump. He thought, if he was

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

ever going to do this marathon, he
better do it with this piano.

Irene thought it was a good idea and
said that Paul should pump a player
piano during one of her antique shows
for publicity and Paul himself wanted
the publicity to sell more pianos. Paul
suggested doing the pumping for the
duration of the show which happened
to be 80 hours (Wednesday morning
at 8 a.m. until Saturday afternoon at 4
p.m.). So it was decided the marathon
would take place in an upcoming
antique show in the Willowbrook Mall
in New Jersey.

Paul conducted the marathon
according to the Guinness Book rules.
He stayed at the shopping mall all
night with only the guards there. To
conserve strength, at night Paul would
play classical rolls, with only a few
notes on them (instead of rolls like
the William Tell Overture), during the
day he played lively stuff. According
to the rules, 55 minutes of each hour
had to be spent pumping the player
piano. He could use the five minutes
every hour for a break or save them
up for later. Paul saved up enough of
his break time to sleep for two hours
on Friday night.

At the end of the 80 hours, Paul’s
legs were terribly knotted-up. When
he got home, he would wake up during
the night and his feet were moving
because after three days of pumping
he got conditioned to not falling
asleep. Looking back, Paul said, “But
it was fun!” So, in the summer of 1987,
he was awarded a plaque for pumping
a piano for 80 hours straight.

The Peerless Style 44

It has been thought by some people
that the company that made the oak
case for the Peerless 44-note cabinet
piano also made the cabinets for the
Encore Banjos. They look similar and
they were made in the same area.
Paul bought two machines from a
collector in New Jersey, a Seeburg L
and the Peerless, with the thought of
keeping the Peerless. When he was
17, one of the first nickelodeons he
ever heard was a Wurlitzer Pianino at
Space Farms in New Jersey (named
after Mr. Space!) The farm is still there
and David Ramey, Jr. restored their

Paul’s Peerless 44-note cabinet piano stands tall among the other pianos around it.

machines in 2014. Paul was entranced
with the Pianino. You couldn’t see anything
work, just the hammers through
the glass. Also, the idea of seeing half
a piano was amazing. He had never
heard of such a thing. So, getting the
Peerless was like a dream realized.

A Maturing Business

Paul bought his first house in 1980.
It was a little house with a store front

that used to be a grocery store back
in the 1920s. He loaded that front
room up with pianos. He had so many
pianos in there that he had to worry
about the floor giving way. In addition
to the pianos at his house and in
his store, Paul would rent storage
facilities to hold even more pianos.
When he moved to Coopersburg, PA,
in 1987, he had about 42 pianos. It
became clear around that time that he

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

The flawless nameplate on the Peerless 44-note. The hammer rail from the Peerless 44-note.

The inner workings of mechanical music machines like this Peerless Elite drew Paul to his career as a restorer and dealer.

The exterior of the Peerless Colonial Elite Orchestrion is as

attractive as its inner workings. A Regina Hexaphone mechanism gleams in its case.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

An automaton featuring a harbor, windmill
and buildings sits atop a piano.
This scene is much larger than it might
appear. You can just see the upper section
of it in the photo on Page 12 behind
the Peerless 44-key.

should get rid of most of them – which
he did. Player Pianos were starting to
go out of style and were harder to sell,
so it just didn’t make sense to keep
them all. He got rid of the inventory,
including reproducing pianos, a little
at a time, rather than moving it to his
new house.

While restoration was always Paul’s
bread and butter, he starting buying
juke boxes to sell, even before he
moved to Coopersburg. What was
wonderful was the fact that Paul didn’t
have to commute to a job and could
live in a beautiful country setting. He
could go to New Jersey to pick up restoration
projects and work on them
in Pennsylvania. Today Paul is well
known by serious collectors, but back
then he had to buy his own machines
to restore and sell.

I asked Paul how he discovered
the Automatic Musical Instrument
Collectors’ Association (AMICA) and
MBSI, and he said that in 1975 he met
Alan Lightcap through Jack Hardman.
I asked how he met Jack, and Paul
said he went to a garage sale to buy a
box of piano rolls. When he got there,
he found the rolls had been sold. The
homeowner said that the man who
bought them had left his card. Who
does that? If you know Jack, then you
know how efficient and meticulous

Paul said he sort of fell into buying and selling jukeboxes like this Wurlitzer Victory
Jukebox that remained in his collection for quite some time.

he is. So, Paul called Jack, who lived
about 20 minutes from Paul, in Verona,
NJ. Paul visited Jack and brought six
Ampico rolls in poor condition that
Paul was proud to have found. Jack
said, “You’re not playing these rolls
on my piano,” and proceeded to show
Paul three grand pianos, his brand
new Baldwin, a Knabe Ampico and a
Steinway Duo-Art that Alan Lightcap

restored. They all looked brand new
to Paul who had never seen work like
that in his life – and that’s how Paul
met Alan, who sort of became Paul’s
mentor and taught him how to do fine
work. Paul says that knowing Jack
opened the door to AMICA and the
MBSI.

I know that Paul did a number of
projects for the editor of the AMICA

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

The stunning Steinway Liberty piano that was decorated by noted designer George

A. Schastey. At left is a close up detail of one of the carvings.
Bulletin, Glenn Thomas, and naturally
I asked Paul how he met Glenn. Paul
said he was interested very early on in
a MIDI system because of his friendship
with Frank Himpsl. Frank wanted
to MIDIfy his rolls. Paul said he could
build a unit that Frank could use, and
in trade, Paul would get copies of the
MIDI files that Frank produced. The
unit had eight different roll frames
to accommodate the large variety of
roll formats. Paul met Spencer Chase
at one of the music box conventions
because of his MIDI work. Spencer
called Paul up one day and asked if he

could put one of the MIDI units in a
piano. Paul had put three or four units
in pianos, and then Spencer asked if
he could put one in a piano in New Jersey
– and that’s how Paul met Glenn.

I asked Paul what some of his most
unusual restoration projects were. He
said he restored a Gabel Automatic
Entertainer jukebox. The early Gabel
models were all mechanical. It even
changed the needle with each record
played. Playback was acoustic (using
horns). Later models had an electric
motor that would go on for an instant
to wind the spring motor for you, and

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

then it was all mechanical. It’s an
extremely complex machine with tons
of linkages (to select records, replace
needles, play the records, etc.). Paul
took it all apart without a manual,
got it all back together and couldn’t
get it to work 100 percent reliably.
Finally, it dawned on Paul that the
cast iron frame which supported the
mechanism had sagged over the years.
The only solution was to file some
parts (which Paul was very reluctant
to do, since he doesn’t like changing
anything like that) – but it was the
only solution – and the machine has
worked reliably for more than eight
years now.

The Steinway Liberty

Absolutely the most beautiful piano
I have ever seen is Paul’s Steinway
Liberty piano. It dates from 1882. The
piano was made for William Clark, a
famous cotton thread manufacturer.
The cabinet work was accomplished
by George A. Schastey, a famed
designer. I asked Paul how he found
such a glorious instrument and his
explanation was fascinating.

Once upon a time, there was a
piano dealer in New Jersey who dealt
mainly in low-end pianos and Paul
was known for buying pianos at this
point. Paul went with this dealer into
a Catholic Church institution (where
they have a church and school on the
same campus). The dealer had already
bought several upright pianos for $50
each out of the school. They went up
to the third floor, and opened a door
and sitting there was a Steinway. The
dealer told Paul it was a really fancy
Steinway from the 1800s and it was
really something special. Paul kept
saying “I don’t want to know anything
about it,” because Paul thought it was
one of those Steinways with the elephant
legs on it. They were beautiful
looking pianos but 30 years ago they
were worth nothing. The dealer pursued
the piano, but because the piano
was donated to the church, there had
to be an auction in order to sell it. The
dealer won the auction and bought the
piano for $3,000 in 1981.

Later on, everyone started saying to
Paul, “You have to go see this piano!”
Paul said he even heard the story that

A view from the front of the Steinway Liberty showing the intricate scroll work on the
music stand. Below is another highlight of one of the carvings on the piano.

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

One of the earliest Mills Violanos. Paul bought it from George Indig with a promise to
restore two others and leave them in George’s collection. George was so impressed
with Paul’s work, he hired Paul to restore the whole collection.

another dealer, who generally didn’t
pay much for pianos, had offered
$15,000 to buy this piano that Paul
had initially passed on. This story
convinced Paul that the piano must
be something out of this world and he
made a bee-line to the dealer to see it.
When Paul saw the piano in the dealer’s
living room, Paul could not believe
how fantastic it was. After extensive

negotiation, Paul and a friend bought
the piano and they have had it ever
since.

Over the years, a great deal of information
about Paul’s Steinway Liberty
piano has come to light. According
to Steinway’s records, Paul’s piano
was sent to the factory of George A.
Schastey in New York, NY. Schastey
was one of the first architectural

One of the earliest Mills Violano rolls
ever produced, circa 1907.

decorators in America. He was
responsible for creating three rooms
in the Rockefeller mansion. He made
the beautiful art case for Paul’s piano,
several other matching pieces and
even designed an entire music room
around it. Paul has a picture of the
piano in the original setting.

In 2009, The Metropolitan Museum
of Art was given the dressing room
from the Rockefeller mansion that
was done by Schastey. The museum
did a great deal of research about
Schastey and they called Paul’s piano
the Rosetta stone, since it is one of
Schastey’s only fully-documented
pieces. In December 2014, the Metropolitan
Museum of Art unveiled
its Rockefeller dressing room and
brought in other pieces of wood working
art done by Schastey from all over
the country. The museum made Paul’s
piano the centerpiece of that display.
Paul now wants to sell the piano. He
says he doesn’t like owning it, because
it’s too much of a responsibility.

The Mills Violano

Paul knew another collector in New
Jersey, George Indig, who collected
nickelodeons and Lionel trains. George
had three violin machines and Paul
wanted one in particular. Paul had just
gone to Jasper Sanfilippo’s where he
saw an early Mills Violano restored by
Terry Haughawout. Paul had heard all
the late ones, but when he heard this
early one, he said, “That’s what I want
for myself.” The machine from George
was in terrible shape – so Paul proposed
to pay George some money and
do restorations on the George’s other
two machines in exchange for owning
the early Mills. Paul made trip after trip
to George’s house (which was an hour

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17

Paul’s Link orchestrion, purchased from George Indig’s widow after George passed away.

and a half away) because he wanted
to make sure George’s two machines
were working well. George saw how
hard Paul worked, and hired Paul to
restore all his other machines. Paul
ended up restoring George’s entire
collection! After George passed away,
Paul bought a Seeburg E Special, a
Peerless Elite, a Link orchestrion and
an organ clock, from George’s widow.
After having a nice visit with Paul

and making a new friend, I had to
hit the road to home. It was dark
and rainy, so I decided to take the
Interstate highways. Aside from the
incessant truck spray, the trip was
uneventful but certainly it was more
stressful than the rural route I had
selected for the trip out to Paul’s place
that morning.

Paul Manganaro can be reached at
newmatics@gmail.com

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 2015 issue of The AMICA
Bulletin.

18 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Interesting Tidbits

An original sales receipt for 1911 for a Regina and base cabinet, purchased at a total price of
$80 with $10 down and $70 due. Note the fine penmanship and writing style on the invoice. Also,
remember when there were so few phones that phone numbers could be listed as 135 Oxford like
this one is for the C.C. Harvey Company?

In 1885, organs were a hot ticket in Chicago, IL. Five factories, as reported by the Music
Trade Review, were pushing more than 2,100 organs out their doors each month. One line
of the article notes the W. W. Kimball Company produced 1,000 organs in the space of 23
days. What a feat!

The music of the

Austrian monarchy

An incomplete account of the musical repertoire of musical
boxes manufactured in Prague and Vienna

Fig. 1: August Bartel, Vienna, Austria, musical box (music no. 469, current no. 1296) playing three tunes, with a tune sheet on
the lid of the case (auction Dorotheum Vienna, May 27, 2009, no. 155), photo © Helmut Kowar.

20 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Fig. 2: Anton Olbrich, Vienna, musical box (music no. 2519)
playing six tunes, the tune sheet affixed to the lid of the case
(Muzeul Ştiinţei şi tehnicii “Ştefan Procopiu.” Aparate muzicale
din colecţii publice şi private. Iaşi, Palatul culturii, 14
Septembrie – 14 Octombrie 2018, special exhibition), photo
© Helmut Kowar.

By Dr. Helmut Kowar

In about 1820 Anton Olbrich, in Vienna, Austria, and
Franz Rzebitschek, in a small village near Teplitz, Czech
Republic, (some years later he settled in Prague), started to
make musical box movements. They developed a specific
design for these movements which differed in several
technical details from their more famously known Swiss
counterparts. Once they settled on a standard model for
their movements, Olbrich and Rzebitschek did not evolve
them any further and all succeeding Austrian manufacturers
seem to have adopted the same technique.

In my research into the instruments featuring these
movements that have been found so far, this configuration
of movements reveals a clearly structured musical repertoire
corresponding directly to the music being produced
at the time and this structure seems to have remained
unaltered over the decades.

The musical box movements were designed mainly to
fit in clocks (nonetheless we find many movements fitted
into plain wooden cases), and their distribution was more
or less confined regionally to the Austrian monarchy and
adjacent eastern countries.

Fig. 3: August Bartel, Vienna, Austria, musical box (music no.
469, current no. 1296), the tune sheet.

The report given here is based on research from data
collected through observing approximately 1,400 of these
movements. Of the movements observed, more than 1,000
of them were found to be in playing condition and sound
recordings were made1.

To be clear, the fact that my research involved only about
1,400 movements out of the approximately 110,000 movements
produced in Prague and Vienna altogether, mean
that these statements and findings concerning the musical
repertoire remain incomplete. Further, the information
gathered from the instruments available for observation
was also fragmentary. For example, many of the instruments
were in poor condition and did not play at all and

1 Helmut Kowar: Musical Boxes from Prague and Vienna, Vienna:
Austrian Academy of Sciences Press 2019. The sound recordings are
part of the collections of the Phonogram Archives of the Austrian Academy
of Sciences https://www.oeaw.ac.at/phonogrammarchiv/

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 21

Fig. 4: Gustav Řebiček, Prague, musical box (music no. 3388, current no. 49638) playing two tunes, the tune sheet affixed to the
underside of the case (auction Dorotheum Vienna, May 27, 2009, no. 156), photo © Helmut Kowar.

even those that did play, while having quite a number of
tunes that could be identified when listened to, had even
more tunes that were unknown and at best could be classified
as either being a waltz, a ländler, march, czardas etc.
Some tunes displayed characteristics which made them
recognizable as arias or a couplets but which aria or couplet
remains unclear. Many manufacturers originally attached
tune sheets with their movements, but well-preserved tune
sheets today are very rare, and often only illegible parts
or remnants in poor condition are left. These sheets were
often glued onto the inside of the lid (Figs. 1, 2 and 3, pages
20-21) or on the underside of the bottom of the cases (Figs.
4 and 5), on the backing or on the frame of picture clocks
and mantle clocks (Figs. 6 and 7, Page 24). The makers
used preprinted slips of paper and entered music number
and current serial number of the musical box movement
(sometimes the numbers are missing), and the title of the
music pieces by hand. In addition, we find tune inscriptions
in pencil or ink on the cases themselves or on the backing
of picture clocks which name the musical program.

The information about the musical repertoire, however,

occasionally contains inconsistencies as well as outright
errors, or the manufacturer used names, abbreviations and
designations which were common at the time, but are not
readily understandable nowadays, not to mention there are
incorrect spellings of words and names, or indecipherable
characters due to handwriting styles or faded ink (Fig. 8,
Page 25). Thus, with some of the titles given on the tune
sheets it was impossible to identify the music piece.

The sources found so far provide us, nonetheless, with
a surprisingly precise picture of the state of music at the
time. One can identify three main musical genres: dance
music, operatic music, and folk music. Occasionally art
songs, some piano and popular music, salon music, national
anthems and church songs appear. These may be summarized
as a separate fourth group. An export of movements
seems to have occurred only in the first decades, which
means that the output of the Czech and Viennese makers
served mainly – or almost exclusively – the needs of the
peoples of the Austrian monarchy and of east European
countries, thus the repertoire is completely different from
the music on Swiss musical boxes.

22 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Fig. 5: Unsigned musical box by a Prague maker, possibly by Alois Maly (music no. 107, current no. 380) playing two tunes, the
tune sheet affixed to the underside of the case (auction Dorotheum Vienna, March 23, 2011, no. 176), photo © Helmut Kowar.
With the second title an error has occurred: “Une Bagatelle” is a polka-mazur by Johann Strauss jun. and not by Verdi.

Keep in mind that the tunes given here display the
musical genres quite well, but these lists do not provide
any information as to the frequency of the tunes appearing
on the musical box movements. Many tunes are present on
numerous movements throughout decades, for example,
the “Radetzky,” a march by Johann Strauss; “The Blue Danube,”
a waltz by Johann Strauss II; airs from “Martha” an
opera by Friedrich von Flotow; “Guillaume Tell” (William
Tell), an opera by Gioachino Rossini; “Norma,” an opera by
Vincenzo Bellini; “Les Huguenotes,” an opera by Giacomo
Meyerbeer, “Hunyadi Laszlo” an opera by Ferenc Erkel; or
the Austrian or Czech national anthems, to name just some
of the most favored melodies.

It bears mentioning that several tunes which are completely
unknown today are to be found repeatedly as
well, for instance Joseph Kreipl’s song “S’Mailüfterl,” or a
“Ländler” by Alexander Moritz Baumann. The latter piece
may also serve as an example for the fact that the very
tunes were set on musical boxes by manufacturers both
in Vienna and in Prague: Baumann’s “Ländler” appears on

Anton Olbrich’s movement in Vienna as well as on Slawik
and Preiszler’s in Prague. That is to say, the music box makers
both in Prague and Vienna served all the peoples of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire irrespectively of local musical
preferences.

Dance music

Obviously, this genre forms the most extensive group,
consisting of waltzes, polkas, marches, quadrilles, cotillions,
czardas etc. In respect to the dates of their first
performance this group ranges from Johann Strauss’ “Fra
Diavolo Cotillion” op. 41 (1830) and Josef Lanner’s “Badner
Ringl´n” op. 64 (1832) and lasts through Johann Strauss II’s
“Lagunen-waltz” op. 411 (1883), and Carl Michael Ziehrer’s
march “Fesch und schneidig” op. 506 (1901). In terms of
most common composers to be chosen to appear on a
musical movement, the senior Johann Strauss and his
contemporary Josef Lanner, along with Johann Strauss II
are most popular, followed by Josef and Eduard Strauss,
Philipp Fahrbach senior., Franz von Suppé, Carl Millöcker,

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 23

Fig. 6 Anton Olbrich, Vienna, musical box (music no. 309, current no. 6536) playing two tunes, the tune sheet affixed to the
wooden board which closes the back of the pedestal of the mantle clock (Museum of Music History, Institute for musicology,
Hungarian Academy of Sciences), photo © Museum of Music History, Budapest.

Fig. 7 Anton Olbrich, Vienna, musical box (music no. 1961, current no. 16757) in a mantle clock playing two tunes, the tune sheet
affixed to the back of the pedestal of the mantle clock (private collection) photo © Philipp Weinmann, Vienna.

and Carl Michael Ziehrer, with each of them having several • Steirische Tänze op. 165
works that appear on multiple movements. • Die nächtlichen Wandrer, waltz op. 171

These lists start with the composer’s name followed by • Die Talismane, waltz op.176
the works most commonly found pinned on a movement • Ober Östereicher Echo Ländler op. 186
during the 1830s to early 1900s. • Hans Jörgl polka op. 194

• Die Schönbrunner, waltz op. 200
Josef Lanner • Die Rosensteiner, waltz op. 204
• Die Badner Ringl´n, Deutsche op. 64
• Haimbacher waltz op. 112 Johann Strauss
• Die Petersburger, waltz op. 132 • Fra Diavolo Cotillion op. 41
• Rococco waltz op. 136 • Mein schönster Tag in Baden, waltz op. 58
• Marien waltz op. 143 • Elisabethen-waltz op. 71
• Liebesträume waltz op. 150 • Venetianer galop op. 74
24 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Fig. 8 Orphan tune sheet found on the back of a picture clock (auction Dorotheum Vienna, Apr. 2, 2019), giving the titles of four
tunes: two numbers from the opera “Le siége de Corinthe” by Rossini (the march of the Greeks and the chorus of the Greeks),
and two tunes from the opera “Mara” by Johann Netzer, which was premiered with great success 1841 in Vienna. The writing is
unclear in more than one respect: with the first tune the title is unidentifiable (“Le …”), the second title reads “Parcerolla” which
certainly means “barcarola,” and in the last line Rossini erroneously is named as composer. The appropriate four-tune movement
has been removed and replaced by another one which plays a completely different musical program. Photo H. Kowar.

• Merkurs Flügel, waltz op. 83 • Attaque Quadrille op. 76
• Grazien-Tänze, waltz op. 81 • Johannis-Käferln, waltz op. 82
• Heimatklänge, waltz op. 84 • Fraunkäferln, waltz op. 99
• Taglioni-Waltz op. 110 • Annen-polka op. 114
• Die Berggeister, waltz op. 113 • Liebeslieder waltz op. 117
• Carneval-Quadrill op. 124 • Satanella-Quadrille op. 123
• Apollo waltz op. 128 • Motor-Quadrille op. 129
• Sperl-polka op. 133 • Pepita-polka op. 138
• Egerien Tänze, waltz op. 134 • Myrthen-Kränze, waltz op. 154
• Minos Klänge, waltz op. 145 • Man lebt nur einmal, waltz op. 167
• Volksgarten Quadrille op. 157 • Freuden-Salven, waltz op. 171
• Rosen ohne Dornen, waltz op. 166 • Taglioni-polka, op. 173
• Wiener Früchterln, waltz op. 167 • Le Papillon, polka-mazur op. 174
• Odeon-Tänze, waltz op. 172 • Erhöhte Pulse, waltz op. 175
• Die Landjunker, waltz op. 182 • Armen-Ball-polka op. 176
• Zigeunerin Quadrille op. 191 • Sans-souci-polka op. 178
• Bouquets, waltz op. 197 • Krönungslieder, waltz op. 184
• Ländlich sittlich, waltz op. 198 • Une Bagatelle, polka-mazur op. 187
• Herztöne, waltz op. 203 • Wien mein Sinn, waltz op. 192
• Helenen-waltz op. 204 • Künstler-Quadrille op. 201
• Quadrille im militärischen Styl op. 229 • L’enfantillage (Zepperl-Polka) op. 202
• Die Sorgenbrecher, waltz op. 230 • Jux-Brüder, waltz op. 208
• Des Wanderers Lebewohl, waltz op. 237 • Šampaňská polka (Champagner-Polka) op. 211
• Original Wiener Bürger march WoO (without op. • Tritsch-Tratsch polka, op. 214
number) • Nachtigall polka op.222
• Drollerie-polka op. 231
Johann Strauss II • Concordia waltz (this title could refer either to the
• Neue Steirische Tänze op. 61 waltz “Leitartikel” op. 273 or to “Morgenblätter” op.
• Fesche Geister, waltz op. 75 279)
September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

• Juristenball polka op. 280
• Aus den Bergen, waltz op. 292
• Flugschriften, waltz op. 300
• An der schönen blauen Donau, waltz op. 314
• Lob der Frauen, polka-mazur op. 315
• Telegramme, waltz op. 318
• Neu-Wien, waltz op. 324
• G´schichten aus dem Wienerwald, waltz op. 325
• Aus der Heimath, polka-mazur op. 347
• Wiener Blut, waltz op. 354
• Pariser, polka-française op. 382
• Waltz from the operetta “Der lustige Krieg” (“Nur für
Natur”) op. 400
• Lagunen-waltz op. 411
Josef Strauss

• Mai-Rosen, waltz op. 34
• Moulinet-polka op. 57
• Wiener Kinder, waltz op. 61
• Flattergeister, waltz op. 62
• Waldröslein, polka-mazur op.63
• Die Zufälligen, waltz op. 85
• Tag und Nacht-polka op. 93
• Gablenz- march op. 159
• Frauenherz, polka-mazur op. 166
• Etiquette, polka-francaise op. 208
• Allerlei polka op. 219
• In der Heimat, polka-mazur, Op. 231
• Lock-polka française op. 233
• Sphärenklänge, waltz op. 235
• Mein Lebenslauf ist Lieb und Lust, waltz op. 263
• Frohsinn, polka op. 264
Eduard Strauss

• Helenen-Quadrille based on motifs from the operetta
“La Belle Hélène” by J. Offenbach, op. 14
• Über Feld und Wiese, polka op. 138
• Erinnerungen an Baden, polka op. 146
• Telephon polka op. 165
• Boccacio-waltz based on motifs from Franz von
Suppé’s operetta op. 175
Philipp Fahrbach senior

• Die Schmeichler, waltz op. 13
• s’Schwarzblattl ausn Weanerwald, waltz op. 61
• Eine Grille – Schottisch, op. 205
• Kärntner-Lieder-waltz op. 230
Franz von Suppé

• Herr Jegerl polka
• Fatinitza-march from the operetta “Fatinitza”
• March from the operetta “Der Teufel auf Erden”
• In der Hinterbrühl, march
• Gervinus polka from the farce “Gervinus, der Narr
vom Untersberg”
• Boccaccio-march from the operetta “Boccaccio”
• Fanfani-march from the operetta “Die Afrikareise”
Carl Millöcker

• Laura waltz, based on motifs from the operetta “Der
Bettelstudent”
• Stimmt schon! polka française from the operetta “Der
Feldprediger”
• Polka from the operetta “Der Feldprediger”
• Apajune-march based on motifs from the operetta
“Apajune, der Wassermann”
• Gasparone-march from the operetta “Gasparone”
• Jonathan-march from the operetta “Der arme
Jonathan”
Carl Michael Ziehrer

• Mamsell Übermuth, polka française op. 69
• Weana Madl’n, waltz op. 388
• Fesch und schneidig muß er sein! March from the
operetta “Die drei Wünsche,” op. 506
Often mixed in with these popular tunes, we find quite a
number of musical pieces from different composers, some
famous works as well as some completely unknown compositions.
The “Frühlings Knospen waltz” by August Lanner
is one of the latter. (August Lanner, the son of Josef Lanner,
died in 1855 not more than 20 years old.) Another example
of a tune that was not widely known but is often mixed in
on a movement is Anton Emil Titl’s “Slavjanka-Polka.” A
list of other obscure tunes found mixed in with the more
popular music follows:

• Luigi Arditi: Il Bacio, waltz
• Johann Brandl: Studenten waltz
• Josef Gungl: Klänge aus der Heimat, Oberländler op.
31
• Iosif Ivanovici: Donauwellen, waltz
• Eduard Kremser: Das Herzklopfen, polka française
• Joseph Labitzky: Olmützer polka op. 91
• August Lanner: Frühlings Knospen waltz
• Adolf Müller: Spulen polka
• Jacques Offenbach: march from the operetta “La
Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein”
• Ferkó Patikárus: Ida Csardas
• Juventino Rosas: Über den Wellen, waltz
• Theodor Franz Schild: D’Banda kommt, march op. 15
(referred to as “fun march”)
• Anton Emil Titl: Slavjanka, polka
As to the numerous czardas to be found, some are named,
but it was yet impossible to trace any details. For example:

• Alföldi Czardas v. Gáspár Bánat
• Huszar dal es Cardas
• Makuli Csárdás,
• Neogradi Csardaz, (the titles are given as written on
the tune sheets)
This pertains also to further waltzes and polkas which
remained unclear, although the inscriptions (given in the
following list as written on the tune sheets) indicate the

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

composition and sometimes name a composer:

• Der Gamsjäger, Polka v. Haag (not identified)
• El Furia! Walzer v. Granada (not identified)
• Favorit Polka von Hillmann (Carl Hillmann?)
• herzensträume, Walzer (not identified)
• Hoppsa Biabele-Polka (not identified)
• Ländler v. Baumann (probably by Alexander Moritz
Baumann)
• Lasset uns herzen, küssen, scherzen, Walzer (not
identified; however, Hofmeister lists a chansonette
“Lasst uns scherzen, küssen, Herzen” by Josef Kral,
published within his collection of compositions for
zither, vol. 4, no. 8)2
• Rattenfänger – Walzer (not identified)
• Silberne Hochzeits Polka (by Hans Christian
Lumbye?)
• Steyrischer Tanz v. Gruber (not identified)
• Vergißmeinicht Walzer (not identified)
• Volksgarten Walzer von Dubek (not identified)
• János Bihari: National Ungarischer arr. von Michael
Hebenstreit (Hungarian dance, unidentified)
The marches we have come across on the musical boxes
deserve a special note. On the one hand we have marches
which are actually a number from an operetta, and from
that they became favored tunes which can accordingly be
associated with dance music. These marches are listed
above together with the other pieces from popular composers.
On the other hand, several marches are found which
are downright military music, especially composed for the
use with military bands or for specific regiments. One may
notice the political significance of those marches which
were composed on special occasions, for example the
revolutionary year 1848, that caused the music to become
popular then3. A few marches gained a lasting success with
the public, like the “Radetzky” march and the “Rakocy”
march. They appear frequently in the following decades on
the musical boxes while the other marches vanished into
oblivion again. The following list gives the names of the
marches as written on the tune sheets:

• Großer Parade- Marsch by Josef Resnitschek (1835)
• Großer Parade-Marsch by Carl Haslinger (1842)
• Hunyadi-Marsch by Albert Ferenc Doppler, based on
motifs from the opera “Hunyadi Laszlo” (1842) by
Ferenc Erkel, arranged for the civil guard’s music.
• Rákóczi-Marsch, initially a national Hungarian song
which a certain Josef Ruzitska (Ruzicka) is said to
have transformed into a march4. It became something
2 Friedrich Hofmeister, Literarisch-musikalischer Monatsbericht,
Nr. 8, Leipzig, August 1878, 225.

3 Helmut Kowar: Die Revolution im Wohnzimmer, in: Musik und
Revolution. Die Produktion von Identität und Raum durch Musik in
Zentraleuropa 1848/49, ed. by Barbara Boisits. Vienna: Hollitzer 2013,
433-456.

4 Wiener allgemeine Musik-Zeitung, Nr. 46, 15. April 1848, “Notizen“,
184.

like a national hymn and was later on arranged by

Hector Berlioz and others.

• Kossuth-Marsch by Joseph Sawertal5, it acquired
importance as a national tune as well.
• Radetzky-Marsch by Johann Strauss sen., op. 228
(1848)
• Nationalgarde-Marsch by Heinrich Proch op., 142
(1848)
• Neuer Pariser Einzugsmarsch, probably by Friedrich
Wilhelm Voigt, op. 53 (1871)
Opera

Operatic airs, i.e. excerpts and arrangements of overtures,
arias, choruses, finales etc. ranging from operas by
Gioachino Rossini up to Richard Wagner, form the other
large group of the repertoire. In addition, we find quite
a number of pieces from operettas as well as from local
theater plays. Among them there are a not insignificant
number that are practically forgotten today. It is obvious
to me, that the musical pieces set on the cylinders were
excerpts from those operas being staged with the greatest
success then at the opera houses and theaters within the
Austrian monarchy. Apparently, some of the operas enjoyed
an enormous popularity, most notably Rossini’s “Guillaume
Tell,” Bellini’s “Norma,” Gounod’s “Margarethe,” and
Flotow’s “Martha.” Several numbers from each of these
operas appeared on the musical boxes. For example, from
Bellini’s “Norma,” we find the introduction, the preghiera
from the first act, the duet “Deh! Con te, conte li prendi,”
the cavatina “Casta diva,” and the duet “Mira o Norma” on
the musical boxes.

Some composers, such as Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti,
Bellini, and Meyerbeer, show up with several operas, and
others have just a single work. Evidently, often just one
aria has been fancied and was asked for many a time, as
for instance the famous aria from Erkel’s “Hunyadi Laszlo,”
which is to be found frequently.

Remarkably enough, as with the dance music, pieces
from an older repertoire do not appear. Only one musical
box surfaced so far which played the minuet from Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” In other words, the
repertoire depicts the staging of new operas throughout
the years of the production of musical boxes, starting with
Rossini’s “l barbiere di Siviglia” from 1806 – being already a
favorite when being pinned onto the cylinders – and ending
up with Viktor Nessler’s “Trompeter von Säckingen” in
1884, or Franz Lehar’s operetta “The Merry Widow” that
premiered in 1905. Quite a number of tunes became a
lasting success with the public; many others show up only
for a short time.

The composers appearing with several operas are listed
first, followed by those featuring one opera. Many numbers
of the listed operas show up repeatedly on the musical
boxes, in case the tune could be identified or details were
indicated these are given in parentheses – most often the
tune sheets read barely “aria from …” Anyway, as they are

5 Ibid.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 27

preserved rarely, one has to consider oneself fortunate to
find that information at all.

Gioachino Rossini

• Il barbiere die Siviglia
• La gazza ladra (overture)
• Mosè in Egitto (preghiera)
• Semiramide (aria)
• Le siège de Corinthe (choeur des Grecs, marche des
Grecs)
• Guillaume Tell (preghiera, Tirolienne, Ländler)
Vincenzo Bellini

• La Sonnambula (chorus)
• Norma (Introduzione, duet “Deh! Con te, conte li
prendi,” cavatina, preghiera, cavatina “Casta diva,”
duet “Mira o Norma”)
• Beatrice di Tenda (preghiera)
Gaetano Donizetti

• Ugo Conte de Parigi (aria)
• L’elisir d’amore (duet)
• Lukrezia Borgia
• Gemma di Vergy (cavatina)
• Lucia di Lammermoor (sextet, duet, chorus)
• Belisario (aria)
• Linda di Chamounix (duet)
• Don Pasquale (aria, finale)
• Dom Sébastien (aria, duet)
Giacomo Meyerbeer

• Robert le Diable
• Les Huguenots (Rataplan, duet, chorus of the girls)
• Vielka (transfiguration-scene)
• Le prophète (coronation march, aria, skating quadrille,
drinking song)
• L’Africaine (aria)
Michael William Balfe

• Die vier Haimonskinder (Glöckchenduett)
• Die Zigeunerin (La Zingara), cavatina, aria
Daniel Francois Esprit Auber

• La Muette de Portici (march, chorus, barcarole “Amis,
la matinée est belle”)
• Der Zauberschleier (Le lac des fées), final chorus
Giuseppe Verdi

• Nabucco (aria, chorus)
• I Lombardi (aria)
• Ernani (cavatina)
• I due Foscari
• Rigoletto (“La Donna é mobile,” drinking song,
ballabile)
• Il Trovatore (stretta, duet, Miserere)
• La Traviata
Fig. 9: The cover of the score of the song “I und mein Bua”
helped to identify the tune, the tune sheet gave just the title
of the song. Furthermore the front page reveals interesting
details: Carl Millöcker dedicated this song to the popular
and well-known actress and directress of the “Theater an der
Wien” Marie Geistinger, a star at the operetta stage then; that
this tune turns up on a musical box indicates its success.

Bedrich Smetana

• Prodaná nevěsta
• Hubicka
• Dalibor
Richard Wagner

• Tannhäuser (march, entrance of the guests, aria “O
du, mein holder Abendstern,” pilgrim’s chorus)
• Lohengrin (“Nun sei bedankt, mein lieber Schwan,”
duet)
Additionally the following operas have shown up:

• Georges Bizet, Carmen (march)
• André Hippolyte Jean Baptiste Chelard: Die
Mitternacht
• Albert Ferenc Doppler: Ilka és a huszártoborzó
(overture)
• Ference Erkel: Hunyadi Laszlo (aria “Kar Hunyadi
Laszlo Magyar es,” czardas)
• Friedrich von Flotow: Martha (“The last rose’“ hunter’s
song, “Ach so fromm, ach so traut,“ finale)
28 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

• Karl Goldmark: Die Königin von Saba6
• Charles Gounod, Margarethe (cavatina, waltz, march,
duet, finale)
• Louis Hérold: Zampa (overture)
• Conradin Kreutzer: Das Nachtlager in Granada
(Romanze “Ein Schütz bin ich”),
• W. A. Mozart: Don Giovanni (minuet)
• Victor Ernst Nessler: Der Trompeter von Säckingen
• Johann Josef Gabriel Netzer: Mara (barcarola, aria?)
• Giovanni Pacini: Saffo (aria)
Several operettas show up with their tunes:

Jacques Offenbach

• La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (Couplets du
Sabre)
• La Chanson de Fortunio (love song, drinking song)
Johann Strauss II

• Der Zigeunerbaron (“Ja das Schreiben und das Lesen,”
couplet)
• Eine Nacht in Venedig (“Alle maskiert,” quartet)
Carl Millöcker

• Drei Paar Schuhe (“I und mei Bua”, song)7, (Fig. 9)
• Der Bettelstudent (“Ach ich hab sie ja nur auf die
Schulter geküsst,” song)
• Der Feldprediger
• Rudolf Dellinger: Don César (“Komm‘ herab oh
Madonna Theresa”)
• Franz Lehar: Die lustige Witwe
Within this group of operatic airs also three songs (couplets)
from theatre plays by Ferdinand Raimund have to be
listed. These plays became exceptionally famous in Vienna
and their main music numbers achieved great popularity,
hence, we find them with some musical boxes of the time:

Ferdinand Raimund

• Der Bauer als Millionär (“Brüderlein fein,” music by
Joseph Drechsler and Ferdinand Raimund; 1826)
• Der Verschwender (“Hobellied,” “Bettlerlied,” music
by Conradin Kreutzer and Ferdinand Raimund; 1834)
Folkmusic

Folk songs and folk dances appear frequently on the
musical boxes. Two tunes were recognizable very easily
by listening (the well-known Viennese folk song “Oh, du
lieber Augustin,” and the “Erzherzog Johann” yodeler).

6 The inscription on the tune sheet says merely “Kralovnna” (meaning
“queen”), which very probably points towards this opera.

7 The inscription on the tune sheet gives only the title of the song.
The cover of the edition for soprano and piano accompaniment reads:
“Fräulein Marie Geistinger Directrice des Theaters and der Wien
hochachtungsvoll gewidmet: I und mei Bua. Lied in niederösterreichischer
Mundart; aus dem Lebensbilde ‘Drei Paar Schuhe’; für eine
Sopranstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte componiert von Carl
Millöcker”.

With numerous other tunes it became quite clear that
they represented local dances, such as ländler or czardas.
Remarkably enough, many tunes display a typical Hungarian
style8. A few inscriptions on the tune sheets named
the music pieces, giving the title of the song or its provenance,
e.g. designating the piece simply as “Polish song.”
Regarding the indication of the musical program three
early movements of Anton Olbrich in Vienna are of special
interest. They show inscriptions scratched on the edge of
their bedplates, the first movement bears the inscription
“Jodler” (yodeler), with the second the inscription reads
“Dudler” (Viennese type of yodeler) and the third one
shows a “W,” most probably standing for “waltz.” The
following list gives the titles as written on the tune sheets.

• Steirische Tänze (Styrian dances)
• Hernalser Jodler (yodeler from Vienna)
• Magyar Indulo No 2 (Hungarian dance)
• Guittara – span. Tanz (Spanish dance)
• Ilirischer Marsch (Illyrian march)
• Banater Kolo (Banat dance)
•V Čechách tam já jsem zrozená (Czech song)
•Přijde jaro přijde bude zase máj (Czech song)
• Jenom ty mně, má panenko, pověz (Czech song)
• Polnisches Lied (Polish song)
• Hey Slovani (originally a Slovak song)
• Kentek national en zadar a punio (dance from southeast
Europe)
Several other dances, e.g. mazurkas, and songs are
named on the tune sheets but thus far it is not possible to
trace any of the given titles.

Miscellanea

This small group consists of a few tunes of various
genres, most of them originating from the last decades of
the 19th century, thus displaying the most recent musical
compositions meeting a new taste of the public.

The earliest part of that group is made up of national
anthems, most frequently Joseph Haydn’s “Kaiserlied.” The
hymn of the Austrian monarchy appears, followed by the
Czech, Polish and Russian national songs.

• Gott erhalte, by Joseph Haydn (national anthem of the
Austrian monarchy),
• Kde domov muj (Czech national anthem)
• Mazurek Dabrowskiego (Polish national anthem,
based on a folk dance)
• Bosche, Zarja chrani (Russian national anthem)
• La Marseillaise (French national anthem)
8 Anton Olbrich in Vienna obviously served in particular the
Hungarian market and had to put many Hungarian tunes onto his
movements. He also ran some kind of outlet for his movements with the
help of a branch of a Viennese firm for metal goods in Pest and Debrecen,
which becomes apparent from the advertisements of the company of
Franz Frank (Vienna) in: Pesther Handlungszeitung. Kommerzial-
und Industrie-Anzeiger 14 (1841) p. 51, numerous ads also published
in the following years.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 29

Fig. 10: From the cover of the score of the song “Weana Chic und Weana Schan’” we learn that this popular tune was performed
by the actress Minna Roth at the “Etablissment Ronacher” in Vienna, a theater which staged operettas, revues, variety etc.

30 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Several popular songs show up, some of the tunes coming
from older times but more often the pieces rank among
the younger repertoire:

• Carneval of Venice (Neapolitan song, later adapted by
Rodolphe Kreutzer and others)
• Joseph Kreipl: S’Mailüfterl (song, 1853)
• Die Wacht am Rhein (German song which became
especially popular after 1870)
• Gustav Pick: Fiakerlied (Viennese song, composed
1885)
• Carl Lorens: Weana Chic und Weana Schan’ (Viennese
waltz song, published ca. 1889), Fig. 10.
• Carl Lorens: Menschen sind wir alle (Viennese song)
• Adolf Hirsch (pseudonym Adolfi): Herzensdieb
(Viennese song, 1901) 9.
Repeatedly we find the religious song “Großer Gott wir
loben dich.” In only one musical box did we find Franz
Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”

Art songs (Lieder) appear very rarely, we find:

• Franz Schubert: Die Forelle, D 550
• Franz Schubert: Das Ständchen, D 957
• Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Es ist bestimmt in
Gottes Rat, op. 47 no. 4.
• Béni Egressy: Szozat (this piece became an important
Hungarian song, regarded as “second” national
anthem).
Surprisingly, piano music and salon music shows up only
with a few items:

• Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wely: Die Klosterglocken
• Tekla Badarzewska: Gebet einer Jungfrau, op. 3
• Michał Kleofas Ogiński: Polonaise “Les Adieux a la
Patrie“
• Jean Louis Gobbaerts: Alla stella confidente. Caprice
sur une melodie de (Vizenco) Robaudi pour piano, op.
59
• Henri Wieniawski: Souvenir de Moscou op.6
Concluding remarks

Although it is known that an export of movements had
occurred in the first decades – music box maker Gustav
Řebiček made a comment about it – we did not come upon
any early musical box playing music specifically designed
for a clientele outside of the Austrian monarchy. It isn’t until
a rather late movement made by August Bartel in Vienna (he

9 Friedrich Hofmeister, Literarisch-musikalischer Monatsbericht,
Nr. 5, Leipzig, Mai 1901, 362.

was active from 1865 onwards) that we find a musical program
consisting of eight pieces, a waltz by Johann Strauss
jun. (“Telegramme,” op. 318), and seven tunes which were
popular with the public in the English-speaking world:

• “Yes! Let me like a soldier fall,” a song from the opera
“Maritana” by William Vincent Wallace;
• “Silver threads among the gold,” a song by Hart Pease
Danks, popular in the late 19th century;
• “My pretty Jane,” a popular song by Henry R. Bishop;
• “Sweethearts Waltz, suite de valses on Arthur Sullivans
popular song,” by Charles d’Albert;
• “Les gardes de la reine,” waltz by Daniel Godfrey;
• “The March of the Men of Harlech,” traditional song
and military march;
• “Auld lang syne,” traditional folk song.
Bartel’s musical box most probably comes from the early
1870s and presents a true picture of the favored music of
the time. The year of issue of three of the musical pieces
makes this evident: Godfrey’s waltz “Les gardes de la reine”
was published 1865, the Strauss waltz op. 318 was composed
in 1867 and Charles d’Albert’s “Sweethearts Waltz”
probably comes from the 1870s.

In addition to Bartel’s musical box, there exists one further
source related to a particular musical program. During
the “International Exhibition of Arts and Manufacturers”
that was held in Dublin in 1865 we find a musical box from
Vienna featuring a downright “international” program. The
exhibition’s catalogue reports that Josef Olbrich presented
a musical box playing Irish, Scottish, English, German and
Italian melodies. It is a remarkable piece of information
referring to such a varied repertoire. Unfortunately for
researchers, it does not give any details on the tunes10.
Other movements or sources pointing towards such a kind
of repertoire have not yet been discovered.

In closing, I would like to mention a musical box which
plays a very special musical program. From the firm of
Gustav Řebíček in Prague comes a musical box (current
no. 45904, music no. 3947), playing four melodies. It was
made especially for Viktor Erlanger, who took over in 1872
the construction of the railway going from Györ to Neufeld
(a small village near the border of the Kingdom of Hungary
then). The program is exceptional: all the tunes are said to
be of Viktor Erlanger’s own composition.

10 Dublin International Exhibition of Arts and manufactures,
1865. Official Catalogue, Fourth Edition, Dublin 1865, p. 59; Henry
Parkinson, Peter Lund Simmonds (ed.): The illustrated record and
descriptive catalogue of the Dublin International Exhibition of 1865.
London 1866, p. 394. A report on that appeared in: Neues Fremden
Blatt, Nr. 65, Wien 18. Juli 1865 p.14, und Nr. 66, Wien 19. Juli 1865,
p. 13-14.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 31

Prague, Czech Republic,
Mar. 5–8, 2020
In search of mechanical Prague, Czech Republic,
Mar. 5–8, 2020
In search of mechanical By Michael Clark
Photos by Michael and Felicity Clark

Felicity and I choose our weekend
breaks based on the availability of
flights that feature a less than 2.5
hour flight time from our local airport,
which is a 12 minute taxi ride from our
home. In November 2019 we looked
at where the local airline, Jet2, was

flying and the only place they were
going that we had not visited before
was Prague. We, therefore, booked
a three-night break, departing early
Thursday morning and returning late
Sunday night, giving two whole days
and two long part days to explore.

We arrived mid-day local time at
our hotel after an easy bus and metro
journey from the airport. A joint ticket

cost us only about $1.50 (£1.25). The
hotel room was available early so we
dropped our luggage and made for
some lunch at a café over the street,
bizarrely themed on London, and then
walked for less than 30 minutes to the
heart of the city. Large central squares,
theatres and markets abound. Tram
lines go off in all directions and as we
found later, they were an incredibly

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

The author at the Astronomical Clock
mechanical music
The author at the Astronomical Clock
mechanical music
The castle overlooking the beautiful city of Prague. in Prague to hear 17 chimes at 5 p.m.
cheap and efficient way of travelling enjoyed the historic tales and beautiinstruments.
We caught the metro and
all over the city. ful buildings in this famous part of the a bus to Letenské Náměstí and walked
On Friday we took a tour of a castle city. 10 minutes to the site. It looked very
and cathedral, high up on the hill. We Saturday we had earmarked to tour imposing and on entering we were
found an online walking tour that the National Technical Museum, which given a map of the premises on four
included a minibus ride up to the top, according to the MBSI Directory of floors, but there was no mention of
so we required only to be guided down Members, Museums and Dealers, the music. On enquiring, the reception
the hill back to the river. Our guide museum’s own website and also the staff didn’t appear to understand my
was exceptionally good and with word of several people I know, was question but a security guard standing
fine weather and a chilly breeze, we the location of mechanical musical nearby came over and told us the

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 33

Inside the National Technical Museum main gallery with Jan Kašpar’s plane that made the first Czech long-distance flight on

May 13, 1911, flying for 92 minutes and travelling 121 Km.

musical section was located in its
own museum, some way from where
we were, but easily accessible by a
different tram route.

We made the most of being at the
National Technical Museum, which
houses many examples of planes, cars,
and Jawa bikes, mostly of Czech origin,
as well as a small railway section
(there is a separate museum of the
railways as well as another on public
transport, elsewhere in the city). What
struck me about the displays was the
great amount of information provided
on the signage, and a very interesting
link to the historic tough times the
Czech Republic had at the hands
of neighbouring countries. (This
museum is well worth a visit for those
with historical and heritage transport
interests too). Felicity found both the
cast iron exhibits section as well as
the replica mine very interesting too.

That evening we enjoyed a local speciality
at one of the city’s Black Light
Theatres. This show, like most concerts
and shows in the city, appeared
to be scheduled for not much longer
than one hour, which suited us well.
It was a mixture of clever black light
theatre broken up with sketches by
two mime artist comedians and we
found it very entertaining.

The Czech Museum of Music Building on Karmelitská, near the Charles Bridge.

Having missed the mark in our
music museum search on Saturday we
set out again on Sunday to find it. Two
further trams got us right outside a
building on the other side of the river
that was quite close to the castle and
the famous Charles Bridge. The music
museum is in a converted church, once
belonging to a Dominican monastery.
It comprises several floors of rooms,
with balconies around a central concert
area. On the second floor balcony
could be seen a fairground organ
at one end, but the museum uses a
tour route through several temporary
exhibitions on the ground floor before
climbing the stairs (or riding a lift) to

the upper floors. The first exhibition
was called “Import, Export, Rock ‘n’
Roll” and told the story of rock and
roll from the advent of worldwide
pop music around 1960 and how it
was received in the Czech Republic.
Although with radio and other mediums
transmitting this music genre
round the world, the Czech authorities
tried to suppress it and many unofficial
ways of listening to and obtaining
recordings of, this kind of music were
devised. The authorities also tried to
export the home products and this
exhibition tells the story well, labelled
like the rest of the museum, in Czech
and English.

34 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

This “peaked harp” from the 18th century has a cylinder A banjo-playing automaton and a phonograph, both encased
hidden in the base that controls brass blades connected to in glass, were part of the displays in the Czech music museum.
hammers that hit the string to cause the tune to be played. More instruments were said to be in storage.

The museum shows examples of
many Czech produced instruments,
keyboard, wind and string, all in various
themed rooms and many in large
glass cases. There are headphones
and a carry round guidance system
but regrettably that does not make it
come to life as one would hope.

There were two fairground organs

on show, a Gebrüder Bruder model
built in the second half of 19th
century in Waldkirch and a Fritz
Wrede early 20th century instrument,
built in Hannover-Kleefeld. There is
also a room almost at the end of the
exhibition trail, that contains a Jan
Štycha Orchestrion, Joseph Kameník
Reed Barrel Organ, a late 19th century

Edison Phonograph model Standard,
an A Olbrich (Vienna) Picture with
Music Box (Town) made in the first
half of 19th century, a 19th century Polyphon,
Leipzig c 1890-1914 and a banjo
playing figure for which I regrettably
failed to note the details. The museum
website indicated there are many
other instruments in the collection

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 35

A Fritz Wrede orchestrion, built in the early 20th century, on display in the music museum.

A Gebrüder Bruder fairground organ, built in Waldkirch, Germany, in the second half of 19th century.

held in storage.

Altogether, we found it to be a very
interesting place with some unusual
exhibits. There appear to be either
one or two further floors still not
accessible to the public but, hopefully
someday, will be opened up so as to
enlarge the exhibition.

After this visit, we took another tram,
had another ice cream and travelled

by metro and bus back to the airport
and home. We were fortunate with the
timing of our trip, as had we booked
our trip and arrived one week later we
would have found the Czech Republic
borders closed to visitors due to the
pandemic caused by COVID-19.

The address of the National Museum

– Czech Museum of Music is: Karmelitská
2, 118 00 Praha 1. T: +420 224
497 777 E: c_muzeum_hudby@nm.cz

Tram 12, 15, 20, 22 and 23 stop
Hellichova (right outside) or Metro A
station Malostranská (slight walk)

The address of the National Technical
Museum is: Národní technické
Museum, Kostelní 42, 170 78 Praha 7.
T: +420 220 399 111 e: info@ntm.cz

Bus 180 or 207; Tram 12, 25 or 26
Letenské náměstí.

36 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Sam Clark

A fanciful imagining from the mind of Charles Wilson

Sam Clark was a lucky man. He was
also a wealthy man. He came from a
modest but comfortable background,
worked hard, and found that he had
an uncanny talent for investing in the
right things at the right times.

He also had the good fortune to have
met and wedded the beautiful Catherine.
She was smart, loving and witty.
They both shared many passions, but
most of all, the love of music in general,
and a particular appreciation of
classical pipe organs.

They traveled to listen to all of the
world’s great organs, but had not found
the perfect instrument. Some had poor
acoustics, some lacked power in the
lower registers, some were not voiced
well, some were poorly maintained.
They resolved to create the perfect
instrument. Specialists designed an
auditorium with impeccable acoustics
and built an attached living quarters
for Sam and Catherine. They moved
in to observe the construction of the
organ and its venue.

As the years passed, Catherine
developed severe health problems.
Many operations were performed,
but the decline continued. As the end
approached, Catherine told Sam, “I
am so very sorry I can’t be with you

to celebrate this great adventure, but
you must promise me to complete our
project.”

When Catherine finally departed,
Sam had a special urn made and
engraved with an image of her face
when she was in her prime. He placed
it on a table in their special theater
box for two overlooking their organ’s
keyboard. The box was constructed
so that the only person who could see
them was the organist. At the end of
every day he would sit and caress her
face and tell her of his day, and how
their organ was progressing.

Finally, the organ was ready. Sam
had the world’s greatest organists run
it through comprehensive tests with
the best music. Everyone was ecstatic
but Sam felt something was missing.
He issued a challenge to the finest
composers to create a composition
that would unleash the potential of
the instrument. One piece of absolute
genius finally emerged. The problem
was that the combination of the
emotions of the composition and
the purity of the instrument was so
powerful and moving that none of the
great organists could play the entire
piece without being overcome with
emotion. The only person capable of

performing the piece properly was the
composer.

Sam was finally ready to let the
public hear his masterpiece. Opening
night saw a full house at Catherine
Clark Hall. The performance began.
The first movement was a delightful
Garden of Eden, evoking visions of
happy children at play, butterflies in
a field, young love, and every other
pleasant experience imaginable. The
second movement started with a
somber note and descended into the
depths of despair, bringing to mind
the unbelievable inhumanities of the
past; all of the wars, brutalities and
intolerance.

The audience reacted with deep
sorrow and many tears. The final
movement was dedicated to the end of
tribalism and a triumphal celebration
of world wide brotherhood. By the
time the piece finished with its final
thunderous chord, the audience had
all risen to their feet and erupted in
ecstatic applause, tears of joy, and
exuberant cheers.

When Sam did not appear, his staff
rushed to the box, only to find he had
blissfully joined his Catherine, tightly
holding her urn with a contented smile
on his face.

Sacred Music On
Cylinder Musical Boxes

PART 4: Evangelical and Gospel Songs

By David Worrall

This part of the article concentrates
on the third group of sacred music as
identified in Part 1 of the series, evangelical
and gospel songs. As discussed
previously, these songs are described
as music set to words of metrical
composition in verse and with poetical
rhythm. Given that definition,
however, it might be asked, “What is
the difference between an evangelical
and gospel song and a hymn?” In his
book, “The History & Use of Hymns &
Hymn Tunes,” written at the beginning
of the 19th century, American Presbyterian
clergyman, Reverend David
Riddle Breed described the difference
as being that the words of a hymn are
addressed to God who is, thereby, the
object of veneration and worship. The
words of an evangelical song, on the
other hand, address the hearer who
is the object of exhortation, i.e. “to
be, or to do” in some form or other
in response to the message being
conveyed in the words of the song.4
Although this is a very good measure
by which to distinguish between many
hymns and evangelical songs, it can
by no means be treated as an absolute
measure. The old adage, “One size does
not necessarily fit all” certainly applies
here, particularly in modern hymnody
where, in today’s atmosphere of
heightened social awareness, many
hymns of mainstream churches are so
written as to address directly both the
singer(s) and the hearer(s), adjuring
them to react in response to the social
message or challenge contained in the
words.

In the context of this article, however,
such words and their music

either were, or came to be associated
particularly with the Christian Evangelical
movement that swept America
and Britain in the last quarter of the
19th century with the intent to evangelize
people, i.e. to win them over to the
Christian faith. Table 12 (pages 40-41)
lists the sacred airs found during the
research that fall into this group of
sacred music.

Some background to the items of
music in Table 12 follow, for it is due to
the evangelical campaigns of the late
19th century American Evangelists,
Sankey and Moody whose impact
was significant and extended beyond
their revival meetings to influence
the music to be found today on some
musical boxes.

Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899)
was born in Northfield, MA, he moved
to Boston, MA, in 1854 to work in an
uncle’s shoe store. Moody was required
to attend church as part of his apprenticeship
and in April 1855 became
thereby a convert to evangelical
Christianity and so laid the foundations
of his career as an evangelist.
Moving to Chicago, IL, he established
his own shoe sales business as well as
beginning his social and evangelical
work. By 1861 he had left the former
to concentrate on the latter. Although
a conscientious objector at the time of
the American Civil War, it was due to
his evangelistic involvement with the
Young Men’s Christian Association
(YMCA) that he paid nine visits to the
battlefront. He was present among
the Union soldiers after the battles of
Shiloh in April 1862, Stones River in
January 1863 and entered Richmond,
VA, the Confederate Capital with the
victorious troops of General Ulysses

Thoughts and
Background Notes

This series of articles was first
published in 2017-2018 in The
Music Box, the Journal of The Musical
Box Society of Great Britain. It
arose from research prompted by
the extracts from Mechanical Music
Digest (www.mmdigest.com). Originally,
it was intended to be short
and so published in one edition of
The Music Box. As the research progressed,
however, the scope gradually
increased to the extent that necessitated
publication in five parts over
five consecutive editions, the scope of
each part being explained in the text
of the article itself.

By its nature, such research
becomes outdated as new or additional
material is found on surviving
musical boxes that continue to come
to light. The article is therefor now
republished in Mechanical Music
with all changes necessitated by this
new material as of Sept. 30, 2019.

Throughout this article, the use
of the term “sacred” is used entirely
with reference to the Christian faith
and then in relation to the music
identified and referred to herein.

Parts 1, 2 and 3, published in
the previous editions of Mechanical
Music, gave the background to the
series, defined sacred music, gave
overall statistical details of its extent
on cylinder musical boxes and discussed
results from the analysis of
classical sacred music and hymns.
Part 4 of this series now discusses
the results obtained from the similar
analysis of the third group of sacred
music – evangelical and gospel songs.

38 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Dwight Lyman Moody (left) and Ira David Sankey (right).

S. Grant in April 1865.
Note. The Young Men’s Christian
Association (commonly known as
YMCA or simply the Y), was, and still
is, a worldwide organisation founded
in London, England, in 1844 and now
based in Geneva, Switzerland, dedicated
to putting Christian principles
into practice by developing a healthy
“body, mind, and spirit.”

Moody considered music a valuable
tool in his evangelistic work and when
he heard Ira Sankey sing at a YMCA
convention held in Indianapolis, IN,
in June 1870, he convinced Sankey to
give up a well-paid U.S. government
job to join him in the work of Christian
evangelism.

Ira D. (David) Sankey (1840-1908)
was born in Edinburgh, PA. An evangelic
convert at the age of 16, he served
in the American Civil War after which
he worked for the U.S. Internal Revenue
Service and also for the YMCA.
It was through his performances as a
gospel singer at YMCA conventions
that he and Moody met and began to
work together.

Fig 5: Tune Sheet from Paillard Serial No 87937, another 10-Air Musical Box made
circa 1890. The programme is entirely “Sankey and Moody” in content and the com-
poser’s names added where known by the original owner.

Moody and Sankey were active in supporting vocalist. Their impact was
the field of Christian evangelism, in profound, but as far as this article is
both the U.S. and Britain from the concerned it is the songs sung by San1870s
through the1890s. Moody would key at their meetings in his dramatic
preach and Sankey played the part of baritone voice that are of interest.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 39

Table 12: Evangelical and Gospel Songs.

Sacred Air Composer First Line No.
Safe In The Arms of Jesus Doane Safe In The Arms of Jesus 66
Hold The Fort Bliss Ho My Comrades 61
Sweet By and By Webster There’s A Land that is Fairer than Day 48
The Gate Ajar For Me Vail There is a Gate that Stands Ajar 39
The Great Physician Stockton The Great Physician Now is Near 37
Jesus of Nazareth Passeth By Perkins What Means This Eager Anxious Throng 34
Bury Thy Sorrow Bliss Go Bury Thy Sorrow 32
Tell Me The Old Old Storey Doane Tell Me The Old Old Storey 30
Knocking, Knocking Who Is There Root Knocking, Knocking Who Is There 26
Once For All Bliss Free From the Law, Oh Happy Condition 25
Jewels Root When He cometh, When He cometh 24
Oh Sing of His Mighty Love Bradbury O bliss of the purified, bliss of the free 20
Sweet Hour of Prayer Bradbury Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer that calls me
from a world of care
19
Shall We Gather At The River Lowry Shall we gather at the river 18
Almost Persuaded Bliss Almost persuaded now to believe 17
Only An Armour Bearer Bliss Only An Armour Bearer, Firmly I stand 13
The Prodigal Child Doane Come home, come home! You are weary at heart 13
There Were Ninety and Nine Sankey There were Ninety and Nine 13
Whiter Than Snow Fischer Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole 13
Ring The Bells Of Heaven Root Ring the bells of Heaven, there is joy today 12
There Is Life For A Look Taylor There is life for a look at the Crucified One 12
The Home Over There O’Kane Oh, Think of the Home over There 11
Even Me Bradbury Lord, I hear of Showers of Blessing 10
Substitution Sankey O Christ, what burdens bowed thy head 10
The Lifeboat Bliss Light in The Darkness [Pull for the Shore] 9
Scatter Seeds of Kindness Vail Let Us Gather Up The Sunbeams 8
That Will Be Heaven for Me McGranahan I Know Not The Hour 8
Stand Up For Jesus Hull Stand up for Jesus, Christian, stand! 7
The Lord Will Provide Phillips In Some Way or Other 7
Art Thou Weary Baker Art Thou Weary 7
Come To The Saviour Tune by either McGranahan
or Sankey with this 1st Line.
Come to the Saviour, make no delay 6
Daniel’s Band Bliss Dare To Be A Daniel 6
Waiting at the River We are Waiting at the River 6
Thy Will Be Done McGranahan My God, My Father, While I stray 5
What Shall The Harvest Be? Bliss Sowing the seed by the dawn-light fair 5
I Am Sweeping Through The Gate Phillips I am now a Child of God 3
Let The Lower Lights Be Burning Bliss Brightly beams our Father’s mercy 3
Room Among The Angels Beaverson There is Room Among The Angels 3

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Sacred Air Composer First Line No.
Work For The Night is Coming Mason Work For The Night is Coming 3
Only A Step to Jesus Doane Only A Step to Jesus 3
Eaton Square Fischer I Love to Tell The Story 2
Oh How He Loves Main One there is above all others 2
Saviour I Follow On Saviour I Follow On 2
Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us Bradbury Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us 2
The Beacon that lights me Home The Beacon that lights me Home 2
We’re Marching to Zion Lowry Come ye that love the Lord 2
What A Friend We Have in Jesus Converse What A Friend We Have in Jesus 2
Rest In The Lord Sankey Rest in The Lord 2
A Saviour Ever near A Saviour Ever near 1
Beautiful Land of Rest Emerson When we reach the land of rest 1
Behold Me Standing at the Door Knapp Behold me standing at the door 1
Come Ye Disconsolate Come ye Disconsolate 1
Hallelujah! What a Saviour Bliss Man of Sorrows! What a shame 1
I Know Whom I Have Believed McGranahan I know not why God’s wondrous Grace 1
In the Secret of His Presence Stebbins In the secret of His presence my soul delights to hide 1
In The Shadow of His Wings Excell In the shadow of His wings There is rest, sweet rest 1
It Passeth Knowledge Sankey It Passeth Knowledge 1
Joyfully, Joyfully Kirkpatrick Oh Joyfully, joyfully, onward we go 1
More To Follow Bliss Have you on the Lord believed! Still there’s more to follow; 1
My Prayer Bliss More Holiness Give Me, More strivings within 1
O Happy Day Unattributed O Happy day that fixed my choice on Thee 1
Oh to be Nothing Bliss Oh to be nothing, nothing 1
One There is Who Loves Thee Doane One there is who loves thee, waiting form thee still 1
Rest for the Weary Dadmun In the Christian’s home in glory 1
The Better Land The Better Land 1
The Gospel Bells Wesley-Martin The Gospel Bells are ringing 1
The Hem of His Garment Root She only touched the hem of His garment 1
The Hour of Prayer Gauntlett My God, is any hour so sweet 1
There’s A Light in the Valley Bliss Through the valley of shadow I must go 1
To God Be The Glory Doane To God be the Glory, great things He hath done 1
Will Jesus Find Us Doane When Jesus Comes 1
Wonderful Words of Life Bliss Sing them over again to me 1
Ye Must Be Born Again Stebbins A Ruler once came to Jesus by night 1
73 Evangelical & Gospel Songs Identified TOTAL INCIDENCE of USE 733
Unidentified Evangelical & Gospel Songs 14
TOTAL INCIDENCE of EVANGELICAL & GOSPEL SONGS 747

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

The Kibble Palace and botanical gardens in Glasgow, Scotland.

They became so popular in later Victorian
times that musical box makers
at work during that period either
felt confident enough or were easily
persuaded by requests received from
their sales outlets, to arrange and pin
complete programmes of them for
some of their cylinder musical boxes.
(See Fig. 5, Page 39.)

The first extended evangelical
campaign by Sankey and Moody in
Britain ran from 1872 to 1875 and a
second between the years 1881 to
1884. During both visits they travelled
widely, the meetings they held filling
the various venues to capacity, usually
between 2,000 and 4,000 people. One
exceptional meeting during their first
visit is on record, held in May 1874 in
the Kibble Palace in Glasgow Botanic
Gardens. By the time Sankey and
Moody arrived there were so many
people both inside and outside the
palace that Moody had to preach from
the back of a horse-drawn cab. Contemporary
estimates say 6,000 people
were inside the palace whilst between
15,000 and 30,000 were outside in the
gardens.

With such an impact from their

first visit to Britain it is not surprising
that Sankey and Moody tunes began
to appear on cylinder musical box
programmes destined for the British
market. A study of entries in The A
D Cunliffe Cylinder Musical Box Register
(The Register) at the time of this
writing shows that soon after the start
of their first campaign in Britain there
was an immediate response from
musical box makers to meet requests
from their British sales outlets. Nicole
Freres in particular was supplying
musical boxes with programmes of
evangelical songs associated with the
campaign. The results, in Table 12A
above, show that these commenced
with Serial No. 45397 of 1872 with
just two Sankey and Moody songs
inserted as Tunes 1 and 2 of an otherwise
very secular musical programme
(see Entry No. 1 in Table 12A). This
was quickly followed, however, by a
series of musical boxes, each pinned
to play one or other of three complete
musical programmes, of six, eight and
12 Sankey and Moody evangelical
songs, to each of which several boxes
were produced over the 1872-1873
period. The sequences and the gaps

in the serial numbers recorded give
cause for the reasonable supposition
that other boxes with these musical
programmes were produced at the
same time but they have either failed
to survive the years or have yet to be
found and recorded. Ami-Rivenc and
other makers were not far behind this
Nicole Freres lead.

The music concerned has been
described as having “popular, simple
melodies with rich harmonies and the
words with an evangelistic message,
often heavily overlaid with emotion.”
To those unfamiliar with the ethos
of the Christian faith and its beliefs,
however, much of the metaphor and
allegory in the verse would be at best
difficult to comprehend and at worst
meaningless.

Whilst Sankey himself wrote
several such hymns and songs and
composed and arranged music for
many more, much of the verse and
the music came from the pens of
other 19th century American Christian
evangelists. Collectively, their output
came to be referred to in many circles
by the sobriquet “Sankey and Moody
Hymns.” Brief notes follow on some of

42 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Table 12A: Nicole Freres Musical Boxes produced during 1872-1873*

Item Musical programme Type as Registered Gamme Serial Nos.
1 1. Hold the Fort. Sankey.
2. Bury thy Sorrow. Sankey.
3. We’ll sail away. Sultan Mocha. Cellier.
4. I love the Ocean. ditto.
5. Matamores. Girofle Girofla. Lecocq.
6. Conspirators Chorus. Dme. Angot. Lecocq.
7. Sur le Bleu Danube. Valse. Strauss.
8. King Pippin Polka. D’Albert.
8 air. Lever wind. 2987 45397
2 1. Safe in the arms of Jesus.
2. The gate ajar for me.
3. Jewels.
4. Knocking, Knocking; who is there?
5. Bury thy sorrows.
6. The Great Physician.
6 air. Hymn box. Lever wind. 2973 45460, 45499,
45504, 45560,
45945, 46071.
3 1. Safe in the arms of Jesus. Sankey.
2. The gate ajar for me. ditto.
3. Jewels. ditto.
4. Knocking. ditto.
5. Bury thy sorrow. ditto.
6. The Great Physician. ditto.
7. Clinging to the Cross. Ditto.
8. Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. Ditto.
8 air. Hymn box. Lever wind. 2972 45518, 45521,
45524, 45721,
45921, 45924.
4 1. Once for all. Sankey.
2. Substitution. Sankey.
3. Oh! Sing of his Mighty Love. ditto.
4. Almost persuaded. ditto.
5. Tell me the old old story.
6. The ninety and nine. ditto.
7. Hold the fort. Ditto.
8. Even me. Ditto.
8 air. Hymn box. Lever wind. 3028 45601, 45606,
45845, 45857,
45928, 45929,
45956, 45967,
46301.
5 1. Safe in the Arms of Jesus.
2. Once for all.
3. Shall we gather at the river?
4. The Great Physician.
5. The Prodigal Child.
6. Sweet Hour of Prayer.
7. Hold the Fort.
8. Jewels.
9. Tell me the old old story.
10. O sing of his mighty love.
11 .Bury thy sorrow.
12. The Gate Ajar for me.
12 air. Hymn box. Lever wind. 3047 45639

* The first years of the 1872-1875 Sankey and Moody campaign in Britain.
those whose works are most likely to
be found on cylinder musical boxes.

Philipp Bliss (1838-1875) an evangelist
of the Congregational Church in
Chicago, IL. A prolific writer of words
and music of evangelical hymns and
songs, including his very popular
“Hold The Fort.” (See Fig. 5 and Table
12.) Bliss was inspired to write both
the words and music of this song by
an incident in the American Civil War

where a beleaguered garrison of Union
troops were encouraged to stand their
ground when they saw in the distance
the white flag of the relieving column
and received the semaphore message
“Hold the Fort! I am coming. Sherman.”
Sankey himself records that
this particular song was used very frequently
in their meetings during their
1872-74 campaign in Great Britain

Frances (Fanny) Jane Crosby (Mrs.

Philipp Bliss, prolific songwriter.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43

Frances Jane
van Alstyne,
1820-1915) of the
Methodist Episcopal
Church,
U.S., was another
prolific hymn
writer with more
than 2,000 titles
to her credit.
Blind from birth,
she became Sankey’s
friend and
music-making
partner. Examples of her work found
on musical boxes include “Rescue
the Perishing,” “I Am Thine, O Lord,”
“Near the Cross” and “Safe in the
Arms of Jesus.” (See Fig. 5 and Table
12 and also the notes against William
Doane below.)

Charles Crozat Converse (18191886),
an attorney and composer of
church songs, born in Warren, MA,
in 1855, studied music in Leipzig,
Germany, where he enjoyed the friendships
of Franz Liszt and Louis Spohr.
He set to music the words of Joseph
Scriven to become the extremely popular
hymn “What a Friend We Have in
Jesus.”

Over the years, the music of this
gospel song has reached well beyond
the bounds of its sacred beginnings for
it has since come to be used in much
more secular settings. Converse’s
tune was sung by the soldiers of the
First World War to the words “When
this ***!!! war is over, Oh how happy
I shall be”; and, much more recently
was featured in an advertisement for
Volkswagen cars in the 1980s set to the
words “Everybody’s changing places.
All must move and play the game.”

William Howard Doane (1832-1915)
was a composer, editor of hymn books,
businessman
and inventor.
He composed
more than 2,000
tunes, many for
the hymns and
gospel songs
written by Fanny
Crosby, including
“Rescue the
Perishing,” “I Am
Thine, O Lord,”

Frances Jane
Crosby

William Howard
Doane

Fig 6: Tune Sheet of PVF Serial No. 1079, a 10-air box showing the numbers added
by the original owner — in this case “Sacred Hymns & Solos” the 750-tune edition.

Fig 6A: Tune sheet of No. 33414 with tune title errors. Note also the “Sacred Songs
and Solos” number of some of the tunes inserted by the owner of the box.

“Near the Cross,” and “Safe in the
Arms of Jesus.” (See also Table 12.)

Thomas
Edward Perkins
(1831-1912) was
a composer,
vocalist, singing
school teacher
and author/
editor of many
books of sacred
and evangelical
music. Sankey
once told Perkins

Thomas Edward
Perkins

that Perkins’s musical setting of Etta
Campbell’s
words “Jesus of
Nazareth Passeth
By” was his (Sankey’s)
banner
song for eight
years. (See also
Table 12.)

Robert Lowry
D.D. (1826-1899)
was born in
Philadelphia,
PA. He served as

Robert Lowry,
D.D.

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Table 12B Corrected Titles for Serial No. 33414*

Tune No Corrected Full Title Tune No Corrected Full Title
1[69] Jesus Loves Me; This I know, 5[10] I Hear Thy Welcome Voice
2[612] Jerusalem, the Golden 6[35] Whiter Than Snow
3[20] Jesus of Nazareth Passeth By 7[25] Safe in The Arms of Jesus
4[1] Hold The Fort! 8[58] Washed in the Blood of The Lamb

* With “Sacred Songs and Solos” 1,200 tune edition numbers added in brackets.
a minister of religion, and became a
composer, hymn writer and editor of
hymns designed for use with younger
people. One of his most well-known
tunes is “Shall We gather at The River.”
(See Fig 5 and Table 12.) The words
and music for this song were spontaneously
composed to comfort those
suffering bereavement during a cholera
epidemic that swept Brooklyn, NY,
and attempted to answer the question,
“Shall we meet [them] again?” Lowry
records that, “… seated at the organ to
give vent to the pent up emotions, the
words and music of the hymn began to
flow, as if by inspiration.”

Sankey himself collaborated
with Philip Bliss and others, including
Fanny Crosby, to compile his most
enduring work, the popular “Sacred
Songs and Solos” (sometimes popularly
known as the “Sankey and Moody
Hymn Book”). It was published in the
United Kingdom by Morgan and Scott
at some point during the 1890s. There
were two editions, one containing
750 songs and another, larger edition,
containing 1,200 songs and standard
hymns. Both books can still be found
in use today. Secondhand copies are
sometimes available on the internet,
and according to some sources a
digital facsimile edition of the larger
original is planned.

A feature of some surviving tune
sheets on cylinder musical boxes
pinned with this type of music is
the set of numbers beside the tune
titles. (See Fig 6.) Another excellent
example can be found at Tune Sheet
117 in H.A.V. Bulleid’s work “Musical
Box Tune Sheets”2. The numbers are
written in a different hand and ink and
in both cases they refer to the number
of the song as it appears in a book in
the owner’s possession at the time,

the 750 tune edition of “Sacred Songs
and Solos.” The numbers would be
there for quick reference to enable the
owner to find the words and music to
either follow them or sing along as the
musical box played the tune. Modern
day collectors sometimes make similar
requests for the words to sing to
an item pinned on a hymn box in their
collection.

Those who provided the information
for the original tune sheets of these
musical boxes seem to have done so
in a rather haphazard manner, with
indiscriminate use of the title, the
first line of the first verse or the first
line of the chorus as well as the use
or non-use of the definite article. In
the case that the number not already
be on the tune sheet, some intuitive
thinking is often necessary in order
to find the song even when copies of
both editions of “Sacred Songs and
Solos” are readily on hand.

A somewhat extreme example of
this type of tune hunting challenge
can be illustrated using the tune
sheet from Junod (possibly Cuendet)
Serial No. 33414 playing an eight-air
programme on a comb of 66 teeth
with a zither and tune change feature.
This musical box came to light too
recently to be included the research
tables published with this article, but
on its tune sheet (see Fig. 6A), which
has been carefully written in beautiful
script, there are no less than 10 errors/
omissions of one sort or another.
Looking at these titles, I can assume
two things; first, that this box, pinned
with this selection of seven Sankey
and Moody evangelical songs and one
hymn must have been made to meet a
special request; and second, that the
poor Swiss script writer, unfamiliar
with both the English language and

Sankey and Moody songs, could only
do her (or his) best with the English
titles taken from what may have been
a poorly written and/or incorrect
letter in the first place sent in by the
British sales outlet.

The corrected and completed titles
for these evangelical songs are shown
in Table 12B with the necessary corrections
and completions shown in
bold.

Finally, a former owner of No. 33414
has inserted a second number by some
of the tune numbers. These relate to
the 750-tune edition of “Sacred Songs
and Solos,” in which all the titles on
this tune sheet may be found. I have
added their numbers in brackets after
the Tune Number in Table 12B.

Research has revealed that a
very few cylinder musical boxes
have been registered specifically as
“Moody and Sankey.” These were
made by Jaccard, Mojon Manger,
Nicole, Paillard and Weill and Harbourg.
On one of these, Weill
and Harbourg Serial No 1958, the tune
sheet has portraits of both Moody
and Sankey. The research indicated
however, that a higher number of
boxes of this type must exist. It also
revealed that the two most frequently
noted composers of such music were
Bliss and Doane as can be seen from
the information contained in Table 12.

Anecdotes associated with the
words or music of many of these evangelical
songs abound. The following
examples may serve to illustrate this
point:

“Shall We Gather at The River”
There is the apocryphal story of the
evangelical preacher who preached
long and earnestly against the demon
drink, enthusiastically declaring that
if he had his way it should all be
poured away into the river. At the end
of his preaching he announced to his
congregation, “Let us now sing our
closing hymn, No. 68 ‘Shall We Gather
at the River.’!” For what purpose they
were to “Gather at the River” is left
now to the imagination of the reader.

“There Were Ninety and Nine” The
story in the Bible of the shepherd
searching for his one lost sheep was
the basis of a poem written by Elizabeth
Clephane. The words appeared

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 45

in a Scottish weekly newspaper in
1874 and, on being spotted by Sankey
whilst travelling by train with Moody
from Glasgow to their next campaign
meeting in Edinburgh, they were
retained by him for later use. This
came sooner rather than later for
during the Edinburgh meeting that
evening, Moody asked for a song in
support of his preaching. Sankey
recalled the words of Clephane’s poem
and spontaneously composed the
music as he sang them to the meeting
in response to Moody’s request.

“The Gate Ajar For Me” A very
poignant story is associated with this
gospel song. A young girl, Maggie
Lindsay was seriously injured in a railway
accident whilst returning home
to Aberdeen from Edinburgh on 27th

January 1874. Due to a signalman’s
error, the express train in which she
was travelling collided with a goods
train that was shunting on the main
line at Bo’ness Junction near Linlithgow,
Scotland. She died two days later
from the injuries she had sustained.
Amongst the items recovered from the
wreckage was her hymn book, open
at the page of this song and stained
with her blood. Before she passed
away, she was heard repeatedly saying
words “Yes, for me, for me.” On being
told of this, Sankey was inspired to
write the words and music of another
gospel song “For Me! For Me!”, but
this does not appear to have attracted
sufficient attention to warrant being
pinned on any cylinder musical box
registered to date.

One final anecdote has come down
the years, copies of the 750-tune
edition of “Sacred Songs and Solos”
were sent to British troops serving in
the Boer War at the end on the 19th
century. It is on record that marching
soldiers when returning from any
fighting and passing others marching
forward to the fight, would shout
“Four-nine-four boys!” to which they
received the response “Four further
on!” This is in reference to the “Sacred
Songs and Solos” 750-tune edition.
Opening the book reveals that the title
of tune No. 494 is “God Be With You
Till We Meet Again” and four tunes
further on, No. 498, the first line of
which reads “A few more Marchings
Weary, then we’ll gather home.”

Credits and Further Reading.

1. Most of the statistical information in this
article has been obtained from the Arthur
D. Cunliffe Register of Cylinder Musical
Boxes [The Register] and is used with
the kind permission of the Registrar; it
illustrates how powerful and useful The
Register is now as a source of information
when writing articles of this nature. Those
readers who own cylinder musical boxes
who have not registered them with The
Registrar are encouraged to do so and
thereby extend the value of this powerful
research tool.

2. “Musical Box Tune Sheets” by H.A.V. Bulleid
and its four Supplements, published
2000 by MBSGB.
3. “The Musical Box” by AWJG Orde-Hume,
published in 1995 by Schiffer Publishing
Ltd. of Atglen, Pennsylvania U.S.A.
4. “Abide With Me – The World of Victorian
Hymns” by Ian Bradley Published in
1997 by SCM Press ISBN 0 334-02703-9;
quotations taken from “The History & Use
of Hymns & Hymn Tunes” by Breed, David
R – New York 1903.

5. The Internet Web Sites, “Hymnary.Org” &
“Wikipaedia” have been used to crosscheck
and verify tune titles and words
appearing on musical box tune sheets and
the brief biographic notes and anecdotes
on Evangelical & Gospel Songs and their
composers and author
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

46 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

Persistence pays off

In 2018 I saw an antique clock and
music box with a glass dome listed in
an online auction catalog. The clock
was 19th century and sat on a separate
oval base that contained an Alibert
music box. It played two tunes and
the comb was made up of groups of
five teeth.

The auction house was located in
Marshalltown, IA, and the auction
consisted entirely of clocks. I decided
to bid on this item and did so online

The Hunt
Column Graphic by Mary Clegg
Story and Photos By Bob Smith
The clock as it appeared in the auction
catalog. The glass dome was broken
during shipping.

The subject of the author’s hunt, a golden clock with base containing an Alibert
music box, is now proudly displayed.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 47

The music box movement in the base of the clock that plays two tunes. The comb is made up of groups of five teeth.

via Live Auctioneers. Checking the
results after the auction ended, it
appeared I was the successful bidder
for the clock. Expecting to receive an
invoice via email the following day, I
was disappointed instead to receive
an email from the auction house saying
that my purchase was canceled.
When I inquired as to why, I was told
there was a clerical error and that they
had actually sold the lot to someone
else on site for $50 more than my bid.

That is when my hunt really began.
I had no way to confirm what had
actually happened with my Live Auctioneers
bid, but I was suspicious of
the situation and thought that maybe
the item had not been sold at all and
might reappear. Perhaps it was a premonition
but, sure enough, a month
later a clock resembling the one I had
bid on earlier showed up in a catalog
of a different auction house in Denver,
CO.

There was no question in my
mind that the clocks were the same,
especially when I compared the
descriptions and pictures of the clock
I thought I’d won to the clock now
being offered for sale in Denver. I
could only speculate about whether
the buyer, if there actually was one,
had decided to resell quickly to try to
make a profit, or whether the item did
not reach a reserve price the first time
and the seller was trying again.

At any rate, I again bid on the lot
and again was the highest bidder at a
slightly higher price, with my fingers
crossed. This time the sale stuck
and I had the lot shipped to me by a
pack and ship store. Sadly, the glass
dome was shattered in the shipping
and I had to discard it. The shipper
did reimburse me for it. The music
box had a problem with the winding
mechanism. It is wound by pulling
on a cord and the wheel that the cord

wraps around had come loose. Dave
Beck was able to fix this for me. The
music box is wound from one end by
pulling on the string and it is turned
on and off and the tune changed via
levers on the other end.

I have no idea whether these three
pieces – the clock, music box base and
dome -were originally a set or just a
marriage. There is no hole in the top
of the oval rosewood base where a
cord would go through to actuate the
music box nor is there any device on
the clock mechanism for that purpose.
But why would a clock base contain a
music box that can be operated only
manually from levers on the side? If
anyone has any thoughts on that issue
I would like to hear them. I decided
not to replace the glass dome since
although you can get them from an
online website, I think it might be difficult
to get the exact size and shape
needed.

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

The Queen,
the Sultan
and the Musical Organ Clock

By Dr. Robert Penna

In September 1579, Queen Elizabeth
I of England received a letter. It was like
no other diplomatic correspondence
she had ever seen. Wrapped in a satin
bag and fastened with a silver capsule,
it was an object of great beauty. The
letter itself was written on a large
piece of parchment emblazoned with
an elaborate calligraphic monogram
and dusted with gold powder. Thus,
begins the story of the manufacture
and delivery of an elaborate barrel
organ clock unlike any the world had
ever seen before.

Written six months earlier, the
letter was sent by the Ottoman Sultan
Murad III in response to a request
from an English merchant named
William Harborne. Harborne wanted
commercial privileges for his country
that would be superior to any that had
thus far been awarded to other Christian
nations by the Ottoman Empire.1

The letter arrived near the end of
a decade in which Elizabeth’s island
nation had suffered greatly from a lack
of international trade due to the fact
that she had been excommunicated
by the Pope in 1570. Many European
markets continued to be closed to her
Protestant merchants as Catholic monarchs,
fearful of angering the Pope,
directed their business interests away
from the “accursed” kingdom. Elizabeth
sought desperately to establish
strong new ties to the Muslim world
and its resources by sending emissaries
to lands ruled by the followers of
Mohammed. Her representatives went
to the courts of the Shah of Iran, the
King of Morocco and the Sultan of
Turkey. As stated by Jerry Brotton,

One of the famous portraits of Elizabeth I from about 1600. Called the “Rainbow
Portrait,” it shows the Queen in oriental fabrics and jewels fashionable at the time.

1 Brotton, Jerry. The Sultan and the Queen,
“Introduction,” Viking Press, 2016.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 49

A diagram of the organ clock with a description of its features and functions.

“This marked the beginning of an
extraordinary alignment with Muslim
powers and of economic and political
exchanges with the Islamic world of a
depth not again experienced until the
modern age.”2

Although English merchants had
been trading in Muslim lands such
as Morocco and Syria for decades,
communication with the supreme
leader of the Ottoman Empire brought
thousands of opportunities never previously
available. Elizabethan England
became obsessed with all things from
the Orient. Imports of such commodities
as spices, sugar, carpets, silks,
currants and sweet wines were suddenly
available. Interest in the Orient
soon overwhelmed everyone. Books

2 Brotton, ibid.

and plays on the Muslim world soon
became the rage and new words such
as candy, sugar, crimson, indigo, tulip,
turquoise, turban and zero entered
the language. The wealthy demanded
oriental furnishings and oriental rugs
became prized possessions. According
to Malcolm, the Elizabethan view
of Islam went “from fear and fierce
disapproval to fascination, admiration
and envy.”3

Both Elizabeth and the sultan had a
common enemy in Spain and saw the
advantages to be gained from establishing
peaceful relations. Flowery
compliments continued back and forth
as gifts were exchanged. “Numerous

3 Malcolm, Noel. “Useful Enemies: Islam
and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political
Thought, 1450-1750. Oxford University Press,
2019.

envoys and letters were exchanged
between Elizabeth I and Sultan Murad

III. In one correspondence, Murad
entertained the notion that Islam and
Protestantism had ‘much more in
common than either did with Roman
Catholicism, as both rejected the
worship of idols,’ and argued for an
alliance between England and the
Ottoman Empire. To the dismay of
Catholic Europe, England exported
tin and lead (for cannon-casting) and
ammunition, and Elizabeth seriously
discussed joint military operations
with Murad during the outbreak of
war with Spain in 1585.”4
When Murad died in 1595, his son
Mehmed III ascended the throne. In

4 “Murad III,” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Murad_III

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

1599, the fourth year of Mehmed III’s
reign, Elizabeth sent a convoy of gifts
to the Ottoman court. In that convoy,
according to Brian and Joy Loomes,
in their article “Collecting Antique
Clocks,” would be a most impressive
gift, an organ with a clock and automata,
to contain 300 ounces of pure silver
and 45 diamonds, emeralds and rubies
around the figure of Queen Elizabeth,
which would surmount the whole.
It was to be capable of playing for a
period of up to six hours. The clock
was commissioned by Elizabeth, but
it was most likely suggested and paid
for by a group of London merchants
who had formed the Levant Company.
These merchants were equally keen
to get on the sultan’s good side in the
cause of trade. The organ clock was
reportedly not to cost more than £550.5

Adjusted for inflation, the cost of the
clock would be approximately £94,406
in 2017 British pounds, or approximately
$123,343 U.S. dollars. To give a
sense of the value of the gift, with £550
in 1590 you could have purchased 66
horses, or 295 cows, or paid a skilled
tradesman for 11,000 days of work.6

Miriam Bibby, in her article “Thomas
Dallam’s visit to the Sultan of Turkey”
published on historic-uk.com,
describes the clock as, “a large jewel-
studded clockwork organ that was
assembled on the slope of the Royal
Private Garden by a team of engineers
including Thomas Dallam. The organ
took many weeks to complete and
featured dancing sculptures such as
a flock of blackbirds that sung and
shook their wings at the end of the
music. Also among the English gifts
was a ceremonial coach, accompanied
by a letter from the Queen to Mehmed’s
mother, Safiye Sultan. These gifts were
intended to cement relations between
the two countries.” 7

Biran Oram, in an article titled

5 Loomes, Brian & Loomes, Joy. Antique
Clocks Collecting, “Robert Harvey, Maker of
the First Lantern Clocks in Great Britain”
https://www.brianloomes.com/collecting/harvey/
index.html

6 Currency conversions and purchasing
power estimated by https://nationalarchives.
gov.uk/currency-converter

7 “Mehmed III,” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Mehmed_III

“Master Thomas Dallam, Organ
Builder” published in the Musical Box
Society of Great Britain’s magazine
The Music Box, provides us with
details from the original contract to
build the clock organ. The piece was
originally to be 12 feet high, but was
later increased to be 16 feet. The extra
height was likely to increase the travel
of weights needed for movement of
the machine and thus reduce their
heaviness. The width of the organ
clock was to be five and a half feet,
while the depth was figured at four
and a half feet.

Although the original design had a
rooster topping the instrument, it was
changed to a holly bush with singing

Sultan Mehmed III of the Ottoman empire who received the organ clock gift from
Queen Elizabeth.

thrushes. The instrument was to stand
on five brass lions each some six
inches in height. The carved oak case
was gilded and painted accordingly. An
exposed keyboard of 51 notes (probably
chromatic and starting at G), had a
scale likely similar to a medium-sized
fairground organ. Although no weight
is provided for this instrument, it is
estimated that the weight was in the
neighborhood of two tons.8

At the top, of course, was the
carving of Queen Elizabeth with eight
animated courtiers and an embossed

8 Oram, Brian. “Master Thomas Dallam,
Organ Builder,” The Music Box, Music Box
Society of Great Britain, Vol. 11, No. 2, Summer
1983.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 51

copy of a royal coat of arms. Alongside
were stationed two trumpeters
who would raise their horns and blow
notes at the appropriate times.

The organ was fitted with three bellows
and the pipework was to include
“One Open Principal unison recorder,
one Octave Principal, one Flute (pitch
unstated), a shaking stop (Tremulant),
drum and nightingale. The latter was
not unusual on German organs of the
period, and some still remain but are
seldom used. A bowl had to be frequently
filled with water to a specific
level to obtain the flutter, but they
were not popular in English organs,
perhaps due to the delegated choirboy
being lax in his duties; over-filling
blew water all over the organ!”9 The
contract required the barrel to have
five tunes, which would play for six
hours continuously. No extra barrels
were requested.

Two men were charged with the
construction of this grand instrument.
Randolf Bull was the Queen’s clock
maker and was obviously involved
with the design and installation of this
portion of the project. Bull engaged
a young man named Thomas Dallam
to undertake the completion of the
mechanical organ. Fortunately for us,
Dallam’s personal diary has survived
and this article will deal with him
presently.

Although the clock may seem of
secondary importance to this article,
we need to understand its intricacies
in order to appreciate the overall
attraction of the piece. According to
the contract, the clock had to include
nine elements:

• First: The clock would show the
true course of the sun, the age of
the moon with reigning planets
daily.
• Second: An armed man was to
strike a bell at the quarter hour.
• Third: A second armed man was
to strike a much larger bell on the
hour
• Fourth: A cock would crow and
flutter his wings – this was later
changed to a thrush in a holly
bush
9 Oram, ibid

• Fifth: The clock should drive a
second barrel to run a carillon.
• Sixth: Eight carved personages
would each in turn make
abeyance to the Queen, while the
Queen’s statue acknowledged
them with a movement of her
sceptered hand.
• Seventh: Two trumpeters would
lift their silver horns to their
mouths and play
• Eighth: The mouth would open
and the eyes would turn on the
head of the queen’s statue
• Ninth: An hourglass in the hand
of an angel would turn. This last
element was only mentioned in
the contract and was likely not
in the finished product as it was
determined it may have been
taken as a symbol of the Christian
faith.
Dallam, who would be the chief
builder for the organ clock, was born
in the small village of Dallam located
near Warrington, Lancashire. Born
around 1570, little is known of his
early life, except that he was apprenticed
to a member of the Blacksmiths’
Company, later attaining the status of
liveryman.10 Yet, he was the one commissioned
not only to build the organ
but also to accompany it to Constantinople
and oversee its installation.
Amazingly, the diary of his journey
and adventures have survived and is
available in print and as a recording.
Entitled, “Dallam’s Travels with an
Organ to the Grand Signieur, 15991600,”
it can be heard free of charge
at LibriVox: Acoustical Liberation of
Books in the Public Domain at: https://
tinyurl.com/dallamstravels.

Dallam oversaw the stowing of
the organ in the hold of a 300 ton
heavily-armed merchantman named
the Hector, captained by Richard
Parsons.11 It had been chartered on
behalf of the merchants of the Levant
Company. Dallam writes that he
prepared for the trip by purchasing
fine expensive new clothes. Then

10 “Thomas Dallam: English Organ Maker,”
Encyclopedia Britannica https://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Thomas_Dallam

11 Loomes, B. & Loomes, J., op.cit.

on Feb. 13, 1598, accompanied by
two journeymen, he set off on his
great adventure. Imagine the joy and
wonder of this young man as he set
out aboard a sailing ship to a bizarre
foreign land.

In his diary, Dallam describes
how the ship became lost in a fog in
the English Channel and then was
attacked by pirate ships from Dunkirk.
After repelling the pirates, the Hector
proceeded to Algiers harbor, arriving
on Mar. 27. There a near misadventure
nearly destroyed the entire mission.
The sultan of Morocco had heard the
ship was carrying a musical gift to
the Ottoman sultan and insisted on
seeing it. In fact, he threatened to hold
Captain Parsons until it was brought
to him for inspection. Fortunately,
Dallam convinced Sultan Ahmad
al-Mansur that such a viewing was not
possible and the ship was once again
allowed to set sail.

Dallam’s diary continues with
additional stories of locations and the
people he meets. Most interestingly,
he demonstrates the joy and wonder
of his travels. The descriptions, even
after 400 years, show us his good
nature and sincerity and provide us
with a real look at early 17th century
travel.

When Dallam and his precious cargo
finally arrived in Constantinople, he
was taken to the home of the English
ambassador, Mr. Wyllyam Aldridge.
Aldridge already had a structure built
for the assembly of the mechanical
organ clock behind his residence. As
the packing cases were stored in the
bottom of the ship’s hold, Dallam and
Aldridge had to wait four days until it
was their turn to be unloaded. You can
only imagine Dallam’s shock when the
cases were opened and he found that
all the glue lines had come apart and
many of the pipes were “bruised and
broken.”12

Thinking the instrument was beyond
repair, Aldridge offered Dallam £11
to put it back together and make it
work. Dallam records in his diary that
Aldridge actually considered selling
the parts for scrap thinking the whole
machine ruined.

12 Bibby, op.cit.

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

A map of 17th century Constantinople showing both sides of the Bosporus. This overwhelming sight is what Dallam and his
contemporaries would have found upon arrival. Image courtesy University of Chicago.

Dallam, however, worked feverishly
for several months. Much of his original
work had to be recreated and even
new glue would have to be reduced
from the hooves of bulls or cows. By
Sept. 11, however, the instrument was
ready to be brought to the palace of
the Ottoman sultan. Dallam felt it had
been restored to its original standards.
On Sept. 25, Dallam and several
English workers went to the palace to
prepare the clock organ to play for the
sultan. There was much at stake, as
“the Sultan’s displeasure might mean
an execution, particularly his. Dallam
was told that, being a Christian, he
would not be allowed to set eyes on
the Sultan himself, nor would he
receive any sort of reward. But Dallam
told the ambassador: ‘he needed not
to doubt that there should be any fault
either in me or in my work, for he had
seen the trial of my care and skill in
making that perfect and good which
was thought to be incurable, and in
some things better than it was when
Her Majesty saw it in the Banqueting

House at Whitehall’.”13
Dallam’s original words with spell

ings are reproduced below:

“The Grand Sinyor, being seated
in his Chair of estate, commanded
silence. All being quiett, and no noyes
at all, the presente began to salute
the Grand Sinyor; for when I lefte it
I did alow a quarter of an hour for
his cominge thither. First the clocke
strouke 22; than the chime of 16 bells
went of, and played a song of 4 partes.
That beinge done, two personagis
which stood upon to corners of the
seconde storie, houldinge two silver
trumpets in theire handes, did lifte
them to theire heads, and sounded a
tantarra. Than the muzicke went of,
and the orgon played a song of 5 parts
twyse over. In the tope of the orgon,
being 16 foute hie, did stand a holly
bushe full of blacke birds and thrushis,
which at the end of the musick did
singe and shake theire wynges. Divers
other motions there was which the
Grand Sinyor wondered at.”

Certainly impressed, the sultan
wished to hear the organ clock again
and expected it to play every hour.
Dallam stood outside the throne
room, remaining close to the door in
order to be able to hear the organ and
gauge the sultan’s reaction. When the
sultan’s secretary inquired when the
instrument would play again, Dallam
explained that it was programed to
play only four times in 24 hours. Yet,
Dallam explained that if he pressed
a button it would replay. His diary
explains, “Yf it would please him,
that when the clocke strouk he would
tuche a little pin with his finger, which
before I had sewed him, it would goo
at any time.”14

This impressed the Sultan even further.
Sitting close to the clock organ,
the sultan asked if it could be played
manually and ordered someone to
do so. Dallam was ordered into the
sultan’s presence. In great fear he
bowed, turned his back to the sultan,
placed his cape on the floor, and
proceeded to play the organ via the

13 Bibby, op.cit. 14 Oram, op.cit.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 53

keyboard. The sultan was so intrigued
by the music, he stood alongside and
watched Dallam’s every move. After
about two hours, Dallam was allowed
to cover the organ keys and was able
to leave. He was, however, given 45
golden sequins (about £20) for his
service by the sultan’s secretary – an
unheard of reward for a Christian.

Dallam was called to make adjustments
to the clock organ over the next
few months. Although asked to stay in
the sultan’s service and even offered
two of the sultan’s concubines or
any two virgins of his choice, Dallam
desired to return to England. On Nov.
28, Dallam left Constantinople on a
Turkish ship reaching his homeland
without mishap.15

The great organ clock and Thomas
Dallam hold an important place in
world history. The warm relations
between England and the Ottomans
led to a favorable trade agreement
that gave English merchants priority
in the Ottoman region. It also sent a
veiled threat to the Spanish that a
combined military force was possible.
When Mehmed personally inspected
the heavily-armed Hector that brought
his clock organ, he was impressed and
it led him to build up his maritime fleet
over the next few years. Although the
Anglo-Ottoman alliance would never
be consummated, the gift and the
possibilities it engendered, impacted
world affairs.

Returning to England, Dallam

15 Oram, op.cit.

A portrait of Queen Elizabeth done after conquering the Spanish Armada, note her
hand on the globe as a symbol of her ruling the world.

married and his first son Robert was
born in 1602. In 1605, he was commissioned
to build an organ for King’s
College Chapel, Cambridge. In 1613,
he was commissioned to build double
organs for Worcester Cathedral
and in 1617 for the Chapel Royal at
Holyrood House, Edinburgh. From
1624 to 1627, he collaborated with his
son Robert on an organ for Durham
Cathedral. Dallam’s second son, Ralph
and his daughter’s son, Rene Harris

also followed Thomas Dallam in his
trade. The family was likely the most
important organ makers in 17th century
England.16

Unfortunately, the musical clock
organ that is the subject of this article
was destroyed by the succeeding
Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I.

16 Fuller, Mary C. “Thomas Dallam,” Travel
Knowledge: European “Discoveries” in the
Early Modern Period, edited by I. Kamps and

J. Singh, Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.
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

54 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Cecil George Cooper, 1948-2020

Cecil George Cooper (generally known as George Cooper)
was born in 1948 in Springfield, CO, and lived a life full
of art, music, creativity, and craftsmanship until it was cut
short by his sudden death from a heart attack as he slept
on Jan. 31, 2020.

While in high school George began repairing player
pianos. He studied music and organ at the University of
Colorado. He was drafted into the Army and served from
1970 to 1973 as a medic during the Vietnam War. When his
military service ended, George started a business in Wichita,
KS, making roll frames and parts for player pianos.

George and his then-wife, Jill Tatum Cooper, made organ
parts which George sold through his company Mechanical
Music. The Stinson Band Organ Company depended heavily
on George and Jill for items needed in the construction
of the band organs which Don Stinson was producing from
1965 to 2019. After Don retired from the organ business,
George purchased many of the design molds which Don
owned with the idea of continuing their manufacture, a
plan cut short by George’s sudden death.

Living in Wichita and being an organ man, it was natural
for George to become friends with Gordon Ramsey, the
man at Joyland Amusement Park (built by the Ottaway
family and later owned by Stanley Nelson) who maintained
Joyland Louie, the park’s famous Wurlitzer 160 (“Mammoth”)
band organ, installed in 1947 by Jess Gibbs.

Jill and George divorced in June 1989 when George was
living with his partner Mark Bassett. George met Mark when
he taught Mark country and ballroom dancing. Because
of their many shared interests including art, writing, and
music, it was natural that a partnership developed, starting
with collaboration on Mark’s 1985 Ph.D dissertation at the
University of Missouri.

Eventually Mark and George settled in Lakewood, OH,
and from 1997 to 2019 George worked for the Holtkamp

Condolences

MBSI has also learned the following members have
recently passed away

• Boz Bulovic of LaGrange Park, IL
• Steve Smith of Harwood, MD
• Marilyn Hawks, wife of William Hawks of Decatur, IL
Our most sincere condolences are extended to their
families and friends.

George Cooper and Mark Travis Bassett.

Organ Company in Cleveland, OH, as a pipe organ technician,
where he was also one of Holtkamp’s three main
pipe voicers until his retirement in 2019, shortly following
Mark’s own retirement from full-time teaching at the Cleveland
Institute of Art.

Finally, after sharing lives together since the mid-1980s,
Mark and George eloped from their home in Cleveland for
a brief trip to Niagara Falls, NY, where they were married
on Dec. 26, 2013. They continued to share mutual interests
and enthusiasms, with great plans for a satisfying post-retirement
life until fate intervened, requiring George to
leave behind as part of his estate his precious organ, “Spirit
of San Diego,” which was built by Charlie Porter.

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 55

The Musical Box Society of Great Britain announces the publication of two new books
Published in September 2018
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;
Compiled and Edited by Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.

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
The Organette Book
Compiled and Edited by
Kevin McElhone
ISBN 978-0-9557869-5-2
100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27” × 11.70”; Profusely illustrated in
colour throughout;Additional Illustrations of Models; Additions to Lists of
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

56 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

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.com51-key organ made by Jan van Eijk & Znn in 2001. Four large,
leather-covered bellows with a 15-foot stack of book music
(about 100 tunes). 3000 more tunes available. Ready to
entertain at 8 feet 6 inches high, 12 feet wide and 4 feet deep.
113 wood flute, bourdon and violin pipes, bass drum, snare
drum and wood block. Carved wood front with five mechanical
figures. Hand-painted facade in tribute to the Dutch Masters.
https://dutchstreetorgan.shutterfly.com
PHILIP JAMISON (610) 696-8449 or mortier9@gmail.com
$28,000
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.com51-key organ made by Jan van Eijk & Znn in 2001. Four large,
leather-covered bellows with a 15-foot stack of book music
(about 100 tunes). 3000 more tunes available. Ready to
entertain at 8 feet 6 inches high, 12 feet wide and 4 feet deep.
113 wood flute, bourdon and violin pipes, bass drum, snare
drum and wood block. Carved wood front with five mechanical
figures. Hand-painted facade in tribute to the Dutch Masters.
https://dutchstreetorgan.shutterfly.com
PHILIP JAMISON (610) 696-8449 or mortier9@gmail.com
$28,000
September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 57

COIN-OP & ADVERTISING
SAVE THE DATE
OCTOBER 29 & 30, 2020
Our Fall Auction is shaping up to
be a spectacular event featuring the
COIN-OP & ADVERTISING
SAVE THE DATE
OCTOBER 29 & 30, 2020
Our Fall Auction is shaping up to
be a spectacular event featuring the
last, and the best, of Mel Getlan’s

2000 N. READING ROAD | DENVER, PA 17517

877-968-8880 | INFO@MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM

50-year coin-op collection.

M O RP HYAUCTI O NS.C O M

Summer Scorcher
Ideas!

Enjoy your
new at-home
time
listening to more
music
for
your
disc
boxes!

I have over 9000 discs in
stock for various brands and
sizes of machines! Email me

what you need and I’ll send a
list of what’s in stock.

Curl
up
in
front of the air
conditioner
with a music
box
book!

…McElhone’s Disc Musical Box
…Disc Musical Box Supplement
…Organette Book Supplement

…a new book about the history

of Baud Freres in Switzerland

Over
100 gently used books:

…The Encyclopedia of
Automatic Musical Instruments
…many books on Automata,
band organs, orchestrions,
pianos and phonographs
…repair books by Webb; MBSI
Silver Anniversary and others
…and lots more…send for
listing!
Expand yourcollection!
I’m always buying and selling!
Someitems in stock:
…Four Greisbaum whistlers
…Singing bird cages
…20 ¾” Criterion Upright double
comb with disc storage in base.
Fully restored, with 12 discs.
…Two 18” Mira consoles! To my
ear, the best of the disc boxes with
its super rich bass sound. One is in
a decal case; one a ‘Hepplewhite’
banded case. 12 discs, refinished
cases.
…Organettes! A Musette, an
Organina, a Chautauqua and
some cob organs!
…Snuff boxes; Reuge 3/72 note in
inlaid cases…and MORE!
Call/email me and let me know
what you’re looking for!
Nancy Fratti
Music BoxesPO Box400–Canastota NY13032315-684-9977musicbox@frontiernet.netwww.nancyfrattimusicboxes.com

Stanton’s FALL MUSIC MACHINE AUCTION
To be held in the Barry Expo Center, on the Barry County Fairgrounds at 1350 N. M-37 Highway, Hastings, Michigan
– go 4-1/2 miles northwest of Hastings on M-37 to the sale site OR approx. 20 miles southeast of Grand Rapids on
Beltline/M-37 to the auction location on:
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, November 19, 20 & 21, 2020
Thursday Sale begins at 1:00 P.M. following the Complimentary Luncheon
Friday & Saturday’s Sessions begin at 9:00 A.M.
AUCTIONEERS & REALTORSSTANTON’SStanton’s Auctioneers,
Appraisers, & Realtors
144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146
Vermontville, MI 49096
Phone: (517) 726-0181
Fax: (517) 726-0060
E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net
Website: www.stantons-auctions.com
Steven E. Stanton
(517) 331-8150 cellular
(517) 852-0627 evening
E-mail – stevenEstanton@gmail.com
Michael C. Bleisch
(517) 231-0868 cellular
E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com
An excellent event with collections
from the Loyd Davis Estate (Session
1), the Robert Kolba Collection of
Arizona, Bogantz Estate of North
Carolina, Buehler Estate, Ohio
and lots more. The sale includes
Edison Ideal, Columbia K, Edison
Home Banner type with Polyphon
attachment, Tournaphone floor
model Paper roll organ; other roller
organs; Rare Regina Console music
box, Reginaphone lion’s head model
and other Regina, Symphonion,
Polyphon, & Stella examples; Edison
Operas, 3 Regina Hexaphones
(various models), Victor “fighting
dogs”, music boxes, phonographs,
coin-ops, lots and lots of parts,
reproducers, Zon-o-phone A (glass
side), Circassian walnut Victor XVI,
plan on attending our Fall Event.
Watch our website for pictures and
additional information. Another
fantastic offering.
We are still accepting additional collections and machines for this event, call us early
to get your items listed and properly advertised.
Call Steve Stanton, 517-331-8150 • Email – stevenEstanton@gmail.com
Stanton’s FALL MUSIC MACHINE AUCTION
To be held in the Barry Expo Center, on the Barry County Fairgrounds at 1350 N. M-37 Highway, Hastings, Michigan
– go 4-1/2 miles northwest of Hastings on M-37 to the sale site OR approx. 20 miles southeast of Grand Rapids on
Beltline/M-37 to the auction location on:
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, November 19, 20 & 21, 2020
Thursday Sale begins at 1:00 P.M. following the Complimentary Luncheon
Friday & Saturday’s Sessions begin at 9:00 A.M.
AUCTIONEERS & REALTORSSTANTON’SStanton’s Auctioneers,
Appraisers, & Realtors
144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146
Vermontville, MI 49096
Phone: (517) 726-0181
Fax: (517) 726-0060
E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net
Website: www.stantons-auctions.com
Steven E. Stanton
(517) 331-8150 cellular
(517) 852-0627 evening
E-mail – stevenEstanton@gmail.com
Michael C. Bleisch
(517) 231-0868 cellular
E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com
An excellent event with collections
from the Loyd Davis Estate (Session
1), the Robert Kolba Collection of
Arizona, Bogantz Estate of North
Carolina, Buehler Estate, Ohio
and lots more. The sale includes
Edison Ideal, Columbia K, Edison
Home Banner type with Polyphon
attachment, Tournaphone floor
model Paper roll organ; other roller
organs; Rare Regina Console music
box, Reginaphone lion’s head model
and other Regina, Symphonion,
Polyphon, & Stella examples; Edison
Operas, 3 Regina Hexaphones
(various models), Victor “fighting
dogs”, music boxes, phonographs,
coin-ops, lots and lots of parts,
reproducers, Zon-o-phone A (glass
side), Circassian walnut Victor XVI,
plan on attending our Fall Event.
Watch our website for pictures and
additional information. Another
fantastic offering.
We are still accepting additional collections and machines for this event, call us early
to get your items listed and properly advertised.
Call Steve Stanton, 517-331-8150 • Email – stevenEstanton@gmail.com

FOR SALE
your copy today for $99 plus S/H. MECHANI

THE MART

CAL MUSIC PRESS-M, 70 Wild Ammonoosuc

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

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.

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 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

Rd., Woodsville, NH 03785. (603) 747-2636.

http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

SCHINDLER CRANK STREET ORGAN – 16
note/endless roll type + extra music to
punch -cart included. Great for beginners
or for kids to crank. Motivated seller (health).
Contact JOHN KEIM, (330) 669-2348 or at
jekwb8bkt@aol.com

VINTAGE SWISS MUSIC MOVEMENTS. NOS.
In A/C storage over 45 years; 12 note, 18 note
most original wrap. 10/$25, 100/$200.+
shipping. Also Brass Reuge 30 note priced
separately. Location 11787. BILL ZUK, 941321-
1790, wmezuk@gmail.com.

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.

SUBMIT ADS TO:

MBSI Ads

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Pismo Beach, CA 93449

(253) 228-1634

Email: editor@mbsi.org

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

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

WANTED
WURLITZER LX. Also wanting 151/2-inch
Regina Style 216 or 217 bell music box.
Contact: DON KROENLEIN, (217) 620-8650
fbac@one-eleven.net

SERVICES
Display Advertisers

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
2 Renaissance Antiques
55 Bob Caletti – Music Box
Restorations
56 Mechanical Organ & Clock Works
56 Musical Box Society of Great
Britain
57 Philip Jamison Dutch Street
Organ
57 Ben’s Player Piano Service
57 Cottone Auctions
57 Reeder Pianos
58 Morphy Auctions
59 Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
60 Nancy Fratti Music Boxes
61 Stanton’s Auctioneers & Realtors
67 Marty Persky
68 Auction Team Breker

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.

Name Phone

Email

Text of ad

Add a photo to your ad!

You know the old saying, “A photo
is worth 1,000 words!” Well, it’s
only $30 per issue to add a photo
to your classified advertisement in
the Mart. That’s a lot less than 1,000
words would cost. 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.

Have you tried the MBSI online
classifieds? It’s quick and easy to
place your ad. Pay with Paypal and
see your ad on the website AND in
the journal. Go to www.mbsi.org
and click on the Classifieds link to
get started today.

Each One
Reach One
New Member
September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 63

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
kozak@seldenfox.com

TRUSTEES

Bob Caletti
Ed Cooley
Dave Corkrum
Sally Craig
Wayne Finger
Matt Jaro
Tom Kuehn
Mary Ellen Myers
Clay Witt

MBSI FUNDS

COMMITTEES
Audit

Edward Cooley, Chair, Trustee

G.Wayne Finger, Trustee
Matt Jaro, Trustee
Endowment Committee

Edward Kozak, Treasurer, Chair
Edward Cooley, Trustee

G.Wayne Finger, Trustee
B Bronson
Wayne Wolf
Executive Committee

Tom Kuehn, Chair, President
David Corkrum, Vice President
Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres.
Sally Craig, Trustee

G.Wayne Finger, 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

G.Wayne Finger, Trustee
Judy Caletti
Meetings Committee

Matt Jaro, Chair, Trustee
Judy Caletti
Tom Chase
Cotton Morlock
Mary Pollock
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, Trustee
Glenn Crater, National Capital
Ken Envall, Southern California
Julian Grace, Sunbelt
Matt Jaro, National Capital
Richard Simpson, East Coast

Museum Sub-Committees

Ohio Operations
Emery Prior

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
Sally Craig, National Capital,

Trustee
Judy Caletti, Golden Gate
Judy Miller, Southeast
Rick Swaney, Northwest Int’l
Bill Wineburgh, East Coast

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
Julian Grace
B Bronson
Don Henry
Knowles Little, Web Secretary

Special Exhibits Committee

Chair Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,

Southeast,
David Corkrum, Golden Gate
Robert Ebert, Mid-America
Jack Hostetler, Southeast
Judy Miller, Piedmont
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.

64 MECHANICAL MUSIC September/October 2020

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event Location Sponsor
Sept. 25–28, 2020 Second Annual Global Piano Roll meeting Switzerland
Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting Ft. Myers, FL Southeast Chapter

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know!
Send in your information by Oct. 1, 2020 for the November/December issue.

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

CHAPTERS

East Coast

Chair: Elise Low
(203) 457-9888
Dues $10 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 Pro Tem: Sachiya Sasaki
Vice Chair Pro Tem: Naoki Shibata

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

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

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 2020 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

September/October 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 65

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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
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☛ Closing date: 1st September 2020 ☛

Volume 66, No. 4 July/August 2020

Mechanical Music

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

Volume 66, No. 4 July/August 2020

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.
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RENAISSANCE ANTIQUE S

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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 2020. 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 66, No. 4 July/August 2020

MBSI NEWS

5 President’s Message
7 Editor’s Notes
9 MBSI Trustee Meeting
Minutes
10 Trustee biography, Dave
Calendine
49 In Memoriam

Features

10 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro
18 Mermod Freres Varieties
29 Sacred Music on
cylinder boxes, Part 3
38 The genius of Al-Jazari
42 Restoring a Forte Piano
cylinder box
46 Memories of the Stinson
Organ Company
48 Making a special
anniversary music box

On the Cover
The Mighty 2000M, built by the
Stinson Band Organ Company, that
was commissioned for the Eastern
States Exposition. Hope Rider
remembers how the company got
started. Page 46.
MBSI has replanted 101 trees so far as
part of the Print ReLeaf program.

A special anniversary

James Kracht tells the story of
putting together a special music
box for his 50th anniversary present
to his wife. Page 48.

July/August 2020 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 automatical

ly-played machine that produces melodic sound including

discs and cylinder music boxes that pluck a steel comb;

orchestrions and organs that engage many instruments at

once using vacuum and air pressure; player and reproducing

pianos that use variable vacuum to strike piano wires; pho

nographs; 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 2020

By Tom Kuehn

MBSI President

As we work through the COVID-19
pandemic, I hope all of you are well
and continuing to enjoy the aspects
of our hobby that are still available.
Although face-to-face meetings are
discouraged, many digital methods
have sprung up in their place so that
we might stay in contact with our
friends and share memorable experiences.
Similarly, as a result of the
pandemic, several changes needed to
be made with regards to the Musical
Box Society International’s well-laid
plans and operations for this year.
Read on to find out what is changing
and how.

The most important change is the
decision to cancel our annual meeting,
which was planned as a joint
session with the Automatic Musical
Instrument Collectors’ Association
(AMICA) and would have taken place
the first week of September in the San
Francisco, CA, Bay Area. Recognizing
that gatherings of large groups is
now discouraged and travel by air is
problematic, both the MBSI Trustees
and representatives from AMICA
reached the conclusion that it would
not be prudent to hold the meeting as
planned. Presently, preparations for
the 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting to be
held in Ft. Myers, FL, and hosted by
the Southeast Chapter, are continuing
although this may change depending
on how the pandemic situation develops
in the coming months.

The trustees met in a special meeting
on May 22 via teleconference to
discuss these changes to the annual
meeting and related issues. The minutes
of this meeting are published in
this issue on pages 8-9. The drafters of
our bylaws and policy and procedures
documents never anticipated the situation
we find ourselves in currently
so several changes were required
to allow us to operate during these
unusual circumstances.

With no annual meeting, there will

also be no business meeting which is
when the election of society officers
normally occurs. Therefore, the
election this year will be by paper
ballot. Ballots and return envelopes
are included in this issue. Ballots
are to be postmarked by Aug. 5 and
mailed to our recording secretary,
Linda Birkitt, at the address printed
on the envelopes. Each household
membership is entitled to no more
than two votes. Individual members
have one vote. Everyone on the ballot
has agreed to serve an additional
one-year term in the same positions
they currently hold with the exception
of Dave Calendine who has agreed
to begin his first four-year term as a
trustee. Dave’s biography and photo
can be found on page 9 of this issue.
I will say that I am very fortunate to
be working with such a dedicated and
hard working leadership team that has
gone above and beyond to deal with all

the changes that have been necessary
during the past three months.

As described in the amended
bylaws, terms of office will end and
begin this year at the conclusion of a
meeting of the trustees rather than at
the conclusion of a business meeting.
The plan is to have the ballots counted
and the election results known by the
next trustees’ meeting which is scheduled
for Friday, Sept. 4.

The Marketing Committee has
been working diligently to promote
membership. They are developing a
series of short videos that will outline
the benefits of membership, beginning
with some testimonials from current
members.

In conclusion, stay safe, and reach
out to a friend you have not talked to
for some time. Take my word for it,
there is no such thing as Mechanical
Musical Instrument Distancing, so
let’s help keep the music flowing.

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.

Editor’s Notes MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial/Advertising
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
Editor’s Notes MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial/Advertising
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
By Russell Kasselman

MBSI Editor/Publisher

I’m sad to say that for the first time
in my six years with this publication
there are no chapter reports of any
kind to print. I have not checked
back through every issue, but I’ll
wager a guess that this might be the
first time in this publication’s history
where that has happened. It’s strange
and a bit sad to not see smiling faces
enjoying a potluck and a bit of good
music together, but I’m also grateful
to know that everyone out there is
taking precautions and staying safe. I
look forward to the day when the all
clear is sounded and we can get back
to gathering and enjoying the sights
and sounds of the collections that our
generous members so often share via
chapter meetings and at our annual
meeting.

In the meantime, I must express my
gratitude to the authors who have continued
to share with us their fantastic
articles to fill the pages and keep us all
going though the hard times.

Starting us off, Matt Jaro gives an
account of the American Piano Company
from the perspective of a person

who might have lived during the time
of its operations and followed its rise
and demise in the music trade press.
Great examples from original trade
papers are included, making for a
visual treat as well.

Bill Wineburgh then dives into a
discussion of the many varieties of
Mermod Freres cylinder boxes. He
postulates theories about why there
are so many types and provides charts
and images to further our understanding
of the company’s motives for the
strategies they used.

David Worrall continues his study of
sacred music on cylinder boxes in part
three of a series of five articles. This
time, David tackles hymns and hymn
singing. He provides background on
the rise in popularity of hymns and
then, using Arthur Cunliffe’s Register
of Cylinder Boxes, notes which hymns
seemed to be most popular based on
the number of times they are pinned
on cylinder boxes over the years.

Dr. Robert Penna’s article on Al
Jarazi, a 13th century Arab inventor and
pioneering engineer, gives us a fascinating
look at perhaps one of the first
ever mechanical music automatons.
Al Jazari’s invention, and instructions

on how to build such works may have
even inspired some of the music box
makers we all know today.

And speaking of a music maker we
all know, I’m sure you will enjoy Hope
Rider’s account of Don Stinson’s journey
to become a great organ maker.
Hope shares her personal recollections
of the Stinson Organ Company
from beginning to end with some great
photos of Don Stinson to boot.

Rounding us out is James Kracht,
with his first submission to the journal.
James tells the story of his quest to put
together the perfect 50th anniversary
music box for his wife. It’s a sweet
story and a good addition to the mix
of content in this issue.

I hope you all enjoy this issue, and
I also hope you might be inspired to
write your own article to share during
this time stuck at home since we
might not have any chapter reports
or annual meeting coverage for some
time to come.

Letter to the Editor
Baskanion Music Box Discs

By Kevin McElhone

I am trying to compile some more
tunelists after a gap of a few years,
the first one is for Baskanion 48-note
Musical Box card discs. They are 111/8
inch or 28.5 centimeter in diameter,
made of cardboard. The discs have a
central pivot hole plus four drive holes
like an Ariston disc and indeed have
the name “Ehrlich” on them. They are
labeled in three languages. Can anyone
add more titles to this list, please?

• 5002 • 5024
• 5005 • 5033
• 5006 • 5034
• 5008 • 5035
• 5009 • 5036
• 5010 • 5038
• 5023 • 5041

Thanks to the four people who
have contacted me so far with titles
for Baskanion discs. The numbers
missing from the list are shown above.
Number 5064 is thought to be the

• 5042 • 5056
• 5043 • 5057
• 5044 • 5058
• 5045 • 5059
• 5049 • 5060
• 5052 • 5063
• 5053

highest number issued.

Kevin McElhone is the new members
secretary of the Musical Box
Society of Great Britain. Contact him
at kevinmcelhone@live.co.uk

July/August 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

MBSI Trustee Meeting Minutes

The MBSI Teleconference meeting
of May 22, 2020, was called to order at

9:07 a.m. after all trustees and officers
had checked into the meeting.
A motion to allow the trustees and
officers of MBSI to meet electronically
was made by Trustee David Corkrum
and seconded by Trustee Sally Craig.
The motion carried.

Several guests were recognized by
President Tom Kuehn. Sandy Swirsky
and Lyle Merithew were recognized as
co-chairs of the Program Committee
organizing the MBSI/AMICA joint
annual meeting in Redwood City,
CA. Joel Cluskey was recognized as
the President of AMICA and an MBSI
member. Bob Skinner was recognized
as an organizer for the AMICA convention
in New Orleans, LA, in 2021.
American Theatre Organ Society Chair
Dave Calendine was also recognized.

Recording Secretary Linda Birkitt
stated that the amended minutes
of the Mar. 13, 2020, MBSI meeting
were sent to the board members for
their review, as additional notes were
included from the original Section 11
meeting notations as follows:

1) Trustee Clay Witt moved that
the Publications Committee budget
be increased by $338.00 which was
seconded by Trustee Matt Jaro. The
budget increase entails rewriting an
upload script to accommodate new
file names, rewriting the search script
for Presto and MTR publications,
uploading all files to the website as
well as testing and verifying all content.
The motion carried unanimously.
2) Discussion ensued regarding the
protocol for lending books to members
outside the U.S. Trustee Mary
Ellen Myers moved to allow members
outside the U.S. to borrow books from
the lending library if the member pays
mailing costs. Trustee Wayne Finger
seconded the motion. The motion
carried.
3) A discussion followed about loaning
and scanning rare books. Trustee
Craig moved, with a second by Trustee
Corkrum, to table the discussion until
a future trustees’ meeting. The motion
carried.

President Kuehn called for a motion
to approve the amended minutes.
Trustee Witt moved to approve the
amended minutes of the Mar. 13, 2020,
meeting with Trustee Edward Cooley
seconding the motion. There being no
other discussion, additions, deletions
or corrections, the motion carried.

President Kuehn asked Trustee
Witt to lead the discussion on bylaw
changes and policy and procedure
(P&P) changes as two separate discussion
items. Trustee Witt requested a
motion be made to adopt the proposed
amendments to the bylaws dated
May 14, 2020. Trustee Myers moved
to adopt the proposed amendments
to the bylaws delineated as Update
1A and Trustee Craig seconded the
motion. Significant discussion followed.
The motion was carried.

Trustee Witt stated that the P&P
amendments are up for consideration.
President Kuehn entertained
a motion to approve the proposed
P&P amendments. Trustee Craig
moved to approve the proposed P&P
amendments dated May 14, 2020, with
Trustee Myers seconding the motion.

Trustee Jaro indicated that the convention
information should be on the
website. President Kuehn asked that
the P&P amendments dated May 14,
2020, be approved as read. The motion
carried.

President Kuehn then asked
Trustee Corkrum to discuss the issue
of finalizing the arrangements with
the Pullman Hotel in Redwood City.
Trustee Corkrum stated that because
of the problems with COVID-19, MBSI
must postpone this meeting. However,
he noted that the final decision to
postpone will lie with the co-chairs
and the board of directors.

President Kuehn asked if Trustee
Jaro would like to make a motion

regarding the upcoming annual meeting.
Trustee Jaro moved that MBSI not
hold the annual meeting scheduled in
Redwood City for 2020. Trustee Finger
seconded the motion.

The motion carried. A great deal of
discussion followed. Program Committee
co-chair Merithew commented,
“we don’t know if we can have a
convention or not, even in the end of
August as it appears illegal to have
groups of greater than 100 persons in
a room.”

President Kuehn agreed to send a
letter to the general manager and the
reservations manager of the Pullman
Hotel stating that MBSI is unable to
hold its meeting as scheduled because
of events beyond the society’s control
and that MBSI will invoke the force
majeure clause to terminate the contract.
The letter will also request the
return of all deposits made.

Trustee Finger reported that the
Marketing Committee has identified a
contractor to assist with the creation
of short videos to promote membership
in the society. The Endowment
Committee was approached regarding
using endowment funds for this project
and the committee endorsed it.
Trustee Finger moved that endowment
funds up to $3,000 be made available
for this video project. The motion
was seconded by Trustee Myers. The
motion carried.

President Kuehn entertained a
motion to adjourn the meeting.
Trustee Witt moved to adjourn the
meeting. Trustee Craig seconded the
motion. The motion passed.

President Kuehn stated that the
next meeting is scheduled as a teleconference
meeting on Sept. 4, 2020.
The meeting concluded at 1:49 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Linda Birkitt Recording Secretary
June 6, 2020

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2020

Trustee Bio – Dave Calendine

I started my trek with mechanical
music when I was 3 years old, with
a good ol’ player piano. I really got
the bug for mechanical music while
growing up as my uncle had a small
collection of nickelodeons, a Wurlitzer
band organ and a Wurlitzer Caliola. I
have been fascinated with them ever
since and can’t get enough of them
still to this day.

I am currently the chair of the American
Theatre Organ Society (ATOS)
and would love to see more meetings
between chapters of MBSI, the Automatic
Musical Instrument Collectors’
Association, and the Carousel Organ
Association of America in conjunction
with ATOS chapters. Many of the
members of all four organizations
share the same passions.

I also believe that we need to do
more to promote those instruments
that are more readily available, and
not just the large and nearly-impossible-
to-get orchestrions if we want to
ever get more people to be interested
and involved with our hobby and our
organization.

I am a Warren, OH, native, and cur-Fox Theatre, associate organist at and my day job is the head of Payroll
rently live in downtown Detroit, MI. I Little Caesars Arena for the National for Little Caesars Arena’s food, beveram
the resident organist at the Detroit Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings, age and retail operations.

April 2020
Tim Beggs
Crosswicks, NJ
Sponsor, David Corkrum
Dennis & Jacci Schumaker
Bloomington, MN
May 2020
Edith Lukens
Bend, OR
Joseph & Robin Toomey
Mars, PA
Sponsor, Al Zamba
Linda & Roy Pierce
Simi Valley, CA
Sponsor, Robin Biggins
Welcome new members!
Seeking your stories for ….

The Hunt

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?

Did you acquire it and restore it so that you might
display it and tell the story to all who visit your home?

If so, you have the perfect story for “The Hunt” column
in Mechanical Music. Editing help is available to
turn your recollections into a good story.

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

July/August 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro

A music trade press
reader’s history of the Ampico

This column will present a short
history of the Ampico as a reader
of the Music Trades, The Presto or
The Music Trade Review might have
seen it when those publications were
actively printing. I love doing this sort
of thing because it presents history as
a living thing rather than dull statistics
and overwhelming details.

Formation of the American Piano
Company

The first proof of the non-existence
of the American Piano Company was
in the Mar. 23, 1895, issue of The Music
Trade Review (MTR), as shown in the
image to the right.

This at least shows that company
was incorporated after 1895.

The real news was an announcement
made in the Jun. 13, 1908, issue
of MTR. (See top photo, Page 11.)

Imagine the impact this had at the
time! Big manufacturers like Chickering
and Knabe, forming a combination
called the American Piano Company!

The Electrelle Player System

In 1910, The American Piano
Company acquired the rights to the
Electrelle player-system. This was an
electro-mechanical system. The Electrelle
could be installed in any upright
piano. They expanded this line with
a lever-actuated manual expression
control system for both electric and
pneumatic models.

An editorial in September 1910

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2020

An article in the June 13, 1908, MTR announcing the formation of the American
Piano Company

An article in a September 1910 MTR discussing the American Piano Company’s new
Electrelle Player System.

(bottom left photo this page) indicates
that the path towards reproducing
pianos in America was inevitable and
the American Piano Company held
recitals to demonstrate the Electrelle
system.

Artigraphic Rolls

On May 20, 1911, the American
Piano Company signed an agreement
with Hupfeld to cut their Autographic
rolls featuring famous artists. By May
27, 1911, the name was changed to
“Artigraph.” Either that, or the term
“Autographic” was a typographical
error, since Melville Clark cut Auto-
graphic rolls.

During the year 1911, the American
Piano Company was involved in a
complex suit against the Knabe brothers,
claiming that the company had
exclusive rights to the name Knabe. I

The second paragraph of the top article
from the May 27, 1911, MTR discusses
Artigraphic music rolls

July/August 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

think that the Knabes lost the suit, but
things were so complex, I’m not sure.

Introduction of the Reproducing
Piano

The article pictured just below
appears in the Jun. 24, 1911, edition of
MTR:

Note the name “Stoddard” is
misspelled. This article references a
Jun. 3, 1911, article (at right) which
is extremely interesting because
it fully describes the reproducing
concept a year before the Ampico
was announced. I think this is the
first mention of the American Piano
Company reproducing piano in the
trade press.

This article snippet from the June 24,
1911, edition of MTR references a Jun.
3, 1911 article that contains a descrip-
tion of the reproducing concept a year
before its introduction.

A small section from an American Piano
Company advertisement in 1911.

This article from the June 3, 1911, edition of MTR describes the reproducing piano
concept a year before its introduction.

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2020

An except from an article from the Feb.
23, 1911, publication The Presto talks
about the American Piano Company’s
use of the name Flexotone.

Flexotone

Also in 1911, the American Piano
Company tried to steal the name
“Flexotone” which was used in 1908 by
Frederick Ives. (See article pictured at
the top left column on Page 13.)

The American Flexotone was a part
of their Electrelle players. The Flexotone
was a hammer-rail with three
positions in order to add nuances of
dynamics. It looks like the American
Piano Company kept using the name.

Rythmodik Rolls

In March 1912, the Rythmodik
rolls were introduced. These were
developed by Charles Fuller Stoddard.
These seem to be ordinary 88-note
rolls, but Stoddard made marvelous
claims for them.

A sample from an article discussing the
patent for the Rythmodik roll.

An advertisement for Rythmodik Record Music Rolls from the American Piano
Company that appeared in the Mar. 30, 1912, edition of MTR.

July/August 2020 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

An excerpt from an article in the Apr. 20,
1912, issue of MTR, discusses Stoddard
as the inventor of Rythmodik Record
Music Rolls.

Now, dear reader, was the Rythmodik
really much better than the usual
roll or was it just hype? Please let me
know.

The Stoddard-Ampico

George C. Foster, the president of
the American Piano Company states
in his book “Sketches of My Life” that
he and Ernest Knabe went to Boston
in the fall of 1907 to meet Stoddard
“who invented an electric reproducing
piano mechanism,” which the American
Piano Company took control of
and manufactured under the name
Ampico (from Doug Hickling).

Finally, on Aug. 10, 1912, this
announcement appeared in the MTR:

Soon after, the rave reviews kept
pouring in, like this one at right from
Sydney Silber, the pianist.

There are those that say that the
inspiration for the Ampico system was
the Hupfeld Meisterspiel DEA reproducing
piano. This is because many
DEA performances were recoded into
the Ampico format. Also, remember An excerpt from an article in the Mar. 29, 1913, edition of MTR reviewing the perforthat
the American Piano Company mance of the Stoddard-Ampico.

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2020

had an agreement with Hupfeld to cut
their Artigraph rolls. The DEA reproducing
piano was designed by Robert
Frömsdorf and appeared in November
1907. Hupfeld introduced the concept
of splitting the piano into bass and
treble sections in 1902.

Lewis B. Doman

There is a theory floating around
that Lewis B. Doman, not Charles
Stoddard, invented the Ampico system.
Doug Hickling, in the December
1994 AMICA Bulletin, wrote an article
entitled: “Lewis B. Doman: Did He
Invent the Ampico?” Doug mentions
that Harvey Roehl, in his book, “Player
Piano Treasury,” stated, “Just who
deserves credit for the basic development
of the Ampico mechanism is
not clear …” I checked in my second
edition of Harvey’s book and any such
statement had been changed so that
Stoddard got full credit, while Doman
was credited with working on some
features (like the unit valves). Doug
does go on to say that Doman never
claimed to have invented the mechanism,
he concludes that:

“While acknowledging that Doman
may have designed the unit block
valve and that he may have done
some production engineering on the
Ampico system during its manufacture,
it would appear that the claims
that Doman did the basic development
work on the Ampico are unfounded.”

If you are an AMICA member, you
can go to the AMICA website and read
this very interesting article from the
December 1994 issue for yourself.

In my own research into the trade
press, I found a reference to Lewis B.

A reference to Lewis B. Doman as inven-
tor of “The Maestro,” as printed in the
May 7, 1898, issue of MTR.

Doman in 1898. The Amphion system
was very important to the Ampico
history because that company manufactured
the Ampico mechanism from
around 1917 to 1928. The Amphion
Company absorbed Doman’s work on
the Maestro.

Clarence Hickman and
the Ampico B

Alf Werolin wrote an article for the
AMICA Bulletin of June 1976 where
he discusses Clarence Hickman, a
principal developer of the Ampico B
system. Dr. Hickman was an honorary
member of AMICA. This article is also
reprinted on the AMICA website.

In 1924, the American Piano
Company decided to establish a fully
equipped research laboratory in the
new Chickering Hall in New York
under the direction of Charles Fuller
Stoddard, the inventor of the Ampico.
Mr. Stoddard realized the need for
a physicist and mathematician in
undertaking more advanced research
in the operation of reproducing
instruments. Thus Hickman was
employed to work on the improvement
of the Ampico as well as on
other aspects of automatic piano
manufacture and operation.

Dr. Hickman’s work brought a high
degree of sophistication to player
piano technology and resulted in two
monumental accomplishments: the
development of the Ampico dynamic
recording machine; and the improved
Model B Ampico. These developments,
and other improvements to both the
piano and reproducing mechanisms
are well described and illustrated in
Larry Givens’ book on the Ampico. It
is apparent from reading this historical
account that Hickman made an
outstanding contribution to the development
of this reproducing piano.

There are few references to Hickman
in the trade press. Most searches
for the name return articles about Art
Hickman, an early jazz band leader.
In 1928, Edward S. Werolin (father
of Alf Werolin) and Dr. Hickman
were invited to attend a reading of a
paper on “An Acoustic Laboratory for
the Testing of Music and Other Steel

An excerpt from an article by William
Braid White, MTR technical editor, in the
March 1931 issue.

Wires” by William Braid White for the
American Iron and Steel Institute.
Interestingly enough, the same William