Volume 68, No 1. January/February 2022

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

Volume 68, No. 1 January/February 2022

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

Editor/Publisher

Russell Kasselman

(253) 228-1634

editor@mbsi.org

MBSI Editorial Office:

Iron Dog Media

130 Coral Court

Pismo Beach, CA 93449

editor@mbsi.org

Publications Chair

Bob Caletti

All manuscripts will be subject to editorial
review. Articles submitted for publication may
be edited or rejected at the discretion of the
Publications Committee and the Editorial
Staff. The article will not be published with
significant changes without the author’s
approval. All articles are considered to be the
author’s personal opinion. The author may be
asked to substantiate his/her statements.

Mechanical Music (ISSN 1045-795X) is published by
the Musical Box Society International, 130 Coral Court,
Pismo Beach, CA 93449 six times per year. A Directory
of Members, Museums and Dealers is published
biennially. Domestic subscription rate, $60. Periodicals
postage paid at San Luis Obispo, CA and additional
mailing offices.

Copyright 2022. The Musical Box Society International,
all rights reserved. Mechanical Music
cannot be copied, reproduced or transmitted in
whole or in part in any form whatsoever without
written consent of the Editor and the Executive
Committee.

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

POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO

MBSI, PO Box 10196,
Springfield, MO 65808-0196

Mechanical Music

Journal of the Musical Box Society International

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

Volume 68, No. 1 January/February 2022

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

Meeting Minutes

13 Annual Board of Trustees
Meeting Minutes

51 In Memoriam

Features

18 Notes from the 2021
Annual Meeting

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

42 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro

Chapter Reports

49 National Capital

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

Thomas Pletcher

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

On the Cover

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 3

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
M
M
echanical music is a fascinating hobby! It
appeals to the artist, historian, craftsman, and

musician all at the same time. Play an automatic

musical instrument in a room full of people and all else

will stop as the machine enraptures the audience with the

sparkling melodies of yesteryear!

Mechanical music instruments are any sort of auto

matically-played machine that produces melodic sound

including discs and cylinder music boxes that pluck a steel

comb; orchestrions and organs that engage many instru

ments at once using vacuum and air pressure; player and

reproducing pianos that use variable vacuum to strike piano

wires; phonographs; and self-playing stringed, wind, and

percussion instruments of any kind.

The Musical Box Society International, chartered by the

New York State Board of Regents, is a nonprofit society

dedicated to the enjoyment, study, and preservation of

automatic musical instruments. Founded in 1949, it now

has members around the world, and supports various

educational projects.

Regional chapters and an Annual Meeting held each year
in different cities within the United States enable members
to visit collections, exchange ideas, and attend educational
workshops. Members receive six issues of the journal,
Mechanical Music, which also contains advertising space
for members who wish to buy, sell, and restore mechanical
musical instruments and related items. Members also
receive the biennial MBSI Directory of Members, Museums,
and Dealers.

The only requirements for membership are an interest in
automatic music machines and the desire to share information
about them. And you’ll take pride in knowing you
are contributing to the preservation of these marvelous
examples of bygone craftsmanship.

More Information online at www.MBSI.org, or

Call: (417) 886-8839, or

Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net

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

Last name First Name Initial

Last Name First Name Initial

Address

City State / Zip Postal Code / Country

Phone Fax E-mail

Sponsor (optional)

Membership Dues

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

(online journal access only)

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

(Add $20 for International air mail.)

Join online: www.mbsi.org/join-mbsi

Check or Money Order Payable to: MBSI Treasurer (US Funds Only)
Mail to: New Member Registration – MBSI
PO Box 10196
Springfield, MO 65808-0196

Visa/MasterCard

Exp. Date CCV

Signature

4 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

By David Corkrum

MBSI President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MBSI MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
EACH ONE/REACH ONE NEW MEMBER

MBSI is always interested in increasing its membership and is pleased to offer new members a $15
discount off their rst year’s membership. You are considered a new member if you have not been a
member in the past three years. This discount is also available on our website, www.mbsi.org.

Current MBSI members who sponsor a new member will receive a $5 discount off their next year’s
MBSI membership renewal for each sponsorship. Attach a copy of the discount voucher below to a
copy of the membership application form on Page 4 of this issue of Mechanical Music. Place your
name as “sponsor” on the application form.

Please make copies of these forms as needed and send the completed forms with checks to the MBSI
administrator at the address listed below.



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


★★
®
(INTERNATIONAL)
ORGANIZED IN 1949
DEVOTED TO ALL MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Musical Box Society International
P.O. Box 10196
Springeld, MO 65808-0196
Phone/Fax: (417) 886-8839
Musical Box Society International
P.O. Box 10196
Springeld, MO 65808-0196
Phone/Fax: (417) 886-8839
Dues Voucher –$15
New U.S. members may join MBSI for one year at $45 (instead
of $60); Canadians $55 (instead of $70; and, other International
members at $60 (instead of $75). This certicate must
accompany payment and a copy of the completed membership
application from Page 4 of this issue of Mechanical Music.
New Member Name(s):
Expires: 01/01/2023
Authorized by MBSI Administrator
NEW MEMBER
GIFT CERTIFICATE
New members are those who have never been members
of MBSI or those who have not been members for three
years prior to submission of this voucher.
New members are those who have never
been members of MBSI or those who
have not been members for three years
prior to submission of this certicate.
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-year MBSI gift
memberships at $45 each U.S., $55 Canadian, or $60 other
International and you will receive $5 off your next year’s MBSI
membership renewal for each “New Member” gift.
Gift Membership Name
Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
Sponsor

Please mail this form together with your check made payable to “MBSI” to the MBSI Administrator at the address listed
above. Memberships are $45 for U.S. residents, $55 for Canadian residents, and $60 for other International residents.

Editor’s Notes

By Russell Kasselman

MBSI Editor/Publisher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EMAIL ADDRESS

editor@mbsi.org

PHONE

(253) 228-1634

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

Hope you are all having a Happy
New Year!

Outreach Corner
By Mary Ellen Myers

Special Exhibits Committee Chair

Did you know about
MBSI’s Traveling Display?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

indicate this to Bill as well. We want

this to be seen!

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

Minutes of the 72nd MBSI Annual Business Meeting

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

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

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

A moment of silence was observed
in remembrance.

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

Officers’ Reports

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

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

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

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

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

Committee Reports

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

The committee is also responsible
for the comparison of

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nominating Committee Chair Dan
Wilson presented the report. Chair

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

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

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

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

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

New Business

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

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Minutes of the Annual Trustees’ Meeting

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

Myers, Trustee Edward Cooley and Vice President Matt Jaro.

Fort Myers, FL — Aug. 31, 2021

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

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

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

As Recording Secretary Linda
Birkitt was unable to attend this

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

Old Business

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

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

Trustee Corkrum presented the Vice

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Although the Marketing Committee
Chair was unable to attend, discussion

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

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

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

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

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

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

No Membership Committee report
was submitted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The report was received.

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

of officers will be presented at the
Annual Business Meeting:

• President: David Corkrum to
serve a two-year term
• Vice President: Matt Jaro to serve
first one-year term
• Trustees: Richard Dutton to serve
first four-year term
• Tom Kuehn to serve an additional
two-year term per bylaws
• Ed Cooley to serve second
four-year term
• Mary Ellen Myers to serve second
four-year term
• Treasurer: Ed Kozak to serve
another one-year term
• Recording Secretary: Linda
Birkitt to serve another one-year
term.
The report was received.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Business

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

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

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

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

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

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

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

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17

Notes from the 2021

By B Bronson

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

One of the tours was that of the

fabulous Mark and Christel Yaffe

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

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

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

Annual Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continued on Page 25

The Yaffe Collection

Photo by Lowell Boehland

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Lowell Boehland

Photo by Robert Thomas

22 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Photo by Lowell Boehland

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Lowell Boehland

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

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

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

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

Continued from Page 20

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

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

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

Continued on Page 30

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

The Edgerton Collection

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Robert Thomas

28 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

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

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

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

to help play its last concert in Florida.

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

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

Continued on Page 39

30 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Lowell Boehland

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Robert Thomas

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Photo by Robert Thomas

Photo by Lowell Boehland

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

34 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Lowell Boehland

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

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 37

Photo by Robert Thomas Photo by Robert Thomas

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

Photo by Robert Thomas

38 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

Continued from Page 30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Claudia Molinari

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

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

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

Continued on Page 40

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

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 39

Continued from Page 39

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro

Thomas Pletcher, Q R S, and Bankruptcy

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

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

Early Years

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

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

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

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

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

42 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

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

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

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

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

Increasing Influence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43

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

Big Changes

1918 was a very important year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Pletcher Dumps the Piano
Business

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

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

Presto states (quoting Pletcher):

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

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

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

Q R S Moves Forward

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

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

Q R S and the Federal Trade
Commission

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

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

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

Of course, Pletcher had something
to say about this:

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

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

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

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

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

Q R S. Music Co. case Resale price

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 45

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

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

no further legal avenues open to them.

The Zenith Radio Adventure

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

According to the Concise Encyclopedia
of American Radio:

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

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

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

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

Redtop Radio Tubes

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

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

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

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

46 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

Q R S Records

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

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

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

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

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

DeVry

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

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 47

There are many other milestones
during the Pletcher years:

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

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

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

The End of the Pletcher Era

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the 1930s and 1940s Thomas

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

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

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

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

National Capital Chapter

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

Oct. 24, 2021 — Gaithersburg, MD

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

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

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

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

Jack Hardman checks one of the desserts
supplied by members

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

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

The balloting will be by mail/email.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Marilyn Dauphinee, 1934—2021

By Peter Dauphinee

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

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

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

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

Marilyn enjoyed music, starting with

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

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

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

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

In Memory of a Great Friend

By Frank Nix
with help from Mark Mercer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark, and a daughter, Ellen.

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

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

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 51

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

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

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

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

Advertise in The Mart

Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space
where you should be installing your next acquisition?
Ready to trade up, but need to sell one of your current
pieces first? Get the word out to other collectors by
advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an
inexpensive price.

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

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

Missed the Annual Meeting?

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

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

I Left My Heart in SanFran -cis-co
Aug. 31 – Sept. 5, 2022 I Left My Heart in SanFran -cis-co
Aug. 31 – Sept. 5, 2022
58th Annual Meeting of the
Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association
& 72nd Annual Meeting of the Musical Box Society International

Hosted by the AMICA Founding Chapter
and the MBSI Golden Gate Chapter

San Mateo Marriott, near
the San Franciso Airport
in San Mateo, California

Ride the train through the redwoods to the top of the mountain

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

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

(802) 728-9694 (802) 728-9694
Music Box Company, Inc.

We restore Swiss cylinder and disc music boxes.

• Cylinders are repinned if necessary and all worn
parts are rebuilt to original specifications or better.
• Combs are repaired and tuned. Nickel plated parts
are replated as needed.
Trust your prized music box to the finest quality
restoration available. We have been accused of over
restoring! Better over than under I say!

We will pick up your music box anywhere east of the
Mississippi River, and transport it to our shop in
Randolph, Vermont, where it will be stored in a
climate-controlled area until it’s finished and returned.

We have a complete machine shop where we build Porter
Music Boxes, more than 3,000 so far. We are unique in
the industry in that we are capable of manufacturing any
part needed to restore any music box.

See our website, www.PorterMusicBox.com, to read
letters of recommendation and browse a selection of the
finest disc boxes currently being manufactured anywhere
in the world. We have twin disc models, single disc
models with 121/4” or15 1/ “ discs, and table models with
beautiful cabinets created for us in Italy. Also we can

occasions.

P.O Box 424
Randolph, VT 05060

support.

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

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

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

Supplement to

colour throughout with Additional Illustrations of Models, 89 Additional Lid
The Disc Musical Box Pictures Additions to Lists of Models, Patents, Tune Lists & Serial Numbers;
Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.

Compiled and Edited by
Kevin McElhone

Originally published in 2012 and still available The Disc Musical Box

ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9

is a compendium of information about Disc Musical Boxes, their Makers and
their Music; profusely illustrated in colour throughout with Illustrations of
each Disk Musical Box Model, and with Catalogue Scans, Lists of Models,
Patents & Tune Lists.

Supplement to

Compiled and Edited by
Kevin McElhone

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

Patents, Tune Lists & Tuning Scales; A New Section on Trade Cards;
Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.

The Organette Book is a compendium of information about Organettes,
their Makers and their Music. Originally published in 2000 but now out of
print although second-hand copies are occasionally available in online
auctions.

************************************************************************************************************************
For all MBSGB Publications, please refer to the Musical Box Society of Great Britain website for further details including latest
availability, discounted prices and information on how to order. -www.mbsgb.org.uk

58 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

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

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

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

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

P.O.Box 130807, Tampa, Florida 33681-0807
Tel: (001) 813 831 0357, Email: NGPAmerica@aol.com, Web: www.lgbtours.com
Let’s keep the music playing

Have you solved a problem while repairing,
restoring or maintaining a mechanical music box?

Cylinder boxes, disc boxes, band organs,
orchestrions and nickelodeons each have
their own special needs.

Share your restoration or maintenance tips with other
mechanical music enthusiasts.

Email editor@mbsi.org, call (253) 228-1634

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

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

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

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

60 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

FOR SALE
MARVELS OF MECHANICAL MUSIC -MBSI

THE MART

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

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

ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID

We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.

ADVERTISING DEADLINES:

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

Display ads may be submitted camera-ready, as PDF files, or with text and
instructions. File submission guidelines available on request.

Errors attributable to Mechanical Music, and of a significant nature, will be
corrected in the following issue without charge, upon notification.

CLASSIFIED ADS

• 47¢ per word
• ALL CAPS, italicized and bold
words: 60¢ each.
• Minimum Charge: $11 per ad.
• Limit: One ad in each category
• Format: See ads for style
• Restrictions: Ads are strictly
limited to mechanical musical
instruments and related items and
services
• MBSI member’s name must
appear in ad
• Non-members may advertise at the
rates listed plus a 10% surcharge
PLEASE NOTE:

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

Mechanical Music

Mechanical Music is mailed to all
members at the beginning of every
odd month — January, March, May,
July, September and November.

MBSI Advertising Statement

It is to be hereby understood
that the placing of advertisements
by members of the Society in this
publication does not constitute nor
shall be deemed to constitute any
endorsement or approval of the business
practices of advertisers. The
Musical Box Society International
accepts no liability in connection
with any business dealings between
members and such advertisers.

It is to be further understood that
members are to rely on their own
investigation and opinion regarding
the reputation and integrity of
advertisers in conducting such business
dealings with said advertisers.

variety of antique musical boxes, discs,
orphan cylinders, reproducing piano rolls &
out of print books about mechanical music.
BILL WINEBURGH 973-927-0484 Web:
antiquemusicbox.us

THE GOLDEN AGE of AUTOMATIC MUSICAL
INSTRUMENTS By ART REBLITZ.
Award-winning classic that brings historical,
musical, and technical information to life
with hundreds of large, vivid color photos.
We guarantee you’ll find it to be one of the
most interesting, inspiring, informative books
you have in your library–or your money back.
Everyone has been delighted, and some
readers have ordered several copies. Get
your copy today for $99 plus S/H. MECHANICAL
MUSIC PRESS-M, 70 Wild Ammonoosuc
Rd., Woodsville, NH 03785. (603) 747-2636.

http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

Each One
Reach One
New Member
musical instruments, how they are collected
and preserved today, and their historic
importance, MBSI members and collections
are featured. $20 USD. Free shipping in the
continental U.S. Additional postage charges
apply for other locations. Purchase now at
www.mbsi.org

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

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

SUBMIT ADS TO:

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

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

WANTED SERVICES WANTED SERVICES
Display Advertisers

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

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

SAVE $’s on REUGE & THORENS MUSIC
BOX REPAIR & RESTORATION – MBSI
MEMBERS RECEIVE WHOLESALE PRICING.

40 + Years experience servicing all makes
& models of cylinder and disc music boxes,
bird boxes, bird cages, musical watches, Anri
musical figurines, et al. All work guaranteed.
We’re the only REUGE FACTORY AUTHORIZED
Parts & Repair Service Center for all of North
America. Contact: DON CAINE -The Music
Box Repair Center Unlimited, 24703 Pennsylvania
Ave., Lomita, CA 90717-1516. Phone:

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

Have some spare parts or extra
rolls taking up the space where
you should be installing your next
acquisition? Ready to trade up,
but need to sell one of your current
pieces first? Get the word out to
other collectors by advertising in
The Mart, an effective advertising
tool at an inexpensive price.

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

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

Add a photo to your ad!
You know the old saying, “A photo
is worth 1,000 words!” For $30 you
can add a photo to your ad in the
Mart.
A photo makes your ad stand out
on the page and quickly draws a
reader’s interest in the item.
Email your advertisement with
photo to editor@mbsi.org or call
(253) 228-1634 for more details.
Name
Phone
Email
Text of ad

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

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

Call MBSI Administrator Jacque Beeman at

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

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

OFFICERS COMMITTEES Membership Committee Nominating Committee

Chair, TBD Dan Wilson, Chair

President Audit

David Corkrum, President Tom Kuehn, Immediate Past Pres.

David Corkrum Edward Cooley, Chair, Trustee

Richard Dutton, Trustee Bob Caletti, Golden Gate, Trustee

5826 Roberts Avenue Dave Calendine, Trustee

Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee, Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,

Oakland, CA 94605 Matt Jaro, Vice President

Southeast Southeast

musikwerke@att.net

Endowment Committee Robin Biggins, Southern California Jonathan Hoyt, Golden Gate
Edward Kozak, Treasurer, Chair Judy Caletti, Golden Gate Robin Biggins, Southern California
Vice President Edward Cooley, Trustee Gary Goldsmith, Snowbelt Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan
Matthew Jaro Dave Calendine, Trustee Julie Morlock, Southeast

Publications Committee

24219 Clematis Dr B Bronson Rob Pollock, Mid-America

Bob Caletti, Chair, Trustee

Gaithersburg, MD 20882 Wayne Wolf Florie Hirsch, National Capital

Richard Dutton, Trustee

mjaro@verizon.net Dan Wilson, Piedmont

Executive Committee Steve Boehck

Gerald Yorioka, Northwest Int’l

David Corkrum, Chair, President Christian Eric

Recording Secretary TBD, East Coast

Matthew Jaro, Vice President Kathleen Eric

Linda Birkitt TBD, Lake Michigan

Tom Kuehn, Immediate Past Pres.

PO Box 541 TBD, Sunbelt Publications

Dave Calendine, Trustee

Sub-Committee

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

Bob Caletti, Trustee Museum Committee

Website Committee

scarletpimpernel28@yahoo.com Sally Craig, Chair

Finance Committee Rick Swaney, Chair

Matt Jaro, Vice President

Treasurer Edward Kozak, Chair, Treasurer B Bronson

Glenn Crater, National Capital

Edward Kozak Wayne Wolf, Vice Chair Don Henry

Ken Envall, Southern California

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

Julian Grace, Sunbelt

Chicago, IL 60618 Peter Both

Richard Simpson, East Coast Special Exhibits Committee

ekozak1970@gmail.com

Marketing Committee Chair Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,

Museum Sub-Committees

Bob Smith, Chair Southeast

Ohio Operations

Dave Calendine, Trustee David Corkrum, President,

Rob Pollock, Mid-America

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

Meetings Committee

Bob Caletti SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Jack Hostetler, Southeast

Matt Jaro, Chair, Vice President

Edward Cooley Knowles Little, National Capital

Judy Caletti Publications Back Issues:

David Corkrum Judy Miller, Piedmont

Tom Chase Jacque Beeman

Richard Dutton Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan

Cotton Morlock

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

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

MBSI Pins and Seals: MBSI Editorial Office:

Mary Ellen Myers Jacque Beeman Iron Dog Media
130 Coral Court

Librarian:

Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Jerry Maler

editor@mbsi.org

Historian:

Bob Yates

MBSI FUNDS

Members can donate to these funds at any time.
Send donations to: General Fund (unrestricted)
MBSI Administrator, Endowment Fund (promotes the purposes of MBSI, restricted)
PO Box 10196, Ralph Heintz Publications Fund (special literary projects)
Springfield, MO 65808-0196. Museum Fund (supports museum operations)

All manuscripts will be subject to editorial review. Committee and the Editorial Staff. are considered to be the author’s personal opinion.
Articles submitted for publication may be edited The article will not be published with significant The author may be asked to substantiate his/her
or rejected at the discretion of the Publications changes without the author’s approval. All articles statements.

64 MECHANICAL MUSIC January/February 2022

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

CONTACTS

Administrator Jacque Beeman handles back issues (if available) $6;
damaged or issues not received, address changes, MBSI Directory
listing changes, credit card charge questions, book orders, status of your
membership, membership renewal, membership application, and MBSI
Membership Brochures.
P.O. Box 10196
Springfield, MO 65808-0196
Phone/Fax (417) 886-8839
jbeeman.mbsi@att.net

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

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

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

CHAPTERS

Snowbelt

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

Southeast

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

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

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

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

CHAPTERS

East Coast

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

Golden Gate

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

Japan

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

Lake Michigan

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

Mid-America

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

National Capital

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

Northwest International

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

Piedmont

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

Southern California

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

Sunbelt

Chair: Ray Dickey
(713) 467-0349
Dues $10 to Diane Caudill
4585 Felder Road
Washington, TX 77880

Copyright 2022 the Musical Box Society International, all rights reserved. Permission to reproduce by any means, in whole or in part, must be obtained in writing
from the MBSI Executive Committee and the Editor. Mechanical Music is published in the even months. ISSN 1045-795X

January/February 2022 MECHANICAL MUSIC 65

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

7

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

Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

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

Weber Unika Weber Maesto Weber Otero Seeburg KT Special Bowfront Violano

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

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

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

Volume 67, No. 6 November/December 2021

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

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

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

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

All manuscripts will be subject to editorial review. Articles submitted for publication may be edited or rejected at the discretion of the Publications Committee and the Editorial Staff. The article will not be published with significant changes without the author’s approval. All articles are considered to be the author’s personal opinion. The author may be asked to substantiate his/her statements.
Mechanical Music (ISSN 1045-795X) is published by the Musical Box Society International, 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 six times per year. A Direc.tory of Members, Museums and Dealers is published biennially. Domestic subscription rate, $60. Periodicals postage paid at San Luis Obispo, CA and additional mailing offices.
Copyright 2021. The Musical Box Society Inter.national, all rights reserved. Mechanical Music cannot be copied, reproduced or transmitted in whole or in part in any form whatsoever without written consent of the Editor and the Executive Committee.
MEMBERS: SEND ADDRESS CORRECTIONS TO: MBSI, PO Box 10196, Springfield, MO 65808-0196 Or, make corrections on the website at www.mbsi.org.
POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO
MBSI, PO Box 10196, Springfield, MO 65808-0196
Features
11 Nickel Notes by Matt Jaro 23 Deconstructing a collection 25 The Silver Swan 30 Digitizing Discs

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

MBSI has replanted 146 trees so far as

part of the Print ReLeaf program.

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

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 3

M
echanical music is a fascinating hobby! It appeals to the artist, historian, craftsman, and
musician all at the same time. Play an automatic
musical instrument in a room full of people and all else
will stop as the machine enraptures the audience with the
sparkling melodies of yesteryear!

Mechanical music instruments are any sort of auto.
matically-played machine that produces melodic sound
including discs and cylinder music boxes that pluck a steel
comb; orchestrions and organs that engage many instru.
ments at once using vacuum and air pressure; player and
reproducing pianos that use variable vacuum to strike piano
wires; phonographs; and self-playing stringed, wind, and
percussion instruments of any kind.

The Musical Box Society International, chartered by the
New York State Board of Regents, is a nonprofit society
dedicated to the enjoyment, study, and preservation of
automatic musical instruments. Founded in 1949, it now
has members around the world, and supports various educational projects.
Regional chapters and an Annual Meeting held each year in different cities within the United States enable members to visit collections, exchange ideas, and attend educational workshops. Members receive six issues of the journal, Mechanical Music, which also contains advertising space for members who wish to buy, sell, and restore mechanical musical instruments and related items. Members also receive the biennial MBSI Directory of Members, Muse.ums, and Dealers.
The only requirements for membership are an interest in automatic music machines and the desire to share infor.mation about them. And you’ll take pride in knowing you are contributing to the preservation of these marvelous examples of bygone craftsmanship.
More Information online at www.MBSI.org, or
Call: (417) 886-8839, or
Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net

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

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

US members (per household)……………………………………….$60 Student Membership $20
(online journal access only)
Canada…………………………………………………………………………$70 Other International………………………………………………………$75
(Add $20 for International air mail.)
Join online: www.mbsi.org/join-mbsi
Check or Money Order Payable to: MBSI Treasurer (US Funds Only) Mail to: New Member Registration – MBSI PO Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196
Visa/MasterCard
Exp. Date CCV
Signature

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

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

In order for anything

A Lasting Legacy
once alive to have meaning, its effect must remain alive in eternity in some way
– Ernest Becker, Philosopher

The Musical Box Society International Throughout its history, MBSI has fostered an interest in and preservation of is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. automatic musical instruments. Your gift to the Endowment Fund will All donations to the Endowment support programs that will help future generations appreciate these Fund are tax deductible. achievements of man’s creative genius. Visit www.mbsi.org to learn more. A gift of any size is welcome.
MBSI MEMBERSHIP DRIVE EACH ONE/REACH ONE NEW MEMBER
MBSI is always interested in increasing its membership and is pleased to offer new members a $15 discount off their ÿrst year’s membership. You are considered a new member if you have not been a member in the past three years. This discount is also available on our website, www.mbsi.org.
Current MBSI members who sponsor a new member will receive a $5 discount off their next year’s MBSI membership renewal for each sponsorship. Attach a copy of the discount voucher below to a copy of the membership application form on Page 4 of this issue of Mechanical Music. Place your name as “sponsor” on the application form.
Please make copies of these forms as needed and send the completed forms with checks to the MBSI administrator at the address listed below.

been members of MBSI or those who have not been members for three years prior to submission of this certiÿcate.
Gift Membership Name

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

Please mail this form together with your check made payable to “MBSI” to the MBSI Administrator at the address listed above. Memberships are $45 for U.S. residents, $55 for Canadian residents, and $60 for other International residents.
Editor’s Notes
By Russell Kasselman
MBSI Editor/Publisher
It seems each time I begin putting together an issue of this journal I find myself wondering what I’m
going to fill it with. By the end of the process, I’m consistently amazed at the fantastic content that has made itself available from our members who have such great stories to share. If you haven’t yet shared the story of one of the pieces in your collection, or an experience you had as a member of this society, please consider doing so. Imagine yourself at “Show and Tell” in grammar school and let the rest of us see the joy you have in being part of this hobby.
I owe thanks to Matt Jaro (now MBSI vice president if you hadn’t heard) for his regular Nickel Notes column with great coverage of the Reidy collection and their mechanical music story.
Thanks also go to regular contrib.utor Dr. Robert Penna for his article on the Silver Swan, a masterpiece created more than 200 years ago from 30 pounds of silver and currently on display in England.
Dr. Albert Lötz has contributed another detailed piece of writing, this time covering a method he has used to create digital MP3 audio files from photographs of a disc. You can even listen to the results of his work on the MBSI website.
Mark Singleton, recently retired and finding himself with more time to write, sent in a report on a music box recital held at a church in Germany. It’s another good example of mechan.ical music lovers exposing more of the public to the machines and music we already know and appreciate. I applaud both the efforts of the recital presenter and the author for bringing this event to our attention.
I am also quite excited to note that this issue contains something that’s been missing from this magazine for far too long, chapter reports! We have two reports from the Southern Cali.fornia Chapter, one from the National Capital Chapter and an update from the Northwest International Chapter. Everyone is taking precautions to stay safe while the pandemic continues, but it is absolutely wonderful (in my humble opinion) to see people getting together again to listen and look at music boxes.
Traditionally, the November/Decem.ber issue of this magazine is filled with images from, and an article about, the MBSI Annual Meeting that has just taken place. The timing of the meeting this year, and some circumstances beyond our control, have resulted in a slight delay to that schedule.
Don’t despair, though, as we have received a deluge of wonderful photos from those who were able to attend the convention. We’ll have a great write-up to go along with it as well as the minutes from the annual Board
MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial / Advertising 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
of Trustees meeting and the minutes from the annual general membership meeting.
Financial reports for the most recent year are available in this issue for your review, starting on Page 8.
The cover for this issue comes from Lowell Boehland’s set of photos taken during the tour of William Edgerton’s collection. The photo features an 1876 Dufner barrel organ, one of only three known Dufner machines left in the world and a fabulous example. Look for more photos of this machine and others from Lowell in the next issue.
I would like to welcome new photo.graphic contributor Robert Thomas in this issue as well. Two double-page spread photos from Robert’s annual meeting experience can be found on pages 34 and 36 in this issue. Addi.tional shots from Robert and also from Trustee Edward Cooley will be making great impressions on you in the coming year.
In closing, I wish you all the merri.est of holidays and a wonderful start to your new year. I hope to see you all in sunny California next fall for the joint MBSI/AMICA annual meeting in San Mateo, CA.

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

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

Nickel Notes
By Matthew Jaro

The Reidy Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The publicity flyer for the event.

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

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

My collections are categorized and valuated.


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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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

24 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
Curiouser
and
Curiouser

The amazing Silver Swan automaton
By Dr. Robert Penna

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

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

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

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

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 27

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

28 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

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

Sources

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

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

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

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

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

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 29

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

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

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

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

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

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

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

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

“An der Weser’’

Intermezzo from

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

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

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

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

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

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

Members enjoying the sound of a DeCap dance organ.

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

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

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

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

Paul Senger plays a tune for a visiting family.

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

Jan Bender and Engineer Ernie discuss their unique talents.

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

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

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

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

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

An overview of the music room.

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

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

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

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

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

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

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


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


Never bring food or drink near

any of the instruments.

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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 51
Advertise in The Mart

Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space where you should be installing your next acquisition? Ready to trade up, but need to sell one of your current pieces first? Get the word out to other collectors by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Go online to place your advertisement at www.mbsi.org, fill out the form in the Mart section, or contact Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 to get started. You may also email advertisements to editor@mbsi.org

A Lasting Legacy

Throughout its history, MBSI has fostered an interest in and preservation of automatic musical instruments. Your gift to the Endowment Fund will support programs that will help future generations appreciate these achievements of man’s creative genius. Visit www.mbsi.org to learn more.

In order for anything once alive to have meaning, its effect must remain alive in eternity in some way
– Ernest Becker, Philosopher
The Musical Box Society International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations to the Endowment Fund are tax deductible. A gift of any size is welcome.

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

Missed the Annual Meeting?

Table favors from MBSI’s 71st annual meeting, held in Fort Myers, FL., are now available for purchase. In keeping with the theme “Young at Heart” these playful carousels are reminiscent of younger times. As the horses revolve, the song of the Sunshine State, “You are my Sunshine,” plays.
Favors are $25 each,
or 2 for $45, plus shipping.
$10 for East Coast,
$15 West Coast,
$12 in between.
Instructions for winding,
placing the ˜ag and
the label are in the
mailing box.
Send your check, made payable to “Southeast MBSI” and the number of favors desired to Wayne and Mary Ellen Myers, 2165 Blue Iris Place, Longwood, Fl 32779. Call 407-739-5086 or 407-630-1360 for more info.

58th Annual Meeting of the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association & 72nd Annual Meeting of the Musical Box Society International

Hosted by the AMICA Founding Chapter and the MBSI Golden Gate Chapter
San Mateo Marriott, near the San Franciso Airport in San Mateo, California

Ride the train through the redwoods to the top of the mountain

Stanton’s Auctioneers Upcoming Music Machine Auction Located at 1350 N. M-37 Highway, at the Barry Expo Center, Hastings, Michigan on: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, January 6, 7, and 8, 2022 We have now begun work on our winter music machine auction. The sale already includes the Ron Sitko Estate Collection including machines and related phonographs with a Rare Berliner Tin Can Ratchet Wind example, Berliner JS, 2 Edison Bijou Coin-operated phonographs, Bettini reproducers, cabinets, and more. In addition to the Sitko Estate, we have also received the collections of the Chris Janko Estate and the Koontz Estate both from Northern California. These collections contain disc and cylinder music boxes, clocks, and wood horn phonographs. In addition to these collections, the sale will also include the Leland Fletcher Estate Collection from San Diego that includes an excellent representation of music boxes, Mills Violano with Midi, Reginaphone OAK Lions Head Style 240 combination music box and phonograph, a fantastic collection of clocks and watches, and more. We are currently accepting individual machines and collections of phonographs, music boxes, nickelodeons, and band organs, as well as high end antiques and coin operated items. Call us to discuss your items, collections, and the estates that you may be representing. We also continue to work with museums around North America in the deaccession of items and our efforts to find interested buyers for the items through our catalogs, online promotion, mailers, and phone bidding. Stanton’s can arrange pickup of your collections anywhere around the country.
Stanton’s Auctioneers, Steven E. Stanton Appraisers, & Realtors (517) 331-8150 cellular144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146 ’E-mail – stevenEstanton@gmail.comVermontville, MI 49096 SAUCTIONEERS & REALTORS TANTONS Phone: (517) 726-0181 Michael C. Bleisch Fax: (517) 726-0060 (517) 231-0868 cellular E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com Website: www.stantons-auctions.com

Music Box Company, Inc.
We restore Swiss cylinder and disc music boxes.

Cylinders are repinned if necessary and all worn parts are rebuilt to original specifications or better.


Combs are repaired and tuned. Nickel plated parts are replated as needed.

Trust your prized music box to the finest quality restoration available. We have been accused of over restoring! Better over than under I say!
We will pick up your music box anywhere east of the Mississippi River, and transport it to our shop in Randolph, Vermont, where it will be stored in a climate-controlled area until it’s finished and returned.
We have a complete machine shop where we build Porter Music Boxes, more than 3,000 so far. We are unique in the industry in that we are capable of manufacturing any part needed to restore any music box.
See our website, www.PorterMusicBox.com, to read letters of recommendation and browse a selection of the finest disc boxes currently being manufactured anywhere in the world. We have twin disc models, single disc models with 121/4” or15 1/
“ discs, and table models with beautiful cabinets created for us in Italy. Also we can
occasions.
P.O Box 424 Randolph, VT 05060

support.

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

The Musical Box Society of Great Britain announces the publication of two new books Published in September 2018

100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27” . 11.70”; Profusely illustrated in
Supplement to

colour throughout with Additional Illustrations of Models, 89 Additional Lid The Disc Musical Box Pictures Additions to Lists of Models, Patents, Tune Lists & Serial Numbers; Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.
Compiled and Edited by Kevin McElhone Originally published in 2012 and still available The Disc Musical Box
ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9
is a compendium of information about Disc Musical Boxes, their Makers and their Music; profusely illustrated in colour throughout with Illustrations of each Disk Musical Box Model, and with Catalogue Scans, Lists of Models, Patents & Tune Lists.
Supplement to

Compiled and Edited by Kevin McElhone
100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27” . 11.70”; Profusely illustrated in
Patents, Tune Lists & Tuning Scales; A New Section on Trade Cards; Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.
The Organette Book is a compendium of information about Organettes, their Makers and their Music. Originally published in 2000 but now out of print although second-hand copies are occasionally available in online auctions.

************************************************************************************************************************ For all MBSGB Publications, please refer to the Musical Box Society of Great Britain website for further details including latest availability, discounted prices and information on how to order. -www.mbsgb.org.uk
58 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

4-4time.com
“I am still delighted with the machines I bought from you. Your prices were fair, everything was just as you described it.”
– Joe… Baraboo, WI, April 2020
Browse our selection of music boxes,

Call / Text: 256-702-7453 Email: four.four_time@yahoo.com

November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 59

MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 3 May/June 2017
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 1 January/February 2017

CIRCULATION
Mechanical Music is mailed to more than 1,500 members of the Musical Box Society International six (6) times per year.
ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
The Musical Box Society International
accepts VISA, Mastercard and online
payments via PayPal.
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
DISPLAY ADVERTISING DIMENSIONS & PER ISSUE COSTS

Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $247
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43

Non-members pay a 10% surcharge on the above rates
Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads
10% Discount 6 consecutive ads
15% Discount
EIGHTH CLASSIFIED ADS PAGE
QUARTER
3.5” x 2.125” • 47¢ per word
FULL PAGE PAGE
• ALL CAPS, italicized and
3.5” x 4.5”
bold words: 60¢ each.
8.75” X 11.25”
• Minimum Charge: $11.
(0.5” bleed)
• Limit: One ad in each category
7.25” x 9.75”
• Format: See ads for style
(live area) HALF PAGE
• Restrictions: Ads are strictly
HORIZONTAL
limited to mechanical musi.
7.25” x 4.5”
cal instruments and related items and services

PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
ISSUE NAME ADS DUE DELIVERED ON
January/February December 1
January 1 March/April February 1
March 1 May/June April 1
May 1 July/August June 1
July 1 September/October August 1
September 1 November/December October 1
November 1

PRINTING & ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
Mechanical Music is printed on 70 lb gloss Email fi les to: paper, with a 100 lb gloss cover, sad-mbsi@irondogmedia.com dle-stitched. Trim size is 8.25” x 10.75”.
USPS or Fed Ex to: Artwork is accepted in the following for-Iron Dog Media, LLC mats: PDF, PSD, AI, EPS, TIF. All images 130 Coral Court and colors should be CMYK or Grayscale Pismo Beach, CA 93449 and all fonts should be embedded or converted to outlines. Images should be a minimum of 300 dpi resolution.
Of Special Interest!

I have just acquired the collection of the late Charlie Moore, well-known restorer and collector of Organettes, as well as the only person known to have made reproduction roller organ cobs. Charlie was honest and gentle, quick with a smile and a hug…one of those people who you wish there were more of in the world. He was giving of his knowledge of his ‘hobby’ and enjoyed sharing his passion.
It is now time to find appreciative homes for the things he treasured most. There are over 150 pieces in the collection and it will take time to inventory everything, but all items are for sale now. Call me!
Part of the collection consists of over 40 roller organs playing 6” cobs including Concert Roller Organs, early cob organs, open bellows, enclosed square cased, home models, etc. Because of the number of repetitive pieces, these will be sold by the piece or in quantity at a discount. There are paper roll Organettes; Organettes playing cardboard and zinc discs, and machines playing cardboard book music. There are five GRAND ROLLER ORGANS. There are at least 70 cartons to open that should contain both new and original cobs and maybe some interesting surprises! There are empty cases, parts/project boxes, and cardboard boxes filled with…????

Nancy Fratti Music Boxes
PO Box 400 – Canastota NY 13032 USA 315-684-9977 — musicbox@frontiernet.net

VINTAGE 1972 REUGE 4.50 MUSIC BOX
THE MART
burlwood inlay with butterflies. Mechanism
RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a serviced professionally 8/2021. Plays four
variety of antique musical boxes, discs, arrangements composed by Strauss. Rich
orphan cylinders, reproducing piano rolls & resonance. $1,200.00. Contact MARY-HOPE
out of print books about mechanical music. MILLIGAN, at (704) 437-0495
BILL WINEBURGH 973-927-0484 Web:
Display Advertising Dimensions and Costs
Dimensions 1 issue 3 issues* 6 issues*
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $246
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43
Add a 10% surcharge to the prices shown above if you are not a member of MBSI.
*Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount

ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID
We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.
ADVERTISING DEADLINES:
The 1st day of each even month: Feb., Apr., Jun, Aug., Oct. and Dec.
Display ads may be submitted camera-ready, as PDF files, or with text and instructions. File submission guidelines available on request.
Errors attributable to Mechanical Music, and of a significant nature, will be corrected in the following issue without charge, upon notification.
CLASSIFIED ADS

47¢ per word


ALL CAPS, italicized and bold words: 60¢ each.


Minimum Charge: $11 per ad.


Limit: One ad in each category


Format: See ads for style


Restrictions: Ads are strictly limited to mechanical musical instruments and related items and services


MBSI member’s name must appear in ad


Non-members may advertise at the rates listed plus a 10% surcharge

PLEASE NOTE:
The first two words (or more at your choice) and the member’s name will be printed in all caps/bold and charged at 60¢ per word.
Mechanical Music
Mechanical Music is mailed to all members at the beginning of every odd month — January, March, May, July, September and November.
MBSI Advertising Statement
It is to be hereby understood that the placing of advertisements by members of the Society in this publication does not constitute nor shall be deemed to constitute any endorsement or approval of the busi.ness practices of advertisers. The Musical Box Society International accepts no liability in connection with any business dealings between members and such advertisers.
It is to be further understood that members are to rely on their own investigation and opinion regarding the reputation and integrity of advertisers in conducting such busi.ness dealings with said advertisers.
antiquemusicbox.us
THE GOLDEN AGE of AUTOMATIC MUSI.CAL INSTRUMENTS By ART REBLITZ. Award-winning classic that brings historical, musical, and technical information to life with hundreds of large, vivid color photos. We guarantee you’ll find it to be one of the most interesting, inspiring, informative books you have in your library–or your money back. Everyone has been delighted, and some readers have ordered several copies. Get your copy today for $99 plus S/H. MECHANI.CAL MUSIC PRESS-M, 70 Wild Ammonoosuc Rd., Woodsville, NH 03785. (603) 747-2636.
http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

MARVELS OF MECHANICAL MUSIC -MBSI Video. Fascinating and beautifully-made film which explains the origins of automatic musical instruments, how they are collected and preserved today, and their historic importance, MBSI members and collections are featured. $20 USD. Free shipping in the continental U.S. Additional postage charges apply for other locations. Purchase now at www.mbsi.org
SUBMIT ADS TO:
MBSI Ads 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (253) 228-1634 Email: editor@mbsi.org

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021

Display Advertisers
BAND ORGAN wanted. Wurlitzer 153 with lights. Good playing condition. Contact DON KRONLEIN, at fbac@one-eleven.net or (217) 620-8650

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

SAVE $’s on REUGE & THORENS MUSIC BOX REPAIR & RESTORATION – MBSI MEMBERS RECEIVE WHOLESALE PRICING.
40 + Years experience servicing all makes & models of cylinder and disc music boxes, bird boxes, bird cages, musical watches, Anri musical figurines, et al. All work guaranteed. We’re the only REUGE FACTORY AUTHORIZED Parts & Repair Service Center for all of North America. Contact: DON CAINE -The Music Box Repair Center Unlimited, 24703 Pennsyl.vania Ave., Lomita, CA 90717-1516. Phone:
(310) 534-1557 Email: MBRCU@AOL.COM. On the Web: www.musicboxrepaircenter.com
Advertise in The Mart
Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space where you should be installing your next acquisition? Ready to trade up, but need to sell one of your current pieces first? Get the word out to other collectors by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Fill out the form below and mail to MBSI at 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449. Call (253) 228.1634 with questions.
3………. Renaissance Antiques 52…….. Music Box Restorations 52…….. Miller Organ Clock 53…….. Morphy Auctions 54…….. Southeast Chapter 55…….. Golden Gate Chapter 56…….. Stanton Auctions 57…….. Porter Music Box Company 58…….. MBSGB 58…….. American Treasure Tour 59…….. Reeder Pianos 59…….. Cottone Auctions 59…….. Ben’s Player Piano Service 59…….. 4-4Time.com 61…….. Nancy Fratti Music Boxes 66…….. Marty Persky Music Boxes 67…….. Special Auction Services 68…….. Auction Team Breker
Name Phone Email Text of ad

ORDER EXTRA COPIES
Call MBSI Administrator Jacque Beeman at
(417) 886-8839 or send a check to: Musical Box Society International P.O. Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 63

OFFICERS, TRUSTEES & COMMITTEES of the MUSICAL BOX SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL®
OFFICERS COMMITTEES Membership Committee Nominating Committee
Chair, TBD Dan Wilson, Chair
President Audit
David Corkrum, President Tom Kuehn, Immediate Past Pres.

David Corkrum Edward Cooley, Chair, Trustee Richard Dutton, Trustee Bob Caletti, Golden Gate, Trustee 5826 Roberts Avenue Dave Calendine, Trustee Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee, Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee, Oakland, CA 94605 Matt Jaro, Vice President
Southeast Southeast musikwerke@att.net

Endowment Committee Robin Biggins, Southern California Jonathan Hoyt, Golden Gate Edward Kozak, Treasurer, Chair Judy Caletti, Golden Gate Robin Biggins, Southern California Vice President Edward Cooley, Trustee Gary Goldsmith, Snowbelt Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan Matthew Jaro Dave Calendine, Trustee Julie Morlock, Southeast
Publications Committee

24219 Clematis Dr B Bronson Rob Pollock, Mid-America Bob Caletti, Chair, Trustee Gaithersburg, MD 20882 Wayne Wolf Paul Senger, National Capital Richard Dutton, Trustee mjaro@verizon.net Dan Wilson, Piedmont
Executive Committee Steve Boehck
Gerald Yorioka, Northwest Int’l

David Corkrum, Chair, President Christian Eric
Recording Secretary TBD, East Coast
Matthew Jaro, Vice President Kathleen Eric
Linda Birkitt TBD, Lake Michigan
Tom Kuehn, Immediate Past Pres.
PO Box 541 TBD, Sunbelt Publications
Dave Calendine, Trustee
Sub-Committee
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

Bob Caletti, Trustee Museum Committee
Website Committee

scarletpimpernel28@yahoo.com Sally Craig, Chair
Finance Committee Rick Swaney, Chair
Matt Jaro, Vice President

Treasurer Edward Kozak, Chair, Treasurer B Bronson
Glenn Crater, National Capital

Edward Kozak Wayne Wolf, Vice Chair Don Henry
Ken Envall, Southern California

3615 North Campbell Avenue Edward Cooley, Trustee Knowles Little, Web Secretary
Julian Grace, Sunbelt
Chicago, IL 60618 Peter Both Richard Simpson, East Coast Special Exhibits Committeeekozak1970@gmail.com

Marketing Committee Chair Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,
Museum Sub-Committees

Bob Smith, Chair Southeast
Ohio Operations

Dave Calendine, Trustee David Corkrum, President,
Rob Pollock, Mid-America

TRUSTEES Judy Caletti Golden Gate Dave Calendine Donald Caine, Southern California
Meetings Committee
Bob Caletti SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Jack Hostetler, Southeast
Matt Jaro, Chair, Vice President
Edward Cooley Knowles Little, National Capital
Judy Caletti Publications Back Issues:
David Corkrum Judy Miller, Piedmont
Tom Chase Jacque Beeman
Richard Dutton Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan
Cotton Morlock
G.Wayne Finger Regina Certificates: Wayne Myers, Southeast
Rich Poppe
Matt Jaro B Bronson Rick Swaney, Northwest Int’l Tom Kuehn
MBSI Pins and Seals: MBSI Editorial Office:

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

Members can donate to these funds at any time. Send donations to: General Fund (unrestricted) MBSI Administrator, Endowment Fund (promotes the purposes of MBSI, restricted) PO Box 10196, Ralph Heintz Publications Fund (special literary projects) Springfield, MO 65808-0196. Museum Fund (supports museum operations)
All manuscripts will be subject to editorial review. Committee and the Editorial Staff. are considered to be the author’s personal opinion. Articles submitted for publication may be edited The article will not be published with significant The author may be asked to substantiate his/her or rejected at the discretion of the Publications changes without the author’s approval. All articles statements.
64 MECHANICAL MUSIC November/December 2021
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Date Event Location Sponsor
Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 2022 Joint MBSI / AMICA Annual Meeting San Mateo, CA Golden Gate Chapter/ AMICA Founding Chapter

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know! Send in your information by Dec. 1, 2021, for the January/February 2022 issue. Don’t hold your questions until the next chapter meeting.
Ask them today on our Facebook discussion group – the Music Box Society Forum.
Please send dates for the Calendar of Events to Russell Kasselman (editor@mbsi.org)
CONTACTS

Administrator Jacque Beeman handles back issues (if available) $6; damaged or issues not received, address changes, MBSI Directory listing changes, credit card charge questions, book orders, status of your membership, membership renewal, membership application, and MBSI Membership Brochures. P.O. Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196 Phone/Fax (417) 886-8839 jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Traveling MBSI Display Bill Endlein 21547 NW 154th Pl. High Springs, FL 32643-4519 Phone (386) 454-8359 sembsi@yahoo.com
Regina Certificates: Cost $5. B Bronson Box 154 Dundee, MI 48131 Phone (734) 529-2087 art@d-pcomm.net
Advertising for Mechanical Music Russell Kasselman Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Phone (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
CHAPTERS
Snowbelt
Chair: Tracy Tolzmann (651) 674-5149 Dues $10 to Gary Goldsmith 17160 – 245th Avenue Big Lake, MN 55309
Southeast
Chair: Jack Hostetler (352) 633-1942 Dues $5 to Clay Witt 820 Del Rio Way Unit 203 Merritt Island, FL 32953
Museum Donations Sally Craig, 2720 Old Orchard Road Lancaster, PA 17601 Phone (717) 295-9188 rosebud441@juno.com
MBSI website Rick Swaney, 4302 209th Avenue NE Sammamish, WA 98074 Phone (425) 836-3586 r_swaney@msn.com
Web Secretary Knowles Little 9109 Scott Dr. Rockville, MD 20850 Phone (301) 762-6253 kglittle@verizon.net
CHAPTERS
East Coast
Chair: Elise Low (203) 457-9888 Dues $5 to Roger Wiegand 281 Concord Road Wayland, MA 01778 or pay via PayPal, send to treasurereccmbsi@gmail.com
Golden Gate
Chair: Jonathan Hoyt jenjenhoyt@yahoo.com Dues $5 to Dave Corkrum 5826 Roberts Ave. Oakland, CA 94605
Japan
Chair: Naoki Shibata 81-72986-1169 naotabibito396amb@salsa.ocn.ne.jp Treasurer: Makiko Watanabe makikomakiko62@yahoo.co.jp
Lake Michigan
Chair: Aaron Muller (847) 962-2330 Dues $5 to James Huffer 7930 N. Kildare Skokie, Illinois 60076

Mid-America
Chair: Rob Pollock (937) 508-4984 Dues $10 to Harold Wade 4616 Boneta Road Medina, OH 44256
National Capital
Chair: Matthew Jaro (301) 482-2008 Dues $5 to Florie Hirsch 8917 Wooden Bridge Road Potomac, MD 20854
Northwest International
Chair: Rick Swaney (425) 836-3586 Dues $7.50/person to Kathy Baer 8210 Comox Road Blaine, WA 98230
Piedmont

Temp Chair: Dan Wilson (919) 740-6579 musicboxmac@mac.com Dues $10 to Dan Wilson 4804 Latimer Road Raleigh, NC. 276099
Southern California
Chair: Robin Biggins (310) 377-1472 Dues $10 to Diane Lloyd 1201 Edgeview Drive Cowan Hgts, CA 92705
Sunbelt
Chair: Ray Dickey (713) 467-0349 Dues $10 to Diane Caudill 4585 Felder Road Washington, TX 77880

Copyright 2021 the Musical Box Society International, all rights reserved. Permission to reproduce by any means, in whole or in part, must be obtained in writing from the MBSI Executive Committee and the Editor. Mechanical Music is published in the even months. ISSN 1045-795X
November/December 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 65
7

Mechanical Music at its Best -Visit www.Mechmusic.com
Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

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

Weber Unika Weber Maesto Weber Otero Seeburg KT Special Bowfront Violano

Regina 35 w Clock Nelson Wiggen Style 8 Symphonion 25st

Call Marty Persky 847-675-6144 or email: Marty@Mechmusic.com for further information on these and other fine instruments.

MECHANICAL MUSIC
November 30th 2021

To include musical boxes from the estate of the late Graham Webb

A ‘Rigid Notation’ musical box by F. Nicole, playing one overture in two rotations and one other air, all by Rossini; and (above) one of several musical snuff boxes
Enquiries: Hugo Marsh Hugo@specialauctionservices.com
Special Auction Services Telephone: +44 1635 580595
Plenty Close
Off Hambridge Road Email: mail@specialauctionservices.com
NEWBURY RG14 5RL
UNITED KINGDOM www.specialauctionservices.com

»SG-38« School Glider, 1942
Edmund Schneider factory in Grunau, Silesia. The most prolific aircraft for solo flight training in the German Reich.
L.M. Ericsson Skeleton-Telephone No. 370
(1. Model), 1884 onwards Estimate: 7.000 – 8.000 ˜ /

Estimate: 16.000 – 25.000 ˜ / 8,500 – 10,000 US$ 19,000 – 30,000 US$
Laboratory Test Model of »Sputnik 1 EMC/EMI«, 1957
English Fairground Carousel, c. 1960
Full-Scale model of the »Sputnik-1«
Fully functioning children’s carousel.
satellite. An historically important
Ø approx. 8 m/315 in., electric drive,
artefact from the dawn of the space age,
can be demounted for transport.

Early Telephone made by one of very few surviving examples.
Estimate: 15.000 – 20.000 ˜ / 18,000 – 24,000 US$

L.M. Ericsson, 1878 Estimate: 200.000 – 250.000 ˜ / One of the first Ericsson
240,000 – 280,000 US$ telephones from 1878–79 Estimate: 9,000 – 12.000 ˜ /10,800 – 14,500 US$
Summicron 2/35 with M3 Spectacle World’s Leading Specialty Auctions Viewfinder, 1963 Estimate: 2.200 – 2.800 ˜ /
»Science & Technology« · »Aerospace«
2,600 – 3,300 US$
»Telephone & Office Icons«
»Lavochkin V-751« Supersonic Flying Laboratory, 1957
»Mechanical Music« Two-stage rocket, length 10,8 m/425 in.. Estimate: 15.000 – 25.000 ˜ /
»Fairground Attractions«
18,000 – 30,000 US$
»Photographica & Film«
6 November 2021
CIAM-NASA Hypersonic Flying Laboratory »Kholod«, 1991

Developed by the Central Institute of Aviation Motors
(CIAM) USSR. Fastest series-produced flying object from Ericsson Telephone from the 1991 to 1998. Only 3 more known worldwide. Royal Castle in Oslo, c. 1880 Estimate: 40.000 – 70.000 ˜ / 48,000 – 84,000 US$ Estimate: 18.000 – 25.000 ˜ /
Tellurium and Lunarium by
22,000 – 30,000 US$
Svanstr & Rylander, c. 1890 Estimate: 1.200 – 2.000 ˜ /1,450 – 2,400 US$
French Box Microscope, c. 1760 Estimate:
9.000 – 12.000 ˜ /Gebrer Bruder Universum Fairground Organ, c. 1925 10,800 – 14,400 US$ Original front, excellent playing condition, on trailer. Estimate: 30.000 – 35.000 ˜ / 35,000 – 42,000 US$ English Ellis-Type Aquatic Brass Microscope with Box Base, c. 1770
Estimate: 3.000 – 5.000 ˜ /3,500 – 6,000 US$

Märklin Wonder Wheel, c. 1956
Nuremberg Cuff-Type Compound The First Complete
Total height 128 cm/51 in.

Microscope, 1750 onwards Wall Telephone Set by
Estimate: 3.000 – 5.000 ˜ /
An early and very rare microscope L.M. Ericsson, 1880
3,500 – 6,000 US$

of Nuremberg production! Extraordinarily rare, Estimate: 5.000 – 7.000 ˜ / produced for one year 6,000 – 8,500 US$ only!
Estimate:
10.000 – 12.000 ˜ /12,000 – 15,000 US$

Waldkirch Automaton Organ by Bruder, c. 1860 »Ruth / Voigt« Fairground Organ 8 melodies,14 carved and Ruth organ, c. 1890, rebuilt by Heinrich Voigt 1938. Curta Type I Calculator, 1959 painted moving figures Excellent playing condition. The smallest miniature stepped.
(Napoleon on horse etc).

Estimate: 50.000 – 60.000 ˜ / 60,000 – 72,000 US$ drum machine and a true Estimate: 25.000 – 40.000 ˜ / milestone in calculating history!
30,000 – 50,000 US$
Estimate: 500 – 800 ˜ /
…and many more !
600 – 1,000 US$

For more information and large colour photographs of some more of the upcoming Highlights please visit our website at: www.Breker.com / New Highlights and youtube.com/auctionteambreker Fully-illustrated bilingual (Engl.-German) COLOUR Catalogue available against prepayment only: Euro 28.– (Europe) or elsewhere Euro 37.– (approx. US$ 44.– / Overseas)
. Consignments are welcome at any time!
Small Children’s Carousel, c. 1990

6 animals, Ø 2,20 m/79 in., height approx. 3,20 m/126 in. Summicron 2/35, 1974 Estimate: 12.000 – 15.000 ˜ /
Estimate: 2.000 – 2.500 ˜ / – The Specialists in »Technical Antiques« – 14,500 – 18,000 US$ 2,400 – 3,000 US$ P. O. Box 50 11 19, 50971 Koeln/Germany · Tel.: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 40 · Fax: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 430 Otto-Hahn-Str. 10, 50997 Koeln (Godorf)/Germany e-mail: Auction@Breker.com · www.breker.com · Business Hours: Tue – Fri 9 am – 5 pm
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES: Japan: Murakami Taizou, Tel./Fax (06) 68 45 86 28 * murakami@ops.dti.ne.jp · China: Jiang Feng, Tel. 138 620 620 75 * jiangfengde@gmail.com Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore: Alex Shih-Chieh Lin, (HK), Tel. (+852) 94 90 41 13 * alexsclin@gmail.com England: Tel. +49 (0) 176 991 40593 * AuctionTeamBrekerUK@outlook.de · France: Pierre J. Bickart, Tel. (01) 43 33 86 71 * AuctionTeamKoln@aol.com Russia: Maksim Suravegin, Tel. +7 903 558 02 50 * Maksim-ATB.ru@gmx.net · U.S.A.: Andrew Truman, Tel. (207) 485 8343 * AndrewAuctionTeamBreker@gmail.com
.

Volume 67, No. 5 September/October 2021

MECHANICAL MUSIC

Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 67, No. 5 September/October 2021

PURCHASE • SALES • CONSIGNMENT
of Quality Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes, Musical Clocks & Automata
For over forty years we’ve placed fine antiques in collections around the world. Our reputation has been built upon appreciative buyers and satisfied sellers. Pictured are a few of the musical antiques in our current and recent inventories.

496 First Street, California 93463 • Ron & Julie Palladino Open Seven Days a Week 10-6 • 805-452-5700 www.renantiques.com
PURCHASE • SALES • CONSIGNMENT Visit the charming Danish Village of Solvang, half an hour above Santa Barbara in the beautiful Central Coast Wine Country

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

MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 67, No. 5 September/October 2021

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

Publications Chair
Bob Caletti
All manuscripts will be subject to editorial review. Articles submitted for publication may be edited or rejected at the discretion of the Publications Committee and the Editorial Staff. The article will not be published with significant changes without the author’s approval. All articles are considered to be the author’s personal opinion. The author may be asked to substantiate his/her statements.
Mechanical Music (ISSN 1045-795X) is published by the Musical Box Society International, 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 six times per year. A Direc.tory of Members, Museums and Dealers is published biennially. Domestic subscription rate, $60. Periodicals postage paid at San Luis Obispo, CA and additional mailing offices.
Copyright 2021. The Musical Box Society Inter.national, all rights reserved. Mechanical Music cannot be copied, reproduced or transmitted in whole or in part in any form whatsoever without written consent of the Editor and the Executive Committee.
MEMBERS: SEND ADDRESS CORRECTIONS TO: MBSI, PO Box 10196, Springfield, MO 65808-0196 Or, make corrections on the website at www.mbsi.org.
POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO
MBSI, PO Box 10196, Springfield, MO 65808-0196

Features
11 Nickel Notes by Matt Jaro
24 A Family Affair
31 A Tip on Repairing a Tuning Lead
33 An Italian Organ Grind.er’s Life
41 The SEGA Grand Pianist
47 A Fortunate Find
52 Interesting Tidbits

MBSI has replanted 146 trees so far as part of the Print ReLeaf program.

On the Cover
Matt Jaro took this detailed shot of a Hupfeld Excelsior Pan Orchester case while on a tour of the Nether.cutt Collection’s music room. Read more about the entire collection in Nickel Notes on Page 11.

M
echanical music is a fascinating hobby! It appeals to the artist, historian, craftsman, and
musician all at the same time. Play an automatic
musical instrument in a room full of people and all else
will stop as the machine enraptures the audience with the
sparkling melodies of yesteryear!

Mechanical music instruments are any sort of auto.
matically-played machine that produces melodic sound
including discs and cylinder music boxes that pluck a steel
comb; orchestrions and organs that engage many instru.
ments at once using vacuum and air pressure; player and
reproducing pianos that use variable vacuum to strike piano
wires; phonographs; and self-playing stringed, wind, and
percussion instruments of any kind.

The Musical Box Society International, chartered by the
New York State Board of Regents, is a nonprofit society
dedicated to the enjoyment, study, and preservation of
automatic musical instruments. Founded in 1949, it now
has members around the world, and supports various educational projects.
Regional chapters and an Annual Meeting held each year in different cities within the United States enable members to visit collections, exchange ideas, and attend educational workshops. Members receive six issues of the journal, Mechanical Music, which also contains advertising space for members who wish to buy, sell, and restore mechanical musical instruments and related items. Members also receive the biennial MBSI Directory of Members, Muse.ums, and Dealers.
The only requirements for membership are an interest in automatic music machines and the desire to share infor.mation about them. And you’ll take pride in knowing you are contributing to the preservation of these marvelous examples of bygone craftsmanship.
More Information online at www.MBSI.org, or
Call: (417) 886-8839, or
Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Copy this page, and give it to a potential new member. Spread the word about MBSI.
Last name First Name Initial
Last Name First Name Initial
Address

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

Membership Dues
US members (per household)……………………………………….$60 Student Membership $20
(online journal access only)
Canada…………………………………………………………………………$70 Other International………………………………………………………$75
(Add $20 for International air mail.)
Join online: www.mbsi.org/join-mbsi
Check or Money Order Payable to: MBSI Treasurer (US Funds Only) Mail to: New Member Registration – MBSI PO Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196
Visa/MasterCard

Exp. Date CCV
Signature

By Tom Kuehn
MBSI President
As my term of office comes to an end, I’d like to say that it has been a privilege and an honor to serve as your president. Two years ago, at the conclusion of the business meeting in Rockville, MD, when I was elected to serve as the 37th president of MBSI, I said I would do my best to serve you. I have tried to live up to that promise.
In the course of these turbulent two years, the main disruption, caused by a global pandemic, was something no one could have seen coming. Our soci.ety, however, continued to function well even at a reduced activity level.
Chapter meetings, among our most popular events, were put on hold for the most part, but a few enterprising chapters found ways to conduct well-attended virtual meetings. One lesson learned from that experience is that virtual meetings can remain a viable option to connect those who might be unable to attend future meet.ings in person. In my opinion, face to face interactions will always be pref.erable since one never knows what topics of conversation and nuggets of information will be shared between individuals cruising the buffet table or examining a mechanical music machine at a member’s home.
In fact, I may have never completed the band organ replica I began 30 years ago if not for the tips, advice and assistance graciously provided by members of the Snowbelt Chapter. That said, however, I believe we should not shy away from using technological advancements like virtual meetings to continue to share our wonderful hobby with as many people as we can. Distance and disease don’t exist in the virtual world, which means even those who live far away or are recuperating from illness or injury can still enjoy fellowship with other members and experience the wonderful music and machines we all love.

Our publication, Mechanical Music, continues to be a high-quality font of information thanks to everyone who contributes articles, the extensive list of those who review each issue before it goes to press and our very capable editor, Russell Kasselman. Don’t hesitate to contact him if you have something interesting to share with the rest of us. Also don’t forget that past issues and articles are available on our website should you wish to search for a specific topic.
Several forms, our website and copies of Mechanical Music articles are now available in languages besides English. This should assist those who are not native English speakers and attract new members from around the world to our international organization.
Our society would not function without the dedication of a large number of members who volunteer their time and talents for chapter meetings, annual meetings, society committees and leadership positions. Approximately 60 individuals are listed near the back of each issue of Mechanical Music, but I know the total number of volunteers who make our society great is much larger than that.
I want to thank each of you for continuing to support our society. We have endured difficult times together and I think everyone looks forward to resuming more normal activities. I encourage you to continue to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with those who may not be familiar with our hobby.
Keep the music flowing!

Mail any MBSI Editorial / Advertising materials to 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Emails with attachments can be sent to editor@mbsi.org
MBSI MEMBERSHIP DRIVE EACH ONE/REACH ONE NEW MEMBER
MBSI is always interested in increasing its membership and is pleased to offer new members a $15 discount off their ÿrst year’s membership. You are considered a new member if you have not been a member in the past three years. This discount is also available on our website, www.mbsi.org.
Current MBSI members who sponsor a new member will receive a $5 discount off their next year’s MBSI membership renewal for each sponsorship. Attach a copy of the discount voucher below to a copy of the membership application form on Page 4 of this issue of Mechanical Music. Place your name as “sponsor” on the application form.
Please make copies of these forms as needed and send the completed forms with checks to the MBSI administrator at the address listed below.

been members of MBSI or those who have not been members for three years prior to submission of this certiÿcate.
Gift Membership Name

Address, City, State, ZIP Phone Email Sponsor
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more ÿrst-year MBSI gift memberships at $45 each U.S., $55 Canadian, or $60 other Interna.tional and you will receive $5 off your next year’s MBSI membership renewal for each “New Member” gift.
Please mail this form together with your check made payable to “MBSI” to the MBSI Administrator at the address listed above. Memberships are $45 for U.S. residents, $55 for Canadian residents, and $60 for other International residents.
Editor’s Notes
By Russell Kasselman
MBSI Editor/Publisher
It’s rare when I get a chance to share a bit of a timely news story in this space so I’m excited to get to it, but,
before I do, I want to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful writers who contributed to making this another fantastic issue. In order of appear.ance, Jack Hostetler, Matt Jaro, Henry Bennett, Jamie Brewer, Dr. Robert Penna, Uwe Generet, Harold Wade and Paul Senger all deserve big pats on the back for contributing visually interesting and mentally stimulating content for all of us to enjoy. There is so much to this hobby, I feel like I’m learning something new each time I put together another issue. I encour.age everyone to keep sending in articles that let us all learn and grow together in our pursuit of mechanical music nirvana.
Now, to timely news. Recently, I received a letter from Musical Box Society of Great Britain Vice-President Alison Biden that really didn’t look like it would fit anywhere else in this issue so I’ve chosen to include it here.
“I wonder if you would care to publish this letter in Mechanical Music to bring members of the MBSI up-to.date with developments surrounding one of the subjects I included in my workshop at the 2019 convention in Rockville? Those who were present may remember my talking about the precarious future of a rare Imhof & Mukle orchestrion which had been installed under the stairs in Kinloch Castle, an Edwardian-era hunting lodge on the Scottish Island of Rum. Not only was the orchestrion (often referred to, albeit erroneously, as ‘Queen Victoria’s Orchestrion’) deteriorating, but the entire castle, which had been left to the state by its last private owner, was in danger of falling into ruin. A charitable organi.zation, the Friends of Kinloch Castle Association, was hoping to raise enough funds to rescue both the castle and its contents.
Following the impact of Covid on tourism, and the restrictions on movement generally, it has been decided by the owner (Scottish Nature – the equivalent of the English National Trust) to put it up for sale. This has been reported widely in the British press, although reports vary as to whether the asking price is a nominal £1 (GBP) or a modest £70K.
This is an opportunity for someone to own a piece of Scottish heritage – as well as a fine mechanical musical instrument — although any would-be purchaser is advised that the orches.trion requires repairs last estimated at £50,000, and the ‘castle’ requires several million spent to restore it.
Good background information can be found at https://bit.ly/2VOhOVq. It is also possible to learn more by
MAILING ADDRESS
MBSI Editorial / Advertising 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449
EMAIL ADDRESS
editor@mbsi.org
PHONE
(253) 228-1634
searching ‘Kinloch Castle’ on the
internet:
One hopes a benefactor will come
forward so the orchestrion, if not the
castle, may be saved.
Kind regards
Alison”
This sort of information seems like it plays directly to our society’s mission, which calls for MBSI to cooperate with individuals and other organizations in exhibiting automatic music for the education of the general public. Our mission statement also encourages the society to generally stimulate interest in automatic music. (Read the full mission statement at www.mbsi.org/about/mission.)
I’m certainly not advocating for the society to take direct action on this particular item since that would be something best left to the Board of Trustees and might likely need to be voted on by the full membership.
My only goal here is to expose a wonderful opportunity for any one member or group of members of this society to support the continued pres.ervation of this significant place and the mechanical music within.

Welcome new members!
David VanSciver & Lowell Collins June 2021 Marlton, NJ Daniel Walker Greg Minuskin Renton, WA Tustin, CA Lanny Hunter Sponsor: Don CaineSarasota, FL Sponsor: Glen Gurwit July 2021MaryHope Milligan Amanda HoStatesville, NC North Brunswick, NJBarrie Wright Kathleen & Terry Hillis Fairfax, VA Nevada City, CA Russell Kriegel & Mark Williams San Jose, CA Robert Howard Newport News, VA Elizabeth & Thomas Fisher-York Ithaca, NY Allen Salyer Troy, MI Rich LeVangie & Kathy Dunn Nashua, NH Kim Westphalen Lakewood Ranch, FL Dean Bullock & Bryan Malone Folsom, CA

Special exhibit opportunities abound
By Jack Hostetler
Special Exhibits Committee Member,
Southeast Chapter
I am writing this article to point out opportunities that surely exist in your hometown for special exhibits of mechanical music. Every town has festivals, parades, restored antique homes and buildings, science centers, outdoor parks and other venues that welcome our special exhibits. One selling point they all love is when members of our society offer to put on an exhibit for free! Let me tell you a bit about how the Southeast Chapter makes sharing our hobby happen here in The Villages, FL.
Mary-Ann and I joined MBSI in 2012. We quickly formed a small local club called the Mechanical Music Society of The Villages. I was sure that this club could help smooth the path for MBSI to put on special exhibits of instruments and present information to others who might find an interest in this hobby in The Villages. So far, it’s worked very well and the society has gained some new members through our efforts.
Our club began planning special exhibits for The Villages almost immediately. I contacted Wayne and Mary Ellen Myers to see what the international society might do to bring mechanical music machines here for display. Wayne and Mary Ellen agreed to visit The Villages to see how this city of over-55-year-olds functioned.
We contacted the city’s recreation department and they arranged for us to participate in a two-day Christmas exhibit that would run alongside an annual model railroad club exhibit. This was in 2013.
Our first show was a success. We had a room filled with music machines and several MBSI members attended to demonstrate and talk about them. Hundreds of people came through the display, and it has since become an annual event.

Over time, our display grew larger, and we found that some machines were louder than others, so we now use two rooms. One room is for softer playing machines and the other for the more outspoken. We also had a Wurlitzer 105 organ parked on a trailer outside the recreation center to welcome people as they arrived in the parking lot. Our 2021 show will be our eighth annual presentation. We “lost” last year to the pandemic.
Wayne and Mary Ellen developed a teaching exercise that allows children to build and decorate their own music box. They introduced this event at the Orlando Science Center several years ago and continue to present it at our special exhibit with great success.
The Villages Recreation Depart.ment heard of the program and they contacted us to see if we would be willing to put on an encore. They present programs every summer for visiting grandchildren to work with grandparents, called Summer Camp. We have now presented our Summer Camp music box building program six times as of this year. We usually see 30 or more children with grandparents taking part in building a music box. They also learn how music is made in the box.

Mary Ellen Myers assists Summer Campers with their music box construc.tion project.
Our indoor activities came to the attention of the The Villages Enter.tainment Department, which is in charge of providing outdoor activities. They asked if we could have a display at one of their festivals. We said sure. So, for three years now we have had a display in the downtown area during a festival and parade. We had lots of people come to our display attracted by the large organ on a trailer (our “Pied Piper”).
Word then got around in The Villages that we could present wonderful displays for both indoor and outdoor events, and all free! I was contacted by a group that has been restoring a home built ca. 1892. The Baker House, as it is called, was the home of a Florida senator who moved there in 1890 or so. The group restoring the house asked if we might display some mechanical music machines from that period in the house during their annual Legacy Festival. I said we sure would.
I displayed my Concert Roller Organ and my Edison Home Phonograph in the front parlor. Many people came to see the house and were fascinated with the machines and music from that time. I repeated the exhibit the next year. Each time was another opportunity to talk about MBSI and the mechanical music hobby.

In 2020, the pandemic caused the Legacy Festival to be canceled. Even so, we received another request to put on a show-and-tell at a local Rotary club. We were ready to go, but the meeting was put on hold until Rotary meetings can resume. We will be ready when they are.
In summary, our experiences so far have shown us that MBSI special exhibits are well received everywhere because they offer good music, wonderful machines with history, nostalgia, and entertainment. Plus, the organizers of these events love that we do it for free!
All you need to do to get started is to contact someone in charge of festivi.ties in your area. Perhaps start with your local chamber of commerce, Rotary or Lions club, or even your city’s recreation department. Offer to conduct your exhibit along with what.ever other displays are happening at the time. You might even consider presenting single-day exhibits at a high school or nearby college in association with a celebration of a historically significant date or other holiday event or even at an assisted care facility.

All it takes is one good presentation to start spreading the word that you are available to present an exhibit that will entertain crowds and soon you will be quite popular!
Bring advertising pamphlets (avail.able from the MBSI administrator) and registration forms for MBSI to display next to your exhibits. We have signed up several new MBSI members at our exhibits and we’d love to see you do the same. Putting on a special exhibit of mechanical music at a local event where people can experience the joy of this hobby is a win-win situation if ever there was one.

Nickel Notes
By Matthew Jaro

The Nethercutt Collection
The Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, CA (near Los Angeles), houses the largest array of mechanical musical instruments on public display in the United States. J.B. Nethercutt, along with his aunt, Merle Norman, founded Merle Norman Cosmetics. J.B. started collecting and restoring antique auto.mobiles in 1956. In 1971, he and his wife, Dorothy, built a museum which has been free to the public since its inception. The first tours began in 1974. Now, J.B.’s eldest son, Jack, is head of the corporation and the museum foundation.
This article chronicles a conver.sation I had with the curator of the mechanical music collection and master technician. His name is Kyle B. Irwin.
The start of the mechanical music collection
I knew that the Nethercutt Collec.tion had started with automobiles, so I asked how J.B. Nethercutt became interested in mechanical music. Kyle said that J.B. had already started construction on a building to house his collection when he decided to buy his wife a present. He found a beautiful cloisonné music box. It was the size of a powder box (about three inches). When you played it, a little bird would pop up and sing. While shopping for the music box, J.B. couldn’t help but notice the large display of nickelode.ons and orchestrions around him. Why? Well, because he happened to be shopping at Hathaway and Bowers!
For our younger readers, let me

In the Grand Salon room of the music building are even more cars. The floor below and the floor above this are filled with music
boxes, automata, French furniture and more.
explain that Hathaway and Bowers, the store named for owners Terry Hathaway and Q. David Bowers, was a source for all types of mechanical musical instruments. Located in Santa Fe Springs, CA, the store had a sales floor where you could buy almost any instrument. Hathaway and Bowers published catalogs that created intense public interest in the instruments we all know and love today. It would be hard to overestimate their influence on the hobby of collecting mechanical music machines. Older readers might remember that in the 1950s nickel.odeons were being destroyed in large numbers because they were consid.ered obsolete machines with little or no value. European mechanical music machines were largely unknown in the United States at the time. Hatha.way and Bowers helped turn the tide and made mechanical music machines attractive and valuable again.
Anyway, J.B. Nethercutt looked around at all the wonderful machines, asking Hathaway and Bowers to demonstrate them. Kyle said J.B. just went a little nuts with it. He loved music and anything mechanical (cars, trains, etc.). He literally purchased one of the finest museum reference collec.tions in the world – the Hathaway and Bowers Collection. While machines in the Hathaway and Bowers Collection were not exactly for sale – it was strictly intended to be a reference collection – Mr. Nethercutt made them an offer they couldn’t refuse and the rest is history.
Growing the Collection
There are currently two buildings in the Nethercutt Collection. The first building was begun in 1971 and completed in 1974. There was an earthquake in Sylmar, CA, in 1971. The building was only a skeletal frame when the earthquake occurred. None of the collections were in this building at the time. Since the building was only a frame, the builders were able to retrofit the building for better earthquake tolerance. Eventually, the collection outgrew the original build.ing, and in the year 2000, construction on the museum building was begun. This building houses 150 additional cars and has a separate area in the back for the train.
The Nethercutt Collection includes a massive, 5,000-pipe Wurlitzer Theatre organ, also Kyle’s responsibility.
Short Biography
I asked Kyle to describe his years before obtaining the dream job of being curator of the Nethercutt Collection.
Kyle said he always loved music. He grew up in a church-going family and instead of going to Sunday School, Kyle always wanted to go to the big church to hear the organ play. He absolutely fell in love with it. At the end of the service, when the organist would play exit music, Kyle would run up to the organ and the organist would pick him up and sit him next to her. Kyle would watch her play. When the organist finished, she would turn on the bells and without banging or anything Kyle would play the melody line, by ear, of what she had just finished playing.

The organist became Kyle’s first piano teacher when he was 4 years old. He started playing the organ for church services when he was 7 or 8 years old. Kyle has been an organist pretty much all his life. He’s still an organist and choirmaster at a church in downtown Los Angeles (one of the founding churches of the city).
Kyle’s love for pipe organs grew so great that he wanted to know how they worked. He apprenticed and learned how to service, tune and rebuild organs to some extent. Many years later, he owned his own company servicing pipe organs. They would maintain, tune and rebuild pipe organs all over Southern California. Then his business partner passed away. Kyle was going to dissolve the business and retire, but during that period J.B. Nethercutt contacted Kyle and asked him to come and take care of his collection. Kyle said he just couldn’t say no. Thirteen years later, he is still going strong.
Museum Tours
The Nethercutt Museum (which consists mainly of the automobile collection) is open for self-guided tours Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Nether.cutt Collection (separate from the museum) is available to view by guided tour only. Unfortunately for all us mechanical music lovers, the tour is temporarily closed with no reserva.tions being accepted at this time.
The two-hour tour normally takes people to four floors of the collection building. The building houses some of the finer cars in the Nethercutt Collection, plus 18th and 19th century French furniture, clocks and watches, automata, reproducing pianos, nick.elodeons, orchestrions, more than 100 music boxes, not to mention the third largest theatre pipe organ in the world. All tours are entirely free to the public.

The Fifth Floor
There is a fifth floor which is not open to the public since there is no safe way to bring groups of people in.
The elevator only holds six people. On the fifth floor, there is a library of more than 40,000 music rolls. The roll library is still growing, and many people donate new rolls each year. On this floor is an example of almost every player piano system ever built. They even have a Tel-Electric. The

Kyle demonstrates the Tel-Electric in the fifth-floor workshop The Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra, Style 40, featuring 42
area.
beauty of the Nethercutt Collection is that everything in it works! J.B. Nethercutt’s dream was to preserve and share the beauty of these instru.ments but never to hoard them. Even though there are a lot of pianos on the fifth floor, no two are alike. Each has a different player system. They have rolls for the original Stoddard-Ampico, the Ampico-A and B, red Welte, green Welte, Recordo, Apollo, Themodist and 88-note rolls. They have early and later Duo-Art reproducing pianos, a rare electric Duo-Art, all the Welte systems, and pianos that will play all of those rolls.
There are more than 8,000 Ampico rolls in the collection. Docents donated their time one summer to help organize the Ampico rolls.
One of the newer acquisitions was the Blüthner Triphonola (supposedly

violin pipes, 12 violas, 30 cellos and so much more.
the only one in the United States).
I asked Kyle about the problem of the roll paper. As most of our readers know, the original Ampico and Duo-Art rolls are brittle and they tend to shred. Kyle said they only have original Wurlitzer APP rolls and the paper is quite brittle for these as well. He expressed a need to obtain copies (recuts) of APP rolls to play on the instruments. Kyle said he also needs Pianino rolls. He only has six original rolls for the Pianino and that’s it.
Nickelodeons and Orchestrions
I asked Kyle for a short list of the nickelodeons and orchestrions in the collection. There is no actual list, so Kyle had to look through the file cabinet to name the instruments in the collection. The following are details of the American machines (and machines distributed by American companies).
Seeburg L: The smallest Seeburg model with piano and mandolin rail. It plays A rolls.
Seeburg KT: A G-roll piano with mandolin rail, xylophone, castanets, triangle, tambourine and (rare) snare drum.
Seeburg Photoplayer: A pipe-organ orchestra, Style R, with violin, flute, cello, Vox Humana, xylophone, cathe.dral chimes, tremolo, bass drum, snare drum, cymbal, crash cymbal, triangle, organ swell, 88-note piano, castanets, tambourine, mandolin, tom-tom effect, telephone bell, doorbell, fire gong, horse trot, tympani effect, steamboat whistle, bird whistle, baby cry, wind siren and thunder effect.
Wurlitzer Pianino: A 44-note piano, the pianino was in production for more than 25 years although few remain

The music roll library, featuring more than 40,000 rolls.
today.
Wurlitzer LX: Introduced in mid-1921, the LX was the last in the keyboard orchestrions series. It has a piano with mandolin rail, 38 violin pipes, 38 flute pipes, a set of orchestra bells, bass drum, snare drum and triangle.
Wurlitzer Automatic Harp: Tiny mechanical fingers actually pluck the strings.
Wurlitzer Mandolin Quartette: It has 34 notes and a separate 27-note repeating mandolin mechanism. When a note plays in the mandolin section, the pneumatic pushes a wooden lever into the path of a rotating camshaft. This causes the small, hard felt-covered hammer to repeat rapidly against the strings producing a loud metallic tone. Dave Ramey has a wonderful video of the machine in action. Search YouTube for Wurlitzer Mandolin Quartette.
Wurlitzer Tonophone: The first Wurlitzer coin piano. The machines were made from 1899 to 1908. Early machines were made by DeKleist. The first machines used a 10-tune wooden Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra: cylinder and were later converted to Style 40 with piano, mandolin, 42 violin play Wurlitzer APP rolls. The Tono-pipes, 12 violas, 30 cellos, xylophone, phone in the collection is a barrel drums and percussion effects. These piano. machines were built by Philipps.

The Encore Banjo was the first coin-operated musical instru-A Regina Sublima Piano and Mandolin Orchestra powered by
ment, marketed in late 1896.
Wurlitzer Concert PianOrchestra: A Philipps Pianella Model 32 (Caecilia) with piano, 56 violins, 30 cellos, 30 violas, 26 saxophones, 30 flutes, 30 piccolos, 30 clarinets, 30 oboes, 26 French horns, chimes, bass and snare drums, triangle, tambourine, castanets, tremolo, kettle drum and cymbals.
Encore Banjo: This was the first coin-operated musical instrument, marketed in late 1896. It consists of four metal pickers and 40 leather-faced fingerings buttons. It has a two-octave range and many duplicate notes. It can play a melody and accompaniment at the same time.
Mills Bow-front Violano Virtuoso: This style was the commercial model and was popular from 1912-1915. The Mills is an electrically operated instrument, instead of the pneumatic systems used by most of the nickelodeons and

a spring motor that must be wound by hand.
orchestrions. It has a violin and piano.
Mills Double Violano Virtuoso: This style plays two violins and has a heavier piano than used in the home models. Both violins play the same notes.
Regina Sublima Piano and Mandolin Orchestra: This is powered by a spring motor which must be wound by hand. It plays a five-tune roll on heavy manila paper. Metal fingers read the perfora.tions. The piano hammer re-iterates, producing an effect like a mandolin.
Automatic Musical Company, Automatic Self-Playing Xylophone: Since the bars are metal, it is technically a glocken.spiel. It was made in 1905. This is the only example known to exist. It’s a solo instrument, having a xylophone only. The company was in Bingham.ton, NY, and would eventually become the Link Company.
Multiphone Cylinder Changer: This
can only roughly be described as a mechanical music machine. It is a coin-operated juke box that plays Edison cylinders. One of 24 cylinders can be selected.
And now we move on to some details of the European Machines in the collection.
Gloria Monopol Double-disk Music Box: This was sold by George Schneider and has his name in gold letters on the front. The two discs rotate in opposite directions, unlike most music boxes. It is known for its superb tone.
Weber Maestro: Musically one of the finest German orchestrions ever made. It has 112 pipes, 28 each of violins, flutes, trumpets/saxophones and clarinets. There is a three-speed vibrato, piano with mandolin attachment, 28-note xylophone, bass drum, tympani effect, snare drum,

The Hupfeld Excelsior Pan Orchester is the largest example of this type of machine ever made. It once played in the Postzegel Hotel in Holland but came to America in 1966. This machine is located above the Grand Salon in the music building.
cymbal, triangle, castanets, wood block and tambourine. It has a pipe and xylophone solo capability and an automatic register for piano treble.
Weber Brabo: This machine has a piano with mandolin, 28 violin pipes, vibrato and 28-note repeating xylo.phone. It has an elaborate expression mechanism. Solo instruments can be heard alone.
Welte Wotan: This is one of the Welte Brass Band Orchestrion series. The Wotan would replace a brass band of about 30 to 35 men. This instrument sold for $5,000 in 1912. This orches.trion has first and second cornets, first and second clarinets, trumpet, alto, trombone, French horn, baritone, bass, contra bass, saxophone, bour.don, piccolo, oboe, flutes, xylophone, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals and triangle. It is 12 feet, 9 inches high and 9 feet, 3 inches wide. The middle panel represents the fire scene from the Walküre picturing Siegfried and Brünnhilde.
Welte Style III Cottage Orchestrion: This beautiful orchestrion has 134 pipes and 44 notes. It has bass drum, tympani effect, snare drum, cymbal and triangle. It is 9 feet, 7 inches high.
Welte Philharmonic Organ Orchestrion: These machines were automatic pipe organs. They were supplied in various sizes and configurations.
Hupfeld Excelsior Pan Orchestra: This is the largest example ever made. It took two years to build and was delivered to the Postzegel Hotel in Holland. It remained there until it was acquired by Eugene DeRoy in 1966. He cared for it from the delivery date to the present. Using a heavily multi.plexed 124-note roll, several different orchestral voices could be played simultaneously. The piano portion is a reproducing piano so that original expression is maintained.
Hupfeld Helios Lb/29 Orchestrion: An overstrung piano with mandolin, regis.ters of pipes for violin, flute and cello, orchestral bells, bass drum, Chinese cymbal, snare drum and expression effects.
Hupfeld Phonoliszt Violana: A machine with three violins bowed by a circular horsehair bow. Mechanical fingers select the notes. A piano plays the accompaniment.
Mortier Style 41 Café Organ: It uses fully chromatic 84-key cardboard books. It has 311 pipes, bass drum, snare drum, cymbal and wood block. There are ranks of melody jazz flute, violin, and unda maris pipes. For countermelody, there is a Vox Celeste, flute and cello. There are also bass pipes.
Philipps Model 3 Paganini Orchestrion (Wurlitzer Paganini Violin Piano, Style 3) (on the fifth floor): This machine has 39 loud violins, 39 soft violins, 27

flageolets, 12 extended octave violins, 44-note harmonium (metal reeds) accompaniment and variable speed tremolo. This is the only surviving example imported and sold by Wurlitzer.
Philipps Keyboard Style Paganini Orchestrion Style 3: This machine has 117 pipes, 39 each of loud and soft violins, 27 flageolets, 12 high-octave violins, variable speed vibrato, 44 harmonium reeds and piano.
Popper Salon Orchestra No. 1: Manufactured from about 1912 until well into the 1920s, this was one of the most popular Popper models ever made. It consists of a piano, mandolin, xylophone, bells, bass and snare drums, cymbals and triangle. An extended rank of pipes is arranged in a double row and represents violin and cello. There is a harmonium as well. The top of the case has louvered swell shutters for expression. The front is a motion picture effect scene that is backlighted and shows two waxing and waning torches in the marble patio of an ancient Roman villa. It’s 9 feet, 4 inches high.
Popper Gladiator (No. 7) Symphony Orchestra: This machine has a piano, mandolin, xylophone, bells, piccolo flute, violin pipes, muted strings, violin solo, clarinet, flute, violoncello,

The Popper Gladiator is 14 feet wide and 11 feet, 4 inches tall. The Popper Iduna Orchestrion was built in 1915. It is located The Philipps Model 3 Paganini can play loud and soft violins.

in the automobile building.
viola, horn, bass flute, trombone, bass violin, bass, snare drum, kettle drum, cymbals and triangle. It’s 11 feet, 4 inches high by 14 feet wide. Four of these were sold in Belgium in the late 1920s. This example is the only one currently known to exist.
Popper Jazz Flute: This is one of the latest orchestrions made by Popper, dating from the late 1920s. Its modern case design is about 11 feet high. The featured solo instrument is the Swanee Whistle mounted in a niche on the front. Above this, there is a series of recessed panels which constantly change color. Instrumen.tation includes piano, mandolin, ranks of pipes including a large rank of saxophones, and drum and trap effects. This orchestrion has a jazz theme since the saxophone is the

It is the only surviving example of its kind.
most prominent pipe rank.
Popper Othello Orchestrion: The Popper catalogue states that it is a “Mechanical piano orchestrion with mandolin and xylophone. Othello is delivered in a tasteful case with painted glass panels and contains 31 piano keys, 18 of which operate the mandolin, 10 xylophone keys, drum, cymbals and triangle. Othello is delivered with two barrels, playing six different tunes.”
Popper Iduna Orchestrion (1915): This machine is located in the car building and provides an excellent background. It has a piano, mandolin, several ranks of pipes, xylophone, bells, drums, triangle and cymbal. It was billed by Popper as “A first class concert orchestra suitable also for dancing.”
I would like to acknowledge Q.
David Bowers and his “Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments” as well as Arthur Reblitz and his book, “The Golden Age of Automatic Musical Instruments,” for providing the detailed information on the instru.ments listed above.
Pianos
There are some truly remarkable pianos in the Nethercutt Collection. These include:
Hupfeld Triphonola: This is one of the most recent acquisitions. Prior to production of this model, Hupfeld had offered the Solophonola and Duoph.onola systems. This machine plays all 88 piano notes (unlike the Ampico and Duo-Art systems), with 10 notes for expression. The Duophonola and the Triphonola were identical except that the Triphonola has foot pedals for pumping in addition to an electric motor. The Triphonola was the first Hupfeld instrument with a tracking device (to keep the holes properly aligned on the tracker bar).

Erhbar Piano with Hupfeld DEA Vorsetzer: This very ornate piano was completed in 1898 and was a gift from the Friedrich Erhbar Company to Emperor Franz Josef in the year he celebrated his 50-year reign. It’s an Opus 10,000 and has a mahogany case with 18 coats of hand-rubbed Chinese lacquer and gold ormolu all the way around (representing the various provinces of Austria) applied over a green Chinese silk velvet background. It measures a full 8 feet, 10 inches long. The Hupfeld DEA Vorsetzer is the only reproducing system that appeared as both complete pianos and vorsetzers. A vorsetzer (literally front sitter) is a device that can be pushed up to a piano so that pneumatic fingers can actuate the keys.
The DEA used wide rolls, approxi.mately 16 inches across, and a 106-note tracker bar with 85 playing notes. The DEA had a very complex system with variable bass and treble divisions. Some of the greatest pianists recorded for the DEA. Among them were D’Al.bert, Busoni, Corot, Godowsky, Grieg, Landowska, Mascagni, Saint-Saëns, Plante, Reger, Scharwenka, Scriabin and others. Kyle said that the DEA is a very sensitive reproducing system.
Steinway “Villa Leon” Piano with Duo-Art Mechanism: In 1929, the Steinway Piano Company sent a nine-foot Concert Grand to the Aeolian Company and asked them to design a one-of-a-kind Louis XV art case to accommodate a special Duo-Art reproducing mechanism. Because the piano was located in an estate called the “Villa Leon” it is now known by that name.
Steinway Grand with Welte Red-Roll Vorsetzer: The Welte was the only company to offer a competing vorsetzer to the Hupfeld. The red-roll machines and the rolls are pretty rare now.
The Tel-Electric Piano Player: This machine is unusual in that is uses a brass roll (instead of paper), three thousandths of an inch thick. The roll The Wurlitzer Theatre Organ is encased in a cylinder 51/8 inches The showcase of the Nethercutt long. Collection is the beautiful Wurlitzer

Virtually every reproducing and 4/74 Theatre Organ. It’s the largest player piano system are represented theatre organ on the West Coast and in this collection. They are too numer-the third largest in the world. It has ous to mention here. 5,123 pipes and 74 ranks. The largest

Top photo: the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ console. Bottom photo: some of the 5,123 pipes the organ uses to produce music.
in the world is the Jasper Sanfilippo organ, a 5/80, which means five manu.als and 80 ranks. The second largest is the Organ Stop Pizza Organ in Mesa, AZ, with 4 manuals and 78 ranks.
The Nethercutts insist that every.thing on the showroom floor remain in pristine condition. The museum formerly employed eight or nine people in the music department, but now there’s just Kyle. It’s his respon.sibility to take care of everything, so he does all the restoration and main.tenance work except for any major piano tuning. A piano technician comes in to do that on a regular basis. Kyle tunes all the organ pipes himself.
Kyle says his main focus is to make sure the organ is always playable. There are enough instruments in the collection that one can be rotated off the floor if it needs to be serviced, but this one organ is unique and must play for every single tour.
Kyle said there was one day it didn’t play and he heard an earful about it. I asked about servicing the organ and suggested that there must be a million relays. He said there might originally have been that many, but now it’s all solid state. They use the Uniflex system because the organ is so big.
Kyle says the organ is an amazing instrument and notes it is thrilling to play. He fires it up every morning and plays for half an hour to an hour. He makes sure he plays every note, to see if there’s anything dead. The organ is 97 years old, so it’s common for things to quit working. Magnets can die or pneumatics blow out on a daily basis. Most of the organ was re-leathered in 1984 and then more of it was done in 1993.
The museum has a collection of thousands of LP records featuring organ music with Leon Berry (who played the Nethercutt organ), George Wright (who, unfortunately never played there), Rex Khoury, Tom Hazelton, Ron Rhodes and Lyn Larsen. Many of these people were like house organists.
Instrument Maintenance
I asked Kyle if he ever had to move machines into the shop to work on them. Kyle said there are special hoists built into the organ and into the workshop on the fifth floor. There is a freight elevator for the orchestrions. All the machines are on wheels. The wheels can be unlocked from their stationary position and then the machines can be wheeled into the freight elevator. I asked what happens if a gear or a metal part breaks. Kyle said he takes the part into the auto shop and the guys there make him a new one. If they can’t make a part, they send it out and have it done by a specialist. The machine shop guys have a cloth wire-wrapping machine so they can duplicate any part in any instrument or any part in any car as long as they have an original part or details of what the original cloth-wrapped wire measurement looked like.

I asked Kyle if he really has the dream job, and he said yes but added that it’s still a lot of work. Kyle said the keys to keeping it fun are to not take too many things apart, keep a level head and prioritize. He said if he gets bored or frustrated with one machine, he moves on to another because it gives him a fresh plate from which to work. All the maintenance and restoration work has to take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because Kyle gives tours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. He takes Sundays and Mondays off.
Temperature and humidity in the museum buildings are kept constant. Many of these instruments came from a damp Europe to a dry California and there would be problems without regulation. The humidity is kept at 40 percent to 60 percent. If there were to be two or three hours without regu.lation, the instruments might start to misbehave, or there would be cyphers, and mistracking. Plus, the paper would change, too. The downside to keeping the humidity so high is that the relative dampness tends to rust the wires fastening the crystals in the chandeliers hanging from the ceilings.

I imagine, however, these wires can be replaced a lot more easily than repair.ing the mechanical music machines constantly. Remember that Sylmar, CA, is almost the desert, so conditions are very dry.
New Acquisitions and Donations
I asked about acquiring instru.ments. Kyle said the first thing they do is heavy research. For example, the Triphonola is in a very bizarre case. It looks simple from under the case, but when you start taking things apart, it’s a whole other story. Kyle hasn’t had much of a chance to work on it yet because it has an extremely low priority.
I asked how they decided what rolls to add to the collection. Kyle said they are generally not too picky about it, except for standard 88-note rolls because they already have so many. I found that funny because the player piano outlasted all of the other instruments as did the art of making rolls for them. You can get rolls for music written a few years ago. Reproducing rolls are very important and if someone offers these rolls, Kyle said he will absolutely take them regardless of whether they would be duplicates or not because they do need to be preserved. Duplicates are important because the probability that a roll might be ruined while playing is relatively high, Kyle said. Plus, “We are in earthquake country and things do happen, so you never know,” he added.
Kyle said they lost quite a few rolls in the 1994 earthquake, not because of the shaking but because one of the main water lines broke. It flooded the roll room and anything that was six inches to a foot off the floor was destroyed. The good thing was nobody was hurt and the machines in the collection were safe.
I mentioned that people might want to donate instruments to the museum. Kyle said he would dearly love to have a band organ. “That would be so much fun, to display near the train for special events,” he said. The Neth.ercutts are open to donations being made to the collection. I mentioned that when people donate instruments or rolls to the Smithsonian or similar organizations, they are generally just shelved or maybe even thrown out. In the Nethercutt Collection it is quite the opposite. When they get donations, Kyle said the machines and rolls will be used. They don’t want something that is just going to sit there. They get offers all the time for pump pianos, but they can’t take those. Kyle said that, lately, there has been a spate of square grands offered as donations.
He said that as beautiful as they were for furniture, they are useless as musi.cal instruments.
The spirit of the collection is so nice. It has a very warm feeling. J.B. Nethercutt said that the purpose of the collection would be to preserve and not to hoard. His collected cars are taken out and driven. His instru.ments are kept in pristine working condition and played on a daily basis. His collection lives on.
CEO Jack Nethercutt also loves the instruments. He’s the oldest son of the founder. He used to be a professional racer. When he hosts special guests, he often wants people to hear the “Phan.tom of the Opera” medley played by Lyn Larsen and Chris Gorsuch’s rendi.tion of “Chattanooga Choo-Choo.”
Plans for the future
The entire collection was converted into a foundation in 2003-2004, just prior to J.B Nethercutt’s passing, so it will be well protected for a long time. It cannot be sold off or liquidated, and any profits from any sale would have to go back into the foundation, not to the family. J.B. planned very well to protect his work and his son has been doing a very good job of taking it into the next generation. Jack’s wife has done a great job of assisting and adding her input to the collection as well. There will be more generations to come.
The website, www.nethercuttcol.lection.org features an equal balance between cars and music.
If you find yourself in the Los Ange.les area, the Nethercutt Collection should be on your must-see list. It’s an absolutely fabulous place to visit and words can’t do justice to the thrill of seeing all the instruments in action. Best of all, as mentioned before, all the tours are entirely free to the public.

Email Matt Jaro at mjaro@verizon. net if you would like any information about style “A”, “G”, “4X”, “H” or “O” rolls. Also, comments and suggestions for this column will be appreciated.
Reprinted with permission of the author and The Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association (AMICA). Originally printed in the January-February 2016 issue of The AMICA Bulletin.

A ‘Family Affair’
The Intriguing Tale of an Imhof & Mukle Flute Organ
By Henry Bennett

It was a rainy afternoon in the autumn of 1963 when, as a bored teenager, I accompanied my mother to collect something she remembered from her childhood home. We drove into a dark wood near the village of Eastleach in the Cotswolds that intrigued me as it was known as Macaroni Wood. I was further intrigued when we came to a rectangular clearing deep in the wood and a gloomy looking Nissen Hut left over from a secret World War II camp. My mother produced a key and inside was a verita.ble Aladdin’s cave of stuffy Victorian artefacts which had been hastily removed from nearby Hatherop Castle when it was requisitioned for wartime use by the military. Ignoring chandeliers and stuffed animal trophies galore, my eyes lit on a couple of wooden cases on the floor, one bulging with iron wheels and levers, the other stacked with strange looking wooden organ pipes. I was learning to play the organ at school and, typical for a boy, had become fasci.nated by their complicated mechanisms. But what on earth was this? All carefully packed up, but the pipes were not normal pipes and I could see a mass of lead tubing but no keyboard. “Oh, that’s the old Flute Organ” said my mother casually and continued rummaging around. But on the way home I quizzed her endlessly and begged to have another look. Thinking back, it reminds me now of Tutankhamun’s Tomb! We lived on a farm and had a large outhouse where we boys spent our days with games and gadgets. A plan rapidly developed in my head to approach the relevant uncle and my long-suffering parents and persuade them all that I was just the one to rescue the instrument, whatever it might turn out to be. I have no memory of who helped, for help was certainly needed, but a trailer was found and in due course an extremely heavy object found its way to our outhouse.
For a period of at least two years I was left entirely to myself on the project. I knew nothing myself and obviously my family knew even less, but they listened to my daily frustrations with great patience and helped where they could. At first it was just a matter of careful dismantling and observation. Then gradual replacement of worn mate.rials. Looking back on my youth and the marked isolation of our life on the farm, I have no idea how I was able to obtain leather of the right grade or master the art of mixing
Members attending the 2019 convention held in Rockville may have attended one of the workshops presented by British member, Alison Biden, featuring three unusual instruments in Britain with precarious futures. One is an orchestrion made by Imhof and Mukle, currently mouldering on the Scottish island of Rum, while a team of dedicated would-be-rescuers try to raise the funds to have it restored. As a consequence of their activity, there are a number of articles about this instrument posted on the internet. Sometime during the late Summer of 2020, MBSI Award-winning author Kevin McElhone, was contacted by a gentleman by the name of Henry Bennett, who had learned about Kevin and the Musical Box Society of Great Britain through his on-line research as he sought information about Imhof & Mukle, makers of a flute organ he had just taken possession of.
Henry was keen to meet others who might share his passion for similar instruments, so his request was passed to the Editor of the MBSGB’s magazine The Music Box. During their conversation it transpired that Henry’s flute organ had been in his family for generations, but had had a somewhat vagabond life since he had first seen it as a child. He had finally had it completely restored professionally – and on visiting the workshop of restorers Goetze & Gwynn had met the great-grandson of no lesser a person than Daniel Imhof himself.
This is music to an editor’s ears – what a story! Henry Bennett was persuaded to write an article about his flute organ. And what a story it turned out to be.
hot animal glue, though miraculously we already had the proper cast iron glue pot and we came to love the smell of the glue. The main feeder bellows were simply a matter of copying what was done before. There were three pairs of these, two pairs to supply the wind for the pipes and the third pair working in opposite mode to provide a vacuum for the playing mechanism. But that mechanism was far more delicate, a three-stage process where each note is triggered by a row of tiny needles popping up through holes punched in the paper music roll. These needles let air into two rows of “puffers,” about the size of a matchbox and lined with very thin leather. They in turn are connected to larger bellows, the size of fish fingers, which collapse under vacuum, and those are the fingers which play the notes. In

Joe Marsden, left, and Dominic Gwynn, one of the partners in the organ building firm of Goetz & Gwynn, coaxing the flute organ across the author’s garden to spend a year undergoing a complete professional restoration.
theory of course! I do remember the endless persistence and some major setbacks. How, for instance, to cover the little “puffers” which required some extremely thin and sensitive material. My mother “came up trumps” – she had a whole drawer full of ladies’ white kid gloves, a relic from the halcyon days of grand dinner parties and dances in the house where the organ used to play. She allowed me to cut them all up into 66 small squares and glue them in place. At last, everything was back in place for the great test, the first sounds in 50 years, and I pressed the button – but absolutely nothing – complete silence! That got me talking to a wider circle and I happened on an organ builder who sent me some Zephyr pigskin made from unborn piglets. I still remember it arriving and starting the laborious process all over again, and with much better results. Then the original 1905 electric motor was thought to be unusable so I bought something second-hand with my pocket money on Exchange & Mart. It was pale green and completely unsuitable, and the result was a scary rendition of the Corelli “Pastorale” played at least double speed! The orig.inal motor had a wonderful switch comprising two open pots of mercury into which prongs of a fork dipped in and out with blinding flashes (which had terrified my mother as a girl). Sadly, that switch has been lost but eventually I was able to adapt the original motor which still ran as good as new in perfect silence.
It was only when these first faltering steps progressed to some amazingly virtuoso, yet wholly unreliable, performances that anyone (besides me) took the slightest interest in the flute organ. Only at that point did my mother mention that my uncle still had the original organ case where it took pride of place in his house as a very splendid

Joe Marsden, of Goetze & Gwynn, was in charge of the restoration.
wardrobe. Nothing is ever complicated when one is young, but I can imagine now that she needed a great deal of tact in persuading her brother to give up his main wardrobe for his nephew’s white elephant project. But, it seemed to me quite normal that we should turn up at his house with a trailer and remove it. The instrument then came together properly for the first time in 50 years. It had probably not functioned since before the First World War. Its future was bound to be precarious. Initially, I loaned the instrument to a village museum in Bibury where it shared company with ancient water wheels and flour milling machinery, and there it languished while I went off to university.
Parental pressure then piled on, and a scheme was hatched whereby John Bailey, an organ builder friend from Bishops and Sons in Ipswich, undertook to restore the instrument to greater reliability and loan it to the Cotton Mechanical Music Museum in Stowmarket. Our family heirloom went out of my life entirely for some 40 years. I entered working life and this obsession of teenage years was forgotten entirely.
But not for ever.

Is this what they mean by second childhood? Approach.ing retirement, I looked back one day and suddenly wondered what had become of the old flute organ? I rang my long-lost friend. It was as if breaking a spell. The Cotton Museum had just reported to him that they could no longer house the instrument unless they owned it, so what should he do? By any standards this was still a white elephant of a musical box but could I really let it go? Surely, all problems are meant to be solved!
Our garden near Cambridge had a small barn which was nearly collapsed but the flint walls and tiled roof had been rebuilt. Cold in winter, cool in summer, it was much like a church, in fact, so why not have an organ in there? It was a real retirement project. Soon it became obvious that the flute organ’s decades in the museum had been far too peaceful. Its whole life had been a cycle of triumphs, doldrums and rescues, and my white elephant was clearly once again not functioning. Would it return to a peaceful slumber once more? Not yet. This lucky machine’s fortunes would turn anew as I was introduced to the firm of Goetze & Gwynn in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. They were dedicated

Thomas Bazley, the author’s great-grandfather, on his Otto Dicycle in Cirencester.
to the restoration of historic pipe organs and to the manu.facture of new classical organs, including reconstructions of historic organs. My brother worked for the firm but, since a 19th century orchestrion was hardly typical of their normal work, I had never dreamt of involving them. To my surprise, Dominic Gwynn, one of the partners, heard about the project and was obviously intrigued. He contacted me. He had the perfect person, Joe Marsden, who loved complicated mechanisms to set to work on it. So the next thing I saw was Dominic and Joe coaxing my flute organ across our garden to spend a year under their tender care.
Meanwhile, a little history? The organ was built in 1862 in Vöhrenbach in the Black Forest, Germany. This is the region famous for its cuckoo clocks often built by farm.ing families to keep themselves busy during cold winter months. Vöhrenbach became the hub for more and more complex musical devices that appealed to rich customers throughout Europe and America before the advent of gramophones or radio. This one is signed by F. Heine, one of a large family in the orchestrion business, probably Fidel noted in the catalogue of the Black Forest trade exhibition in 1858, where it says, “Fidel Heine from Vöhrenbach – a lovely Viennese flute work with 2 rollers, in which the lovely flute tone is particularly praised.” The family traded with their friend Daniel Imhof (more on him later), who
Pipes on their way from the backyard barn to the restoration shop of Goetz & Gwynn.
also set up a base in London to serve the new market being fuelled by the industrial revolution.
My great-grandfather Thomas Bazley moved down to Gloucestershire in 1867 from Manchester where he had prospered in the cotton industry. He was a true Victorian polymath, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, with wide ranging interests in every new development. He was a keen astronomer and one of his telescopes has just been restored to full use in Southport, Lancashire. He owned a Holtzappfel lathe and produced intricate engine turned works in ivory. He wrote the definitive book on the Geometric Chuck used to produce the complex patterns on bank notes designed to prevent forgery. He gave Glouces.ter Cathedral their new tower clock. He also had a Welte Mignon piano player with wooden keys to fit over a piano keyboard.
The flute organ was procured for him by Daniel Imhof in London. We don’t know the exact date, but we do have a letter from 1964 recalling the “Flute Instrument” in 1897, still with large wooden barrels 30 inches to 36 inches long and wound up with a tool like a car handle. Apparently, it did not stop itself, and there is a note stating, “I never hear the end of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto without remembering the wild dash down the library to put it off lest it spoil the barrel.” I hope that Mendelssohn would

The collection of cassettes featuring classical music that are used to play the flute organ.
have been amused that such wonderful music could be pinned onto a wooden barrel!
The letter says that Thomas Bazley’s son had it “elec.trified,” or converted to a pneumatic system designed by Imhof & Mukle during the early years of the century, The letter writer adds that Imhof & Mukle were later asked to repair the flute organ when it no longer worked but was told “they no longer do that kind of thing – they only go in for wireless etc.” World War I dashed all hopes of repair, and in fact nothing is then heard of the instrument until I discovered it myself in 1963 carefully packed away. The house itself continued in full swing between the wars. One hears of parties and even motor rallies, but I suspect the flute organ, large though it was, simply languished.
Meanwhile, back in the workshop, the flute organ was now receiving proper treatment at last, bearing in mind that every stage was new and experimental. The original maker’s signature was discovered inside some wind trunking but all his work was found to be in generally good condition and superbly made. The Imhof & Mukle mechanism added later was more complex and required much more care and adjustment, including replacement of all leather work.
Naturally, something so different attracted much interest from the usual clientele and led by a happy coincidence to the appearance of Nicholas Frayling, retired Dean of Chichester Cathedral, for the very good reason that he was the great-grandson of Daniel Imhof. A special meeting was arranged in the workshop for him and myself, great-grand.sons of the maker and purchaser respectively, and we marked the completion of the restoration with a grand performance of Wagner’s overture from “Tannhäuser.”
The organ has 150 wooden pipes all with round mouths, commonly termed Viennese Flute and somewhat unusual in normal organ design. These are played from wooden cassettes of manila paper, 200 millimetres wide and extremely tough. Spring-loaded needles pop up through holes punched in the card and trigger a three-stage vacuum pneumatic mechanism. The pipes are arranged in three ranks, or ‘stops,’ of loud, medium and soft, controlled by needles at the edge of the roll to vary the volume, and another needle rewinds the music at the end and switches the motor off.

The original collection was 26 cassettes of classical music, Beethoven, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, etc. Sadly, during its itinerant history, a few of the rolls became separated and were lost. It would be lovely to trace them.
Their general character is very lively but sweet toned, very redolent of a bygone era before gramophones brought music in the home to a wider public.
And so this chequered history of over 150 years ends on a happy note, for the time being at least. But what of the future? It was always perhaps a rarity, many would say a White Elephant, but nonetheless a fascination. I would love to hear from anyone with interest in or knowledge of anything similar, or with ideas for its future. Obviously it would be sad for the family connection to be broken after so many years, but if this article results in any new connec.tions that would certainly be good.
Editor’s note: Please make contact with Henry in the first instance by emailing: editor@mbsgb.org.uk
Update on Imhof & Mukle Flute Organ
The original article by Henry Bennett featuring the story of his Imhof & Mukle flute organ appeared in Vol 29, No 7 (Autumn 2020) of The Music Box. At the end of the

The finished product safely installed back in the author’s backyard barn.
article there was a request from the author for anyone with relevant knowledge or interest to contact him. Nicholas Simons responded, and it is thanks to him that we have another piece in the history of this instrument.
“I am pleased to see your article in the latest Music Box magazine. I immediately recognised your organ as I had seen it a few times previously. I first saw it in the late 1980s (I think it was around then) when I visited Harold Smith of Saddington Hall. Harold was a very well-known collector in the early days of our society and lived in a ramshackle large house in Leicestershire. He had a large wide-ranging collection which included the famous 97-key Imhof barrel orchestrion, now at the Speyer museum. I became good friends with him up to his death in 2001. Your organ was sitting at the back of his large entrance hall, and Harold told me that he was looking after it for a friend, John Bailey. A few years later it had gone, to be replaced by a Model W Orchestrelle. Harold showed me a couple of music cassettes that he had liberated from the original collection, as payment for looking after the organ. I explained to him that he would probably never be able to sell these, as such were made specif.ically for each organ and were not standard scales. Harold was a law unto himself and it was best to never disagree with him, on pain of never being spoken to again. We continued to be friends with Harold and Nora up to his death in 2001 and Nora’s move to a much more comfortable house locally.
Harold’s collection was sold by Gildings on 28 May 2002 and I have checked my catalogue of the sale. It appears the two cassettes had disappeared before the sale, where to one cannot know.
I saw the organ again on my many visits to the Cotton museum, and was told it was owned by John Bailey. The organ was nonfunctional. I wrote to John expressing an interest to buy, but received no reply.
I am pleased that you have returned the organ to its right.ful place in your family, and have had it restored. I’m sure it will give much pleasure to you and your family for many generations to come.”
To which Henry replied:

“My copy of the magazine arrived yesterday and it is so
impressive! … the front cover is very striking – it teaches one
how powerful a picture can become in the right hands.
Wonderful too that extra glimpse of life in the hands of Harold Smith. My brother now recalls going there with John Bailey, but hadn’t told me, and would not have known about the missing cassettes (of which there are four) …”
Henry’s search for those missing cassettes continues. If anyone reading this thinks they can help locate them, please do get in touch via the editor of The Music Box (who incidentally was introduced to MBSGB by the very same Harold Smith). Henry’s organ is now in its permanent location at home, accompanied by a large portrait of his great-great grandfather, father of the original owner.
Latest on Imhof & Mukle Flute Organ Rolls
From Henry Bennett:
“You will recall the recent article in the Autumn edition of this publication. Documenting the history of this Imhof & Mukle instrument has been the perfect Lockdown Project. Starting with a family letter recalling it playing in 1897, I now have a much clearer idea of its more recent history. A photograph discovered only in December shows me restoring the organ in 1963/4 aged 18, but it needed a more secure plan for the future. Our friend John Bailey was to complete repairs and arrange a long-term loan to the Cotton Collec.tion in Stowmarket. It left our house in about 1978 bound for Ipswich, but found a temporary home with Harold Smith in Saddington near Leicester until Bishop and Sons, Organ Builders, were ready to take it for repair. It was then housed by the Cotton Collection for some twenty years before going to Bishop and Sons and then finally back to me in 2010.
“I was aware of four missing music rolls, but another of the photographs just discovered from the 1960’s shows that the full set (or at least those that survived the house parties of the inter-war period) totalled 29 music rolls, which indicated that somehow seven rolls had gone missing. I am delighted to report that the articles in The Music Box have led directly to the recovery of two of them. These were given to Richard Cole, for safe keeping, by Harold Smith before he died. Real.ising that such rolls were specific to just one instrument, Richard lodged them in the Musical Museum near Kew with a clear note of origin, and it was a very happy moment when he was able to match organ and music rolls and I was able to meet him and return them to the original set.
“(As an aside: I had no knowledge of the Saddington Hall episode or the Musical Museum involvement when I wrote the first article – all I knew was that the organ had been housed in the Cotton Collection sometime during its ‘absence.’ That, however, is no excuse for my jumping to the conclusion that four rolls had disappeared while in its care, and offer my apologies for having suggested this.)
“However, Sherlock Holmes would still be intrigued. Somehow, somewhere, in this short period of residence with Harold Smith, it seems seven rolls became separated from the collection. Of these, two have now been returned, another located, and there is a suggestion that a further two went to Germany. The final two may still be adorning the shelves of people uncertain of their true origin.
“I am a new member of the Society and can well imagine additional happy outcomes from this story. This is such an unusual instrument, being dedicated purely to classical music, and it would be wonderful if the publicity can some.how trace its remaining missing repertoire. Such a happy reunion might even lead to the “Flute Organ” eventually finding a good home. I am now retired and I will not be able to enjoy it and look after it for ever! So, if this jogs any memories or prompts any thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact the Editor.
“It would also be good to meet other people with similar interests, when this is permitted.”

A low-tech tuning lead repair
By Jamie Brewer
I so enjoy reading about the involved restorations documented in Mechan.ical Music. Many of these articles describe repairs that are way beyond the scope of the average hobbyist’s skill set. I have background training in watchmaking, so that greatly helps in problem solving of the mechanical stuff I collect. Unfortunately for me, I never have had the luxury of a high-tech workshop.
Looking back to 120-plus years ago, I see a world with a much different mechanical environment as compared to the electronics age we now live in. Maintaining a Ford Model T in the first quarter of the 20th century is an example of how a person with average skills could keep an internal combus.tion engine operational. Automotive repair tips were even given in popular songs. My favorite “Ford tip” is from “The Little Ford Rambled Right Along,” which advises, “If the power gets thick, just hit it with a brick!” This last verse can be found on the Edison issue of that song as the diamond disc and Blue Amberol cylinders had a longer playback time versus a 78 rpm record.
Well, back to my story. I needed
to do some soundboard repair to my Mermod Frères Sublime Harmonie Piccolo box. The inner workings had been restored a few years earlier and the work included installing new leads for the lower comb. In my collecting experience, those lower combs seem to be prone to what collectors call “lead disease.”
I’ve learned from restorers that when soldering a new block of lead to the comb to replace old corroding tuning weights, it can be a crap shoot for the entire block to fully bond.
When I lifted the works out of the case of my sublime harmonie box, I

A folded piece of copy paper coated with Scotch tape was used as a cradle to hold the lead in place while the epoxy cured.
was not happy to find a stray piece of lead resting on the soundboard instead of connected to the comb tooth where it had once been attached.
In my opinion, replacing a tuning lead should be a simple problem to remedy, even for a hobbyist. The last thing I wanted to do was to remove the comb and ship it away. I also did not want to have to send the entire box out to a restorer for repair to correct what seemed to me like a minor and solvable problem.
I should also mention that for decades I enjoyed the National Public Radio show called “Car Talk,” that was hosted by Tom and Ray Magliozzi. They will spend eternity known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers.” The brothers spent their airtime giving car maintenance advice and bantering with each other. The Tappet brothers always offered two stock pieces of advice as last resort measures for two common vehicle problems.
The first advice covered the instance of an engine that might be worn out, making noise or burning oil. In this case, they advised adding any oil concoction with “Marvel,” “Mystery,” or “Electric” in the product descrip.tion. For years I carried a bottle of Marvel Mystery Oil that I added to my ticking engine that had started making noises after 200,000 miles. The second piece of advice from the Tappet broth.ers related to patching or gluing parts together. They always recommended “J B Weld” as their product of choice. They would always say, “We don’t know what it’s made with. All we know is that it works!”
I could write a book about how J B Weld has bailed me out of some night.mare repairs in many of the jobs I’ve done over the years. The following will be just a few short paragraphs explaining how J B Weld fixed my particular problem with a detached tuning lead.
To begin with, I knew I definitely didn’t want to risk messing up the temper of the comb or melting the tuning lead into a puddle by trying to solder this piece of lead back in place. I theorized that by utilizing a little bit of J B Weld instead I would lose nothing but a small amount of my own time if it didn’t work. The lead would just fall off again and I could then just remove the comb and send it off to a professional restorer to do the job.
Preparing for the task at hand, I figured the easiest way to clamp this repair in place would be to use an improvised cradle. I folded a piece of copy paper from my printer over and over so that it would be just thick enough to make a snug fit between each of the adjoining teeth of the comb. I covered this paper cradle in Scotch tape so any stray epoxy would not adhere to the paper and cause it to stick to the metal. I didn’t want to have to clean excess paper bits off the comb when I was done. I made a few dry runs sliding the lead into place before I mixed the epoxy.
I found it did not require much glue to be applied to both the tooth and tuning lead to achieve my goal. Once the lead was placed into the cradle, it was carefully snugged into place onto the comb tooth.
The hardest part was not touching the repair for 24 hours to allow for a full cure. Once fully cured, I took a thin razor blade and ran it between the tape-covered paper, the tooth, and the tuning lead. Only a tiny bit of glue had oozed onto the tape. Once the paper cradle was separated from the glue, it was carefully removed. Joyfully, I saw that the lead stayed in place.
The excess dried epoxy was shaved off the tooth sides with the razor blade. To be double sure of a good bond, I added a bit more epoxy to the entire perimeter of lead/tooth joint and allowed it to cure for another 24 hours. This was again smoothed over with the thin razor blade.
This low-tech repair was done nearly two years ago and is still hold.ing strong.

Let’s keep the music playing
Have you solved a problem while repairing, restoring or maintaining a mechanical music box?
Cylinder boxes, disc boxes, band organs, orchestrions and nickelodeons each have their own special needs.
Share your restoration or maintenance tips with other mechanical music enthusiasts.
Email editor@mbsi.org, call (253) 228-1634
or mail to: Mechanical Music 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449

In a screen grab from a video posted to YouTube, girls can be seen dancing in the streets of London while an organ grinder provides the music. The video was shot in 1896. Smartphone users can scan the QR code in the corner of the image to be taken directly to the video online.
The Italian Organ Grinder:
His Life Revealed
By Dr. Robert Penna
Over the years, much has been written about grinder instruments played in parks and on the streets in the 19th and early 20th centuries to entertain the masses. Several articles can be found describing the instru.ments and their manufacturers, but that is not the focus here. This article concentrates on the people turning the cranks. The people who played these instruments, called by different names in different localities, sought not only to make a living, but to also provide entertainment. Children and young people often danced to the tunes as the organ grinder turned a handle to activate the mechanism. An example of this behavior can be seen in a video from 1896 showing young girls dancing in the street on Drury Lane, London. Well worth the few minutes it takes to watch, the video can be found at https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=xFRdEGPr5zo.
Whether it was a street piano or grinder organ, the results of the music filling the air were often the same. Many people enjoyed, some tolerated and many hated the grinders and the music they played. Perhaps for those who disliked the grinders it was because of the repetition of songs or the squeaking and wheezing of a poorly-maintained instrument. Others may have loathed the music because it was a bit out-of-tune. There may have even been some who disliked the sounds because it attracted crowds of children who would laugh or sing along. Or, perhaps there were other more subtle reasons that this article will attempt to uncover.

Reasons detailed in previous arti.cles by this author and other writers have explained why this type of music disappeared from the streets over time. According to Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume, the disappearance of organ grinders from European streets was in large part due to the early application of national and interna.tional copyright laws. “At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, European publishers of sheet music and holders of copyrights to the most popular operatic tunes of the day banded together to enforce collection of performance duties from any musician playing their property in any venue. When faced with notaries and the hounding of legal representa.tives of the music industry of the time, organ grinders began to disappear.”1 Yet, this cannot be the sole reason as we know that in the case of the steinkjerpositives, Norwegian grinder organs, barrels were pinned with local music gleaned from songs the fiddlers played at weddings and celebratory gatherings and thus were not subject to similar legal issues.2
Another assumption put forth for the demise of organ grinders explains that the rise of the movie industry, radio and the phonograph brought about a decline in the number of organ grinders able to make a living.3 This is a logical theory, yet it does not explain why a vast number of restrictive laws were passed outlawing grinders in cities and towns across the United States and Great Britain. In fact, so many laws were passed in large cities and small towns declaring these auto.matic musical instruments and the practice of grinding them illegal that authorities often encouraged police.men to treat the grinders as beggars or public nuisances.4 The result of these laws and their over-enthusiastic enforcement was that barrel organ grinders were systematically hounded out of existence. In my opinion, this is truly a sad commentary on municipal governments.

Fewer organ grinders to play the instruments meant many instruments and barrels were destroyed or discarded as scrap. In some instances, those barrels contained the only record of the popular music of the day. The loss of a barrel meant there was no longer any trace of the songs recorded on it. Some music of the era was undoubtedly lost.5
But what if there might be another more insidious reason for these attacks on organ grinders? The indi.viduals who practiced this profession were not wealthy nor were they influential. Organ grinders tended to be marginalized members of society. There were some who were amputee veterans from the civil war, who, because of loss of a limb, could no longer do manual labor.6 A small number of African Americans tried to earn a living as organ grinders, but with no formal education and facing heavy racial discrimination not many succeeded in this venture. The vast majority of grinders were recent immigrants. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Italian organ grinders flooded the United States. When cities became rife with husker grinders, these men would move to smaller and smaller towns always hoping to reap the benefits of being a novel entertainment.
Let us look at the lives of these individuals. Organ grinders were a hard-working group of men who either pushed a mechanism on a cart or carried it with a strap across their shoulders, often resting it upon a pole when cranking the instrument. They spent their days standing at one location or tiredly walking the streets for hours. Day by day, usually seven days a week, these men worked through any changes in weather. Cold bitter winds of winter, or a sudden shower, or hot summer days standing in a burning sun, did not deter these individuals. After all, if you and your family relied on small change from passersby or neighborhood children, likely you had to overcome all those hardships in order to survive.

Nowadays photos of these grinders are viewed with nostalgia. Who were these men? Photographs demonstrate that they filled every age group from children to old men. Yet, one wonders how did they get into this line of work? What were their backgrounds? Did they own and service their own instruments? Did they make a decent living? Where did they live? Why were they harassed?
Research shows that from the middle to late 1800s the large numbers of Italian immigrants came to the United States to escape poverty and the harsh conditions which followed the unifi.cation of Italy. True of all immigrants moving to a major city, they sought to live near others of their home country. That is why, even today, there are sections known as Little Italy, Greek Town, Chinatown and others. These special neighborhoods offered stores which carried goods with which the immigrants were familiar. People in their neighborhoods spoke the same language and their specific customs were recognized and not suspected.
A study of this era shows Italian immigrant organ grinders lived in appalling conditions. Low rents encouraged them to move to the poor.est, most rundown neighborhoods. Many old tenement houses in these areas were turned into basic boarding houses and most of these living spaces were squalid and unhygienic with no running water. Trying to survive in these miserable, damp, overcrowded conditions that were rife with disease and often infested with rats, the unwary immigrant could easily became a virtual slave to unscrupulous padrones.7 Padrone is an Italian term that originally meant an employer who provides living arrangements and controls common laborers.
Young Italian children were espe.cially targeted for exploitation. Agents of padrones would recruit youngsters from poor remote villages whose families had no idea they were sending their children into these conditions. The children would accompany the street musicians and beg for pennies. Sometimes, as they grew older, they would crank the barrel organs them.selves. Yet all their earnings had to be handed over to the padrone. If they did not earn enough, they would be

An artist’s sketch depicts the mob that gathered in New Orleans, LA, in 1891 to “avenge” the police chief’s murder. Photo courtesy Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group Editorial/UIG via Getty Images
beaten and sent to bed hungry and threatened with expulsion or death. Many suffered in the worst conditions and the mortality rate amongst these youngsters was high.8
Very few of these immigrants were fortunate enough to have their own street organs. The less fortunate wretches would have to hire a weighty contraption for the day, which they then had to transport by carrying it slung over their backs. Each man had his favorite haunt where he would set himself up, manually cranking the organ handle to produce the tunes, and hoping to earn some pennies. For those who couldn’t afford their own street organs and had to rent, rental costs were set at such a rate that many grinders did not produce enough of a profit to escape the life of poverty.9
To make matters so much worse, it was an era where extreme national.ism reigned in the United States. All immigrants faced prejudice. Not only did African Americans face intoler.ance, but so did any who were new

The caption for this photo reads: “An organ grinder. Here is a familiar street scene, no less entertaining and amusing because so often before our doors. It is a jolly Italian family and the donkey, it is pleasant to remark, looks as satisfied and happy as the baby. There is no case here for the attention of the Humane Society, which is more than can be said of all foreign families who come to our shores. The organ, prudently done up in a mackintosh, is one of hose melancholy instruments that drone forth selections from ‘Faust’ and the ‘Barber of Seville’ with a wheezy catch in its strings and a pause when the performer collects a nickel. Sometimes the handle goes around without making any tune until there is a little click inside and away it goes on ‘Wacht Am Rhein’ or the ‘Marseillaise.’ No fine discriminator is our organ grinder. He plays ‘The Dead March’ with a hop-skip-and-a-jump, and his liveliest waltz with slow ponderous measure that would make even the donkey go asleep. While the music of a street piano will perhaps fail to give the liveliest satisfaction to a cultivated ear, it certainly affords great entertainment for that portion of society known as the ‘street gamin,’ whose opportunities for hearing any kind of music are very limited, with a corresponding increase in his capacity for enjoying it. There is still an Old World flavor about the group which has not had time to get rubbed off against our American ways. When we note the expression on the faces, especially that of the little girl in her mother’s arms, there can be no question that the picture was taken directly from life.”
arrivals to this country. Signs appeared in windows cautioning newcomers with “Irish Need Not Apply,” or “We Do Not Serve Germans,” and “No Jobs for Italians.” According to Tony Hernandez on a blog post at the Immigrant Archive Project, “it’s worth noting that this anti-immigrant fervor usually subsides. And more often than not, the newcomer is eventually woven into the fabric of America.”10
But that didn’t happen until after many of the immigrants grinding organs had suffered and died. At the time that this jingoistic attitude perme.ated our society, the Italian immigrant organ grinder was an especially easy target. Working alone outside of the neighborhood in which he lived, he was often victimized by belligerent groups. Gangs and bullies extorted money and most police did not offer protection for the poor immigrant grinder. Lacking language skills to express himself, he was often blamed for crimes he did not commit.
A prime example of how the media of the time supported injustices appeared in an editorial found in Puck Magazine. Originally printed Apr. 15, 1891, it seems to justify attacks on Italian immigrants and Italian organ grinders. The article unsympathet.ically describes the plight of the average organ grinder and his monkey. If the article had stopped at this point, it would have been somewhat informative, even though it mocked the Italian’s language skills with such phrases as “nice-a-man,” “the lady who give-a ten cents,” and “Lady-who-seta da dog on.”
The article goes on to describe the politics between Italy and the United States at the time, claiming that the Italian government had overreacted to a “recent breach of the peace in New Orleans” and had withdrawn their diplomats. In the article, the “breach of the peace” was not described. Perhaps the audience was cognizant about what this “breach of the peace” was, perhaps not. As readers of this article some 130 years later, we likely would not know.
So why was the Italian government so provoked so as to withdraw its diplomat? What was this “breach of the peace” or “unpleasantness” to which this article refers? A quick review of history of the time shows that one month earlier, Italians were the victims of the largest mass lynch.ings in the history of the United States.

According to a story published in the The Washington Post, on Mar. 14, 1891, a crowd of 8,000 assembled on Canal Street in New Orleans and stormed a prison in which some Italians were held. The crowd was reacting to the acquittal of several Italians who had been accused of the murder of the New Orleans police chief. Although they were later found innocent, the anti-Italian sentiment in the city ran high and a sacrifice was demanded.11 The victims were hated simply because they were Italian immigrants. These 11 men were either shot point blank or dragged outside and hanged from lamp posts. According to Ryan Prior of CNN, “Ital.ians were regular victims of nativist hostility in the 1890s, and more than 20 were lynched in episodes around the country throughout the decade.”12
Instead of expressing compassion for the lives of the 11 men unjustly and cruelly murdered or trying to explain the outrage felt by the Italian government, the Washington Post arti.cle simply misrepresents the number of men killed and attacks the Italian government for recalling its minister. Think about how we, as Americans, feel today when our innocent civilians are attacked in foreign lands and their governments do little or nothing to bring the criminals to justice? How must those Italian immigrant organ grinders felt?
Most literature of the time demon.ized immigrants, especially Italian organ grinders. One example is an ordinary melodrama for the stage from the early 1900s entitled “The Mummy and the Hummingbird.” It describes the villain as a base Italian organ grinder, even though his background demonstrates that he is a supposedly intelligent author who has had to flee his homeland.13
Many more examples of this type of negativity can be found in political cartoons of the day. Attached to this article are several examples of the prejudice faced by immigrant Italian organ grinders gleaned from publi.cations of the time. Often appearing in weekly magazines, the Brother Jonathan cartoon character was used to represent the United States before the Uncle Sam caricature was created. In the attached cartoon, he is advising the Italian organ grinder to send his instrument referred to as a squeak machine to P.T. Barnum’s circus, take a weapon, and go back to Italy.

One drawing shows what an illus.trator drew as a typical Italian organ grinder, revealing him to look like the basest criminal. The drawing was sure to give small children nightmares. Another cartoon of the day calls the Italian organ grinder a “dago” which is an extremely disparaging and contemptuous term used to refer to a person of Italian origin.
A photo appearing in a local news.paper of the day shows an apparently well cared for grinder organ on a donkey-pulled cart with an Italian family. In comparison to an average street husker, this is an unbelievably prosperous grinder. The photo is likely staged, but the caption refers to the mechanism as “one of those melancholy instruments that drones forth selections … with a wheezy catch. … No fine discriminator is our organ grinder.” The caption goes on to state that the music will fail to give the cultivated listener satisfaction. The article does add, however, “it certainly affords great entertainment for that portion of society familiarly known as the ‘street gamins.’” Street gamins are defined as homeless children left to wander the neighborhood, or street urchins. So, according to this piece, only the uneducated homeless can enjoy the sounds of a cranked instru.ment played by this Italian family.
To many, the organ grinders brought joy and pleasure from their humdrum existences and were a wonderful part of their lives. They never knew of the suffering often borne by many of these men. Besides living in deplorable conditions, faced with prejudice and often undisguised hatred, their days consisted of push.ing or carrying a heavy instrument in all sorts of weather. Imagine standing continuously for long hours and monotonously turning a crank to hear the same few songs day after day. This assuredly took not only strength, but patience. Let us never forget what these individuals endured as they played their wonderful instruments that we enjoy to this day.
A poem (see Page 40) which appeared in an 1873 issue of Harp.er’s New Monthly Magazine shows the human cost of an organ grinder. It speculates on the history of the elderly organ grinder’s past and what he thinks as he repetitiously grinds his instrument.14

Footnotes

1.
Penna, Robert. “Organ Grinders, the Mayor and Cartoons of the 1930’s,” Mechanical Music, Music Box Society International, Volume 64, No. 1, January/February 2018, page 36

2.
Steinkjerpositiv. http://www.nostalgeek.no/barrel.htm

3.
Penna, Robert. “Cartoon Crankers,” Mechanical Music, Music Box Society International, Volume 65, No. 4, July/August 2019, page 38

4.
Penna, Robert. “Barrel Organs and Monkey Performers in Our Nation’s Capital,” Carousel Organ, Carousel Organ Association of America, Issue #83, April 2020, page 4.

5.
Ibid. page 4

6.
Penna, Robert. “Barrel Organs and the Disabled Civil War Veteran,” Mechanical Music, Music Box Society International, Volume 64, No. 3, May/June 2018, page 28

7.
Penna, Robert. “Joy and Suffering: The Organ Grinders of London and Manchester,” The Music Box, Musical Box Society of Great Brit.ain, Volume 29 No. 7, Autumn 2020, page 268.

8.
Ibid. page 268

9.
Ibid. page 271

10.
“A Brief History of Anti-Immigrant Propaganda.” Immigrant Archive Project. https://immigrantarchiveproject.org/brief-history-anti-immi.grant-propaganda/

11.
Italian-American One Voice Coalition. 2018. http://www.iaovc.org/lynching-of-italians/

12.
Prior, Ryan. CNN. Published 3:12 PM (EDT) Monday, April 1, 2019.

13.
Penna, Robert. “The Mummy, the Hummingbird, and the Italian Organ Grinder, Mechanical Music, Musical Box Society International, volume 63, No. 5, September/October 2017.

14.
Zucchi, John E. The Little Slaves of the Harp. Buffalo, NY: McGill’s-Queens University Press 1992.

An organ-grinder, meagre and sorrowful, Stops in the sun in the street below; The ragged street children come trooping about him,
Crowding and eager and glad, I know, Their bright eyes peering through tangled tresses With childish wonder and happy trust:
Even the boys stare, quiet a moment, Scraping their toes through the tawney dust.
But the organ-grinder is bent and weary; Nothing is new to him under the sun; The tinkling of notes of the old, old music Mean scanty crusts when the day is done. A waltz may come, or an Ave Maria; The children may listen or run away; The organ-grinder is old and weary, And he turns this handle the livelong day.
What is he thinking, our tired brother? What do these sorrowful gray eyes see? Vacantly gazing – at nothing about him – Is he looking in faces that used to be? Is he thinking of old, old times and people, Of days when the sun in truth was bright, When the sweet winds blew to him perfumed fancies, And sunset castles rose fair in his sight?
Does he hear, instead of the old, old music His brown, stiff fingers are grinding out, The dear wife’s laugh in the pleasant twilight, And the baby’s step and tiny shout? Does he feel the pressure of loving fingers .Deadly chill when he touched them last! .Biding the troubled dream of the present In the gracious glow from the real past?
Our worn-out brother! He is only weary; no fairy dreams are kissing his eyes; His life is sordid and narrow and sorrowful; The pennies fall rarely – for this he sighs No lovely phantoms are floating about him; No echoes are sounding within his breast From the voice divine of that love supernal Which shall surely somewhere give him rest. And the bruised spirit is mate with the body; He will hear with a stare that God is good. Silently add to the store of his pennies, And brighten his desolate solitude. Stifle the Pharisee pity that rises! Who links the merciless chain of fate? Through what dim cycles slow gather its atoms? In what fine junctions – while we wait?
Poem and cartoon from The Little Slaves of the Harp. Reprinted from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, 1873.
The SEGA Grand Pianist
The following article was first published in German by Das Mechanische Musikinstrument (No. 141, August 2021) the magazine of the German Association for Self-playing Mechan.ical Instruments.
By Uwe Gernert
Original intro: In May 2021 I found some new entries in Jody and Robbie’s Mechanical Music Digest (MMD) about a piece of technology not familiar to me before, called the SEGA Grand Pianist, a toy piano in 1/6 scale. It is a fully electronic device with some features worthy enough to be pointed out in a collector’s magazine, which also counts as an audience a group of people who are interested in MIDI technology.
SEGA and SEGA Toys
To warm up, I would like to talk a little about the history of the SEGA Corporation. The company was founded in 1940 in Honolulu, HI, by Americans Martin Bromley, Irving Bromberg and James Humpert. It was then called Standard Games and it produced coin-operated amusement machines, including slot machines for military bases. In 1946 the name was changed to SErvice GAmes, shortened in marketing materials to SEGA, as it continued to focus selling its products mainly on military bases. The U.S. outlawed slot machines in its territories around 1952 and SEGA could foresee a decline in sales, so the founders moved their business to Tokyo in 1951. The name of the company was changed to SErvice GAmes of Japan. The main business of SEGA was still the import of coin-op.erated automatons for American forces stationed in Japan at the time. In 1965 SEGA fused with Rosen Enter.prises, also a Tokyo-based business. Rosen Enterprises imported all sorts of electromechanical devices ranging from photobooths to mechanical playing machines found in arcades. In 1966 SEGA developed a submarine simulator called “Periscope” which became a worldwide export success and brought the company a world.wide reputation. The company began to develop between eight and 10 new arcade games per year.

In 1969, Rosen Enterprises and other shareholders decided to sell SEGA to Gulf & Western Industry Inc., a company engaged in making cars, clothing, sugar and a lot of other prod.ucts. When SEGA debuted its arcade game titled “Heavyweight Champ,” it was the first commercially successful Japanese video game. The company’s name continues to be associated with profitable products in video games and game consoles. In 1982, worldwide sales reached $214 million. The following decades saw SEGA experience many changes because of new competitors like Atari, Sony and Nintendo. Despite some mergers and takeovers, technological and commercial successes like the 16-bit game console called Mega Drive in the 1990s, reestablished the company in international markets.
Yonezawa Toys, which was founded in the 1950s in Tokyo, was the biggest producer of toys in Japan after WWII. They specialized in the 1970s in the production of thousands of different battery-driven mechanical toys. In the 1980s they began producing radio-controlled toys. In 1991 that company was bought by SEGA and the new trademark of the company was Sega-Yonezawa. In April 1998 the name of the founder was deleted from the company’s name and a new trade.mark, SEGA Toys, was established.
Further development saw the parent company SEGA as a supplier of software for the consoles of former competitors, for which games and simulations were and are still developed. On Sept. 9, 2003, SEGA announced to the press a new corpo.rate strategy of entering into more partnerships, including with Chunsoft, Vivarium, and THQ, for whom SEGA distributed games in Japan. The corpo.rate strategy included supporting next generation consoles such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo’s Wii with new video game software. SEGA also bought up several animation and game development studios in the 2000s and later, thus ensuring success in that market segment.

On Dec. 8, 2003, Sammy, one of Japan’s largest slot machine manufac.turers, bought 22.4 percent of SEGA’s stock and with that buy became the largest shareholder of the company after a failed attempt to merge with SEGA in the same year. On May 18, 2004, Sammy and SEGA declared they would fully merge in October to form a joint group called “Sega Sammy Holdings.” After this merger, SEGA Toys was also reorganized, becoming a division of SEGA entertainment. Sega Toys, however, continued to market itself completely independently of the parent company, even though there was cooperation between the two.
The Grand Pianist
As stated in the short introduction, the SEGA Grand Pianist came to my attention due to some short articles in MMD in May 2021. After watching videos at some of the links provided on YouTube, I knew I must have one of these machines and I began to search the web to find one for sale. I found some offered on eBay by international sellers from Japan who wanted $200 or so for them. Some of the offers from U.S. sellers were a lot more expensive so I decided to buy from a Japanese seller for the first time ever. I must say, I was not disappointed. The seller’s communication was excellent, and the instrument was sent on its way to me extremely fast.
Most Japanese sellers on eBay ship their goods free via FedEx worldwide. This is a very convenient way to obtain goods in Europe. FedEx handles all that customs stuff and sends you a bill for the costs about 14 days after deliv.ery. For those who are keen on getting original packaging and the manual (only available in Japanese) for the toy piano, you will have to pay a higher price and only likely deal with sellers from Japan. I wasn’t worried about missing those pieces because I was mainly interested in the completeness and condition of the instrument.
The SEGA Grand Pianist was produced in a white version, but they are rarely offered for sale nowadays and they are more expensive. I would say you might have to add $500 or more to the cost compared to a black version, but if white better fits with your furniture, I could see you saying, “so what?” There are also some editions, I call them “Cinderella-Edi.tions,” that were produced for an even smaller buyer’s market. Mostly, these were white instruments that had printings on the piano’s cover. In my opinion, these would only impress some Japanese or American buyers who might buy the instrument for a child’s room.
The SEGA Grand Pianist is a replica of an 88-key YAMAHA Grand piano. I think it is one of the famous YAMA-HA-series Type C2 pianos, which was also offered as a “Disklavier.” In the display panel of the toy, you might recognize the “Deja-vus.” The Deja.vus is a concept of sorting the files of different genres of music into differ.ent folders labeled A through F. The instrument in its 1/6 scale is practically identical to a reproduced YAMAHA, right down to the music holder. It was originally offered to the public in Japan in the first quarter of 2007.
The instrument’s 88 keys (white ones measuring 4 millimeters while black ones measure 3 millimeters in width) are actuated by small electro solenoids which will be moved according to the song being played. In manual mode the piano keys can be actuated by hand (perhaps even better with a matchstick). The instrument comes with 100 pieces of different music pre-programmed, ranging from classic to popular music, pop classics and of course “Happy Birthday” and “Silent Night.”

The repertoire was chosen by an internationally known Japanese composer and violinist named Taro Hakase. You may recognize his name, as he accompanied Celine Dion from the 1990s on her world tours as a violinist. The playlist can be extended by inserting an SD card into the inte.grated card reader slot. The machine is able to read cards up to a capacity of 2 GB. The dimensions of the piano are 250 millimeters wide, 180 milli.meters high and 330 millimeters long. The weight is about 3.6 kilograms. The Japanese obviously thought about a worldwide distribution for the instrument. The AC/DC adapter is a universal part which covers an AC input from 100 volts (at 100 volts the Japanese current is the worldwide lowest) to 240 volts. When buying an instrument from Japan you should always confirm that the adapter is original and not changed. Even the difference between 100 volts AC and the American voltage of 110/120 volts AC can do irreparable damage to the adapter and the instrument. The power plug on the adapter is NEMA-standard (National Electrical Manufacturers Association), so you don’t even need an adapter.
It is not hard to understand why this instrument found no interna.tional market. SEGA trademarked the instrument in the U.S. but never came up with any kind of marketing campaign to attract people to this product. Another problem was the price tag, which was $400. Delivery could be made only directly from Japan. Robbie Rhodes, in MMD of May 15, 2007, found a “Buy it now price” of $637 on eBay, which was far too much to make this product an economical success abroad.
It also wasn’t helpful at all that the instruction manual and display on the instrument were available only in Japanese. To completely detail all the failures of the marketing strategy for this piano, it would take an expert on the SEGA firm’s history who has a better knowledge of the Japanese language than me. Also regarding the level of commercial success, I only can speculate since I couldn’t obtain any information about how many of these pianos were produced versus how many were sold.
As a children’s toy, the SEGA Grand Pianist was not only too expensive, but also certainly not suitable for youngsters. Operating the instrument requires a high level of technical skill and there are simply too many parts that can break when it is used as a toy. It was also unsuitable for the broader Japanese population, partly because of a lack of living space in Japanese cities, but also contributing to the problem was the hefty price of 47,000 yen. Americans might call something like the SEGA Grand Pianist an “exec.utive desk toy.” As a collector’s item, there probably isn’t much money to be made with it either. I personally can’t see any real target group for marketing this instrument to. It seems to me that 14-year-olds to 16-year-olds certainly had (and still have) other needs greater than a miniature piano.
The instrument’s speaker is another weak point. The electromechanics that operate the keys are loud, only

When turning the piano on, you may see the keys move as part of a testing program.
drowned out when playing songs at full volume but then the quality of the sound isn’t great either. I esti.mated it at a maximum of 2.5 watts on the built-in speaker. According to the manufacturer, it can produce 3 watts of power. You can remedy this shortfall if you use the output jack available on the instrument and employ an external speaker option. I would advise you to look for devices made around the same time as this instrument. For example, you might try the speaker cube NX-A01 that was offered by YAMAHA about that time. Currently on the second-hand market you won’t find any of these speakers in black, only white are available. As collectors, however, we all know that hope always dies last! Maybe one day I’ll find a way to acquire a white version of the SEGA Grand Pianist, then buy a YAMAHA speaker in white also for less than $100. Of course, a Bluetooth TX-adapter together with a corresponding speaker can also offer an alternative to this collector’s dream combination. This Bluetooth option works wirelessly and can also be purchased for less than $100. I thought I might be able to turn off the key action in the original instrument to reduce the noise they make, but it turns out this would require software and possibly hardware hacks that not easily done unless you are an expert computer builder and programmer. With the external speaker attached, however, it is possible to obtain 6 to 10 watts of speaker volume which is quite suitable to overcome the back.ground noises produced by the piano.

When it comes to expanding the playlist for the piano, I have already mentioned that you can use a 2 GB SD card. You can even find some for sale that come with ready-recorded music, but even on eBay these cards are rarely available. Plus, sellers of these cards charge quite high prices and it is even more disappointing when you realize these cards only make a small number of additional tracks available.
There is a bit of software, called Musicbox, from a third-party-pro.ducer that is available and can be

Two SEGA Grand Pianists on top of a Steck Aeolian Pianola in the author’s home.
downloaded from the internet making it possible for you to convert MIDI-files to the format needed to save them on SD cards that are compatible with the toy piano. (Filenames after conversion end with *.FEM)
I was astonished that this software that dates back to 2010 (the version is 1.0.0.1, and is copyrighted in 2004) doesn’t have any problems running on Windows 10.
Don’t listen if somebody tells you to just change a filename extension from *.MID to *.FEM This will not work. Make all changes to your MIDI files with a program designed to work with those types of files before running the conversion through the Musicbox software. If you simply try to edit a MIDI file with a standard code-editor it will result in a corruption of that MIDI file.
Use of the Musicbox software is quite simple even if the export for the toy piano is hidden in a submenu called “List” as a button labeled . In that submenu you will find the choice for saving as . Please make sure to save the files in the root of the SD card since the piano can’t read file structures. Also be sure not to use SD cards with a capacity of more than 2 GB, otherwise the piano can’t read them. Also, not all brands of SD cards available can be read by the piano. I recommend you experiment with some of your old cards first. The usual formatting for the cards is the FAT32-formatting.

The SEGA Grand Pianist comes with a very simple menu structure. You can only choose between playing from media or manual playing. Starting up the piano with an SD card in the slot will provide you with a submenu. The first choice is playing from media. You may choose between SD and the onboard music. The first choice is to play from SD and you don’t even have to know Japanese because the term SD can be clearly identified in the menu.
Press the enter key in the menu three times and the music from the external SD card will start. Quality and range will depend on the MIDIs you use. It does seem, however, that there are many possibilities when playing around with MIDIs using the SEGA Grand Pianist since there are thousands of files available to convert.

Some YouTube videos assert that the toy piano’s keys are actuated at random while playing from self-made SD cards. This tells me that most of the makers of these videos had no knowledge that the Musicbox conver.sion software exists. In my opinion, the piano’s keys are actuated in total congruence with the notes played from the SD card. For those who are curious about the inner workings of the piano, I have included a picture of the inside. If something were to go wrong in there, I’m quite sure it would be easier to buy a new toy than to repair it. Or, maybe you have as much technical insight as the Japanese friend from the internet who sent me the picture that appears on Page 45.

Seeking your stories for ….
Did you once spend time finding the perfect musical
The Hunt
antique to round out your collection? What was it? How did you find it? Was it in ruins, or in perfect condition?
Was there a time you randomly ran across a unique instrument then found a way to acquire it and restore it so that you might display it and tell the story to all who of others. visit your home? We look forward to hearing
Answer these questions and you will have the perfect from you. story for “The Hunt” column in Mechanical Music.
Every mechanical music instrument has a story Email your story to editor Russell Kasselman at behind it and the readers of Mechanical Music love to editor@mbsi.org or mail a copy to: read them all.
Editing help is available if you have a story, but you are MBSI Editorial Offices not sure how to organize it or present it. The important 130 Coral Court thing is to get it down and pass it on for the enjoyment Pismo Beach, CA 93449

A fortunate find
The story of how a Crown Style 16 20.-inch upright disc music box came into my collection

One of the original discs purchased by the author. Note that the label spells Pittsburg without an “h.”
By Harold Wade

Crown 20.-inch disc music box to play Pa.” At the time these discs were
them on since I knew that the discs produced, Pittsburg (without the “h”)
In 2018, sometime in Spring, I would play perfectly on my Olympia was the correct spelling of the name unexpectedly found and bought four 20.-inch (serial No. 11037) table of the city until it was changed on original Crown 20.-inch discs at a model music box. I was happy with Jul. 11, 1911. It would be interesting Stanton’s Auctioneers auction in Hast-that. As mentioned, all the discs are in to hear from other Crown disc music ing, MI. They were in perfect condition excellent condition and each disc has box owners whether their discs have and, in my opinion, reasonably priced. printed on it the words “Crown Music the “h” or no “h” on their Crown disc I never worried that I didn’t have Box–H. Kleber and Bro. Co–Pittsburg, labels.

This image shows the repaired soundboard. Note, also, the small, white instruction label just below the bedplate.
Disc numbers, song titles and composers from the four discs I purchased are listed at top of Page 49.
A year or so later, while searching eBay, I found a music box described as a Regina upright disc music box, but I could tell from the pictures that it looked like an F. G. Otto 20.-inch disc music box. When I called the seller, Dennis Warren from Albany, NY, he told me that an antique music box dealer in New York state told him it was not a Regina but an F. G. Otto disc music box. I requested pictures of the music box and the discs. I was pretty sure it was a Crown 20.-inch disc music box that was manufactured by F. G. Otto and Sons in Jersey City, NJ. The pictures arrived and all nine discs had Crown Music Box labels on them. This convinced me it was worth looking at this item with some

No. Song Title
5065 Marching Through Georgia,
Song 1865
5070 Listen to the Mocking Bird,
March, (Horen Sie den Spottischen Vogel) 1856
Good
5128 Tis the Last Rose of Sum.
mer, from Martha, (Letzte
Rose, Lied) 1847
5281 Il Trovatore, Anvil Chorus
Music from Act 2 Scene 1
1853

Music Box Company in Randolph, VT.
“Pat. May 20, 1902 No: 700550.” The simply, Music Box. It was filed Dec.
boxes of every size
same label on almost all F.

short bedplate installations. The base
The author’s restored Crown 201/2-inch disc music box.
boxes with original base cabinets. MBSI members Mike Perry, who owns a Criterion serial No. 6373 in Ohio, and Alvin Zamba, who owns a Criterion serial No. 8506 in Pennsylvania, have the same cabinet for their machines.
The sole distributor of Crown disc music boxes made by F. G. Otto was Henry Kleber and Brothers, originally located at 1st 501 Wood Street and then at 221-223 Fifth Avenue in Pittsburg, PA, between 1903 and 1904. Kleber, born in Darmstadt, Germany, was an active participant in the city’s musical affairs for years. He had a music store in Pittsburgh for many years selling Knabe, Henry F Miller, Crown Orches.tra, Straube and Opera Pianos, plus many other musical items including Imperial Symphonion disc music boxes, Washington Mandolins, guitars, banjos, zithers and Peerless Piano Players. An interesting side note, I own an Imperial Symphonion 20-inch disc music box with a label inside reading, “H. Kleber & Bro. 221-223 Fifth Ave. Pittsburg—Everything in the music line– Baldwin & Gleason Company, N.Y.” I purchased that box in Pittsburgh some years ago.
The Crown disc music boxes were exact copies of Criterion or Olym.pia or Euphonia music boxes, and possibly even the same as Sterling music boxes though I’ve never seen one of those. I found that the discs are interchangeable since they all have a 3/8-inch diameter center hole and edge drive. The Crown 20.-inch disc numbers (5XXX) are the same numbers as Criterion and Olympia 20.-inch disc boxes. This information comes from an article by Al Choffnes printed in the MBSI journal that is dated Winter 1983 (Vol. 29, No. 3).
The Crown music boxes I’ve seen are plain with no markings. MBSI member Bob Yates has a small Crown disc music box, size 8.-inches with 44 teeth, that has 16 (2XXX) discs. Also Bob’s music box has a label reading “Number 1,” which I believe is the model (looking at Q. David Bowers’ “Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes” on page 299). Bob purchased his Crown disc music box from an antique dealer in Pittsburgh who bought the Henry Kleber store when it went out of business some 40 years ago. MBSI member Colson Conn had a 14-inch or 15.-inch Crown disc music box that he bought on eBay from a small town just east of Pittsburgh some years back. Also, the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ, has on display a Crown 15.-inch disc music box that is on loan from Jane A. George and is pictured in Mechanical Music (Vol. 63, No. 3, May/June 2017, Page 20). I think it would be interesting to know how this Crown 20.-inch disc music box made its way to upstate New York from Pittsburgh, PA.

Ron Connolly, at the Porter Music Box Company, started restoring my Crown music box on Sept. 28, 2020. Ron said the combs were not badly worn and cleaned up nicely. He reported that the number one star wheel on the bass end of the combs was badly worn because the first bass teeth in both the upper and lower comb were too heavy. He added that the spring barrel and drive spring both contained dried-up grease from more than 116 years of use, but they also cleaned up nicely. The drive gear on the shaft was pinned over, instead of using a set screw, to hold it to the shaft, Ron said. He drilled it out and corrected it. Next, he noted that the speed lever and assembly for

The front and back side of a Liberty V nickel, found in the base cabinet of the author’s Crown disc box during restoration.
controlling disc speed was missing, so he made a copy using Jim Farr’s Criterion 15.-inch disc music box which happened to be in Porter’s shop for restoration at the same time. Thank you Jim. The sound board in my Crown music box had shrunken slightly so it was moved over slightly and a Sitka spruce piece was glued in to fill the space and prevent rattles, then sanded to a smooth surface and stained to color match the original. The back board of the music box had shrunken also so the panels were loose causing a rattle. The back panel was taken apart, cleaned up and glued back together to solve this problem. The restoration of my music box was completed in early 2021. The box was delivered to Alvin Zamba’s residence on May 11, 2021. Alvin made a copy of the beautiful gallery from his Criterion 20.-inch box to replace the missing gallery on mine. This made the music box look complete.
Another interesting side note is that Ron found a 1900 Liberty V Nickel in the base cabinet of my music box. It was dirty, but in perfect condition. My guess is that the coin had been laying in the bottom of the base cabinet for more than 110 years.

No. Song Title Composer
5038 Adeste Fideles Portuguese Chapel Hymn (O Come, All Ye Faithful) 1743 Tr. J. R. Beste
5048 The Palms, Scared Song 1872 Jean-Baptiste Faure
5070 Listen to The Mocking Bird, March, (Horen Sie den Spottischen Vogel) 1856 Good Alice Hawthorne
5088 The Holy City, Sacred Song 1892 Stephen Adams
5141 Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Hymn 1862 Joseph P Holbrook
5251 Wizard of the Nile, Star Light, Star Bright Waltz, Song Burlesque Operetta 1895 Victor Herbert
5281 Il Trovatore, Anvil Chorus Music from Act 2 Scene 1 1853 Excellent Giuseppe Verdi
5450 Blaze Away, March and Two Step 1901 Abraham Abe Holzmann
5510 Bedelia Song (A Irish Serenade),(I Want to Steal Ye, Bedelia, I Love You So) 1903 Jean Schwartz & William Jerome

On this page is a table showing the nine discs that came with my Crown 20.-inch disc music box.
It has been an enjoyable journey acquiring this unusual disc music box, having it restored and now enjoying the beautiful music which it can produce. I must thank Dwight Porter and Ron Connolly once again for the excellent restoration. Also, many thanks to Alvin Zamba for the beauti.ful gallery on the top of the music box that he made. Thanks also go to Mary Zamba for taking some photos and assisting with this article.

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

Interesting Tidbits

H.O. Studley, Veteran Piano Maker, at His Bench in the Poole Factory.
The small article accompanying this photo, found in the March 30, 1890, issue of The Music Trade Review, reads:
“In the accompanying picture, taken in the Poole Piano Co.’s factory, Boston, the portrait of H.O. Studley, who is one of the trade’s most interesting characters, will be noted. Mr. Studley has been a piano man for forty-six years, and has been with the Poole Piano Co. for over twenty, and is still in active harness with this well-known Boston piano manufacturing institution. The tool set also shown in this picture represents the collection of a lifetime, and the handsome case as well as a number of the tools were made by Mr. Studley, who is a veteran of the Civil War, and a staunch American.”
Several articles are available online providing more detail about the man and his tool chest, which is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution. Read more at:

19th-Century Tool Box Is Meticulously Designed to Hold 300 Tools


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_O._Studley


http://ggober.com/shop/documents/FW_Stud.ley_Smithsonian.pdf


https://lostartpress.com/collections/books/products/ virtuoso

Margie Epstein — 1935-2021
By Paul Senger
I am sad to announce the passing
of Margery “Margie” Epstein on Jun.
2, 2021, at the age of 85 after a long
illness. She was born in Trenton, NJ,
and was a resident of Silver Spring,
MD, for more than 40 years. After
raising three children, she started
a successful tutoring business that
she ran for nearly 20 years. She was
predeceased by her husband of 62
years, Seymour “Sy” Epstein, in 2018.
Together they were able to pursue
many passions including travel,
game collection and appreciation for
antique music boxes. They also loved
to go to musical shows including
the annual John Philip Sousa tribute
concerts by the Marine Band, and live
performances at local venues. She
loved to talk to the musicians and
performers after shows. Margie was
also enthusiastic in her participation
in the League of Women Voters. Sy
and Margie had been members of the
National Capital Chapter for over 15
years and enthusiastic contributors

to our chapter including our Annual daughter, Sharon Ross (Greg); flowers, donations can be made to the
Convention in 2011. grandchildren, Ericka and Neil, sister, League of Women Voters, American Margie will be greatly missed. Our Barbara Waksler; and brother, Roger Cancer Society and American Heart
condolences go out to the family. Pitasky. Association. She is survived by sons, Bruce A memorial service was held Read more at www.sagelbloomfield.
(Rachael) and Jeff (Virginia); Jul.j 11 in Rockville, MD. In lieu of com/obituary/Margery-Epstein

Lelland Fletcher — 1926-2021
The Southern California Chapter is collector who attended many chapter sorry to have to announce that our meetings as well as national mechan.dear friend, Lelland Fletcher, passed ical musical enthusiast meetings in away on Jul. 21, 2021, at a care center. the U.S., Japan and Europe. He will be
July 28 would have been his 95th sorely missed. birthday. “Fletcher” was a gentle man A memorial service in San Diego, and a long-term MBSI member and CA, was held Aug. 6.

Advertise in The Mart

Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space where you should be installing your next acquisition? Ready to trade up, but need to sell one of your current pieces first? Get the word out to other collectors by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Go online to place your advertisement at www.mbsi.org, fill out the form in the Mart section, or contact Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 to get started. You may also email advertisements to editor@mbsi.org

A Lasting Legacy

Throughout its history, MBSI has fostered an interest in and preservation of automatic musical instruments. Your gift to the Endowment Fund will support programs that will help future generations appreciate these achievements of man’s creative genius. Visit www.mbsi.org to learn more.

In order for anything once alive to have meaning, its effect must remain alive in eternity in some way
– Ernest Becker, Philosopher

The Musical Box Society International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations to the Endowment Fund are tax deductible. A gift of any size is welcome.
Aug. 31 – Sept. 5, 2022
72nd Annual Meeting of the Musical Box Society International & 58th Annual Meeting of the

and the MBSI Golden Gate Chapter Location: San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport in San Mateo, California

Stanton’s Auctioneers,
Vermontville, MI 49096 Phone: (517) 726-0181 Michael C. Bleisch Fax: (517) 726-0060 (517) 231-0868 cellular E-mail: stantonsauctions@sbcglobal.net E-mail – mcbleisch@gmail.com Website: www.stantons-auctions.com

Music Box Company, Inc.
We restore Swiss cylinder and disc music boxes.

Cylinders are repinned if necessary and all worn parts are rebuilt to original specifications or better.


Combs are repaired and tuned. Nickel plated parts are replated as needed.

Trust your prized music box to the finest quality restoration available. We have been accused of over restoring! Better over than under I say!
We will pick up your music box anywhere east of the Mississippi River, and transport it to our shop in Randolph, Vermont, where it will be stored in a climate-controlled area until it’s finished and returned.
We have a complete machine shop where we build Porter Music Boxes, more than 3,000 so far. We are unique in the industry in that we are capable of manufacturing any part needed to restore any music box.
See our website, www.PorterMusicBox.com, to read letters of recommendation and browse a selection of the finest disc boxes currently being manufactured anywhere in the world. We have twin disc models, single disc models with 121/4” or15 1/
“ discs, and table models with beautiful cabinets created for us in Italy. Also we can
occasions.
P.O Box 424 Randolph, VT 05060

support.

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

The Musical Box Society of Great Britain announces the publication of two new books Published in September 2018

100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27” . 11.70”; Profusely illustrated in
Supplement to

colour throughout with Additional Illustrations of Models, 89 Additional Lid The Disc Musical Box Pictures Additions to Lists of Models, Patents, Tune Lists & Serial Numbers; Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.
Compiled and Edited by Kevin McElhone Originally published in 2012 and still available The Disc Musical Box
ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9
is a compendium of information about Disc Musical Boxes, their Makers and their Music; profusely illustrated in colour throughout with Illustrations of each Disk Musical Box Model, and with Catalogue Scans, Lists of Models, Patents & Tune Lists.
Supplement to
Compiled and Edited by Kevin McElhone
100pp Hard Back ISO A4 format [8.27” . 11.70”; Profusely illustrated in
Patents, Tune Lists & Tuning Scales; A New Section on Trade Cards; Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.
The Organette Book is a compendium of information about Organettes, their Makers and their Music. Originally published in 2000 but now out of print although second-hand copies are occasionally available in online auctions.
************************************************************************************************************************ For all MBSGB Publications, please refer to the Musical Box Society of Great Britain website for further details including latest availability, discounted prices and information on how to order. -www.mbsgb.org.uk

MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 3 May/June 2017
MECHANICAL MUSIC
Journal of the Musical Box Society International Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
Volume 63, No. 1 January/February 2017

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

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments
DISPLAY ADVERTISING DIMENSIONS & PER ISSUE COSTS
Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $247
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43

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

EIGHTH CLASSIFIED ADS PAGE
QUARTER
3.5” x 2.125” • 47¢ per word
FULL PAGE PAGE

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

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

• Format: See ads for style
(live area) HALF PAGE
• Restrictions: Ads are strictly
HORIZONTAL
limited to mechanical musi.
7.25” x 4.5”
cal instruments and related items and services
PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
ISSUE NAME ADS DUE DELIVERED ON

January/February December 1

January 1 March/April February 1
March 1 May/June April 1
May 1 July/August June 1
July 1 September/October August 1
September 1 November/December October 1
November 1

PRINTING & ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
Mechanical Music is printed on 70 lb gloss Email ÿ les to: paper, with a 100 lb gloss cover, sad-mbsi@irondogmedia.com dle-stitched. Trim size is 8.25” x 10.75”.
USPS or Fed Ex to: Artwork is accepted in the following for-Iron Dog Media, LLC mats: PDF, PSD, AI, EPS, TIF. All images 130 Coral Court and colors should be CMYK or Grayscale Pismo Beach, CA 93449 and all fonts should be embedded or converted to outlines. Images should be a minimum of 300 dpi resolution.
Contact MBSI Publisher Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 or editor@mbsi.org

Style “C” with spiral
spring motor.
10 impeccable cuffs.

Fully restored mahogany case and movement.

Mermod Freres, 17” cylinder, 10 tunes.

REGINA 151/2 MUSIC BOX. Mechanism was
THE MART

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

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

The 1st day of each even month: Feb., Apr., Jun, Aug., Oct. and Dec.
Display ads may be submitted camera-ready, as PDF files, or with text and instructions. File submission guidelines available on request.
Errors attributable to Mechanical Music, and of a significant nature, will be corrected in the following issue without charge, upon notification.
CLASSIFIED ADS

47¢ per word


ALL CAPS, italicized and bold words: 60¢ each.


Minimum Charge: $11 per ad.


Limit: One ad in each category


Format: See ads for style


Restrictions: Ads are strictly limited to mechanical musical instruments and related items and services


MBSI member’s name must appear in ad


Non-members may advertise at the rates listed plus a 10% surcharge

PLEASE NOTE:
The first two words (or more at your choice) and the member’s name will be printed in all caps/bold and charged at 60¢ per word.
Mechanical Music
Mechanical Music is mailed to all members at the beginning of every odd month — January, March, May, July, September and November.
MBSI Advertising Statement
It is to be hereby understood that the placing of advertisements by members of the Society in this publication does not constitute nor shall be deemed to constitute any endorsement or approval of the busi.ness practices of advertisers. The Musical Box Society International accepts no liability in connection with any business dealings between members and such advertisers.
It is to be further understood that members are to rely on their own investigation and opinion regarding the reputation and integrity of advertisers in conducting such busi.ness dealings with said advertisers.
variety of antique musical boxes, discs, orphan cylinders, reproducing piano rolls & out of print books about mechanical music. BILL WINEBURGH 973-927-0484 Web: antiquemusicbox.us
THE GOLDEN AGE of AUTOMATIC MUSI.CAL INSTRUMENTS By ART REBLITZ. Award-winning classic that brings historical, musical, and technical information to life with hundreds of large, vivid color photos. We guarantee you’ll find it to be one of the most interesting, inspiring, informative books you have in your library–or your money back. Everyone has been delighted, and some readers have ordered several copies. Get your copy today for $99 plus S/H. MECHANI.CAL MUSIC PRESS-M, 70 Wild Ammonoosuc Rd., Woodsville, NH 03785. (603) 747-2636.
http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

installed. Plays as it should. New top repro.duced. Have receipts for work and parts. $2,100.00. Call JON GULBRANDSON, at (763) 923 5748
MILLS VIOLANO #3931 purchased from Mills Novelty Co. in 2003. 100-point restoration done by the most well-known and respected Violano technician in the country. Flawless brown mahogany case. Instrument plays and sounds great. It has been serviced regularly. Plays from collection of 12 recut rolls or MIDI system with over 300 songs on hard drive. Retired, moving, need to sell. Will accept any reasonable offer. Contact RON SCHULTZ, at rpsdds@hvc.rr.com or (845) 386-2773
MARVELS OF MECHANICAL MUSIC -MBSI Video. Fascinating and beautifully-made film which explains the origins of automatic
SUBMIT ADS TO:
MBSI Ads 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (253) 228-1634 Email: editor@mbsi.org

musical instruments, how they are collected and preserved today, and their historic importance, MBSI members and collections are featured. $20 USD. Free shipping in the continental U.S. Additional postage charges apply for other locations. Purchase now at www.mbsi.org

SEEKING PLANS or measurement for a Polyphon lower cabinet for 19.5 size disc. Contact ROD MOORE, rodcrna4u@gmail. com or (336) 337-1165 North Carolina

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

Display Advertisers
SAVE $’s on REUGE & THORENS MUSIC BOX REPAIR & RESTORATION – MBSI MEMBERS RECEIVE WHOLESALE PRICING.
40 + Years experience servicing all makes & models of cylinder and disc music boxes, bird boxes, bird cages, musical watches, Anri musical figurines, et al. All work guaranteed. We’re the only REUGE FACTORY AUTHORIZED Parts & Repair Service Center for all of North America. Contact: DON CAINE -The Music Box Repair Center Unlimited, 24703 Pennsyl.vania Ave., Lomita, CA 90717-1516. Phone:
(310) 534-1557 Email: MBRCU@AOL.COM. On the Web: www.musicboxrepaircenter.com
Advertise in The Mart
Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space where you should be installing your next acquisition? Ready to trade up, but need to sell one of your current pieces first? Get the word out to other collectors by advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an inexpensive price.
Fill out the form below and mail to MBSI at 130 Coral Court, Pismo Beach, CA 93449. Call (253) 228.1634 with questions.
3………. Renaissance Antiques 54…….. Music Box Restorations 54…….. Miller Organ Clock 55…….. Golden Gate Chapter 56…….. Stanton Auctions 57…….. Porter Music Box Company 58…….. MBSGB 58…….. American Treasure Tour 59…….. Reeder Pianos 59…….. Cottone Auctions 59…….. Ben’s Player Piano Service 59…….. 4-4Time.com 61…….. Nancy Fratti Music Boxes 66…….. Marty Persky Music Boxes 67…….. Morphy Auctions 68…….. Auction Team Breker

Name Phone Email Text of ad

ORDER EXTRA COPIES
Call MBSI Administrator Jacque Beeman at
(417) 886-8839 or send a check to: Musical Box Society International P.O. Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196

OFFICERS, TRUSTEES & COMMITTEES of the MUSICAL BOX SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL®
OFFICERS President
Tom Kuehn 4 Williams Woods Mahtomedi, MN 55115 kuehn001@umn.edu
Vice President
David Corkrum 5826 Roberts Avenue Oakland, CA 94605 musikwerke@att.net
Recording Secretary
Linda Birkitt PO Box 541 San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693 scarletpimpernel28@yahoo.com
Treasurer
Edward Kozak 3615 North Campbell Avenue Chicago, IL 60618 ekozak1970@gmail.com
TRUSTEES
Dave Calendine Bob Caletti Ed Cooley Dave Corkrum
G.Wayne Finger Matt Jaro Tom Kuehn Mary Ellen Myers
MBSI FUNDS

COMMITTEES Audit
Edward Cooley, Chair, Trustee Dave Calendine, Trustee Matt Jaro, Trustee
Endowment Committee
Edward Kozak, Treasurer, Chair Edward Cooley, Trustee Dave Calendine, Trustee B Bronson Wayne Wolf
Executive Committee
Tom Kuehn, Chair, President David Corkrum, Vice President Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres.
G.Wayne Finger, Trustee Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee
Finance Committee
Edward Kozak, Chair, Treasurer Wayne Wolf, Vice Chair David Corkrum, Vice President Edward Cooley, Trustee Peter Both
Marketing Committee
Bob Smith, Chair Dave Calendine, Trustee
G.Wayne Finger, Trustee Judy Caletti
Meetings Committee
Matt Jaro, Chair, Trustee Judy Caletti Tom Chase Cotton Morlock Rich Poppe
Membership Committee
Chair, TBD Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,
Southeast Linda Birkitt, Southern California Gary Goldsmith, Snowbelt Christine Hopwood, Golden Gate Julie Morlock, Southeast Rob Pollock, Mid-America Dan Wilson, Piedmont Gerald Yorioka, Northwest Int’l TBD, East Coast TBD, Great Lakes TBD, National Capital TBD, Sunbelt
Museum Committee
Sally Craig, Chair Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres. Glenn Crater, National Capital Ken Envall, Southern California Julian Grace, Sunbelt Matt Jaro, National Capital Rob Pollock, Mid-America Richard Simpson, East Coast
Museum Sub-Committees
Ohio Operations Rob Pollock

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES Publications Back Issues:
Jacque Beeman

Regina Certificates:
B Bronson

MBSI Pins and Seals:
Jacque Beeman
Librarian:
Jerry Maler
Historian:
Bob Yates
Nominating Committee
Dan Wilson, Chair Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres. Bob Caletti, Golden Gate, Trustee Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,
Southeast Jonathan Hoyt, Golden Gate Robin Biggins, Southern California Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan
Publications Committee
Bob Caletti, Chair, Trustee Steve Boehck Dave Corkrum, Vice President Christian Eric Kathleen Eric Terry Smythe
Publications Sub-Committee
Website Committee Rick Swaney, Chair B Bronson Don Henry Knowles Little, Web Secretary
Special Exhibits Committee
Chair Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee, Southeast David Corkrum, Vice President,
Golden Gate Donald Caine, Southern California Jack Hostetler, Southeast Knowles Little, National Capital Judy Miller, Piedmont Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan Wayne Myers, Southeast Rick Swaney, Northwest Int’l
MBSI Editorial Office:
Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 editor@mbsi.org

Members can donate to these funds at any time.
Send donations to: General Fund (unrestricted)
MBSI Administrator, Endowment Fund (promotes the purposes of MBSI, restricted)
PO Box 10196, Ralph Heintz Publications Fund (special literary projects)
Springfield, MO 65808-0196. Museum Fund (supports museum operations)

All manuscripts will be subject to editorial review. Committee and the Editorial Staff. are considered to be the author’s personal opinion. Articles submitted for publication may be edited The article will not be published with significant The author may be asked to substantiate his/her or rejected at the discretion of the Publications changes without the author’s approval. All articles statements.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Date Event Location Sponsor
Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 2022 Joint MBSI / AMICA Annual Meeting San Mateo, CA Golden Gate Chapter/ AMICA Founding Chapter

When will your chapter meet next? Holding a “virtual meeting?” Let us know! Send in your information by Oct. 1, 2021, for the November/December issue. Don’t hold your questions until the next chapter meeting. Ask them today on our Facebook discussion group
-the Music Box Society Forum.

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

Administrator Jacque Beeman handles back issues (if available) $6; damaged or issues not received, address changes, MBSI Directory listing changes, credit card charge questions, book orders, status of your membership, membership renewal, membership application, and MBSI Membership Brochures. P.O. Box 10196 Springfield, MO 65808-0196 Phone/Fax (417) 886-8839 jbeeman.mbsi@att.net
Traveling MBSI Display Bill Endlein 21547 NW 154th Pl. High Springs, FL 32643-4519 Phone (386) 454-8359 sembsi@yahoo.com
Regina Certificates: Cost $5. B Bronson Box 154 Dundee, MI 48131 Phone (734) 529-2087 art@d-pcomm.net
Advertising for Mechanical Music Russell Kasselman Iron Dog Media 130 Coral Court Pismo Beach, CA 93449 Phone (253) 228-1634 editor@mbsi.org
CHAPTERS
Snowbelt

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

Chair: Jack Hostetler (352) 633-1942 Dues $5 to Clay Witt 820 Del Rio Way Unit 203 Merritt Island, FL 32953
Museum Donations Sally Craig, 2720 Old Orchard Road Lancaster, PA 17601 Phone (717) 295-9188 rosebud441@juno.com
MBSI website Rick Swaney, 4302 209th Avenue NE Sammamish, WA 98074 Phone (425) 836-3586 r_swaney@msn.com
Web Secretary Knowles Little 9109 Scott Dr. Rockville, MD 20850 Phone (301) 762-6253 kglittle@verizon.net
CHAPTERS
East Coast
Chair: Elise Low (203) 457-9888 Dues $5 to Roger Wiegand 281 Concord Road Wayland, MA 01778 or pay via PayPal, send to treasurereccmbsi@gmail.com
Golden Gate
Chair: Jonathan Hoyt jenjenhoyt@yahoo.com Dues $5 to Dave Corkrum 5826 Roberts Ave. Oakland, CA 94605
Japan
Chair: Naoki Shibata 81-72986-1169 naotabibito396amb@salsa.ocn.ne.jp Treasurer: Makiko Watanabe makikomakiko62@yahoo.co.jp
Lake Michigan
Chair: Aaron Muller (847) 962-2330 Dues $5 to James Huffer 7930 N. Kildare Skokie, Illinois 60076

Mid-America
Chair: Rob Pollock (937) 508-4984 Dues $10 to Harold Wade 4616 Boneta Road Medina, OH 44256
National Capital
Chair: Matthew Jaro (301) 482-2008 Dues $5 to Florie Hirsch 8917 Wooden Bridge Road Potomac, MD 20854
Northwest International
Chair: Rick Swaney (425) 836-3586 Dues $7.50/person to Kathy Baer 8210 Comox Road Blaine, WA 98230
Piedmont
Temp Chair: Dan Wilson (919) 740-6579 musicboxmac@mac.com Dues $10 to Dan Wilson 4804 Latimer Road Raleigh, NC. 276099
Southern California
Chair: Robin Biggins (310) 377-1472 Dues $10 to Diane Lloyd 1201 Edgeview Drive Cowan Hgts, CA 92705
Sunbelt
Chair: Ray Dickey (713) 467-0349 Dues $10 to Diane Caudill 4585 Felder Road Washington, TX 77880

Copyright 2021 the Musical Box Society International, all rights reserved. Permission to reproduce by any means, in whole or in part, must be obtained in writing from the MBSI Executive Committee and the Editor. Mechanical Music is published in the even months. ISSN 1045-795X
7

Mechanical Music at its Best -Visit www.Mechmusic.com
Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

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

Weber Unika Weber Maesto Weber Otero Seeburg KT Special Bowfront Violano

Regina 35 w Clock Nelson Wiggen Style 8 Symphonion 25st

Call Marty Persky 847-675-6144 or email: Marty@Mechmusic.com for further information on these and other fine instruments.

Bacigalupo violinopan barrel 2-seater elephant sofa in theorgan, Model 9, c. 1895 fairground style, c. 1980
Estimate: 5.000 – 7.000 ˜ / Estimate: 2.000 – 2.500 ˜ /$ 5.900 – 8.260
$ 2.360 – 2.950

“Princess”, 2-inch scale model of a Fowler showman’s engine Estimate: 5.000 – 8.000 ˜ / $ 5.900 – 9.440
World’s Leading Specialty Auctions

»Mechanical Music & Carousel«
24 + 25 September 2021 5 + 6 November 2021

Galloper carousel horse, Arthur E. Anderson, Designer & Wood Carver, Bristol, c. 1920 Estimate: 7.000 – 9.000 ˜ / $ 8.260 – 10.620
“Bimbo Box” with mechanical monkeys, Automatenfabrik Bk, Betlinghausen Estimate: 2.500 – 2.500 ˜ / $ 2.950 – 2.950
Fairground working model of a gondola switchback Estimate: 1.200 – 1.800 ˜ / $ 1.415 – 2.120 Unusual horn gramophone Estimate: 1.200 – 1.800 ˜ / $ 1.415 – 2.120
Hupfeld Clavitist electric piano, c. 1910
Estimate: 2.500 – 3.500 ˜ / $ 2.950 – 4.130

Friedrich Heyn Carousel Horse, Caroussel-Pferde und Kunstfiguren Fabrik, Neustadt an der Orla, c 1900 Estimate: 5.000 – 7.000 ˜ / $ 5.900 – 8.260
Book-playing fairground organ by Alfred Bruder, Waldkirch, c. 1928 Estimate: 20.000 – 30.000 ˜ / $ 23.600 – 35.400
…and many more!

For more information and large colour photographs of some more of the upcoming Highlights please visit our website at: www.Breker.com / New Highlights and youtube.com/auctionteambreker Fully-illustrated bilingual (Engl.-German) COLOUR Catalogue available against prepayment only:
Euro 28.– (Europe) or elsewhere Euro 37.– (approx. US$ 44.– / Overseas)
. Consignments are welcome at any time!
Polyphon Style 104 disc musical box, Polyphon Musikwerke, Leipzig, c. 1899“Buffalo Bill” smoking automaton

Estimate: 6.000 – 8.000 ˜ /

by Gustave Vichy, c. 1890 – The Specialists in »Technical Antiques« –
$ 7.080 – 9.440 Estimate: 7.000 – 9.000 ˜ / P. O. Box 50 11 19, 50971 Koeln/Germany · Tel.: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 40 · Fax: +49 / 2236 / 38 43 430 $ 8.260 – 10.620

Otto-Hahn-Str. 10, 50997 Koeln (Godorf)/Germanye-mail: Auction@Breker.com · www.breker.com · Business Hours: Tue – Fri 9 am – 5 pm
.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES: Japan: Murakami Taizou, Tel./Fax (06) 68 45 86 28 * murakami@ops.dti.ne.jp · China: Jiang Feng, Tel. 138 620 620 75 * jiangfengde@gmail.com Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore: Alex Shih-Chieh Lin, (HK), Tel. (+852) 94 90 41 13 * alexsclin@gmail.com England: Tel. +49 (0) 176 991 40593 * AuctionTeamBrekerUK@outlook.de · France: Pierre J. Bickart, Tel. (01) 43 33 86 71 * AuctionTeamKoln@aol.com
Russia: Maksim Suravegin, Tel. +7 903 558 02 50 * Maksim-ATB.ru@gmx.net U.S.A.: Andrew Truman, Tel. (207) 485 8343 * AndrewAuctionTeamBreker@gmail.com · Australia & New Zealand: P. Bardenheier, (NZ), Tel./Fax (+64) (0)9 817 72 68 * dbarden@orcon.net.nz

Volume 67, No. 4 July/August 2021

Mechanical Music

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

Volume 67, No. 4 July/August 2021

PuRchAse • sAles • consignment

of Quality Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes, Musical Clocks & Automata

For over forty years we’ve placed fine antiques in collections around the world.
Our reputation has been built upon appreciative buyers and satisfied sellers.
Pictured are a few of the musical antiques in our current and recent inventories.

496 First Street, California 93463 • Ron & Julie Palladino
Open Seven Days a Week 10-6 • 805-452-5700
www.renantiques.com

Visit the charming Danish Village of Solvang, half an hour above Santa Barbara in the beautiful Central Coast Wine Country
RENAISSANCE ANTIQUE S

Renaissance Antiques of solvang

Editor/Publisher

Russell Kasselman

(253) 228-1634

editor@mbsi.org

MBSI Editorial Office:

Iron Dog Media

130 Coral Court

Pismo Beach, CA 93449

editor@mbsi.org

Publications Chair

Bob Caletti

All manuscripts will be subject to editorial
review. Articles submitted for publication may
be edited or rejected at the discretion of the
Publications Committee and the Editorial
Staff. The article will not be published with
significant changes without the author’s
approval. All articles are considered to be the
author’s personal opinion. The author may be
asked to substantiate his/her statements.

Mechanical Music (ISSN 1045-795X) is published by
the Musical Box Society International, 130 Coral Court,
Pismo Beach, CA 93449 six times per year. A Directory
of Members, Museums and Dealers is published
biennially. Domestic subscription rate, $60. Periodicals
postage paid at San Luis Obispo, CA and additional
mailing offices.

Copyright 2021. The Musical Box Society International,
all rights reserved. Mechanical Music
cannot be copied, reproduced or transmitted in
whole or in part in any form whatsoever without
written consent of the Editor and the Executive
Committee.

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

POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO

MBSI, PO Box 10196,
Springfield, MO 65808-0196

Mechanical Music

Journal of the Musical Box Society International

Devoted to All Automatic Musical Instruments

Volume 67, No. 4 July/August 2021

MBSI NEWS
5 President’s Message
7 Outreach Corner

51 In Memoriam

Features

10 Nickel Notes
by Matt Jaro

16 The Braamcamp Clock

29 History of the
Steinkjerpositives

35 Building a Bird Box

39 An Unforgettable Buying
Trip

43 Treasured Memories

48 Bob’s Symphonion

On the Cover

The Braamcamp Clock, restored
and displayed in Museum
Speelklok. Read the story of the
restoration starting on Page 16.

Steinkjerpositives

Strange name, interesting history.
Page 29.

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

Bob’s Symphonion

Sometimes you find “The One” and
simply marvel that it makes its way
to your collection. Page 48.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 3

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
M
M
echanical music is a fascinating hobby! It
appeals to the artist, historian, craftsman, and

musician all at the same time. Play an automatic

musical instrument in a room full of people and all else

will stop as the machine enraptures the audience with the

sparkling melodies of yesteryear!

Mechanical music instruments are any sort of auto

matically-played machine that produces melodic sound

including discs and cylinder music boxes that pluck a steel

comb; orchestrions and organs that engage many instru

ments at once using vacuum and air pressure; player and

reproducing pianos that use variable vacuum to strike piano

wires; phonographs; and self-playing stringed, wind, and

percussion instruments of any kind.

The Musical Box Society International, chartered by the

New York State Board of Regents, is a nonprofit society

dedicated to the enjoyment, study, and preservation of

automatic musical instruments. Founded in 1949, it now

has members around the world, and supports various

educational projects.

Regional chapters and an Annual Meeting held each year
in different cities within the United States enable members
to visit collections, exchange ideas, and attend educational
workshops. Members receive six issues of the journal,
Mechanical Music, which also contains advertising space
for members who wish to buy, sell, and restore mechanical
musical instruments and related items. Members also
receive the biennial MBSI Directory of Members, Museums,
and Dealers.

The only requirements for membership are an interest in
automatic music machines and the desire to share information
about them. And you’ll take pride in knowing you
are contributing to the preservation of these marvelous
examples of bygone craftsmanship.

More Information online at www.MBSI.org, or

Call: (417) 886-8839, or

Email: jbeeman.mbsi@att.net

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

Last name First Name Initial

Last Name First Name Initial

Address

City State / Zip Postal Code / Country

Phone Fax E-mail

Sponsor (optional)

Membership Dues

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

(online journal access only)

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

(Add $20 for International air mail.)

Join online: www.mbsi.org/join-mbsi

Check or Money Order Payable to: MBSI Treasurer (US Funds Only)
Mail to: New Member Registration – MBSI
PO Box 10196
Springfield, MO 65808-0196

Visa/MasterCard

Exp. Date CCV

Signature

4 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

By Tom Kuehn

MBSI President

The President’s desk has been
relatively quiet the past two months,
a welcome respite from all the additional
activity necessitated by the
pandemic during the past year and a
half. So, I will be brief.

My family has made arrangements
to attend the 2021 MBSI Annual Meeting
in Ft. Myers, FL. Members of the
Southeast Chapter have been working
diligently over the past several years
to make this year’s meeting really
special. Those of you who have never
attended an annual meeting should
know you may be missing one of the
best benefits of membership in this
society. The meetings are fun, informative,
part holiday and part reunion
with an opportunity to make and
renew friendships. If you have not
had an occasion to smile for a while,
plan to attend the meeting. I assure
you, it will not disappoint.

Those of us in the U.S. are experiencing
what should be the end of the
COVID pandemic in our country. I
realize this is not the case everywhere.
Travel restrictions and other impediments
may prevent many of our
international members who routinely
attend our meetings from participating
this year. Hopefully this will be the
last year those hurdles exist.

I hope all of you are having a look forward to seeing many of you in
relaxed and enjoyable summer and I person in Ft. Myers.

Welcome new members!
Steve & Diane EpsteinApril 2021
Columbia, MO
James & Angela Mayer Dennis Tynes
St Louis, MO San Diego, CA
May 2021 Dave Menna
Scarsdale, NY
Lynn Meyer Sponsor: Joe Moffitt
Macomb, MI
Matthew Bjork & Lisa Voth
Davis, CA
Richard & Kaye Moyer
Anaheim, CA
Richard Parker
Walla Walla, WA
Andrew Warner
Harvard, MA

MBSI MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
EACH ONE/REACH ONE NEW MEMBER

MBSI is always interested in increasing its membership and is pleased to offer new members a $15
discount off their rst year’s membership. You are considered a new member if you have not been a
member in the past three years. This discount is also available on our website, www.mbsi.org.

Current MBSI members who sponsor a new member will receive a $5 discount off their next year’s
MBSI membership renewal for each sponsorship. Attach a copy of the discount voucher below to a
copy of the membership application form on Page 4 of this issue of Mechanical Music. Place your
name as “sponsor” on the application form.

Please make copies of these forms as needed and send the completed forms with checks to the MBSI
administrator at the address listed below.



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


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

Gift Membership Name

Address, City, State, ZIP
Phone Email
Sponsor

SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase one or more rst-year MBSI gift
memberships at $45 each U.S., $55 Canadian, or $60 other International
and you will receive $5 off your next year’s MBSI membership
renewal for each “New Member” gift.

Please mail this form together with your check made payable to “MBSI” to the MBSI Administrator at the address listed
above. Memberships are $45 for U.S. residents, $55 for Canadian residents, and $60 for other International residents.

Outreach Corner Outreach Corner
A Special Exhibit . . . during COVID

If you can’t go to the show, bring it to you!

By Mary Ellen Myers

Special Exhibits Committee Chair

Year 2020 dragged on at a snail’s
pace. Folks (especially those sharing
our condo address) were desirous
of interesting, enjoyable yet safe,
live entertainment during this time
of social isolation. Neighbors and
friends talked of interests and hobbies
and how they missed the normalcy of
engaging in these. Could this be an
opportune time to introduce folks to
mechanical music?

As a background, our second home
(hopefully to eventually become our
primary home), in Sarasota, FL, is
center stage to many professional
artistic venues, including productions
of the Ringling School of Art,
the Sarasota Ballet Company, the
Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota
Opera Company, many museums,
live theater arts, and, of course, the
Circus. Area colleges also focus on
the arts and provide student entertainment.
Many retirees, especially those
from the north, have chosen this area
for continued enrichment. The onset
and intensity of the COVID Pandemic
canceled all public performances and
proclaimed an indefinite furlough
pending the status of the pandemic. As
a result, area residents became hungry
for entertainment of an artistic nature,
while being extremely cautious in
all health and safety matters. Some
programs were privately streamed
over the internet but it was just not
the same as being there amongst a live
audience. What was needed was live,
in-person programs.

Creativity was needed to provide
social yet safe activities in our 69-unit
condo community. We all seemed to
be craving something stimulating,
interesting yet free of concern. As a

A promotional table set up in the condo common area to advertise the show.

A cylinder music box from Wayne and Mary Ellen Myers’ collection demonstrated
during the show.

Condo Social Committee planner, I pandemic imposed social restrictions.
had considered a mechanical music I floated the idea around a bit, without
exhibit in our newly-renovated condo much interest. (The community is an
common-area in compliance with over-fifty group, very conscious of

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 7

Advertising is important. A simple sign in the condo lobby Flyers were made available to residents of the condo to gauge
attracted attention when it was clear seating would be limited. interest and control the number of attendees.

everything and anything safety.) Being
a retired healthcare professional, safety
was my primary objective as well.

I sent out flyers of introduction and
questionnaires regarding interests,
specifying that events would only
happen if we could guarantee compliance
with COVID mandates. Still, I
received mediocre interest in return.
Lastly, I sent out specifics about
exactly how an event like this would
be accomplished, displaying sign-ups
and charts for limited seating. Something
about the word limited proved
enticing to those reading my advertisements.
A few days later, every spot
was filled! I set the show date close to
St. Paddy’s Day, so green refreshments

were also offered in a safe manner.

Food does draw interest!

On Mar. 14, 2021, the show did go on.

The history and science of
mechanical music and instrument
demonstrations were presented five
times during the day, each session
lasting about one hour. We coined
the phrase “Home Entertainment of
bygone years — from Inside to Out.”
Instruments demonstrated included
a cylinder box, and two kinds of disc
players for the in-home part. A roller
organ (aka preacher’s organ) and a
Taylor street organ brought mechanical
music out of the home. A table of
other curiosities, including past MBSI
table favors, was also on display.

Wayne Myers, Sally Craig and I
were the presenters explaining and
demonstrating each instrument.
Audience members were invited to
be organ grinders for a few minutes.
MBSI brochures were made available.
Two prizes (orphan music boxes from
a bygone convention) were awarded
at the end of the day.

This was a fun and satisfying experience
for the presenters and audience.
Hopefully there will never be a need
to take such rigid safety precautions
again. I do apologize that no photos of
the actual presentation are available.
We were all too busy conducting the
show that day! The best news to come
out of all of this? No one got COVID!

Music is nothing unless it is shared

8 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Participants were invited to become organ crankers on this
Taylor street organ. A roller organ demonstrated during the show.

A Molinari monkey organ that became part of the show. Visitors saw and heard this disc box during the presentation.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 9

Nickel Notes

By Matthew Jaro

The restoration of Seeburg K #57046

It was a little over six years ago
when I thought I could squeeze one
more nickelodeon into my music
room. The question was, what should
I get? I already had a Seeburg K
with xylophone, a Nelson-Wiggen
4X restored by David Ramey, Jr.
(see Mechanical Music, November/
December 2019, or Vol. 50, No. 5 of
the AMICA Bulletin), a Seeburg G, a
Seeburg H (see Mechanical Music,
July/August 2016, or Vol. 47, No. 3 of
the AMICA Bulletin), a Wurlitzer 153
Band Organ and a Chickering Ampico
A piano.

Remember, I really like the music,
so a plentiful supply of rolls was
important to me. The Link machines
have wonderful arrangements, but
changing rolls is difficult and I change
rolls all the time. Cremona machines
are wonderful, but M rolls are relatively
hard to obtain.

I’ve always loved the Wurlitzer
CX which uses five-tune APP rolls. I
thought seriously about this machine,
but then I realized that I would have
to get all available rolls, since I’m a
real roll addict. My house is already
overflowing with rolls, and I really
don’t have room for another large set
of rolls. I think there are thousands of
APP rolls. For the same reason an O
machine, like the Coinola SO, would
be impractical.

Then I hit upon the idea of getting
a Seeburg K machine with pipes. I
already have a large A roll collection,
so I wouldn’t have to buy a bunch of
rolls, and it would be a completely

different sound from my K with
xylophone.

As luck would have it, Dave Ramey,
Jr.’s mother had such a machine. It
originally belonged to Dave Ramey,
Sr. who bought it years ago for his
personal collection. It had a set of
flute pipes, but Dave, Sr. had a set of
violin pipes made by Bruce Newman.
So here I am presented with the idea
of owning a machine with two sets of
interchangeable pipes. I could choose
the sound I liked!! Unfortunately for
us all, Dave, Sr. died before he could
restore this machine.

I bought the machine from Dave,
Jr.’s mother and since it was already
in Dave, Jr.’s shop, I got on his list

of projects to do. Dave, Jr.’s work on
my Nelson-Wiggen 4-X machine was
so incredibly great, that I was more
than happy to have him restore this
machine, too.

So here I am, embarking on another
adventure!

Again, there was a lot to do in
order to restore a machine. I like my
machines to look like they just came
out of the Seeburg factory. The case
should look new, and the parts should
be shiny. The machine should sound
like it was brand new.

This machine dates from 1914 and
has the rare Dancing Girl art glass and
the old gate-post coin accumulator.
The stained glass did not have the

Decals used to restore the faces of the dancing girls in the art glass.

10 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 11

The piano action before restoration. The piano action after restoration.

The gatepost coin accumulator before restoration.

The gatepost coin accumulator after restoration.

faces on the dancing girls (they were Restore Cabinet • Replace plating or clean and age
just blank) and several pieces were • Patch veneer on sides and lid hardware
the wrong color. Decals had to be • Replace veneer on toes and • Restore art glass with decals
made in order to restore the faces. In bottom stringer
addition, work needed to be done on • Fabricate new bottom to replace Restore Piano
the trim. splintered/warped original • Patch and refinish soundboard

The following is a list of the tasks • Supply lock and key • Install new tuning pins
performed (other than the stained • Install new casters • Install new strings
glass): • Refinish cabinet • Refinish piano plate

12 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

• Replace plating on hardware
• Clean and rebuild action wippens
• Install new butts and hammers
• Install new damper felts
• Fabricate and install original style
mandolin rail and mechanism
Restore Electric Components

• Restore coin mechanism
• Fabricate coin collection box and
housing
• Replace plating on hardware
• Install relay and cover (lessens
wear on coin mech contacts)
• Fabricate spring motor base
• Replace wiring of hanging socket
Restore Pipe chest

• Replace all gaskets
• Replace all coverings
• Fabricate new pneumatic boards
• Refinish components
• Clean pipes
Restore Piano Stack

• Replace all valve pouches and
valve face leathers
• Replace all gaskets
• Fabricate new pneumatic boards
• Replace all coverings
• Refinish components
Restore Vacuum/Pressure Pump

• Replace outer coverings with
laminated leather
• Make and install new inner and
outer flap valves
• Refinish pump body
• Replace plating of hardware
• Install new friction drive tire
• Change how pump mounts to
channel deck for easy removal
Restore Music Roll Frame

• Clean mechanism
• Clean and polish tracker bar
• Restore rewind/play unit
• Replace rubber tubing
• Make and install missing tubing
cover
Restore other Pneumatic
Components

• Replace all valve pouches and
valve face leathers
• Replace all gaskets
• Replace all coverings
• Make and install missing pedal
The interior of the machine before restoration.

The interior after restoration.

hardware collection at Svoboda’s Nickelodeon

• Supply original coin slide entry Tavern and Museum. Around 1970,
• Replace rubber tubing Dave, Sr. began a full-time restoration
business. Dave trained a number of
Dave Ramey, Sr. started receiving skilled craftsmen. He introduced the
his automatic music education in 1955 Banjo-Orchestra in 1994 and the D.C.
while maintaining the nickelodeon Ramey Piano Company has since sold

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 13

The pump before restoration.

The template for new pump leather with stiffeners.

many units. Dave Ramey, Sr. passed away in July 2006. His
son started in the family business full time in 1986 after
years of working after school and summers alongside his
father. Dustin Hott worked with Dave and he did much of
the piano work for the restoration project.

One fine day, Dave, Jr. pulled up to my house with
my brand-new (old) Seeburg K. If I ordered one from
Seeburg, it couldn’t have looked better. Can you imagine
taking a wreck of a machine and creating something truly
wonderful?

It’s been several years now, and I can’t stop playing it. I’m
sticking to the violin pipes for now since I like the sound
better than that of the flute, but I can always change.

Dave Ramey, Jr. can be reached at dcramey@dcramey.
com and his phone is (708) 602-3961. Visit his website
dcramey.com.

The spool frame before (top photo) and restored to a like-new
condition (bottom photo).

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

Reprinted with permission of the author and The Automatic
Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association (AMICA). Originally
printed in the November-December 2015 issue of The
AMICA Bulletin.

14 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Many, many valves were cleaned and
restored during the process of renewing
the Seeburg K.

WE WANT YOUR
STORY!
Every mechanical musical
instrument has a tale to tell.
Share the history of people
who owned your instrument
before you, or the story of its
restoration, or just what makes
it an interesting piece. Send
stories via email to
editor@mbsi.org, or
mail your story to:
130 Coral Court,
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
New strings help make the piano sound like it just came off the factory floor.

More of the valve work in progress.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 15

The

16 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Braamcamp Clock

In September 2016, a long-
cherished wish came true for
the Dutch Museum Speelklok
in Utrecht, Netherlands. With
the help of some donations and
foundations, the director of
Speelklok, Marian van Dijk, and
the head of the collection, Anne-
Sophie van Leeuwen, were able to
acquire the so-called “Braamcamp
clock” at a Sotheby’s auction in
Paris, France. The purchase of this
prestigious flute clock also marked
its return to Holland, where it
had once been part of the rich
collection of fine and applied arts
of the merchant Gerrit Braamcamp
(1699–1771) in the late 18th century.

Reprinted with permission of Das Mechanische
Musikinstrument and the Gesellschaft für Selbstspielende
Musikinstrumente e.V. (German Society for Self-Playing
Musical Instruments)

Editor’s note from Das Mechanische Musikinstrument:

In the newsletter of Museum Speelklok
I read the account of an employee of
the Rijksmuseum, in Amsterdam, which
concerned the restoration of the so-called
“Braamcamp Clock.” The article was available
in English, but it was so exciting that I asked
the author, Tirza Mol, if I could translate it into
German and publish it in Das Mechanische
Musikinstrument. Tirza emailed me back that
she wanted to discuss it first with her boss, the
head of the furniture restoration department at
the Rijksmuseum. I then received the following
report on the restoration, which I have
transcribed from English in consultation with
those involved. First, a word about Charles
Clay and the clock, whose purchase was by no
means as unspectacular as our authors’ text
suggests. The clock was sold at auction on
Sept. 28, 2016, at the Sotheby’s auction house
in Paris, France, and came from the collection
of a well-known French collector, Robert de
Balkany. It was bought by Museum Speelklok
for the remarkable price of 867,000 euros. This
set a world record for the price of a clock made
by Charles Clay. At the time the clock was
made, England, and London in particular, was
the center of the clockmaking world. Clay was
a purveyor to the court of the English crown
and a contemporary of Thomas Tompion and
George Graham, the absolute grand masters of
English clockmaking.

Thanks to the Authors’ collective which
consisted of Tirza Mol, Paul van Duin, Duncan
Bull from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and
Anne-Sophie van Leeuwen, Marieke Lefeber-
Morsman, Erwin Roubal and Tristan Budel
from Museum Speelklok, Utrecht.

All photographs are courtesy of Museum
Speelklok, Utrecht, Netherlands.

— Uwe Gernert
July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 17

The clock was probably made in the
late 1730s by Charles Clay, a London
master clockmaker who was at the
time a member of His Majesty’s Board
of Works as a court clockmaker. He
held that position until a few years
before his death in 1740. Because of
its sophisticated musical mechanism,
the acquisition of the Braamcamp
clock had always been a heartfelt wish
of Jan Jaap Haspels during his time as
director of Museum Speelklok from
1970 to 2006. When the museum celebrated
its 50th anniversary in 2006, the
monumental clock was the highlight
of the anniversary exhibition titled
Royal Music Machines.

Made of oak, the overman-high
furniture of the Braamcamp clock is
veneered with mahogany in the lower
part and ebony in the upper part. The
case houses a clockwork, a weight-
driven organ movement, and a large
musical cylinder 340 millimeters in
diameter. When the clock and organ
movement were originally assembled
into the case, it must have been
discovered that the two parts did not
really fit together. At different places
in the clock and organ movement,
it’s obvious that interventions took
place to remedy this situation. These
interventions do not all seem to have
been really optimal and significantly
affected the clock’s construction.
The ornaments consist of fire-gilded
bronze decorations and cast brass
elements. The side and the rear arched
windows of the upper part are also
filled with “ajour” work made of fire-
gilded bronze, the openings of which
are covered with red fabric from the
back.

The movement

The first thing restorers noticed
were two small, closed openings on
the clock dial. These were probably
intended as holes for winding the
clock, but when the clock came into the
possession of Museum Speelklok, the
movement was being wound through
openings in the side parts of the case.
It was surmised that the reason the
openings in the dial were closed had
to do with the enormous effort necessary
to wind the clock through the
dial. In order to do this, it would have

A drawing of Gerrit Braamcamp.

required the entire, huge upper part
of the case to be pushed completely
upwards and held there while the
clock was wound. Someone may once
have considered putting a door in the
upper part of the case to assist with
the winding, but had such a door been
installed, it would have hidden part
of the magnificent ornamentation
from view, and that would have been
highly undesirable. Putting smaller
openings on the sides of the upper
part of the case and employing angular
gears attached to the shafts of the
movement so that the clock could be
wound without removing the case was
clearly a better solution for the person
responsible for the modification. The
angular winding gears, however, put
a different load on the movement’s
bearings than the original mechanism
could tolerate and ended up causing
some corresponding damage. After a
thorough examination, it was decided
that the movement and its winding
method should be restored to the
original condition. For this purpose,
the original winding holes on the dial
were reopened, the added parts of the
winding system were removed, and
thus the complete winding system
was restored to its original form.

Also, of course, the damage
caused to the movement itself had
to be repaired. The forces applied
by the angular gears in the winding

The two padded wooden blocks used to
hold the clock casing high enough to be
able to wind the mechanism.

mechanism had caused a crack in one
of the axles. This crack was milled
out and refilled with iron. Holes
were drilled in the front plate of the
movement and in the corresponding
shafts to be able to attach the earlier
modification. All of these holes were
also resealed. The worn, out-of-round
bearing bores were replaced, the
shafts were re-turned to size, and the
cones were polished. The contact
patterns of the gears were no longer
suitable due to the changed positions
of the winding mechanism, and the
meshing of the gears was thus no
longer guaranteed. This was remedied
by concavely re-milling the teeth of
the corresponding gears, thus restoring
a suitable contact pattern.

The sliding case/cover was also
restored to its original state. Now, to
wind the movement, the entire upper
part of the case has to be pushed up
about 30 centimeters. The original
owner likely had servants and therefore
could marshal enough manpower
to do this regularly, but today it is
much harder to find people willing
to assist with this, not only for the

18 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The drawing for the restoration
of the drive mechanism
July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 19

physical labor involved but also they
fear dropping the case, or otherwise
damaging anything in the clock. There
is no fixture in the case that holds the
top in this position, so we now make
use of two padded wooden blocks,
which are slid under the top to hold
it in place while the clock is wound.
In the base cabinet under the clock,
there is enough storage space to hold
these blocks and the winding keys.

The dial is housed in the front round
arch but is relatively small with a
diameter of 15 centimeters. This dial
is embedded in a large copper plate,
artfully decorated with sculptural
elements in front of an oil painting
of Apollo and the Muses on Mount
Parnassus with Minerva. The painting
can almost certainly be attributed to
the Venetian painter Jacopo Amigoni
(ca. 1685–1752). The front of the clock
is framed by a bas-relief of fire-gilded
bronze, intended to create the impression
of three-dimensional architecture
and consisting of two obelisks, each
crowned with a vase, and two other
ornate vases. In high relief are the
figures of Apollo and Diana in cast
silver. These were made by John
Michael Rysbrack (1694–1770).
Rysbrack is also responsible for the
vividly depicted group representing
the “Four Arts” below the figures,
which are also cast in silver as high
reliefs.

We encounter Rysbrack’s reliefs on a
whole series of Clay’s musical clocks,
while Amigoni is also responsible for
painting all four sides of Clay’s probably
most accomplished clock on the
theme of “The Four Great Monarchies
of the World,” now part of the British
Royal Collection and on display at
Kensington Palace. Rysbrack and
Amigoni, as leading artistic figures
of the time, were naturally at home
in London’s musical world, so Clay’s
choice to commission them to design
it to complement Handel’s music is
not surprising.

Repertoire

The music automaton consists of
an organ that plays 10 different melodies,
probably all by George Frideric
Handel (1685–1759). Handel (from
Halle), Amigoni (from Naples) and

Detail of the dial face of the
Braamcamp Clock showing the
bronze sculptures on either corner,
cast-silver figures inset and finally
an oil painting of Apollo and the
Muses on Mount Parnassus with
Minerva in the background that
creates a three-dimensional artwork
effect.

At right and facing page: Details of
the bellows section and the flute
ranks with pinned cylinder featuring
10 tunes.

20 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 21

Rysbrack (from Antwerp) were the
three main figures of London’s cultural
life in the first half of the 18th century
and as such were familiar with the
most popular and fashionable art form
of the time, Italian opera. As the most
famous musician of the time, Handel
was naturally the first choice to create
the music for such an extravagant
and expensive piece as Clay’s clock,
and it could be possible that he was
responsible for arranging his melodies
specifically for this work, but equally
for Clay’s other organ clocks.

The range of the flute organ is quite
extensive:

c’-d-e-f-fis-g-a-bes-b-c”-cis-d-dis-ef-
fis-g-gis-a-bes-b-c’’’

Every three hours the organ plays a
melody. The first piece on the cylinder
is the “Minuet from the Overture to
Arianna.” The opera “Arianna” was
first performed in 1734. In order to
make this minuet playable for the
organ work of the clock, the arranger
shortened it and omitted the middle
register. Five of the other melodies
in the repertoire have not (yet)
been identified. There is a distinct
possibility that one or the other of
these melodies may have originally
belonged to another organ clock
repertoire. Three of these five pieces
are also found on another clock by
Charles Clay, which is preserved in
Windsor Castle and dated to a year of
construction around 1739.

To make minor adjustments to the
keys of the organ movement means
simply removing a smaller part of
the upper section. To tune the organ
movement, however, the upper case
must be removed completely.

This is a time-consuming operation.
In order to get the case to a reasonable
working height, formwork panels
must be set up on scaffolding around
the clock and even then, lifting the
case is difficult because the lower
cabinet is still quite wide and anyone
recruited for the work would have to
lean their upper bodies over the clock
as they lifted. To solve this problem, a
supporting frame of four additionally
clad and interconnected wooden
beams was constructed. Probably

These photos show the scale of the clock plus the scaffolding and padded crossbar
mechanism that are used to remove the case when the instrument must be tuned.

22 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The top photo shows a cast silver figurine
before restoration and the photo
below is after. The third photo shows
the silver cast image of Diana with her
quiver that had been missing when the
museum took possession of the clock.
The quiver was reconstructed using old
photos of the Braamcamp clock. The
bottom photo shows the scale of the
quiver compared to a human hand. The
attention to detail during the restoration
was a high priority.

The organ work undergoing restoration at Museum Speelklok.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 23

a similar construction was used in
earlier times.

In front of and behind the organ
movement, there are two solid brass
arches that serve as guides for the
upper part and ensure that it remains
in position and does not collide with
the organ movement. Additionally,
these arches support the dial and give
the movement some rigidity. Similar
construction has not yet been found
on other Clay movements, so it seems
to be a design specifically done for
this clock.

The first owner of the clock is
unknown, it probably came into the
possession of Gerrit Braamcamp in
Amsterdam in 1759. After his death,
the clock was sold at auction and
acquired by members of a branch of
the Braamcamp family that had settled
in Portugal. The clock was passed
through several collections there,
including that of the Infanta Maria
Isabel, and remained in Portugal until
the 20th century. Around 1972, the
clock was purchased by the Parisian
collector Robert de Balkany and then
it passed into the hands of Museum
Speelklok in 2016.

The restoration of the case and
its base, as well as the ornamental
elements, was supervised by
the restoration workshops of the
Rijksmuseum shortly after it was
purchased. Rijksmuseum employees
possessed the necessary experience
and restoration expertise not only in
the field of woodwork, but also for the
metalwork and oil painting. Although
at first glance the furniture appeared
to be in quite good condition, a closer
look revealed some major challenges.

Closer inspection revealed that not
only was the mahogany veneer loose
and standing out from the wooden
base, but there were also cracks
and dents in both the veneer and the
carved mahogany elements. The solid
wood of both the side panels and the
base had cracks, and in these cracked
areas the veneer had also cracked and
was blistering. Color changes were
also discovered in the veneer along
these cracks.

The fire-gilded bronzes and silver
and brass decorations were dirty and
partially corroded. Diana’s quiver cast

A detail shot of the base showing the veneer pulling away from the wood.

in silver, a characteristic attribute
of the goddess of the hunt, had been
lost, and the red fabric behind the
openwork of the upper part was loose,
faded and damaged. The surface of the
painting was dirty and also showed
damage caused by the peeling of oil
paint from the copper background.

Although the lacquer coating on
the base was in reasonably good
condition, the high gloss and reddish
tint were both found to be distracting.
Light reflections caused by the high-
gloss finish prevented the enjoyment
of seeing the subtle nuances of the
mahogany veneer’s grain. Due to
the thick application of the varnish,
the carvings also suffered, their
edges looking far too soft as a result.
Examination with ultraviolet light in
conjunction with pyrolysis gas chromatography
analysis revealed that the
high gloss varnish was a shellac that
had been applied after the original
finish which was a mixture of different
resins such as pine, limb cypress, shellac
and larch dissolved in turpentine
had been removed. In the areas of
the corpus that are more difficult to
reach, there were still remnants of this
mixture first used, which fluoresced
greenish under ultraviolet irradiation.
Scrape marks on the veneer proved
that the turpentine resins had been
mechanically removed.

Museum Speelklok wanted to have
the case restored to a condition that
matched the original, so that the original
condition would be visible again
and the high quality of the materials
and craftsmanship would be evident.
The high-gloss varnish on the base
was thus completely removed with

solvents. Several layers of beeswax
were then applied. The silky patina
of the beeswax, the use of which was
common practice in the first half of the
18th century, now allows one to experience
the three-dimensional effects
of the grain of the mahogany. Cracks
and depressions in the veneer and the
solid wood body were filled and loose
parts were glued back in place.

After consultations with the
Rijksmuseum’s metal conservation
department, it was decided to clean
all metal decorations and polish the
pieces to a soft shine. The fire-gilded
bronzes were cleaned and given a
transparent varnish to protect them
from corrosion in the future.

A replacement was created in silver
casting for Diana’s lost quiver, using
old photographs of the Braamcamp
clock as a pattern.

The painting restoration workshop
of the Rijksmuseum examined the
painted dial with infrared and ultraviolet
light. The surface of the painting
was cleaned and damaged areas were
repaired.

The fabric, which the textile
conservation conservators at the
Rijksmuseum identified as a modern
synthetic fabric, was removed and
replaced with a silk fabric dyed to the
appropriate red hue.

The restoration of the Braamcamp
clock is an outstanding example of
interdisciplinary collaboration. On
behalf of the case, Paul van Duin,
head of furniture restoration at the
Rijksmuseum, coordinated the work
and supervised the project. Furniture
restorer Tirza Mol was commissioned
to carry out the necessary restoration

24 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Restorers replace synthetic fabric with dyed silk.

Photos showing various pieces of
the wind chest during the restoration
The channels of the wind chest, some of which had to be delicately repaired. process.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 25

work. A freelance textile restorer,
Anja Semts, dyed and mounted the
silk fabric. The painting was worked
on by painting conservator Giulia De
Vivo, while metal conservator Arie
Pappot worked with Tirza Mol on the
reconstruction of Diana’s quiver. The
high level of art historical expertise of
the Rijksmuseum curator Duncan Bull
and Anne-Sophie van Leeuwen helped
to provide a better understanding of
the context in which the clock was
created in London in the 18th century.

The organ work

On the sides of the organ work it is
easy to see that the original plan for
installation was changed. There are
holes in the wood, which are unusable
because the pumping mechanism for
the bellows is now placed there. In
the lowest part of the organ work is
the bellows system. This part was in
an extremely bad condition. After the
entire bellows system was incorporated
into the sides of the wood, it had
become very thin and compromised
in structure. Since this part was actually
impossible to restore, Museum
Speelklok restoration experts copied
and refinished this piece. The part of
the air supply to the windchest and
the fastening of the bolts, on the other
hand, was preserved.

The scoops on the bellows clearly
show that the intake valves were
probably mounted close to the hinge
point of the bellows in the past. These
wooden valves are glued onto a frame
and thus lie somewhat elevated above
the respective scoop bellows. The
result was that they hit the upper
bearing of the bellows and thus could
only function poorly. The cracks have
been eliminated and the bellows have
also been restored. Paper was glued
to the outer and inner sides to ensure
optimal tightness of the scoops. Bone
glue was used for bonding so that
the joints can be separated again if
necessary.

In the middle part of the organ
movement is the wind chest. The
board on which the wind chest is
fixed, and where the air supply of the
magazine bellows is also located, was
broken in two places. This board was
restored and sealed. It was noticeable

A side view of the clock showing the base that houses the pumping mechanism and
gears that drive the cylinder.

that the air supply was not accomplished
through a large opening, as
was common and usual, but through
a grating with several slits that could
be interrupted by a pull. Museum
staff wondered what could have been
the function of this draught. Might
it have been to interrupt the music?
After all, this could be done in other,
simpler ways, such as shutting off
all the stops or blocking the impeller
on the centrifugal governor. Another
idea for the arrangement was that
the intended effect of this pull was to
cause a tremolo in the tone, although

a tremulant for a mechanical organ
of that time is highly unlikely. In any
case, this pull never worked, mainly
because of the lack of space when the
organ was made.

The windchest itself was in good
condition and was glued out with bone
glue on the inside as a precaution to
prevent it from blowing through into
other channels or chambers in each
case. The old leather of the valves
was renewed and the valves were
readjusted in their old place.

The top part houses the organ pipes
and the gear train for the organ and

26 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

An unusual brass strip found
on the cylinder to ensure all

keys are briefly lifted before the
mechanism is set in motion. It
is thought that this allows air
to fill the pipes of the organ
and helps to ensure that the
wind-pressure is correct before
play starts.

At far right is another view of
the cylinder with all keys in
place and ready to play.

Smartphone users can scan the QR code to watch a video

about the restoration on YouTube.

clockwork. The arrangement of the
pipes was changed at the time of origin
to make room for the clockwork. This
can be clearly seen in the channels in
the board on which the organ pipes
are placed; this was actually longer.
The board itself was in quite good
condition, but the channels had to be
worked on. Because some of the ducts
cross each other, they were sealed
against each other with leather in an
earlier restoration. This leather had
disintegrated over the years, allowing
air to cross between these channels.
With steam and a lot of patience, we
replaced this leather. The holes were
again sealed with bone glue. By using
the bone glue, this intervention in the
original substance can also be easily
reversed.

This was also true for the thin and
long channels that supply the pipes of
the 4-inch reed stop with air. The wood
between these channels is extremely
thin and probably wood has already
broken out of these channels during

manufacturing. In addition, due to
the aforementioned lack of space in
the organ, these pipes were placed
in a different position than originally
intended. Therefore, the channels
were lengthened, and in the process,
more parts of the wood broke away.
The missing parts were replaced, and
thin leather was inserted over the
cracks with bone glue.

The organ clock has four pipe
registers whose state of preservation
varied greatly. The small pipes in the
4-inch reed flute stop were almost
all clogged with dirt, and many of
the glue joints in the pipework were
no longer tight. The 8-inch reed flute
stop was in reasonably good condition,
only the stoppers needed to be
re-leathered, and the pipes needed
tuning. The formerly open 8-inch
pipe stop had been dacked and was
in exceedingly poor condition. In a
previous restoration, the pipes of this
stop were sawed off to make a dacked
stop. We removed the stoppers and

made extensions for each of the pipes.
Then the pipes were sawed to the
correct length at the extensions and
tuned. Now this stop is again a stop
with open pipes. The fourth register
again consisted of a row of 8-inch
dacked pipes. It was noticeable that
these were made of a different wood
than the rest of the pipes. The pipes
were restored, and all the stoppers
were re-leathered.

The barrel/cylinder, keys,
and stickers

The large brass barrel is located
above the movement. In the course
of its life, it was probably polished
several times with brass polish. Thus,
quite a lot of polish got left between
the large number of pins and bridges.
Unfortunately, polish has an abrasive
effect because it consists largely of
chalk. This chalk, accumulated over
the centuries, caused abrasion on the
keys as well as the pins and bridges.
Now and then, the chalk then also fell

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 27

into the movement to cause further
damage. Restorers used benzine,
paintbrushes and brushes to remove
the remains of the cleaning agent.

One unusual feature found during
the restoration was a brass strip in
the lane of the barrel. This brass strip
ensures that, shortly before the entire
playing mechanism is set in motion,
all keys are briefly lifted. This makes
it possible to adjust all keys at the
same time. This could be intended to
ensure that the music won’t play too
legato, but also not too staccato. The
fine-tuning doesn’t have to be done on
the basis of the pins and bridges on
the barrel anymore.

Another, additional explanation for
this device could be that it helped
the flywheel and thus the rest of the
mechanics to come up to the necessary
circulation speed. When the flywheel
starts to rotate, the bellows coupled to
it are also set in motion, thus building
up the necessary wind in the organ. So,
in order to get the flywheel going from
a standstill, it makes perfect sense to
let the air supply to the valves of the
pipework “run into the void.” After
all the keys are opened by the lifting,
the air flows through all the pipes
without resistance, without reaching
a wind pressure that makes the pipes
respond. This, in turn, ensures that
the action can start moving without
further stress from the buildup of
wind for the pipes.

Four “protrusions” had appeared
on the brass strip. This meant that
keys could get caught on these raised
areas when the pin roller was moved
sideways. Restorers compensated
for these flaws in the brass strip
with appropriate dovetail joints.
Originally, the stickers were made of
steel, but these stickers were later
replaced with wooden stickers in an
earlier restoration. The stickers were

The Braamcamp Clock is now on permanent display in Museum Speelklok.

returned to an original state. The which helped with establishing their
order of the keys, which had been orientation.
changed at some point, was restored The Braamcamp clock is on display
to the best condition possible. Some in the permanent exhibition of
of the keys were still marked with Museum Speelklok from December
the corresponding inscriptions, 2019.

28 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The history of the Steinkjerpositive

By Dr. Robert Penna

In the mid to late 19th century, the
small Norwegian town of Steinkjer
became known for the manufacture of
quality barrel organs. It is surprising
that one small town and its environs
produced more than 500 hand-cranked
instruments. Certainly, this was
many more than organ enthusiasts
locally would ever need. So, why did
this location become such a hub of
production? Who were these Norse
craftsmen? How could there be such
a demand? How did these instruments
spread throughout the region? How
did it all start and why are these barrel
organs known as “positives”?

A barrel organ is known by many
names. In different locations, one can
hear the term street organ, monkey
organ, grinder organ, roll organ, crank
organ, hand organ, cylinder organ and
even incorrectly, hurdy gurdy.1 Yet, in
one location, they are called positives.

Throughout Norway, the Steinkjerpositive
was a well-known local brand
of barrel organ. Other European barrel
organs from the same period were
usually more lightweight and easier to
carry. The ones produced in Steinkjer,
especially the two larger versions,
were more like portable organs by
comparison. Though heavier and
harder to move from place to place,
the machines were well built and the
sound quality excellent. Further, what
set them apart was the fact that the
music was taken from the traditional
local tunes used by fiddlers throughout
the district. Because of these
reasons, you could be “positive” they
were from Steinkjer.

Some 40 kilometers south of Steinkjer,
the town of Levanger hosted a
market each December and March.
Begun in 1829, farmers, tradespeople
and families visited to sell their goods,
shop, catch up on the news and find
entertainment for the children. The
market also attracted visitors from
foreign lands including barrel organ

grinders. One can imagine the novelty
of the instrument caught many a
person’s attention.

Among those fascinated by the
barrel organ was Thomas Fosnaes
(1813–1870), an instrument maker,
clockmaker and musician from
Steinkjer. Fosnaes began building
barrel organs before 1849 as several
of his instruments have been found
which precede this date. It is likely

Photograph of a Norwegian organ grinder. Photo from the Nordlandsmuseet’s
collection

that he earned some business from
itinerant grinders who sought his
assistance to repair or retune their
instruments as they passed through
his area. Then, an incident in about
1850 ignited Fosnaes’s passion and he
began manufacturing barrel organs
on a larger scale. The catalyst for this
change was the reported death of an
Italian barrel organ player who had
lived in the town of Beitstad some 16

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 29

kilometers northwest of Steinkjer. It
is thought that because of Fosnaes’s
reputation as a violinist, the Italian’s
unclaimed mechanical device was
given to him.

After taking the instrument apart,
Fosnaes decided he would continue to
make his own instruments and improve
on their construction based on what he
learned from the Italian’s instrument.
One of his early decisions was to
contact two brothers who were well
known locally for casting fine quality
brass objects. Christian (1839–1922)
and Torris Tharaldsen (born 1848) not
only excelled in brass work but were
also talented carpenters. At first, they
cast parts for the organs built by Fosnaes,
but as the need for more positives
grew, the Tharaldsen brothers began to
build their own barrel organs. Christian
made the internal parts and some of
the decoration, while Torris made the
cases.

The ability to pin the music to the
barrels is a difficult task, far beyond
the ability of most carpenters or metal
workers. Fosnaes was a celebrated
local violinist, well known for playing
at concerts and weddings. He also
gave lessons to aspiring violinists.
One of his most talented students
was Jacob Schjefte (born 1841). The
increasing demand for positives and
the public desire for more and varied
tunes inspired Fosnaes to recruit and
train Schjefte to prepare barrels for
the positives as regular employment.
Although by trade a shoemaker, Jacob
became known as a master at pinning
barrels for these instruments. He is
known to have pinned the barrels for
the organs made by Christian Tharaldsen
as well as for those made by Ola
Fjeldhaug (born 1829) and others.

Over a period of 50 years, others from
the area joined the group constructing
positives, either making important
parts or building an entire instrument.
Among them were Ola Fjeldhaug,
Theodor Bentzen, Ole Ramstad, Paul
Landsem, Mathias Klaebo, brothers
Peter and Odin Tveras, Nils Opdahl
and Jacob Bredesmo.

Ola Fjeldhaug spent his free time
making furniture and violins. In the
summer, Fjeldhaug worked in the local
brick factory and in the winter at his

A Steinkjerpositive barrel cylinder.

Christian (Kristian) Tharaldsen, maker of the majority of the Steinkjerpositives. He
was an excellent brazier (maker of brass objects), a trade he learned from his father.
Photo courtesy Digital Museum For The Steinkjerpositives.

local croft in the forest. Any free time
was spent assisting Schjefte building
positives or pinning the music into
the barrels of the positives he made.
Another individual who assisted in
pinning the barrels was Theodor
Bentzen (born 1843), a local violin

maker and brick layer who became
involved in the effort. Although the
majority of the instruments made in
Steinkjer bear the name of Christian
Tharaldsen, he often had others make
parts and his workshop assembled
them into the positives.

30 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

A restored Tharaldsen positive from 1893.

This group of local craftsmen often
worked in small workshops at their
homes. Residents of the town built
more than 500 barrel organs in a span
of slightly more than 50 years. Most of
the Steinkjerpositives (400-plus) carry
Christian Tharaldsen’s name. Those
signed by Jacob Schjefte or Thomas
Fosnaes are not significantly different
from those sporting the name of
Christian. No instruments have been
located which carry the name of
Teodor Bentzen, but it is understood
he manufactured several and a large
number of the barrels.

At least 13 men contributed to the
manufacture of these barrel organs in
the Steinkjer area. The manufacture of
the Steinkjerpositive was of significant
importance to the community. The
money made from the sale of these
instruments had a profound impact on
their lives. Several of these men were

Photo of the south side of Steinkjer. Photo courtesy Digital Museum For The
Steinkjerpositives.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 31

poor tenant farmers who worked
long hours for little pay. In making
positives, they found a life changing
opportunity. The barrel organ manufacturing
business provided enough
income for them to leave some of
their financial woes behind. Several
used their money to leave their tenant
farmer status behind and purchase
land of their own. In an area that had
had limited manufacture of goods, this
was a significant boost to the local
economy.2

Considering that more than 500
positives were built in Steinkjer
and neighboring villages, one has
to wonder where they were used.
Obviously, the local market would
have been saturated many times
over. The production of these instruments,
however, coincided with the
growth of trade throughout Norway.
Innhrredjekt, or jekts, were being
produced at this time. The jekts, a
type of windjammer sailing boat,
sailed the coastal waters and opened
a market for the large-scale export of
the Steinkjerpositives. The merchants
aboard the jekts first sailed north with
timber and farmers’ produce which
was exchanged for fish and then south
to trade the fish for other goods and
back to their home ports. This triangular
trade route gave the barrel organ
makers a relatively large market in
which to operate.

It is reported that when a jekt was
launched, it was necessary to play
celebratory music from a Steinkjerpositive.
The belief was “if not, then
things at sea could go wrong.”3

Whether a foolish superstition or
a brilliant marketing ploy, tradition
dictated that there would be three
parties before a jekt could be placed
in the water. Positives were often used
for the music at the prelaunch parties.
In addition, in order to maintain a
good atmosphere during the maiden
voyage, the instrument continued to
be played on board. Positives were
also played when entering a harbor or
to greet one as it returned, ensuring
a party on the docks. In this manner,
the Steinkjerpositive spread along the
Norwegian coast and to other ports as
well. As these well-respected instruments
spread, the need for increased

A view along Kongens gate in the north side of Steinkjer. Photo courtesy Digital
Museum For The Steinkjerpositives.

A restored Tharaldsen positive from 1871.

production was met by the crafts-it not uncommon to find these barrel
men of Steinkjer. Also, it should be organs in unexpected places.
mentioned that as some Norwegians Known for their colorful tunes, the
emigrated to new lands, they took Steinkjerpositives played the local
their instruments with them, making music used by the fiddlers throughout

32 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

the district. At first, waltzes, polkas,
reinlenders, galops, marches and
mazurkas were the initial tunes placed
on the barrel. It is fascinating to note
that this is the only source of the
music of the region during this time
period. The music of the fiddlers was
merely passed down and memorized
by the musicians; none was ever
written down to be preserved. Without
the barrels, these tunes would
have been lost forever. It is because
of these barrel organs that the music
that reflects the culture and musical
history of the region at this time has
been preserved. Sadly, the titles of
many of the tunes have been lost as
the builders did not list the tunes on
the barrels nor in the boxes.

As the Steinkjerpositives became
ever more popular and spread to new
areas, a demand arose for a greater
repertoire of tunes. To meet that
need, more music was borrowed from
German dance tunes. To date, around
1,200 tunes have been recorded from
the surviving positives. To hear many
of the tunes that have been recorded
from surviving Steinkjerpositives,
visit steinkjerpositiv.com/music.html.
The tunes are listed according to
type and year of issue. To date, only
one barrel has been discovered with
religious hymns used in the churches
of that era.

The three sizes most commonly
found in these barrel organs are 22
keys (known as the little), 25 keys
(known as the middle) and 28 keys
(known as the large). Because there
were several builders of these instruments
over a long period of time,
variations exist. So, it is not uncommon
to find Steinkjerpositives with
23 and 24 keys. They were, however,
all built in the same pattern and are
relatively similar in design.4

The earliest machines were built
entirely of pine. But craftsmen like
Christian Tharaldsen built his in the
finest quality using mahogany and
decorative moldings. Goat hide was
used for bellows. The pipes and many
internal parts were still made from
pine, but parts of the pipes that needed
a harder wood used material from fruit
and nut trees. Some Steinkjerpositives
have mechanical parts made of iron,

A restored Schjefte positive from 1891.

A jekt or typical windjammer from Steinkjer, Norway. Tradition stated that it was
an absolute necessity to play music from a Steinkjerpositive before launching.
Otherwise, “if not, things at sea could go wrong.” Pictured is one of the last remain-
ing Steinkjer jekts, the Pauline from the 1800s. Photo courtesy Digital Museum For
The Steinkjerpositives.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 33

but those made by Christian Tharaldsen
were made almost entirely of
brass. Barrels were made of wooden
staves glued together to form a tube.
End caps were then placed on the
tube so that the interior of the barrel
was hollow. This reduced the weight
and eliminated cracking. Often a light
brown or green paper was glued on to
the barrel to make it smooth and even.
The pins and bridges were made of
brass.

After many decades of service, one
by one these magnificent machines fell
silent. Some were forgotten in attics
or barns, others simply destroyed.
Finally, in the 1970s, Otto Nielsen, an
employee of the Norwegian Broadcasting
Company and a local historian
named Charles Karlsen investigated
the history of the Steinkjerpositives.
Others soon joined the effort, and
the background of these historic
machines was rediscovered.5

Additional details on the manufacture
of the Steinkjerpositives, their
makers, music and internal workings
can be found on websites developed
by Harald Sakshaug, referred to in
the footnotes of this article. Much of
the materials and photographs were
supplied with his gracious consent.

Examples of music and traditional
dancing can be found at: www.
nostalgeek.no/barrel.htm. Additional
examples of Steinkjerpositive music
can be found at /www.steinkjerpositiv.
no/en/music.html.

Theodor Nilsen Bentzen likely made some instruments but was well known for the
pegging of barrels. Photo courtesy Digital Museum For The Steinkjerpositives.

In this resource, the music is
organized by different types: waltz,
reinlender, galop, march, mazurka,
pol (Nowegian folk dance), polka, and
hymns.

Footnotes

1. “Barrel Organ,” Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Barrel_organ
2. “The Instrument Makers,” Steinkjerpositives.
http://www.steinkjerpositiv.
com/makers.html
3. “The Story of a Barrel Organ”
Busker Organ Forum. www.
tapatalk.com/groups/buskerorgan/
the-story-and-journey-of-a-barrel-organ-
which-was–t774.html
4. “The Positives,” Steinkjerpositives.
www.steinkjerpositiv.no/en/instruments.
html
5. Steinkjerpositiv. www.nostalgeek.no/
barrel.htm
Two photos of an unrestored Steinkjerpositive. Positives were
made from approximately 1848 to 1900. They often spent long
hours entertaining on land and sea, so heavy wear and use
have taken their toll. This one is ready for restoration.

34 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

A Singing Bird Box

How modern technology helped recreate an ‘old’ Objet d’Art

By Mike Chalifoux

My previous life was in flight
testing in the U.S. Air Force. After
I retired, I did some woodworking
and made some puzzle boxes. These
required some precision work which
led to outfitting my workshop with
CNC (Computer Numerical Control)
mills and the building of a CNC Rose
engine lathe. I have built my own CNC
version of a Rose engine. While a

CNC machine is run by a computer, an
often-overlooked fact is that a person
first has to tell the computer what to
do. That is where the artist can come
into play.

The need for precision also attracted
me to the clock/watch making world.
I crossed paths with Brittany Cox,
who works on restoration of various
mechanical devices and that led me to
singing bird boxes.

The construction of these devices

can encompass a lifetime’s worth
of work. Just making the parts has
taken me years (pretty much self-
taught). I had to learn about metal
working in jewelry classes, and take
classes in enameling and painting so
I could decorate the containers for
the works. I also studied the history
of Fabergé works, which have decorations
applied.

Singing bird boxes first came to
my attention in 2014. Brittany, an

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 35

antiquarian horologist, was doing a
restoration on one of the amazing
devices. I thought, how could these
devices operate in such a small space?
How could the craftsmen of the 1780s
have made them? Many YouTube
videos exist showing the inner workings,
which only increased my interest.

A bit of research turned up two
works, one by Geoffrey T. Mayson,
“Mechanical Singing-Bird Tabatières”
printed in 2000 and one by Sharon
and Christian Bailly, “Flights of Fancy

-Mechanical Singing Birds” printed in
2001.
The work by the Baillys seemed
to be more about the artistry of the
boxes. For technical information
Mayson’s book is recommended.

My local library was able to secure
me a copy of Mayson’s book for me
via an interlibrary loan. The text is
fascinating, with chapters on the inner
workings such as the air cams, the
bellows and the miniature bird itself.
I wondered: would it be possible to
make a miniature bird? I knew it would
definitely stretch my capabilities. The
small size of the bird, the whistle, the
bellows, the mechanism, the box that
it would ultimately reside in, would all
be new to me and serve to grow my
skills.

A reference would be needed as
a guide, and it was quickly obvious
that the work of Mayson was the best
to begin with. This book is relatively
rare and rather expensive. There were
approximately 30 libraries around the
world that had copies and about as
many book sellers had them for sale.
“Flights of Fancy – Mechanical Singing
Birds” was even more difficult to find
with only five copies in libraries and
one bookseller offering it for sale.

It seemed that this work was slowly
disappearing, so I set out to see how
it could be preserved. I learned that
individuals wanting to duplicate an
out-of-print book must contact the
authors to ask permission. Unfortunately
for me, Mayson had passed
on in 1996 and attempts to contact
his widow were unsuccessful. His
publisher has also passed on and the
publishing house was acquired by
another publisher. That publisher did
not acquire the rights to the book and

An image from Geoffrey Mayson’s book showing a complete bellows and whistle for
a singing bird box.

Another image from Geoffrey Mayson’s book showing the movement with bird and
bellows attached. Below is the cover of Mayson’s book.

could not provide any information
about the Maysons.

I then set about a lengthy and
convoluted process to get an Orphan
Works license (N. 127). It took about
six months of work and following
due diligence checklists. This license
is for non-commercial use only. Any
commercial use would require a
further application to be made. The
British Library, as the national library
of the United Kingdom, has this work
and could provide a digital copy. They
reviewed the license and provided a
high-definition copy in PDF format.
They also provided the images in .tif
format (which means that there is no
data loss due to file compression).

Once I had successfully obtained

36 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

A drawing of bird whistle workings that was printed in Mechanical Music, Vol. 54, No. 6, November/December 2008.

the necessary license, I was ready
to release copies of the book to the
public. My original plans were to travel
to Britain and attend an annual general
meeting of the Society of Ornamental
Turners to announce the availability
of the book, but the COVID Pandemic
prevented travel.

What I discovered while working
on this musical item is that there are
areas that would-be potential challenges.
Among these are:

• Bellows
• Whistle
• Feathering a bird
• Working on small parts
Each of these points presents difficulties.
The type of glue used in the
bellows was said to be rubber cement
and a specific type of thinner was
noted. I did run into a bit of a language
issue here as the item Mayson called
rubber cement would be known to me

The tail lever. A computer-aided model of a frame.

as contact cement. These are quite
different materials. Also, Zephyr skin
(a very thin leather made from animal
intestines) is not readily available
in the U.S., so other materials were
tried. Thin rubber is quite airtight, but
I knew it could deteriorate over time.
Polyethylene film is difficult to glue,
but with the appropriate primers it
could make a good seal. I thought a
replacement material used in cuckoo
clock bellows might be acceptable.
It is a nonwoven synthetic material

known in the U.S. as Tyvek and is
about .005 inches thick. It needs to be
softened but seems to work well with
regular hide glue.

The whistle was a major problem.
Examining the pictures in the book
as carefully as possible led to experiments
with several whistles, none of
which were satisfactory. They did not
have the range needed, or the amplitude
and did not seem to “start quickly
enough.” The pictures provided some
information, but I was still having

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 37

problems. Fortunately, I came across an article published
by the Music Box Society International about Karl Griesbaum.
One of the pictures in the article contained detailed
drawings of a whistle! A satisfactory whistle was made
very shortly thereafter.

The original birds were feathered with hummingbird
feathers. The Migratory Bird Protection Act of 1918 made
that illegal but there are acceptable alternatives. There is
an artist, Kerri Pajutee, who is able to feather small birds
quite nicely, with two tutorials on dyeing the feathers and
feathering a bird.

Learning how to work on a small scale has its challenges.
Trying to lay out, mark, and drill parts and then fit them
to work together was almost impossible. The components
of a bird have been modeled and a small CNC system is
used to scribe the lines on small brass stock. The parts are
cut out using a jeweler’s saw under a stereo microscope.
A high-speed dental drill and fine, No. 6 files were used to
finish a part.

Future plans

A repository of information regarding singing birds
would be useful. This repository could also store additional
information that may be useful to other creators of these
little jewels.

Sources & Acknowledgments

I have graciously been given permission from several
sources to reprint their works:

• “Singing Birds” Chapter XVIII, Vol. II, from the book
Le Monde des Automates (The World of Automata),
written by Alfred Chapuis and Edouard Gelis, translated
by Wade Jenkins Mechanical Music, Vol. 42, No.
2, Autumn 1996,
• “The Karl Griesbaum Singing Bird Workshop in
Triberg,” translated by George Coade, Mechanical
Music, Vol. 54 No. 6, November/December 2008
• Die Karl-Griesbaum-Singvogelwerkstätten in Triberg’
by Siegfried Wendel, Das Mechanische Musikinstrument,
No. 87, August 2003
From Kerri Pajutee (www.kerripajutee.com):

• Tutorial for feathering a small bird
• Tutorial for dyeing the feathers
I do hope that this article will encourage others to work
on such devices and share the results of their efforts.

Finally, please visit the Facebook group “Mechanical
Singing Birds” at facebook.com/groups/712717722847011

Editor’s Note: This site has the copies of the works mentioned above,
Geoffrey T. Mayson’s work, and author Mike Chalifoux CAD files of a
bird.

The files are also available on Dropbox at: https://www.dropbox.com/
sh/0tjunm7kdqitw8g/AADxPeI19UBj25Nv26RiPH1La?dl=0

This photo gives a sense of the scale of the parts used in lay-
ing out the frame on the previous page.

Mike Chalifoux, from Massachusetts, became fascinated by singing
bird boxes, which set him off on a mission to produce his own. He
shares with us here a brief account of how he achieved his aim after
many years. So enthused, he has set up a Facebook page where he shares
the various resources he drew on.

As virtually self-taught, this project presented a number of challenges,
including the ‘common language which divides us’ – terms in common
use in one country are not necessarily the same in another Anglophone
country.

Portions of this article were previously published by the Musical Box
Society of Great Britain in The Music Box, Vol. 29 No 8.

Anyone with further advice to offer, is welcome to contact the editor
of this publication who will pass along the information.

38 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The gleaming cylinder from a David Langdorff overture music box purchased during the author’s memorable trip to California.

A buying trip I will never forget

By James Kracht

It was a Saturday morning in early
January 2019. I’m an early riser
and went to my PDA to look for the
night’s email. There was one from my
friend and restorer Reg Smith which
always starts my day off with a good
beginning. This one was no exception.
It alerted me to a huge liquidation of
mechanical musical instruments in
Southern California, with a website
address and phone number. But
for this email, I never would have
learned of this extraordinary buying
opportunity.

The website, albeit extremely
well done, was not accessible to me
as a blind music box collector, so I
had to wait until the hour was more
reasonable and I could call the seller
to discuss his collection. It didn’t take
me more than five minutes on that call
to know that I wanted to hear more.

For the next hour or so, Howie
Schack, the son of the late Ralph
Schack (MBSI President 2004-2005),
and Ralph’s wife, Gloria, were liquidating
what I was soon to learn was
an expansive, all-inclusive collection
of more than a hundred mechanical
musical instruments of all types and

ages, some very large. Howie’s descriptions
were very detailed, and that,
coupled with some time that I later
spent with Reg looking at the website
led me to understand that I needed to
have a serious conversation with my
wife, Pat. Rather than put that off, we
sat down by 1 p.m. and I informed her
that I very much wanted to go out to
California to look at this collection. I
wanted to buy some prized pieces to
add to our collection, and because
some of my prior buying experiences
were less than favorable, I wanted to
take Reg with me to examine prospective
purchases. After much back and

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 39

The lid of the David Langdorff four-overture music box.

The lid, case front and cylinder of the B.A. Bremond overture
box from the Schack collection.

forth, Pat was on board, but she did tell me that if I was
going to go to California, I had to agree to first visit my two
sisters in Western Washington state. For a Florida boy that
particular condition turned out to be a very cold endeavor,
but I was glad to start this trip visiting my siblings.

The wheels were in motion and the trip plans began to
unfold. Reg agreed to meet me in Los Angeles, CA, and a
very good friend agreed to meet us at the airport and host
us for a few days. Little did I know then that I would also
be making a huge dent in his champagne stash, just to get
through the whole experience. We had a great four days
together which made the trip to Los Angeles even more
memorable.

We were set to meet Howie Schack at his parents’
beautiful home in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, at 10 a.m. on

40 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The cylinder from the Rzebitschek music box.

a Friday morning. I don’t remember
getting much sleep the night before.
Reg and I had spent many hours on
the phone reviewing the website and
I had narrowed it down to 16 to 18
music boxes that I wanted to look at
and listen to.

We arrived at the Schack home on
schedule, and I immediately stopped
to look at a large piece in the entry hall
and got better acquainted with Howie
Schack. He was every bit as kind and
thoughtful as I had expected him
to be and is a wonderful individual.
The Schack home is quite lovely. The
tasks of examination, selection and
acquisition was underway, all to be
completed before 3 p.m.

Having passed on a beautiful overture
box at a recent auction, one of my
first tasks, after looking at a beautiful
little Rzebitschek sample not unlike
one that I had unsuccessfully bid on at
a Breker auction the prior November,
was to audition any overture boxes in
Schack collection. There were several.
I quickly narrowed it down to two that

I was seriously interested in. My first
choice was a fantastic David Langdorff
overture box, and the second was a

B.A. Bremond overture box. We went
through the rest of the collection and
Reg and I decided what we wanted to
try for and determine how far I could
stretch my available funds.
Howie and I quickly came to terms
on the Langdorff and the Rzebitschek.
Then we completed examination,
discussion and deals on four other
music boxes. These included a Frères
Nicole, a Metert, a Lawater, and an
1827 Lecoultre. That gave me six
priceless additions to my collection.
Howie had pushed to the end our
negotiations on his parents’ beautiful
Polyphon Emerald, a machine which
I desperately wanted to have. So, with
deals concluded on six machines we
started to trade ideas about it. Thanks
to Howie’s persuasive ways and my
determination, I ended up with the
16-bell Polyphon Emerald. I truly love
this music box.

Needless to say, the day was an

overwhelming success in my opinion.
I came back to our friend’s home on a
total high and to celebrate, our host,
Reg and I enjoyed an incredible steak
dinner at Mastriani’s Steakhouse in
Beverly Hills, CA.

My friend, Tom, kindly arranged to
pick up the music boxes after Howie
and his son and lady friend packed
them. Tom would store them until I
figured out shipping. As many of you
know, that can be a real challenge. I
finally settled on shipping them with
Metropolitan White Glove Services,
also known as Metropolitan Warehouse.
Although expensive, seven
music boxes arrived at our Miami, FL,
home without damage and they were
quickly absorbed into our collection
to play on for many years to come.

Fast forward to early December.
Howie was arranging to send the bulk
of his remaining unsold collection
to auction. I asked him about two
machines. One was a Ducommun-Girod
box that had already gone to
the auction house, but I was not a

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 41

The two snuff boxes that became part of the author’s collection after an interest was sparked from another auction.

successful bidder thereon. The other
coincidently was the B.A. Bremond
overture box which I had starred on
my list as really wanting, but I had
stopped at seven purchases during
my February visit. Howie still had the

B.A. Bremond box, and it was one of
two remaining boxes he offered me,
as he wanted to keep the other one for
himself. I thought, how unbelievable,
and then based on our prior dealings
he was willing to let it go for a very
reasonable price. Hence, I now have
eight music boxes from the Schack
collection in mine.
But the story does not end there.
At the music box convention in
Rockville, MD, in September 2019, I
almost looked at two snuff boxes for

sale. Not wanting to be tempted by the
excitement of the Mart, however, I left
the hotel. Then I had another opportunity
to see both of the snuff boxes at
an upcoming chapter meeting. Alas, I
never knew I wanted a snuff box, but
I was totally infatuated. I came home
and was writing Howie Schack again
as part of my now established relationship
with him. It so happened that
he had two snuff boxes he didn’t want,
but the auction house would not take
them. Yes, they are now mine, as is a
third 1810 sectional comb miniature
that I bought from Reg.

So ends the story of a wonderful
buying trip to Southern California. I
greatly cherish and totally love all of
these boxes. They are all in impeccable

condition. Such is no surprise, as the
Schacks bought and kept only the very
best.

As with other music boxes that I
have written about, I cannot let this
story end without commenting about
my friendship with Howie. He is a
truly great person, with the utmost
integrity, and he did his parents proud
in liquidating their vast collection.
None of this would have been possible
had it not been for that early Saturday
morning email from my good friend
and restorer Reg Smith. Thank you
Howie and Reg.

I think of you both every time I
play one of the 11 music boxes which
are now such a central part of my
collection.

42 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Treasured Memories

By Jamie Brewer

Murray Savauge was an early music box
collector. He and his family were great friends
with Barclay Holmes, who was a high-end
antique dealer in Vineland, Ontario, Canada.
Barclay and Murtogh Guinness were very
close friends back in the day.
I first met Barclay in the early 1980s. How
I wish I had kept a journal
back then. It drives me crazy
to not have the resources
to fact check. I was still
driving my 1975 Duster
when I would make those
early trips crossing the
Canadian border to visit
Vineland. Barclay was
only some 40 miles from
my house in Lockport,
NY. Many Sunday
afternoons were spent
making spur-of-themoment
trips to his shop.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 43

One visit to Barclay’s I hold particularly
close was when I was living with
my best friend, Joe, in 1998 waiting
for a job transfer to Tuscaloosa, AL. It
was a warm sunny day in spring and
I just wanted to get away for a while.
I decided to drive to Barclay’s on the
back way over country roads to the
Lewiston Bridge. On the way I found
my friend John Cornelius walking on
the side of the road not far from where
his parents lived. I pulled over and told
John to get in the truck, we are going
to Canada. To better understand this,
you really have to have known John:
he was very quiet and soft spoken. He
was truly one of the kindest people
I have ever met. He tried to put up a
fight but I just told him to “Hush up
and get in this truck!” We ended up
at Barclay’s having the best time. We
came home the long way through
Buffalo and caught “Happy Hour” at
Buddies. John always related how he
had never done anything so spur of the
moment and how much fun he had.
John succumbed to throat cancer. It
is bittersweet to remember but I’m so
glad we had that afternoon together.

Back when I had my Plymouth
Duster, I was a “mule” bringing
treasures over the border to deliver
to Murtogh from Barclay. I made
frequent trips to New York City in
those days. My Duster had a lockable
trunk that was never inspected at the
border. That old car was totaled out in
December 1981. My next vehicle was
a hatchback so the luxury of having
things totally out of view was gone.
The things you do when you are young
and dumb! Today I would be petrified
to sneak items over the border, given
the way the inspection checks have
evolved and intensified.

Barclay had a beautiful historic
brick farmhouse furnished with
period antiques. One big room at the
end served as his shop. Barclay loved
his coffee as much as I do. We always
shared a few cups in his kitchen. He
was “old school” so the coffee was
always served in a china cup on a
saucer.

Barclay was born and raised in
Lexington, KY. He taught me a lot
on what to expect when I moved
south. How he laughed when I said

innocently one visit, “I don’t understand
it. All the people I’ve met in the
south say they have never met anyone
like me before!” Talk about a loaded
statement! We were sitting on the
porch to his shop in the evening when
I told him that. The porch is small with
a bench along the side of each railing.
We sat watching the red sun descend
in the west over the fields and vineyards
of the Niagara Peninsula. It was
one of those times to be treasured, you
just knew when it was happening that
it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The stories Barclay regaled me
with. He and Murtogh did quite a bit of
traveling overseas together. Murtogh
always booked first class on sailings
and hotels. They were very involved
with the “old school” of the Musical
Box Society International. How I treasure
the time we spent trading stories.

When Murray died, Barclay worked
with Murray’s daughter Judy to sell
off his collection. This was done over
an extended period of time. The last
music box remaining in Judy’s possession
was the Mermod Frères Sublime
Harmony Piccolo box. I have a letter
going back to Oct. 6, 1960, linking this
music box to the Savauge family. Judy
loved this music box as did Barclay.

Over the years I was able to do some
minor basic repairs for Judy to keep
this beautiful box running.

Barclay was able to buy this music
box from Judy in 2001. Barclay had
a legal paper signed whereby if he
predeceased Judy the music box
would revert back to her. Barclay was
so thrilled to finally possess this music
box. I have correspondence covering
the purchase and minute details of the
box Barclay sent me over the years.

It was Nov. 30, 2005, when Judy sent
me an email informing me of Barclay’s
death. Barclay lived alone and was
pretty much estranged from his immediate
family. Judy told me he was so
afraid of dying and not being found for
days. Unfortunately, that is just what
occurred. The family arranged a short
memorial service figuring that nobody
would attend. This family was shocked
when people from all over the region
showed up. Those in attendance were
asked to say a few words about their
relationship with Barclay. Judy gave

a short speech and then read this
portion of an email I had sent her:

“I just think of the happy hours
spent at the long table in the kitchen
enjoying coffee and cookies. His
clocks were always on time and ticking.
Barclay always saved a fruitcake
made by a special friend for me. I
will treasure the remains of the last
fruitcake I have in the freezer that he
gave me in September.”

Barclay’s family descended upon

his estate like a plague of locusts.

They had no intentions of honoring

his requests of bequests to his friends

and extended family. Judy, however, is

a fighter and she took off the gloves

to regain possession of the music box.

The end result was it was returned to

her.
It was in June 2010, Judy sent me an

email which contained the following:

The initial reason I contacted you
is because I’m updating my will, and
if you’re around when I’m not, I’d
like you to have the ‘Mermod Freres
Ideal Sublime’ as well as a very odd
painting connected with it (about
which more at another time). To that
end, I need your full name, address,
phone #, email. I wasn’t going to tell
you any of this, but when Facebook
indicated you lived in Birmingham,
I got nervous, and emailed.

OK. Why you? Many reasons.
You’ve had an association with the
box over the years. You’ve repaired
bits & pieces of it a couple of times.
The box is important to me, was
important to Barclay. And Barclay
was very fond of you. (Me too). I also
believe that you were ‘fond’ of the box!
But I suppose the main reason is that
you certainly appreciate the box, and
frankly, I don’t know anyone else
who does, in the same way. It would
make me feel good to know that it has
another good home: first my father,
then me, then Barclay, me again, and
then you.

Five years later, in February 2015,
Judy contacted me via Facebook to
tell me I could pick up the music box
from her home in Canada, but I had

44 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

The Mermod Frères Sublime Harmony Piccolo music box and the painting connected to it, in the author’s home.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 45

to come as soon as I possibly could.
This meant renewing my passport for
starters.

It took a great deal of preparation
to build a crate to hold the box as it
would have to travel in the bed of my
truck and also be easily accessible in
case customs needed to do an inspection.
I departed Tuscaloosa, AL, on
May 10 and arrived in Lockport, NY,
on the 11th.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, I slept in till

7:30 a.m. Then I took a hot shower and
did a last-minute double check of the
moving and packing supplies. Joe was
up at 8:30 a.m. and made coffee.
I took a to-go cup and tried my old
“autopilot” to get to the Lewiston
Bridge to Canada. My GPS does not
work in Canada. I had a detailed
Google map.

It had been many years since I
crossed the Canadian border. Lucky
for me, the border guard crossing into
Canada was laid back. There was no
traffic on the bridge. I had timed it just
right. I can’t lie to save my life so I had
my story all worked out.

These border guards must hear
every story in the book. When he questioned
me as to the reason for my trip
to Canada and then wondered further
why anyone not related to me would
gift me such a valuable music box, I
replied, “It’s a long-involved story.” He
smiled and said, “I’ve got lots of time!”

I explained the entire story of how
my good friend Barclay was a prestigious
antique dealer in Vineland,
Ontario, who was good friends with
Judy’s family. I went on how Barclay
brokered sales of music boxes from
Judy’s family over the years and how
he coveted this particular music box.
Judy sold Barclay the music box under
the condition, if he predeceased her,
she would get it back. Sadly, Barclay
died some six years ago. Barclay was
ostracized from his family, but they
sure scooped in to “pick the bones
clean.” Things got really ugly and this
family was not going to honor the
paperwork returning this box to Judy.

By the time I finished up my story
this guard was leaning back in his
chair and I had my arms folded on
the truck window sill. I had the guard
shaking his head at all this! I asked if

he needed to check over any of the
packing supplies I was bringing in. He
said I was fine and to just go on.

I got the music box and cabinet all
packed up. This was not the final packing
as there was a chance of a border
inspection and then I had to unload
the thing at Joe’s house. I was amazed
how I was just waved on through U.S.
customs on my return trip.

Once I got the music box set up
here in Tuscaloosa, AL, I contacted
Dave and Carol Beck about doing a
restoration. There was some comb
work that needed to be done to make
it right. They agreed to take on the job.

In early June the box was again
packed up and this time I transported
it to Atlanta, GA. It is only about a
four-hour drive but due to the traffic
and congestion it is a drive I detest.
Dave and Carol were very impressed
with the music box. They said there
should not be any surprises as it was
in good condition overall.

It only took a month for Dave and
Carol to do the restoration work on
the music box and cylinders. They did
a road trip to Tuscaloosa to drop it off
and sightsee a bit. I am thrilled at the
work that was done on it.

This music box has such a special
place in my life. I play this pretty
much daily. When I listen to this, it is
much more than just hearing beautiful
music. In my mind I can travel to so
many places and situations associated
with this instrument. On warm, quiet
summer nights I can hear this while in
my front porch swing. To daydream to
the sweet tones of this box watching
the sunset in a brilliant orange and
Tiffany blue sky is magic.

I can never thank Judy enough for
her gift of this to me. My life has been
so enriched.

Judy was a teacher before her
illness. One student she had such an
impact upon, gifted her the painting
that hangs just above the music box in
my home. It is fitting these two pieces
stay together.

On a sad note. I got a mail from Judy
on Facebook on Oct. 18, 2019.

Jamie – things happen at an unexpected
pace. Federal Govt. passed
the MAiD option in 2015 (Medical

Assistance in Dying). I qualify with
Terminal cancer & a bunch of other
things. I wanted to wait until the

U.S. election but in the last few days
things have happened and I am using
the option on Sunday. There’s no good
way to say it all. I’ve enjoyed you from
a far – so much, and wish we
had more time. Enjoy all things -and
cats! I will miss my polydactyl big
boy Jack who is a treat; however my
friend Joan is adopting him. Enjoy
all things.
After reading this the pieces fell into
place as to why Judy wanted me to do
the pick-up in 2015. She had suffered
so. Her quality of life had been pretty
grim.

I was able to get this written history
to her. She replied:

What a thrill to read this wonderful
piece, Jamie. I always thought you
should be a famous writer: your
writing is magnificent. Thank you for
all this. You have made the few days
I have left so special & meaningful.
As I said, I love the piece, the history,
the photos – all. And I will forward
this to my friend & former student,
Norm Edwards, now living in British
Columbia on his tiny boat, who
gave me the painting to go with the
box. I actually am ‘doing the deed’
on Tuesday rather than tomorrow. I
needed more time. I don’t know what
to expect, if anything, but for the most
part it’s been a good ride. Oops. Put
the emoji in the wrong place. I still
can’t do Facebook. Actually – is it
possible to send your wonderful piece
to my email so it is easier to print
out? Or is there something I don’t
know re how to do that.

I answered her back. Judy was
never one to navigate the world of
computers or the internet. This was
my final communication with Judy.

I’ve been in contact with Norm
Edwards who was so close to Judy
as a student and who gifted her the
painting.

Norm related via email the story
how he found this painting to gift to
Judy.

46 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

“The painting I found in the Thirroul
Antique Centre in New South
Wales. Owned by Mark Rose, who’s
family were amongst the first “free
settlers” to arrive in Oz – a fact the
family were quick to inform me of.
“Not convicts”!

Mark carried on as if he were an
English gentleman who had just
stepped off the ship. The shop was his
cocoon full of fine furniture, clocks,
scientific instruments and a couple of
the music boxes, the style with the big
metal discs.

This “odd” painting was in the
shop, tucked in a corner, it wasn’t one
of his better paintings, but it spoke
to me as it was around the time that
Judy was having to battle the family
to have her father’s box returned and
there was Judy in the painting with
a music box!

The link you include is wonderful
thank you! I hadn’t seen the family
music box when I found the painting
and to now see what sort of box
“inspired” the painting completes the
picture. It seems perfect to have over
the box! Thanks for hanging it in
your home.

We will have to go antiquing
together one day! I pop into the
secondhand shops daily here in
Sidney BC – you never know what you
might find! Living on the boat limits
my collection size, most “finds” I give
to friends who I hope will appreciate
them.”

I had explained to Norm how the

music box in the painting is a repre

sentation of a “Station Box” with the

dancing dolls.
To have this kind of documentation

makes any piece special in my book.
The upside of keeping a journal is

it is not hard to research. Here is my

journal entry in regards to this music

box from Oct. 18, 2019:

Talk about “ying” and “yang” in
your life. After the drama I had

concerning the death of my friend
Bill’s dad last weekend I opened this
E-mail first thing this a.m. from my
friend Judy S who lives in St. Catherines,
Ontario.

“Quick info – Fed Govt 2015 passed
MAiD option (Medical Assistance in
Dying). I qualify but was waiting
til after US election. Sudden change,
decision yesterday – I will be dying
this Sunday. I very much treasure
you and all you are. Thank you
for taking the Mermod Freres!. Too
rushed & ill to say anything profound.
Enjoy all things.”

Judy has an autoimmune disease
which has left her in declining health
for too many years. Her quality of life
has been so horrible as of late.

I sent Judy the following reply:

Good morning Judy,

I understand your decision and
back you 100%. Have been thinking
so much of you and Barclay as of
late. Next weekend I will be acquiring
two more cylinders for the music
box which I believe were used in the
factory where they were produced. I
have coveted those cylinders since I
first heard them play over 30 years
ago. One has excerpts of Beethoven’s
7th Symphony and the other has runs
and trills of no tunes in particular. I
believe it was used as a “test cylinder”
for calibrating in the factory.

I plan to write up a detailed history
of the music box and wanted to get
permission to use you and your
family’s name in it. The Musical Box
Society has a feature in their publication
where they solicit submissions
for how you discovered different
instruments in your collection. I’ve
done up a couple of submissions. The
story of your family and friendship
with Barclay should be shared. There
are few members of the society left
who had associations with Barclay.
At 67 I’m one of the “old timers” now.

I play that box pretty much daily.
On quiet nights you can clearly hear
it on my front porch. It is such a part

of my life now. I have shared the story
behind it to many people.

I am going to get to work on that
writing today and hopefully will have
a rough draft to send off to you by this
afternoon.

You are a brave woman Judy… you
deserve peace…

One of the most profound statements
of life I’ve ever read was said
by an elderly woman in an interview
for the book, “Let Us Build Us A City,
11 Lost Towns of Arkansas.” This
woman simply said, “I like to think
in later years you will think of me.”
In the long haul that is all we can hope
for is to be remembered. You, your
family, and Barclay are remembered
whenever I play the music box. It is
one of my most treasured possessions.

I can’t thank you enough for gifting
it to me.

Know you are loved and remembered
for as long as I’m on this earth…

Love… Jamie

On a happy note the clock has been
running like gangbusters and is right
on time. Holly gave me another scare.
If I don’t see her every few hours, I
like to do a check up on her. I had not
seen her all afternoon. She was not in
any of her “usual spots.” This is when
I do a closet check. My little girl was
on the closet shelf sacked out on my
ancient rag wool sweater!

Going to get started on the Music
Box history. I’d like Judy to be able to
read at least a rough draft before she
passes on…my day has been decided
for me… so glad I have this kind of
latitude in my life to live each day as
it comes…

When I play this music box my
mind takes me to so many places to
interact with so many memories. It
is so much more than just hearing
musical sounds.

I like to think sharing the back
story of this music box it will be
appreciated more as time goes on….

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 47

Bob’s Symphonion

By Mark Singleton

Back in the early days of my
collecting, by a pure mix of chance
and circumstance, I was introduced to
mechanical music enthusiast and true
master of disc box restoration, Bob
Minney.

Little did I know that for the next 25
years I would be a regular visitor to
his home, which entailed a four to five
hours drive in each direction.

Bob was recently retired from
his profession as a design engineer
at Vauxhall (GM) motors in Luton,
Bedfordshire, a career which obviously
stood him in good stead for what was
one of his great pleasures: mechanical
music. He had a brusque, no nonsense
demeanor, which commanded immediate
respect. So, you knew from the
off exactly where you stood, and woe
betide anyone who didn’t play to these
old school rules.

It didn’t take long for me to realize
that behind this hard man’s exterior,
lay an extremely helpful and willing
soul, a man who would strive hard to
help, with expert restoration, knowledgeable
advice, interspersed with
relevant tales from past encounters
with both man and machine. Bob was
a recognized authority/guru/genius on
all matters relating to disc boxes, and
I lived and breathed for them (still do).
He had a great collection, and I was
trying to build one (still am): so I’m
sure you get the picture.

In the corner of Bob’s lounge/
workshop sat a big impressive-looking
Symphonion. I was so nervous on my
first visit, I hardly dared to look at it.
On my return home I quickly consulted
the Q. David Bowers “Encyclopedia of
Automatic Musical Instruments” and
looked it up. It was a Grand Monster
Automat 192. The number referred
to the number of teeth on the combs,
set in duplex fashion. It plays discs of
25¼-inch in diameter.

Upon my return to Bob’s shop some
three months later to collect a small
job he had agreed to help me with, I

plucked up my courage, cleared my
throat and said, “Excuse me, but I
couldn’t help notice that wonderful
looking machine last time I called and
wondered if I may hear it play?”

Bob gestured towards the instrument,
and I literally tripped over my
own feet as I made my way to this
machine. Looking feverishly around
for a penny, he pointed out it had a
push/pull start behind the winding
handle. With bated breath, mouth agog,
and a huge adrenalin rush, I started it,
not knowing what to actually expect.
I stood back and was blown away
by its ethereal performance. It was
soft, mellow, sonorous, with a deep
fully rounded, yet gentle bass, liquid
mid-range and a silver bells treble.

Wow! I looked over at Bob, who
gave a gentle, all knowing “What about
that then!“ type nod. I inquired if this
was the same machine credited to him
in Graham Webb’s “The Disc Musical
Box Handbook”?

“Good gracious, no!” was his swift
reply. “That was a dreadful machine.
Actually, this machine came from up
North where you live!”

“Oh?” I said encouragingly and he
proceeded to tell me the following
story.

Back in 1958, two young lads,
the Moss bothers, traveled by train
to Blackpool for a weekend trip.
Blackpool is a somewhat frothy and
often bracing seaside resort, home
to England’s answer to New York’s
Coney Island.

On alighting from the train, the
brothers set off to find accommodation
and within minutes they heard a
music box playing in a guest house.
They knocked on the door and upon
it being answered by the landlady of
the establishment, one brother simply
stated, “Excuse me, but you have a
music box playing.”

She answered that yes, she did.

“May we come in and listen?” asked
the brothers.

Again, the answer was yes. It
was rather normal in days gone by

to knock on a boarding house and
inspect the premises to be sure they
were to your suiting before handing
over any money.

After listening, and obviously
impressed, the brothers asked if it
might be for sale. It was, and after a
little haggle they agreed on the then
princely sum of 11 pounds.

At this point the Moss brothers
returned to the train station, armed
themselves with a sack truck apiece,
and forwent their planned weekend of
wine, women and song. They split the
machine in two and returned home
carrying the Symphonion a couple of
hundred miles South.

Some 5 years later, in 1963, a young
Bob Minney had to part with 40
pounds to acquire this same piece. It
was a considerable sum, I guess, back
then.

So began my quest to find a
Symphonion for myself. Along the
way, I asked just about everyone I
met within the Musical Box Society of
Great Britain. Back then it was a very
friendly society, full of old boys, happy
and willing to share their knowledge.
Many knew this type of machine and
referred to it as “The One.” It soon
became apparent to me that not only
was this case style rare, but this
particular machine was held in high
regard by all that knew her.

Many years passed before one
surfaced. It was an incredible survivor,
having sat in a small house in
the midlands where it was sent for
repair in 1926. The mainspring was
broken, as was the endless screw. It
was repaired alright, by myself, about
75 years later, and fortunately due to
its early commercial retirement all
was shipshape on the bedplate, and
it played beautifully. What was not to
like? So, I acquired it. Well, I found out
after some time that it just could not
compare to “The One!”

Upon my next visit to Bob, collecting
a job for myself, and leaving a
Polyphon bedplate for an acquaintance,
I told him of my eventual good

48 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Bob’s Symphonion in the author’s home where he always wanted to see it.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 49

fortune in finding a Symphonion, but
explained how it just didn’t compare
to his. “Well, what did you expect?”
was his very matter of fact response.
Right then I was inspired to throw
caution to the wind, not knowing if
I would be thrown out on my ear, or
what, for that sort of thing had been
known to happen in Bob’s shop.

“It’s like this Bob, I have never
coveted anything belonging to any
man in my life, but barely a week
passes without me thinking of that
machine! I was wondering if you were
to ever consider parting with it, would
you please consider me as the next
keeper?”

He looked at me and quick on
the uptake, he cut to the quick and
replied, “Sorry. You are out of luck;
when anything happens to me, the
Moss brothers want it back. OK?”

Well, that was that!

Sometime later, out of the blue, Bob
rang me, seething, spitting feathers
and raised merry Hell with me! “What’s
this you told that chap who came to
collect the bedplate that the Symph is
yours one day! I told you . . . Etc. Etc.”
came spilling out over the phone line.

Naturally, I was shocked. I felt physically
sick, for I had said no such thing,
and told him I had merely advised this
chap to listen if the opportunity arose,
adding that I would have loved the
chance one day, but it was not to be.
A five-second eternal silence ensued.
Then he said, “OK, as long as we are
clear, I suppose that’s that then!”

I said, “Crystal, Bob, you suppose
right, and that is that!” We both hung
up with one thing evident, emotions
were running high.

Sometime later in the mid 2000s, I
called in to Bob on a social visit while
passing by, for he lived no more than
two minutes from an arterial freeway
serving London. After a little chit chat,
and quite out of the blue, his tone
changed to something more serious.

“Had the Moss brothers ’round
yesterday,” he said, nodding in the
direction of the Symphonion. “Gave

her a good thrashing, we had a most
pleasurable afternoon.”

“Oh wow, that’s great” I started to
reply, but was cut off mid-sentence.

“No, listen!” Bob said. “We had a
good chat. We are all getting old, and
they agreed they had their enjoyment
of the machine. I’ve had mine, so it’s
your machine!”

With my forehead sweating, throat
dry and mind trying to take it in,
Bob added, with a genuinely humble
request, “But do you mind if it stays
there for now.?

Well, obviously I did not mind at
all. After all he was keeper of this
machine, and I felt truly honored to be
next in line.

Later that year, I was visiting a
collection in Germany, accompanied
by a friend, John Harold, who
happened to know Bob as well. Both
of us were intrigued to hear the same
Symphonion model, that we were
assured by the owner, speaking with
great pride, was something special.
Indeed, it was a fine box, but John
took the words out of my mind when
he later turned to me with a wry smile
and said, “Obviously they never heard
Bob’s then!”

Around 2010, a couple of days before
a long-planned family trip to the U.S.,
Bob’s daughter, Marilyn, rang to inform
me of his passing. After offering my
condolences, I apologized in advance
for my inevitable non-attendance at
his memorial. She understood fully,
of course, but before hanging up she
added that the agreement I had with
her father about the Symphonion still
stood.

Of course, I would have preferred
Bob had remained on this earth longer,
but I was happy that the Symphonion
was headed back to the Blackpool
area after a 50-plus year hiatus.

Once home, out went my Symphonion
and in went Bob’s Symphonion
to much shaking of heads by family
members who thought I had lost the
plot.

Now, this machine had sat on a

carpet in Bob’s home, with a curtain
to one side, and a fabric sofa with soft
cushions immediately to the front. I
had seriously underestimated how
this altered its acoustic properties.
In my home, it sat on a traditional
suspended bare hardwood floor, quite
spartan in comparison, that acted
like a soundboard. Out went the
super smooth, mellow machine that
we all knew and loved and in came a
powerful voice akin to Pavarotti in his
heyday.

It was different again, but retained
its unique colors, tonal qualities, musical
ability and true soul.

A German collector/dealer friend
called to see me at my then place of
business to collect a large Polyphon
disc player one day and after loading
he asked, ‘“Mark, is it true you have
this machine they called The One?”

He must have spoken to a really Old
Boy along the line, because most still
alive now, know it by its current name,
Bob’s Symphonion.

After a brief discussion, he followed
me to my home and cast his “disc box
man” eye over it. Ten seconds into the
performance, with finger in the air, he
declared “Now I do understand!”

Of course, we all have our own
favorites, and one man’s meat and all
that, but at youtu.be/OmFFwT4VhYY,
you may hear Bob’s Symphonion play,
or just search for Silvertone Music
Boxes in your web browser to find this
article.

Note that the video only gives a
fair representation of the real thing
as the microphone struggles with
the complex frequencies and creates
much distortion, even from outside
the room. Anyone reading this,
however, is more than welcome to
listen to Bob’s Symphonion in person
should they find themselves in the
Blackpool area.

This article originally appeared on the
author’s website, silvertonemusicboxes.co.uk/
Please visit the website to see more content
from this author.

50 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Herbert Singe, Sr. — 1926-2020

Compiled from internet sources

The family of Herbert J. “Herb”
Singe, collector, restorer, mechanic
and driver of antique cars has
announced his passing after a brief
illness in December 2020.

Herb was interested in most
anything mechanical, electrical or
the combination of the two as long as
it was more than 100 years old. This
included mechanical musical devices,
flashlights and other battery operated
lighted items, model airplane motors
and the miniature race cars that they
powered. He was a lifelong resident
of Hillside, NJ. He served in the U.S.
Navy from 1944-46.

Herb was a 70-year member of the
Horseless Carriage Club of America
(HCCA), the Antique Automobile Club
of America (AACA), and the Vintage
Motor Car Club of America. He was
a 50-year Rotarian, a Mason and
belonged to the Early Ford V-8 Club.
He was an MBSI member for many
years. Herb loved attending antique car
shows, tours and flea markets throughout
the U.S., England and France. He
participated in more than 70 AACA
Eastern Fall National Meets, beginning
with Devon, PA, in 1949 through
Gettysburg, PA, in 2020. Herb visited
all 66 Hershey Fall Car Meets. He
was eminently proud of this accomplishment.
He loved walking and later
“scootering” around old car swap
meets where he purchased mechanical
and electrical treasures from the
past 125 years.

Herb and his late wife, Margaret,
traveled extensively around America,
the Caribbean and Europe. They spent
time at their summer home at the
Jersey Shore. Herb loved to cruise

Herb Singe with his Wurlitzer 150 Band Organ in 2010.

with his family in Barnegat Bay in his
Chris Craft convertible cruiser, the
Wiki Wiki. They enjoyed meeting and
talking to their many friends over the
years. Herb was especially at home
working with his hands and tools in
his garage and driving 110-year-old
automobiles.

Herb and Margaret (and later,
their son, Herb) built the Addressing
Machine & Supply Co., which began
with Herb carrying a tool bag. They
built it into one of the most successful
companies that sold, serviced,
and rebuilt mailing machinery and
equipment. Herb’s family and his
friends were most important to
him. Herb was predeceased by his
mother, Lottie Mae; father, Herb,

a true craftsman who taught him
much about metal and woodworking
and who also made it to age 94; his
younger sister, Marilyn, and his
beloved wife and partner of 61 years,
Margaret.

Herb is survived by his loving children,
daughter Peggysue and son Herb
R. (note: subsequent to the writing of
this obituary Herb R. sadly passed
away); Herb R.’s wife, Belinda, and
Herb R. and Belinda’s children, Herb
William and Heidi, as well as many
friends and colleagues too numerous
to mention.

Herb hoped you would take to heart
what he believed: Life is for the living.
Most importantly, make the most of
your time here on Earth.

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 51

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Bill Harris — 1932-2021

The story of a collector and lover of mechanical music

By Kathleen and Christian Eric

William “Bill” Harris was born in
Des Lacs, ND, the oldest son of Max
and Sophie Harris. Bill was of Norwegian
descent and proud of it. He did
not have a typical carefree childhood,
but it is unlikely that he looked at it
as anything but idyllic. He lived with
his grandparents from a young age
and attended school in Des Lacs. Bill
moved with his grandparents from
Des Lacs to Baudette, MN, in the Fall
of 1941 after the crops were harvested
(which was an important consideration
in a rural community). He loved
living with his grandparents, and he
loved living in Minnesota. His grandparents
had purchased a streetcar
from the city of Duluth, MN, and made
it into their home. They placed this
home on the banks of the Rainy River.
His Grandpa, Fred, passed away when
Bill was 11 years old. A little over a
year later his Grandma died too and
Bill moved in with his father and
stepmother. This didn’t last long and
he struck out on his own. He headed
to Minnesota where he cut pulp wood
and kept up with the seasoned adult
lumber workers. This is no small
thing, as anyone connected with the
lumber industry will tell you. As a
former Oregonian, myself, I’m familiar
with the “old time” lumber trade skills
and I know that you counted yourself
lucky if you had all of your fingers at
the end of any given day.

Bill was 16 when he earned his pilot’s
license. He was a natural fit for the
Air Force, joining in 1950. Stationed
at Hamilton Air Force Base in San
Francisco, CA, he enjoyed a few warm

Bill Harris Bill and Rosanna Harris

California winters away from the frigid
temperatures of North Dakota. He kept
his pilot’s license for 72 years.

Bill was a man of many occupations.
After his military service, he returned
to North Dakota and worked for 11
years as a telegrapher for the Great
Northern Railroad. He bought and
sold agricultural steam tractors. Next,
he published a daily sheet called the
“Noon News” which was delivered
daily to a variety of restaurants in
Minot, ND. He also published a collector’s
magazine and various books,
one focused on the details of early
Winchester rifles. The printing press
for this publication was in the basement
of his family home. His young
pre-teen son, Fred, ran the press.

Bill was a collector of top-of-theline
Winchester rifles. He eventually
sold his collection to finance another
venture, a gun shop called Dakota
Firearms.

A major flood, and the additional
sadness of a divorce, prompted a
move to Denver, CO. He had intended
to make his way to Phoenix, AZ, but
his traveling money ran low before
he could get all the way to his destination.
Since he enjoyed skiing, hiking
and fishing, and Colorado had all of
these amenities, he felt like it wasn’t
a bad rest stop. While “resting” in
Denver, Bill also found himself the
fortunate winner of the Lotto. Well,
the “marital Lotto” that is. He met his
future wife, Rosanna, and as they say,
the rest is history. Those who knew
Bill know Rosanna was the love of his
life. While remaining absolute individuals,
Bill and Rosanna complimented
and supported one another in every
way. They married in 1979 and in the
ensuing years they were seldom apart.
Hollywood could not have cast a more
perfect script than when “Bill met
Rosanna.”

52 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

Bill’s many interests led him to
finding new occupations in Colorado.
He published several magazines and a
variety of books. He bought and sold
vintage slot machines and restored
them for use in collectors’ homes. He
and his able crew of carvers produced
“slot statues” in the shape/form of a
full-size man. These statues held a
working slot machine as part of the
body form.

In addition to rifles and slot
machines, Bill had a growing collection
of nickelodeons, pianos, and
orchestrions. There came a point,
however, when, in order to grow his
burgeoning vintage slot machine
business, he and Rosanna found it
necessary to sell the piano collection.
Their Seeburg G was the prize of the
collection. Once sold, Bill thought he
would never see the machine again. In
this way, Bill and Rosanna found out
that collecting can sometimes be a
hellish pursuit, but a little of the sting
of having to sell his Seeburg G was
taken out of this transaction when the
machine was purchased by premier
restorer and collector Art Reblitz. It
always makes a collector happy to see
a cherished piece go to the right home.
Later in life, as fate would have it, while
trading one thing for another, Bill was
able to acquire another Seeburg G. His
new Seeburg was a top-notch machine
that he bought from an original owner
through a broker. Of the five pianos
in Bill’s collection this one was his
favorite.

In the late 1970s Bill began enjoying
trips to a large event in England, the
Great Dorset Steam Fair, founded in
1969. There, Bill met a 100-key Mortier
dance organ. It was 17-feet-6-inches
tall and needed a bit of open space to
perform. In 1981, while Rosanna and
Bill were attending this event together,
Bill told Rosanna he would like to own
an organ just like that Mortier. They
both knew it wouldn’t happen overnight
as they were still in the process
of growing their slot machine and
publishing businesses. As previously
mentioned, collectors always face a
choice, sometimes painful, especially
for passionate lovers of mechanical
music: do you make a living, or do you
collect yourselves into oblivion?

In 1996, Bill and Rosanna moved to
the hills of South Dakota where Bill
designed a log home, drawing from
his past experience in the multiple
trades and skills he had acquired since
living, surviving and thriving with his
beloved grandparents. He still had
the dream of owning a Mortier and
he was no spring chicken, but that
made no impact on his decisions.
He contracted with a young man
named Mark Hartman to build Bill
and Rosanna’s dream log home, one
that would also become home to their
expanding collection of European
dance organs, fairground organs, cafe
organs and orchestrions. A 90-footby-
40-foot building was constructed
with an inside ceiling height of 18
feet. It was just tall enough to fit the
Mortier dance organ with the facade
fully assembled. Bill and Rosanna
then went on a serious search to find
a Mortier. Bill, ever the overachiever,
found two and bought both of them.
To own even one of these physically
massive and musically monumental
machines would have been more than
enough for almost anyone, but as
many of the collectors in our society
know, that isn’t how collecting works.

For those of you who knew Bill, or
have enjoyed the Harris hospitality, as
well as their stunning collection, the
idea that this is the end of an era will
likely come to mind.

As Rosanna put it, “Bill was a writer,
a publisher, a salesman, a carpenter,

Rosanna and Bill Harris riding the Parker Carousel in Abilene, KS, in 2013.

a railroad man, a talker (oh yeah), a
font of knowledge and information,
restorer, collector and a seeker. He
was always interested in learning
more.”

Bill Harris passed away while
Rosanna played his favorite organs,
talking to him and recounting the
adventures they enjoyed acquiring
each of their treasures. He passed on
while listening to this music and we
assume, he now has a Mortier cranked
up playing his own particular favorites
while enjoying some beer and brats.
He’s probably wishing he had a bit
more time with his Rose.

Rest in peace you hard-headed
Norwegian.

Thank you to Rosanna Harris for
allowing me to crib from her formal
memorial, and as we both know, there
are so many more tales to tell. Perhaps
one day we will get the chance to do so.

Bill joined MBSI in 1968 when
Harvey Roehl was president of the
society so that he could attend the
convention in Binghamton, NY, that
year. Just as I was completing this
article, I heard from Rosanna who
assured us that, just as Bill would
have wanted it, she will continue to
invite interested people to see, hear
and appreciate the collection she
and Bill acquired. In fact, she said, if
one of the instruments still on their
want list comes on the market, she’ll
most likely acquire it and add to their
collection!

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 53

In Memoriam In Memoriam
Emery Prior — 1936-2021

By Carl and Joyce Mueller

It is with deep sadness that I
announce the passing of my friend
Emery “Driz” Prior on Apr. 9, 2021, at
home surrounded by his family. Emery
was born in Chagrin Falls, OH, in 1936
and spent his entire life in Northeast
Ohio. As a longtime member of MBSI
and the Automatic Musical Instrument
Collectors’ Association (AMICA),
Emery was an avid collector and
supporter of mechanical music,
amassing a sizable and unique collection
of outstanding pieces over the
years. He chaired various MBSI events
in Ohio and was in charge of the MBSI
Museum Committee Ohio Operation
in Northeast Ohio. He was a recipient
of numerous awards for his support
and dedication to many cultural and
civic organizations, including MBSI.

Emery spoke on numerous occasions
to these organizations about
mechanical music. He especially
enjoyed talking to school children
about mechanical music. He would
say he felt it was important to engage
young people in this hobby. His

friends from around the world. They
enjoyed leisurely days of swimming,
boating, and fishing.

One of our fondest memories was
at a picnic hosted by Emery and Tara
for some of his collector friends. This
turned into a hilarious event. After
lunch, he fired up his 1920 La France
Fire Truck, with everyone piled on the
running boards and back perch. Emery
then proceeded to drive us all through

collection was always open for fundraisers,
historical societies, and other
cultural groups. He traveled far and
wide, both here and in Europe, attending
numerous music conventions and
touring various musical collections
and events.

Emery was also an antique car
enthusiast, owning many rare and
unique examples of gas, electric
and steam automobiles. We traveled
together many miles attending car
shows and participated in numerous
car tours (runs) across the country.
One highlight was the Fall antique car
meet in Hershey, PA.

I also treasure our weekly lunch get
togethers that usually lasted well into
the afternoon.

Emery spent most of his working
career in the die cast industry. He
began as a salesman and ended up as
the owner of a company.

A highlight Emery often shared
about his family was a months-long
vacation on their Georgian Bay island
called “Ishpiming,” meaning “Heaven”
in the native Ojibway language, where
he reconnected with family and

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.

54 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

his hometown with sirens blaring
and riders screaming and laughing.
I am certain the townspeople who
observed this event thought that there
had been a breech in security from a
local senior citizen facility.

Later in life Emery spent many
pleasant hours researching the Prior
ancestry and genealogy. The Prior

family was among some of the earliest
settlers in Northeast Ohio, arriving in
about 1800 from New England.

Emery was truly an exceptional
American and special friend, never
complaining, always happy and positive.
He is survived by wife Tara, son
Chris (Wendi), daughter Ginny, and
grandchildren Cyrus and Dean.

Condolences

MBSI would like to offer
sincere condolences to the family
of Eugene “Gene” Saboda and his
wife, Maureen, as they mourn his
passing.

Advertise in The Mart

Have some spare parts or extra rolls taking up the space
where you should be installing your next acquisition?
Ready to trade up, but need to sell one of your current
pieces first? Get the word out to other collectors by
advertising in The Mart, an effective advertising tool at an
inexpensive price.

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

July/August 2021 MECHANICAL MUSIC 55

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 include words that 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 proof read
articles for accuracy and consistency.

Footnotes and Bibliography

Provide footnotes and a bibliography
where appropriate. 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 taking pictures. Be sure
there is enough light or a good flash.
Take care to avoid the flash reflection
on the instruments. Shut off the date
and time recorder on your camera.
Set the camera to take photos with
the highest resolution possible. Send
in the high-resolution photos. Do not
reduce 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
the correct position on the page. If you
are not able to alter the photograph’s
title, please provide captions for
photos that clearly identify them and
where they should be positioned in
the article if that is important to the
presentation of the material.

Article Text

If possible, please submit the article
in either Microsoft Word format as a
.doc attachment or include it as text
in an email. As a last resort, a typed
document can be accepted via mail.
Do not type in all caps.

Review Process

All articles are reviewed by the
editor and the Publications Committee
chair and can be referred to one
or more members of the Publications
Committee or a recognized expert to
be checked for technical and historical
accuracy. Even though the article
is assumed to be the author’s opinion,
and thoughtful opinions are encouraged
to stimulate discussion and more
research, the author may be asked to
substantiate his/her statements.

If describing the restoration of
an antique instrument and using
materials not originally used in the
manufacture of that instrument, the
author should explain why he/she
chose to use alternative materials.

No article should be written in such
a way that it can be construed as
commercial advertising for one’s own
products, goods, or services or those
of any other individual or company.

The panel may make suggestions
which will be noted and the article
returned to the author for his/her
response. This is standard procedure
for any technical and professional
publication. The goal of the review

process is to help make every article
as good as it can possibly be and to
contain as few errors as possible. In
no manner should this process be
construed as censorship. The author
will receive a proof of the typeset and
formatted article. It should be read
carefully. After the second proof, no
changes can be made. It is understood
that the author can withdraw the
article at any time prior to publication.

Mechanical Music is published six
times per year. Materials intended
for publication should be submitted
approximately 60 days prior to the
publication date for any issue. For
example, materials to be published in
the March/April issue of Mechanical
Music (March 1 delivery date) should
be submitted on or about January 1.

The article publishing schedule is
dependent on the review process and
other obligations that are time sensitive.
Although every effort is made to
publish articles within a few months
of submission, the date of publication
is dependent on the number of articles
in process, their length, and the review
process. The editor will make every
effort to keep the author informed
about the probable publication date.
Authors may contact the editor at any
time for an update.

Thank you for your contribution(s)
to Mechanical Music. Your efforts
are of great value to this generation
and future generations of mechanical
music enthusiasts.

Send articles to:

MBSI Editor

130 Coral Court

Pismo Beach, CA 93449

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.

56 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 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

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

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

Supplement to

colour throughout with Additional Illustrations of Models, 89 Additional Lid
The Disc Musical Box Pictures Additions to Lists of Models, Patents, Tune Lists & Serial Numbers;
Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.

Compiled and Edited by
Kevin McElhone

Originally published in 2012 and still available The Disc Musical Box

ISBN 978-0-9557869-6-9

is a compendium of information about Disc Musical Boxes, their Makers and
their Music; profusely illustrated in colour throughout with Illustrations of
each Disk Musical Box Model, and with Catalogue Scans, Lists of Models,
Patents & Tune Lists.

Supplement to

Compiled and Edited by
Kevin McElhone

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

Patents, Tune Lists & Tuning Scales; A New Section on Trade Cards;
Combined Index of Images in the original book and its Supplement.

The Organette Book is a compendium of information about Organettes,
their Makers and their Music. Originally published in 2000 but now out of
print although second-hand copies are occasionally available in online
auctions.

************************************************************************************************************************
For all MBSGB Publications, please refer to the Musical Box Society of Great Britain website for further details including latest
availability, discounted prices and information on how to order. -www.mbsgb.org.uk

58 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

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

Sing a Different Tune!

Expand your library of discs! With over 9,500 discs
in stock, I’m sure to have something for your machine!

Here’s a small sampling of sizes/brands on hand:

Ariston – organette – 13” Mira – 9”, 12”, 15”, 18”
Celesta – 15” Monopol – 13”
Criterion/Olympia – 15”, 20” Polyphon – 6”, 8”, 9”, 11”, 15”, 19”, 24”
Edelweiss – 8”,12” Regina – 11”, 12”, 15”, 20”, 27”
Gem Roller Organ – 6” Stella – 9”, 14”, 15”, 17”
Grand Roller Organ – 13” Symphonion – 8” through 20”
Harmonia – 9” Thorens – 4.5”, 11”

Imperial Symphonion – 10”, 13”,14”, 15”
Kalliope – 5”, 7”, 9”, 13”, 14”,17”

Email/call me with what you’re looking for. I can provide lists with

title/cond./price for most of what’s in stock!
While listening to ‘new’ music…sit back and read a new book!

Cylinder Music Box Repair – new from the AMBC, UK – very
limited edition, only 8 in stock – no more available. -$65 + pstg.

The Music Box Makers of Switzerland – from theAMBC, UK –
tracing the history of Swiss music box makers. -$65 + pstg.

The Disc Musical Box, by K. McElhone – a fabulous reference book
with background histories, comb tuning scales, list of makers &
models, $60 + pstg. Supplement to the book with even more info!
$30. Both: $80 + pstg.

Nancy Fratti Music Boxes 315-684-9977
PO Box 400 Canastota NY 13032 USA

musicbox@frontiernet.net

FOR SALE
REGINA 151/2 MUSIC BOX. Mechanism was

THE MART

professionally restored. Bought new combs
RESTORED MUSICAL BOXES Offering a from Porter and they have been tuned and

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

ALL ADS MUST BE PREPAID

We accept VISA/MC and Paypal.

ADVERTISING DEADLINES:

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

Display ads may be submitted camera-ready, as PDF files, or with text and
instructions. File submission guidelines available on request.

Errors attributable to Mechanical Music, and of a significant nature, will be
corrected in the following issue without charge, upon notification.

CLASSIFIED ADS

• 47¢ per word
• ALL CAPS, italicized and bold
words: 60¢ each.
• Minimum Charge: $11 per ad.
• Limit: One ad in each category
• Format: See ads for style
• Restrictions: Ads are strictly
limited to mechanical musical
instruments and related items and
services
• MBSI member’s name must
appear in ad
• Non-members may advertise at the
rates listed plus a 10% surcharge
PLEASE NOTE:

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

Mechanical Music

Mechanical Music is mailed to all
members at the beginning of every
odd month — January, March, May,
July, September and November.

MBSI Advertising Statement

It is to be hereby understood
that the placing of advertisements
by members of the Society in this
publication does not constitute nor
shall be deemed to constitute any
endorsement or approval of the business
practices of advertisers. The
Musical Box Society International
accepts no liability in connection
with any business dealings between
members and such advertisers.

It is to be further understood that
members are to rely on their own
investigation and opinion regarding
the reputation and integrity of
advertisers in conducting such business
dealings with said advertisers.

variety of antique musical boxes, discs,
orphan cylinders, reproducing piano rolls &
out of print books about mechanical music.
BILL WINEBURGH 973-927-0484 Web:
antiquemusicbox.us

THE GOLDEN AGE of AUTOMATIC MUSICAL
INSTRUMENTS By ART REBLITZ.
Award-winning classic that brings historical,
musical, and technical information to life
with hundreds of large, vivid color photos.
We guarantee you’ll find it to be one of the
most interesting, inspiring, informative books
you have in your library–or your money back.
Everyone has been delighted, and some
readers have ordered several copies. Get
your copy today for $99 plus S/H. MECHANICAL
MUSIC PRESS-M, 70 Wild Ammonoosuc
Rd., Woodsville, NH 03785. (603) 747-2636.

http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com

Each One
Reach One
New Member
installed. Plays as it should. New top reproduced.
Have receipts for work and parts.
$2,100.00. Call JON GULBRANDSON, at
(763) 923 5748

MARVELS OF MECHANICAL MUSIC -MBSI
Video. Fascinating and beautifully-made
film which explains the origins of automatic
musical instruments, how they are collected
and preserved today, and their historic
importance, MBSI members and collections
are featured. $20 USD. Free shipping in the
continental U.S. Additional postage charges
apply for other locations. Purchase now at
www.mbsi.org

SUBMIT ADS TO:

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

62 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 2021

WANTED SERVICES WANTED SERVICES
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.

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

BOOK OR ROLL ORGAN in working condition.
Contact DAN ALBRECHT at danalbreht@
frontiernet.net or (763) 972-6202

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

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.
SAVE $’s on REUGE & THORENS MUSIC
BOX REPAIR & RESTORATION – MBSI
MEMBERS RECEIVE WHOLESALE PRICING.

40 + Years experience servicing all makes
& models of cylinder and disc music boxes,
bird boxes, bird cages, musical watches, Anri
musical figurines, et al. All work guaranteed.
We’re the only REUGE FACTORY AUTHORIZED
Parts & Repair Service Center for all of North
America. Contact: DON CAINE -The Music
Box Repair Center Unlimited, 24703 Pennsylvania
Ave., Lomita, CA 90717-1516. Phone:

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

Have some spare parts or extra
rolls taking up the space where
you should be installing your next
acquisition? Ready to trade up,
but need to sell one of your current
pieces first? Get the word out to
other collectors by advertising in
The Mart, an effective advertising
tool at an inexpensive price.

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

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

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
July/August 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
ekozak1970@gmail.com

TRUSTEES

Dave Calendine
Bob Caletti
Ed Cooley
Dave Corkrum

G.Wayne Finger
Matt Jaro
Tom Kuehn
Mary Ellen Myers
MBSI FUNDS

COMMITTEES
Audit

Edward Cooley, Chair, Trustee
Dave Calendine, Trustee
Matt Jaro, Trustee

Endowment Committee

Edward Kozak, Treasurer, Chair
Edward Cooley, Trustee
Dave Calendine, Trustee
B Bronson
Wayne Wolf

Executive Committee

Tom Kuehn, Chair, President
David Corkrum, Vice President
Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres.

G.Wayne Finger, Trustee
Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee
Finance Committee

Edward Kozak, Chair, Treasurer
Wayne Wolf, Vice Chair
David Corkrum, Vice President
Edward Cooley, Trustee
Peter Both

Marketing Committee

Bob Smith, Chair
Dave Calendine, Trustee

G.Wayne Finger, Trustee
Judy Caletti
Meetings Committee

Matt Jaro, Chair, Trustee
Judy Caletti
Tom Chase
Cotton Morlock
Rich Poppe

Membership Committee

Chair, TBD
Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,

Southeast
Linda Birkitt, Southern California
Gary Goldsmith, Snowbelt
Christine Hopwood, Golden Gate
Julie Morlock, Southeast
Rob Pollock, Mid-America
Dan Wilson, Piedmont
Gerald Yorioka, Northwest Int’l
TBD, East Coast
TBD, Great Lakes
TBD, National Capital
TBD, Sunbelt

Museum Committee

Sally Craig, Chair
Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres.
Glenn Crater, National Capital
Ken Envall, Southern California
Julian Grace, Sunbelt
Matt Jaro, National Capital
Rob Pollock, Mid-America
Richard Simpson, East Coast

Museum Sub-Committees

Ohio Operations
Rob Pollock

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES
Publications Back Issues:

Jacque Beeman

Regina Certificates:

B Bronson

MBSI Pins and Seals:

Jacque Beeman

Librarian:

Jerry Maler

Historian:

Bob Yates

Nominating Committee

Dan Wilson, Chair
Clay Witt, Immediate Past Pres.
Bob Caletti, Golden Gate, Trustee
Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,

Southeast
Jonathan Hoyt, Golden Gate
Robin Biggins, Southern California
Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan

Publications Committee

Bob Caletti, Chair, Trustee
Steve Boehck
Dave Corkrum, Vice President
Christian Eric
Kathleen Eric
Terry Smythe

Publications
Sub-Committee

Website Committee
Rick Swaney, Chair
B Bronson
Don Henry
Knowles Little, Web Secretary

Special Exhibits Committee

Chair Mary Ellen Myers, Trustee,
Southeast
David Corkrum, Vice President,

Golden Gate
Donald Caine, Southern California
Jack Hostetler, Southeast
Knowles Little, National Capital
Judy Miller, Piedmont
Aaron Muller, Lake Michigan
Wayne Myers, Southeast
Rick Swaney, Northwest Int’l

MBSI Editorial Office:

Iron Dog Media
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
editor@mbsi.org

Members can donate to these funds at any time.
Send donations to: General Fund (unrestricted)
MBSI Administrator, Endowment Fund (promotes the purposes of MBSI, restricted)
PO Box 10196, Ralph Heintz Publications Fund (special literary projects)
Springfield, MO 65808-0196. Museum Fund (supports museum operations)

All manuscripts will be subject to editorial review. Committee and the Editorial Staff. are considered to be the author’s personal opinion.
Articles submitted for publication may be edited The article will not be published with significant The author may be asked to substantiate his/her
or rejected at the discretion of the Publications changes without the author’s approval. All articles statements.

64 MECHANICAL MUSIC July/August 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 Aug. 1, 2021, for the September/October 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

July/August 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:
mbsi@irondogmedia.com
USPS or Fed Ex to:
Iron Dog Media, LLC
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Mechanical Music is mailed to more
than 1,500 members of the Musical
Box Society International six (6) times
per year.
PRINTING & ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
CIRCULATION
ALL ADS MUST
BE PREPAID
The Musical Box Society International
accepts VISA, Mastercard and online
payments via PayPal.
Contact MBSI Publisher Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 or editor@mbsi.org
CLASSIFIED ADS
• 47¢ per word
• ALL CAPS, italicized and
bold words: 60¢ each.
• Minimum Charge: $11.
• Limit: One ad in each
category
• Format: See ads for style
• Restrictions: Ads are strictly
limited to mechanical musical
instruments and related
items and services

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!

7

Mechanical Music at its Best

Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

Mechmusic.com

11’ tall
Welte 4 Concert Violina Orchestra Wurlitzer CX with Bells Welte Brisgovia C Luxus

Four Weber Orchestrions with Animated Scenes!

Unika Maesto Otero Grandezza

Jaeger Brommer
42’er Violinopan 20’er Automaton
Seeburg KT Special
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.

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

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

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

7

Mechanical Music at its Best

Instrument Brokering & Locating / Appraisals / Inspections / Free Consultation

Mechmusic.com

4 Weber Orchestrions with Animated Scenes!

Maesto Unika Grandezza Otero

Ruth 38 Mason & Hamlin RAA
Wurlitzer CX

Jaeger Brommer
42’er Violinopan 20’er Automaton
Seeburg KT Special
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.

COIN-OCOP & MECHANICAL MUSICIN-OP & MECHANICAL MUSIC
MAY 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15, 2021
HISTORIC5DAYAUCTIONHISTORIC 5 DAY AUCTION
Featuring two 40-year collections
fresh to the market.
2000 N. READING ROAD | DENVER, PA 17517 | 877-968-8880 | INFO@MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
COIN-OCOP & MECHANICAL MUSICIN-OP & MECHANICAL MUSIC
MAY 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15, 2021
HISTORIC5DAYAUCTIONHISTORIC 5 DAY AUCTION
Featuring two 40-year collections
fresh to the market.
2000 N. READING ROAD | DENVER, PA 17517 | 877-968-8880 | INFO@MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM
MORPHYAUCTIONS.COM

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

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. 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
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

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.

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
Dimensions 1 issue 2-3 issues 4-6 issues
Back Cover 8.75” x 11.25” $600 $540 $510
Inside Covers 8.75” x 11.25” $450 $405 $383
Full Page 7.25” x 9.75” $290 $261 $247
Half Page 7.25” x 4.5” $160 $144 $136
Quarter Page 3.5” x 4.5” $90 $81 $77
Eighth Page 3.5” x 2.125” $50 $45 $43
Non-members pay a 10% surcharge on the above rates
Display Discounts shown above are calculated as follows:
3 consecutive ads 10% Discount
6 consecutive ads 15% Discount
FULL PAGE
8.75” X 11.25”
(0.5” bleed)
7.25” x 9.75”
(live area)
PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
ISSUE NAME ADS DUE DELIVERED ON
January/February December 1 January 1
March/April February 1 March 1
May/June April 1 May 1
July/August June 1 July 1
September/October August 1 September 1
November/December October 1 November 1
Mechanical Music is printed on 70 lb gloss
paper, with a 100 lb gloss cover, saddle-
stitched. Trim size is 8.25” x 10.75”.
Artwork is accepted in the following formats:
PDF, PSD, AI, EPS, TIF. All images
and colors should be CMYK or Grayscale
and all fonts should be embedded or
converted to outlines. Images should be a
minimum of 300 dpi resolution.
Email fi les to:
mbsi@irondogmedia.com
USPS or Fed Ex to:
Iron Dog Media, LLC
130 Coral Court
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Mechanical Music is mailed to more
than 1,500 members of the Musical
Box Society International six (6) times
per year.
PRINTING & ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
CIRCULATION
ALL ADS MUST
BE PREPAID
The Musical Box Society International
accepts VISA, Mastercard and online
payments via PayPal.
Contact MBSI Publisher Russell Kasselman at (253) 228-1634 or editor@mbsi.org
CLASSIFIED ADS
• 47¢ per word
• ALL CAPS, italicized and
bold words: 60¢ each.
• Minimum Charge: $11.
• Limit: One ad in each
category
• Format: See ads for style
• Restrictions: Ads are strictly
limited to mechanical musical
instruments and related
items and services

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