Annual Convention



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Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes 1881 - 1920
       A History,
          Catalog Raisonné,
                and Appreciation.
                          By Q. David Bowers
                                     An AMICA-International Publication

Q. David Bowers has collected, studied, and enjoyed automatic musical instruments, beginning in 1960. In the intervening years he has written several books on the subject, including A Guide Book of Automatic Musical Instruments (1966), Put Another Nickel In (1968), Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments (1971), and Treasures of Mechanical Music (co-authored with Arthur A. Reblitz, 1981). He has contributed many articles to the journals of the Musical Box Society International and AMICA (Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association), and is one of just four recipients of the Musical Box Society International’s Lifetime Service Award. The author, whose main business over the years has been as a dealer in rare coins, has traveled extensively through America and Europe seeking information relating to automatic musical instruments.



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Enjoying a meal - 2000 in SacramentoOur Annual Convention ...

AMICA holds conventions annually, around the united States and occasionally around the world.  Convention activities usually include tours of local sites related to mechanical music, live concerts, technical workshops, a piano pumping competition, a banquet and tours of private collections.
 


Technical Sessions

Technical Session - How to properly repair pneumaticsThe conventions feature one day filled with technical sessions designed to teach the enthusiast how to repair, restore elements of mechanical instruments.A Roll Scanner by Spencer Chase

Here are some past Technical Topics: Electronic Reproduction of Original Rolls, Four Different Duo-Art Fan Expression Systems, Perforators, Pneumatic Valve Restoration, The Bleed, Pouch, Valve, Pneumatic Relationship, Ampico Code Decoding, etc.
 


The Mart

For a small fee, attendees can purchase a table at the MART, where at an appointed time you may sell your collectables and wares to the convention attendees. It's a great way to pick up that book or roll you need!


Tour the Local Area

Whatever city we're in, there's always a day set aside for an extensive sight-seeing trip by bus, to pre-determined attractions germane to our group. Everyone come back with their cameras full and TIRED! There are other opportunities to see attractions within walking distance.


The "Pumper" Contest

Contestants sign up to bring in their favorite piano roll, and play it on a foot-impelled player-piano in front of the audience and 3-5 judges. The winning performance (See the official Judging Guidelines) wins the right to bring home the "Golden Footsie" award for one year.  See the past years winners below.


The Hospitality Room


A general meeting place for all attendees, it is the focus of information, refreshment, and contains several player pianos and other automatic instruments which may be freely used.
 


Farewell Dinner

The last evening together, we have a "dress up" (formal or costume) dinner with formal service. A Jazz band provides period music during dinner and after for dancing into the night. 

 


Open Houses

Convention "go-ers" who can stay after the Sunday breakfast are encouraged to come to local member's homes and see their collections. A listing of the homes and their contents are posted at the convention, and transportation is provided. Plan to stay an extra day to see what treasures others have - or, hop a shuttle from there to the airport.


 

Click here to see past Convention Photos
 

Conventions

Year

Location

Convention Roll / Table Favors / Photos
Send additions/corrections to the Website Manager
2018 Rapid City,
South Dakota
June 3-8, 2018
 

Website: <
Check back in the Spring of 2018>
Promotion Video:
https://youtu.be/4EbEdccg-pw
2017 Winnipeg-Manitoba Canada
August 8-13, 2017
 

Website:
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - 2017


Convention Roll:
Table Favor: Book: The Hermetic Code
2016 Princeton, NJ
August 2-7, 2016
Website: Princeton, NJ - 2016

 

2015 Denver, Colorado
August 5-9, 2015
Website: Denver, CO-2015
2014 Fresno, California
May 14-18, 2014
Website: Fresno, CA-2014

Convention Roll: None
 
Table Favor: A scale model of a Coinola Cupid from 1920, 7" High, 4-5/8" Wide,  3" Deep.
 
Golden "Footsie" Winner: Andrew Barrett
2013 San Francisco, CA
July 11 - July 14, 2013
 

Website:
SanFrancisco-2013
2012 Pittsburgh, PA
July 11 - 15, 2012
 

Website:
Pittsburgh-2012
2011 London, England
Aug 28 - Sept 4, 2011

Website:
London-2011


 
2010 Buffalo, NY Website: Buffalo, NY - 2010

Convention Roll: "The Jitterbug", composed by E.Y. Harburg & Harold Arlen, played by Chris Sierzchula, edited by Tim Baxter and produced by Keystone Music Rolls. It is based upon a recording by Vincent Lopez

Table Favor:
A Metal bank in the shape of a standing buffalo. A plaque at the base says: "AMICA 2010  Buffalo, New York"

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Tim Baxter
 
2009 Cincinnati, OH
July 22-26
Website: Cincinnati OH - 2009 

Convention Roll:
"Lauter Jubilee March" (Redgate). Original Electra 80122, punched by Leedy Bros. Music Rolls, 2009.

Table Favor
: A miniature "Tea Bell, 4-1/2" tall. A wooden handle is attached to the top of the bronze bell, inside is a clapper. Imprinted on the front "THE VERDIN COMPANY CINCINNATI, OHIO" on the back "SINCE 1842". Engraved on the rim in front: "AMICA 2009"

Golden "Footsie" Winner:
Julian Dyer
 
2008 Los Angeles, CA
July 1-6
Website: Los Angeles-2008 

Convention Roll:
None

Table Favor: Replica of a 106 Wurlitzer Military Band Organ. 150+ piece hand-made Band Organ miniature that plays a band organ recording of "California, Here I Come
" recorded from a Wurlitzer 105. The design was an idea by Roy Betz. A very meticulous souvenir!

Golden "Footsie" Winner:
Ronald Hartwell
 

2007

Germany/Holland 
July 5-20

Website: Germany-2007

Convention Roll:
None.

Table Favor: "Organ grinder" standing on a wooden platforms, crakinging a monkey organ attached to a cart with wheels, which had a music box in it that played "The Loreley". Made by Seigfreid Wendel and his son.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Ronald Hartwell
 

2006

Chicago, IL  
July 25-30

Website:  Chicago-2006 / Workshops

Convention Roll:
Meliora "Windy City Blues", written/played-by Nathan Bello, c2006, produced by Timothy Baxter.

Table Favor: "Nipper" the dog, and RCA Corp. trademark. He is white, 6-1/4" tall, sitting, has black ears and a black collar.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Chris Kehoe
 

2005

Minneapolis, MN
June 29 - July 3

Website: Minneapolis-2005 

Convention Roll:
QRS # CU-690:
1. Minneapolis Moon (originally QRS 2627)
2. Foshay Tower - Washington Memorial March (Arranged by John W. Miller)

Table Favor
: The table favors were unique and given over the course of the Convention. There were four: a 5-1/2 oz. Container of Minnesota-grown wild rice complete with recipes; and from the Watkins Company: a 2 oz. bottle of pure vanilla extract; and a 6 oz, can each of cinnamon and of black pepper with a black and white label: in the center a picture of the Foshay Tower with the name below it; at the top is "AMICA," on the left side "Julie 29" with the numeral 0, on the right side "July 3" with the numeral 5, at the bottom "Minneapolis, MN."

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Alex Thompson
 

2004

Denver, CO
August 4-8

Convention Roll: QRS #CU-688 p/b Dick Kroeckel:
1. "Denver", 2. "Colorado" (Up With People, Inc.)
Both numbers made famous by John Denver. 
The roll was p/b Colorado's own Dick Kroeckel and Edited by Art Reblitz.

Table Favor
: None

Golden "Footsie" Winner:
Roger Stumfoll
 

2003

Portland, OR

Convention Roll:  PMR produced: "Rose City Rag", p/b & Composed: Nathan Bello, Edited by Dave Saul

Table Favor
: The table favor was a beige-colored coffee mug, with a large dark brown square on each side ("AM1CA 2003" in beige at the top and "PORTLAND" at the bottom of each square). Filling the mug with hot liquid causes the squares to disappear and the convention logo to appear: the word "Portland" (the letter "P" as a piano keyboard and the letter "L" as a piano roll) and a pink rose with 3 buds and green leaves to the right of the word "Portland" with "AMICA 2003" underneath.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Karl Ellison
 

2002

Springdale, AR
June 26-30

Convention Roll: None.

Souvenir
: The
favor was a wooden outhouse; a 2-holer-with lids that go up and down when the door is opened, with 3 musical movement that plays "Putting on the Ritz." The "toilet paper" is a piano music roll. Attached to the inside of the door is a top hat and cane. On the outside of the door is a cutout of the "Heart of America" logo. Above the cutout is printed: "Heart of America AMICA 2002." This very unusual favor was developed and made by Yousef and Mary Wilson.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Roger Stumfoll
 

2001

Sydney, Australia
February 18-25

Website: Sydney-2001 

Convention Roll:
The souvenir music roll was from Mastertouch Roll Co., Sydney Australia: 1) "Happy Days Are Here Again"; 2) "Shepherd's Hey"; 3) "Waltzing Matilda"; 4) "Let's Take a Trip to Melbourne"; 5) "I Still Call Australia Home".

Table Favor:
A hand-carved likeness of a koala bear from Australian timber.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Mike Walter
 

2000

Sacramento, CA
June 22-25

Convention Roll: American Ragtime Co: "Echoes from Old Sacramento", arranged and played by Richard Zimmerman. 1) "World's Fair Rag" (Harvey Babcock-1912); 2) "Whoa!" (Nellie-George Gould-1915); 3) "The Meadowlark Rag" (Rom Pitts-1916); 4) "You Are the Cause of It All" (Sidney Carter and Tom Pitts-1916); 5) "The Riveter's Rag" (Richard Coburn and Vincent Rose­1916); 6) "Polar Bear Rag" (George P.Howard-1910); 7) "Sacramento" (Andrew B. Sterling and Harry Von Tilzer-1907).

Table Favor
The table favor was a replica of a 1900­1920 steam engine - American 4-4-0. There were two engines; one in red and black with brass trim and one in blue and black with silver trim. On the roof of the cabs was a white label with the printing in black  "AMICA 2000 Sacramento."

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Julian Dyer
 

1999

Boston, MA
August 12-15

Convention Roll: QRS #CU-637: 1) "Round The Town" (Arden) p/b Arden and Lambert (Ampico 56303-D); 2) "Tea for Two" (Youmans) p/b J. L. Cook (from late QRS 2894); 3) "Old Ironsides" (Reisenfeld) p/b Addison and Leith (Duo-Art 713403)

Table Favor: Ceramic 2-cuop Tea Pot w/ convention logo "AMICA Boston 1999" on a wooden trivet that plays "Tea for Two".  on a musical base.

Golden "Footsie" Winner:
Karl Ellison
 

1998

Niagara Falls, Canada
July 8-12

Convention Roll: QRS souvenir roll CU-632; 1) "A Trip To Niagara"; 2) "Over The Rainbow / Shuffle Off To Buffalo"

Table Favor:
A large butterfly embedded in a crystal polymer paperweight.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Julian Dyer
 

1997

Sandusky, OH
June 11-15

Convention Roll: QRS CEL-150; "Country Club Ragtime" two-step by Scott Joplin, a live performance by William Bolcom.

Table Favor:
A crystal and gold carousel horse mounted on a gilded base, by Liz Barnhart.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Mike Walter
 

1996

St. Louis, MO
June 26-30

Convention Roll: None

Table Favor:
Ceramic reproduction of a band organ that can be mounted on a small stand made from old organ pipes.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Shawn Fox
 

1995

London, England
and
Oisterwijk, Holland

August 5-13

Convention Roll: From Perforetur: "AMICAns Ahoy!" Ye Olde Conventione Roll; Lyrics by William Shakespeare; Music by H.M. King Henry VIII; "You'd Better Believe It!" arranged by Rex Lawson, Great Britain)

Table Favor:
A miniature double-decker London bus with "AMICA London 95" on the side.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Earl Scheelar
 

1994

Seattle, WA
June 29 - Jul 3

Convention Roll: QRS souvenir roll CU-588; 1) "Rain" QRS 9628)  p/b Scott and Waters; 2) "Seattle" p/b Rudy Martin; 3) "Ferry Boat Serenade" (QRS #7271) p/b J. L. Cook.

Table Favor:
A 12-ounce cocktail glass with Seattle, the AMICA logo, and 1994 engraved on the side.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Robin Pratt
 

1993

Los Angeles, CA
September 1-6

Second
AMICA/MBSI joint Convention

Convention Roll: None

Table Favor:
An 8" high replica of a Seeburg KT Special with a miniature tape player playing Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" recorded from an actual KT special nickelodeon. The simulated stained glass lit up. Created by Ben Lilien.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: Eric Bernhoft
 

1992

Chicago, IL
July 9-12

Convention Roll: QRS souvenir roll: 1) "Chicago" p/b Clyde Ridge, Aeolian # 1052; 2) "Music, Music, Music" p/b Jo Ann Castle, QRS #10533 (?)); 3) "Chicago Stomp" p/b James Blythe, Capitol #2225-10; 4) "Pianola Rag" p/b John Farrell.

Table Favor:
Small wooden model of a pianola made by Fred Plank.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: John Grant
 

1991

New Orleans, LA
July 25-28

Convention Roll: QRS souvenir roll: 1) "Basin Street Blues" p/b Fats Waller #6233; 2) "When All The Saints Come Marching In" p/b J. L. Cook #3664; 3) "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" p/b Pete Wending #2083.

Table Favor:
A folding paper Oriental fan.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: ?
 

1990

Cleveland, OH
July 12-15

Convention Roll: QRS souvenir roll: 1) "Tonight We Love"; 2) "Strange Music"; 3) "To Live Again", live performance by Emily Rose Schaffer.

Table Favor:
A wooden cutout base shaped like a grand piano, with carved wooden letters "AMICA" attached to the top. This non-musical favor was made by Liz and Mike Barnhart.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: ?
 

1989

Boston, MA
August 24-27

Convention Roll: From Play-Rite, Inc., 1) "Fight Fiercely, Harvard"; 2) "Take me Back to Tech"; 3) "The MTA", arranged by L. Douglas Henderson (Artcraft), produced by Michael Potash.

Table Favor:
A 6" high dual-mode operation street piano music box, with a lever for changing to mandolin sound. There were several tunes available, but each music box played only one tune.

Golden "Footsie" Winner: John Grant
 

1988

San Francisco, CA
June 22-26

Convention Roll: QRS CU-512 on silver paper; (1) "Hello Frisco, Hello" (2) "Grizzly Bear Rag" (3) "San Francisco". No playing artist was identified on the roll.

Souvenir:  Replica San Francisco wooden Cable Car with a wind-up musical movement playing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco".
 

1987

Minneapolis, MN
July 22-26

First AMICA/MBSI joint Convention

Convention Roll: QRS CU-500 (1) "Minnesota Hats Off To Thee!" (2) "Hail Minnesota" (3) "Hiawatha" (4) "Red Wing" (5) "By The Waters Of Minnetonka" - no playing artist was identified on the roll.

Souvenir: Snowman marionette or whirly-gig on a stick with a musical movement inside. If you whirled the stick around, it rotated the snowman on the stick and drove the musical movement. Initially conceived by Warren Anderson, with a Regue movement playing "Winter Wonderland".

1986

Philadelphia, PA
June 19-22
A "mini" Convention.

Convention Roll: None

Table Favor:
None

1985

Detroit MI
July 17-21

Convention Roll: QRS Souvenir roll containing seven nostalgic Automobile Tunes arranged by Bill Blodgett from rolls p/b Frank Milne, et al..

Table Favor:
A clear plastic see-through grand piano music box that plays "You Light Up My Life".

1984

Kansas City, KS
June 21-24

Roll: QRS Convention roll: 1) "Twelfth Street Rag" p/b Cook and Martin; 2) "Kansas City Rag". Its colorful leader was designed by Tom Hellstein.

Table Favor:
Replica of a Wurlitzer Harp that plays "In the Good Old Summertime", made by Ron Connor.

1983

Chicago, IL
July 13-17

Convention Roll: QRS roll playing 1) "Chicago Blues" p/b Hilda Myers; 2) "I'm From Chicago" (US Roll 3563); 3) "Hail Chicago" (US Roll 40446); 4) "Chicago" (QRS 2021) p/b Max Kortlander.

Table Favor:
Self-standing with a full color photo of the DeCap Dance Organ glued onto masonite, with a Reuge movement playing "Chicago".

1982

Bethlehem, PA
July 1-4

Convention Roll: QRS roll 1) "Stardust" p/b J. L. Cook; 2) "Morning Star - a QRS Fantasy".

Table Favor:
A packet of "3-11/16 x 4-1/8" beige Stationary with a print of a pianist seated at a Grand piano in the upper left-hand corner of each sheet. The favor is wrapped in clear plastic with a gold label attached on top and printed on it "AMICA International - Convention 1982, Bethlehem, PA."
(thanks to Roy Beltz for providing this information)

1981

Dallas, TX
October 1-4

Convention Roll: QRS CU-313 (1) "I Love a Piano" and (2) "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" both p/b J. Lawrence Cook.

Souvenir: Large mug with the convention logo on gold and dates, showing the skyline.

1980

Pasadena, CA
June 25-29

Convention Roll: QRS CU-265 (1) "California Here I Come" p/b J. Lawrence Cook (2) "Moonlight and Roses" p/b Harold Scott and (3) "Home in Pasadena" p/b Doug Roe.

Table Favor: The Southern CA chapter hand-made miniature Encore banjo replicas with a small wind-up cylinder musical movement inside, made by Ben and Mary Lilien.

1979

Philadelphia, PA
June 29 - July 3

Convention Roll: The QRS piano roll was "Stars and Stripes Forever", original QRS #30028.

Table Favor:
None

1978

Dayton, OH
June 22-25

Convention Roll: The QRS Convention roll as "Beautiful Ohio" p/b Frank Milne.

Table Favor: None.

1977

San Francisco, CA
September 1-5

Convention Roll: The QRS piano roll was "San Francisco" #6341 p/b Max Kortlander.

Table Favor:
None

1976

Joplin, MO
June 25-27

Convention Roll: The QRS piano roll was "Missouri Waltz". These rolls were boxed in red, white and blue.

Table Favor:
None

1975

Buffalo, NY
June 26-29

Convention Roll: The QRS Souvenir roll was "Shuffle Off to Buffalo". This began the tradition of QRS Music Rolls, Inc. giving a piano roll to those attending AMICA Conventions.

Table Favor:
None.

1974

Grand Junction, CO
July 4-7
A "mini" convention
 

Convention Roll: None

Table Favor:
None

1973

Fort Worth, TX
August 8-12

Convention Roll: The convention souvenir piano roll as "Sandman's Frolic;", boxed by Frank Adams; perforated by Malone & Powell; composed by Ursula Dietrich-Hollinshead; arranged by J. Lawrence Cook; "Honoring the Artist's Appearance at the 1972 AMICA Convention in Los Angeles, California."

Table Favor:
None.

1972

Los Angeles, CA
June-30-July 3

Convention Roll: None.

Table Favor:
This convention began the tradition of giving table favors to attendees. There were two table favors: 1) A miniature non-playing piano roll, 4 1/8" side, made by Blanche Dilthey, and a stereo record from G.W. McKinnon (Side 1: Swiss bells, drum and wood block; Regina 27" Double Comb Disc Player; Schulmerich Carillon. Side 2: German Weber-Gradezza Piano with Pipes; German Weber-Brabo with Zylophone. These selections were recorded at the Olde Tyme Musical Museum in Orlando, Florida)

1971

None this year ...
 

- - -

1970

San Francisco, CA
August 28-30

Convention Roll: None.

Table Favor:
None.

 


 

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Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association,
a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.


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