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55th annual - AMICA CONVENTION
BLACK HILLS - South Dakota
June 3 - 8, 2018

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

Click on any image to see a larger version

Cylinder music box

A cylinder music box

Cylinder music boxes have been around for a long time. They were first invented in the late 18th century by Swiss watchmakers who made them as parts of watches and clocks. Most music boxes made today have cylinder mechanisms.

The cylinder

Music box cylinder

Here's why they are called "cylinder music boxes." The musical notes are represented by extensions protruding from a metal cylinder. If you have a music box at home, you might be able to see a similar cylinder inside.

The comb

Music box comb

As the cylinder of the music box is turned, the bits of metal protruding from the cylinder brush against the teeth of a metal comb, causing the teeth to vibrate and thus play musical notes.

Fine details

A fine cylinder music box

The best cylinder music boxes are beautifully made inside and out. Notice this detail from the case of a fine cylinder music box.

Instruments: Margaret Bisberg and Richard Van Metre



©2018 AMICA International
Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association,
a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

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