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.



Antique Musical Organ Rally

Sept. 26 – 27 2015 - Saturday & Sunday.


Experience the music of yesteryear! Unusual musical band organs from all over the country and their colorful owners, performing on Main Street, Saturday and Sunday.
Free indoor concert at Jackson United Methodist Church on Sunday. A one-of-a-kind opportunity for the whole family! Free, on Main Street, Jackson.

Sat: 10 am – 4 pm: Main St., Jackson, CA

Sun: 10 am – 12PM, Main Street.
         and a 1 pm Concert at Jackson Methodist Church, 120 Church St., Jackson CA


Contact: Amador Council of Tourism, 209-267-9249

Full Release:
(Jackson, CA)  The annual antique Musical Organ Rally comes to historic Jackson the weekend of September 26 – 27, 2015. Strolling Main Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Sunday, this free musical treat features beautiful vintage organs ranging from “monkey grinder” size to majestic. The mechanical  instruments play a variety of melodies, from dance tunes and marches to carousel and classical pieces.
On Sunday at 1 pm, the musical organs will assemble for a free indoor concert at Jackson United Methodist Church, just two blocks from Main Street at 120 Church Street, Jackson.
Known as nickelodeons, music boxes, pianos, and dance hall organs, musical organs play perforated punch cards, “books,” or player piano rolls, and were featured attractions at fairgrounds and dance halls until the mid-1900s.
Thanks to Jackson antiques dealer and organizer John MottoRos, and the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association, music lovers of all ages and fans of all things antique have a chance to see, hear, and learn about these mechanical instruments that have entertained people for centuries. Their colorful musician-operators are always happy to answer questions about the music and the instruments.
The organs heard today are based on instruments produced in France, but more popularly thought to have originated in Holland or Germany. In the eighteenth century, the first mechanical organs, turned by a crank, were invented to teach canaries to sing. Soon owners realized they could earn money playing outside. That was the beginning of organ grinders.
In the U.S., Wurlitzer Co. manufactured player organs for merry-go-rounds that are still a favorite in parks and at county fairs.
For more information, visit, or call Amador Council of Tourism, 209-267-9249





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

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