Following up on the recommendation for Art Reblitz's piano
servicing books, I would also recommend getting (or at least reading
at your local library, which can borrow the book by inter-library loan)
Art's magnificent "The Golden Age of Automatic Musical Instruments"
(ISBN 0-9705951-0-7). It was edited by Q. David Bowers; so both Art
Reblitz and Dave Bowers stand behind its content.
The book describes individually and in detail the significant
machines in the Gilson, Krughoff, and Sanfilippo collections; but
it also well serves, by its illustrations and its explanations of
complex mechanisms, as a textbook on music boxes, mechanical pianos
and violins, orchestrions, photoplayers, and all kinds of organs
(fairground, dance, theater, and band organs). All this is in the
first half of the book.
The second half is historical, and tours you, in word and picture,
through the pioneer collecting days, when hoards of old instruments
were easy to find and nobody much was interested, to the modern
collecting frenzy that made new discoveries rare and prices sky-high.
Irondequoit, New York