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MMD > Archives > September 2005 > 2005.09.25 > 03Prev  Next

Ervista Borna, Ervista Bona, Ernesto Bona of B.A.B.
By Matthew Caulfield

On page 858 of his "Encyclopedia Of Automatic Musical Instruments",
Q. David Bowers gives the name of the first of the three principals of
the B.A.B. Organ Company as "Borna."  Having seen organs with his name
spelled "E. Bona," I know that "Bona" is provably the correct spelling
of his surname.  But the forename?

I have always known his forename as "Ervista," although today I can't
say where that information came from.  Dominic(k) Brugnolotti's grandson,
Ed Radonic, has sent me some photocopies of papers relating to his
grandfather, who was the third partner in the B.A.B. Organ Company
(Andrew Antoniazzi being the second partner).  Ed's family reports
Bona's forename as "Ernesto."  I rashly shrugged that off, but now
I am coming to believe that "Ernesto" is correct.

I'm writing a piece about the B.A.B. Organ Company for the COAA's
"Carousel Organ" and would like to get things right for once.  Can
anyone refresh my memory as to where the spelling "Ervista" came from?
Does anyone have documentation to confirm the one spelling or the other
-- Ervista or Ernesto?  If the poor guy (who died in 1934) has been
reported throughout the years as Ervista Borna, while his name is
really Ernesto Bona, he is pretty much a lost soul to history.

The reason for leaning toward Ed Radonic's "Ernesto" is that a Google
search turns up not a single instance of "Ervista" as a personal name,
plus the fact that it is a feminine form.

Brugnolotti's forename is variously reported in news articles as
Dominic and Dominick.  His grandson writes it with the k; an old
Italian infantry list calls him Domenico Brugnolotti.  This, though,
is a lesser dilemma, and it may not be solvable, since Europeans who
have anglicized their names are not always consistent in how they do

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

(Message sent Sun 25 Sep 2005, 16:49:00 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  B.A.B, Bona, Borna, Ernesto, Ervista

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