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MMD > Archives > March 2011 > 2011.03.29 > 02Prev  Next

Seek Catalogues of American Disc Musical Boxes
By Dave Bowers

I appreciate the nice comments I have received relating to the book
I am working on, "The Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes."  As envisioned,
this will be published in 2012.  The emphasis will be on illustrating
different models, including from original catalogues, and giving the
history, description, and background of the various companies and their
products.  The book will probably run several hundred pages and will be
priced so that it will be affordable to just about anyone interested.

I have been collecting information on disc music boxes and other
automatic musical instruments since my "Encyclopedia" was published
in 1972, and now I hope to be able to transfer some of this to print.
With Art Reblitz I have nearly completed a manuscript on coin-operated
pianos and orchestrions made in the United States, and a book on violin
players is in the graphics production stage, but that is another

For the moment, I would be very appreciative for the opportunity to
borrow or rent original catalogues from the late 19th and early 20th
century describing disc music boxes.  I say "rent" as I realize that
original literature is scarce, even precious, and valuable.  While my
use of pictures will certainly not preclude the owners of literature
from using it elsewhere, such as in articles, I would be happy to pay
some compensation if desired.  In any event, I will pay insured postage
both ways.  Alternatively, flat-bed scanned images at 600 dpi could be
sent to me by e-mail, in groups so that no transmission exceeds, say,
5 MB.  I will give credit and provide a complimentary copy of the book
to all significant contributors.

The volume when published should be a nice complement to the massive
project being done by Kevin McElhone, a comprehensive volume listing
tune titles, technical information, and even with an accompanying CD.
I mention this as my project is not at all competitive to his, and we
have had nice correspondence on the subject.  Actually, the more books
that are in print concerning automatic musical instruments, the better.
Gone are the days when the Vestal Press turned out a regular stream of
reprints, guides to rebuilding, historical books, and the like.
Unfortunately there is no equivalent today.

As I write these words, I am putting the finishing touches on American
manufacturers.  While I desire original catalogue illustrations of
Polyphon, Symphonion, Komet, Imperator, Monopol, Sirion, and any and
all others, for the moment I would be grateful for catalogues from
these companies: Regina Music Box Company, F.G. Otto & Sons, Symphonion
Manufacturing Company (New York), Imperial Symphonion (New York),
Perfection (New Jersey), and any others.

I very much appreciate any correspondence or information received.
Thank you very much.

Dave Bowers
Box 539, Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896 USA [delete ".geentroep" to reply]

(Message sent Tue 29 Mar 2011, 22:37:05 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  American, Boxes, Catalogues, Disc, Musical, Seek

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