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Edison Musical Box
Edison Phonograph Musical Box
by Tim Morsher (021208 MMDigest)

edisonMB.jpg (54 kb)I must admit I was a bit amused when I read the inquiry about a music box made by Thomas Edison, until I stumbled upon a 1993 issue of the "Antique Phonograph Monthly", Vol. XI, No. 1, issue #89, page 15, which reproduces an ad for "The Edison Phonograph Musical Box".

The early history of the phonograph is very intriguing, and well worth studying.  In a nutshell, early Edison phonographs (circa 1890) were not sold but were leased.  When this didn't quite work out, the machines were encased in all kinds of cabinet work -- too many to explain or describe here.

What this 1894 advert shows is an Edison class "M" type machine, in a beautiful cabinet, probably by this time selling for $250-300 dollars.  This was 1894, so they were not real successful at getting rid of them this way, either.

As of 1993 (the issue containing this reproduced ad), this combination of machine and cabinet has not been found.  It would be an incredible treasure if it were.

Tim Morsher - Milan, Ohio (a.k.a. Thomas Edison's birthplace)
8 Dec 2002 19:18:08 -0500

Read the previous MMD articles about the "Edison Music Box", indexed at

The Antique Phonograph Monthly, published from 1973 to 1993 by historian Allen Koenigsberg, was an informative guide to the first 50 years of recorded music.  More history about antique phonographs is at Prof. Koenigsberg's web site at

08 December 2002

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