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Book details
  • Genre:MUSIC
  • SubGenre:History & Criticism
  • Language:English
  • Pages:338
  • Format:Hardcover
  • Hardcover ISBN:9780988011625

Encyclopedia of American Organettes

A History, Catalog Raisonné, And Appreciation

by Q. David Bowers

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Overview
Organettes were sometimes called "the poor man's musical box" at their inception in the 1870s, for they were a relatively cheap instrument made in vast numbers that sold at prices that the general public could easily afford. Many types of these instruments were produced, especially in the United States. This Encyclopedia is a close look at the various manufacturing companies in the United States that produced these musical marvels, from the American Automatic Organette Company to the World Manufacturing Company. Each company has an individual chapter dedicated to its history and there is an Easy-Finding List that gives the names and trademarks of various American organettes and the chapters in which primary information about them can be found. This will be an exciting addition to your book collection of automatic musical instruments. And if this is your first volume, then you will have started your collection with a book penned by a well-known and respected author whose multiple books in the field have no equal.
Description
Organettes were sometimes called "the poor man's musical box" at their inception in the 1870s, for they were a relatively cheap instrument made in vast numbers that sold at prices that the general public could easily afford. Many types of instruments were produced, especially in the United States. One of their unique characteristics was that they often had very curious mechanisms. The music strips, discs, rolls, and other means of making the instrument work, were not often compatible with other manufacturer's machines. This Encyclopedia is a close look at the various manufacturing companies in the United States that produced these musical marvels, from the American Automatic Organette Company to the World Manufacturing Company. Each company has an individual chapter dedicated to its history, profusely illustrated with original black and white advertising and / or color lithographs of the instruments. Meticulous research has provided, where available, company owners, location of factories, instruments produced, periods of company activity. Since many of the companies produced a variety of instruments with different names, there is an Easy-Finding List that gives the names and trademarks of various American organettes (and related instruments) and the chapters in which primary information about them can be found. Certain retailers sold many different brands. For brands known to have been manufactured by others, the organettes are listed under the maker. As an example, the Massachusetts Organ Co. retailed many organettes made by others. For other makers and brands see the indispensable Index at the end of the book. This will be an exciting addition to your book collection of automatic musical instruments. And if this is your first volume, then you will have started your collection with a book penned by a well-known and respected author whose multiple books in the field have no equal.
About the author
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), Treasures of Mechanical Music (co-authored with Arthur A. Reblitz,1981), and The Violin-Playing Machines (2011). 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 French association AAIMM (Association des Amis des Instruments et de la Musique Mécanique) gave him its "very special international Musica Mecanica" award for outstanding services given to automatic and mechanical music. 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. From the late 1960s to the early 1980s he was a partner in Hathaway & Bowers, Inc. (with Terry Hathaway), American InternationalGalleries, Inc. (with Bonnie Tekstra), and the Mekanisk Musik Museum A/S (Copenhagen, with Claes O. Friberg). A 1960 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, he is a recipient of the Pennsylvania State University College of Business Administration's Alumni Achievement Award (1976), a fellow of the American Antiquarian Association, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the American Numismatic Society, and is a trustee of the New Hampshire Historical Society. In 2016 he was honored by the Gesellschaft für Selbstspielende Musikinstrumente e.V.
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