|Regina Music Box at
Delphi Opera House
With Nancy J. Farrier
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a family gathering at the Delphi Opera House in Delphi, Indiana. Beside the stairs leading up to the second floor stood a huge and beautiful music box unlike anything I had ever seen before. One of the curators wound it up and the music was beautiful. The huge disc and the way the box played held me captivated. I had to find out more about these music boxes.
|Photo by Cullen 328
In 1885, the Symphonion music box company in Germany developed a disc-playing music box, the first of its kind. In 1889, employees, Gustave Brachhausen and Paul Reissner started their own company, Polyphon and developed their own music box. They were soon out-selling their former employer, but when tariffs became too high, they moved their business to the United States to avoid the extra costs.
Within a few years, Brachhausen introduced The Regina music box Company, and independent business. They changed the music box style from one using a cylinder with metal pins that only played one tune to changeable cylinders and then to
|Music Disc in Regina Music Box
Delphi Opera House
Regina music boxes came in all sizes. They were the first to include the spring-wound motors, which allowed the music to continue for a longer time between windings. The sounding board on their music boxes changed to the top of the machine to increase the volume. Thus, the music filled a larger room. As the phonograph developed, Regina came out with their own version, the Reginaphone.
|Regina Company Logo
Although few of the Regina music boxes have survived, between 1892 and 1920, more than 100,000 music boxes were produced. From smaller music boxes, to ones that sat atop a table and the lid opened, to large freestanding boxes, all produced a quality of sound that was unmatched. Their beauty attracted the eye and the wonderful music appealed to the ear.
|Reginaphone By Daderot
Have you ever seen or heard a Regina music box? Watching them play can be as fascinating as watching a player piano. What songs do you think were most popular? Can you picture someone using a Regina music box today?
Nancy J Farrier is an award-winning author who lives in Southern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. Nancy and her husband have five children and two grandsons. When Nancy isn’t writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website: nancyjfarrier.com.