Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Regina Music Boxes and a Giveaway

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
Wikimedia Commons

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
interchangeable discs. This option became very popular because owners could now choose which song they wanted to play for their own pleasure to for a gathering. In 1897, Brachhausen patented an automatic disc changer.



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
Considered America’s best music box company, The Regina Company made almost $2 million dollars going into the 20thcentury. When you consider the costs of items and the pay of workers in that era, 2 million was a huge amount. The revenue came from both the music boxes and from the sale of discs to use in the boxes. Owners could purchase many classical songs and some popular pieces.





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
Wikimedia Commons


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?










Book Link
Book Link
I know I did a giveaway last month, but this is my birthday. I am giving away not one, but two books today—Your choice of either Bandolero or The Ranchero’s Love. Leave a comment below, along with your email address, and you will be entered in the giveaway.









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.

15 comments:

  1. A lady that I used to stay overnight with when I was a teen had a large music box, but I don't know what brand it was. I had never seen anything like it before! Happy Birthday, and thanks for giving US presents! bcrug(at)twc(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Connie. This big music box was new to me and so fascinating.

      Delete
  2. Happy Birthday, I hope it's a beautiful day for you. My mother had an exquisite music box that I used to look at when I was younger. Wonder what ever happened to it. I would love to see a Regina music box and sure can imagine one being used today.
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a beautiful day, Deanne. Thank you so much.

      Delete
  3. Happy Birthday, Sweet Nancy! Have a great, great day! These music boxes are beautiful and the sounds they produce are like no other. mauback55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, Melanie. Thank you. The music boxes are beautiful and the sound is wonderful.

      Delete
  4. Happy Birthday. What a fascinating post. i have never heard of them. Though i wouldn't be surprised if my mom did. She knew so much about music boxes. Both books look great. I would like to read The Rancheros Love.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lori. I'm so glad you stopped by.

      Delete
  5. Have seen and heard these play, but didn't know the history. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have never seen or heard of these before.
    rayorr@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda, I hope you get to hear one someday. They are wonderful.

      Delete
  7. Happy birthday Nancy! I have never heard of these music boxes, but the story behind them is fascinating. I hope you are having a wonderful day!

    lindajhutchins@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. I did have a wonderful day. The music boxes are fascinating as is their history.

      Delete
  8. No, I have never seen one of these music boxes before. Thank you for sharing.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete