Musical boxes have been made by master artisans since the 1700s, playing classical music, hymns, operatic arias and popular tunes by means of discs or cylinders. The industry started in Europe, flourishing in Switzerland, Germany, and Great Britain, finally crossing the Atlantic to America, before ending in the early 20th century. this book is the definitive reference for anyone interested in the history of music, mechanical music, and musical technology, with complete diagrams of the various types of mechanical movements used over the centuries, indexes of manufacturers, box styles, and tune sheets, complete American and British patent lists, tips on maintaining, repairing, and purchasing boxes, and a price guide. Many of the loveliest musical boxes ever crafted are illustrated in full color in this book, with hundreds more black and white photographs showing their mechanical workings. Eighty detailed diagrams explaining their functions help collectors use, maintain and repair the boxes in their collections.
Dr. Arthur Ord-Hume is England's foremost scholar of musical boxes, and spends much of his time traveling internationally to conduct research and to educate others about the subject. He is a founding member of the Musical Box Society of Great Britain, a member of the Musical Box Society International, and runs the Ord-Hume Library of Mechanical Music 7 Horology in Surrey, England.