Exhibit: Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes
Exhibit dates: January 22 through March 22, 2015
Program: Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes by Brian Walter on Thursday, February 12 at 5:15 p.m.
The Laura Musser Mansion Small Gallery now features the second in its series of music box exhibits from the private collection of Brian Walter and the Art Center’s permanent collection. This second series highlights the history and chronology of “Cylinder” & “Disc” music boxes from the 1870-1900 era.
A “Cylinder & Disc Music Box” program will be presented by Brian Walter, at 5:15 on Thursday, February 12, 2015.
The period of 1870 to 1890 was the height of production for cylinder music boxes. The cylinder music box provided live music without performers and the sound it produced was very much like a group of harpists or a hand bell choir. Extensively inlaid cases and multiple cylinders (which included ‘shifting’ and ‘removable’ cylinders) mark this era as the most technically challenging period for cylinder type manufacturing.
The development of the first interchangeable disc music boxes in 1886, made it even easier and less expensive to add tunes. These “Symphonion” boxes were originally made in Leipzig, Germany and were destined to become some of the greatest music boxes ever known. Even this innovative design which accepted individual tune discs (allowing one music box to play multiple tunes), could not save the cylinder music box companies, as many were forced out of business due to increased sales and aggressive marketing of the new disc music boxes.
Other music box makers caught on to the new disc technology and began building their own masterpieces: most notably “Polyphon” in Germany and “Regina” in the United States. By 1900, the “Gramophone” (or record player) had replaced disc music boxes, due to lower price and greater variety of music available.
What: “Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes” Program
Who: Brian Walter
When: Thursday, February 12, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM
Where: The Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room
Admission to this program is FREE.
Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.