The History of Music Boxes Many People Didn’t Know

If you wonder to know more about music boxes, here is something for you. In 1796, a watchmaker from Geneva (Switzerland), Antoine Favre-Salomon created a pocket watch, with mechanical music features, for this reason why he was considered the first inventor of a mechanical music box. The Antoine Favre-Salomon invention consists of a small rotating cylinder made of a mixture of copper and zinc, with dots on the cylinder surface, which causes up and down movement of the fixed metal comb plate-palate to produce musical tones.

Six years later, Isaac Piguet used Favre’s invention and introduced the mechanics into jewelry, watches, cigarette boxes, wooden boxes, and precious metals.

In the 19th century, the place for music box making was mostly concentrated in Switzerland, Geneva. After 1811, other musical city-making sites were established in Jura Vaudois, in Auberson and Sainte Croix, this contributed to the preservation of the tradition of watchmaking, which suffered after the Napoleonic wars.

The first music box factory in Sainte Croix was founded in 1814 by Charles Reuge, specifically producing pocket watches with mechanical music features. Sainte Croix has now become an Industrial brand of mechanical music. Here all types of music boxes are still produced.

When entering the city, visitors will be greeted with a sign on a giant billboard ?? Welcome to the country of mechanical dreams. In the late 19th century, in the city of Switzerland, there were more than 600 workers and around 40 factories, which designed and made mechanical songs.

Currently, “Reuge” exports its products worldwide, with a turnover of 12 million Swiss francs, and holds a record, registered in the Guinness Book, for the smallest music box ever created.

At first, the music box can have four, six or eight songs. In 1862, the Paillard company (Charles Paillard and Nicole brothers, who started the music box-making industry) modified the mechanics, making it possible to replace cylinders, and increase the number of songs

Also in the 19th century, craftsmen in Leipzig (Germany) designed a music box disk (metal dish) with working principles such as replacing a cd player and the user had the possibility to choose a favorite song. This is the “ancestor” of a jukebox appearing later.