Cylinder music boxes tended to be made in Switzerland but the center for disc music boxes was Leipzig in Germany. Q David Bowers in Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments (Vestal Press, Vestal, NY, 1979) suggests that disc music boxes were also marketed more aggressively than the cylinder music boxes and this also contributed to them dominating the market. The Symphonion Musikwerke Company was founded in Leipzig in about 1885 by Paul Lochmann and was one of the three largest producers of disc music boxes along with Polyphon (which was begun by two ex Symphonion employees) and Regina. Bowers estimates they controlled about 90% of the market between them. This closed in the early 1900s. The German company stayed in business until the late 1920s but had diversified to phonographs, player pianos etc. The Symphonion is notable for the enormous diversity of types, styles and models produced. No other disc-playing musical box exists in so many varieties. Discs of the same diameter but of differing scales to suit two types of mechanism can be found. The company also pioneered the use of electric motors in disc musical boxes, the first model fitted with an electric motor being advertised in 1900. The company moved into the piano-orchestra business and made both disc-operated and barrel-playing models, player-pianos and phonographs. Although the latest catalogue recorded by Bowers was published around 1912, it seems that around the outbreak of the First World War, the business moved to Barengasse 14/40, Gera, Thuringia, by which time it was directed by Paul Scheibe and concentrated on phonographs. In 1930 the business was styled Pail Scheibe Symphonion-Musikwerke and was located at 14 Schulerstrasse. The item “Antique Symphonion Music Box With 5 Discs Circa 1880’s” is in sale since Friday, June 22, 2018. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Decorative Collectibles\Music Boxes\Pre-1900″. The seller is “battlerattletactical” and is located in Clarksville, Tennessee. This item can be shipped to United States.
- Country/Region of Manufacture: Germany
- Featured Refinements: Antique Music Box