From: Bill Wineburgh <>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 21:57:58 EDT

Subject: Publication Dates Help Date A Musical Box

My thanks to John Farrell, Jim Canavan, Matthew Caufield and Bill at  Backroom
Piano.  These folks all responded with the publication dates of the two song
titles I was after.

The musical movement in question is a two-tune movement that is inside a small
liquor cabinet.  The cabinet is about 10 inches high, 7 inches wide and about
5 inches deep.  It is in the form of an upright organ with false organ stops
and keyboard.  There are two glazed doors on the lower front and the top is
also gazed.  When the 'keyboard' is depressed music begins and a latch is
activated that allows the spring-loaded lower doors to open revealing two
small liquor decanters.  The music continues and the spring-loaded top opens
and a tray holding shot-sized glasses pops up.  There are two screened holes
in the front above the doors where the musical movement sits, the holes
allowing one to better hear the music.

The glassware is etched with a nice design.  The wood case is dark mahogany
with black trim.  The glass in both the top and in the lower doors is beveled.
There is a tunesheet glued to the bottom of the piece.  The tunesheet has a
light brown border and the tune titles are typed on the tunesheet, rather than

I have seen two of these pieces, identical but for the music therein.  The two
songs listed on the tunesheet of the first of these are "Barcelona" and "I
Miss My Swiss."  Barcelona by Gus Kahn and music by Tolchard Evans was
published March 25, 1926 and I Miss My Swiss (My Swiss Misses Me) by Gilbert
and Abel Baaer published May 25, 1925.  

Based upon the rather modern hardware used in the construction of the pieces,
and the typewritten names on the tunesheet, I had guessed that the  pieces
were pre-WWII but later than 1900 (a 40-year stretch).  That has been reduced
to perhaps a 10-year period of production, sometime after the publication date
of the latest song in 1926.

I am including two photos of the pieces.  One shows the bar closed, and the
other with the doors and top open (the decanters on this piece are not

If anyone can identify it and knows who manufactured it and where it was made
or who retailed it, I would be very interested to know.

Musically yours,

Bill Wineburgh

Returnto index page.