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Remember Those Wooden Inlaid Music Boxes?

May 29, 2008
Remember how intrigued you were as a child when grandma would wind up the music box. Generations later, the music box still brings a smile to your face when you hear the music. Wooden inlaid music boxes are not only beautiful but their unique sound amplifies from the music box fills the rooms with magic, warmth, and floods the mind with soothing memories. I guess one would say, they were the radio of their day way before there were such things as radios, boom boxes, MP3 players and iPods.

Piano music is soothing and beautiful but it requires someone with skill to play. Unlike the piano, harps, or other usual musical instruments, all you had to do to the music box was wind it up and the music came forth. In this day and age of high tech MP3 music, the music box is still appreciated for not only its beauty but also the music that comes from such a hand held object of affection.

If you are old enough to remember the early 1900's, then you will remember the music box first became popular during the early 19th century. Hundred plus years later, the music box has kept it fundamental form and purpose while remaining pretty the same as compared to the earlier music boxes. The majority of music boxes had a revolving cylinder that struck the teeth of a metal comb with.

The music box teeth (or pins) of the comb produced vibrations after being struck. Each tooth gave forth a precise tone, very similar to the strings in a piano. The engine (a spring motor) would be wound up with a key to give the motor tension and as it unwind, the cylinder would turn striking the pins we have been talking about. Out would come the music. The cylinder in the music box is often wound up by hand in order to put a spring motor under tension. In its charming way, it was pretty cool while the modern versions did away with this small labor chore and replace the music box with a battery. Most people will tell you there is no difference but I am not sure.

The wooden inlaid music boxes are still popular and admired for not only their sound but also their beauty and craftsmanship. There are metal and ceramic boxes around and produced but there is just something about a music box made out of exotic wood. The beauty of the box tells you there is some beautiful to play once you wind it up. More than likely it will be a classical song or lullaby. It certainly won't be something from the top 10 hit list of today. The popularity and demand for the music box has not declined. Collectors of antique or collectible music boxes find that these beauties of the past can command hundreds and even thousands of dollars at auctions. The next time you clean out your garage, don't discard those old boxes, you truly might be throwing not junk but money.
About the Author
Jerbob Johnson owns the Wooden Inlaid Music Boxes music box auction website that has a huge inventory of wooden music boxes, vintage and modern at great prices with possible financing available.
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