Our antiques expert looks back at mechanical music boxes that were all the rage from 1750 through to 1920…

For those (like myself) with no discernible musical talent, centuries before the wireless, turntable, or iPod, music boxes brought melody into the home.

From about 1750 to 1920 mechanical music was everywhere.

The heart of the music box was a tuned steel comb, whose teeth struck the pins on a rotating spring wound cylinder to produce musical notes, invented in 1796 by Swiss clockmaker Antoine Favre.

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