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Kalliope Musikwerke
Clockguy Reference Library - Antique Clocks Guy

Leipzig, Germany

During the 1890s and early 1900s, the Kalliope Musikwerke produced a large number of disc-type music boxes. Most were sold under the "Kalliope name, but some were produced with "Calliope" spelling.

Kalliope disc boxes are of generally excellent tonal quality. Even the smaller models are brilliant and resonant without being harsh. Many smaller models (movie--Model 60G with 10 bells) were made with the center spindle serving also as a winding post.

Bells were a popular addition to Kalliope boxes (movie--Model 108G with 10 bells; movie--Model 176 upright with 12 bells), and many instruments, even table models, were equipped with them. Although bells were offered in three varieties (saucer bells, bar-type bells, and tubular chimes), most instruments utilized the saucer type.

Kalliope music box mechanisms were sold to various novelty manufacturers who incorporated them into gambling machines, arcade exhibits (mechanical jugglers, dancers, etc.), and other devices. One novel instrument marketed by the Kalliope firm itself was the "Panorama." Made in several models, this box featured a diorama of racing horses.

In 1919 the Kalliope Musikwerke was merged into Menzenhauer & Schmidt (builder of the Guitarophone), a firm headed by Henry Langfelder. Menzenhauer & Schmidt's premises were at Rungestrasse 17 in Berlin. During the 1920s Kalliope phonographs were marketed by this firm. Earlier, some Kalliophon combination music box and phonograph instruments were made.

Bowers, O. David
"Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments"
Vestal Press, 1972-1997
ISBN 0-9115-08-2

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