Polyphon Musikwerke

The history

Was founded in Leipzig in 1889 by Gustave Brachhausen in cooperation with engineer Paul Riessner. Gustave and Paul got acquainted and stroked up a friendship, working in the Leipzig company "Symphonion". Dreaming of their own business and bigger scope, they decided to create a new enterprise next to the former employer. It was in time - the industry of music boxes, mechanical household items and various engineering wonders endured rise, and the products flied off the shelf.

"Polyphon" started the production of clocks equipped with disc mechanisms (they were activated by coins), and musical boxes of various configurations. At the turn of the centuries, "Polyphon" promotes the fashion for embedding music devices in original bookshelves, cabinets and writing desks.

In 1892 the founder of the "Polyphon" Gustave Brachhausen, sensitively capturing the trends leaved for America to expand production and opened a branch in Jersey city.

Subsequent to the results of this visit, the co-owners refused from the initial idea to open a branch and took a decision to launch a company under a new independent brand – «Regina Music Box Company». For that purpose, they rented a building in Jersey city and attracted finance support from Knauth, Nachod & Kuhne.

Primarily "Polyphon produced the mechanisms and disks to supply new American manufacture. With time, it became unnecessary. The first specialized shop selling music boxes and watches was opened in America a year after the production was launched.

The company "Polyphon" was a part of the great trio "Die Drei Grosse" in the field of perforated plate blocks. By 1902, market competition had increased dramatically. The further development of recording industry and mass expansion of phonographs caused the decline of demand. The World War I also influenced the market - the company started experiencing serious financial difficulties. In 1922, the company "Polyphon" was bankrupted.

Exhibits in the Museum Collection