Regina Music Box Company

The history

The company was established in the USA in the fall of 1892. Initially Gustave Brachhausen and Paul Riessner (founders of the Polyphon company) planned to open in America branch and new production under the Polyphon brand. However, after r the market research Gustave Brachhausen decided to start up the independent company under the name Regina Music Box Company in Jersey City. At the beginning "Regina" imported the parts of mechanisms and disks made by Polyphon but then passed completely to its own production. The company was located in Jersey City: Brachhausen collected necessary patents and purchased a 25,000-square foot building at Cherry Street in Reuee.

The company’s operations were successful. More than 325 employees worked for it by the beginning of the 1900s. Regina established a nationwide distribution network by offering a 50% wholesale discount to department stores and other retailers.

In 1897, Brachhausen patented an automatic disc changer, and Regina established a service for installing and maintaining the coin-operated music boxes.

It should be noted that due the organization of warranty service on its products and selling the original disks for music boxes the firm got huge profit (boxes costed about $500).

From 1892 to 1921, the Regina company sold 100 thousands music boxes. The total amount was more than $2 millions per year. In 1896, by the time of the Symphonion appearence in the American market (the founders of the Regina were from this firm originally); Regina was acknowledged as the leader of the market. Nevertheless, later on Regina began to have trouble with sales. The firm excluded the word "music boxes" from its title and tried to develop in the new directions. This choice was not successful. In 1903 after the failure of a new product, investors discharged the founder of the company Brachhausen of business administration. However new management could not catch the market tendencies, new products were not in demand. Eventually the company went bankrupted in 1922.

Exhibits in the Museum Collection