Welcome to the Stone Age
On the top floor of Bruchsal's re-built baroque palace, above the German Musical Instrument Museum, there is another museum called the Bruchsal City Museum, which documents the history of the Bruchsal area from the Stone Age to the present time.
On the stairs going up to the third floor, visitors are greeted by a life-size cutout of Michi, a Stone Age child who offers to guide us through the museum and show us what life was like in this region some six thousand years ago.
In the "Experimental Archeology" section, Michi explains how people in the Stone Age used to make their food and clothing, and shows what kind of tools they used.
49° 7'43.38" North; 8°35'53.26" East
Schloss Bruchsal, Schönbornstraße 2 -10, 76646 Bruchsal
Huttenstraße: One Baroque Street Survived
One street survived the bombing of March 1, 1945 when 80% of the town were destroyed. In Huttenstraße, you can still see what the street of this baroque residence town once looked like. The 18th century houses on both sides are still there.
In case you want a healthy takeaway snack, there is a very good wholemeal bakery in the Eastern part of the street.
Polyphon disk changer
This music machine with an automatic disk changer was made by another Leipzig company, Polyphon, in 1915. It could change ten different disks automatically.
Like many other Polyphon models, this one was coin-operated and was designed for use in beer halls, restaurants, hotels, or other public spaces.
Second photo: At the Händel House Music Museum in Halle I also saw and heard a coin-operated Polyphon machine that played the slave dance from Mozart's opera The Magic Flute.
Music machine with two metal plates
When she showed us this machine, one of the curators said: "Now here's the same in stereo."
Actually as far as I can tell it wasn't any more or less stereo than any of the other machines. The two metal plates rotated and played simultaneously, but the purpose of this was to play numerous notes at once and create an especially full sound.
In my opinion all of the automatic music machines were stereo because the sounds were produced in the machine and did not come out of a single loudspeaker, as in later phonographs and other electric machines. In other words, these machines were stereo because mono hadn't been invented yet.
The machine in this photo was made around 1900 by the Paul Lochmann company in Leipzig.
Columbia Grafonola de luxe
For two decades the mechanical music market was dominated by machines using perforated metal disks, but then at the beginning of the twentieth century
newer technologies such as the phonograph started gaining ground.
During the transition period a company called the Regina Music Box Company of Rahway, New Jersey, USA (an offshoot of the Polyphon company of Leipzig) tried to preserve its market share by producing combination machines which could play both the old metal disks and the newer 78 RPM phonograph records.
This seemed like a good idea at the time because of lot of people still had collections of old metal disks that they wanted to go on playing, but in the long run Regina was not successful in their competition with phonograph makers such as Edison, Victor, Columbia, Pathe, Zonophone and many other makers of modern music machines.
The machine in my photo, on display at the German Mechanical Instrument Museum in Bruchsal, was manufactured by Regina but was marketed by Columbia as the "Columbia Grafonola de luxe".
Of course later transitions from older to newer technologies also led to combination machines, such as three-speed phonographs we all used to have that could play the old 78 RPM records as well as the newer 45 or 33 RPM variety.
Today many of us still have combination machines that can play our old audio cassettes as well as the newer CDs and MP3s.