Martin frères (1858 – >1896)

Jules Martin-Jaccard (1896–1908)

Emile Martin (1908–1935)

Francis Martin (1920, L´Auberson, son of Jules) – 1942 (private company with his brothers Alfred and Marcel Martin) – 1967

Henri, Emile and Alfred Martin (1870s–1874, music box polishing workshop)

Jean Martin [I] (Essertines-sur-Yverdon, 1967–?)

Louis Martin et Fils (=August-Paul and Andreé Martin, 1897)

Hermann Martin

Paul Martin-Bornand


Albert Martin

Alfred Martin, 2nd link, 3rd link

Andreé Martin

August-Paul Martin

Emile Martin

Francis Martin

Henri Martin

Louis Martin

Jean Martin [I}

Jean Martin [II}

Jules Martin

Jules Martin-Jaccard

Marcel Martin, 2nd link

Paul Martin

Paul Martin-Bornand

Martin frères, (Jules, Paul and Louis) (stamped Ste Croix on the spring barrel), 1858 (Les Grangettes, then Crêt-Villette) – 1878 (L´Auberson) – 1896 – ?


“Martin Frères at Les Grangettes was first mentioned in 1858, in the local newspaper, when they asked for a worker who could do pivoting and assembly work, a sure sign that they were active in the watchmaking sector. It was on 1st September 1871 that the private company Martin Frères was created. It included Jules, Paul and Louis and combined music box manufacture with a drapery, haberdashery and grocery shop. Established in Crêt-Villette, they put up a new building in L´Auberson, where they transferred their activities in 1878.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 256-267)

“The Martin brothers made all types of music boxes, in particular high quality cartels, easily recognizable from the inscription Martin Ste-Croix on the spring barrel.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 256-267)

“In 1896, they gave up the partnership and put their workshop up for rent. It was equipped with a steam engine and all the tooling needed to manufacture blanks. On 22nd June 1896, Martin Frères was struck off the trade register, which did not necessarily signifiy its withdrawal from the music box industry. In fact, all three brothers, Louis, Paul and Jules, were to keep up their activities, each one on his own, but they maintained a kind of parallelism and kept up a close relationship.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 256-257)

Jules Martin-Jaccard (1896–1908)

“Jules Martin-Jaccard set up a music box comptoir the very same day the partnership with his brothers was dissolved, i.e. on 22nd June 1896. He specialized in toys for children and crank boxes and employed three workers in L´Auberson in 1904.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 256-267)

Emile Martin (1908–1935)

“When Jules died, Emile Martin suceeded him on 10th June 1908. It is not known until when he manufactured boxes, as the company was officially dissolved on 5th August 1935.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Francis Martin (1920, L´Auberson) – 1942 (private company with his brothers Alfred and Marcel Martin) – 1967

One of the sons of Jules Martin went into the music box business and opened a comptoir on 8th July 1920 in L´Auberson for the manufacture and sale of agricultural products, hardware and household articles. His name was Francis Martin, who was an experienced businessman. During the twenty or so years of reduced music box production, he sold local products through his considerable network of business relations.

He placed orders with local manufacturers, among which were his cousins, and also with Ami Margot and John Cuendet who managed to keep up music box sales, for a reasonable commission, well into the years of economic crisis.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Francis Martin´s business was transformed into a private company on 15th September 1942, in partnership with his two brothers living in Lausanne, Alfred and Marcel Martin. Their objective was closer to their main activity, i.e. producing and selling agricultural products and music boxes.

Jean Martin [I], of Essertines-sur-Yverdon (1967–?), concentrated on music boxes only

Following the death of the three Martin brothers, the company was taken over by Jean Martin, of Essertines-sur-Yverdon, on 1st June 1967, who concentrated on music boxes only.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Louis Martin et Fils (=August-Paul and Andreé Martin, 1897)

“On 1st February 1897, Louis Martin-Gueissaz created the Louis Martin et Fils company in partnership with August-Paul, for production and sale of music boxes.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Hermann Martin (1908–1935)

“On 5th December 1908, Hermann Martin, son of Louis, joined the company in replacement of Andreé, who had withdrawn at the end of the previous year. For some years, manufacturing activities continued, but Hermann Martin proceeded to study medicine in Lausanne and the company gradually stopped production, officially closing down on 6th February 1935, at the same time as Paul Martin-Bornand´s company.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Paul Martin-Bornand (1896–1935)

“Like his brother Jules, i.e. 22nd June 1896, Paul Martin-Bornand, registered his own company, on the day the Martin Frères company was dissolved. Paul was the brother-in-law of Emile Bornand-Perrier, établisseur in L´Auberson, who ceased all activity on 6th February 1935.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Henri, Emile and Alfred Martin (1870s–1874, music box polishing workshop)

“In the 1870s, Henri Martin and his brothers Emile and Alfred were attracted to music boxes. All three of them were to participate in this adventure.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

“Emile and Alfred became partners and opened a music box polishing workshop which kept up its activities until 1874, when Emile decided to devote his life to the church and moved to France.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Henri Martin (*1846, own workshop 1874)

“Born on 6th March 1846, Henri Martin trained as a watchmaker´s apprentice (the industry was still in vogue in the region) and then became interested in music boxes. He was one of the first to see how the discovery of the maneville (hand cranked movement) could benefit the music box industry. In 1874 he set up a workshop which developed satisfactorily, judging from the fact that it was one of the first to be subjected to the factory law. He was also one of the only local établisseurs to advertise jobs indicating the salary offered to women pinners, i.e. twelve cents for the small crank boxes in 1880, of fifteen cents for the single-tune cylinder boxes with thirty-six notes in 1882.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

National Exhibition in Zurich in 1883

“The manufacturer from L´Auberson participated in the National Exhibition in Zurich in 1883, but independently of his colleagues because he decided, no doubt for organizational reasons, to entrust the representation and sale of his products to the Exhibition Administration. Henri Martin exhibited hand crank boxes playing one tune, in round enemelled metal boxes or in laquered wooden boxes playing one to six tuned. He claimed that he produced 15,000 pieces a year.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Mid 1880s: no more handcrank boxes but combs and cylinders
Henri Martin was aware of the fact that the market for handcrank boxes was saturated, that quality and prices were falling, and in the middle of the 1880s, he gave up this type of production and concentrated on the manufacture of components such as combs and cylinders.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Creating own tools
Henri Martin was aware of the fact that the market for handcrank boxes was saturated, that quality and prices were falling, and in the middle of the 1880s, he gave up this type of production and concentrated on the manufacture of components such as combs and cylinders.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

“Henri Martin suffered from a severe limp, which strengthened his character and stimulated his inventiveness: he had to be astute in order to work in spite of his physical handicap. So he created his own tools and invented a process to manufacture cylinders, which he managed to cut without warping and then supplied to local music box établisseurs.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

“This activity turned out to be profitable. His workshop was equipped with a steam engine. He expanded it and had seven workers and two young boys in 1888. In the meantime, however, the Sainte-Croix manufacturers started making their own supplies; like Hermann Thorens, who took to making his own cylinders. Henri Martin had to find other outlets.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

1893: Brushes and brooms, fire destroyed the workshop
“;On 21st April 1893, he gave up music boxes for brushes and brooms of all types</strong>, but a few days later, on 15th May, a <strong>fire destroyed his workshop</strong>. &lsquo;Interrupting his activities struck a death blow to his music box supplies workshop. After consulting his clients, he decided to rebuild, to the satisfaaction of all his neighbours. On 30th July 1894, the first family was ready to move in.&rsquo;&rdquo;  (The history oft he Martins, pp. 19-20)”    (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

Henri Martin carried on making cylinders for a number of years. In 1896 he introduced the production of supplies for musical clocks and of synthetic precious stones for watches in 1907.

He [Henri Martin] gradually transferred this activity to his sons Jean [II], until the latter set up in Yverdon in 1920; and Albert, who continued precious stone drilling until 1925, while taking care of the farm.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257-258)

TMB 18, 5, 1998, p. 136, Nr. 33; Bellamy, Music Makers of Switzerland, (2015), p. 6