Nationale Ausstellung in Genf 1896

National Exhibition in Geneva 1896

Die größte Ausstellung was Walzenspielwerke betrifft, die je statt fand

Award Distributed for Music Boxes at the National Exhibition in Geneva

5 Gold medals

Mermod Frères: The gold medal was awarded to Mermod Frères because this company presented a complete range of music and snuffboxes and because the work was generally of excellent quality and workmanship, “it was in fact an exhibition covering the best of what is made in music boxes.” (Grosclaude report 1896, p. 242)

E. Paillard & Co.: “Messrs. Paillard & Cie. ran a close second to Mermod Frères on account of their extensive range of exhibits which integrated the majority of improvements recently introduced.“ The most impressive article was undoubtedly the one with two cylinders, each with two combs, which could be played alternatively or together, allowing nonstop performance of a tune over each cylinder.

Hermann Thorens (Sainte-Croix) also exhibited nonstop music boxes and, on the other end of scale,
music boxes which had five-teeth combs activated by cylinders of one centimeter; these were the smallest pieces shown in Geneva.

Allard (medaille d'or) and Jaquet in Geneva

1896: Einer der fünf Gold-Medaillen-Gewinner bei der größten Messe, was Walzenspielwerke betrifft, die je statt fand, bei der Nationalen Austellung in Genf. Zu den Details bitte hier klicken

5 Silver medals

Bornand Frères were not distanced by their competitors but rather differed from them. They showed a music box called National where the music set in motion twenty-two automata in the costumes of the twenty-two cantons.

As for Barnett H. Abrahams in Sainte-Croix, he “distinguished himself by the excellent sound of his combs, adequate resonance and the beautiful decorations of the boxes.” (Report). He made furniture garnished with beveled mirrors of Venetian style, very spectacular, “rich rather than stylish”.

G. Baker & Co., Langdorff & Fils, F. Conchon in Geneva

1896: Einer der fünf Silber-Medaillen-Gewinner bei der größten Messe, was Walzenspielwerke betrifft, die je statt fand, bei der Nationalen Austellung in Genf. Zu den Details bitte hier klicken

5 Bronze medals

Henri Vidoudez, Auguste Lassueur, Léon Bornand in Sainte-Croix; Jules Cuendet in L´Auberson (“In Geneva, he brilliantly defended L´Auberson, his village, which he was the only one to represent. He showed “boxes with perforated disces replacing the cylinders” that he was one oft he first to manufacture in the region – he claimed being the first – for all we know together with André Junod, inventor oft he projectionless disc.”); Manufacturer J. Billon in Geneva.

Henri Vidoudez war einer der fünf Bronze-Medaillen-Gewinner bei der größten Messe, was Walzenspielwerke betrifft, die je statt fand, bei der Nationalen Austellung in Genf

Honorable mention

Samuel Karrer in Teufenthal

Bronze medal in the category of formed metal

Jules Jaccard, foundryman

(Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, S. 61)


Several Sainte-Croix manufacturers brought back from Geneva one or more [of the coin operated] automata. Jules Cuendet, Léon Bornand, Henri Vidoudez and Louis Cagnaux, who were in Yverdon, and Auguste Lassueur (it was his only product!). The latter had concentrated all his efforts on finding systems which only took good coin and rejected all the rest.

(Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, S. 60)