The Encyclopedia - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

We here at the American Treasure Tour blog realize that there is simply not enough space for us to include all the cool and fascinating information there is about automatic music - nickelodeons, band organs, calliopes, music boxes, and of course photoplayers.  If you have an interest in learning more about these wonderful machines, there is a book out there that will tell you more than you ever knew you could find.  It's the Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments by Q.  David Bowers, published by the Vestal Press.  The first printing of it was in 1972, with more printings continuing into the 1980's.  Unfortunately, there have been no new printings in almost thirty years, but you can still find it in the used books market.  And, at 1008 pages, you are sure to find exactly what you're looking for in its pages.  And much, much more.

Considering the heftiness of this tome, one might think its author Q. David Bowers would have made automatic music his lifelong career; however, that is simply not the case.  Mr. Bowers, born in 1938, is still very actively engaged in his primary passion:  numismatics.  The study of coins.  As a co-chairman of Stacks, a New York City-based company specializing in rare coins, Bowers has been involved in many of the highest-profile numismatic auctions on American soil.  But don't let that fool you:  Bowers' book is the number one resource for lovers of automatic music.  For example.  We will randomly* flip to a page in the encyclopedia.  Here we are.  Page 353 has the paragraph, "Photoplayers, once plentiful, are rare today.  What happened to them all?  Fires, floods, termites, the scrap heap - each consumed many.  When collecting old-time orchestrions, photoplayers, and related instruments became popular in the 1950's most instruments were nowhere to be found.  Only a few dozen photoplayers survive today."
QUESTION:  What does the "Q" in the name Q. David Bowers stand for?
A)  Quentin
B)  Quincy
C)  Querrel
D)  Quint
ANSWER BELOW

A SACRIFICE FOR THE CAUSE.  If you know anything about the years leading up to the Civil War, you likely know about the raid John Brown orchestrated against the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (located in what we know today to be West Virginia).  Brown was a fanatical abolitionist willing to sacrifice his life for the cause of freeing enslaved Americans, and that is exactly what happened on this day in 1859.  The raid ended in the capture of Brown and his compatriots.  There was a trial - Brown didn't stand a chance.  And on this day he was hanged for his crimes.  Less than two years later, the Civil War had begun.

SHE'S INCREDIBLE!  On this day in 1944, Cathy Lee Crosby was born in Kansas City, Missouri. A world-class tennis player in her youth, she aspired to a life in front of the camera and, by the early 1980's, that exactly what she got.  For four years, she was co-host of the program That's Incredible!, an early version of American reality programming that showed people with unusual skills, stunts, or paranormal abilities.  Crosby starred in a few films, also, notably a 1974 Wonder Woman television movie, but may be better known for her relationship with famous football player Joe Theismann.

QUOTE:  It seems that we learn lessons when we least expect them but always when we need them the most, and the true gift of these lessons always lies in the learning process itself. - Cathy Lee Crosby

ANSWER:  A)  Quentin
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*  The use of the word "randomly" in this sentence is highly suspect.