A Music Box Is Secretly an Engineering Marvel

You give the handle a few cranks and listen to it plink out a few seconds of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but if you were to crack open a music box and dig deep into the mechanics of how it works, you’d find some deceptively simple but brilliant engineering that’s been refined over the centuries.


Before streaming audio, MP3s, CDs, cassette tapes, records, and even wax cylinders, the music box was how people listened to music at home. So while these days they’re treated as a novelty, many years ago there was good reason to perfect their sound and engineering.

After watching ‘Engineer Guy’ Bill Hammack explain how exactly a music box works, you probably won’t be scrambling to cancel your Spotify subscription. But you’ll certainly be far more impressed the next time you hear one plinking out a recognizable tune. [YouTube]

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