Julian Winston (May 31, 1941 – June 12, 2005)

Hello Gwyneth [Julian’s widow]-

I am a computer programmer and independent filmmaker living in the San Francisco bay area. I grew up in Palo Alto, and like many well-educated, liberal parents, my parents provided me with a bunch of hand-made wooden toys as an alternative to the plastic toys that were becoming more popular in the 1970s.

While on a break from editing a movie today (June 10th 2008) I was idly playing with one of these toys I still have, a hand-cranked music box, and I turned it over to see the Creative Playthings logo. On a whim I surfed on it and found your late husband Julian had designed it. I also learned of his passing in 2005.

I am now 33 years old and I still love my music box. It’s such a simple design, and apparently rugged with long-lasting “repeat play value,” since I still have it and use it. I’m a bit sad I couldn’t thank Julian while he was still with us, but a close second is thanking you.

Thanks again

Dear Brian
Since my beloved husband died I have had several emails from folk in USA who still have a working model of the music box and such fond memories of it. I don’t know if Julian had such emails before his passing — maybe he did. I do know that he would be pleased that something which he created has brought pleasure to so many AND that it is still in working order. I have the original on my shelf here– it plays ‘Sur le pont d’Avignon’ as well as the model which was produced for retail which plays an excerpt from Swan Lake I think. I guess that is the one you have. It really is something to realise how long since its creation and how durable. Guess you parents choice against the plastics was a good one!

Thank you for taking the time to email.

Go well.

Gwyneth Evans

So it looks like they all play Swan Lake. It’s such a great design; maybe I should make my own based on the shape.