sexta-feira, 16 de abril de 2021

Walking- Stick Harmonica

Walking-Stick Harmonica 

Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection (10)

Walking-Stick Harmonica, France, ca. 1890

NMM 8949. Walking-stick harmonica, France, ca. 1890. Many styles of walking sticks with harmonicas in their handles were fashionable at the turn of the 19th- to the 20th-century. The harmonica handle is made of hallmarked, textured "800 silver," with blow-only reeds. The 36-inch-long (914 mm) stick is made of ebonized wood, with a brass ferrule at the lower end. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Walking-Stick Harmonica by Swaine & Adeney, London, ca. 1860-1915

NMM 9280. Walking-stick harmonica by Swaine & Adeney, London, ca. 1860-1915. This example is made from the root end of a bamboo stalk and is slightly more than 38-inches (970 mm) long. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.


Walking-Stick Harmonica, England, ca. 1900

NMM 8948. Walking-stick harmonica, England, ca. 1900. This sturdy walking-stick harmonica, with simulated mahogany finish, has 10 diatonic blow-draw holes, allowing simple melodies to be played. The instrument has vent holes on the top and side. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

This walking-stick harmonica is slightly more than 35 inches (898 mm) long.


quinta-feira, 15 de abril de 2021

Harmonophone

 Harmonophone

Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection (9)

Harmonophone Harmonica, Clover Brand, Klingenthal, ca. 1900

NMM 8396. Harmonophone harmonica, Clover brand, Klingenthal, ca. 1900. Attached to the narrow end of the funnel-shaped resonating chamber is a cup-shaped "Zobo" mouthpiece containing a thin, vibrating membrane that is capable of producing a sound like a kazoo. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Harmonophone Harmonica, Clover Brand, Klingenthal, 1904

NMM 8614. Harmonophone harmonica, Clover brand, Klingenthal, 1904. A vibrato or "wa-wa" sound can be obtained by moving one's hand over the wide end of the funnel while playing. Written on the underside of the cover of the harmonica's original wooden box: To Howard from Grandpa, Dec. 25, 1904. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

 

quarta-feira, 14 de abril de 2021

Siamese Twins, Paddle Wheel, Pohl Phone Resonator

 

Siamese Twins, Paddle Wheel, Pohl Phone Resonator

Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection (8)

Siamese Twins Model Harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, after 1904



NMM 8292.  Double tremolo harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, after 1904. The Up to Date Siamese Twins model. Metal casings, wood combs. Two brass plates with 14 brass reeds each (28 reeds) per harmonica. According to Hohner's advertising, this ". . . neat and solid combination, is another triumph of the Hohner works. It is far more serviceable than all existing devices for quickly changing from one key to the other. The outer cover forms a sound tube which enables the player to vamp by closing one end with his left hand and maintaining a slight motion over the open end with his right hand. He can therefore produce an endless variety of music, and obtain effects which would be impossible by any other means. The advantage of this system will be readily umderstood and appreciated . . . ." Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.


Lit.:  Lee Raine M. Randall, 
The Hohner Harmonica Company: Models and Marketing Material from About 1900 to 1940, M.M. thesis (Vermillion: University of South Dakota, 2007).

Paddle-Wheel Harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, after 1937

NMM 8609. Tremolo paddle-wheel harmonica in C, F, D, and G by M. Hohner, Trossingen, Germany, after 1937. Tremolo Concert Harp model no. 53. Metal casings; wooen combs; 8 brass plates with 24 brass reeds (192 reeds total); 24 double holes per harmonica. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.


Lit.:  Lee Raine M. Randall, The Hohner Harmonica Company: Models and Marketing Material from About 1900 to 1940, M.M. thesis (Vermillion: University of South Dakota, 2007).

Pohl Phone Resonator Harmonica by Hohner, Trossingen, after 1908

NMM 8514. Pohl Phone resonator harmonica by Hohner, Trossingen, after 1908. Peter Pohl was a 19th-century harmonica maker in Klingenthal, Germany. In 1908, the Hohner company bought out Pohl's business and continued making cheap harmonicas under the Pohl trademark through the 1930s. This example features a red-white-and-blue striped, cylindrical resonator. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.


terça-feira, 13 de abril de 2021

The Chromatic Harmonica, Gretsch Double-Sided Chromatic

 

The Chromatic Harmonica, Gretsch Double-Sided Chromatic

Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection (7)

Chromatic Harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1910-1930


NMM 8991.  Chromatic harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1910-1930. The chromatic harmonica was introduced in 1910 as the alternative to diatonic harmonicas. The chromatic harmonica allowed for a full chromatic scale through the use of a spring mechanism. The spring was attached to a slide which covered the diatonic set of reeds and exposed the chromatic reeds when pressed with the index finger. The external spring design shown on this harmonica was changed in 1930 to an internal spring.  Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Chromatic Harmonica by Hohner, Trossingen, 1936

NMM 9693. Chromatic harmonica by Hohner, Trossingen, 1936. In the early 1930's, Hohner introduced a 12-hole and, in 1936, a 16-hole chromatic harmonica that allows the performer to play a span of four full chromatic octaves. This is the very first version of the sixteen-hole harmonica and features the Hohner trademark displayed just above the "64 CHROMONICA" model name. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Gretsch Double-Sided Chromatic Harmonica , Germany, after 1930

NMM 9018.  Chromatic harmonica by Gretsch, Germany, after 1930. This double-sided chromatic harmonica in C and G was a short-lived experiment. Most chromatic players became adept enough to play in any key on a C-tuned instrument, so a second key was unnecessary. After 10 years of searching for another example, Alan Bates concluded that this is the only double-sided chromatic harmonica known to exist.  Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.


segunda-feira, 12 de abril de 2021

Recessed Bell, Marine Band Bell, Marine Orchestra Bell, Four-Bell Savoy, University Chimes Bell

Recessed Bell, Marine Band Bell, Marine Orchestra Bell, Four-Bell Savoy, University Chimes Bell 

Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection (6)

Recessed Bell Harmonica, ca. 1895

NMM 7848.  Recessed Bell harmonica, ca. 1895. A rare example with one bell recessed into the cover plate on each side.  Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Marine Band Bell Harmonica by Hohner, Trossingen, after 1897

NMM 8884.  Marine Band bell harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, after 1897. Most bell harmonicas have two bells mounted on top, like this Hohner model. The bells were played more for rhythm than for musical effect. 10 holes, 20 reeds. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Marine Orchestra Bell Harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1920

NMM 8397.  Marine Orchestra bell harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1920. Bell harmonicas were the rage from 1890 to 1930. A rare variety with tulip-shaped bells, not listed in any catalog. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Four-bell, Savoy Harmonica, Germany, ca. 1910

NMM 7734.  Savoy harmonica, Germany, ca. 1910. This is the only known example of its kind with 4 bells. Although it is stamped, Made in Germany, the maker's name is unknown. 16 holes, 32 reeds. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

University Chimes Bell Harmonica, Klingenthal, Germany, 1910-1931

NMM 7736.  University Chimes bell harmonica, Klingenthal, Germany, 1910-1931. This double-sided harmonica, with 48 reeds on each side, was offered for sale in Sears catalogs from 1910 through 1931. A metal arch runs along the center line between the two reed covers. Under the center of the arch are two cup-shaped bells, one above the other. A finger-operated lever on either side of the arch allows the bells to be rung while playing the harmonica. It carries the "Beaver Brand" name, and was probably made in the Klingenthal area of eastern Germany, near the border of the Czech Republic.  Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000


domingo, 11 de abril de 2021

Aero Band Zeppelin, Graff Zeppelin, Los Angeles Airship, Sirena Model, Coin Harp Model

Aero Band Zeppelin, Graff Zeppelin, Los Angeles Airship, Sirena Model, Coin Harp Model 

Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection (5)

Aero Band Zeppelin Harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1909-1924

NMM 8148.  Aero Band harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1909-1924. Both the cover plates and the box depict a zeppelin, with central pictures of Hohner and Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Brass cover plates once had a thin plating of silver.  Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Graf Zeppelin Harmonica by Seydel Söhne Co., Klingenthal, ca. 1930

NMM 9631.  Graf Zeppelin harmonica by Seydel Söhne Co., Klingenthal, ca. 1930. The airship era, 1900-1937, brought forth many toys and other replicas of lighter-than-air vehicles. The Graf Zeppelin made history by circling the globe in 1929. The harmonica forms the gondola of the airship, with the casing extending to form the blimp. 4" long.  Alan G. Bates Collection, 2002.

Los Angeles Airship Harmonica by C. A. Seydel Söhne, Klingenthal, Germany, ca. 1926

NMM 7735.  Los Angeles airship harmonica by C. A. Seydel Söhne, Klingenthal, Germany, ca. 1926. America's most successful rigid airship was the Los Angeles, first flown in 1924. Made in Germany for the U.S. Navy, the ship was 656 feet long, carried 46 tons of cargo and 20 passengers. The harmonica forms the gondola on this 8" model. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Sirena Model Harmonica by Andreas Koch, Trossingen, ca. 1925

NMM 10230.  Diatonic harmonica by Andreas Koch, Trossingen, Germany, ca. 1925. Sirena model in shape of a cat with a gold finish. A simple, child's toy, with only six reeds. Ex coll.: Deutsches Harmonika Museum, Trossingen. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2003.

Coin Harp Model Harmonica by Carl Strauss, Germany, after 1902

NMM 10268.  Diatonic harmonica by Carl Strauss, Germany, after 1902. Coin harp model. Harmonica patented in England, May 27, 1902, by Carl Strauss, 355 Broadway, New York, and in Germany in 1903. Original cylindrical box labeled U.S.A. Coin Harp / No. 200 / The latest novelty / Made in Germany. One end has a glass cover over a "dexterity puzzle" with 7 pockets and 7 tiny white balls that, with a little patience, can all be maneuvered into the pockets. The other end is a coin holder with a spring-loaded plate that pushes down, when a U.S. nickel is inserted. Three Liberty Head nickels (dated 1904, 1905, and 1910) currently reside there, but easily slide out, when pushed with one's thumb. All 20 notes play with a nice tone. This is not a cheap toy. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

sábado, 10 de abril de 2021

Pipeolion, Trumpet Call, Auto Harmonica

Pipeolion, Trumpet Call and Auto Harmonica

Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection (4)

Pipeolion Harmonica by Christian Weiss, Trossingen, after 1907

NMM 9486.  Pipeolion harmonica by Christian Weiss, Trossingen, after 1907. Unique instrument with ten brass horns, each containing two reeds. Only made for four or five years. Never copied! Examples with original box are rare.  Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Trumpet Call Oriental Beauty Harmonica, ca. 1912-1928

NMM 7986.  Oriental Beauty harmonica, ca. 1912-1928. The rarest of the Trumpet Call models, the so-called "Oriental Beauty" features, in the center of the brass plate, the image of an old man with a long beard and large "trumpets" coming out the sides of his mouth. When new, the brass cover plates were coated with "imitation gold" and decorated with enameled colors. Introduced in 1912 and still advertised in 1928. Double-sided, 32 holes, 64 reeds.  Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Trumpet Call Harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1923

NMM 8121.  Trumpet Call harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1923. Hohner made at least five very different models with the name Trumpet Call. High-relief designs with cherubs and trumpets on both brass cover plates. Double-sided, 32 holes, 64 reeds.  Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Auto Model Harmonica by Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1924-1930


NMM 8281.  The Auto harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, ca. 1924-1930. Cover plates are brass, stamped in the shape of an open-top touring car of the period, with an ordinary harmonica inside. This very hard-to-find item was produced about 1923. 10 holes, 20 reeds. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

sexta-feira, 9 de abril de 2021

Æolina,Trumpet Call and Trumpet Organ

Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection (3)

 Æolina,Trumpet Call and Trumpet Organ


Æolina (chord harmonica) by Lewis Zwahlen, New York City, ca. 1831


NMM 9591.  Æolina (chord harmonica) by Lewis Zwahlen, New York City, ca. 1831. This unpretentious-looking little instrument, on which one can play chords in G, D, and A, is one of the earliest harmonicas known to survive. There are sixteen brass reeds, one reed per hole, with a wood casing on the top and the reed plate exposed below. The few other surviving examples were made in Europe and none to our knowledge has an original cardboard box, which is lined, in this instance, with blue silk and carries the label, Sold at The Depository of the Arts, Bourne's, 359 Broadway, New-York. A second cardboard flip-top box (not shown) fits over the first box and has a red shoestring tie. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.


 The reed plate is mounted on a walnut "comb" cut with grooves that allow air to enter each of the reed chambers.

 

 Trumpet Call Harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, after 1906




NMM 8293. Trumpet Call harmonica by M. Hohner, Trossingen, after 1906. The five brass horns are purely decorative. The most desired of all harmonicas by most collectors, but not particularly rare. Original box. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

Trumpet Organ Harmonica by Andreas Koch, Trossingen, Germany, ca. 1920


NMM 8687. Trumpet Organ harmonica by Andreas Koch, Trossingen, Germany, ca. 1920. In this version of Koch's popular Trumpet Organ, the harmonica and its five non-functional horns are mounted in a cylinder with capped ends. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

 

 Trumpet Organ Harmonica by Andreas Koch, Trossingen, ca. 1910


NMM 8748. Trumpet Organ harmonica by Andreas Koch, Trossingen, Germany, ca. 1910. Koch vied with Hohner in the production of novelty harmonicas. This "horned" model was designed to compete with Hohner's extremely popular Trumpet Call. It features a slightly more complex arrangement of the five horns than is found on Hohner's model. Ironically, the five horns are merely a facade, having no function other than being decorative. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000.

 

quinta-feira, 8 de abril de 2021

Symphonium

 Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection (2)

Symphonium 

NMM 10877. Symphonium by Charles W. Wheatstone, London, ca. 1829. No. 18. Stamped: BY HIS MAJESTY'S LETTERS PATENT / C WHEATSTONE, / INVENTOR / 20, Conduit St. Regent St. / LONDON. Nickel-silver body; 12 ivory touchpieces (studs); 12 silver reeds. Oval embouchure hole lined with ivory bushing. Height: 55.4 mm; width: 55.5 mm; depth: 22.5 mm. Of the estimated 200 symphoniums made by Wheatstone, only a dozen have been preserved. Purchase funds gift of Alan G. Bates, 2005.

NMM 10877.  Symphonium by Charles W. Wheatstone, London, ca. 1829



The symphonium was the object of Charles W. Wheatstone's (1802-1875) British patent No. 5803, "A Certain Improvement or Certain Improvements in the Construction of Wind Musical Instruments,"awarded June 19, 1829. According to the patent text, "These improvements are applicable to instruments in which the sounds are produced by directing a current of air against metallic springs or tongues fitted over and vibrating freely within or over corresponding apertures formed in plates. Several of these springs being placed in apertures arranged parallel to each other, sideby [sic] side in a plate, and tuned to the notes of a common chord, consitute one of the simplest forms of a wind musical instrument, known in Germany under the name of the Mundharmonica, and in England by that of the Æolina. Finger keys have also been added to such instruments, somewhat similar to those of flutes, but always placed at such distances apart as to allow space for the fingers to apply themselves to each key, when the instruments are held in such positions as for the hands to apply themselves thereto in the manner of fingering the flute or flageolet. In these improved keyed wind instruments, the springs are brought so close together that they occupy little more space than in the Æolina before mentioned. In fact, eight springs may be placed in the space of an inch-and-a-half, and their corresponding keys may also be brought much closer together than hitherto, and the wind chest made much smaller than has yet been done for a similar number of notes. Several forms of this instrument in one of which the wind chest is superseded by portable bellows, are given."

Charles W. Wheatstone

Charles W. Wheatstone


Symphonium in its Original Case

Symphonium in its case

Original fitted case lined on the interior with red velvet and white silk. Black leather exterior.

 

The symphonium was, in effect, a cross between a harmonica and the nascent concertina (introduced to the public by Wheatstone in 1830). The relationship with the harmonica stems from the fact that both instruments are mouth-blown. The symphonium's connection with the developing concertina relates to the buttons or studs on the sides. According to Wheatstone's patent, "The sounds or notes . . . are arranged in a diatonic scale, but so that its successive notes are placed alternately on each side of the instrument. The notes produced by touching two adjacent studs in parallel [vertical] rows are fifths to each other . . . ." Wheatstone stated in his 1829 patent that a chromatic symphonium could be produced simply by adding two more rows of buttons [and reeds] to each side of the instrument.

According to an article published in 1831, the symphonium is described as ". . . a remarkably pretty instrument, in size and shape resembling a silver snuff-box, such as may be carried in the waistcoat pocket, and possessing capabilities of a very extraordinary nature . . . a vast improvement on all the things of the kind recently imported from Germany and France." (I. P. [John Parry?], "On the Accordion and the Symphonion [sic]," Harmonicon 9 (January 1831): 56-57.)


Side and Back Views of Symphonium

Player's left side view of Symphonium

Player's right side view of Symphonium

Pitch Designations
Player's Left

C 
 A F#
F 
 D
B 
 G

Pitch designations, stamped into the body beside each ivory touchpiece (stud), reveal that the player must alternate fingering between the left and right sides of the symphonium in order to produce a diatonic scale. When depressed, eleven of the twelve buttons open a valve that activates a reed inside the body. The twelfth button (F-sharp) opens a valve on the outside of the body, to the player's left.

Pitch Designations
Player's Right

B 
 G
E 
 C
A 
  
Back view of Symphonium


Top and Bottom Views

Top of Symphonium Bottom view of Symphonium


Lit.:  "Recent Acquisitions," National Music Museum Newsletter 34, No. 2 (May 2007), p. 7.