Seydel’s Bob Each Way

Albert’s Boomerangs were big in ‘Terra Australis’ right from the gecko. Made exclusively by Seydel for Frank Albert. You might not be aware that Seydel’s Bandmaster, similar in design to some of the Boomerangs, was sold at least as early as 1912 at Flights of Bendigo and even the trademark was lodged for registration ‘Down Under’ in 1928. The Bandmaster brand of mouth organ had a distinctive double fluted cover and was first manufactured in 1898. In fact, Seydel were fighting other companies in the courts to prevent replication of their cover shape. Here’s what guru Pat states, “Seydel claimed to have invented the cover shape in 1898, but it seems as though they didn’t try to protect it until 1920 and then instead of a patent or DRGM, they went with a trademark. Very odd.”

In Seydel’s 1923 catalogue they voiced their consternation.

Below are a few examples of rival companies with a similar fluted cover. Hohner’s Pro, Koch’s Fidelio and Rauner’s Crackajack Tivoli. Meinel & Herold also had a bass harp with the a similar cover plate.

Not only were they trademarked, but in this 1925 Ace Electrics advertisement, they claimed the Boomerangs were now being sold under the trade name Bandmaster. What’s going on?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The Boomerang Grand was available in 1911. Not sure when the Sun Brand model, advertised here in Seydel’s 1923 catalogue, was on the market. Nor, for that matter, the Ragtime Band which appears in John Whiteman’s wonderful resource Harp Anthology. Doug Dawson told HRR that, “The Ragtime was made for B.S. Dulcet. B. S. Dulcet stood for Barnett Samuel, an instrument maker/wholesaler in London, England. In 1928 they changed their name to Decca Gramaphone Co. Ltd. So that Ragtime harp with the BS trademark was made prior to 1928.” Perhaps the Boomerang Grand was Frank Alberts’ design and Seydel used it for other markets? It certainly has a boomerang shape to it.

Above Frank’s artwork for the Boomerang Grand cover plates, but was it he that put the Boomerang shape on top?

My Chromorgan has a similar shaped cover plate to the Grand as well.

Any thought Riff Raffers?


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