Tubular Organ

Left: My recent acquisition Right: Echophone graphic from a 1953 Hohner catalogue. By happenstance I was able to add this beauty to my collection. I think part of my fascination with the Echophone is the link back to Sydney Dickens of Carlton, Melbourne who had an invention of the same name and type back in … Continue reading Tubular Organ

The Italian Job

Picked up this harp and box for a starting bid of a fiver. Well, I thought I did. Three times he apologised and said it would be in the next post - never did see it in the flesh. An Australian Job! I knew they weren’t a perfect match, but I was still interested in … Continue reading The Italian Job

Football Notes

With the Australian Rules football season commencing, I thought it appropriate to fly this article from the grand old (flag) days of the great game. Who would have thought footballers and umpires singing from the same hymn page. I don’t reckon the Mordi Bloods or Frank Vergona ever did. From 1935 to 1940 a Melbourne … Continue reading Football Notes

Sampson the Israelite (Ohhh ohh)

I had a sneak peak of the box (first time) for the unfortunately named Boss Cracker and managed to snap a photo before it disappeared (just as quick as it appeared) off the ether (internet). Interesting to see the claim, ‘The World’s Best Vamper’, wonder who judged that - F A Rauner? This mouth organ … Continue reading Sampson the Israelite (Ohhh ohh)

Jack’s Congregation

Melbourne, 1909 1909 was an eventful year for young newsboy Jack Church and his Crackajack mouth organ. He was providing news content in all the Melbourne papers he was selling; The Herald, The Punch and The Argus. It’s probably fair to say Jack had been dealt a pretty rough hand in life with little chance … Continue reading Jack’s Congregation

Nautical Jack

I viewed a repeat episode of American Pickers awhile ago where they stumbled across a Cracker Jack vending machine. It set my brain cogs into motion (backwards) revisiting our famous Crackajack mouth organs sold by Allan’s of Melbourne. The cogs clunked to a stop on both why the name Crackajack and why advertising featuring the … Continue reading Nautical Jack

Busker Buttons

Visitors to the fine city of Perth will be aware of a striking hand standing statue in Hay Street of a gentleman by the name of Percy Button - often misspelled by pluralising his surname. A prominent street entertainer in his day, he performed dynamic acrobatics and blew the odd tune on a mouth organ … Continue reading Busker Buttons

Gypsys Gotz & Beers

Gypsy mouth organs were available for purchase in the ‘Great Southern Land’ in the 1920’s. They weren’t exclusively produced for our market and probably their branding had little affiliation with consumers, but they were still being sold here in the thirties. Gipsy mouth organs were manufactured by Gotz of Germany. C.A. Götz was founded in … Continue reading Gypsys Gotz & Beers

Besses & Beatles

Besses o' th' Barn Band's visits to Australia, by the sound of it, had many similarities with the wild scenes experienced when the Beatles landed Down Under in the sixties. It wasn't just in the popularity stakes either, but also in the proliferation of punters taking up playing a brass instrument (or mouth organ - … Continue reading Besses & Beatles

Jack Junior

Couldn’t help myself. Another one for the collection. No tin (above featured) or box (below - could make my own) and a little worse for wear, but less than a lobster. I have the top shelf model, the Artist (same World Master design) in a nice clean original box and now a Junior. You know … Continue reading Jack Junior