Band Beaters

Canadian collector Doug Dawson sent photos of a couple of exquisite Cracker Jacks recently added to his ever expanding collection. F A Rauner sent his models down under (with a little tweak to the name) to Allan & Co. of Melbourne. Sláinte Doug. Built to beat the band. Probably not ideal - better to be … Continue reading Band Beaters

Doin’ a Melba (or a Farnsy)

Number 20, pictured here in this Geo. Borgfeldt 1899 Catalogue, is an Aussie branded mouth organ named in reference to our world famous opera singer Dame Nellie Melba. Nellie was born Helen Porter Mitchell in Richmond (an inner city suburb of Melbourne, Victoria Australia) and while learning the ropes in London in 1886, she adopted … Continue reading Doin’ a Melba (or a Farnsy)

The Music Teacher

I would like to preface from the outset that this is not about my psychological scars inflicted by a former music classroom teacher. To be fair he had finally engaged me in the subject after years of experiencing torture from a regimented, dry curriculum which offered no opportunity to display individual creativity. We were challenged … Continue reading The Music Teacher

My Boomerang Did Come Back

Many harmonica collectors around the globe have the Australian Boomerang De Luxe front and centre in their displays. All De Luxe models were boomerang shaped. This twelve double aperture mouth organ and its single aperture partner (The Miniature) were uniquely designed in the shape of the indigenous Australian's returning boomerang. There was another boomerang designed … Continue reading My Boomerang Did Come Back

Saving Wind

“Wherever you be let your wind be free” (Paddy Sheppard) One of Grandfather’s favourite sayings. He was a seaman, but I think he was referencing a gastro intestinal condition. The Hohner Auto Valve Harp was not in the business of letting it go, but rather in saving it by the use of leather valves. I … Continue reading Saving Wind

Moppetry Hogwash

A recent acquisition to my harmonica ephemera is Aussie (and American) Gene Jimae’s program handout displaying some great illustrations and information. I had to look up ‘moppetry’ a term not frequently used in today’s vernacular. Its reference is to childhood. I have no idea of the meaning of ‘sock results’ mentioned later in the pamphlet. … Continue reading Moppetry Hogwash

Fluted Harps

My recently acquired Crackajack Artist had me delving into the world of harps with fluted covers. The Crackajack Artist (1926) manufactured by F A Rauner is shaped like their fluted World Master mouth organ. ‘Down Under’ we also had the Rozella (1913) by F A Bohm and the Perla (1926) both with fluted cover plates. … Continue reading Fluted Harps

Deane’s Sticka

W J Deane in 1896 were selling both the Woolloomooloo Warbler and the Kangaroo Chalmer. In ‘97 they advertised the newly invented Native Waratah and Boomerang mouth organs and in ‘98 Deane And Son had their own model The Bugler for a Bob. I had initially thought The Bugler mouth organ may have been produced … Continue reading Deane’s Sticka

Aussie Models (Remastered)

1896–Woolloomooloo Warbler (Seydel/Alberts) originally had a patent bone lip protector. Kangaroo Chalmer (Seydel/Alberts)-Later that year King Billy (Seydel/Alberts)-two sided & another with bells maybe later at 3s 5d. Boomerang Large & Miniature (Seydel/Alberts)-also three sided models in both. The Federal Harp (Ernst Hess/J Hess & Co) perhaps as early as 1880, three models sold in … Continue reading Aussie Models (Remastered)

Schokolade & Adelaide

An early advertisement in the Colony for a Mundharmonika at R Clisby’s Musical Repository in Rundle Street Adelaide. It appears in the South Australian newspaper the Sud Australishe Zeiting in 1862. South Australia had a large intake of German settlers in the 19th Century, so much so that they represented 10% of all South Australians … Continue reading Schokolade & Adelaide