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

Harpin Ringside

(1898). [Tom Fatts versus Hock Keys, at the Golden Gate Club, Sydney, November 29th, 1898 - http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-148541703%5D Late nineteenth century/early twentieth mouth organ bouts were held between pugilistic fights. Australia’s first mouth organ champion was Walter Omond in 1899, blowing on an Albert’s Boomerang at the Golden Gate Club in Sydney. He only had to … Continue reading Harpin Ringside

Perfection King

An early Christmas present. You wouldn’t believe how much I paid for it. Less than a ‘Pineapple’! I had no inclination of purchasing a Large Professional Boomerang. I was researching online for information on a Crackajack model when this struck me firmly between the eyes - for sale and not at an auction site. The … Continue reading Perfection King

Schools Out For Summer (Was It Ever In?)

Latest addition for Shep’s harp collection is Albert’s Student Boomerang from the mid 1920’s I believe. Short lived it seems and perhaps not many in existence. I couldn’t locate an advertisement in the newspapers, not one for the Student Boomerang. Perhaps it was a one off special school offer. It doesn’t appear to significantly differ … Continue reading Schools Out For Summer (Was It Ever In?)

Within Coo-ee

Photo courtesy of Pittwater Online News In 1898 Johs Richter trademarked both the Coo-ee and Kookaburra name for mouth organs. Seydel took over the name of Kookaburra and produced them and in 1910 they trademarked the name Coo-ee for mundharmonikas. We know one exists (just beyond coo-ee) as the owner, the editor of the Pittwater … Continue reading Within Coo-ee

Professor & Paderewski

Finally I've been able to peek inside the Crackajack tutor booklet. A few gems were discovered from within its pages. The diamond was the Professor's tips on playing the instrument that fits in a waistcoat pocket. Was the Professor the one they termed the Paderewski of the mouth organ? What is a Paderewski? More on … Continue reading Professor & Paderewski

The Bells, The Bells.

Hey there Riff Raffers, A look at an Aussie harp from yesteryear, a couple of record reviews and a few bibs and bobs. Don't forget to visit Harmonica Riff Raff Soundcloud and YouTube for more treats. In 1909 in Australia Albert's was selling a unique Boomerang mouth organ with a double cup set of bells … Continue reading The Bells, The Bells.

Aussie Models-Timeline

A timeline of Australian models (an attempt), as promised a while back. An up-to-date remastered version is out now. Just click here Remastered. No no no, not that type of model, sorry! Australian brand harmonicas up to WWII. Like this.1890’s-The Scorcher (F A Rauner/Feldheim, Gotthelf & Co)-up to 1920 1895/99-The Melba (?/H S Chipman-TM 1895), … Continue reading Aussie Models-Timeline

Collingwood’s ‘Crackajack’ Collier

Hi Riff Raffers, Who holds the title of Collingwood’s ‘Crackajack’ Collier? No it's not either of the footballing brothers Albert or Harry from the late 1920’s through into the thirties. It is Australian Mouth Organ Champion from the same period, Albert and Harry’s cousin, Harold. Harold’s father, Harry Edward Collier was the brother of Albert … Continue reading Collingwood’s ‘Crackajack’ Collier

Quest For The Maker

Hi Riff Raffers The epic journey set out on the first of October, 2018. The trekking party consisted of Pat Missin, Ray Grieve and myself. We were in search of a gold nugget. Just as George Leavis Allan had done in 1853 when he took out a gold licence (#88) and went prospecting at Campbell’s … Continue reading Quest For The Maker