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
Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree, Merry merry king of the bush is he. Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra, Gay your life must be! (Kookaburra Mouth Organ from Doug Dawson’s collection) The name Kookaburra has its derivation from the indigenous Wiradjuri word Guuguubarra, which is onomatopoeic for the bird's distinctive laughter call. To many they … Continue reading Bush King
Prominent world harmonica collector Harland Crain sent HRR this photograph of a Crackajack Miniature Concert (with bakelite frame). In the Melbourne Weekly Times (Saturday 10th November 1934) advertised alongside the Crackajack Miniature Concert was Ludwigs "Improved Bakelite" mouth organ (maybe the Antoria Concert). It had me reminiscing on the bakelite devices in our family home … Continue reading Bakelite Brevities
An interestingly named mouth organ that sold Down Under in the 1920's (I think) is the Budgeree - pictured here in Seydel's 1923 catalogue. Budgeree is an East Gippsland town (for want of a better description) which is a relatively short journey from our abode. Blink and you'll miss it as there's only a few … Continue reading It’s All Good (ya know)
The elusive Hohner Auto Valve Vamper! One in the flesh - picture courtesy of Riff Raffer Mark Hand, all the way from Okriftel. If your interested in detail about this oxymoron there's information here - Hohner’s Hollandia (Nova) Harp. Ray Grieve has published his revised edition of Boomerangs & Crackajacks with newly researched material on … Continue reading Via et Veritas
In following up on our May article on mini moothies (four and five holes) that weighed in at one and three eight inches, here is a quick peek at the small ten holers. The standard diatonic is commonly four inches in length, while the Junior models that many brands supplied were usually a wee bit … Continue reading Three Inches Big
I stumbled across this 1927 advertisement in an unrelated search, which piqued my interest and warranted further investigation. The Union Company of Elizabeth Street in the City of Melbourne were selling this vest pocket mouth organ for a shilling (post free). It had the added feature of a powerful magnifying glass to view an interesting … Continue reading Beware Choking Hazard!
A quick question Riff Raffers. What do we have two of, we can do without one, the right is larger than the left, they have lobes and they act like bellows? If you said lungs your right on the money. This remarkable sponge-like organ situated in the thoracic (chest) cavity functions closely with the myocardium … Continue reading Dr. Bellows
G'Day Riff Raffers, It's an Australian hop, the Kangaroo hop, but it's also the German hop. Earlier this year I found The Kangaroo mouth organ in of all places Riga, Latvia. I had believed in the beginning that this was manufactured by Seydel for Albert's here down under. In Ray Grieve's magnificent resource book Boomerangs … Continue reading Kangaroo Hop (The Swiss Connection)
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.