Toy harps with Jockey????????

Email just sent to mr. Harland Crain.

Anyone know who made these??

(the numbers are the Ebay item number)

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at 12.04.39 PM



UPDATE: January 30th, 2015:

I was right, I think.

These are Spranger toys, made by Max Spranger.

This is a screen capture from The Whiteman Bible:

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 4.39.10 PM


really hard to see, even for me.

Max Spranger made a bunch of Jockey harps:

Also from the Whiteman:

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 4.45.10 PM


They all have have similar horses and/or jockeys. I think.



The Harmonica Project

With the blessing of the Harland Crain, I hope to create a single database of all the harmonicas manufactured.

This would include not only Hohner, who has half the list, but everyone else from Thie to Weiss to The Harmonica Reed Corporation.

Please let me know if you would like to contribute your list, whether digitized or not. I can convert all computer files and transcribe all prints.

This would be for ALL of us collectors.

The Harmonica List.

We can sort by date, manufacturer, type, key.

We can update the list and add old rare harmonicas which might contradict the holy bible, The Whiteman Anthology.

At this time I would like to thank John Whiteman for putting together the only reason I am able to even GUESS at the price of a harp.

(Harland, please remember to send me the second half of the Hohlner list)

UPDATE: January 26, 2015. Day of the SnowPocalypse 2015

Letter from Mr. Harland Crain, who may or may not have sent me the Hohner list:

Hi I sent you all I have on the Hohner harmonicas. You should receive it soon.Let me know when it arrives.

Hope you can sort out all the duplicates and less than great resolution. It is the way I received it. I have left nothing out it is what it is.
I and many other collectors have harmonicas not on the list but we need a good index to compare it to our collection. It has not been done before. John Whitemans is the best. He is well organized and very precise in all he does.
 Yes publish/post all you want. I think the finished work should be included in the newsletter with credit to you.

 OH I forgot I can send you a copy of my Hohner list. Give me a few days

All is well here we are having very nice weather hope you can keep safe and warm.
Regards Harland

Response from Moi:

Hi Harland,

Thank you!! Will definitely let you know when the package arrives.
There is a Snowpocalypse coming here. argh.
The Harmonica Project is going to be what the Whitman should have been in the first place. A real searchable database, WITH lots text and pictures.
Each harmonica will have it’s own entry, all the fields filled out that we have information on: Manufacturer, year, key, size, type, etc.
These are the columns that are in the Hohner book and your your Hohner list, for example.
My idea is that a seller (me) can go on the web to The Harmonica Project, do a quick search and find all the information available for any harp. For example: Hohner, The Echo Harp, Lovely Gypsy(?)woman on the cover of the box, and find out why in the world that harp is called The Ugly Woman. (why indeed? do you know?)
John Whiteman’s Anthology is the best list for me to start with. I can incorporate ALL of that information, especially because it is very precise and organized. What is the best way to reach him? I need to purchase the book(?) that he refers to all the time in the Anthology. Did you have a chance to ask him about that?
best in blizzard,

every Harp has a different taste

cigarette smoke is the worst.

Then fragrance.

otherwise they are all very cool and delicious.  To me.

peppermint, dusty rooms, dust, faint mothball musk, flowers, water,


This one tastes very very clean.

Faint odor of dust, very faint.

Friedel Fridolin

made by Reinhold Friedel.

There is Another Friedel harp maker. A brother Friedel. All the harp makers in Germany had brothers , uncles, grandpas, nephews who took over.



Just bought harps for the first time from etsy.

Three old very nice diatonics.

Easy peasy transaction.


Love the messaging system. Better than ebay.


Only 1/4 of the first batch of harps I ever bought (2013, winter):


Wilhelm Thie-Twin Diatonics-25,2


Conversations with Pat Missin:

These twin harps look like none of the Thie harps in Whiteman.  The closest are the diatonic 1896 page 455), but that is a single row, only ten holes. Sorry about the blurry photos, I drank too much tea today. The years are all 1876. The harmonica sounds very nice for such light weight and old (?) harp. A few holes do not work very well at all tho.

I found this fascinating post on Wilhelm Thie from Haffner:

I have a question about naming harmonicas. I want to put the right reed count and the right hole count on my id’s. Would this one, for instance, be called a 32 hole, 32 reed? Or 16 reeds. I think the reeds are every other hole but there are 8 in each row.

What makes a tremolo, a tremolo?  does it have to have holes on both sides?

As always thank you for your vast harp knowledge. You will have top billing on the site. lol.

It is absolutely disgusting outside. I won;t even deposit my checks. Can’t breathe.




Falling behind a little with my email and way, way too hot.

First off, as an Englishman, I need to point out that there is no such
thing as too much tea!

Not seen this particular harmonica before, either in real life or in
old catalogs. It’s obviously post-1876 and probably pre-1900. Thie
were one of the big companies in their day, but things all started to
fall apart around 1900. The factory got sold to Koestler around WWI
and I think he continued to make some under the Thie name, but by this
point, Hohner were really dominating the market.
Does this page clear up the questions you had about the
different harmonica types:

If not, ask away.



I have been waiting for a harp that was possibly made before the turn of the century. (Love that phrase)

Sorry for my harp ignorance. Though in my defense they are a very confusing musical instrument except for playing. Which is what I like. :-}

As far as the Viennese Richter note system goes, you should read the discussions on Harp-L. I’ll try to find the one on the Richter scale. OMG. Those guys are amazingly musicians. Pretty much everyone there plays chromatic I think, but often discussions pop up about everything. I can’t read them all and the site is ancient which is the only problem. They should switch to a forum.


That was the most AWFUL game I ever saw.  ugh. you must be an Englishman. lol. It was too upsetting for me to finish out the match. I blew the living room after Germany made their third goal.

I am beginning to believe that Harmonicas are the most under researched, complicated, unusual musical instrument out there.  Just the story of How Hohner Ate All Harp Manufacturers would be fascinating. Maybe we should write a screenplay about Hohner.  Is the harmonica the only wind instrument you can blow and draw from so you can almost breathe while playing?

7-1 isn’t something that should ever happen in a professional soccer
match. That said, as an Englishman, I should really have been
disappointed that it wasn’t Germany losing 7-1.

I agree that harmonicas are amazingly under researched. Part of the
problem is that for the last century and a half, they have been rather
commonplace. Nobody bothers looking at the commonplace, especially the
inexpensive commonplace. I first starting gathering all this
information together when I realised that I couldn’t just go to the
library and find answers to my questions about the instrument. The
last couple of decades, the situation has definitely improved, but
there’s still a ton of misinformation out there.

Duss Band Harp-Quartet-Tremolo-32


Conversations with Pat Missin:

This Duss an amazing harp and my very first purchase of this type. It sounds wonderful!!! The only negative part was the seller. He ignored my shipping instructions, injured the box and was not very cooperative. oh well. The harp itself was just rattled a bit. And it was very inexpensive.


The photos were taken in a hurry so let me know if you need more. I acquired another Duss the same day. I love that name: Duss. I imagine Hohner ate him too.


John Samuel Duss, the man with the very important signature, was a
well known trumpeter, composer and band leader (the Duss Band, would
you believe?):
Screen shot 2014-09-20 at 6.15.45 PM

His harmonicas first appeared around the turn of the century and seem
to have died out around the time of the brass shortage during WWI. No
idea who actually made them, but John Whiteman has mentioned a link
with F.A. Bohm.


Borrah Minevitch Blue Rythm Band – Tremolo – 17

Conversations with Pat Missin:

“Rythm without the first h”

The harmonica box is quite theatrical. Somehow someone misspelled rhythm of all words, on the harp AND the box. But Mr. Minevitch made a very comfortable harp and told me where to rest my thumb. It does have extra fine tonal results.


This one almost drove me crazy. I knew I had one somewhere, but I
didn’t recall if it was spelled correctly or not. We moved last year
and are possibly moving again, so most of my stuff is still in boxes.
I finally found it, but I had to wade through a ton of old harps to
get to it. I’m pleased I did, though, as it’s a really nice playing

Anyway, mine is lacking the box, but is correctly spelled. There were a whole range of harmonicas made with this name in the 1930s – single reed diatonics, tremolos and an assortment of octaves, some with the misspelling, some correctly spelled. I don’t know which is more common. You may know that the Hohner Beatles harmonica with the mixed up names is more common that the correct one.P1320384

These were made in the mid-1930s, most likely by Hugo Rauner, even though Minevitch had been a prominent Hohner endorsee. Rauner
(not to be confused with F.A. Rauner, another Klingenthal based
harmonica maker) was a relatively short lived company originally based
in Klingenthal, but relocating to West Germany some time around WWII.
They are presumed of be the maker of these Minevitch instruments, as
they also used the “index finger here” markers on the covers of some
of their instruments.

As well as the correct spelling of “rhythm”, the covers on mine are
quite different. The bottom cover makes no promise of superior musical
results, or tonal effects, just a claim that these instruments are
used exclusively by him and the Rascals. The rest of the wording is
the same, but in a different style.


omg, there are TWO Rauners?  I WAS confused, no wonder. I have harps from both.Those index finger markers are unusual. never seen them before.Who is Boris Minevitch if the harp was made by Rauner, and what does Boris have to do with the Rascals who I am assuming are the crew of players on the box?

Two Rauners, both from Klingenthal, but I don’t know what theirrelationship was. F.A. Rauner one claimed to have the second largestharmonica factory in the world and started out in the mid-1800s. Hugo Rauner did not pop up until just before WWII, then seems to have vanished soon after the war. I don’t really know much else about him.

Minevitch was a big stage and radio star in the 30s and his Harmonica Rascals was a comedy/musical group he put together. I have a little about him on this page:

If you search on his name in YouTube you’ll find a bunch of clips of him and the Rascals.