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.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/17142243/John-Whiteman-Harp-Anthology

(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,
miriam

Duss Band Harp-Quartet-Tremolo-32

P1320605

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.

P1320628

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.

P1320613

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
https://sites.google.com/site/pittsburghmusichistory/pittsburgh-music-story/classic/john-duss

P1320618
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.

P1320661

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.

P1320378

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
instrument.

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.

P1320389

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:

http://www.patmissin.com/78rpm/78rpm.html

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