Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! >
Jul 06, 2010
Here are some harmonica manufacturer's links.
There are some other brands, Huang, Johnson, Golden Cup, Bee, Merano, Swan, Yamaha, Blessing... I'll look up more and try to find more links tomorrow. Jambone. Kay.
Bohm (F.A. Bohm)
Brelli (Jiangsu China)
Brunnbauer (Ph. Brunnbauer)
Bushman (Buckeye Trading)
Convefo (Valencia, Espana)
Dragon Fly Harmonica
Egerlander Musik (Ges. Gersch)
Essenbach (Carl Essbach)
Feinste Sileck Stimmen
Fischer (Joseph Fischer)
Friedel (Emil Friedel)
Glass (Franz Glass)
Golden Cup (Leo Shi)*
Hans Eisen (Stainless Steel)
Hotz (F.R. Hotz)
The Indian Elephant
Kaptain Kool & the Kongs
Koch (Ands. Koch)
Koch (Wilhelm Koch)
Kratt (WK Kratt)
Ludwig (Gebr. Ludwig)
Melissa and Doug
Messner (Christian Messner & Co.) (Ch. Messner)
Mississippi Harmonica Co.
Nippon Gakki Seizo Kabushiki Kaisha
Oskar (Lee Oskar)*
Picollo I (Czech) (Delicia)
Pohl (Peter Pohl) (P. Pohl)
Planetone (Tribal Planet)
Rauner (F.A. Rauner)
Richter (Anton Richter)
Richter (Joseph Richter)
Romel (William C. Romel)
Rolz (Hans Rolz Co.)
Schlott (A.S. Schlott)
Schunk (Johann Schunk)
Seydel (C.A. Seydel Söhne)*
Spranger (M Spranger)
Swaine & Adeney
Toy Star (Star?)
Weiss (Ch. Weiss)
Weydlich (Carl Weydlich)
Wurtt (Württ. Harmonikafabrik)
Bold Major Brand
Still Need to be Alphabetized and Checked for Duplicates:
A.A. Schlott Dompfaff
Brunnbaur and Sohn
Carl Essbach Weidersehn
William (Anton)Thie / Friedrich Wilhelm Thie
Carl (A.) Essbach
Matth. Hohner A.G.
Royal (Emmet) (Richter)
C.H. Meinel (Meinel)
Richter (Meinel & Herold)
Meinel & Herold
Blue Bird (Bohm?)
C.H. Messner (Ch. Messner)
Wm. Kratt (U.S. made)
Valencia (Kostler Co.)
Cupid Brand Hockey
Mississippi Harmonica by Regal
Gebr. Meinel, Klingenthal
VEB Klingenthaler Harmonikawerke
Gebr. Gündel, Klingenthal
Thomas Zigeunerbaran (Hans Rolz?) Swedish
Joseph Fischer Charmant
Hugo Rauner's (Bergrauner) Chromatic
VINTAGE IMPARCIAL ARTISTS HARMONIKA MADE IN GERMANY
VINTAGE PEPILA HARMONICA-MADE IN GERMANY
Mississippi Harmonica Co.
I've tried to eliminate names that are just models for a bigger company, but I haven't been able to vet them all. If you see one that looks like a Hohner model, well, it may be now. Hohner bought out a lot of their competitors and kept them as model names. A lot of brands that got stuck on the wrong side of the iron curtain got consolidated too. I've alphabetized by last name, even if the brand is known as, say, Lee Oskar.
Silver Star (Hohner)
French harp. Moothie. Tin sandwich. Any of these terms strike a chord? How about gob iron, mouth organ, or Mississippi saxophone?
ruines babines (that's French for "ruins the lips"
M2000 Millioniser Midi Harmonica (by Suzuki)
I've posted most of this before, and I need to clean it up a bit, but I'm adding a link to it on my list of threads.
Last Edited by on Jul 07, 2010 11:53 AM
Jul 06, 2010
Thanks! I still haven't figure out how to search for foreign sites. I've stumbled on a few from time to time, but it's been hit or miss.
Jul 06, 2010
Going through your list, here's my comments:
A.A. Schlott Dompfaff (I'm not sure where the Dompfaff comes from the company was named simply A.A. Schlott)Schlott, of Klingenthal, is one of my favorite guys, his company grew to be pretty big, but you'd still find the CEO A.A. Schlott working on the line. Lasted from 1886 until 1972, when the East German Communist Party nationalized it and made it part of the national harmonica works.
Brunnbaur and Sohn- Good old Philipp Brunnbauer, 19th century maker in Vienna. A maker from back in the day when Vienna and Klingenthal were the centers of harmonica production.
Carl Essbach Weidersehn (I never heard the "Weidersehn" with the name) It's Carl Essbach's brand. One of his trademarks had the statue of libery on it. Seydel bought out the company in the 1920s.
Unsere Lieblinge- Means "our darling" in German. Wasn't a company, it was the name of a Hohner tremolo.
Thomas Rosenkavalier -Never heard of this dude. Do you know anything about him?
Thomas Zigeunerbaran - Never heard of this dude.
William (Anton)Thie / Friedrich Wilhelm Thie - The Vienna maker was king of harmonicas back in the 19th Century. This is the company that invented the tremolo harmonica. A grandson of Thie sold the company and invested in Austro-Hungarian Empire bonds. Guess what happened to the A-H Empire and its bonds? Kostler wound up with all the equipment, back when Kostler was in Czechoslavakia, before the Russians kicked them out.
Carl (A.) Essbach - same guy as mentioned earlier.
Matth. Hohner A.G. - everybody knows who this is.
Royal (Emmet) (Richter)- never heard of it.
T. Meinhold - This has to be Theodore Meinhold. The company was actually F.A. Meinhold Sohne. I don't know a lot about theodore, except his name is on a lot of patents.
C.H. Meinel (Meinel)Klingenthal company almost as old as Seydel, lasted from 1850 until the 1960s when it was nationalized by the East German Communist Party. There were probably a dozen companies in that area named Meinel.
Edmund Paulus, sounds like he surrendered at Stalingrad, but he was a pretty obscure maker in Markneukirchen.
P.H. Brunbrauer - another 19th Century Vienna maker that went out with World War I.
Richter (Meinel & Herold)- no clue.
Meinel & Herold - there were some Harolds making harmonicas in Georgenthal. Did one of them merge with one of the Meinels?
Blue Bird (Bohm?) Dunno about Blue Bird, but Bohm was a pretty big company in Klingenthal, later nationalized by the East German Communist Party.
Johannes Adler - never heard of this dude.
Borrah Minnevitch - harmonicas were assembled in California using parts made by Rauner in Klingenthal.
C.H. Messner (Ch. Messner)Ah, Christian Messner. This is the guy Matthias Hohner did the industrial espionage on to learn how to make harmonicas.
Tomba* typo? Dunno.
Kostler - Good old Kostler. The Kostlers were living in the German part of Czechoslavakia, then Hitler annexed it, then after the war, the Soviets kicked the Germans out of there. Kostler moved to Germany and set up there. Kostler was in the American occupied part of Germany, Hohner was in the French part... so right after World War II, Kostler was the only maker with access to the U.S. market. You see a lot of their Swing Band harmonicas on Ebay. Koslter is still in business, they quit making harmonicas in the 1960s or so and started making auto parts. They still make auto parts.
Wm. Kratt (U.S. made)Kratt was something else. He was born in Trossingen, was a child laborer at the Hohner factory, then came to the U.S. and Thomas Edison took him under his wing. He became Edison's chief machinist, later he went back to Germany, started up a harmonica company, called the National Harmonica COmpany, near Hohner, Hohner bought him out and he came to the U.S. and started up the Kratt Company.
Kain Z.- never heard of it.
Carl Pitsch - one of the old 19th Century Vienna makers.
Cupid Brand Hockey - Never heard of it.
Mississippi Harmonica by Regal - All I know is, it's Chinese.
BBB - never heard of it
ELA - never heard of it.
Gebr. Meinel, Klingenthal - See above Meinels.
VEB Klingenthaler Harmonikawerke - This is basically Seydel under the communist period. All of the East German companies mentioned here that were nationalized were forcibly merged into this company.
Gebr. Gündel, Klingenthal - a Klingenthal maker that didn't last through World War II.
Popular (Czech)- never heard of it.
Thomas Zigeunerbaran (Hans Rolz?) I never heard of this Zig... guy, but Hans Rolz did start a compnay in Czechoslavakia (Graslitz, same place as Kostler, in the former German-speaking part).After World War II, the Russians kicked the Rolz company out of Czechoslavakia, like they did to most of Germans living there. So the Rolz company moved to Sweden and was in business until the late 1960s. There was another Hans Rolz company that used the Rolz trademark in Klingenthal after WWII... it was part of the Rolz estate
Luxe (Swedish)- no idea.
Schlossmeinel (bakelite)-bakelite would have referred to a plastic comb material. Schlossmeinel was nationalized by the East German communist party in the late 1960s.
F.A. Rauner - A klingenthal company, merged with Seydel and Bohm in the 1930s, that merger didn't last long, but they were all forcibly remerged by the East German Communist Party.
Carmento - never heard of him.
Joseph Fischer Charmant -never heard of him.
Some companies that weren't on that list above: Weiss, Hotz, Emil Friedel (he made the one where you looked inside it like a viewmaster and there was a pic of a naked chic in there).
I can help you some on the Hohner thing:
Here is my list of companies Hohner absorbed in various ways:
Eisen (just run out of business)
The other M.Hohner
Hering (although they later sold it instead of simply absorbing it like the others)
I'll come up with a list of makers nationalized by the East German Communist Party.
Last Edited by on Jul 06, 2010 7:05 PM
Jul 06, 2010
Thanks! That's great info! I especially like the bit about the viewmaster harp. Most of the harp names are harps I've seen on eBay or online music museums. Lots were in old advertisements that someone had scanned into the computer. My first harp was a Blessing Tremolo. It actually still sounds pretty good. The covers scratch and dent easily.
Jul 06, 2010
This is a list I put together of the harmonica companies that were nationalized by the East German Communist Party. This is drawn from the Harmonica Makers of Germany and Austria book. There are possibly more makers who were nationalized... for instance, the book doesn't list A.A. Schlott as being nationalized in the appendix (where I got the info for this list) - even though it was.
A.G. Dix (this was the guy who was trying to develop lengthwise reed milling in the 1930s)
C.A. Seydel Sohne
Zuleger and Mayenburg
Jul 06, 2010
Emil Friedel was something else. I saw a box of his in an issue of Trumpet call once that had a drawing of a bunch of naked girls riding a hippo.
You ought to join harmonica collectors international. You would love the Trumpet Call publication they put out.
They sell that "Harmonica Makers of Germany and Austria" book, which is a must have if you are interested in this stuff. They have like two copies left. Otherwise, you can get it from the German Harmonica museum, but it will cost more.
Last Edited by on Jul 06, 2010 7:24 PM
Jul 07, 2010
I don't know if we should consider names like Bushman a separate brand. Their harps are built by Suzuki and Seydel.
To put it short, they do NOTHING themselves.
Jul 07, 2010
jim, yeah, their harps get made by other companies. My list kind of has two purposes. One, as you've hit on, is kind of an esoteric exercise in making lists. The other though is more practical. If you want to see what kind of harmonicas there are out there that you can buy you won't find the Bushman on the Seydel or Suzuki websites, so including them in the list helps you find them. People who play them seem to like them. I'm still not sure what to do with a brand like Turboharp. They start with another companies harp and add a cover (and some seals on their better harps.) I meant this to be a companion list to my list of customizers, and I've sort of aimed on making it exhaustive instead of selective.
Elk, I'll get out Trumpet Call. On a side note, I'm still finding all sorts of crazy uses for the LLF. Best harp purchase I ever made!
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