© 2005 P. Missin - Details

German Patent 15231

Issued in 1881 to Ernst Leiterd, this appears to be the earliest patent for one of the most popular types of novelty harmonicas, a harmonica with bells that can be sounded by the player at musically appropriate moments.

Ernst Leiterd was based in Klingenthal during the latter half of the 19th century, although his company was better known for producing accordions than harmonicas. As an aside, I should note that during the late 19th and early 20th century, there was quite a vogue for adding bells to accordions as well as harmonicas.

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