© 2005 P. Missin - Details

German Patent 22453

Granted in 1883 to Theodor Meinhold, this patent covers a harmonica with built-in accompaniment reeds. The big difference with this design is that the accompaniment reeds are supplied with air not from the player's mouth, by from a bellows built into the rear of the harmonica. The player was supposed to squeeze and release the bellows, whilst selecting the appropriate reeds by means of keys. The patent shows the instrument as having four bass reeds and four sets of chord reeds To add some percussion to the accompaniment, the harmonica is given a drum to the rear of the bellows unit with two spring loaded beaters to sound it:

Theodor (spelled Theodore in some of his patents) Meinhold was issued several German and US patents between the 1870s and 1890s. His Klingenthal-based company seemed to dominate US harmonica imports (and other instruments) in the late 19th century, but then vanished in the early 1900s. This particular instrument does not appear in any of the catalogs I have seen from that time.

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