© 2005 P. Missin - Details

German Patent 23753

Where do we start with this patent? Granted in 1883 to Ernst Leiterd, this shows harmonicas with bells, horns, buttons and bellows, the latter to power additional accompaniment reeds.

Leiterd called the patent "Neuerung an Mundharmonikas" (innovations to harmonicas) and the main innovation lies in adding an accompaniment unit to an otherwise standard harmonica. This was done is several different ways. The illustration above shows one embodiment, with a tubular section mounted to the rear of the comb. The accompaniment reeds were supplied with air via the main comb and were selected by use of the keys:

A second embodiment had accompaniment reeds mounted in trumpets to the rear of the instrument, much like the Pipeolian.

A variation of this one had the accompaniment reeds driven by a bellows unit added to the bottom of the instrument. Just for good measure, a couple of bells were also mounted on the harmonica to add variety to the accompaniment:

Inevitably, the first version also got the bells and bellows treatment:

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