© 2005 P. Missin - Details

French Patent 659763

Awarded in 1929 to Kenichiro Hirose of Tokyo, Japan, this design is essentially two complete harmonicas mounted one above the other, with a common mouthpiece connecting them. The mouthpiece has a lever which directs the flow of the player's breath to either of the two harmonicas at any given time:

The inventor states that any type of harmonica may be used, either single or double reed instruments. In the British equivalent to this patent (British Patent 299801, issued a few months later) the inventor states:

It has before been proposed to provide a harmonica or mouth-organ having two units which compromise two set of cells each provided with reeds arranged in pairs through one or other of which sets of cells the breath is directed by a controlling roller having a single series of air passages, the controlling roller being held in position by a correspondingly apertured cover plate to which the mouth is applied.

This description sounds very much like the tremolo chromatic harmonica shown on this page.

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