© 2005 P. Missin - Details

US Patent 1797613

From 1931, this is a patent covering another version of the harmonica/pointer/chart guide. It was invented by Walter Peterson of Chicago, a popular recoding artist and star of early country music radio, nicknamed the Kentucky Wonder Bean.

One notable feature of this version is a spring-loaded device that helped train the player to produce tongued accompaniment chords:

The sliding mouthpiece spanned our holes of the harmonica, with a spring (numbered 19 in the diagram above) placed over the three holes towards the left. Using the tongue to push this spring against the mouthpiece closed off all but the rightmost hole; releasing the spring caused a chord to sound under the melody note.

As well making 78rpm records for various companies, Peterson also had his name featured on tunebooks, such as this one published by M. M. Cole in 1931:

Not surprisingly, the back of this book carried an advert for Peterson's training device:

This invention was also covered by Canadian Patent 308287, French Patent 692803, British Patent 345798 and German Patent 538339. A couple of years later, Peterson was awarded US Patent 1912654 for a harmonica holder, the same design that he is pictured using on the front of the tunebook shown above.

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