© 2005 P. Missin - Details

US Patent 2755696

What could be better than a harmonica with built-in accompaniment chords? How about when that harmonica is in the shape of an airplane? Issued in 1956 to J. Edward Legler of Fresno, California, this design had a harmonica surrounded by a cylindrical structure with holes in it which, when rotated, allowed different melody notes to sound, with a visual indication of which note was being sounded:

The placement of the holes also allowed appropriate harmony notes to be played along with the melody note.

Legler held several other patents for musical instruments, including US Design Patent 171508 for an ornamental harmonica design, US Patent 2730002 issued in 1956 for a trombone-like toy instrument that used free reeds and US Patent 2504547 from 1950 for a trombone-like instrument that used a saxophone-style reed. I also assume that he has some connection with (perhaps being the son of) the Edward Legler Jnr. who was awarded US Patent 1568460 in 1926 for a slide saxophone and founded the Legler Sliding Saxophone Company of Fresno, California.

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