© 2005 P. Missin - Details

US Patent 880709

Issued in 1908 to Samuel Slocum Barlow of Chicago. In many ways similar to the Pipeolian, this design looks at first glance to be a plain old set of panpipes. However, each of the pipes contains a harmonica reed:

Unlike the Pipeolian, each pipe has only a single reed, rather than a pair of reeds, the diameter and length of the pipe being chosen to reinforce the pitch of the reed it contains. Quoting from the patent text:

The object of my invention is to provide an improved mouth organ or harmonica, whereby the tones produced will be resonant and full, corresponding to the tones produced by pipe organs.

Of course, having only one note per pipe would have limited the practical range of the instrument and it seems Barlow's invention was never commercially produced.

Return to Harmonica PatentsReturn to Main Index