Here's what I know, or think I know about it.
It belonged to my father who was born in 1917. It was manufactured by M. Hohner. It has a wood body and is double sided with two rows of sixteen holes on each side. I believe it to be an early version of the Echo 54/64 model, though nowhere on the harmonica does it say Echo.
On one side, shown in the first photo above, the center diamond contains only the words "HOHNER'S BEST HAMMERED REEDS".
On the other side, shown (badly) in the third photo, the center diamond contains the words "Trade Mark" across the top, and "Made by M.Hohner Germany" across the bottom. In the center of the diamond is a circle, held on each side by a hand. Inside the circle, across the top, is what appears to be the word "GESETZLICH", which translates to "legal" in the English language. Inside the circle, across the bottom, is what appears to be the word "GESCHUTZT" or "GESCHLITZT", neither of which I can find an English translation for. In the center of the circle is what appears to be a six pointed snowflake. On the sleeve of each hand are two overlapping circles, each with writing so small it's indecipherable. These circles, or medallions, look like they might be awards of some kind. Also on this side, the letter "G" is stamped on the left end of the metal cover, just below the top nail (not quite visible in the picture). I believe this indicates the harmonica's key.
And that's all I know at this point. If you can provide anything else, I would appreciate it if you could send me email and let me know.
Update: June 8, 2005
After 5 years of this page and no leads (only inquiries about whether I'd learned anything about the harmonica), the mystery is solved. I first contacted Alan Bates, a antique harmonica collector on the web, in April of 2005. He looked at this page and reported the following:
"It's model 46-1/2,
"The Up To Date". The cover plate design changed a lot over the
years. First made around 1910 I think and discontinued in the 1930's.
Your design was one of the later ones - probably ca.1935. My
collection ended up with about 10 examples, all slightly different and
all in original boxes. Larger models with more holes were
numbered 47-1/2 & 48-1/2. Based on the number of them around,
it was a very popular model. You should find them on
www.ebay.com. (The "snowflake" is a 6-pointed star, part of the
You can read about Mr. Bates', and see some of his outstanding
collection at The
National Music Museum.
Then, in June 2005, Debbie Berdine came across my web page and sent the following, corroborating the comments above:
"I have no idea how long old [sic] your request is, and you may have even identified this harmonica by now....but, I have the exact same one. Ironically, I bought it at a yard sale just over the weekend, and then I started searching for info. about it on the internet. That's when I came across your website. Mine is still in the box so I have all of the info. you need. It is a 1926 M. Hohner Tremolo Concert Harp, No. 46 1/2. The box says, "The Up To Date Very Best Tremolo Concert Harp. On the bottom of the case, it says, "Grand Prix- Philadelphia, 1926" on an embossed stamp. Mine is in pretty good shape (for being 79 years old), other than it is missing a couple of rivets that hold the silver plate on one side. Hope this helps!"
And in November 2012, Lori Taylor found this page and sent the following helpful information:
"I have the same harmonica (more or
less), and found your information while trying to find out about it,
but I also speak German. If no one has answered your question before
this, "Geschtzt" means protected.
See the University of Munich's Leo Dictionary
My harmonica is very worn, but is looks as if the words "Trade Mark" are on the top and in the little circle is the German word for protected, so maybe patented?"
Many thanks to Ms. Berdine, Ms. Taylor, and Mr. Bates for their help in
identifying and providing info about my harmonica!
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