[Harp-L] New Hohner star theory
I've been looking at trademarks and I had one of those Eureka ideas a while back, one of those ideas that hit you while you are driving in the car. I've been meaning to post this for about two weeks now, but I've been extremely busy. I've heard that the Hohner star represented the Hohner kids in the biz, which a lot of folks refute cause the use of the star, five point and six point, makes no sense.
What I offer here is purely circumstantial, but interesting nonetheless and I think is the most plausible explanation presented thus far on the prewar Hohner trademark star.
Hohner isn't the only one to have used the star.
Here's some others
Five point star- Jacob Birk, Trossingen.
Six point star-
Emil "Horn Dog" Friedel,
I've got some Hohner New Best QUality Harps, the harp that became the Old Standby from around WWI. On those, Hohner pairs the 5-point star with a moon in what is identical to the crescent moon/star of Islam, but the symbol is older than Islam, so Hohner might have been thinking of the Eastern Roman Empire, the contemporary Ottoman Empire or maybe just liked the way it looked, of the three, I'd guess he just liked the way it looked. I have no idea where Hohner came up with the crescent moon and star, but I believe the five-point star came from that early pairing with the crescent moon. It's not just the N.B.Q. harps, an early Hohner trademark has the crescent moon and star as well. Many companies looked to the heavens for trademarks, there were many companies using stars, and many companies (Seydel is one) who used a sun.
So this same star also finds its way on the back of prewar Mouse Ear Marine Bands, Old Standbys etc.
Now, here was the Eureka moment.... the six point star. The six-point star starts appearing on Marine Bands, when, the late 1920s, early 1930s?
Of the seven companies who used the SIX point star on their trademark, one is especially significant. When Hohner left the clock biz, he saw the harmonica as a big moneymaker. He tried to get hired on with Messner to learn the trade, but Messner told him to take a hike.
So Hohner makes buddies with Weiss, Messner's nephew who was starting his own harp company. He would go over to Weiss' shop and hang out with Weiss, looking over his shoulder the whole time and learn how harps were made while supposedly shooting the bull. Messner eventually got on and threw him out, but Hohner got his education.
Over the following decades, Hohner buried the Weiss company. In the 1920s, the Weiss heir died leaving the company to a brother, Otto Weiss. He sold the company to Hohner in 1928 to Hohner. Part of that deal was Otto got a management position at Hohner.
The Weiss trademark was simply a big six-point star with a "W" inside of it. It wasn't long at all after Hohner owned that trademark and Otto Weiss was on board with Hohner in a management position that the six-pointed star appears on Marine Bands, etc. There are numerous other examples when Hohner used trademarks of assimilated companies... so it makes sense to me.
I think that's the most plausible explanation yet.
Dave Payne Sr.
Elk River Harmonicas
This archive was generated by a fusion of
Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and