Re: [Harp-L] re: Who on earth is Anton the Plumber?

Yes John. The research I was talking about was done very recently. However, sorry if I wasn't clear, my question was about Anton Richter bass violins.  When I wrote that post, I was thinking of you, I know you have this abyss of obscure left-field facts and if anything's up your alley, I thought it would be Anton Richter Bass fiddles. Do you know anything about Anton Richter bass violins?

Grateful, as always,
Dave Payne Sr. 
Elk River Harmonicas 

----- Original Message ----
From: Jonathan Ross <jross38@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 4:38:38 PM
Subject: [Harp-L] re: Who on earth is Anton the Plumber?

Dave Payne writes:

"I've heard folks say he invented the Richter, but it was probably  
his brother Joseph. But Anton Richter of Haida had his own company in  
Bohemia back in the 1800s"

It's hard to say exactly what Richter invented, who he was or the  
like.  This page presents the issues pretty well:

I draw your attention particularly to these two sentences (copywrite  
by Pat Missin, from his website ):

"However, they note that harmonicas were also made in the late 1800s  
by Anton Richter and Johann Richter. Relationships, if any, between  
these three harmonica makers are unknown."

Moreover, contemporary histories from the late 19th and particularly  
early 20th centuries are not exactly impartial.  The study of history  
was often used as a political tool for much of the last hundred and  
fifty years, particularly swayed by two major trends: nationalism and  
progressivism.  Thus, people and facts which don't fit the desired  
narrative were often simply discarded.  So, while we see an  
outpouring of similar free-reed invention across Europe and even the  
US in the early 19th century, much of this is ignored in favor of the  
trends which led to the status quo when people were writing,  
particularly the status quo of German's writing in the early 20th  
century when Germans dominated the market and nationalism was the  
dominant political force.  Added to this is the desire to find an  
"inventor", and when one didn't exist perhaps create one in a semi- 
mythical fashion (perhaps Richter fits this mold), which certainly  
wasn't confined to any one country nor to harmonica history by any  
means (see the Abner Doubleday mythology in baseball).

I would also suggest reading this page as well for more information:

These basic issues should be common knowledge for anyone wanting to  
understand or research the history of the harmonica, IMO.

  ()()    JR "Bulldogge" Ross
()  ()

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