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

All quotes from Smokey Joe:

"I read the article and can only say that anyone who does research uses bits and pieces from OTHER people's writing. So this article is speculation and since the author wasn't born in 1835, there is no way to prove it. In fact, none of you 3 were born in 1835. lol"

That is the point I was trying to make. There can be no definitive statements made, and so when they are made, especially when made as if they are known and by someone who wishes to be seen as a serious researcher, that is a significant error. In areas like early harmonica history where most things are unknown, then that is how they should be presented.

"But you're saying that anything a German wrote about Germany was automatically accepted by all Germans. In other words there were no Germans who took these writings with a large grain of salt. In other words millions of Germans were oblivious to wool being pulled over their eyes."

History as a political tool is a strong force, especially when most people want to believe it. In a case like this, it helped feed into the force of nationalism. There were undoubtedly some who wouldn't believe it, but then, as there was less ability to know what was going on in other areas of the world, there was less ability to refute it. And most people in the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially in the caste-like societies of Europe, deferred to those in positions of authority, in this case academics. It is significant that well into the end of the 20th century most people in the field would probably not have questioned the Bauschman-Richter-Hohner line of harmonica history, in Germany and elsewhere.

"What I'm seeing here is that you tend to give some people credibility while others are left wanting."

Credibility is either earned or lost. I find those credible who can back up their claims. Similarly those who jump to conclusions, can be shown to be wrong by their own writing and fail to grasp basic issues I find lack credibility. Those who never deal with direct questions very quickly loose my respect. Those who avoid the issues raised and attack the individual have no credibility.

 ()()    JR "Bulldogge" Ross
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