[Harp-L] re: history
"O.K. I didn't consider it a claim. I was thinking more along the
lines of Richter being the Abner Doubleday guy of harmonicas and I
meant Joseph is who people were probably actually talking about. I
didn't go into detail because it wasn't my point. My point was Anton
Richter was a plumber. He didn't make any harmonicas. Thus you can
scratch Anton off the Richter scale.
On Joseph, personally, I think there is no evidence. It's doubleday
commission all over again, only this time with the only non-religous
thing as sacred as baseball - the harp. "
I simply don't believe this. I believe that you meant what you
originally wrote in terms of the origins of the harmonica and are now
backtracking from an untenable position.
Further, I think you are confusing Richters, which is easy. There
are the late 19th century pair of Anton and Jacob Richter who made
harmonicas, and then there is the semi-mythical Richter of a half-
century earlier who later was identified as "Joseph".
"You appear to have missed a really big point in that e-mail I just
put it out there. Despite the fact they probably operated Anton
Richter and CO., Seydel employes of old never called it Richter, they
called it "HAIDER" "
"Haidaer" is the spelling. I was quite aware of it. It may or may
not have any significance, since it is unknown which term came
first. Certainly "Haidaer" follows in the tradition of such names as
Weiner and Knittlinger. "Richter" as an inventor would follow in the
lines of calling the Weiner system after it's inventor, such as
"Thei" and "Hotz" respectively.
"You were saying that Pat Missin says nobody knows the relationship
between Joseph and Anton. The German Harmonica museum says they were
brothers. How do they know these things? They went to Bohemia and
looked at records, so at the moment, I'm going to have to go with
their theory on that one until something trumps it or I doubt it. "
Again, are you sure you are not confusing Richters? There was a pair
of harmonica making Richters late in the 19th century, one of whom
was Anton, but the other was not named Joseph but Johann. The
relationship I was referring to as being unknown was that between
these two and the semi-mythical "herr Richter" later attributed with
the Christian name of Joseph.
"I'm not exactly reading ANY contemporary histories on anything. I'm
looking at the stuff you're supposed to look at, patents,
advertising, etc. "
Contemporary histories are very useful in all fields of history. One
"should" look at everything, and be aware of the biases and problems
within all forms of evidence.
As for nationalism and the political location of Bohemia in the 19th
century, I think you are missing the point entirely. The rise of
nationalism as a concept and it's creation of the nation-state were
tied deeply into the emerging racial, ethnic and linguistic theories
of the late 19th century. Not only did nationalism not care about
existing borders, it actively seeked to destroy their legitimacy and
change these political constructs. I don't and didn't claim that the
use of Richter was an example of this (it may or may not have been,
the C. F. L. Buschmann story fits better in this mold) only that
these issues surrounded anyone writing in the day and probably deeply
informed what they wrote. Moreover, by claiming all German-speakers
(to use this specific example) including those in a place like
Bohemia as being inherently part of the German national movement, a
political claim was made on the territory as well. It was the use of
culture and history to advance political goals that was behind much
of the nationalist movement at the time, and which specifically
seeked to rewrite borders to fit this concept.
And that is probably beyond the scope of harp-l on the subject, as we
are now only tangentially relating to this specific example of
Richter and the probably influence of nationalist ideas on this
A misspelling of Buschmann.
()() JR "Bulldogge" Ross
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