Re: [Harp-L] re: history

On Nov 17, 2008, at 6:17 PM, Jonathan Ross wrote:

"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.

How do we know?...for sure, I mean. A lot of people hold one job and do something different as an avocation (or hobby). Another thing to consider. I personally know 4 people names Bill West, and 3 people names Glen Young, 3 named Dave Smith, 3 named Dave Williams, and even 3 Joe Leones. I don't see it as inconceivable that there could be more than one Anton Richter. Both names are common.

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.

While a small child growing up in Europe, none of my British friends lived near enough to me to play with. I only saw them at school. So, I played with myself. Quit laughing. Ooooh, you people. Anyway, while in 3rd grade I began to read our Doubleday encyclopedias. Starting backwards from Z, I was only able to get down to Aardvark. Now, you tell me that all that work was for naught? lol

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 specific story.

"Who's Bauschman?"

A misspelling of Buschmann.

 ()()    JR "Bulldogge" Ross
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