Fwd: [Harp-L] OK Boys and Girls...it's a REAL American Harmonica Company!, -)

> On Apr 4, 2012, at 2:07 PM, David Payne wrote:
>> The gist of the story is Kratt came to the U.S. as a boy, went to work for Thomas Edison, he eventually became Edison's chief machinist. He goes back to Germany, built the National Harmonica Company right under Hohners nose, Hohner bought him out and he took the money back to the U.S. to make the pitchpipe he invented (they still make it). He maybe had to agree to never make harmonicas again, that was SOP for Hohner takeovers, but I dunno for sure. He, like the honey badger, probably didn't care, because he really wanted to make his new pitchpipe. My contention has been that the National Harmonica Company was a clever ruse to raise cash. Shortly before WWII, the US cut off trade with Germany, so Kratt swoops in and starts making harps, although brass was scarce in the US and Germany because we were using it to shoot each other. That's where the plastic harmonica from Mangus came in, although I've never established what Kratt and Magnus' relationship was, I couldn't imagine t!
>> he entire post WWII harmonica production being in Union NJ, if there wasn't.
>> Anyway, Kratt has always been primarily a pitchpipe company, but they did make harps for 30 some years.
>> I do know a bit more about Kratt, I'll have to make it a featured company on the Harpschool page.
>> If you wonder what happened to the dies, the story I heard from someone who tried to track them down was that they were deliberately destroyed after they stopped making harps.
>> David
>> www.elkriverharmonicas.com
> The only machines kept were the small strip profiler which only required a mill bit and the reed punch. All the machines were very old, obsolete and they were having a hard time keeping them going, parts had to be custom made, and what with new technology it was hard to get dies made for them. They couldn't sell them, so they were junked. Everything else is the same story I got.

Back in 75, we had a child born with a bad liver. We were asked to be in the parents mentoring group at children's hospt. That's where I met Fred Rogers. Over time I met a lot of people from PBS. Apparently most were grads of Duquesne Univ. and very active in the community. Some of the sweetest people in the world. This is where I found out the same info that you did. The TV crew went to N.J. to do the episode. 

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.