Hans Rolz Militar Musik Tremolos

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John Broecker:
Hello, tremolist-orians.

This information was found when I was looking through antique catalogs of various harmonica companies no longer in existence. So It belongs here, in the Harmonica History area.

Dave had written about the Seydel Military Music octave harmonicas under the "Auto Valve-Knittlinger Type" area of the forum, under "Chord, Bass, Tremolo, etc.".

The Hans Rolz harmonica company (1874-1950s) of Untersachsonberg (now Klingenthal), Germany, made a slide chromatic (10 and 12 holers) and single reed diatonics, under different model names, and made a series of tremolos labeled Militar Musik, as listed in it's "Katalog Nr.45 uber Harmonikas" (early 1930s-a guess). All of these harmonicas had wood combs, nails holding the reed plates to the comb, brass reeds and brass reed plates, and metal covers. Keys were not listed:

#2821 Militar Musik, available in 10 double holes or 14 double holes.

#2839M Militar Musik, 32 double holes(per side-it was a double-sided harp).

#4001 Militar Musik, 14 double holes, single sided.

#4002M, 16 double holes, single.

#4003M, 20 double holes, single.

#4006M, 16 double holes, single.

John Broecker

I'm trying to remember how Rolz met its end. I can't remember if  it was nationalized or if it remained private in the DDR  and went out of business or not. I just can't remember. I can check my Harmonica Makers book later... I"ve always had this fascination for history of the end of the things, the losing side at near the end of a war, company going out of business.
I asked Martin Haffner once about why some of these companies would be nationalized right away. He said the ones the Russians deemed had an "especially Nazi" past were immediately nationalized. But it's not what anybody who wasn't a RUssian in 1945 would consider "nazi" and would include any major company, I suppose, because any good-size factory would be making munitions, especially after Speer was Armaments minister.

John, what's your experience been on this "keys not listed" stuff. Does that usually mean just C and/or G or what?

John Broecker:
Hello, Dave.

In harmonica literature (catalogs, books, etc.), when I see harmonica descriptions with no keys listed, I assume that means "key of C only," until I see evidence to the contrary.

On a different subject:

The Hans Rolz company was founded in 1874, in Graslitz, Austria (today, Kraslice, in either the Czech Republic, or Slovenia (whichever country is nearest to Klingenthal, Germany).

Rolz started out as a producer of musical instruments, mostly music toys, buying products from smaller companies and selling them worldwide.

In 1931-'32, Rolz bought harmonica parts from the bankrupt G.A. Dorfel company. In 1933, Rolz started his own harmonica factory in Graslitz.

After WWII, a company named Hans Rolz Nachf ("Hans Rolz Successor") was registered in the German Democratic Republic.

In 1945 or '46, the owners of the Holz company from Graslitz moved to Sweden, and started production again.

The company survived until about 1950, then was not heard from again.

SOURCE: Harmonica Makers of Germany and Austria," by Haffner & Lindenmuller, published by the Deutsches Harmonika Museum, Trossingen, Germany.

John Broecker

Somewhere there was a chromatic, maybe it was on slidemeister, that was Swedish... I can't remember where I saw it, but I remember trying to figure out whose it was and eventually we came up with this guy. You remember that one?


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