Hans Rolz Militar Musik Tremolos

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I don't know about Swedish, but I know about a Swiss manufacturer, Thorens, that made harmonicas, including chromatics, for a time. http://www.keithwright.ca/Thorens/Thharmonica.html

There is also a (Scandanavian) Norwegian gentleman, Georg Pollestad, who makes custom chromatics. http://www.polle.no/

Hohner had a company they set up in Switzerland during World War I to make harmonicas to sell to the enemy (us). There was a big stink about it in Germany during the war.

I don't know anything about this harmonica company, but the 1914 date shown on that page at least suggests that it was a German maker or company who was doing the same thing Hohner did and then kept the factory open after the war... I can't think of many other reasons to start up a company the same year a war breaks out. But that is just educated guessing.

This particular one, I'd say was one of the last ones made, looks 1950s to me. The coverplates look very similar to a Special 20 to me.

Just came across John's post on Slidemeister about Thorens, John would you mind reposting that here?

The crux of it was, Thorens was a watchmaker that dabbled in other stuff later on.
Here's the part about harmonicas specifically...

John wrote:
"1914-1920, and 1938-1952- Thorens added harmonicas to their manufactured products. Thorens harmonicas included tremolos; octave harps; slide chromatics (10- and 12-hole); and a double-sided, 4-key tremolo harmonica."

So, I was partially right, I suppose, only it wasn't a German German doing it. He made harmonicas when Germany would have been cut off from English and American markets. In 1914, when the war broke out, Germany of course was cut off from Britain, but also the U.S. because of the British Blockade. World War I didn't officially end until the treaty in the middle of 1919, not long after the German markets open, Thorens drops harpmaking.

As I remember, German markets were embargoed after Germany annexed Austria in 1938. Thus, Thorens fires up the harmonica making again when the German markets are closed.

The 1952 end is kind of interesting, that's probably more due to the declining harmonica market than Germany reopening... and the Klingenthal makers' market never did get reopened to the West until Seydel in 1991. Hohner wasn't in a position to compete right away, it took them a few years to get back in it.

John Broecker:
Hello, Dave Payne and the Elk River 4-ems.

I'll post it here as soon as I can. For some information, check the Thorens website listed by dddeon, in a posting above:


John Broecker


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