This month we can present an extraordinary new exhibit.
The "The up do date - Chromatically tuned" is a very early attempt by the Hohner company with chromatic harmonicas.
Until 2019, no one knew about the existence of this model. At that time the museum received an email from Phil Sheppard from Australia. The latter had bought such an instrument in an antique shop in Franklin, Tasmania, and hoped for more information from us.
In November 2019 we were offered such an instrument, which of course we could not refuse.
A detailed report on the “The up do date - Chromatically tuned” harmonica was written by Mark Weber. He is a passionate collector of chromatic harmonica from Switzerland and, in close exchange with Phil Sheppard, wrote a blog entry with detailed pictures of the instrument (click here for the article).
In 1898 the instrument was first mentioned in the trade journal "The Music Trade Review": "We have just received the latest novelty in mouth-harmonicas. It is the most recent of Hohner’s famous products in that class, and is first-class in every particular. The name ‘Up-to-Date’ describes it exactly. It is chromatically tuned and is the only mouth-harmonica on the market having sharps and flats." (Click here for a scan of the original journal)
The first steps with a chromatic harmonica were probably not very successful for Hohner. The legendary Chromonica did not follow until 1910, then with the slide button on the right side, not on the left as in this model.