The Harmonica in History

Traditions, Trivia
on February 13, 2013

Though the harmonica functions and sounds similar to an ancient Chinese “sheng,” German musical instrument maker Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann generally is credited with its invention in 1821. Another German harmonica maker, Matthias Hohner, outsold hundreds of competitors and by the 1920s was manufacturing 25 million hand-held harps a year and selling them primarily in the United States. From the 1920s to the 1940s, some 6,000 harmonica bands entertained Americans and the nation’s No. 1 hit in 1947 was the Harmonicats’ “Peg O’ My Heart.”

Found in: Traditions, Trivia