© 2005 P. Missin - Details

US Patent 627569

Carl Ernest Brown's patent of June 27th 1899 was simply titled "Musical Instrument", but this combination of upright box zither and simple diatonic harmonica was marketed for a few years under the name of Harp-O-Chord. This instrument had three bass strings and three sets of chord strings, presumably tuned so as to give the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords to accompany the melody played on the harmonica that was set into the top of the instrument. This invention was also covered by German Patent 107606, issued the following year. Amazingly enough, there is a another page on the internet devoted to Carl Brown, his Harp-O-Chord and the Harp-O-Chord Company of Columbus, Ohio. It is no surprise to learn that Brown invented many other things, my personal favorite being his foot pumped shower attachment for bath tubs.

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