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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Musical Gift

What's It Wednesday #47

Growing up, music has always been an important part of our daily lives, which includes listening to a variety of genres of music from Classical to Calypso. It was also very important that we played musical instruments. I played the piano and the alto and bass clarinets. Playing an instrument goes back generations. Just the other day, my mother surprises me with a musical gift. 

Every once in while my mother will pull out an item I had no idea was in the family. So she hands me this very small blue box that she said was given to her by her grandmother, my great-grandmother, when she was a little girl. She went on to explain that she played with it for hours. I was instantly intrigued.

During Abraham Lincoln's presidency, he wrote a letter to the head of the German company Hohner Harmonica that stated, "Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe and playing my Hohner harmonica."  Mom said she loved playing this little harmonica on her front porch.

The Hohner Musikinstrumente Company specialized in manufacturing a variety of musical instruments. This company was founded by Mathias Hohner in 1857 and he was instrumental (pun intended) in the invention and production of harmonicas and accordions. 

On one side of the harmonica it says "Little Lady" and the other side says "Hohner". The harmonica that my mother played is the "Hohner No. 39", Little Lady Harmonica. This was the first known mass-produced harmonica and began being produced in 1924. On December 16th of 1965, American astronaut Wally Schirra smuggled one of these little ladies into space to play on Christmas day. 

This Little Lady has 4 holes and is equipped with eight reeds. She produces quite a big sound in the key of C for something so little. If you look closely on the right side of the harmonica you will see a little catch where you can put her on a chain or a key chain. 

The little blue case is just over 2 1/2 inches long and 1/2 wide. The harmonica is about 1 1/2 inches long, a 1/2 inch wide, and 1/4 inch deep. In fact this Little Lady is so little and cute she is smaller than my five year old son's thumb. Thanks Mom for my musical gift!

Who are the musicians in your family?


Ivy and Elephants

 Thank you all for all that you do to inspire others! I know I am inspired each and every week by each and every one of you. 


Brave Penny painted her piano at Penny's Vintage Home

Sylvia of Sylvia's Simple Life prepared these beautiful and delicious pumpkin

Janet of Rosemary and Thyme share her beautiful Spode collection

Anne  of Vintage Goods does an amazing job transforming a beautiful old dresser that she found while on vacation.
Magali of the Little White House transforms a beautiful garden

The Lace Christmas Napkins are so beautiful at Porta Guardanapos


Penny @ Penny's Vintage Home said...

Thank you so much for featuring my painted piano and for hosting the party! Hugs, Penny

NanaDiana said...

Great links here, Paula. It's really funny you posted this because my mother played harmonica. I was thinking about it a few days ago and wondered whatever happened to the one she used. It was in a little white satin lined box and was a gift to her. I wish I had it now- Yours is a real treasure- xo Diana

Heirloom treasures said...

What a sweet little Harmonica. I inherited my dads and gave it to my Granddaughter to use. She and her mother (my daughter) love to display it on the mantle piece in it's original box which is red and silver. It's such a lovely thing to have. I remember my dad playing it so often.
All my Grandchildren are musical, Playing guitar,key board and trumpet and singing. It's so important to introduce them to music. My eldest Grandson (17) plays his guitar and composes his own songs and music.

Susan Freeman said...

What a wonderful harmonica! There is always music in my house ~ all kinds just like you. Everyone in my family plays the piano, but I would love to start playing the violin, or perhaps the cello. Thank you for hosting Paula.

Susan and Bentley

Karen said...

That is so small and beautiful, I can't believe that something so small can really make music. As always interesting and informative post.

Rosemary and Thyme said...

Hello Paula.. Thank you for featuring my Spode Tea Cups Collection. Love all the other features and the beautiful and nostalgic harmonica post. Thanks you for hosting such a wonderful party.

Cottage and Broome said...

I have zero musical talent, so I always admire those that do! Love the harmonica, vintage and sweet. Thanks for hosting again this week, Laura


Nice features. Thank you so much for hosting yet, another great party at What's It Wednesday. Big hugs,

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Hi Paula, I have been enjoying your posts and want to say thank you for hosting.

sweet violets said...

What a precious gift your mom gave you!!! How sweet is that!!! My sister is the musician in the family...playing piano, clarinet and violin....taught piano for years while teaching music in public school......she is now retired at 77, and also has a lovely soprano voice!!! Me??? Let's say that I love to listen!!!

Anonymous said...

That is really special. Sadly, I am not is the slightest bit musical, but I do enjoy listening to others play.

Antiques And Teacups said...

I'm the musician in my family with piano & voice being my areas. Was a church music minister/director for years. I can't imagine life without it! Thanks for hosting and lovely choices for this week. The little Horner harmonica is so cute!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Thank you, Paula, for hosting another lovely party. What a wonderful gift your mother gave to you..Happy Wednesday..Judy

Kathryn Ferguson Griffin said...

Thank you for hosting! Such a pretty gift! Wishing you a beautiful weekend. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

lvroftiques said...

Paula you're back! I was missing you girlfriend *winks* Did you ever get my little package? That harmonica is darling! I've always wanted to learn to play the harmonica....Funny thing I don't play any instruments at all, but I have two grand pianos, a violin, and a clarinet....I keep hoping a whole orchestra will just show up and play for me *winks* Vanna

Palomasea said...

Winks at our dear Vanna!
This is such a dear gift from your Mom!! And so tiny :))
It is truly a blessing to grow up with music. I come from several generations of musicians, and I did play violin through middle school. I cannot imagine a day without music!
- Irina

Doni said...

It's always so sweet to hear that you've found a treasure, but to be given one with family history is always a thousand times better! I love the story, and the harmonica is absolutley the cutest thing I've ever seen! Even the box is gorgeous. Lovely item, and I'm so honored that you shared it with us for Pearls and Lace Thursday!

June said...

You have brought back a wonderful memory for me Paula. My father had one that he kept in his top dresser drawer and I used to go in and play it whenever I had some free time. I never got good at it but I had so much fun doing it.
In jr high and high school I played the alto sax. Learning a musical instrument was high on my priority list for our children too.
One played the flute and two played the clarinet and three of the girls played the piano. I don't think any of them have kept them up, but I am just glad that they learned to read music : )
sending hugs...

vintagemovement said...

I love your blog, so beautiful! I look forward to reading more and linking up soon.
:) Tina

Kathy said...

What a treasure! My sister would love this - she plays the harmonica - it is quite beautiful! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,


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