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19th-Century German-Made Harmonica Recovered in Wisconsin

Monday, November 25, 2019

Wisconsin German HarmonicaFORT MCCOY, WISCONSIN—Researchers from the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch found four pieces of a harmonica among some 2,000 artifacts dating from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries at a site near the Fort McCoy army base in western Wisconsin, according to the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office. The site is thought to have been used as a garbage dump by several landowners who lived in the area. The harmonica’s exterior plates are labeled “The Friedr Hotz” and “Made in Germany.” The Friedrich Hotz Company, which began manufacturing harmonicas in Knittlingen, Germany, in 1828, was eventually purchased by Matthias Hohner, who introduced harmonicas to the United States in 1862. A pair of harmonica reed fragments were also recovered. For more on the archaeology of garbage, go to "Where There's Smoke...

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