How old is this harmonica?!

Hey! Family heirloom…how old is this harmonica? And what is it? Chromatic? Just out of curiosity :stuck_out_tongue:

Hahah! I know…it rusted a little! Thanks :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Theo! Your Hohner no. 13 appears to be an echo harmonica, not a chromatic.
Judging from the shirtsleeves style in the stamp it would date from after 1924 (?).
The shirtsleeve style changed again around 1950.
This info is not necessary though, as you will soon see (I keep finding more).
Notice the star stamp on the cover plate and the one printed on the box.
Six point stars were much used by Hohner, as was the five point star, but the six
point star was removed by “request” of the government in 1937. You have the
Paris 1937 fair date on the box, so the harmonica MUST be from some time in 1937,
which would be the only date it could have been made with this star and the Paris
fair 1937 mark (assuming this is the original box…probably is. The stars still match).
Pretty cool.


Oooh! Haha awesome! Thanks a heap! I’ve always wondered about it but wasn’t sure who to ask…yay!
Yeh the box was passed with it…unfortunately I’ve had to tape it up it was getting real worn down and breaking apart haha!

And sounds notes seem to be missing as well :frowning: Might have broken? I can still play a few tunes on it though heh…I wonder if it’s fixable…

Hello, Theo174.

Your Hohner’s No. 13 is either Hohner catalog #13/32 or 14/32. It’s a tremolo harmonica (two identical vertically placed reeds per note, one reed slightly de-tuned at the factory. When the two vertically-paired reeds are played together, a wavy tone(tremolo) is automatically produced.

Both harps have the same amount of holes and reeds (32 holes, 32 reeds), both harps are most commonly key of C.

Each harp measures approximately 11 and 1/4 inches from the left side to the right side. They both have zinc reed plates and zinc-plated brass covers. Some people are allergic to zinc.

The 13/32 has an “ebonized” pearwood comb (body); and the 14/43 model is “lightly polished”, pearwood, with presumably a clear enamel or other finish.

The 14/32 was made for the Chinese language countries, and the 13/32 was originally made for the Indian subcontinent, and then for the English and German language countries.

Your model was made circa 1924-'37.

On the following chart, the large letters are exhale reeds, the small letters are inhale reeds. Your harp starts at the left with E as it’s lowest pitch. Horizontal holes 5-12 have the complete c major scale. Holes 1-4 and 13-16 are used mainly as accompaniment or chords.

Hohner’s No.13 tremolo harmonica, 16 double holes, key of C, starting on “mi” of the scale:

||E|g|G|b|C|d|E|f|G|a|C|b|E|d|G|f|| (this is the top reed plate. The bottom reed plate is the same)

Best Regards

John Broecker