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Toy Harmonica
TitleToy Harmonica ; Magnus Harmonica
Object NameToy Harmonica
Manufactured ByInternational Plastic Harmonica Corporation (Magnus)
DescriptionRed, white and blue toy harmonica. The International Plastic Harmonica Corporation was founded in 1944 in Linden, New Jersey by Norwegian immigrant and entrepreneur Finn Haakon Magnus with investment by partner Peter Christensen. The company name was changed to the Magnus Harmonica Corporation in June 1947, which helps date this object. In the 1940s Magnus invented the first completely plastic harmonica. With brass in short supply, he received a contract from the U.S. military to make plastic harmonicas for troops, and he established his new company. Magnus went on to hold many patents for plastic free reed instruments, including harmonicas, small reed organs, accordions, and other instruments. This harmonica was probably made for the expanding toy market soon after the end of the war but the red, white and blue colors link it to its patriotic wartime origins.
Date Manufactured1944-1947
Manufacturing ProcessInjection Molded in multiple parts
Number of Objects1
Accession Number2003.1064
DonorGift of National Plastics Center.
Broad SubjectMusic (including instruments)
Date Digital2009
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