Jaw Harp: Small and easy-to-carry, the wrought iron jaw harp produced a jaunty accompaniment to campfire songs. This instrument was excavated from a campsite near Winchester, Virginia. Wrought iron. L 7.9, W 5.3, T 0.6 cm Gettysburg National Military Park, GETT 3095
Jew's harp, from a Civil War camp near Winchester, Virginia Gettysburg National Military Park, GETT 26368
Jew's Harp — Sonorous Substances. Europe. A small metallic tongue vibrating within an iron frame shaped like a horseshoe. When played it is placed between the teeth, and vibrations of the metallic tongue are produced by striking it with the finger while a tune is hummed. One theory of the name is that it was originally jaw's harp, from its position while being played, and another that it was first made and sold in England by Jews. It is shrill and peculiar in sound, and rather melancholy. Even in the Nineteenth Century the Jew's harp retained its popularity. In 1860 no less than six million are said to have been produced in Steyer, province of Styria, Austria.
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TEXT CREDIT: The American history and encyclopedia of music The American History and Encyclopedia of Music, William Lines Hubbard. Authors: George Whitfield Andrews, Edward Dickinson, Arthur Foote, Janet M. Green, Emil Liebling, Josephine Thrall. Editor: William Lines Hubbard. Publisher: I. Squire, 1908. Original from: the New York Public Library. Digitized: Sep 17, 2008. Subjects: Music