This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Jan 31, 2012

The two metal Humanatones

We all know the first metallic Humanatones, but how many of us did notice there actually were two different models ? Those tin plate pioneers were issued in 1904 (check their history here) and distributed until no less than 1944 or so, as we already exposed it there.

It is not surprising the shape evolved during 40 years of availability in the catalogues. When did the change happened? I have no clue of the date, but it probably was rather soon, as it can be deduced to the rarity of the first shape.

The original model had a full rounded air duct cover. Later, the Humanatone got a tappered cover, forming a plane whistle.

Another noticeable difference lays in the shape of the folded flaps which support the rivets. On the first model, the flaps are rectangular, then became pear-shaped :

Finally, the marks evolved, and the « Other patents pending » stamp disappeared, replaced by the mention of Leech and Couchois'


About metal Humanatones, check :

- Humanatone - part I : the metallic era
- New Humanatone ads
- The Two metal Humanatones
- Another metal Humanatone
- Humanatone boxes
- Another Humanatone box
- Humanatone: A very early user manual
- The Magic (Nose) Flute: only questions... .
- A Humanatone and clones chronology
- A Humanatone in 1892 ?
- Humanatone: Early promotional demos
- Another Humanatone archive
- Huma... something
- Rectification: Humanatone appearance date
- Great paper from 1903
- Nose Flute Pioneers: The Stivers - Part I
- Nose Flute Pioneers: The Stivers - Part II
- Nose Flute Pioneers: The Stivers - Part III
- Nose Flute Pioneers: The Stivers - Part IV
- Nose Flute Pioneers: The Stivers - Part V
- A Humanatone as a scientific tool
- Two other Humanatone Ads

And on later Humanatones :

- Humanatone - Part II : the Gretsch plastic era
- Humanatone - Part III : the Gretsch metal era



  1. I have heard stories that the soldiers had noseflutes with them sometimes. If I was a writer I would write a kitsch story about a soldier who played on his noseflute just before his execution... and of course was not shot but instead became a nose flute teacher in Sibiria. Anyway, life is sometimes cruel - so he got shot and that is the reason so few people had known about noseflutes until now. - No, I did not smoke a joint tonight. Just letting thoughts stray...

  2. Thank you a lot for your comment, dear Nosy Diva! You should write a novelette with your scénario! The ending and your conclusion are hilarious :)

    Yes, (some) soldiers were used to have a nose flute with them (or any kind of pocket instruments, like harmonicas...). During the WWII, the american William Kratt got a special discharge to be allowed to used metal for manufacturing harmonicas, just because most of them were given to the soldiers...

    And take a look at the box of this Humanatone, specially designed to be sent to the "boys" :

    1. Merci bien pour la réponse, c'est tres interessant! - Do you know from which year that humanatone box is? Because it says it is plastic - when did the production of plastic nose flutes start, Mr. head of noseflute research? And the box - yours? Cost 200 bucks??
      Chaque jour une nouvelle surprise ;-)

  3. Hello Dear reader,

    No, I don't know precisely which year that box is from. I assume it was issued for the boys in the Pacific ...
    No, the box is not mine... *sigh*

    If we except "celluloid" nose flutes (which appeared rather soon : see this page of the 1930 Jedson Co. catalogue : ), the first plastic nose flutes were issued when ... the plastic (polystyrene) became popular. The first polystyrene nose flute was a Humanatone, and its age is discussed here :

    In short : "between Jan. 22th, 1940 (when Ernest W. Davis filed his patent), or more probably 1942 (after Pearl Harbor attack and the beginning of war) and autumn 1943, when the Christmas toys catalogs were issued."

    Best regards,


  4. Da habe ich wieder was gelernt, merci!
    Hygienic line, hilarious! You will have to invent a time travel machine to get the items you want, hm? One for the future as well, when they will have bocarinas in 29 colours, 5 glow in the dark and one invisible to choose...and please bring some for me and Chris as well. The frozy diva (-10 here)

  5. Yes, hilarious :) Should have sold them with a disinfectant spray.

    Miss, well, Ebay is a time machine :)



  6. Hello! I love the noseflute dedicated page!
    I came across a nose flute at an estate sale in an old tool box, the guy I got it from thought it was an oil spout.
    I was excited to see "Humanatone" printed on it but I wasn't very familiar, I had just heard of the noseflute before.
    Looking at your page I may be wrong but I think I possibly have a third type of Humanatone! I don't see one with the particular small oval rivet work that mine has, it is not rectangular or pear shaped, have you seen one?
    I posted a picture on my blog here, what do you think?

  7. Hello !

    Thank you for your nice comment! And welcome on this nose flute dedicated blog.

    You are totally right : I didn't know that version of Humanatone! Is it really branded "Humanatone" on it ?

    Anyway, I would love to get more picture of it, and if you accepted to send me some (don't hesitate to send large format and details...), I would be very pleased to publish them, with your mention, for sure. Would you ?

    ( my email is ukeheidi [at] noseflute [dot] org )

    Thank you a lot for your input,

    kindest regards,

    Antoine / UkeHeidi