I was very intrigued, made some researches about the Dr. B. B. Bumstead and discovered it had been the stage name of Mr. Mark Osterman for years...
Mark Osterman and his wife France Scully, are internationally reknowned artists – or should I say "alchemists" – who produce incredible photographs on glass plates, made along a complex vintage process, and called ambrotypes. You can learn about their ambrotype process and see many samples on their website : collodion.org
- What was the idea behind your "musical respirator" ?- Yes, my show was a "medicine" show, so I wrote the sales pitch for the Humanatone as a musical respirator. :-)
- In what year did you begin with the Humanatone, and for how much time ?- I think we first started selling them around 1987 and sold them until the last show which was in 1999.
- How many had you made with their boxes ?- We didn't make them. We bought the Humanatone from the manufacturer by the gross. [144 per box] At the height of our show we sold more Humanatone nose flutes and Kazoo trombones than any other retail store in the world. We sold countless numbers of both as well as our "medicine."
- How much did you sell them ?- We sold them for $2..but we sold hundreds at a show. The box cost 20 cents and the nose flute about 30 cents. I printed the instructions at the school where I was working so that was not an expense.
- You performed during twenty years : from when to when ?- I started the show around 1978-9 and the last show was 1999. I originally had a horse drawn wagon for the "high pitch." Then I built the Model T Ford with the fold out stage. I also had a "walk around" show [called a low pitch] with a sales box that opens up for display. Had three different versions of the sales box. One was specifically for the nose flute. And finally, I also had a 1933 Plymouth Rumble Seat Coupe. In this the rumble seat opened up and a folding podium popped up. I stood in the seat area facing the back of the car and performed from there. This selling platform was designed for selling either Humanatones or Kazoos depending on the canvas sign and the apparatus for hold the merchandise. I got this idea from a magazine from 1933 called Billboard. It is still published today for the entertainment industry. I saw an article about two men who sold nose flutes at the Chicago Worlds Fair from the back of a 1933 Plymouth! I had the very same type and year car and I was already selling nose flutes! I had no choice. :-) --- Links : Dr. The Bumstead's Celebrated Lenape Liquid Show - description The Dr. Bumstead's Celebrated Lenape Liquid Show - pictures Collodion.org, the official Mark Osterman & France Scully's website Mark Osterman on Facebook