You certainly remember the Snoot-Flute, which advertisement was presented here one year ago. Ans as we wrote at that time : « Dating of early 1960s (?), the Snoot-Flute was made by PAR Beverage Corp, Cincinnati, OH. This company was actually the predecessor of Kenner Toys (the prefix "PAR" were the initials of the company founder Joseph Steiner's associates : his brother Philip and Albert, and their cousin Robert).
PAR Beverage, and then Kenner Toys, produced many plastic toys, the Bubble-matic gun, the Give-a-Show projector, the Easy-Bake and the famous Spirograph. »
Michael Smith also answered my question about PAR Beverage, the Cincinnati company which "signed" the Snoot-Flute : « Kenner didn't start out as Kenner, but as a number of different companies all run by Joseph Steiner, his brothers Philip and Albert and nephew Robert. These companies included PAR Beverage (Philip, Albert, Robert), Bromo-Mint, Grandpa Brands, and Cincinnati Soap Company, among others. When Kenner hit it big, they mostly were folded up, except for Grandpa, which was sold, and PAR, which my grandfather took over. PAR continued to make mostly humorous novelty items sold through the national travel chains, such as Stucky's. »
About the name "Snoot-Flute", Michael wrote :
« My grandfather, Nelson Ronsheim, was quite fond of classical music and had a large collection of recordings of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Dvorak. It was with the intention, perhaps, of adding another instrument to the wind section of the orchestra that he invented the snoot flute.
Another possibility is that my grandfather "invented" this instrument as a bit of humor, he was somewhat of a jokester and enjoyed making a play on words. I'm not certain how "snoot" translates in French, Antoine, but in English it is a somewhat obsolete reference to one's nose, a bit like the word "keister" for the derriere.
However, take just one of the two "o"s out of "snoot" and you have "snot", which is a crude reference to the bodily fluid which resides in the nose and may be blown into a handkerchief. But that's not all; place an apostrophe in the word "snot" and you have "s'not", as in "s'not (a) flute" or, more clearly, "it's not a flute". »
We do not contest Michael Smith's statement, but we would like to add that the name "Snoot-Flute" was however already used as a nickname for the nose flutes (notably for the plastic Humanatone). Here are 2 ads dating of 1950 (much earlier than the PAR Bev. Snoot-Flute) in which appears the name (Sedalia Democrat, Apr. 4 & 6+7, 1950):
Nose Flute Pioneers : Nelson Ronsheim
Nelson Ronsheim's self portrait (oct 1937)
About Nelson Ronsheim's life, the best is to quote Michael Smith writing :
Nelson Ronsheim (1905 - 1981) attended the Cincinnati Art Academy when still in elementary school, perhaps the youngest student ever to do so. After working a short while for an advertising firm, at the age of 23, Ronsheim set out on his own as a commercial artist.
Nelson Ronsheim (foreground) at the Cincinnati Art Academy (1922).
From his High School year book :
Though skilled with pen and brush, Ronsheim gravitated to photography as a means of artistic expression. From as early as 1923, he mastered the use of a complex camera to record life in Cincinnati. After acquiring additional photographic equipment in 1938, Ronsheim embarked on an intense effort to capture on film the familiar scenes of his native city. As a student of history, Ronsheim appreciated the transitional nature of the late 1930s and sought to preserve in photographs the city as he knew it, anticipating that these images would become more fascinating with time.
This period of intense photographic activity lasted just four years, brought to an end by World War II's rationing of fuel and raw material. Yet Ronsheim created roughly 800 images of Cincinnati during this time. Ronsheim entered photographs in the Master Photo Finishers of America annual contests in 1939 and 1940 and each year received several awards.
Here are some (beautiful!!) pictures by Nelson Ronsheim. You can watch at much more of them on these pages.
|The Immigrant - 1938||Moonlight - 1941|
|Barrels of Drum - 1939||Winter on the River - 1940|
Indeed, here are 2 patents filed by Nelson Ronsheim. The first one, in collab. with Charles Metzler, for a mount for films, and the second, as assignor to Peters & Russell Inc., for a cleat :
Nelson Ronsheim in 1958 :
Fellow Cincinnatian Henry Levison, founder of Permanent Pigments Co. and developer of Liquitex high-viscosity acrylic artist's paints, invited Ronsheim to create paintings demonstrating the advantages of acrylics over traditional oil paints. Having just retired, Ronsheim accepted Levison's challenge and between 1970 and 1974 produced over 160 paintings, including the "Genesis Series" featured in the Sunday Enquirer Magazine of September 21, 1975 and a "Best of Show" winner in the 1977 Ohio governor's senior citizens art contest.
Nelson Ronsheim in 1962, and his commercial sign :
in 1976 :
Nelson Ronsheim is elected to The Nose Flute Hall of Fame !
On the same topic :
- The Rare, Amazing and Ugly Snoot-Flute
- Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part I
- Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part II
- Nose Flute Pioneers: William G. Carter - Part III
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Ernest W. Davis - Part I
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Ernest W. Davis - Part II
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Nelson Ronsheim
- Nose Flute Pioneers: Garrett J. Couchois