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.

Nov 6, 2012

Humanatone/Magic Nose Flute: Ultimate evidence

Was the metal Humanatone and the Magic Nose Flute the same? YES. I found the ultimate evidence in the Johnson Smith catalogs. Why didn't I notice this before?

In the following edition (1928), nose flutes appear 2 times: on page 40 and on page 273. The first one is a Magic Nose Flute and the second is a Humanatone. But... but the reference numbers are the same! So, it's the same item!

And ten years later, in 1938, it is till the same. Pages 32 and 568:

The identity of the Humanatone and the Magic Nose Flute is proven. But remains the question of the Magic Flute.

The trade-mark Magic Flute was registered in Australia and New Zealand. The flute is the exact double of the early (rounded cap) Humanatone, in any very detail... Was it a local brand for the Humanatone? It could have been...

On the Johnson Smith Co. website, one can read: « The Johnson Smith Company™ is one of America’s oldest catalogs companies. In 1905, our founder, Alfred Johnson Smith, started selling his novelties and practical jokes in Australia. The company was officially founded in the U.S.A. in 1914, when Mr. Smith shipped his first package from Chicago. »

So, the Johnson Smith Co. began its activities in Australia in 1905. Is there a link to find here?


  1. Great discovery, which makes things a lot easier! I was getting lost with all those different names.

    It appears that the company tried to re-name or re-brand the old item, in order to attract a new audience. A similar thing happpens with bars and clubs, as to give the audience the idea that "something new" is happening. This re-branding usually is done every 5-10 years, particularly when turn-overs and profits are declining. It's all about gathering momentum and creating a new "place to be".

    It seems that by introducing "The Magic Nose Flute", the name "Nose Flute" has stuck. I have always known the instrument simply as the "nose flute". Most people, especially in Europe, also know the instrument by this name, not by its American, "orginal" name.

    The name "Magic Flute" probably didn't work, which must have been the reason why it was dropped. That would explain why so little is known about the "Magic Flute".

  2. Well, it appears to me more and more clearly that Humanatone, Humanaphone and Magic (nose) Flute are the same product, with the exact same specifications. Well to be precise : the magic nose flute is the same that the rounded cap humanatone, and the Humanaphone the same that the "pear shape riveted flaps" Humanatone.

    I agree with you that the name "Magic Flute" was not "saying enough". And that adding the word "nose" in-between changes everything.