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.

May 8, 2016

The Australian Magic Flute - Part VII

This post is the sequel of The Australian Magic Flute - Part VI


I found a few articles mentioning the Magic Flute, generally just a few lines, but yet enough to feel the presence of the instrument during parties and concerts.

The very first one is as early as 1912 (July 23), was published in The Riverine Grazier (Hay, AU):

Then, a jump to the 1930s:

The World's News (Sydney) Feb. 5, 1930:

The Maitland Weekly Mercury - Mar. 7, 1931:

The Freeman's Journal (Sydney) - Jun. 16, 1932 and the Lithgow Mercury - Aug. 19, 1932:

And in 1937 (Oct. 23), the Advertiser (Adelaide) reports a Humanatone in a Jazz band, and compares it to « a piece of hip bone »:

Conclusion ?

Now, is it possible to draw a time chart, a chronology for the aussie Magic Flute ? I'm gonna try, but please keep in mind that the following dates are not sure (mostly based on advertisements), that hypotheses are hypotheses, and so on...


1891: William G. Carter files the Nasalette (see here)

1893: first appearance of the name "Humanatone" (see here)

1899: Garrett J. Couchois files his nose 'whistle' (see here)

1903: the US Magic Flute appears in the Howe catalog (see here)

1904: the brand 'Humanatone' is filed, but used since July 1903 (see here)


1905 seems to be the year when the Magic Flute appeared in Sidney, and the Humanatone (sold as Magic Flute too), in Melbourne. It is possible that Ellisdon was the importer of the early version of the Magic Flute, while the Union Mfg Co. was responsible for the Humanatone. We think that the Humanatone Co. bought (killed) the Magic Flute in the US (from G. J. Couchois?), and we are sure that they used the brand during many years to sell Humanatones.

late 1910s - early 1920s ??

There is an intermediate model (my shiny MF). It is very probably a Humanatone, with no stampings (special make). This version is obviously prior to 1925, but maybe not a lot before, because it was sold by Albert and had already the Humanatone shape. Kind of early 1920 ? I don't know.


December 1924 is the registration date of the trademark 'Magic Flute' by the Alberts. All the Magic Flutes were stamped with TM numbers from then, and probably J. Albert & Son gets the exclusivity on nose flutes (in the case the Magic Flutes with new design were really produced by the Humanatone Co.)


This is during the fifties — not earlier – than the metal Magic Flute stopped to be produced. That's another question... It means that while the Humanatone have turned to plastic in the US (since 1943), the company would have continue to make metal instruments for Australia ... ?

late 1950s - early 1960s ?

This period of time seems to be the most consistent for the production of the plastic Magic Flute (Schwan shaped), although it could 'technically' be "1954 to 1969". This instrument was certainly produced by Weidlich und Lohse in Göttingen if it date from the 1950s. If it dates from the mid to late 1960s, it could have been made by the unknown company which bought the Schwan moulds (W&L appeared in the Göttingen industry register in 1958 for the last time)...
Was the plastic MF sold in shops or was it a marketing gift, we don't know.

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Hall of Fame! Hall of Fame!

Yes! If you have followed the seven articles of this series, you know that the Albert dynasty, Jacques (1850-1914) the initiator and his son Frank (1874-1962), who registered the trademark and developped the market deserved to be inducted to the Nose Flute Hall of Fame! (The heirs Alexis and his son Ted got immediately management responsibilities in the group and have probably not been directly involved in the Magic Flute story).

So, let's unfold the red carpet to the memory of Jacques and Michel-François 'Frank' Albert, in the 'Producers' section!


Related links :

- The Australian Magic Flute - Part I
- The Australian Magic Flute - Part II
- The Australian Magic Flute - Part III
- The Australian Magic Flute - Part IV
- The Australian Magic Flute - Part V
- The Australian Magic Flute - Part VI
- The Australian Magic Flute - Part VII



  1. Very interesting series of articles. Great research job. I have been reading and, as when listening to a fine concert, waiting for the end to stand up and applaud.


    1. Thank you Don Luis! (and glad to see you!). yes, it was a bit of work :) But our little whistling friend deserved it!. Greetings!

  2. Stunning piece of work. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

    1. Thank you Maikel! Glad you enjoyed this long study, full of uncertainties though...

  3. Do you know how much these would sell for now?

    1. Hello, it depends on diffrent things : the version (tin? copper? Silvered?) the state (rusty or mint) the presence or not of the box and user manual... Well from 5 to 80 USD I would say. Greetings!