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.

Jul 2, 2016

Another Classic Humanatone

I found another vintage Humanatone, with its box and paper, in very good shape. It's a nickeled No.20, but is interesting at least on one point: it features a specific detail that I had never seen before on a Humanatone...

1.- The Box

The box is a very classic Humanatone box, with the beautiful typographics and the Stivers' lion design (dating of 1905) that we found to be a rebus (see here). In this version, the label is anthracite and the cardboard box brick.

Here it is, compared to the two other similar ones we know:

As you can see, the label is dark grey as the one of the bottom left pictures, which belongs to an instrument we dated between 1908 and 1911 (check here). But the label shows the 'style' and the $1.00 price, like the box in the third picture. The nose flute itself has got rectangular flaps - like the one related to the 3rd pic. - while the 1908-11 has 'end of ice cream stick' shaped ones. So, our new classic 'Hum' could be an in-between model (?).

2.- The Manual

The user manual is very similar to the one of the 1908-11 Humanatone, besides it is printed on bistre color paper, and has a back also printed.

Compared to the older one, the header typographics have slightly evolved, but it is mostly the bottom of the page that is different, with a new design for the trademark Humanatone, the place 'New York' instead of the street address, and the presence of a nose flute:

The details are more finely printed too:

The back of the page is rather funny, with advertisements promoting a book with an hilarious title ('The Bright Side of Kissing and the Dark Side')...

… and another one ('Flashlights on Human Nature'), but also a bunch of soaps, balms, emulsions and unguents to be (or stay) the most healthiest and attractive person. Prepare for kissing, courting, calling!

I was astonished how the man of the advertisement looks very alike David Crosby 'Almost Cut My Hair'!:

3.- The Nose Flute

The instrument itself is a beautiful classic nickeled Humanatone specimen, with rectangular lateral flaps (rather early production).

As said earlier, and as you can see it, there is a unique detail on this Humanatone, that I never saw before: It is a pair of embossed circular arcs, dedicated to strengthen the mouth shield. The only comparable feature, but as a full circle, can be seen on the Wunderflöte drawn in 1941 Wolfe's book and visible among Piet Visser's collection:

Now, here is our Humanatone:

As I'm certain this nose flute is not part of the super early production, nor the late one, it means that the 'strength bow' appeared on, then disappeared from the Humanatone. My opinion is that this features didn't last so long, as it is the very first and only time I saw it.


  1. The quest continues and the mystery grows with every discovery, it seems.

    Fabulous lithographic feel to the enclosed manual!

  2. Hahaha! As usual! :) yep, the paper is very cool!