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 13, 2016

Back on the restored Humanatone

Now that we have restored that vintage Humanatone (see here), let's take a look at it.

Well, the nose flute itself shows no particularity. It's a classic tin Humanatone, with the (half) pear shape flaps (which I think to be the latest version), and very light and barely readable stampings, that I believe to be rather early. So — I may be wrong – I would date it from the early 1920s or even a bit before.

In comparison, here are what I call strong and visible stampings (from the 30s?):

But what is interesting is the box itself. I had seen no such box before this catch, although I have got two samples of soft boxes that show similarities... Before to reshape and reglue the box, I cared to make a scan.

The first one is from an early Humanatone. This box is rather different that today's one: the volume is not the same, the 'brick' is less flat. The drawings and typographics are simpler. More, the nose flute is different: it was an earlier version, with rectangular flaps, the rounded air cover, the mention "other patents pending" and the name 'Humanatone' in between the two words 'Trade' and 'Mark'.

The other one is very similar to today's box, almost identical. The nose flute itself is a carbon copy of the one I just restored: same flaps, same stampings, same everythings.

So, the instruments and the boxes are very similar, and should date of the same period of time, and later than the simpler thick box, which is probably from the 1910s. But besides the difference of color, there are some interesting details that differ. Now, when I remount the parts of the red box as the restored one:

Every single details are similar, shape, size, typographics, drawings, texts... excepted for five of them. Three are of no specific interest…

1.- The color (the red box is printed 'negatively')
2.- The typographics of the mention "Open on this end" on the lateral flaps
3.- The not printed stripes on the flaps (helpful for the printer?)

… but the two others bring more fun:

4.- The restored box relates to an 'Improved O" model, while the red one is for a "Style O"

Well... what can be an improvement on the restored flute? It is probably the pear-shaped flaps and maybe the marked plane of the air cover (I do not see any other possibilities). But the flute from the red box also has the same feature. Indeed, I suppose that the model became "Improved O" at the beginning of the use of pear flaps, then the denomination came back to the simple "Style O", like it was before on earlier models. It's like the "new taste" or "new formula" mentions on food or cosmetic products: they disappear after a while, when the novelty has become normal and regular.
If I'm right, the fancy red one is later than the ecru one. So should be the nose flutes themselves, but anyway, the instruments are strictly identical.

Last difference:

5.- The small logo printed on one flap of the restored box

I found some info about the Bogota Folding Paper Box Co. Bogota is a New Jersey city, and it seems that it was specialized in paper industry.

Excerpt of the Industrial Directory of New Jersey - 1918:

Unfortunately, the 'Bogota Folding Paper Box Co.' mention appears in the city directories from 1902 to 1922 and we are not much helped in dating this Humanatone. Well, at least, we know it was made prior 1922.

Last info (from this site): « All of Bogota’s paper mills had one feature we would be proud of today. The major “furnish” (the raw material from which the new paper product was made) was waste paper materials. Perhaps the rest of the country did not take recycling seriously until the 1990′s but in Bogota we were serious about recycling in the 1890′s. »

Indeed, our box looks made of recycled paper, but not the red one (which doesn't wear the B.F.P.B. Co. logo)


  1. Ohhh, I LOVE this post.
    Best pictures ever!

    1. Cool! I love when the visitors are satisfied with my work! ;)