Stroh Violin

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Description (Brief)
This instrument was patented (English Patent #9418) by John M.A. Stroh in London England on May 4, 1899 and manufactured by George Evans & Co. from 1909–1942. John Matthias Augustus Stroh was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1828, and was an apprentice watch and clock maker, who immigrated to England in 1851. In this instrument, the Stroh patent for amplifying a vibrated string is adapted to the violin. Stroh invented many acoustical devices, and the concept of this patent originated from work on the mechanical sound-box of the gramophone. This violin is made of a solid cylindrical body built of two pieces of half-round mahogany, an aluminum shoulder rest, diaphragm and horn, traditional violin neck, pegbox, and scroll of maple, and a dark red-brown varnish.
Currently not on view
Date made
George Evans & Co.
Stroh, John M. A.
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
aluminum (overall material)
overall: 23 in x 10 in x 7 1/2 in; 58.42 cm x 25.4 cm x 19.05 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Jeffery R. D. Crockett
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History


"The description is not strictly accurate. The stroh violins were used to overcome the limitations of early recording devices (wax cylinder) by concentrating the sound in one direction only. Once electric recoding came, they were suddenly obsolete."

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