Hohner Chromatica No. 261 Harmonica

Hohner Chromatica No. 261 Harmonica

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This harmonica was made by M. Hohner in Germany, 1930s. It is a Chromatic No. 261 model with 35 double holes and 70 reeds. The harmonica has a brown stained wooden comb with metal cover plates attached to the top and bottom with screws and nuts. Accessioned with original cardboard box. The box has two embossed labels:




The harmonica is engraved:

[awards] CHROMATICA No.61

The reeds in this harmonica are set in a position of adjacent half steps in a horizontal row (left to right-A, A#, B, C, etc., chromatic, without a slide button). It is an octave-tuned instrument, blow only. On an octave tuned harmonica, each vertically paired set of holes has 2 reeds tuned 8 diatonic scale notes apart.

This harmonica was previously owned and played by Johnny Puleo (1907-1983), an American harmonica player and actor. Puleo got his big break after performing at a contest held by harmonica player and actor, Borrah Minevitch (born Boruch Meinewitz, 1902-1955), and leader of the group The Harmonica Rascals. After Minevitch’s death in 1955, Puleo formed his own group, The Harmonica Gang. The group performed throughout the world and made several recordings during their association. Puleo appeared in several television programs and films.

Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Hohner, M.
place made
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
harmonica: 1 3/8 in x 14 in x 1 1/2 in; 3.4925 cm x 35.56 cm x 3.81 cm
box: 1 5/8 in x 1 3/4 in x 14 5/8 in; 4.1275 cm x 4.445 cm x 37.1475 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
GIft of Josephine M. DeRosa and Louise H. Puleo
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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