Tyler Appalachian Dulcimer

Tyler Appalachian Dulcimer

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This Appalachian dulcimer was made by Arthur D. Tyler in Galloway, Prairie Township, Franklin County, Ohio in 1894. It is a double-bout dulcimer, with 16 metal frets, 4 sets of three-hole sound holes, carved out pegbox for 3 friction pegs (1 extant), and a violin-like head. There is a typed index card taped to the back of the instrument:

C 2 E double bouted, Smith E 46 105-106
one of 3 string fretted on 16 frets, long shouldered pattern
abrupt humpt tuning head, white pine hickory and poplar with
tail-piece of cedar, made by Arthur D. Tyler, Galloway,
Franklin County, Ohio in 1894 when Tyler was 17 years old.
Tyler taped by Anne Grimes (see photos). He made 5 of the
instruments he called dulcerines in one year, modeled after
one belonging to an itinerant farm worker and peddler who
was originally from McArthur, Vinton County, Ohio.
For many years Tyler never heard another dulcimer or any
other players, only saw a similar one in 1919 at the
Methodist Centenary Celebration held at the state fair
grounds as part of a mountain mission display. Although
no one could tell him anything about it or what it was
called. He continued to play it for enjoyment of family
and community. For several years after Anne Grimes found
him, Tyler was a featured participant in Ohio Folklore
Society Jamborees. This instrument was collected from
Warren Reed, Grove City, Ohio for whom Tyler made it

Anne Grimes (1912-2004) was an American journalist, musician, and historian of American (particularly Midwestern) folklore. Grimes studied voice and piano at Ohio Wesleyan and initiated graduate studies at Ohio State University. Following her education, Grimes was a music teacher, music and dance critic, and radio host. After WWII, Grimes began collecting and documenting folk songs throughout Ohio, as well as collecting Appalachian dulcimers and zithers. She would continue this work, performing, recording, and lecturing on instruments from her collection throughout the rest of her career.

Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Tyler, Arthur D.
place made
United States: Ohio, Galloway
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 3 1/4 in x 7 7/16 in x 36 in; 8.255 cm x 18.89125 cm x 91.44 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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