To give you an idea where accordion manufacturies are located, here´s a Google earth photo of Europe.


On a recent visit to Trossingen, I tried to capture a long gone era. Luck had it that many of the old buildings are still standing, unused & unaltered, telling the story of what was once the largest manufacturer of musical instruments. A few years ago, Hohner moved to a new building in the industrial area of Trossingen.

In that part of the factory, still in its original condition, the wooden body accordions like the Corona were produced.

Time stands still in this area.

This is industrial architecture of the twenties at its best.

Time stands still as I meditate the Hohner blues

Everything in the old factory had style even the lamps.

Imagine thousands of Coronas being produced here.

The entrance to the wooden accordion production. Now a tree makes its home there.

The townhall of Trossingen

The Hohner Academy

Academy from the rear, connected to the factory

A telephone list from the seventies shows the names of workers, who otherwise remain nameless.

The directors, of the above Matth. Hohner jun. is still alive

At Hohner, everyone remained nameless, with the exception of Venanzio Morino & Giovanni Gola. These Italian accordion builders designed the top models of the Hohner line.

The Corona is at the bottom of the bottom of the bottom of the line, so it was hard to get to the bottom of who designed it. As far as I could figure out, Elias Messner, son of Frank Hohner, was the director of the wooden accordion department, when the Corona was designed in the fifties.

The accordion production "Akkordeonfertigung" took place in two departments, wooden "Holzbauweise" & metal "Metallbauweise".

At the time of the list above, M. Ehler was the chief of "Akkordeonanfertigung", Waldemar Messner was head of the "Holzbauweise" & Hans Götz, head of the "Metallbauweise". Head of reed production, "Stimmplattenherstellung" was Herbert Kraft.

 

Back to the fifties: I asked Ernst Strom (born 1920), who worked in the design department, who could have designed the Corona. And, he told me that after the war, Hans Rappold (1889-1975) of Stuttgart was an important designer in the accordion department.

It proved to be difficult to get to the origin of the Corona.

During my time in Trossingen, I talked to Matthias Hohner jun.,

to the Haigis family (they worked for Hohner in Argentina),

to Eckart Kretschmann (he worked for Hohner in Chile),

to Helmut Ulrich, Jakob Schuler, Kurt Koch, Ernst Strom,

but none of them could name the "inventor" of the Corona.

It looks as if the Corona was designed by Elias Messner, and that Hans Rappold was responsible for the layout.

During my conversations in Trossingen one name always popped up, that of Elias Messner.

The old building

The entrance to the "Hohner Areal"

The gate with a rusty accordion player emblem

The old rugged emblem

The power house

The steam engine made by manufacturer Borsig

Jakob Schuler, the oldest Hohner worker in Trossingen. Born in 1911, he started to work at Hohner in 1924 and stayed for 52 years. He first worked in the mouth harp production and later became a specialist in register adjustment. He knew Venanzzio Morino and Giovanni Gola personally.

This is Jakob Schuler`s home. At the time of my visit in Trossingen most of the houses had been hit by a heavy weather, with ice as big as tennis balls which destroyed nearly all roofs in Trossingen.

The villa of Hohner founder Matthias Hohner

The "wintergarten"

Across from the old factory building

A look through the floral Jugendstil window of the villa

This building shows what a revolutionary mind the founder, Mr. Matthias Hohner, even as an old man was. A building like this in rural Trossingen wasquite a novelty. The ornamental style of "Jugendstil" was as avantgarde as you could get.

This villa is one of the best examples of Jugendstil

Looking down from Hohner`s villa over to his factory.

Jugendstil at its best. Herr Hohner really had style

I stayed at Hotel Schoch, run by the Horakh family - every Wednesday at 8 pm there´s a roundtable.

Eberhardtstrasse 20, 78647 Trossingen, Germany

0049 7425 940020 Fax 9400255

Kurt Koch started to work at Hohner in 1946. He worked in the metal style department of the factory. The best known metal body accordion is the "Atlantic". Now he leads visitors through the Harmonika Museum.

The Harmonika Museum

The new factory: a perfect example of "no style"

 

 

 

Hier finden Sie Informationen, die ich zum Thema Handharmonika zusammengestellt habe

My pages with information on the diatonic accordion

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Spare Parts Catalogue #1 :: #2

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Peter Unbehauen an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper

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