From The Folknik July/August 1999

Interesting Instruments

Culled from a thread on the Sweet Music email list

From Jim: I am interested in the ukelin and have a pi-anolin in good shape that I got for $17.00 at Value Village in Milwaukee WI. Anyway it looks quite interesting and was worth it just for a wall hanging. However, I am going to attempt to learn how to play it. The only one I have heard play it was Sally Rodgers at a local festival. I have a general instruction book that I got from the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Also if anyone else is interested check out Bob's Ukelin Web Site at <www.geocities.com/~ukelin/>.

From Alyce: At Mike Clemmer's Wood N Strings shop in Townsend, TN, he showed me a ukelin and a tremoloa. The tremoloa had the warranty and payment book, and he had a lot of music tabbed for them. Pretty interesting.

From Dutch: The Signal Hill Music Shop in Mt. View, AR, has a display of the many instruments made during the time of the ukelin. Even some that were on the shelves when the factory shut down. Art West (the shop owner) can tell you all kinds of tales about his vast collection of antique instruments. He has three rooms lined with them. SORRY, none of them are for sale.

From Laurel: I picked up a ukelin at an auction in Nebraska complete with the original International Musical Corporation factory guaranty and method Directions for Playing the Ukelin arranged by Paul Richter (1925). Feel free to e-mail with further questions.: <dulcimer@inreach.com>.

And from David: I used to have a collection of this stuff. Loaded up the car, went around to old age homes, etc., did a song or two on each. I had one of the last sets around of EO Mari Zither strings for replacements and glue and clamps for repairs. Flea markets were the main source; I only took ones that could be easily restored to playability (if one dared use that term for these contraptions).

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