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These fantastic instruments are often believed to have been thesource of John Dopyera's resonator concept. They were invented by JohnMatthias Augustus Stroh, and were at their most popular in the early1900's. They are the subject of two British Patents, No.9418 dated 1899& No.3393 dated 1901.
Stroh was a watchmaker who settled in Britain in 1851, and whoworked with the British inventor CharlesWheatstonein the mid to late 19th century. There is more information on theirwork, especially concerning their collaboration on the WheatstoneConcertena HERE , and their 'automatic telegraph' work HERE. Stroh was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1828and died in London, Great Britain in 1914.
Instruments bearing the Stroviols name were made by his son Charlesfrom about 1901 to 1924, and then under licence in Britain by GeorgeEvans & Co, up till about 1942. The violins alone are now beingmanufactured by Strohviolin.
Another source of information is about half way down the 'Krionics play Stroh' page, and a Stroh Violin canbe seen and heard in the movie Bloodhoundsof Broadway
Pictures Â©Brian Cohen.
Although 4 string violins seen to have been the most common of allthe instruments, we have heard of single string violins (aparentlyrefered to a 'Jap fiddles'. Some just have the large horn to projectthe sound out towards the listeners, others (the 'Concert model') alsohave a second, smaller horn to feed sound to the player's ear. .
If you have any pictures we would be please to add them to thesepages.
From the collection of Tony Bingham, this Stroh violin, is signedwith a transfer on the body, "STROHVIOLS / TRADE MARK / REGISTERED"made in England c.1910. Height 61.0cm. The body of lacquered wood, thediaphram and horns of aluminium.
"Fiddles with Horns" by Joseph Pilling, from The Galpin SocietyJournal Volume XXVIII, 1975.
British Patents No.9418 dated 1899 & No.3393 dated 1901. Bothtaken out by J.M.A.Stroh
Catalogue of John E Dallas & Sons Ltd, London 1922, p.52.illustrating a similar Strohviol
Thanks to Tony for the pictures and information.
I regret I don't know the source of these pictures, so if you doknow please tell me!
Picture Â© Frank Ford. www.frets.com
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