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A Stroh violin is played in the right foreground in this image of Rosario Bourdon conducting the Victor Salon Orchestra in an acoustic-recording session at Victor.

Stroh violin

Stroh Violin
1904-1942

"The rich resonant sound...of several violins playing at the same time"
To overcome the lack of carrying power of string instruments, John M.A. Stroh introduced new "violins" like this one in England in the early 1900s. Stroh replaced the violin's usual wooden body with a metal resonator to produce a louder, more penetrating sound. The aluminum horn at the end of the fingerboard directed this sound either into the recording horn or into the ear of the singer. The performer placed the smaller aluminum horn at his or her ear in order to hear what was being played more distinctly. In 1986, Washington, DC-resident Jeffery R.D. Crockett donated to the Smithsonian the Stroh violin shown here. "My mother purchased this Stroh violin," he wrote in his October 2, 1986, letter of donation, "in the 1930s in the town of Gravesend, Kent County, England. She used it when playing in a small local orchestra." Mr. Crockett continued, "I give this violin to the Smithsonian Institution," then adds--apparently unwittingly--"with no strings attached."

Notes
23.5" long
Original price (including case): 12 pounds sterling
Web display only

Learn more!
· Americans and Music
· Patent Application
· American Violins

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