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Violin, Made from Parts of Model T Touring Car, 1932


Gary M
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I'm sorry but I was in need of a good laugh and I found this as part of my research for another post. I'm absolutely NOT laughing at the guy who built it or his efforts. I admire them immensely. Just at the amazing variety of the human experience. Hopefully some of you will enjoy it too.

https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/artifact/1922/#slide=gs-264221

thf154262.jpg

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I remember a story about William Conant scavenging wood from covered bridges to make his violins.

The early car bodies used a lot of wood, but I do not know if there was a particular kind of wood that was considered the best)Although the exterior on woody wagons was typically ash, I believe.) One wonders if recycled wood from those old cars, would’ve made worthwhile Violins. And when I read the post, I was actually thinking about whether this creative fellow had salvaged wood from an old car.

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Here is a picture of an 'iron violin' that was made in the 17th century by John Bunyan of Pilgrim's Progress fame.

File:JohnBunyansViolin.JPG

It is on display in the John Bunyan museum in Bedford. Sadly the automobile he may have made remains undiscovered!

John Bunyan was a sheet metal worker so presumeably had the skills to make this violin. Many of you will be aware, but some of you may not, of some excellent videos on youtube of John Doherty a 20th centrury Irish fiddler and tinsmith which show him travelling around making useful tinplate items for remote farms  and playing his violin to make his living. These 'magical' videos show a pace of life that only 50 years later, it is hard to imagine. ( I like the idea of this slow pace and I remember arranging to meet a friend for a drink by sending him a letter in around 2003 or 4 and his secretary was puzzled. But the reason was I never answered my landline telephone as it was always people trying to sell me stuff so I was difficult to reach by phone) 

See here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiehZZ2tXK

It seems that Mr. Doherty and other tinsmith fiddlers also made "tin fiddles" as well as domestic and dairy items, according to this article

https://donegalfiddlemusic.ie/john-doherty-1900-1980/

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I have just found this article about Metal violins which may be of interest.

https://boxandfiddlearchive.weebly.com/metal-fiddle-tradition-in-donegal.html

It is interesting that the article says the metal fiddles were 'sweet' toned and the fact they were quiet meant they were good for practising in crowded cottages without disturbing other residents.

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I can't really tell from the videos I looked up - I'd have to buy one or make one.  You can purchase a fiddle from Steven Miller (Asheville N. Carolina), who says " “I’m very careful to make them the same dimensions as a standard violin, and they play just like a regular violin. They’re sometimes not quite as loud, but the tone is the same.” (!)  But enough hilarity for one thread... I got a bit carried away.

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