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Images from The Music Man Exhibition

Normaphon by Heber Workshop, Markneukirchen, ca. 1930

NMM 1525.  Tenor Normaphon by Heber Workshop, 
Markneukirchen, ca. 1930

NMM 1525. Tenor Normaphon by Heber Workshop, Markneukirchen, Germany, ca. 1930. Board of Trustees, 1977.

The Normaphon was invented by Richard Oskar Heber (1872-1938) of Markneukirchen, according to Ines Ann Heber, the great-granddaughter of the inventor. Between 1924-1930, Heber built the Normaphon in four sizes (the tenor, seen here, was the most common size) working in a shop with only five or six employees. According to Ines Ann Heber, approximately 100 Normaphons were produced.

It was a common practice, at the time, for wholesalers of Normaphons, such as C. A. Wunderlich, R. O. Adler, Ammon Gläser, and M. J. Kalashen, to engrave their own names on the instruments, instead of the name of the instrument's inventor and maker.

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A postcard of the Normaphon is available from the Gift Shop


Note: This Normaphon is on display in the exhibition, "Ya Gotta Know the Territory: The Musical Journey of Meredith Willson," designed and installed by the National Music Museum in 2002 for the Meredith Willson Museum in Mason City, Iowa.

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