From the Vault - featured items from our collection

Reader Family Auto Harp

Reader Family Autoharp

This autoharp belonged to the Reader family of The Pas, long time residents of the area.  Maple leaves and a beaver at the bottom surround the Canadian Royal Crest. The panel with the cord button has a description of the cords that could be played (key G, D, F, C). The panel also has fancy gold painted scrolls on the top and bottom. On the main panel is a description of the various octaves for the different strings.  The Reader family always had an autoharp. The first one was brought to Oonikup, north of The Pas, Manitoba, by Joseph Reader c.1900. This is one of the second or third autoharps that the family owned. It was bought from The Pas Music Store, which opened in The Pas in the 1920s or 1930s.  Northcote Reader, Phil Reader's dad, played the autoharp.  No one taught him, he learnt on his own.  Phil's mother played the organ and piano. The autoharp, organ, mouth organ were their only music. They played a lot of old music such as "Old Black Joe" and "Nearer My God to Thee".

Added: June, 2009

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