Thanks for the comments, Lowboy. I can relate to your concern about having to hide your melodica addiction from your wife, as I’m in the same situation. The mailman came up the steps the other day with two separate poorly timed suspicious packages the other day and I had to explain how I was going to supplement our retirement income selling refurbished vintage melodicas. I think I already have a customer. She said I didn’t have to split the profits with her. The “historical research” angle seems to be working as well. “Can I get a family grant?”
I thought it would be good to get this discussion going in a somewhat provocative way. It over-simplifies, may not be entirely accurate, and is opinionated. But I’m making a serious effort to date models and have been discussing ways to conduct research of this type with a friend who does American history. I’ll have more to say about sources and whatnot, and I will work the Asian front for now, which, sadly, is requiring more melodica purchases. One question is how far back the Japanese models go. I’m trying to check patents.