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MMD > Archives > January 2000 > 2000.01.06 > 03Prev  Next

Vaclav Slavik Barrel Organ
By Matthew Caulfield

I sent your note to Svato Schutzner, a Czech ex-colleague of mine at
the Library of Congress, to see what he might know about your organ
firm.  He provided no information about the firm, but shed this light
on the wording you quoted.

Matthew Caulfield

 - - -

  Horovice (with hachek on the r) is a charming small town between
  Prague and Pilzen, closer to the latter; I once slept there
  overnight on a bench in the square, in a sleeping bag, aged 18
  or so.

  'Harmonika' is Czech for accordion; 'harmonik' is genitive plural.
  'Hotovitel' is a very old-fashioned, now out-of-use, term for
  'maker.'  So the meaning of the inscription is:

  VACLAV SLAVIK  -- the man's name
  HONOVICICH  -- it must be HOROVICICH, meaning 'in Horovice'
  HOTOVITEL HARMONIK -- 'maker of accordions'

  'Von Horovic nach Zbirow (Haltestelle) der Boehmichen Westbahn'
  means 'From Horovice to Zbirow (whistle stop) of the Bohemian
  (Czech) western line'

  A 'Haltestelle' (in Czech 'zastavka') means a train stop that is
  not a railway station; the train stopped only for a few moments
  unless there were unusually many people getting in or out.  It may
  be that sometimes one had to request that the train stop there.

(Message sent Thu 6 Jan 2000, 20:39:04 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Barrel, Organ, Slavik, Vaclav

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