Clark Street Harp 1851

Find Old Harp Hidden in Wall.

Carpenters Uncover Rare Item in Morano House on Clark St.

A relic of a past generation - a box-type harp which has been established to be at least 89 years old - was uncovered last week as carpenters working in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Morano at 18 Clark street discovered it built into a partition on the second floor and completely hidden by the plaster wall.

At least part of the age of the instrument, which was found to be in good condition and to have a resonant tone, was determined by the front page of a New York Weekly Sun pasted on a sounding board. The paper was date-lined Saturday, Aug. 16, 1851.

Among many persons who have viewed the instrument since it was found last Friday were Frank A. Snow and Miss Josephine A. Toedt. Both appeared to be amazed at the tone of the instrument and neither of them could properly identify it, according to Mrs. Morano. Miss Toedt said she believed it might be an old Irish harp.

The harp stands about four feet high and is 16 inches wide with a depth of five inches. It has 65 strings and it could be observed that two others were missing. The strings were slightly rusted. It apparently was handmade.

There could be no doubt but what the instrument was designedly hidden in the partitions, which fact aroused much speculation as to what the motive was. It was found in a partition near a dormer window and the studding was cut and placed to fit snugly around it.

Vermont Phoenix, 1940.

This harp may have been an experimental instrument being designed by Riley Burdett.


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