George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Jan 24 21:38:39 UTC 2005

The OED has "callithumpian  A. adj. Designating, pertaining to, or
resembling, a band of discordant instruments.    B. n. A member of a
callithumpian band."  Its earliest citation is 1836.  It is not in HDAS

1810:   The Serenade.  We were promised, in a pompous manner, a grand
serenade last evening by the Calathumpian Glee Society, from off the
battery; and the weather being extremely fine, the citizens assembled
in great numbers and paraded to and fro for a long time in anxious
expectation of the promised treat.
        Columbian, August 15, 1810, p. 3, col. 1

1828:   Callithumpian Band.  [headline] ["boys furnished with conches,
tin-horns, tongs, kettles, warming pans and shovels
Commercial Advertiser, December 23, 1828, p. 2, col. 2.

1843:   About 12 o'clock, however, a band of "Callithumpians," with tin
pans for bass drums, and tin horns for trumpets, marched into the
Tombs, and notwithstanding two of the Justices were within calling
distance, took possession of the officer's large room, and began to
discourse such music as was rarely heard by ears of mortals.
        NY Herald, January 2, 1843, p. 2, col. 4.

1853:   A band of Callithumpian rowdies made last night hideous in the
neighborhood of Eighth street and Fourth Avenue, by beating tin pans,
blowing fish horns and howling and hooting like savages.
                Evening Mirror, January 4, 1853, p. 2, col. 1


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

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