"jews harp engine", 1845

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Sep 21 20:53:08 UTC 2012

Google Books has a snippet it titles "Steamboat bill: Volumes 45-46",
Steamship Historical Society of America - 1988, p 176.  I give the
except, which terminates with a teaser:  "he New York Herald, in the
launch of Stevens' iron steamboat, mentioned that it was to have
"what is known as the 'Jews Harp' engine." Taken together, these
mentions of 'harp' were the first solid indication the writer had of
which version of ...".  The page goes on it seems to explain what it was.

Presumably "Steamboat bill: journal of the Steamship Historical
Society of America", 1958--2010, continuing and continued by other titles.


At 9/21/2012 04:24 PM, George Thompson wrote:
>not in OED:
>A large iron steamboat was launched yesterday morning. . . .  ***  She is
>to have her engines furnished by Mr. Secor, and they are to be what is
>called the "Jews Harp" engine, a style not much known in this country,
>though extensively used in England.  ***
>New York Herald, October 31, 1845, p. 2, col. 5
>Nothing further to explain the term; presumably there was some resemblance
>in some part to the musical instrument.
>George A. Thompson
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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