"jews harp engine", 1845

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Fri Sep 21 20:24:54 UTC 2012

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

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