Finally found a used copy of Harpo’s autobiography. A fun romp through early, poverty-stricken but full of get up and go New York Marx family childhood stories (Harpo was born in 1888!). Followed by years and years of pounding the pavement scratching out a living on the Vaudeville circuit. Finally a few breaks and steady theater success, and then Hollywood and the big time.
Here he details the birth of his trademark squeeze horn ( taxi horn). The show ‘Home Again’ puts this at around 1914.
Harpo Marx! Do you know him? I got lost the other day wandering through the interwebs tracking down an old friend, Harpo Marx. I would have been a child when I first saw some of the Marx Bros. movies and I’m wondering now if Harpo first introduced me to squeeze horns way back then. Have a quick peak.
One leads to another and then some Wikipedia (where they call it a ‘bulb horn’) and then… Harpo’s Place! Harpo’s family have a tribute site where you can read all about Harpo, his family, and the whole Marx Bros. story. There are some great audio clips too. Of course I was especially interested to find pictures of Harpo’s trusty walking cane with built-in squeeze horn.
You can see it in action here…
I don’t think it would be too difficult to make one of these! Will post when I get it built.