Sirenephone

vintage, German, saxophone-shaped,  tin musical toy, Sirenephone,

Source: 4-less  on  eBay.com

I don’t know what was going on with the German toy makers in the early part of the 20th century, but many of them seemed to be bringing out saxophone-shaped toys that resembled each other. But then come to think of it, so were many of the real German saxophone makers at the time!

What’s interesting is that many of the horns looked the same, including this Sirenephone and the Luxophon, yet both have the D.R.G.M. stamp.

vintage, German, saxophone-shaped,  tin musical toy, Sirenephone, DRGM stamp on bell,

Source: 4-less  on  eBay.com

The acronym D.R.G.M. stands for Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster. I have seen it spelled a number of other ways including: Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster, Deutsches Reichs Gebrauchs Muster, Deutsches Reichs-Gebrauchsmuster, etc. From all the research I’ve done on both German and English sites, there is no clear consensus on how it is spelled. However, more sites spell it Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster than any other, so for now that’s what I’ll go with as well.

D.R.G.M., or sometimes DRGM, is not a German patent. It was instead a way for inventors to register a product’s design or function in all of Germany. From 1891 to 1952, products manufactured in Germany might have been stamped with this D.R.G.M. designation, if the manufacturer opted not to pay the outrageous patent fees that Germany was charging, but instead chose to copyright their product’s intended way of use, or design. This copyright was initially for a period of 3 years, with an option to extend it for another 3. This gave the copyright owner a maximum of 6 years protection.1

The Sirenephone does look pretty much like a longer version of the Luxophon—that the seller claimed was only 4 ½” long. (It should be noted that different sellers on eBay have measured the Sirenephone differently. The sizes provided range from 6½” to 7½” in length.) But was a size difference between the Luxophon and the Sirenephone enough to warrant D.R.G.M. registration? I can’t imagine that it was. And once the original registration had expired, could another company be granted a D.R.G.M. registration for the same or similar design? It is a bit of a mystery.

vintage, German, saxophone-shaped,  tin musical toy, Sirenephone,

Source: 4-less  on  eBay.com

The seller of this Sirenephone provided the following description of this vintage, saxophone-shaped noise-maker:

This was made in Germany and measures about 6.5″ tall.  It appears to be made of tin and is basically one of those siren-whistle-whirlwind things attached to a saxophone inspired body.  The whirlwind thing is the mouthpiece and when you blow into it, it makes that comedic ‘whirley’ siren sound you might hear in an old cartoon.  It sounds great and is in excellent shape with typical light wear and oxidation from age and use, as pictured.  It has not been cleaned so the patina is original!

Here are the rest of the excellent photos, which show great the Sirenephone in great detail…

Whatever these various sax-shaped “things” are, they were obviously built as a novelty items, and not a serious musical instruments.

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1 Source: assistedknife.com

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