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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Bob Anyone Remember The Melody Flute? (67* d) RE: Anyone Remember The Melody Flute? 05 Oct 10


My Goodness!!! It makes me so happy to see so many people who got their music start with the Melody Flute made by Walter D. Lanahan in Laurel, Md. I worked in his flute making shop for several years during the early 50's. He was dedicated to the melody flute and was definitely one of the finest men I have ever met. By the time I worked for him, he had retired as a railroad worker. That was his primary profession and I believe he worked in Baltimore during his railroad career.

I was a high school student in Laurel at the time and recall his daughter, Mrs Bowie, the librarian at the school, very well. She was so good to me. When our family moved to VA, I still returned to Laurel on Saturdays to continue working and to visit my girl friend. Mrs Bowie invited me to stay overnight with them in their very lovely and stately home by the railroad tracks near the Laurel race track. I spend many a Sat night there. The shop where we made the flutes was directly behind the large house.

Mr Lanahan was dedicated to the Melody Flute Company and the many many young people he helped to teach to enjoy music. He, himself, was a superb musician and it was quite a treat for me when he would be in the shop and pick up a flute at random and begin to play. I just loved those times and would stop work and listen raptly as he played complicated pieces. Perhaps he would have done it more often if I had not stopped while he played since he was paying me by the hour at the time. I eventually started on piece work and was able to double my pay, thanks to the advice of this remarkable man.

There were several models of the melody flute when I worked there. The mainstay was the brass flute with a lead mouthpiece that was nickel plated in Baltimore. We did not have any idea of the dangers of lead in those days. Another model was a B flat model that did not have the mouthpiece but one blew directly into the hole on the flute. The third model was a plastic flute that sounded even better than the metal one in my opinion as it had a little softer tone.

It is so nice to remember so many wonderful memories made possible by this wonderful man.


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