Klingenthal, a centre of music, is a little town in the Saxon Vogtland area, with a direct border to Bohemia. As early as in the middle of the 17th century, instrument makers settled down here, violin makers who came over from Bohemia. Later on, also woodwinds and brasswinds were made here. In the 19th century, mouth organ making started its way to town and soon dominated the townscape with a multitude of workshops. So big was the boom that as early as around 1840, Klingenthal had become Germany’s largest centre for the manufacture of mouth organs.
Accordion production started, when, in 1852, Adolph Herold brought the accordion along from Magdeburg. The mouth organ being an instrument very similar to the accordion as simple as it was then, it was easy to be reproduced. Subsequently, well-known brands such as Barcarole, Contasina, Firotti, Horch, Royal Standard were created, and accordion making became a senior industrial branch in the so-called musical corner of the Vogtland area. Numerous patented inventions are still testimony to the creativity and imagination of the engineers and accordion makers of that time.
In 1948, several factories were merged into a „Nationally owned enterprise“, the „VEB Klingenthaler Harmonikawerke“, while other factories of the area united to form handicraft cooperatives or partly fell under state control. Finally, in1973, all remaining factories and workshops were incorporated into VEB Klingenthaler Harmonikawerke, thus increasing their number of employees to more than 3500.
Concentrating production also had its benefits: more than 30 engineers and technicians engaged in rationalizing instrument making and upgrading quality and customer service. The plastic keyboard supported on two axes or the mechanism made of both plastic and metal completely removable with two screws aren’t but two inventions made at that time.
Outstanding artists‘ instruments, such as Weltmeister Supita, were developed, followed by brave innovations such as Weltmeister Consona or Barcarole Sonaphon. The breakdown of the GDR also meant the breakdown of this industry’s market, as the introduction of the Deutsche mark quadruplicated the price of East German products overnight.
Against this background, many operative parts of the company were hived off again. In 1992, VEB Klingenthaler Harmonikawerke was transformed into Harmona Akkordeon GmbH, where we produce, up to this day and exclusively in Klingenthal, the Weltmeister accordions so popular the world over.