Winston-Salem Inventor receives US Patent: The World’s First Harmonica Dryer is the Invention of Mike J. Baron
(Winston-Salem, NC, USA) For a century and a half, harmonica musicians have had only one method to remove the saliva that accumulates during playing. They modestly call this vintage method “tapping,” but it’s actually “banging.” Players routinely bang their harmonica on their knee 5 to 10 times in an attempt to dislodge and eject the saliva. They all know banging is far from perfect, but for 150 years there’s been no other method…until now!
In 2017 folksinger/songwriter/inventor Mike J. Baron (turning 71 today) of Winston-Salem got an infectious hunch that centrifugal force would be far more productive than inertia for saliva removal. He began experimenting in his cellar and built several prototypes from PVC pipe, wood and plastic. Then he merged all his discoveries into a brand new product he calls the SlingBaron. Its subtitle is Twirling Harmonica Dryer.
US Patent 10127898 is granted to Baron for his Breakthrough Product that Prevents Corrosion and Doubles Harmonica Life
Saliva is corrosive to brass so it’s the enemy of every harmonica. Over time saliva slowly dissolves the brass reeds and the brass cover plates that encase them. Eventually one reed fails and then it’s GAME OVER. Most players will toss that harp in the trash and purchase a new one in the same key. Baron plays in six different keys and keeps an inventory of backups in case a reed fails.
Unfortunately, banging does not remove all the saliva. Some remains trapped inside, and it begins to rot. And to make matters worse, the “shock” from all the banging feels like “earthquakes” to the paper-thin reeds. But players keep on banging because it is the only method. But at long last there has been a breakthrough.
When the harmonica is loaded into the SlingBaron and twirled at 15 to 20 mph, the saliva becomes 10 to 20 times heavier thanks to centrifugal force. And after seven seconds of twirling, all the saliva is ejected. Corrosion is prevented, the harp’s interior is cleaner and it even begins to smell better. Because there’s no shock from banging, the reeds no longer receive those mini-concussions.
The banging method (inertia) went unchallenged since the harmonica was invented, but now a superior method of saliva removal has been discovered and made into a product. The tremendous power of centrifugal force simply crushes inertia’s minimal contribution from banging much like an elephant overpowers an ant. Baron believes once the many benefits of twirling are understood, harmonica players on every continent will stop banging and begin using the SlingBaron to prevent corrosion and double the life of their harmonicas.
The SlingBaron Twirling Harmonica Dryer will be online marketed and sold directly to buyers. Its retail price will be $24.50. If manufacturing proceeds as planned, SlingBarons will be available for purchase in late February.