Stumpf Fiddles at Work!

The Stumpf Fiddle is a folk instrument common in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  In the above photo you can see two home made Fiddles.  The next two are commercially available Stumpf Fiddles from the Fiddle Factory in Sheboygan Wisconsin.  The Stump Fiddle on the far right is a Table Stumpf Fiddle also from the Fiddle Factory.

History of the Stumpf Fiddle:

The Stumpf Fiddle has its roots in the rhythm sticks of Central Europe.  The modern Stumpf Fiddle was invented by brothers Charlie and Bob Cronin ,  and Bill Schwartz of Sheboygan Wisconsin.  Bill Schwartz grew up playing a rhythm stick that later evolved into a music stick that he played in Shriners parades.  In the 1970's, Schwartz encountered the Cronin brothers at a Packers Game.  The Cronin brothers had a more elaborate rhythm stick they called a "Stumpf Fiddle", named after a mythical peg leg Harry Stumpf.  Bill Schwartz and the Cronin brothers went into business together to market the Stumpf Fiddle.  It's a favorite instrument of Wisconsin brat fries, and Stumpf Fiddle contests are held every year in Wisconsin.   In some parts of Wisconsin, the Stump Fiddle is also know as the "boomba", "boombass" or "Teufel Stick".  You will also find variations of the Stumpf Fiddle made with beer trays or coffee cans instead of pie tins.  In Minnesota, a relative of the Stumpf Fiddle is called the "German Fiddle".  It uses a coffee can instead of pie tins and doesn't have a ball at the bottom or a wood block.  


How to construct your own Fiddle

Start with a long wooden stick (an old shovel handle works well).  Attach a rubber ball to the base for bounce.  Attach two pie tins filled with a bit of un-popped pop corn or alternatively attach a beer tray (as pictured above).  Attach two door springs across the pie pan as "strings"   Attach a wood block, bell, bike bell, and bike horn.  

Stumpf Fiddlers Sheila Pohlman and Rick Leach


If you want to purchase an authentic Stumpf Fiddle, contact the Fiddle Factory at the following address to order one.  They currently sell for $225.

Fiddle Factory
P.O. Box 817
1505 So. 9th Street
Sheboygan, WI  53082-0817
Phone: 920 458 3575
Fax: 920-458-6297

Note:  I have no association with the Fiddle Factory.

Stumpf Fiddles courtesy of the Jolly Slovenain Groupies.

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All contents Copyright Daniel Melander