Modern Rhumba Box Invented By Leabert Bowen


The week after an article ran in the Star Newspaper on Vincent Bogle’s creation of a hand-held guitar-like electric version of the rhumba box, this article appeared in the Star Newspaper, May 29, 1964 in response. I posted the original article in my blog two weeks ago, and you can read it here to gain context. The response article above reads:

Dear Sir–Please give this letter equal prominence in the Week-End Star as was given to the article “Jamaican Rhumba Box Goes Modern” and which appeared on the Front Page on Friday, 22nd May, 1964, written and released by the Tourist Board.

There are scores of persons who know that Vincent Bogle did not design or invent the new electric rhumba box. This letter is to let those who don’t already know, that it is I who created the design and did the electrical fittings on the electric rhumba box, which Bogle posed with in the picture in the Star.

The instrument is not working at present because I have removed the part of it which belongs to me. Bogle has no knowledge of how this instrument is made, and neither can he play it. Bogle asked me to teach him to play the instrument and I am still teaching him whenever I can find the time from my busy schedule at Club Maracas in Ocho Rios.

I am, Leabert Bowen, Club Maracas, Ocho Rios P.O. St. Ann

So you see, it seems that Bogle was NOT the inventor of this contraption and Bowen was! He set the record straight then, and we set the record straight now! Were there any others, or similar contraptions, that preceded this? Perhaps, as it was a time of tinkering, innovation, and creation, so post any knowledge you may have in the comment section below. If you would like to read about Hedley Jones’s inventions, including a double-necked electric guitar, see his article that I posted here.

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