The principle of the harmonica dates back to approximately 3000 B.C. with the invention of the Chinese “sheng,” a free-swinging reed instrument. Later in the 18th century, a trader brought a sheng to western Eurpoe. The harmonica was to become one of the most popular folk instruments in the United States. For example, in the mid-19th century, the harmonica was a favorite campfire instrument for both the cowboys on long trail drives and Civil War soldiers trying to pass the time at the end of a long tiring day.