One of the first bluegrass instruments was the one string dulcimer, said to be jointly invented by Harry Dulcimininni and Martin Herkimer, who named the instrument by combining their two last names; the first part after the first part of Harry’s last name, and the second part after the second part of Martin’s last name. This configuration lent a more melodious sounding name than the Herkimininni, had they reversed the process, although had they lived in Italy, the Herkiminni would have probably prevailed.
The early models were tuned to an open G, with variations of other letters of the alphabet. This instrument went through the obvious progression to the two string Dulcimer, to the three string model, and so on. It reached its ultimate iteration in 1932 with the forty-six string Dulcimer, but the great depression brought further development to a screeching halt. The metal shortage of World War II reversed the development and resulted in the three string Dulcimer, which soon lost favor among most blue grass bands of the era. Today, it is hardly used by anyone, and for good reason.