Vintage Harp

First 5 holes od Harmonica don't work (appears to be vintage)?

I found an harmonica in my grandfathers house (he passed away) I asked all my family members if I could keep it and they all said yes.
So when I got home i just cleaned the outside a little bit to put my mouth on it (with alcohol) and blew in it a few times but the first 5 holes did not work when not pressing the bar on the right.
PS: there is a sponge on the top layer at the back, is that supposed to be there?
So I searched the model on the internet and it seems to be an vintage 1930 H.Hohner Super Chromonica and is not very cheap nowadays. So my question is how do I fix those first five holes (When I push the little iron handle/button it switches to the lower holes and those work perfectly)?

There's no sponge in a chromatic harmonica. There are some windsavers in there but you shouldn't be seeing those from the back of the cover plates looking like a sponge. Take the sponge out - grandpa kept it in there as a dehumidifier. [send me a good photo if you'd like to be sure]

Dating it to pre-war is as simple as looking at the logo on it. If there's a star inside the circle that the two hands are holding - it's pre-war (30's) and if that circle is empty, it's not. There's no disadvantage to playing a pre-war vintage harp - some are outstanding instruments. It just might require some servicing to get it in top shape.

"Switches to lower notes" - not exactly, it actually switches a half-step higher when you push in the slide.

It's grandpa's harp and it's an important part of your family possessions. Run by your local music store and ask them if they know a good harmonica player. Contact that person and tell him/her the situation. I'm betting any harp player anywhere worth a salt would be more than happy to meet you somewhere and take a look at it for you. In fact, someone in the music store may well be a player.

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