I've got a 48 with Crane & Sons label which looks a lot like yours - Lachenal serial no 256 on the insides. The right hand bar, which carries the Lachenal trade mark, also has a second number impressed into the wood - C & S 844, which I assume is a Crane & Sons number. However, my other Crane, a 56 'New Model', which a Lachenal-badged with serial number 693, also carries a 'C & S' number, partly obscured now by wear, which appears to have been 'C & S 08809'. I don't really know what is going on there, and I suspect no-one else does these days either.
Very interesting!Without investigating further (obviously a mistake on my part), I had assumed that the 650 in the "C&S 650" stamp on my Crane & Sons Crane was something like the registered design number found on Edeophones, i.e., that the number would be the same on all C&S (Crane & Sons, not Concertina & Squeezebox ) instruments. Crane Driver's above post puts the kibosh on that. It also raises another question: What do the C&S numbers represent?
The two number series -- Lachenal and Crane & Sons -- don't simply represent different starting points. The difference on Crane Driver's instrument, 844 (C&S) minus 256 (L), is 588, while the difference on my own instrument, 650-135, is only 515. What does the difference -- 588-515=73 -- represent?
- Were these concertinas made for Crane & Sons by someone other than Lachenal? I don't recall hearing of any such, though maybe I haven't been paying enough attention.
- Or do those 73 numbers missing from the Lachenal sequence represent non-concertina instruments (pianos, perhaps?) sold by Crane & Sons during the same period?
- When was the Crane & Sons business founded? Before but sufficiently close to the 1896 patent date of the Crane system to make the above second guess a reasonable possibility?
- Or is there some other explanation?
- Do the numbers on Crane Driver's New Model fit into this, and if so, how?
I also find it interesting that the locations of the Lachenal and C&S stamps on the hand bars are different on different instruments. Crane Driver says that on his Crane & Sons concertina they are both on the right-hand bar, while on mine the C&S stamp is also on the right-hand bar, but the Lachenal stamp is on the left-hand bar. Does this represent different time periods, or was the placement essentially random? If we get reports on enough instruments, will we find a pattern?