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Lachenal vs. Crane & Sons


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#1 JimLucas

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

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 think it might be helpful if others with Crane & Sons instruments could let us know what numbers are found on their instruments, both Lachenal (internal) and C&S (external), if possible. Then maybe we could develop a theory about the relationship. B)

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? :unsure:

#2 SteveS

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:06 PM

Jim - my Crane is as follows:

48 keys
serial number 60 (both inside and out)
labelled Crane & Sons manufactured by Lachenal
right hand bar with both Lachenal trademark stamp and C&S 413
handstraps state patent # and patent year 1896 - so can reasonably assume it was made in or after 1896 (unless handstaps were retro-fitted in which case it could preceed the patent grant year)

Edited by SteveS, 23 January 2012 - 03:12 PM.


#3 Mary B

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:19 AM

The 48 key Lachenal Crane which I received early this month from Chris Algar has the number 378 printed on the little opening on the left side. It has the number C&S 6978 stamped into the right hand bar. I have never opened the instrument to find the internal number. Chris told me it has steel reeds, but there is no stamp with those words on the bar. I am not sure I would be able tell if the reeds are steel or brass by looking at them when I do open the concertina. The buttons for the C's are red, and the accidentals are black. I assume that means it is a "tutor" model, which is fine since I am just learning to play it.

#4 wes williams

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:56 PM

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.....

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?

I've noticed these different C&S numbers before, but never followed it up. I haven't heard of anyone but Lachenal making for Cranes. Pianos were Crane's main business; in Kelly's 1902 Directory for Cheshire they are listed in the Piano Makers section, but don't appear in the Musical Instrument Sellers and Dealers section.

And an advert for Crane in the Liverpool Courier 12th Oct 1897 says established 45 years, so founded about 1852.

Edit: Bill Kibby Johnson, a piano historian, contacted Cranes a good while ago about records, but was told they didn't exist.

Edited by wes williams, 25 January 2012 - 06:59 PM.





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