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Wheatstone #4950 1852 - Copy of Wheatstone Ledgers-Interpretation


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#1 StephenTx

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:28 AM

Friends,
I am so excited, I found my concertina in the Wheatstone Ledgers To think she is 160 years old and still squeezing along. I pray I can do her proud. She came home recently after being fully beautifully restored by Greg Jowaisas. I am excited as it was not until the third round of going through the Wheatstone Ledgers online that I found her.

I have some questions and would greatly appreciate your interpretation of some of the numbers and any other additional insights. I have upload the screen shot below. First of all what do the numbers 15-15-0 make reference to? As you can see it was sold along with others to Hammond & Sons. I goggled Hammond & Son's England 1800's and the name came up in Wikipedia under "Folk Music from England". Do you suppose these two gentlemen may be the same Hammond's? See below copy and paste:

"From the 19th century accordions have been a popular and accepted part of the local folk sound. Folk songs from the West Country include ‘Widdecombe Fair’, ‘Spanish Ladies’ and ‘The Seeds of Love.’ The region was important in the first folk revival, as the Devon-born antiquarian Sabine Baring-Gould invested effort in collecting regional music, published as Songs and Ballads of the West (1889–91), the first collection published for the mass market. He later collaborated with Cecil Sharp who, with Charles Marson, produced a three volume Folk-Songs from Somerset (1904–09).[149] Other collectors included Henry and Robert Hammond in Dorset, the Reverend Geoffrey Hill in Wiltshire, Percy Grainger in Gloucestershire and, perhaps the most famous, Ralph Vaughan Williams' 'Folk Songs from Somerset', which provided themes for his English Folk Song Suite.[150]"

Are any of you familiar with the names? Finally, what might you have to say about a concertina produced in this time frame. Mine has wooden ends (rosewood?) metal buttons (with the notes engraved on the two inner rows and steel reeds. Thank you so much for reading and any additional information is greatly appreciated.

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  • Wheatstone 4950 JPG.jpg

Edited by StephenTx, 12 February 2012 - 10:30 AM.


#2 SteveS

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:57 AM

Friends,
I am so excited, I found my concertina in the Wheatstone Ledgers To think she is 160 years old and still squeezing along. I pray I can do her proud. She came home recently after being fully beautifully restored by Greg Jowaisas. I am excited as it was not until the third round of going through the Wheatstone Ledgers online that I found her.

I have some questions and would greatly appreciate your interpretation of some of the numbers and any other additional insights. I have upload the screen shot below. First of all what do the numbers 15-15-0 make reference to? As you can see it was sold along with others to Hammond & Sons. I goggled Hammond & Son's England 1800's and the name came up in Wikipedia under "Folk Music from England". Do you suppose these two gentlemen may be the same Hammond's? See below copy and paste:

"From the 19th century accordions have been a popular and accepted part of the local folk sound. Folk songs from the West Country include ‘Widdecombe Fair’, ‘Spanish Ladies’ and ‘The Seeds of Love.’ The region was important in the first folk revival, as the Devon-born antiquarian Sabine Baring-Gould invested effort in collecting regional music, published as Songs and Ballads of the West (1889–91), the first collection published for the mass market. He later collaborated with Cecil Sharp who, with Charles Marson, produced a three volume Folk-Songs from Somerset (1904–09).[149] Other collectors included Henry and Robert Hammond in Dorset, the Reverend Geoffrey Hill in Wiltshire, Percy Grainger in Gloucestershire and, perhaps the most famous, Ralph Vaughan Williams' 'Folk Songs from Somerset', which provided themes for his English Folk Song Suite.[150]"

Are any of you familiar with the names? Finally, what might you have to say about a concertina produced in this time frame. Mine has wooden ends (rosewood?) metal buttons (with the notes engraved on the two inner rows and steel reeds. Thank you so much for reading and any additional information is greatly appreciated.

15-15-0 looks like £15 15s 0d - the price paid for both instruments. In those days that was a lot of money.

Edited by SteveS, 12 February 2012 - 11:59 AM.


#3 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:01 PM

Perhaps 15-15-0 refers to a payment of £15. 15 shillings and Zero Pence ?

#4 John Wild

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:03 PM

15-15-0 looks like £15 15s 0d - the price paid for both instruments. In those days that was a lot of money.


that price structure would have been based on the still older guinea, where 1 guinea = 21 shillings, or £1 and 1 shilling.

regards

John Wild

#5 Dirge

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:41 PM


15-15-0 looks like £15 15s 0d - the price paid for both instruments. In those days that was a lot of money.


that price structure would have been based on the still older guinea, where 1 guinea = 21 shillings, or £1 and 1 shilling.

regards

John Wild

Of course; the price was simply 15 guineas wasn't it.

#6 StephenTx

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:26 PM

Of course; the price was simply 15 guineas wasn't it.
[/quote]

Interesting, I found this Historical Conversion table on the Internet that will convert currency into current US dollars. 15 guineas in 1852 is converted to $1807.92 or Euro 1368.78. Considering after restoration I have about $2900.00 in her coupled with her "vintageness", I feel fortunate to have her in my possession and to play.
She has a wonderful sound!
Stephen Tx

Edited by StephenTx, 12 February 2012 - 04:04 PM.


#7 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 04:13 PM

Interesting, I found this Historical Conversion table on the Internet that will convert currency into current US dollars. 15 guineas in 1852 is converted to $1807.92 or Euro 1368.78. Considering after restoration I have about $2900.00 in her coupled with her "vintageness", I feel fortunate to have and enjoy her.
StephenTx
[/quote]


I really think that 15 guineas in 1852 would buy a lot more than that conversion would suggest.. but then there was a huge difference between the have's and the have-not's.

I also have an instrument that was made in 1852, although it is not a Concertina, at that time it cost £50 which was a whole years salary for a person with a very good job. So, I would question that conversion table Stephen.

Geoff.

#8 StephenTx

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 09:12 PM

I really think that 15 guineas in 1852 would buy a lot more than that conversion would suggest.. but then there was a huge difference between the have's and the have-not's.

I also have an instrument that was made in 1852, although it is not a Concertina, at that time it cost £50 which was a whole years salary for a person with a very good job. So, I would question that conversion table Stephen.

Geoff.
[/quote]
Geoff, Great point, I had not thought of it in that context.
Appreciated. There is such a great group here on cnet...I was thinking wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all get together.StephenTx

#9 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:53 AM

There is such a great group here on cnet...I was thinking wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all get together.StephenTx
[/quote]


Yes, that would be great.
Geoff.

#10 Geoffrey Crabb

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:28 PM

Study of the Wheatstone entry submitted, indicates that the price (£15 -15 - 0d) was inclusive for instruments 4949 & 4950. So each would have been £7 - 17 - 6d, more in line with other instruments of the era by the same maker .
As suggested by Geoff W, a more realistic understandable price comparison with today, would be to consider what the average weekly wage would have been at the time, then calculate how many weeks pay was required to buy an instrument.
If that calculation be applied today then: number of weeks x todays average wage = a comparative price.

The problem is trying to determine what an average wage was then. Geoff W. rightly says "there was a huge difference between the have's and the have-not's" and I would go a little further and add in the 'might haves'. I think that more recent reports on population income at that time have suggested that 5 -10% were the 'have's', 70% the 'have not's' and the rest, 'might have's'.
To arrive at an average wage, the 'haves' would have to be discounted as, generally, their the level of income was so far above the rest, that inclusion would give an unrealistic figure.
If we say that the average wage was 10 Shillings (£0-10-0d), to buy 4950 would require 15 weeks pay. Because of the difference in average wages worldwide it must be left to the individual to make the calculation appropriate to them.

It is interesting that despite the division of wealth changing considerably, the average wage did not rise significantly between say the mid 1800's and the 1930's. Talking to older customers in the shop, it was not unusual to discover that when they bought their instruments in the 1920's & 30's that their wage was still only about £1-0-0d per week. It is therefore incredible to think that those who bought large Duets could or would spend the equivalent of about 30 weeks pay.

Geoff

#11 StephenTx

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:22 PM

It is interesting that despite the division of wealth changing considerably, the average wage did not rise significantly between say the mid 1800's and the 1930's. Talking to older customers in the shop, it was not unusual to discover that when they bought their instruments in the 1920's & 30's that their wage was still only about £1-0-0d per week. It is therefore incredible to think that those who bought large Duets could or would spend the equivalent of about 30 weeks pay.

Geoff
[/quote]
Geoff C., Thank you. It is amazing when one takes a look at it from the context shared by the Geoff's. It makes me appreciate even more the fact that I am now entrusted with the care and privileging the instrument.

To change the subject Geoff. What is the ideal humidity range to keep a concertina at? How would you recommend achieveing this short of purchasing an expensive humidifier cabinet?
Stephen in Texas

#12 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:29 AM

I think Geoff Crabb has hit the nail on the head here.. in that we should see these relative values, over time, from the point of view of the 'worker's pay packet'. These days we are all 'workers' (or have been before retirement) and therefore a formula of how many weeks (or months) of earnings would go for the purchase of any object does make plain sense.
This is the same for the maker of an instrument... in that he/she will need to price the finnished article on what it costs to produce and how much time it takes in relation to how much income is required to sustain the day to day life... or how much money the maker wants or needs to earn.

On the subject of Humidity; unless you have a particularly foul climate I would do nothing more than you would do for yourself. Try to keep your house within the comfort zones of temperature and humidity and do not expose your concertina to very hot or cold situations.
I have been suffering the low end of the humidity scale for the last month (20%) and my concertinas have continued to perform well with only the larger ones occasionally throwing up a sticking note, due to slight shrinking of the reedpans.
My oldest, and smallest, model has given no problems.
I would suggest that if the weather is extreem ,in one direction or the other, that you just try not to play too much because it is the air that is moving across the wooden surfaces that will change the RH of wood perhaps in specific areas of your concertina... this could cause local stresses and lead to warping.

Most of the problems with old Concertinas in regard to deformation of the timber parts has probably occured years ago due to poor heating and ventilating of our grandparents houses and due to the adverse storage of these instruments during the long years that they were not played. The 'Barn find' instrument may have spent many years in an old shed or attic and been exposed to far harsher conditions than those you might impose.

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff, 14 February 2012 - 03:32 AM.


#13 Robert Gaskins

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:10 AM

A calculator specifically for historical price comparisons of concertinas is online at Calculate Modern Values of Historic Concertina Prices. For 15 guineas, it gives a "year 2000 value in sterling" of £ 8,833.86 (in pounds and decimal pence). So that's a substantial fraction of a modern annual wage. The page at the link gives some explanation of the bases for the computation.

#14 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

So that's a substantial fraction of a modern annual wage.


I don't think so, Robert. In 2006, average gross hourly pay for full-time and part-time men and women in the UK as a whole, was £12.50 an hour. In 2011, average individual earnings in Britain were £26,000, per annum. According to your calculator, for 15 guineas, it gives a "year 2000 value in sterling" of £ 8,833.86 (in pounds and decimal pence), hardly a substantial fraction of a modern annual wage. In fact, it is a third. Geoff Wooff has suggested that a more realistic understandable price comparison with today, would be to consider what the average weekly wage would have been at the time, and then calculate how many weeks pay was required to buy an instrument. The average UK agricultural worker's wage in the 1850's, was approximately 10 shillings per week, so it would take around 15 weeks wages for a labourer to buy a concertina costing £7-7s-6p. Today, a UK agricultural worker's average pay is £8 20p per hour, or £385 for a 47 hour week, so it would take just over 10 weeks wages to buy a modern concertina costing £4000, two thirds of the time it would have taken in the 1850's.

Chris

#15 Dirge

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:51 PM


So that's a substantial fraction of a modern annual wage.


I don't think so, Robert. In 2006, average gross hourly pay for full-time and part-time men and women in the UK as a whole, was £12.50 an hour. In 2011, average individual earnings in Britain were £26,000, per annum. According to your calculator, for 15 guineas, it gives a "year 2000 value in sterling" of £ 8,833.86 (in pounds and decimal pence), hardly a substantial fraction of a modern annual wage. In fact, it is a third. Geoff Wooff has suggested that a more realistic understandable price comparison with today, would be to consider what the average weekly wage would have been at the time, and then calculate how many weeks pay was required to buy an instrument. The average UK agricultural worker's wage in the 1850's, was approximately 10 shillings per week, so it would take around 15 weeks wages for a labourer to buy a concertina costing £7-7s-6p. Today, a UK agricultural worker's average pay is £8 20p per hour, or £385 for a 47 hour week, so it would take just over 10 weeks wages to buy a modern concertina costing £4000, two thirds of the time it would have taken in the 1850's.

Chris

I think you need to include taxation for meaningful comparison. I don't think your Victorian worker would pay much income tax. I bet your modern man gets a substantial fraction of his income snatched before he can spend it, so I don't think it counts for comparison purposes. If it was a quarter, say, you're talking 12 1/2 weeks; if a third than 16.

You'll have spotted that I disagree with your definition of a substantial fraction too...I'd say it was 'a good part', 'a significant proportion', which is certainly a third and probably a quarter.

Sorry, pedantry surfaces again.

#16 jdms

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:21 PM

Clearly a matter of differing opinions--I'd have said that one-quarter to one-third of one's income is indeed a substantial fraction of it. But then, I'd also be apt to use "a substantial fraction," "a good part" and "a significant proportion" interchangeably in this context.

#17 Dirge

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:19 PM

Clearly a matter of differing opinions--I'd have said that one-quarter to one-third of one's income is indeed a substantial fraction of it. But then, I'd also be apt to use "a substantial fraction," "a good part" and "a significant proportion" interchangeably in this context.

That's what I thought I WAS saying but clearly too cleverly for it to make sense any more!




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