Jump to content


Photo

Concertina Manufacturing History


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Chris Ghent

Chris Ghent

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1054 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Blue Mountains NSW

Posted 07 October 2003 - 02:26 AM

Is there any published work, book or thesis etc, on the manufacturing of Concertinas in England..? One sees snippets in various locations and is aware that occasional posters to the forum have a great deal of knowledge. I was hoping there might be a comprehensive pre-internet source..? Maybe it was one of the magazines?

regs

Chris Ghent

#2 wes williams

wes williams

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 787 posts
  • Location:Somerset,UK

Posted 09 October 2003 - 12:22 PM

Since no one else has responded Chris - there doesn't seem to anything published apart from the three magazines - Concertina Newsletter (aka Free Reed), The Concertina Magazine from Australia, and Concertina and Squeezebox. There are a couple of versions of Neil Wayne's unpublished 'Concertina Book' - Alan Atlas had a copy which he quotes from in his book.

Most of the posters here have picked up their knowledge as they went along.

best wishes ..wes

#3 allan atlas

allan atlas

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 401 posts

Posted 12 October 2003 - 07:11 AM

CHRIS and FOLKS: the book to which Wes refers is Neil's unpublished manuscript called "The Wheatstone Story". . . . . .it seems to have gone through a number of drafts, and some people -- posters on this website, i think -- have added the subtitle: "Final Edit". . . . . .

i would imagine that the original is still with neil. . . . . .i have no idea what plans he still has in store for it in terms of publication down the road. . . . . .there is certainly a copy at the Horniman Museum in London. . . . . . .we have a xerox copy in our Free-Reed Center Library/Archive. . . . . .i do not recall off the top of my head if it's a copy of the latest version (that is, the so-called "Final Edit"). . . . .finally, there must certainly be other copies floating around, since people do cite it. . . . . .

obviously, the copy is available for people to consult. . . . .no less, obviously, Chris, you're not around the corner. . . . .and though we are happy to make copies of material that is NOT copyrighted, i'm really not sure that we could freely copy and distribute Neil's manuscript. . . . . .as i said, i do not know what plans Neil himself might have for the work. . . . . . .and we would be willing to copy and distribute only upon receiving WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM NEIL HIMSELF. . . .i hope you can understand our position. . . . .the university takes a very careful stance on such matters. . . . .it has no choice. . . . . .

finally, as to the content: i'm not quite sure that one could describe it as a "history" of the manufacture of concertinas. . . . .rather, it contains some of the raw data that would feed such a history. . . . .lists of manufacturers, their addresses, some of the instruments that they produced. . . . . . .

in addition to Neil's unpublished manuscript, there is, of course, his article in the Galpin Society Journal . . . . .there is also Stephen Chambers's article on Louis Lachenal in vol. 1 (1999) of The Free-Reed Journal (of this i can certainly make copies for anyone who would like to have one). . . .though please note that the references in that article to Part II are phantom-like, since Part II never materialized. . . . . .and finally (again): i would hope that there would be articles about the history of concertina manufacturing in the forthcoming Papers of the International Concertina Association, the first volume of which is scheduled to appear just about one year from now (Fall 2004), both in hard copy for members of the ICA and in on-line format on the websites of both the ICA and the Free-Reed Center. . . . . .in fact, vol. 1 will have an article by Steve Chambers on the development (invention???) of the concertina as seen within the context of the development (invention???) of other free-reed instruments....................in addition, one can piece together information from the magazines that Wes cited. . . . .

in the end, it would be wonderful to have a really good study of the history of the manufacture of concertinas. . . . .at this point, however, i doubt that anyone would be capable of writing one that truly swept across the board.................

Allan

Edited by allan atlas, 12 October 2003 - 07:13 AM.


#4 Chris Ghent

Chris Ghent

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1054 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Blue Mountains NSW

Posted 12 October 2003 - 09:51 AM

Allan,

thanks for the comprehensive reply. The copyright issue is understood implicitly...

As far as my own interests, while I would be slightly interested in dates and addresses, I have a greater interest in two other aspects of the history.

First in the stories of individuals who worked in the concertina business. As an example, I have a couple of times come across direct quotes from a Tommy Williams who worked I think for Lachenal, and these interest me. I wonder if there is a long interview with him and with any others who worked in the factories. When I first realised this possibility I did some quick sums and realised the chances of even anyone who had worked later in the first wave of manufacture being around were slim. But interest in the concertina was rekindled more than 30 years ago and someone might have had the interest , foresight and ability to interview a few of the survivors back then.

Secondly, I am interested in the manufacturing techniques. This was late Industrial Revolution, and London was at the heart of it. It often strikes me as I handle my Jeffries it was made by people whose only experience of electricity might have been to go to the centre of London and look at the Crystal Palace display. Before they made the concertinas, they made the machines to make them with. Look around your work place today and imagine if before you started doing whatever it is you do, you first had to build the machines you do it with. Impressive.

If anyone knows of any accounts that include these kinds of things I'd like to hear about them, even if, like Allan's copy of the Neil Wayne tome, I might have to wait quite a while before I can walk off the street and ask for a look...

regs

Chris Ghent

#5 allan atlas

allan atlas

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 401 posts

Posted 12 October 2003 - 03:13 PM

CHRIS: by all means look at the article signed by frank butler (with "additional notes and commentary" by joel cowan): "Concertinas in the Commercial Road: The Story of George Jones," in Concertina & Squeezebox, 20 (summer 1989).........that should certainly get you started..............allan




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users