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The Oldest Wheatstone In Private Hands


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#19 JimLucas

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 02:57 AM

"...not until December the 27th in that year [sic] was it named the Concertina."

And that year, as noted by Stephen earlier in this thread, was 1833.

...hence it is "The first Instrument".

So the first one sold may also be the first one ever built? And it still exists. Wow!

#20 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 07:08 PM

JimLucas Posted on Jan 5 2004, 07:57 AM
And that year, as noted by Stephen earlier in this thread, was 1833.


Unfortunately, Charles Roylance did not specify what he meant by "that year" (hence my "[sic]" after the statement), presumably he is referring to whatever year this "Symphonian with bellows" was sold, but the best information that I have found, for the appearance of the concertina, is that reference to 1833.

So the first one sold may also be the first one ever built? And it still exists. Wow!


So it would seem, according to the information we have, which all seems to originate with Wheatstone's. Wow indeed !

I wonder if Captain Gardnor perhaps traded it in later to get a "proper" one, but it now looks as if Roylance already owned it at the time he wrote about it (I now have a letter from his son that mentions their possession of it). I have sometimes been asked how it plays, to which I usually reply something along the lines of "A bit like driving the first car, you wouldn't want to go very far."

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 09 December 2008 - 09:37 AM.


#21 goran rahm

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 05:49 AM

Stephen:"However, it is not the only documentary evidence to suggest that this "pride of the collection" is indeed "the first concertina ever made" :

...("Charles Roylance wrote about it, at the beginning of the 1870's (and hence within living memory of its being made), in the Remarks section of "Roylance's English Concertina Tutor", when he stated that "The first Instrument was sold to Capt: Gardner [sic] of the 2nd Life Guards, it was then called the "Symphonian" [sic] with bellows, and not until December the 27th in that year [sic] was it named the Concertina.")...

....Therefore this must have been Captain Gardnor's concertina, that Roylance was writing about, and hence it is "The first Instrument". "

Goran:Many thanks Stephen...Identifying "the first instrument" is a major achievement!
Next comes the question of "the first naming of the instrument". We have here and elsewhere discussed before ( to great confusion) the intriguing matter of German origin instruments called 'Konzertina' and British origin instruments named 'Concertina' and the fascinating situation that the *instruments* - Wheatstone's and Uhlig's - appeared 1833-34 both of them.

1) Could the above: "December the 27th in that year was it named the Concertina" possibly get confirmed by some other document??

2) Do you know any early document regarding the appearance of the term "Konzertina/Concertina" for the Uhlig instrument which is said to have been presented in 1834?
Or any referrence regarding the origin of the German term?

3) You are certainly familiar with the research by Thomas Lawrence including Regondi's concerts on Ireland and the advertisement in Dublin Evening post 12th June 1834 saying "Wheatstone's Patent Concertina"...
This obviously literally not entirely correct expression possibly could mean
a) that the name concertina for the used instrument was sort of accepted or at least promoted in public
b)that the name was being suggested in some environment for 'squeezeboxes' ,
generally, not specifically the Wheatstone instrument
c)since there truly was NO "Wheatstone Patent Concertina" 1834 as the 1829 patent was for "Symphonium" and 1844 patent says "has since then been named the Concertina" the advertisement expression may be some kind of misunderstanding

4) Do you know what original *Wheatstone* document that first mentions the term "concertina" ?

5) To me it is somewhat surprising that C Wheatstone himself in the patent application made no claims regarding the name concertina IF he actually had come up with the name himself! Compare that he in the 1829 patent says:"...the instrument I have given the name Symphonium"

Unless documents show differently I see at least some alternatives:
- The term 'concertina/konzertina' may have come to some use (but with uncertain origin!) for some various kinds of bellows-driven free reed instruments
- It may have been introduced by CW or people close to 'The Wheatstones'
- It may have been introduced by Uhlig or people close to Uhlig

It does seem strange if both the German and British originators had come up with the same name for basically the same thing at roughly the same time but independently...

Goran Rahm

#22 JimLucas

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 06:47 AM

Do you know any early document regarding the appearance of the term "Konzertina/Concertina" for the Uhlig instrument which is said to have been presented in 1834?

Or any referrence regarding the origin of the German term?

Göran, you are the only one I know of who has claimed that Uhlig used the name "concertina" or "konzertina" as early as 1834. Why is it that you are asking Stephen for early documents to support your claim? What documentation do you have to support it?

#23 wes williams

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 08:25 AM

I've always been hesitant over this quote. Randy Merris (Tutor Bibliography at www.maccann-duet.com ) gives it as ..

. . . and was introduced to Public notice in June 1838. The first instrument was sold
to Capt. Gardner of the 2nd Life Guards, it was then called the “Symphonian” with
bellows, and not until December 27th of that year, was it named the Concertina.

so I've always assumed 'that year' means 1838. But could this 1838 have been a typo for 1833? Public notice in 1833 would fit much better with the 1834 Regondi tour. Nice one, Stephen!

#24 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 08 January 2004 - 10:41 PM

Goran & Jim, I've been away over the last three days, and come back to all your interesting points and questions. The simplest answer to many of them might be "take a look at my Michaelstein Paper", where they are already dealt with (and I am presently working with Bob Gaskins to make it available online**), but I realise that that isn't too helpful at the moment, in the context of this forum, so I will try to reply to the major issues raised :

**This paper, "An Annotated Catalogue of Historic European Free-Reed Instruments", is now available online, if you click on this link.

Next comes the question of "the first naming of the instrument". We have here and elsewhere discussed before ( to great confusion) the intriguing matter of German origin instruments called 'Konzertina' and British origin instruments named 'Concertina' and the fascinating situation that the *instruments* - Wheatstone's and Uhlig's - appeared 1833-34 both of them.


Uhlig did not name his instrument "Konzertina". He first advertised it, in July 1834, as an "Accordeon nach neur Art" (new kind of Accordion).

Up until the 1850's the German concertina was usually called, in Germany, a "20 toniges Accordion" (20 note Accordion) if it had a single row of 10 buttons (the original form), and a "40 toniges Accordion" if it had two rows totalling 20 buttons (the Germans have always tended to count the notes of their concertinas, while the English have always counted the buttons). Larger versions of the instrument, with more notes/rows, were (most confusingly for us) called a "Harmonica" (a term still commonly used in Germany to describe an accordion). However, there does seem to have been a degree of interchangeability between the two terms, "Accordion" and "Harmonica".

I believe that the name "Concertina" was probably introduced to Germany (for the German instrument) by the Carlsfeld maker C.F. Zimmermann, on his return from the Great Exhibition of 1851, in London, where he had exhibited his "accordions of forty and twenty notes", as well as "chromatic concert harmonicas". In the early 1850's he published a tutor for the instrument, "Praktischer Selbstlehrer fur Concertina mit 58 und 74 Tonen" (More-Practical Self-Instructor for Concertina with 29 and 37 keys), which is probably the earliest use, by a German maker, of the name "Concertina". The text is in both German and English, so perhaps he adopted the English name with export, to English-speaking countries, in mind ?

The later spelling, "Konzertina", is a result of the revision of German spelling by the late 19th century German nationalist movement.

I am sure that the origin of the name "Concert - ina" (in late 1833 ?) lies with the same man who named his previous instrument "Symphoni - um" (in 1829).

Study of Charles Wheatstone's Patent of 1829 will reveal that it covers mainly a fingering system (which we now refer to as "English concertina" fingering), shown applied to various free reed instruments, one of which is a form of Symphonium with a bellows. He took pains to explain that he was not claiming the invention of any of the types of instruments shown, but only the application of his fingering system to them. There was no need for him to take out another patent when, soon afterwards, he combined features of his Symphonium (especially the fingering), with features of Demian's Accordion (which was being sold in the Wheatstone shop), to produce the more developed "Symphonion with bellows" that Captain Gardnor purchased, and Charles Roylance wrote about.

Wes :

I've always been hesitant over this quote. Randy Merris (Tutor Bibliography at www.maccann-duet.com ) gives it as ..

. . . and was introduced to Public notice in June 1838. The first instrument was sold
to Capt. Gardner of the 2nd Life Guards, it was then called the “Symphonian” with
bellows, and not until December 27th of that year, was it named the Concertina.

so I've always assumed 'that year' means 1838. But could this 1838 have been a typo for 1833? Public notice in 1833 would fit much better with the 1834 Regondi tour.


I too have wondered if 1838 is a misprint for 1833. It would make much more sense, but the date actually appears at the end of the previous paragraph (not evident in the quoted text), so I am left wondering if it has any relevance to Captain Gardnor's purchase anyway, and if there is, perhaps, a date missing from the paragraph which does deal with that topic ?

Perhaps it should read :

*The first instrument was sold to Capt: Gardner of the 2nd Life Guards in 1833, it was then called the "Symphonian" with bellows, and not until December 27th of that year, was it named the Concertina.* ??????

Certainly Charles Roylance's work could have greatly benefitted from the services of a good editor, not forgetting a proof-reader ! But I still regard it as a very important (though flawed) document in concertina history.

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 09 December 2008 - 10:17 AM.


#25 goran rahm

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Posted 09 January 2004 - 06:53 AM

Thanks Stephen, looking forward to your Michaelstein paper ..!

If the transport of the term concertina from England to Germany related to the London Exibition 1851 could be confirmed one piece falls into the puzzle but wasn't 'concertina' used at Regondi's continent tour 1846 also? ( I haven't checked articles...) Well...he didn't go to Chemnitz...did he? But the rumour may have....

Concerning Uhlig...You say "advertised"....have you seen it? Local newspaper or where? I have tried getting information from a local museum (Chemnitz) with no result...I believed there might have been some kind of patent paper too but the administrative changes since 1834 have been a few not making things easier....

A confusing notice (concerning Uhlig's first instrument) from Walter Maurer:"Accordion" : "Es hatte nicht die Form des Demianschen Accordions,sondern war sechseckig."
...sixsided...you know anything about this? I've tried to contact Maurer once without response...

Stephen:"I am sure that the origin of the name "Concert - ina" (in late 1833 ?) lies with the same man who named his previous instrument "Symphoni - um" (in 1829)."

Goran:Hm..I am a bit wondering...
I find the formulations in the patent papers respectively somewhat confusing:
1829: "I have given the name of symphonium"
1844: "has since been named the concertina, and is generally known by that designation"

IF? CW personally was the 'innovator' of the term concertina I would have expected another formulation like 'I have named the concertina' or similar...not least since the opportunity naming an invention has particular value for the identification of it, marketing of a commercial product, and so on.
The name concertina is not claimed in the patent the way *Symphonium* is claimed for the specific keyboard layout. Now ..this need not to be peculiar in itself since the 'concertina' was not a complete novelty.. it was a "Symphonium with bellows" and bellows-driven free reed instruments were allready known in the shape of the Accordion by Demian for instance.

IF(?) CW was NOT personally responsible for the name, what could it be? I would suggest two alternatives :

1) Some or someone in the Wheatstone environment may have come up with the name. As far as I know we have poor knowledge about the true relations between Charles W, William Wheatstone and their father (also involved in the firm), and other associates in the early development of the instruments, and their possible influence on not only the name....

2) The term *concertina* may have been 'around' at the time like many other fashion expressions for the numerous new instruments at the time, many with names associated with 'melody,symphony,harmony,concert,'...maybe not in public...maybe among innovators,physicists,musicians...IF so it could possibly be detected in correspondance or similar documents...

Maria Dunkel mentions the Debain harmonium called "Concertina" 1839.

The formulation "Wheatstones patent concertina" in the earlier mentioned advertisement for Regondi in Dublin in my view goes along with a possible 'general' meaning of 'concertina' compared with an alternative formulation like 'The Concertina - patented by Wheatstone' or similar....

Goran Rahm

#26 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 01:36 AM

Thanks Stephen, looking forward to your Michaelstein paper ..!


It answers many of the points in your latest posting too. If you want to get a copy of the entire (very interesting) publication, most of which is in German, it can be ordered online from Stiftung Kloster Michaelstein.

It is Konferenzberichte 62 (Conference Proceedings 62) in their series of publications, the title being "Harmonium und Handharmonika", price Euro 29.80 + postage (click on the hyperlink, go to the bottom of the webpage, & click on *Forsetzung unter "Michaelsteiner Konferenzberichte"*, bottom of next page click on *Heft 61-62*, next page go to "Heft 62" and click on *Diesen Titel online bestellen*). However, there is an error (a different publication) coming up at the moment when you try to order it online, so I will email them to see if they can correct that.**

** I looked at their website today (24/01/04), and I see that this has now been corrected, so no excuses for not buying a copy ! :)

but wasn't 'concertina' used at Regondi's continent tour 1846 also? ( I haven't checked articles...) Well...he didn't go to Chemnitz...did he? But the rumour may have....


You are right in saying that the English instrument was described as a concertina in reports of Regondi's 1846/7 tour, however the name does not seem to have come into common usage and melophon/melofon (used at the time of his 1840/1 tour) continued to be used for it, in both Germany & Austria-Hungary, into the 20th century. (And it was manufactured as such, in those countries, though in relatively small quantities.)

I think that Carl Friederich Zimmermann is a very signficant figure in all this, he had worked in Chemnitz, he probably invented the Carlsfelder concertina (it has even been suggested that he may have been the true inventor of the Bandonion), he started the concertina industry in Carlsfeld (in 1847) and founded the factory that was taken over (in 1864) by his foreman Ernst Luis Arnold, father of the legendary Bandonion maker Alfred Arnold. He really was at the heart of the concertina industry in Germany, yet he came to the Great Exhibition in 1851 still calling his concertinas "accordions" & "harmonicas", even though the name "German concertina" had already been in use, in England, since at least 1846. It was only on his return home that he started to use the name concertina !

Concerning Uhlig...You say "advertised"....have you seen it? Local newspaper or where? I have tried getting information from a local museum (Chemnitz) with no result...I believed there might have been some kind of patent paper too but the administrative changes since 1834 have been a few not making things easier....


Yes, I have seen it. It appeared in the "Chemnitzer Anzeiger Nr. 57" of 19th July 1834, page 359. I have a photocopy of both it, and various other advertisements for Uhlig, both before and after that date. There is no patent.

A confusing notice (concerning Uhlig's first instrument) from Walter Maurer:"Accordion" : "Es hatte nicht die Form des Demianschen Accordions,sondern war sechseckig."
...sixsided...you know anything about this? I've tried to contact Maurer once without response...


I believe this is erroneous. Early German concertinas were rectangular in shape, but there is an advertisement for the maker C.F. Reichel, in the "Chemnitz Adressbuch" for 1855, that shows rectangular, hexagonal, octagonal and even circular models were available by that date.

Stephen:"I am sure that the origin of the name "Concert - ina" (in late 1833 ?) lies with the same man who named his previous instrument "Symphoni - um" (in 1829)."


There seems to me to be a corollary here, in naming one instrument to suggest symphony/symphonious/symphonic, and its successor suggesting concerto/concert/concerted/concertino. I see the same mind at work.

Goran:Hm..I am a bit wondering...
I find the formulations in the patent papers respectively somewhat confusing:
1829: "I have given the name of symphonium"
1844: "has since been named the concertina, and is generally known by that designation"


I don't. After all, we know that Wheatsone's instrument had been described as a "Symphonium with bellows", and also as a Melophon/Melofon, not only as a Concertina. Perhaps you would be happier if he had added the words "by myself" after "has since been named the concertina", but unfortunately he didn't.

The name concertina is not claimed in the patent the way *Symphonium* is claimed for the specific keyboard layout.


Of course it wasn't, it wasn't invented for another four and a half years !

Maria Dunkel mentions the Debain harmonium called "Concertina" 1839.


Which is five/six years after we know that the name was already in use for Wheatstone's instrument. A lot of names got reused for other instruments, causing great confusion, as we have seen.

The formulation "Wheatstones patent concertina" in the earlier mentioned advertisement for Regondi in Dublin in my view goes along with a possible 'general' meaning of 'concertina' compared with an alternative formulation like 'The Concertina - patented by Wheatstone' or similar....


I'm sorry, but I would interpret those two formulations completely oppositely to yourself.

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 09 December 2008 - 10:22 AM.


#27 goran rahm

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 11:34 AM

Thanks Stephen!....well, we shall not argue about the interpretations but hopefully agree that we don't yet exactly know when and how the term 'concertina' got into the Wheatstone "Symphonium with bellows" concept....
Maybe it can be definitely documented when for the first time *concertina* was documented BY 'Wheatstones' ? Maybe by the first known purchase receipt of *a concertina* ?

Another confusing referrence concerning the German 'naming' popped up:
Gotthard Richter: "Akkordeon" :
"Carl Uhlig...baute er 1834 ein Balginstrument mit quadratischen Gehauseteilen, rechts und links je 5 Speilknopfe, diatonisch-wechseltönig....und nannte es
KONZERTINA, ohne von der Englishen Concertina...etwas gewusst zu haben."
-(.. "named it Konzertina without knowing about the English Concertina" )

This of course can be a mistake, I've read the same thing in other places and it really does seem very strange that the name(s) had come up independently...
Did you maybe meet Richter at Michaelstein Stephen?

Goran Rahm

#28 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 01:43 PM

...  we don't yet exactly know when and how the term 'concertina' got into the Wheatstone "Symphonium with bellows" concept....


The evidence would seem to suggest 27th December 1833 as being a very possible date for that, but unfortunately it is a matter of interpretation of the available sources, and it is not possible to be definitive.

Maybe it can be definitely documented when for the first time *concertina* was documented BY 'Wheatstones' ? Maybe by the first known purchase receipt of *a concertina* ?


It would be wonderful to find, but I'm not aware of any such evidence.

Another confusing referrence concerning the German 'naming' popped up:
Gotthard Richter: "Akkordeon" :
"Carl Uhlig...baute er 1834 ein Balginstrument mit quadratischen Gehauseteilen, rechts und links je 5 Speilknopfe, diatonisch-wechseltönig....und nannte es
KONZERTINA, ohne von der Englishen Concertina...etwas gewusst zu haben."
-(.. "named it Konzertina without knowing about the English Concertina" )
This of course can be a mistake


I think I've already dealt, quite fully, with this issue in my last-but-one posting. At least he agrees it was four-sided, not six !

Did you maybe meet Richter at Michaelstein Stephen?


I don't recall doing so, though it is quite possible. It was a very hectic weekend, which I wouldn't have missed for anything (in fact I should have been in Paris that weekend, with my former girlfriend. Enough said !) The main German contacts that I made at Michaelstein were Maria Dunkel and Dr. Dieter Krickeberg.

As a result of the exposure my collection got at the Symposium, I was contacted by the Schlossbergmuseum, in Chemnitz, and lent them some pieces (including the two oldest Chemnitz-made concertinas on display) for their exhibition "Sehnsucht aus dem Blasebalg" ("Yearning out of the Bellows") in 2001. I exchanged a lot of information with Peer Ehmke, at the Museum, who did some excellent research on German concertina-making. Unfortunately the Schlossbergmuseum was prevented from publishing the catalogue they had planned , with this research, due to financial cutbacks, but there is a website. (Follow the hyperlink, click on the tab *Galerie* and then its subheadings, to see some of the instruments exhibited.)

By the way, I would thoroughly recommend the wonderful album "Erinnerungen" ("Memories") by the Chemnitz concertina and Bandonion player Siegfried Jugel, which was brought out in connection with the Exhibition (price Euro 10.00), you can even hear extracts of five tracks from it on the main website. (Follow this link.) It was a great joy to meet and hear Siegfried, he makes the large German concertina sound like a Duet, he is possibly the last of the great players of these instruments, having learnt from his father.

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 13 January 2004 - 12:15 AM.


#29 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 11:25 PM

Another confusing referrence concerning the German 'naming' popped up:
Gotthard Richter: "Akkordeon" :
"Carl Uhlig...baute er 1834 ein Balginstrument mit quadratischen Gehauseteilen, rechts und links je 5 Speilknopfe, diatonisch-wechseltönig....und nannte es
KONZERTINA, ohne von der Englishen Concertina...etwas gewusst zu haben."
-(.. "named it Konzertina without knowing about the English Concertina" )

This of course can be a mistake, I've read the same thing in other places and it really does seem very strange that the name(s) had come up independently...


Goran, perhaps this will finally convince you (and all those German/Austrian authors you have been quoting) ?

I told you that I had photocopies of some of Uhlig's advertisements in the Chemnitzer Anzeiger, and I am listing them, and the relevent parts of them, below :

Nr. 57, 19 Juli 1834 - "Accordion nach neuer Art"

Nr. 87, 30 Okt.1835 - "Accordionen"

Nr. 58, 21 Juli 1838 - "Accordions"

Nr. 58, 22 Juli 1843 - "Harmonikas, Accordions...eigner Fabrik"

Nr. 57, 19 Juli 1845 - "Accordion"

Nr. 57, 17 Juli 1847 - "Harmonika"

And from the Chemnitzer Tageblatt :

Nr. 299, 15 Dez. 1866 - "Harmonikas, Concertinas Melophon"

He also exhibited at the Industrieausstellung in Chemnitz, 1842 :

467: eine Harmonika mit 52 Tonen, 8 Thaler
468: eine Harmonika mit 40 Tonen, 3 Thaler
469: eine Harmonika mit 20 Tonen, 2 Thaler

And at the Gewerbeausstellung in Chemnitz, 1867, he showed "Melophon, Harmonicas" and won a Bronze Medal for "Harmonikas".

I don't know what year he first advertised any kind of a Concertina (he seems to be using it to describe the English instrument in December 1866, above), and doubt if he ever used the form Konzertina, but I'm sure it was long after 1834.

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 09 December 2008 - 10:12 AM.


#30 goran rahm

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 03:01 AM

Thanks,very good Stephen! We will see if the authors come to the dock....
What about British press?
We have that Dublin Evening Post 12th June 1834 which was an ad for Regondi not for Wheatstones.
When was there anything directly connecting *concertina* with Wheatstone(s)?
Goran

#31 wes williams

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 01:37 PM

We have that Dublin Evening Post 12th June 1834 which was an ad for Regondi not for Wheatstones.
When was there anything directly connecting *concertina* with Wheatstone(s)?

Goran
I may misunderstand your question, but that advert connects the two:

Master G Regondi, the celebrated performer on the guitar, assisted by his Father Signor Regondi, has the honour of acquainting the Nobility and the Gentry that he intends to give two Musical Entertainments on the Guitar and Wheatstone's Patent Concertina at Mr Del Vecchio's Rooms, 26 Westmoreland St.

Edited by wes williams, 13 January 2004 - 01:38 PM.


#32 goran rahm

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 03:02 PM

Wes:"Goran
I may misunderstand your question, but that advert connects the two:..."

Goran: Thanks Wes, I know the advert....yes you misunderstood me or I was unclear....
Anyway, what I'm searching for in order to get closer to the origin of the name 'concertina' is the earliest document connecting *concertina* directly with Wheatstone(s). This could be.... an advert 'signed' by Wheatstone(s)....a signed receipt to someone buying an instrument from Wheatstone(s)...an original letter to or from Wheatstone(s)...a newspaper article (depending on the exact contents...)
or of course alternatively an official document indicating that the term concertina some way or other was used for something else than 'Wheatstone's Symphonium with bellows'.
IF in reality *concertina* came from some other original source than Wheatstone(s) the possible alternative I could see is that it was around (maybe only in 'professional' environment, or a little wider) as a synonym term for 'portable organs' or 'symmetrical handharmonicas' or whatever that might be used for the different such novelty instruments popping up at the time. Then something ought to be detectable in some document(s) about such use of the term.

Goran Rahm

#33 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 05:35 PM

Goran
I may misunderstand your question, but that advert connects the two


I couldn't agree more with you Wes ! I really don't see the problem here, to me the statement is quite unequivocal. This advert, from 1834, is the first contemporary evidence for the Wheatstone concertina, and there is other evidence (already discussed) to suggest that it had first appeared only the previous year.

The following must belong to some date in between :

Mme. Fauche* wrote [of the concertina] that Charles Wheatstone, its inventor, asked Regondi senior what could be done with the instrument, and that he replied "My son will bring out its powers if anyone can do so." Another version of this curious story appeared in 1896 in The 'Jo - a magazine devoted to the banjo - in an article on Regondi written by the guitarist, composer and comedian Ernest Shand :

"[Mr. Wheatstone] spoke to Giulio's father of his new instrument and asked him to bring it into publicity by playing it. Regondi's father replied that 'He would not attempt it, but his son would play it if it were a musical instrument at all.' "

(Quoted from "Giulio Regondi: Guitarist, Concertinist or Melophonist ? A Reconnaissance" by Douglas Rogers, published in Guitar Review #91, Fall 1992, p. 8.)


*It should be noted that, when Regondi was abandoned by his "father", Madame Fauche was one of his protectors. She knew the young concertinist very well.

Also :

My informant - Mr. Edward Chidley, cousin to Sir Charles Wheatstone, the inventor of the instrument - was most intimately associated with Regondi from the time that as a little fellow the latter sat on a table to receive his lessons from Miss Wheatstone to the time of his death.

(Quoted from a letter, by John C. Ward, to the Editor of Musical Opinion & Music Trade Review Dec. 1, 1894.)



IF in reality *concertina* came from some other original source than Wheatstone(s) the possible alternative I could see is that it was around (maybe only in  'professional' environment, or a little wider) as a synonym term for 'portable organs' or 'symmetrical handharmonicas' or whatever that might be used for the different such novelty instruments popping up at the time. Then something ought to be detectable in some document(s) about such use of the term.


But no one has found anything, in any document, to even vaguely suggest this. You are putting up a totally hypothetical case, and challenging people to disprove it. What's the point ? Isn't it much more worthwhile to discuss the interpretation of the source material that does exist ?

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 15 January 2004 - 11:17 PM.


#34 goran rahm

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 05:04 AM

Stephen:"But no one has found anything, in any document, to even vaguely suggest this. You are putting up a totally hypothetical case, and challenging people to disprove it. What's the point ? Isn't it much more worthwhile to discuss the interpretation of the source material that does exist ?"

Dear Stephen and others, Neither is *more worthwhile*....interpretation of second hand documentation and searching original 'own hand' documents are both important paths to historic knowledge. In the end the original documents however use to be more valuable...not disregarding the frequency of forgery of course....

I have only one referrence for the possible use of *concertina* for "something else" :
Maria Dunkel:Bandonion und Konzertina p17 referring to
Rowland Wright:Dictionnaire des Instruments de Musique p42 :
concerning Debain calling a harmonium of his "concertina" and J.Alexandre being granted a 10 year patent 1839 for the same instrument as a "noevel instrument dit Concertina ou Piano-concertina"

So it still seems being of particular interest to search for as early original links to Wheatstone(s) as possible if this is the hypothesis for origin of the term that is to be prooven....
You feel I'm picky about it?...We do not have (as far as I have seen or heard) for *concertina*anything like: Quote(CW):"I have given the name of Symphonium"...

And being so 'deep in the business'...is it not a bit remarkable if Charles Wheatstone in 1844 would not be aware of this Alexandre patent of 1939?? In that light what does the formulation regarding "designation" mean?! ("generally known by that designation").. *generally*...
Again a reminder... that the 1844 patent explicitely was NOT presenting any claims regarding the particular 'squeezebox concept' ..only the specified "improvements 1-7"...

I find it rather tricky to sort out what is being alluded to in many details here...
The "Symphonium" is NOT a patented 'instrument'
The "Concertina" (Wheatstones concertina) is NOT a patented 'instrument'
The 2-4 row keyboard (commonly called the English system) was patented 1929
Other keyboards (1st improvement 4 "arrangements") were patented 1944

So....those details in the 'concertina-related' patents of CW are for *keyboard systems* not the construction of the 'squeezebox in all. (in the 1844 patent improvements 2-7 concern some specific mechanical features)

(One could compare with a patent for the common 7+5 key piano keyboard not involving its connection with any of the possible square,upright,grand,neo-Bechstein, synth,digital..."pianos")

Goran Rahm

#35 goran rahm

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 10:59 AM

There are some 8s miswritten to 9s in the previous message but the faults ought to be obvious....Goran

#36 wes williams

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 06:25 PM

One possible answer to your question lies in Stephen's 1999 Michaelstein paper:

p191, Note 32 (extract):
Also Eulenstein's Three Divertimentos for Wheatstone's Patent Concertina .. Equally Adapted for Symphonion was published by Wheatstone & Co. circa 1835

but Stephen may wish to change this if he has any more recent information. Surely the title indicates the early age of this piece with its mention of the symphonion?

Eulenstein, a German Jews Harp virtuoso, was associated with Wheatstone during his early 'Faraday' lectures c.1830. Apart from a couple of trips back to Europe,
he remained in England until 1847.

Next wild speculation?




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