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Geoffrey Crabb

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About Geoffrey Crabb

  • Birthday 10/21/1945

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Last surviving member of the Crabb family to have made concertinas. General interest in the furtherance of the instrument in all forms but with a preference in the manufacture more than the history.
    Although I do not consider myself a 'player' I do favour the Crane duet and the 40 Key Anglo.
    I can date Crabb Instruments back to 1895 and give a fairly good estimate for dates before that.
  • Location
    Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England

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  1. I stand corrected Stephen, darned medication 😶. Post emended. Geoff
  2. The underlined, by me, suggests that the valve for the pull reed, the one by the side of the push reed (on the underside of the reed pan) , may be severely curled back, displaced or even have have dropped off. Valves are provided on most* reeds to stop available air bleeding through the non-sounding reed of a pair. The usual effect of a missing valve is that the associated reed may sound at half power. *Valves are often omitted for very small reeds where the bleed effect is desirable to relieve direct airflow (pressure) that may overload (choke) a reed.
  3. Do not, under any circumstances, cut the external retaining band fitted to coils of spring steel. Always cut pieces from the inner end of the coil using good substantial snips. Geoff
  4. Bit late to this, but please see attachment. 48 English Treble. Wind valve suggestion..doc Done it many times Geoff
  5. Having repaired an example in the past, if memory serves me correctly: It is built like a bandoneon type instrument that is basically split in half, the left and right sections, each, complete with an independent bellows, being mounted on a board with the keyboards orientated upwards. Each bellows is provide with a large internal spring, (like an old fashioned bed spring) which when restraining clips are released causes each bellows to expand. Because the instrument is ‘single action’ (notes only sound when the bellows are compressed) one way flap valves are incorporated to allow air to enter the bellows to allow full expansion. The single action negates the need for a hand strap, effort only being required to compress the bellows during playing. A separate button mounted behind the hand rest and operated by the heel of the each hand opens a wind pad to allow each bellows to be compressed, without sounding any notes, and clipped shut for transporting. A strong pair of knees/legs are a requirement to support models without a stand/table. Geoff
  6. Unfortunately, I have now reached a point in life where I am past speculating on what indeed might be valid theories. I can only offer what is in the Crabb records. All Crabb instruments, from the beginning, were made to order and Anglos in the keys ordered. The emended attachment in my previous posting, shows that the sample of 114 instruments were made in a variety of keys. Of course, what happened to them re: re-tuning/re-pitching after they left the workshop is not known.
  7. Please see attachment. Breakdown of the 114 Crabb Anglo concertinas made in the Crabb workshop Sep1889 -Dec1891.docx
  8. It can also reduce or eliminate any 'slapping' sounds during rapid playing.
  9. The attached may be found of interest. Geoff Comparison Tuning.doc
  10. Thank you for posting Steve and well done Millicent and Tristan. Geoff
  11. As I have, amongst the plethora of old Crabb concertina stuff, the original metal template from which this fretwork design was copied and applied to the instruments prior to piercing, I believe that the tina is an early one, late 1860's early 1870's, by my great grandfather John Crabb 1826-1903. The B/F# was the most popular for many years as seen from the Sept.1889 - Dec.1891, period of the available sales/production records. Of the 114 Anglo concertinas made in the Crabb workshop during that period: 26 were C/G, 21 were Bb/F, 66 were B/F#, and 1 was G/D, (The earliest recorded Crabb G/D, a 32 button, metal top, 08/11/1889)., B natural was also a known requested core key for some Crane duets up to the 1930's. I'll leave others to speculate why B/F# was so popular. Geoff
  12. Excellent demonstration of the correct way to extract a tina from a 6 sided leather or wooden case. Geoff
  13. Hi Zenia, thank you for your post, you may the following of interest if not immediately useful. Crabb were not only concertina makers and repairers but also dealers of used instruments of their own or other makes. Used instruments were usually acquired as: part payment by those wishing to upgrade to a better instrument, or part or full deposit by those ordering a new Crabb concertina, or by those wishing to dispose of ‘inherited’ and/or unwanted instruments. The condition etc. of acquired concertinas varied considerably and would dictate the amount of work necessary to make them a reliable, re-saleable item. Instruments of other make where, for instance, refurbishment included replacement metal tops to be made and fitted, were not given Crabb identity numbers, the original makers internal number, if present, being left intact. Replacement metal tops, usually bear the ‘CRABB MAKER’ stamp on both ends or if wood, the original maker and number label or a facsimile would be installed. It is therefore, probable that the concertina, the subject of this post, was acquired as one of the above and refurbished or rebuilt and supplied at some time after 1930? Unfortunately, no Crabb sales records for refurbished/rebuilt instruments are available so it not possible to give a positive date of sale or the details of the buyer. In many cases, due to the amount of refurbishment work carried out, it can be very difficult or impossible, to identify the original maker from an external appearance. Recourse to opening the instrument, by one experienced in this procedure, may reveal a recognisable number that can be a attributed to a particular maker and possibly lead to a date of manufacture. Providing a rough indication of your location may attract an offer of help to carry out opening the instrument. Geoff
  14. Model No. 5 of the English Treble range of instruments available in 1959.
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