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Geoffrey Crabb

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About Geoffrey Crabb

  • Birthday 10/21/1945

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  • 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. So sorry to hear this sad news Chris. Jean and I often look back on our visit to Richard and Eva, kindly arranged by yourself, thanks Geoff
  2. Picture from my own family collection, mentioned by Mike earlier. More photos with actual details, spec etc. from Mike soon. Geoff.
  3. You've hit the nail on the head Stephen. Usually the height of the side walls of the action box would be increased to allow the inclusion of a bushing wood (board) and the new metal top drilled for securing it. However, the side apertures make his difficult. Geoff
  4. Very succinctly put Stephen. However, depending on the maker, 'Reducing' or 'Voicing' were both terms used for the second process. Totally irrelevant but the name 'Saunders' was pronounced 'Sarnders' The attachment may be of interest. Lachenal Crabb (4).pdf Following the closure of Lachenal in 1933, Charles Saunders, the youngest son of Thomas W Saunders, came to work for my father until his (Charles) death in 1938. Geoff
  5. Robin. By no means an expert in regards of this type of 'concertina', apart from the odd repair over the years, however, if the instrument is a ‘Chemnister ‘, in the U.S. , from 1917, many companies began making these, one being: Kosatka's, 'House of Music' in Berwyn, Illinois, who included the name "Peerless” on their instruments. I believe 1930's is good estimate. Geoff
  6. As Alec has said, re-tap and fit 9BA steel, cheese head bolts. Was usual practice in the Crabb workshop when replacing. Geoff
  7. Although written 12 years ago, the attached may be of interest. English Explanations.doc Geoff
  8. Due to some negative opinions of the piano layout concertinas in general and the usefulness or lack of, I have been asked, in PM’s, why these instruments were ever made by ‘Crabb’. During the life of the firm, nearly 100% of Crabb concertinas were made to order. These included instruments requested to be made to customer requirements that deviated from what was or had become recognised as standard. Why were they made? Following the gradual decline and end of orders (1895-1900) from a ‘major’ customer /dealer for Anglo’s and the death of his father, (John 1903), Henry Thomas Crabb, my grandfather, then being a lone independent maker, could not really afford to turn down work, and so, in addition to established models, some of these requested deviant instruments, if ‘makeable’, were constructed and supplied. However, in the case of the piano duet, as success of these ‘ventures’ was unknown, a proviso stipulated that, should the concept be a failure, disposal of the instrument would be the responsibility, and at the risk, of the customer, not the maker. (No monies would be refunded). I have attached the key board layout of two versions of a Crabb piano duet made by Henry Thomas Crabb, circa 1907/8 and designated them as Models PD1 & PD2. HT Crabb Piano Duets.doc
  9. I stand corrected Stephen, darned medication 😶. Post emended. Geoff
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. Bit late to this, but please see attachment. 48 English Treble. Wind valve suggestion..doc Done it many times Geoff
  13. 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
  14. 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.
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