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Everything posted by drekth

  1. Hi, I have attached the comparison photos of the lever arms from the original '37' Lach and the '43000' Lach referred to previously. The top lever arm is from the '43000' instrument and the lower one from the '37'. It is obvious that the top one is much sturdier than the lower one, both in the depth of the lever and also very slightly thinner. The differing shape is emphasised by close comparison. Perhaps the differences are simply brought about by development of the instrument over the years of manufacture.through Another obvious difference is that the '37' has three screws securing the end to the padboard, whereas the '43000' has only two, with a supporting wooden 'block' in the triangular location of a third screw. Do these indicate anything?
  2. In fact it's interesting that this particular instrument has 5-fold bellows, because this model normally has only 4-fold (and even the 28-key Anglo, in my photos, has only 5-fold) for reasons of economy, whilst the woodscrews, and many other features of the construction, were employed to the same end. The mahogany-ended model was the cheapest 48-key English concertina in Lachenal's line, being introduced as "1. The PEOPLE'S CONCERTINA*, Mahogany, in neatly covered Box" on their 1862 Exhibition Price List and selling for only 2 guineas, whilst the cheapest model with 5-fold bellows was "3. Rosewood, best finish, Five-fold Bellows, best finished, Mahogany box" for 4 guineas. So your instrument is a bit of an anomally in various ways, but I wonder if it might not have been something of a "trial piece" in the development of the 2-guinea People's Concertina, or part of a "special order" batch made to be sold by someone else? Does it have a case? [* I've been told, by the Lachenal family, that Elizabeth Lachenal (who was by then running the firm, after Louis' premature death in 1861) had Socialist leanings!] Hello Stephen, This particular instrument would appear to be the anomaly, as you state. I bought it together with another 48 Button English Lach at a local auction. I haven't looked closely at the other one until now, but there is a stamped maker's number in the bellows (4 fold) and reed pans (circa 43000) but none in the action boxes or ends. Side by side these two instrument's look almost identical. On comparing the lever arms in the action boxes, the levers are again 'almost' identical, but not quite. They have the same action of course, but have been made on a different jig with just slightly... more shape on one than the other.....I will remove one from each and photograph them side by side. The case that came with it is a standard hex mahogany with a simple keyed lock and probably will not help us much in determining anything. Incidentally, I saw your article re the Oldham Concertina Band, of which I have a photo (circa 1930) taken on the steps of the Salvation Army Citadel in Union St, Oldham. Demolished circa early 1970s I think. The facade was retained and incorporated into the office block which replaced it. My full name is Derek Thorpe (Drekth for short) and I was born in Oldham and a L.A. Building Inspector of that area at that time. All the players appear to be in S.A. Uniforms. Photo attached but I can't remember where it originated. I note your comments re Lachenal's 'The People's Concertina' and the Socialist leanings of some of the Lachenal family of the time.........quite an association in the early days of Socialism I think and very interesting. Thanks again,
  3. Hi Malcolm, Your posts are more than welcome ....as are they all. Thank you again. I note you live in NSW. One of my sons lives not far from you in Newcastle, NSW. regards
  4. Hello Malcolm Crabb, Many thanks for your observations which I have noted with interest. I am of the opinion that the Bellows and the Reed Pans have always been together if only that the pencilled numbers in both are the same, but....I have attached a couple of photos for your perusal. The Bellows are in very good condition as are the reed pans (which have the Louis Lachenal reed identification circular labels) and I doubt that they are replacements. It is interesting that your concertina should have similar pencilled markings to mine but no stamped numbers. I'm not sure that this similarity will prove anything except that pencilling in 'numbers' in early concertinas appears to have been a common practice. regards Drekth
  5. Hello Jim. Apologies, you are correct I got it the wrong way round.....my typing and computer skills are not the best and my excuse is that next year I will be 80 - but still learning........... regards
  6. Hello again and many thanks to all members for their observations and comments, all of which are very welcome despite the differing views. I think I must accept Stephen Chamber's informations that Lachenal did use woodscrews for some of his instruments before changing to machine thread screws (as probably did other early makers of concertinas). D.Elliot says that Lachenal 'always used woodscrews, but I can't accept that. Thanks Theo for your comments, as always very practical. I had a look at the self tapping inserts - they look very good. I have looked everywhere on this instrument for a stamped number but absolutely no sign of one and I have peeled back the chamois to search for threaded inset endscrew plates but again - no evidence of anything but wood screws which in this case have parallel shanks and tapered woodscrew threads unlike the sample photo by Member's references to batch numbers made me look again at other pencilled marks on the instrument which at first I thought were the letters 'UG'. These appear on the end frames between the pad levers at each end and also on the inner side of the fretted ends (see photos). However, I now believe these to be '46'. So we have '37' on the bellows and reed plates section and '46' on the action boxes. ????? Perhaps the '37s' are a maker's number after all and the '46s' a batch number? One member has very kindly donated a set of woodscrews of the same gauge as those removed - many thanks to him. One thing still puzzles me...... Obviously a Concertina Maker does not 'tool up' for one instrument and Louis Lachenal was an excellent Engineer with experience second to none. He had access to 'stamps' for the 'L' and 'R' imprints and had (previous to setting up his own company) worked for Wheatstone I understand. So making stamps for numbering would have been easy to obtain and use. Did Lachenal have sections assembled by others? Could the 37 have been written in as a temporary measure and then the permanent imprinted number overlooked?. All conjecture perhaps, but I am satisfied that the Instrument IS by Louis Lachenal.
  7. Hello novascotian and thank you for your interest. The handwritten '37s' are a mystery.....they are written in the exact places where you would expect to find stamped serial numbers on the majority of 'Lachenals'. i.e. in the top corners of both reed pans adjacent to L' and 'R' on the respective ends and similarly on both bellows ends (see photos). There are no stamped numbers anywhere. What other purpose would these numbers serve if not a serial number? "Does it play?" you ask... well not yet..the reeds are in good condition, but the pad boards are split and one would expect a few notes all at once if one tried to play it....and...I can't re-assemble it until I get some new screws and re-assemble it. It will probably be in old pitch. I suspect that this instrument may have become unplayable early in its life due to the split pad boards it may have been considered un-repairable, replaced into its box, stored and forgotten...hence its good condition. regards derkth
  8. Thanks for the info Stephen - very re-assuring. The wood-screws in this Instrument are round top slotted 3 gauge x 1 3/8inches long - very rusty - it took me 2 hours to get them out by carefully cleaning and deepening the slots with a junior hacksaw blade. They were quite corroded although the rest of the instrument is clean and very good...except...the pad boards have split in several places. I have tried to obtain new woodscrews of the same gauge but no luck so far, although I have traced some 4s gauge of the same length. The hand-written number in the Concertina is '37' written in an old fashioned flowery style. regards, Drekth The hand written number within the concertina is '37' written in an old style of writing...rather flowery.
  9. I'm a new Member...so Hello to Everyone. I have a query re Louis Lachenal's early Instruments. I am aware of course that his instrument endscrews are machine threaded affixed into tapped endplates in the bellows ends, but........... is anything known about his very early Instruments? Did he utilize wood screws? I have recently acquired a 48 Button English which has such end screws and to all intents is a Lachenal with the usual internal reed labels. The valve levers look like 'Lachenals'. Stamped internally with the usual 'L' and 'R', but no 'stamped' maker's number. Instead there is a double digit number hand written in old fashioned style on the Bellows and Reed Pans. I have attached a couple of photos and would welcome any comments please - Is it a Lachenal?
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