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Dowright

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  1. Chris Drinkwater mentioned me (Dowright = Merris) in suggesting circa 1922 for the manufacture of your Lachenal concertina. I thought you would appreciate a little more information. A Lachenal sales receipt for 10 July 1923 shows that Mr. E. Perkins purchased No. 58885, a 56-key Edeophone. Another sales reciept for 10 July 1923 shows that his brother, Mr. A. E. Perkins, purchased No. 58887, a 48-key Edeophone with raised wood ends, metal buttons, steel reeds, 6-fold bellows, and bowing valves. However, the sales receipt for a 56-key Edeophone with a higher serial number--No. 59086--was sold on 2 April 1923. more than 3 months before the puchases by the Perkins brothers. This points to the fact that Lachenal carried an inventory (as did Wheatstone et al). A buyer could walk into the small Lachenal showroom and below the large photo of Dutch Daly (music-hall comedian and concertinist) was a display of new Lachenal concertinas that could be purchased and taken home the same day. Some of the concertinas may have been in the display case for months. This contrasts with today, when there is a long wait for completion of a custom instrument, and the manufacture date is almost always very close to the sales date. Thus, I concur with Chris's dating of c.1922.
  2. Johansson1991, For more information see my article: "Miniature and Semi-miniature Concertinas," Papers of the International Concertina Association, Vol. 9 (2012), pp. 8-39. The article was recently posted at the website of the International Concertina Association (www.concertina.org). Click on the PICA tab on the left side of the home page and go to PICA Vol. 9 - 2012. Wheatstone did make a few miniature duet concertinas but, as pointed out in earlier responses to your post, your semi-miniature has an English system layout. By having few keys, it is a far-cry easier to learn to play than a full-size 48-key English concertina. So "Go For It" whether or not you get into playing a full-size instrument.
  3. It's fair to say that the International Concertina Association (ICA) got to Matthew Talty before the New York Times and with more information about him. See my article co-authored with his son (also Matthew): "The Old Man with the Cap: Matthew Talty and His Concertina," Concertina World (Magazine of the ICA), No. 455 (2013), pp. 2-7.
  4. I am interested in bidding on your concertina, but I would need the serial number and knowing if it has brass or steel reeds. Other potential bidders my feel the same.
  5. Lachenal74693, There is no coincidence here. Your Lachenal concertina is much older than your trawler. No. 74693 was built in around 1883. To give you some idea: The numbering was above 100,000 by the late 1880s . I have a 26 April 1888 bill of sale for No. 1047399. The numbering was above 140,000 by 1895. I have an Oct. 1895 bill of sale for No. 140871. Hope it helps.
  6. Beginning in 1859, George Jones manufactured Celestial" English and Anglo Concertinas. The Jedcertina (John E. Dallas patent No. 489776; Lachenal Model No. 7561) did not appear before 1929-1930.
  7. The serial number of your 40-key Lachenal would be much appreciated.
  8. Rob, I have a G/D Jeffries that I would consider selling. Only thing is that it is a 26 key. I do not know if you have any experience with 26-key Jeffries (or other brands of 26-key instruments). but I am very partial toward them. The 26-key Jeffries ones that I have (i also have a C/G 26-key) are really fine with respect to both feel and sound. Even if someone insisted on a 30-key C/G instrument for sessions, a 26-key G/D makes a great secondary instrument. My 26-key Jeffries in G/D is a "C. Jeffries, 23 Praed St. instrument; probably dating from around 1910) with metal buttons. It is spotless--simply in mint condition. I will consider selling it, though I am not particularly anxious to do so. It is the only full-size G/D concertina that I own. (However, G/D is the most popular key combination for miniature Anglo concertinas, and I have a couple of those.) If you are interested, please send a personal message to Dowright.
  9. Like Wes Wiiliams, I found references to two bankruptcies of Rock Chidley. It is interesting that Wes brought up John Chidley, who may have been very influential at Rock Cidlley's court appearance,. A different concertina maker went bankrupt and landed in debtor's prison! (William Dove, as I recall but am not sure at the moment). Rock Chidley twice escaped such a fate. After he went bankrupt, Rock Chidley went into a line of work completely removed from musical instrument manufacture. (Off-hand, I cannot remember his subsequent occupation.) It is interesting that, in the first half of 1862, Rock Chidley "made a splash" with his presentation of his Anglo-German concertina at the International Exhibition of 1862, but went bankrupt in the second half of the year. And the cause of the financial difficulties may have been explained less by the concertina market, and more by competition in the harmonium market. (Just a guess!)
  10. Stephen, I am not surprised that you have one of these cards. Your collection never fails to amaze me. Moving all from Dublin to County Clare must have been an adventure.
  11. Ellen, How about providing the serial number for your Lachenal concertina (stamped on the reed pan inside each end)? In return, you will receive the best possible estimate of the year of manufacture.
  12. "the dress" could mean a lady's frock or pinafore, but more likely is intended to be gender neutral, meaning clothes, attire, or garment.
  13. Attached is George Jones,"Directions for Repairs," a card that Greg Jowaisas--well-known concertina repairer--found in the bottom of the case for a 30-key Jones concertina. Below is a transcript of the document, which may be more readable. It is interesting that, in fewer than 350 words, Jones describes how to work on the reeds and valves, mentions the 12-month warranty, indicates how to obtain spare springs, and gives maintenance guidance--store the instrument in a dry place [but not too dry!] and "do not rub the bellows on the dress." GEORGE JONES Transcript Patent Concertina Manufacturer, 350, COMMERCIAL ROAD, LONDON, E. Established 1850___________________________________________ DIRECTIONS FOR REPAIRS. LOOSEN the screws at the top or end of the Instrument, remove the same, and the draw-out notes or reeds will at once be seen. Should the pressing notes be required, place the thumb in the hole of the note-tray in the centre, and gently pull it out; they will be found on the opposite side, by pressing down the key of the defective note, and looking at the under side of the top, the open valve will direct you to the compartment where the note will be found. Should the same not answer the touch, raise the reed with a pin or small blade of a penknife. In most cases dust prevents the action; or, should it jar or rattle, draw out the entire brass frame, and wedge it with a thin piece of paper at the side. Sometimes the small leather valves draw in the cavity, they should be taken off and stouter ones placed in their stead, which will be sent on receipt of stamped directed envelope. Should a note go flat, it may be tuned by filing it on the surface near the point; if too sharp, may be flattened by filing it near the block where screwed down; but if broken, take out the entire note frame, and send it with the octave, by post, with stamped directed envelope, it will be sent back by return. Every Instrument is guaranteed for twelve months, therefore send the Registered No. of the same, which may be found on the underside of the top and on other parts. On screwing the Instrument together take care the numbers meet at the same angle. Should a key-spring break, it may be replaced by taking out the screw on the under side of the top. Write for Springs, if required. Keep the Instrument in a dry place, and do not rub the bellows on the dress, or the corners will wear through. Should any further information be required, it will be forwarded on application. PRICE LISTS FREE. Rymer, Printer, Johnson Street, E.
  14. Using my data on 458 Lachenal duets--311 Maccann (68%) and 147 Crane (32%)--my preliminary estimate for the year of manufacture is 1913. I can tell that it is post-1912. The Triumph model of the Crane duet was introduced in 1912. The earliest Triumph in my data is No. 3032. (In fact, No. 3322, which is close to 3316, also is a Triumph.) I emphasize that 1913 is very preliminary of No. 3316. Further refinement may show that it was made a bit later. Incidentally, my data show that No 3316 was sold in Ebay and that the Ebay advertisement indicated that it had brass reeds.
  15. Terry, There are a number of problems here. It would be helpful to know more about the duet instrument (Maccann or Crane system? Number of keys? Wood or metal fretwork? Bone of metal buttons? Steel or brass reeds? Number of bellows folds?). 1. Duet No. 8816 is extremely unlikely and would only arise if there was a mistaken stamping of the serial number at the Lachenal factory. Lachenal had three under-5000 series for duets (a series for early Maccanns, a series for early Cranes, and a single post-1910 series that included both Maccanns and Cranes as well as a few New Model Anglos built in the late 1920s and early 1930s.) There was also an under-5000 series for early Lachenal Anglos. The point is that there was no duet series in the over-5000 range. Maybe close inspection will show that the serial number is No. 3816 instead of No. 8816. If so, the year of manufacture would be around 1920 (regardless of whether it is a Maccann or a Crane duet). 2. You cite the William Meredith article, "Dating Lachenal Anglo Concertinas: A More Accurate Method," available here at concertina.net. Since the Anglo and duet serial number series are totally independent, the content of this article has nothing to do with dating a Lachenal duet. 3. However, on the subject of the Meredith article, it would be more appropriate to subtitle it as "A More Inaccurate Method." Meredith uses so-called confirmed serial numbers. What does "confirmed" mean, simply that they are dates found inside, outside or along with vintage Lachenal conccertinas? The serial numbers and corresponding dates given by Meredith (obtained from David Aumann) are: 1 1850 (Note that in 1859, Louis Lachenal was still making for Wheatstone, and independent Lachenal numbering on English concertinas probably did not start until about 1858.) 11653 1860 18197 1868 51480 1895 140375 1908 Lachenal first advertised Anglo concertinas in 1863. There is no evidence that Louis Lachenal ever made Anglo concertinas (he died on 18 December 1861), and certainly the 1850 start date and 11,653 production by 1860 for Lachenal Anglo concertinas are implausible. (if you do not believe me, ask Stephen Chambers, Wes Williams, and Chris Algar.) The No. 51480 and No. 140375 must refer to repair dates of 1895 and 1908, respectively. I have original purchase dates of 1888 (No. 104739), 1895 (No. 140871), and 1898 (No. 162849)--to cite just a few. Only the middle serial number--No. 18197 for 1868--seems plausible. For my database of more than 2,700 Lachenal Anglo concertinas, I have many handwritten dates, almost all of which are repair/retuning dates. Original purchasers seldom ran home, opened their new Lachenal concertina, and inscribed the date. It seems to have happened but very rarely.The first retune/repair seems to have been the most likely first peek inside, when the handwritten date was inscribed. The repair/retune dates are useful only after the manufacture years have been estimated, and then only to serve as a cross-check on the year-of-manufacture estimates.
  16. Given the correct serial number of No. 53590, someone suggested that the year of manufacture is 1919. In fact, the year is more like 1911/1912. By 1919, the serial numbers for English-system Lachenals were above 57,000.
  17. Gaspar, Your initial estimate of 1865 for the year of manufacture was not bad, and your estimate of 1868 probably was even better. My estimate is circa 1868-1869. [Louis Lachenal was producing about 900 to 1,000 English concertinas per year in that period.] The 1877 estimate is clearly way off the mark. In my database for English-system Lachenals (over 2200 serial numbers and descriptions), No. 19070 (48 key, wood fretwork, glass buttons, 5-fold bellows) is the lowest numbered instrument labeled as "Lachenal & Co." Presumable the manufacture of this instrument dates to about 1874--right after six of Elizabeth Lachenal's workers acquired the company and changed the company name. In my data, the highest numbered instrument with a "Louis Lachenal" label is No. 22717 (48 key, wood fretwork, metal buttons). When Ballinger-Saunders-Saunders-Crabb-Fisher-Charrierre acquired the firm, the inventory included a large stock of circular pan labels showing "Louis Lachenal." They continued to use these circular pan labels, in some instruments, by cutting off the "Louis Lachenal" but, in other instruments, leaving the Louis Lachenal on the label. Therefore, some instruments in the 19000-23000 range had "Lachenal and Co." on the exterior label in the right-side oval of the fretwork, but "Louis Lachenal" on the circular pan label.
  18. I think that the Anna Gawboy article will be reprinted in the 2013 issue of Papers of the International Concertina Association (PICA). It is now April 2014 and PICA 2013 (Vol. 10) is not yet out. In March 2013, my co-author and I finished an article on George Case. All articles for PICA 2013 were transmitted for publication in June 2013. I do not know why the delay. Allan Atlas has relinquished the editorship of PICA, but PICA 2013 was complete before he did so. On a related subject: the ICA website (concertina.org) contains reprints of PICA, but the latest issue in the archive at concertina.net is PICA 2008 (Vol. 5). My co-authors and I have an article on Tommy Elliott in PICA 2008, but I also have the following: Vol. 6, 2009 "Carlo Minasi: Composer, Arranger, and Teacher" Vol. 7, 2010 " Notes on the Lachenal Sisters, Richard Blagrove, Ellen Attwater, Linda Scates, and 'Dickens'" Vol. 8, 2011 "Frederick W. Bridgman and the Concertina" Vol. 9. 2012 "Miniature and Semi-Miniature Concertinas" (I think this one might especially be of interest to those who are not ICA members) I continue to draft an article on Joseph Warren and research other articles in hopes that I will find a place to publish them on a timely basis.
  19. Molloyj, My preliminary estimate of the year of manufacture of your Lachenal No. 90499 is circa 1886. See my comment on dating of the manufacture of Lachenals, posted minutes ago to another thread on this forum (Age of My Anglo?).
  20. Samper, My preliminary estimate of the year of manufacture of your Lachenal Anglo No. 79559 is circa 1884. The estimation methods discussed in earlier postings to this thread are highly inaccurate. In applying these methods, the starting and ending years used for the Lachenal company ("Louis Lachenal," later "Lachenal & Co.") are 1850 and 1936, respectively. These dates are wrong; Stephen Chambers indicated in this forum way back in 2004 that (1) the best estimate for when Lachenal started to market Anglo concertinas is 1862 and (2) that the closure of the Lachenal firm probably came in 1933. My subsequent research supports the conclusions about the 1862 and 1933 dates. (Ironically, given that Louis Lachenal died in December 1861, he may never have sold an Anglo concertina.) The Aumann and Meredith estimates rely on "markers," characterized as "confirmed dates." I do not know why these dates were deemed to be "confirmed", but I do know that the pairing of No. 51480 with 1895 and No. 140375 with 1908 are way far of the mark. No. 51480 was made over a decade and a half before 1895, and No. 140375 was made more than a decade before 1908. (Ironically, pairing No. 140375 with 1895, rather than 1908, would be reasonable.) Where did their "markers" originate? Many Lachenals have handwritten dates inside, but these are almost invariably dates when the instruments were repaired or retuned. (An original owner seldom rushes home to open their new concertina and inscribe their name and the purchased date.) The handwritten dates inside are useful for indicating when the instruments were known to exist, but not as "markers" for manufacture and original purchase year. Sales receipts, particularly those from sales by the Lachenal itself, are better candidates as "markers." Even with sales receipts, cared must be exercised, because sales receipts do not always indicate whether it was sale of a new instrument or sale of a second-hand one.
  21. Lachenal did not produce many small-bodied concertinas. My database for Anglo Lachenals (currently, 2594 entries) has only 16 small-bodied Anglos: six 20-key Anglos, one 22-key Anglo, two 26-key Anglos, and seven 30-key Anglos. In addition, there is one true miniature Anglo--3 3/4 inches across the metal ends, 22 keys, in D/A. The database includes one small-bodied English system--a 48 key piccolo. All of these concertinas except the 3 3/4" miniature have wood ends. On small-bodied concertinas, see Randall C. Merris, "Miniature and Semi-Miniature Concertinas," Papers of the International Concertina Association, 9 (2012), pp. 8-39.
  22. Chris et al, I certainly did not intend to be confrontational. Nobody likes a wiseguy. I am sure that you know that I have written extensively about concertina history--makers, performers, authors and publishers, etc.--over the past decade. But you have been involved with concertina research much longer than I. "You rank me," and I respect that. My intention was simply to get information about the source (if available) for the number of accordeaphones made and sold and to get your confirmation that No. 100100 is the correct serial number for you instrument. I believe in "give to get." I tried to give a little information (about the closure of Lachenal & Co.) in return for obtaining the information that I sought. I regret any impression that I wanted to be confrontational. I would prefer to be faulted for the following: 1. I should have posted about the Lachenal & Co. closure in the History section of the forum, rather than my comments being "buried" under the accordeaphone topic in the General Discussion section. 2. I (along with Chris Algar) have been researching a Lachenal article for over a decade (recognizing that the article will stand on the shoulders of Stephen Chambers' excellent research). Writing several other articles has intervened, but it is time to get it drafted! Writing about concertina history is a rather lonely pursuit. I almost never get any reader feedback about the articles that I have authored or co-authored for the Papers of the International Concertina Association (PICA) or about my postings on this forum. Very few folks have probably seen some of my PICA articles, given the limited membership of the ICA and the lack of archiving of 2009-2012 PICA articles at the ICA website (www.concertina.org). For example, I would guess that some other folks would enjoy looking at my "Miniature and Semi-miniature Concertinas" in PICA 2012. Chris, My apologies for any mistaken tone of my posting. And I still would appreciate your confirmation of No. 100100 for the serial number of your accordeaphone.
  23. Regarding Alan Day's post of 4 July 2013: Alan notes that Lachenal built an "Organoloe" and a Lintophone [actually 2 Lintophones were made for Charles Gay--stage name Charles Linton], but Alan states "No further details sadly." However, the Organoloe and one Lintophone are in the Horniman MUseum collection and have the following descriptions (serial numbers from the duet number series): No. 2182 Organoloe: 81 key, 12 sided, "Arthur Watson. Leeds" inscribed inside. No. 4108 Lintophone: 48 key, raised metal ends, metal buttons, stretched hexagonal ends
  24. Regarding Chris Timson's post of 3 July 2013--see the article in his link (www.concertinainfo/tina.faq/images/accphone.htm): 1. It state that ". . . 20 of these [accordeaphones) were made by Lachenal, of which only 8 were sold." I would much appreciate the documentation (source or sources) for "20 of these were made" and "only 8 were sold." 2. It states that "In 1935 - 36 Lachenal, like other concertina makers, was feeling the effect of major competition from the accordion makers." However, the Lachenal firm closed in 1933. In Neil Wayne's interview with Tommy Williams, Tommy stated that they closed in 1936. The recollections of Tommy' Williiams--former Lachenal worker--are much appreciated, but some of his recollections including this one are inaccurate. By the time of his death, Thomas William Saunders (1832-1907) was the sole owner of Lachenal & Co. He left the company to his widow and his two surviving sons--Frederick Robert Saunders (born 1871) and Charles Saunders (born 1873). Soon after, George Richard Ballinger (born 1864) bought a share of the firm (probably the share left to Thomas William Saunders' widow.) This was a "buy-back-in" for the Ballinger family. (George Richard Ballinger was the son of Richard Ballinger, who had been an owner--one of the six woirkers who bought the firm from Elizabeth Lachenal in 1873.) George Richard Ballinger was the 'Ballinger" who Tommy Wiliams knew. Tommy was right about Frederick Saunders and George Ballinger being involved with liquidation of the firm, but the sell-off occurred well before 1936: Both were in ill-health during the close-out in 1932/1933. Their deaths more or less coincided with the demise of Lachenal & Co. Frederick Robert Saunders died on 1 October 1933, and George Richard Ballinger died on 4 January 1934. (Charles Saunders, who died in July 1938, could not carry on the business without his brother and George Richard Ballinger.) Also note: A. 1933 was the last year that Lachenal & Co. was listed in the London Phone Book. B. I have serial numbers, descriptions, and a few sales receipts for nearly 5,000 Lachenal concertinas. Nothing directly or indirectly points to production of Lachenal concertinas beyond the early 1930s. (In fact, it appears that Lachenal production in the 1930-1933 period was extremely small-scale.) 3. I think that the serial number of Chris Timson's accordeaphone is No. 100100. This number is beyond the ranges of serial numbers for Lachenal duet concertinas and the series for Lachenal English concertinas. And if the serial number were from the Anglo series, it would indicate that it was produced in the late 1880s--implausibly early for an instrument built exclusively for Sid Ive. So, if No. 100100 is correct, it appears to have had a serial number that stood apart from the serial number series for Lachenal duets, Anglos, and Englishes, respectively.
  25. So I have been located and unmasked. Yes, Dowright is Randy Merris. Now, what can I do regarding Crabb miniature concertinas? A. Attached is an image of two 12-key Crabb English miniatures: (1) No. 10169: flat fretwork; 2 15/16" across the flat of the end (not point to point) and (2) No. 17753; moulded-edge fretwork; 2 7/8" across the flat. B. Attached is an image of an 18-key Crabb English minature, No. 18422. C. I havw written an article, "Miniature and Semi-miniature Concertinas," forthcoming in Papers of the International Concertina Association in November/December 2012. The article contains images of more than 30 miniature and semi-miniature concertinas, as well as extensive text regarding the makers and professional players of miniature concertinas. The article will be archived at concertina.org (PICA section). But there may be a protracted delay. I wrote articles for PICA in 2009, 2010, and 2011, as well as earlier years. Only the ones from earlier years have as yet been archived at concertina.org. Get quick access to my miniatures article (and the great articles of other authors). JOIN THE INTERNATIONAL CONCERTINA ASSOCIATION, TODAY!
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