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Brian Humphrey

Other Concertina Copy Cats (re Crane/triumph)

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The current topic about Concertina Copy Cats raised some questions for me.


What about Crane/Triumph duet concertinas? How effectively did the 1896 Butterworth/Crane patent protect Lachenal from competition?


When would the Butterworth patent have run out? How long did English patents of the time last? Were they "good" for 15 years?


In the on-line Wheatstone ledgers, I saw no Crane duets listed before 1913 - so I'm guessing that Wheatstone may not have had Crane production rights before that year. Is that a safe guess? Would it be safe to say that other makers, e.g. Jeffries and Crabb, were not producing Crane system duets before that date either? Do we have additional information about when Wheatstone, Jeffries, or Crabb may have first produced Crane system duets?

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Firstly, this is a completely different scenario. In the case of Wheatstone's, Charles Wheatsone was himself the inventor and owned the patents. In the case of the Crane duet, it was Butterworth, the inventor, who owned the patent, but appears to have either sold his inventor's rights, or licensed others to make them. (Crane & Sons, Ltd. was a Liverpool-based piano manufacturer, with a chain of music shops that had branches in London, Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, Wigan, Belfast, Birmingham, Wrexham, & Bolton etc. Crane's concertinas were manufactured for them by Lachenal & Co.)


The life of the Patent would have been 14 years (the term of two apprenticeships), so it would have expired in 1910.


Henry Crabb (Harry's father) made quite a speciality of the Crane duet, which was the instrument of choice for both Harry and Neville Crabb.


Nothing is known about Jeffries production, but the only Jeffries Crane duets that I have seen were late instruments (not made before 1906).


The only evidence about Wheatstone's production is in the ledgers, which you have already looked at yourself.


By the way, "Triumph" was the Salvation Army's brand name, they used it on their brass instruments too.


Edited to add info. about Crane's, & Triumph.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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