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John C Murdoch


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I recently acquired a Bb/F 20-button Lachenal, serial No. 106253 (~1904?). This is 'badged'

as having been manufactured for a dealer called John C Murdoch. I can't find anything about

this dealer. Anyone have any information?

 

Thank you.

 

Roger

 

post-11382-0-62278700-1428256117_thumb.jpg

 

Later - Ah! I should have done a search in these forums first! I have now found a lot of information

including an obit.

 

I didn't mention it, but the instrument is a 'Peerless' model. The references I found mention metal

ends. Mine has wooden ends (mahogany, I think - the wood is certainly a typical reddish colour).

Most of the references to Murdoch instruments seem to be to 30-button instruments, so presumably

Murdochs were quite a large operation.

Edited by lachenal74693
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This may be a very long shot. Back in the fifties I remember a Piano and music shop in Chatham Kent called Murdoch, could have been John C. A man from Murdoch's used to come and tune my sisters piano. I seem to remember that the Chatham shop was part of a chain of Murdoch music shops.

 

Inventor.

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Probably John G Murdoch

 

Correct - as I was able to see when I got the magnifying glass out. Thank you.

 

Lachenal No. 106253 was made around 1889--not in the first decade of the 20th century.

 

Ouch! This numbering of Lachenals is a bit of a mystery to me.

 

Bb/F 106253 was sold to me as approximately 1904 and as far as I can see by looking at the

PDFs of (admittedly later) Lachenal catalogues in the Digital Concertina Archive, it looks as if

it's from the early 20th century. The fretwork pattern seems the same as the illustrations, and

the instrument seems to match the description in the text.

 

My 'other' Lachenal, C/G 74693 was sold to me as an 1895 instrument, and I was later told that

it was possibly about 5-10 years earlier.

 

However, I've looked at the 'formulae' at http://www.concertina.net/wm_lachenal_dating.html and

done some sums - using the first formula, I get 1868 for No. 74693 and 1876 for No. 106253.

 

Using the second method, I get 1898 for No. 74693 and 1903 for No. 106253.

 

[i hope I got the calculations right!]

 

Apparently Murdoch applied for a trade mark for the 'Peerless' model in 1884 (though I suppose

the name could have been used before that).

 

So, 74693 is 1868, 1885, or 1895-8.

 

106253 is 1876, 1889, or 1903-4.

 

I'm now completely confused. Not that it matters, they are both great pieces of kit, I'm having a blast

with them both. I've also found out something about Murdoch, so I can bore my friends - what more

could one ask...

 

Roger.

Edited by lachenal74693
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Maybe some of Roger's confusion can be eliminated. There are major problems with the information in the articles that he found at concertina.net for the dating of Lachenal concertina manufacture. The so-called "confirmed dates" (serial number-year combinations) in the articles are far from accurate. My guess is that the authors thought that these dates pertained to original purchase when, in fact, they were repair/retuning dates. Their date for the beginning of Anglo manufacture at Lachenal is 1850, whereas such manufacture actually started in about 1862. (Given that Louis Lachenal died in late 1861, he may never have sold an Anglo Lachenal.)

Their next date is 1860 for No. 11653. Again, the date precedes the advent of Lachenal Anglos. (I estimate 1868 for No. 11653.)

Then they have 1868 for No. 18197. (I tentatively estimate 1871 for No. 18197).

Next they have 1895 for No. 51480. (I estimate 1878 for No. 51480, where the estimate is reinforced by a sales receipt of 1 January 1878 for No. 46951.)

Their last number is 140375 dated as 1908. (I estimate that No. 140375 was made in 1895. I have a sales receipt for No. 140871 dated October 1895.)

Dating your No. 106253 as made in 1889: I have a sales receipt for April 1888 for No. 104739, and a sales receipt for 1890 for No. 109790.

Dating your No. 74693: I estimate that it was made in about 1883.

All this points to the fact that most dates found in handwriting inside concertinas are repair/retune dates. Caution must be exercised even with the dates on sales receipts, given that a receipt could pertain the to sale of a used, rather then new, Lachenal concertina.

(Incidentally, one of the articles on dating the instruments gives 1936 as the "known finishing date" for Lachenal & Co. In fact, the company went out of business in 1933.)

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