Jump to content

Concertina Sighting In Motion Picture

Recommended Posts


Just yesterday I had the "pleasure" of watching the 1967 film

"Way Out West" starring Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Sally Field, Richard Widmark, etc.

The film takes place in apprx. 1842

About 2/3 through the film 2 1/2 film the folks are celebrating while taking break from the misery of settling the old west.

Among the crowd of extras is an old codger playing one of those el cheap German(?) Anglo(?) instruments that are no doubt most often referred to as a concertina.

Usually very tacky looking with a red bellows and poorly constructed.

In this scene the actual melody is played by a harmonica rather trying to masquerade as a concertina.

So, are these instruments correctly labeled as concertinas of do they another name.


Link below for the film in case you happen to have an extra few hours to kill.




Have fun,

Perry Werner

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Way Out West" is a 1937 Laurel & Hardy film Perry, whilst the one you've linked to is "The Way West" - I was wondering why I couldn't find any stills from it... :unsure:


Mind you, even with the correct title, I still haven't managed to find a photo that shows this "concertina", but if you're talking about a cheap, red-painted, hexagonal, German concertina, then it's an anachronism for a start.


German concertinas certainly existed in c.1842, having been invented by Carl Uhlig in 1834, but they were then made of polished fruitwood, and rectangular in shape, and not freely available, only being made in small quantities at that time - whilst I'm not aware of any evidence for them having found there way to the U.S. at such an early date. Indeed, the earliest evidence for them getting as far as Britain is Carlo Minasi's Instruction book for the use of learners on the German Concertina, published in London c.1846.


Minasi's tutor is also the earliest reference to these instruments as "German concertinas" - a name that their inventor, Uhlig, never used, announcing them as a "new kind of accordion", and continuing to call them accordions!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...