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Stephen Selby

Button/action Board Assignment For 30 Button Anglos

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When talking about Wheatstone or Lachenal 'regular' manufacture 30 button Anglos, with radial lay-out reed pans, is the assignment of buttons to the related pad/hole/reed housing always the same?

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It has been my experience that 30b Wheatstones and Lachenals with radial reed pans have the same chamber/slot orientation. Both companies developed jigs to make their manufacturing process easier and repeatable. And of course, Louis Lachenal organized much of Wheatstone's manufacturing machinery and process before leaving to start his own company.

 

One caveat however. Over the course of time the scale of each company's reeds and the shape and width of their shoes changes a number of times. Competition with one another resulted in "improvements" and new models. So depending on the period of manufacture and model of concertina even the same company's reeds may need some slot modification to fit properly when swapped from one concertina to the next.

 

Greg

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And of course, Louis Lachenal organized much of Wheatstone's manufacturing machinery and process before leaving to start his own company.

 

Pedant alert!

 

If only it was so simple... :rolleyes:

 

Though Louis Lachenal started manufacturing in his own name (and supplying others with OEM instruments too) in 1858, their ledgers reveal that Wheatstone's continued to sell concertinas made for them by Lachenal until early in 1866, whilst Edward Chidley took over there and started to build Wheatstone concertinas, of his own model, in April 1865.

 

But Wheatstone's didn't come into the posession of Lachenal's machinery until that firm closed down in 1933.

 

Also, Wheatsone's didn't start to build Anglos until the early 1900s, after the death of Edward Chidley Senior (who was vehemently anti-Anglo!) in 1899. So what we nowadays commonly refer to as "Wheatstone fingering" should really be known as "Lachenal fingering", because Wheatstone's borrowed the design, and fingering, from Lachenal & Co.

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Stephen: "Also, Wheatsone's didn't start to build Anglos until the early 1900s, after the death of Edward Chidley Senior (who was vehemently anti-Anglo!) in 1899. So what we nowadays commonly refer to as "Wheatstone fingering" should really be known as "Lachenal fingering", because Wheatstone's borrowed the design, and fingering, from Lachenal & Co."

 

Reminder appreciated and point taken and gratefully acknowledged concerning anglos.

 

Perhaps Stephen will comment on the similarities of early Wheatstone english fret work and appointments to Lachenals that seem to continue much after Lachenal's departure and into the Chidley era (A notable change being Chidley's preference for rivet reed tongues) Like machinery set up and execution or shared supplier?

 

Inquiring minds wish to know. :rolleyes:

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas

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Perhaps Stephen will comment on the similarities of early Wheatstone english fret work and appointments to Lachenals that seem to continue much after Lachenal's departure and into the Chidley era (A notable change being Chidley's preference for rivet reed tongues) Like machinery set up and execution or shared supplier?

 

Inquiring minds wish to know. :rolleyes:

 

The great majority of Wheatstone English concertinas from the 1500 series, starting in 1848, up to the 13700 series, sold in late 1865/early 1866, were built for them by Louis Lachenal - so they look exactly the same as Lachenal's because they were made by Lachenal and are exactly the same.

 

However, in April 1865 those started to overlap with the new 18000 series that were built by (Rock Chidley's brother) Edward Chidley (senior), and those show features typical of his manufacture, like riveted levers, buttons with metal caps on wooden cores, and flat, shallow reedpans, as well as (being also a harmonium maker) riveted reeds (though Louis Lachenal had earlier made some of those for cheap Wheatstone models too), but Chidley changed from the hand-cut fretwork he had used previously to the spindle-cut fretwork that Lachenal had pioneered.

 

There's good evidence for all of what I've said so far, but now I can only speculate that Edward Chidley either (when he took over Wheatstone's) inherited a pattern-following spindle cutter that William Wheatstone might possibly have posessed, or he got one made, or that he (more simply, and perhaps more likely) got Lachenal's to supply him with spindle-cut ends for his relatively small production - after all, they had the machinery, and the production capacity...

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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