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Steel reed frames in c.1915 Lachenal Anglos


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I've had a 22-key one of these for many years, and heard of the odd one like it, but it was only when the thread Rusted steel reeds frames and tongues was started that I started to realise that all of them seem to have been cheaper grades (with deal wood pad boards) of Lachenal Anglos made in the year 1915. This set me thinking "why?" and I started to wonder if brass had become scarce and/or expensive around then because it was needed for WW1 munitions - and indeed it had, in fact that year's shortage of brass, for artillery shell casings, even forced a change of Government in Britain!

 

"World War I required brass for ammunition, artillery shell cases, and condenser tubes for boilers on ships. By early 1915, brass production had increased by 50%. By the end of 1915, brass production was double the highest it had ever been. In the summer of 1918 it was two and a half times the highest it had ever been prior to January 1915"

 

So I started conferring with Wes Williams and Chris Algar about known serial numbers, and came up with the following list (as described by my informants):

 

188736 - 30-key; WE; BB; SR;  5-fold bellows; "steel reeds with steel shoes"


188961 - 30-key, light wood/dark wood, bone buttons ,steel reeds and frames, 5-fold

 

189005 - 30-key WE; BB; SR in Aluminum [more likely steel?] reed shoes; 5-fold

 

189476 - 26-key, bone buttons, mahogany ends, spindle-cut "full" fretwork, bellows missing

 

189581 - 32-key, cheap metal ends bb, steel reeds and frames, 6-fold.

 

189633 - 22-key, bone buttons, rosewood ends, spindle-cut "full" fretwork, 5-fold

 

189665 - 30-key, mahogany ends, spindle-cut "full" fretwork, 5-fold

 

189667 - 30-key Wood Ends, Bone Buttons, with 'iron frames'
 
189937 - 20-key; WE; BB; SR; (with steel frames); 5-fold; scrapped
 
It looks like we're dealing with a range of something over 1,200 Anglo serial numbers from around the year 1915, but it would be helpful to get a larger sampling than just these nine instruments, so if you've got/know of any of them I'd be greatly obliged if you could add it to this thread, likewise I'd be interested to hear of Anglos of better quality from the period that (presumably?) don't have the steel reed frames.
 
Or does anybody have a Lachenal English concertina with steel frames? (At the present time we don't think there were any, but you never know... )
 
 
 
 
Edited by Stephen Chambers
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7 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

brass had become scarce and/or expensive around then because it was needed for WW1 munitions

Slightly off topic, but my tuba (brass but silver plated) was made in 1915, (completed on Christmas Eve) one of two large tubas made in amongst a run of bugles.  Each tuba took over a week to make. At the time, the Boosey & Co Stanhope Place factory was in overdrive producing army bugles for the war effort...

Did Wheatstone have a similar shortage in 2015?

Alex West

Edited by Alex West
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Hi Stephen

 

Thanks for posting this!

 

Here's another one to add to your list - Lachenal 189476

 

I have since moved it on with some other parts. It was never a complete instrument whilst I owned it - the bellows and frames were missing along with one of the action boards. I do have a few more pics if you need them..

189476 RED.jpg

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4 hours ago, David Helmore said:

Hi Stephen

 

Thanks for posting this!

 

Here's another one to add to your list - Lachenal 189476

 

Thanks David, I've added it to the sequence in my initial post. So that now makes three of them with what I'd describe as "spindle-cut "full" fretwork" - I wonder if they were ALL like that, but nobody has thought it worth mentioning?

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Stephen

 

In addition to my original post, the description of 189665 you have is correct - spindle cut, 5 fold bellows. If by 'full' you mean solid ends. that would also appear to be correct.

 

I attach some pictures of the ends and bellows in the condition I received the instrument. The bellows were too far gone and have since been discarded.

 

I have almost finished de-rusting the reeds - about 7 or 8 have tongues that are rusted through or have already broken and most of the frames have been pitted by the rust. Its too early to say how many can be saved for re-use, but I would guess less than half.

 

Good luck with your exercise.

 

Best regards

Rod

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Edited by Rod Pearce
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On 3/23/2022 at 7:37 AM, Rod Pearce said:

Stephen

 

In addition to my original post, the description of 189665 you have is correct - spindle cut, 5 fold bellows. If by 'full' you mean solid ends. that would also appear to be correct.

 

No, by "full" I'm meaning fretwork that extends all-across the end, like on the (laminated) rosewood-ended #189633 on the right, as opposed to the more-typical "simple" fretwork of the (solid) mahogany-ended #149688 on the left:

 

Photo1393.jpg

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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