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Davelee

102 Praed St. Paddington

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As a rough guide to Jeffries dates and addresses:

 

White Lyon Passage - before 1872 approx.

102 Praed St. - from 1872 approx. to 1893 approx.

23 Praed St. - from 1893 approx. to 1920s.

 

More info always welcome on Jeffries!

 

best wishes ..wes

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Has anyone got or ever seen any photos of Charles Jeffries and his sons or photos of any of their premises ?

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The addresses above are for Charles Jeffries Senior, and Jeffries Bros.

 

Aldershot Rd, Kilburn, was the home address of Charles Jeffries Junior. Some concertinas bearing this address have inscriptions dating them to the mid 1920s.

I suspect that they started being produced from this address c.1920.

 

best wishes ..wes

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I have before me a 38 button anglo with the C Jeffries, Maker, 23 Praed Street address in the oval, above which is the word 'LATE', and below the handrest is stamped "CJ. 12. ALDERSHOT ROAD KILBURN N.W.6"

 

I also have a Jeffries Brothers with the same Praed Street address.

 

Can I then assume that Charles junior was one of the Jeffries Brothers who then later made under his own name at both Praed Street and at Aldershot Road?

 

Or was Charles senior one of the Jeffries Brothers?

 

Or have I mis-interpretted?

 

Maybe a family tree might be informative......

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Malcolm,

Charles Jeffries senior was the father of the Jeffries brothers one of whom was also named Charles.

As far as I can make out the instruments made at 102, Praed St. would have been stamped C.JEFFRIES MAKER between the buttons .

 

Martyn.

Edited by martyn

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The reason i posted the topic is that the address is stamped on the reed pan of my M/E 28 button instrument. It was probably made in the early 1870,s probably made wholly or in part by Charles or John Crabb. The instruments with C.Jeffries between the buttons were made in the 1880,s and were probably the first instruments to be made entirely by the Jeffries family.

regards

Dave

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The instruments with C.Jeffries between the buttons were made in the 1880,s and were probably the first instruments to be made entirely by the Jeffries family.

I have a 36 key instrument which has ' C jeffries maker' between the buttons, but I was told (by Colin Dipper) that it would have been made by Crabbs. However, he also said that it originally had wooden ends (from the way its built), so I guess the end plates must be newer than the rest of it. However Colin also said that the end plates also looked like Crabb's, based on the metal used etc.

 

 

I suppose this raises the philosophical question of ' do I have a crabb or a Jeffries'

 

Any thoughts anyone?

 

 

Clive.

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I suppose this raises the philosophical question of ' do I have a crabb or a Jeffries?'

Probably.

 

Or maybe this answer is that you have a Crabb and a Jeffries.

 

Strictly speaking, I would think that the Jeffries label makes it "a Jeffries", even if Crabb made it, and especially if Crabb was a Jeffries employee at the time it was made.

 

To someone who considers the identity of the person who actually built the instrument to be important, then I think you should also be concerned with other questions: At what point in his career did the builder construct the instrument (presumably they all got better with experience... at least until the onset of senility). Did different individuals work on different parts of a particular instrument? (I understand this was common practice at both Wheatstone and Lachenal.)

 

Also, it's quite possible that parts made at one time weren't used until some time -- even years? -- later. The right end of my Crane duet by Jeffries has the oval 23 Praed St. label, but it also has the 12 ALERSHOT ROAD address stamped into the rim. but not the word "LATE" as Malcolm reports on his.

 

If your 36-button Jeffries was modified from wooden-ended to metal-ended, and both the original work and the later metal ends were the work of Crabb, it still seems possible that the conversion may not have been done by Crabb. The metal ends *might* have been lying around the Jeffries shop... or even taken from another existing instrument (perhaps one that had been badly damaged, but from which the ends survived). Of course, we'll never know.

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Jim,

 

Thanks for the information!! I hadn't even realised that Crabb had started off working for Jeffries!

 

I tend to play in isolation at the moment, so apart from what I've picked up on these pages I know very little - just bits and pieces that I've picked up as I go along, and have only ever played this one concertina.

 

Does a Crabb sound very different to a Jeffries?? If so it would be interesting to play my instrument 'blind' to someone who knows about these things and see if they think it sounds like Crabb or a Jeffries.

 

It doesn't really matter too much, whatever it is I love it to bits and wouldn't want to be parted with it!

 

 

How should I go about getting a basic grounding in concertina history, has anyone written a boook on the subject?

 

 

Clive.

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I hadn't even realised that Crabb had started off working for Jeffries!

I hadn't, either. I picked that up from what you said Colin said. (Though it seems I might also have read it previously, I really don't recall.) But many of the early concertina makers started off in somebody else's shop, then struck off on their own. Lachenal, after all, first worked for Wheatstone.

...apart from what I've picked up on these pages I know very little - just bits and pieces that I've picked up as I go along,...

Well, these pages, rec.music.makers.squeezebox (no longer accessible to me, it seems; I need to contact my ISP), Neil Wayne's paper, the various erstwhile publications.

Does a Crabb sound very different to a Jeffries?? If so it would be interesting to play my instrument 'blind' to someone who knows about these things and see if they think it sounds like  Crabb or a Jeffries.

Do all Crabb's sound alike? Do all Jeffries sound alike? I think not, not even with the same end material. My 45-button Jeffries both feels and sounds different from either of my 38's.

 

Still, there *might* be something characteristic about the sound of instruments by a given maker, at least from a given period. Others have more experience with that than I do.

How should I go about getting a basic grounding in concertina history, has anyone written a boook on the subject?

Not that I know of. Comments and posts, essays, Neil Wayne's paper,... maybe bits in a book or two, but no book *on the subject* that I'm aware of. The Professor Maccann web site would be one place to look for some of these bits and pieces, though.

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Jim,

 

Thanks for the information!! I hadn't even realised that Crabb had started off working for Jeffries!

I'm not the best person to be attempting to straighten out concertina history, but reasonably fresh from a long talk with Geoff Crabb; his version goes like this...

 

The original John Crabb, a cabinet maker, was called in by Wheatstone to make the wooden parts for Wheatstones. Lachenal was called in to make the metal parts. When the patent expired, Crabb and Lachenal went into business together, subsequently Crabb left Lachenal along with a bloke called Nickolds (spelling?) and they set up on their own. Later again Crabb and Nickolds parted company. Geoff said Crabbs were an association of people back then, hence they were called Crabb & Co, rather than Crabb Co.

 

This "history" would indicate Crabb never worked for or with Jeffries, but includes the possibility Crabb sold many unbranded concertinas to Jeffries.

 

Geoff does not claim to be an expert on early history and says the Crabb family history is hard to work out, made more difficult by the repeated practise of naming sons John, Charles and one other name I forget, probably Geoff or Neville..!

 

My information is recall from three weeks ago. So I hope any of those who are in the know will fill in a little here, and correct anything I have said they know to be wrong...

 

An example of the sort of detail I got from Geoff and which I find interesting... many parts in a concertina can be stamped out, examples are bellows leather and card, action arms, reeds frames, tongue blanks etc. So a press is a handy item in a concertina makers workshop. While it is likely modern makers will have a press, I'd be surprised if any had two. What this means is, every time you want to switch from making one part to another you have to change the tooling (the cutters) and get them properly aligned. Large workshops have people whose sole job is to do this.

 

At the time when Lachenal were putting out a large number of concertinas a week, perhaps 250, (at an estimated average 60 reeds each, thats 15,000 reeds a week) they had 17 presses turning out different sizes of reed frame so the dies (the cutters) would not need changing. When you consider this volume you can see why the general run of Lachenals do not have good reeds. Fitting time for the tongues must have been fleeting. But the reason I like this story is it helps me to visualise the Lachenal factory and the scale of things. I'd love to see a picture...

 

Anyway, as I say, anyone who knows more and wishes to add it please do, and especially if they wish to correct anything I have said that may be wrong. I don't want to add to the misinformation that can creep in through wrong things being said, read and repeated, as was in danger of happening when it looked as if Colin Dipper might have said Crabb worked for Jeffries. I'm not criticising, Clive and Jim, it is a natural process and we all do it, even those of us who work in journalism. Mmmm, maybe I should have said, especially those of us who work in journalism...

 

regs

 

Chris Ghent

Edited by Chris Ghent

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This "history" would indicate Crabb never worked for or with Jeffries, but includes the possibility Crabb sold many unbranded concertinas to Jeffries.

Could I further speculate that Crabb and/or Co. could also have sold individual parts -- e.g., ends -- to Jeffries or others?

I'm not criticising, Clive and Jim,...

Criticism is fine, where it's deserved. But correcting errors -- or just clarifying uncertainty -- isn't necessarily criticism, either.

 

Excellent information. Thanks, Chris.

those of us who work in journalism...

"Journalism". That's belief in what people write down, no? :)

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when it looked as if Colin Dipper might have said Crabb worked for Jeffries.

I can't recall the exact words that Colin used, but it certainly implied that my concertina had been built by Crabb.

 

My interpretation of this at the time was that the Crabb company had built it and sold it to Jeffries who than badged and sold it as a Jeffries. ie an early example of 'Badge engineering'. This is what I meant to convey in my earlier posting, I did not mean to suggest that Crabb had worked for Jeffries, so apologies to Jim if this is how it seemed.

 

This re-enforces what Chris said about incorrect facts getting repeated and then assumed to be correct: If we had not followed the thread through both Jim and I would have gone away thinking that Crabb had worked for Jeffries, and passed it on to others as a fact, each quoting the other as the source.

 

It also emphasises that if anyone sees information being quoted that they think may be incorrect, then they should politely question it.

 

 

Clive.

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Malcom Clapp wrote:

>Maybe a family tree might be informative......

Then to clarify...

 

Charles Jeffries had four sons, all involved in Concertinas:

 

Charles,George,William, and Thomas.

 

Thomas was still alive c. 1960, and Charles Jnr was reputed to have been alive in as late as the early 1950s.

 

.. and to clarify 'Crabb worked for Jeffries':

 

Geoff Crabb doesn't claim this, and neither does anyone else I know of. What is claimed is that early Jeffries were substantially made by Crabb, and 'customised' by Jeffries before being sold as his own make. Ball Beavon concertinas seem to follow the same path.

 

I've been working on an article with Randy Merris, Bob Gaskins, and Chris Algar which will cover Jeffries in much greater depth - if only we could find the time to finish it!

 

best wishes ..wes

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Clive

 

I have been playing a 30 key Crabb anglo for 30 years.

Recently a woman came to the Sunday session with flute and box.

in the box was a 'multi' buttoned Jeffries, it looked brand new. She let me play it.

My first impression was that it was better than sex. Second that it sounded very similar to my Crabb. But the action, with its heavy ends made it almost play itself.

For Two short minutes I was on a different planet.

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