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Crabb English No.889360

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Your query is interesting in that normally Crabb numbers never exceeded 5 digits, however, during the late 1930’s there is possible evidence in the existing records that the year was included in some numbers*. Unfortunately, it seems that for the period 1935 –1941, the instrument details were recorded on poor quality cards, only the last one of which has survived today.

*This card shows that instruments made between Feb 39 – Jul 40 had the usual ID number preceded, I presume, by the year number. The first two instruments incidentally being ‘48 English’ for J E Dallas, the numbers being 399435 & 399436.

 

And, on opening it up, I find that a 30-key, mahogany ply-ended, riveted-action, Crabb Anglo that I have from that era (externally numbered 9267 on the label) is internally stamped with the number 369267 - the 36 being presumably the year it was made.

 

Though that doesn't explain a similar-looking one (with a hook action) numbered 91882... :unsure:

 

Geoff???

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Hi Guys, and thanks for the replies,

 

I now know an awful lot more about my box than I did before (which was pretty much nothing I must admit). Isn't the internet a marvelous thing!

 

Stephen, thanks for the info about JE dallas, I've had a look at it again and it is badged "Dallas 'ALL STAR TESTED' band instruments". So we know who had it made and sold it.

 

Geoff, you're right, the number is 389360, every part is numbered and some are more distinct than others but it's definitely a 38 at the beginning. So I suppose it was made in 1938 then? On the inside of each reedplate? is the stamp "CRABB & SON MAKERS LONDON" and inside one end mechanism is the oval rubber stamp in red ink "R WHITTEN FOR CONCERTINAS 79 Upland Rd, Barry Rd, E. Dulwich" (last word very indistinct, I think it's Dulwich). The endplates are totally flat, with no felt bushings on the keys (price engineering?) I think the keys may be aluminium but can't be sure. It certainly resembles the picture you posted. Will try to post some photo's later

 

Chris, the junkshop was in a part of town that suffered heavily when they built the inner "bypass" or thruway, i think it might be gone now. Haven't been back much for years so cant be sure. I remember they had a lovely banjo as well but I couldnt afford both. Seem to remember paying a fiver for the concertina which was about half a weeks wages at the time- crazy world we live in, kids get more pocket money now!!

 

All the Best, Peter H

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Sorry about that!

 

Yes it is 'Dulwich'. I grew up in Barry Road, East Dulwich, very near Upland Road. Despite my advanced age I cannot recall ever seeing a music or concertina shop there. Next time I visit my mother I will see what is there now!

 

Chris

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Your query is interesting in that normally Crabb numbers never exceeded 5 digits, however, during the late 1930's there is possible evidence in the existing records that the year was included in some numbers*. Unfortunately, it seems that for the period 1935 –1941, the instrument details were recorded on poor quality cards, only the last one of which has survived today.

*This card shows that instruments made between Feb 39 – Jul 40 had the usual ID number preceded, I presume, by the year number. The first two instruments incidentally being '48 English' for J E Dallas, the numbers being 399435 & 399436.

 

And, on opening it up, I find that a 30-key, mahogany ply-ended, riveted-action, Crabb Anglo that I have from that era (externally numbered 9267 on the label) is internally stamped with the number 369267 - the 36 being presumably the year it was made.

 

Though that doesn't explain a similar-looking one (with a hook action) numbered 91882... :unsure:

 

Geoff???

 

All a bit of a mystery Stephen but I offer the following for you to draw your own conclusion.

 

To reduce initial price, occasionally, instruments were made using recovered usable parts (reeds and/or actions etc.) from other makes of concertina that were damaged beyond economical repair. Depending on the amount of new work required or the number of parts re-used, a Crabb ID number would be allocated or an original number retained.

 

Examples:

 

Complete set of existing reed pans and action used - original number retained.

 

Set of reed pans – Existing or Crabb number.

(As is known, some Wheatstone and possibly Lachenal concertinas were supplied with a second set of reed pans tuned to an alternative pitch. With the rationalisation of pitch these reeds pans were generally considered redundant and became available to be re-used. When a new instrument was built around these, a Crabb number would be allocated as the original instrument would still exist.)

 

Reed frames only used – Crabb number.

 

 

Geoff

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was it David Leese in Wales? he sells parts

Yes, it was. And very nice they look too. Haven't had a repolish on the ends or anything, still the original 'patina' - or is that years of abuse and neglect? Haven't quite decided yet !!

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