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Wheatstone 'Edeophone' #33302 Spotted!

Robert Gaskins

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One more of the twelve-sided 'Edeophone' concertinas made by Wheatstone & Co. has been spotted in the wild.


This new sighting was made by Randy Merris, while he was attending the Noel Hill school in Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago, where he noticed the amazing instrument, now owned by Gregg Jowaisas of Covington, Kentucky.


The new sighting is of Wheatstone #33301, one of a set of three matched ebony 40-key Anglos made with twelve sides in 1934. The Wheatstone Concertina Ledgers online from the Horniman Museum contain the production entries for these instruments:


Wheatstone Concertina Ledger SD02 Page 143


This page shows that the three instruments, #33301, #33302, and #33303, were made 18 July 1934, model 62 Anglos, bright-finish Ebony ends, 40 keys, lined with Gauze, and with "12 side's". (Even then, apparently, the Apostropher Royal was handing out extraneous apostrophes for use in trade.)


What is particularly interesting about these three instruments is that they were made in 1934, while Lachenal was still operating, and while Registered Design No. 129662-3 (issued 26th July 1889 to Lachenal and Company) was still protecting the twelve-sided 'Edeophone' design from copying by others. Only one additional twelve-sided Wheatstone was made in 1934, very much like the set of three; the other dozen-or-so Wheatstone 'Edeophones' were manufactured between 1936 and 1941, after Lachenal had been absorbed by Wheatstone.


It's possible that the explanation is that all four of the 1934 Wheatstone 'Edeophones' were made for export to America, where legalities were thought not to matter. Three of the four 1934 Anglos have now been found in the U.S., with a strong presumption that the fourth should be there as well.


Wh #33302 is now owned by Ted McGraw of Rochester, New York, who reports that it matches its description in the Ledger and that it is tuned in D and A. His instrument came to him with the story that it was one of three made for a vaudeville act of three concertina-playing acrobats in Cincinnati. The newly-discovered #33301 appears to match McGraw's #33302. The whereabouts of #33303 remains unknown (readers in Cincinnati, take note!).


The fourth 1934 instrument is #33527, owned by Grey Larsen, who found both it and #33302 in the 1970s in Cincinnati. He reports that it also matches its entry, being an ebony forty-key Anglo with raised ends lined in red gauze and with eight-fold bellows, also tuned in D and A, and that it has an extra set of reed-pans (with the same serial number stamped on them) holding reeds tuned in B-flat and F.


All the background of these twelve-sided Wheatstone instruments can be found in Neil Wayne, Margaret Birley, and Robert Gaskins. "A Wheatstone Twelve-Sided 'Edeophone' Concertina with Pre-Maccann Chromatic Duet Fingering",

published in The Free-Reed Journal 3 (2001); on the web at


Wayne, Birley, and Gaskins, A Wheatstone Twelve-Sided 'Edeophone' ...


Footnote 11 of this article has been updated online to record the new spotting of #33302. (The photograph below was provided by Randy Merris.)


Edited by Robert Gaskins
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