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Ole Munch-Pedersen

Concertina Made By H. Dean

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Does anyone know when he was actually in business?

I was looking at the website of the International Concertina Association, and came across a reference to Dean.

 

In the Chris Algar Archive, under the heading Correspondence, there is item "CA018 : Dean ; Repairs 1932", seemingly a letter from Dean, relating to a repair, dated 1932.

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I've just looked at the item Stephen found listed on the ICA site - its actually three items, a headed memo giving an estimate for work, a headed receipt, and a 'trade printed' envelope. The dates are in February 1932, and the letter and memo carry the 'Established 60 years' tag line, so we are looking at establishment around 1870. But the receipt does not carry any tag line, and was apparently printed for the previous decade, as it has a preprinted '192..' year field, and an N22 address code, although the style of the 22 suggests it could possibly have been a later overprint.

 

Under my nose all the time! Sorry!

Edited by wes williams

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- its actually three items, a headed memo giving an estimate for work, a headed receipt, and a 'trade printed' envelope. The dates are in February 1932, and the letter and memo carry the 'Established 60 years' tag line, so we are looking at establishment around 1870.

So now we can say that Ole's Lachenal must have passed through Dean's hands between 1917 and 1931 (the N.22 postal code was only introduced in 1917, Dean was "Established 50 years" when he put his label into Ole's concertina, but "Established 60 years" before February 1932).

 

Also, a 30-key Jones is presently for sale on eBay (item # 3713003736) with a pencilled inscription "H. DEAN 19 - 2 - 44", so he appears to have still been in business as late as 1944. (Presumably we must be looking at more than one generation here ?)

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The 1932 Receipt and Memo are both signed H.Dean, and going later, I can't find any 'Deans' or Wood Green entries in the 1958 ICA Directory. As we don't see any evidence of two generations of Deans, perhaps he took over an existing business? Dating a concertina in 1944 might imply that he was too old for conscription at that time.

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As we don't see any evidence of two generations of Deans, perhaps he took over an existing business? Dating a concertina in 1944 might imply that he was too old for conscription at that time.

Yes, he certainly was !

 

Henry Dean would have been 107 by then (unless there was a second generation, and it was his son, also Henry Dean, who would have been only 74). ;)

 

I spent some time working on the 1881, 1891 and 1901 Censuses (all of which are available online) and managed to track them down tonight :

 

Henry Dean (i) was born in Rochester, Kent, about 1836 or '37. On the 1881 Census he is listed as a "Harmonium Reed Maker", at 1, Tyrrell Road, Camberwell. In 1891 he is a "Concertina Tuner & General Shop Keeper", at 106, Shaftesbury Street, Shoreditch and in 1901 he is "Concertina Reed Maker", at 42, Winston Road, Stoke Newington (which is heading in the direction of Wood Green).

 

His eldest son, Henry Dean (ii), was born in Battersea, about 1870 or '71. In 1891 he was an "Auxiliary, General Post Office", and by 1901 he had become a "Postman". But perhaps he carried on his father's business later ?

 

Bob Gaskins has kindly sent me copies of the documents in the ICA Archive, which very much suggest a continuity in the business of a "Tuner" (for which read "Reed Maker") carrying on into the 1920's/'30's, with their references to "Concertinas ... Tuned ... Harmonium and Organ Reeds Fitted to Frames and Tuned. Work Done for the Trade."

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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I made an exciting discovery last night (at least, if you are a concertina-history nerd like me !) and stayed up all night, glued to my computer screen. The Ancestry.com website, where I consult the 1891 Census, has now started on that for 1871. Much of London is already done, so I found lots of concertina people.

 

However, it seems that Henry Dean (i) was otherwise engaged at the time, he is listed, as a "Coffee +Loding House Keeper" [presumably that should read "Lodging" ?], in Battersea.

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... it seems that Henry Dean (i) was otherwise engaged at the time, he is listed, as a "Coffee +Loding House Keeper" [presumably that should read "Lodging" ?], in Battersea.

Confirmation of the connection between "coffee house keepers", and "lodging house keepers", is to be found in the writing of Jack London, if you take a look at his People of the Abyss (published 1903). Chapter 4, A Man and the Abyss, in particular, deals with him asking the keeper of a coffee house for lodgings, and her offering him a room, shared with two other men. Chapters 3, My Lodging and Some Others, and 20, Coffee-Houses and Doss-Houses throw further light on the (murky) subject.

 

I only hope that Henry Dean's premises were a little more salubrious !

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