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Wheatstone Maccann 24797


trickcyclist
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Dear All

 

I have just acquired this octagonal 72 key wheatstone maccann from the chap in Stoke. (And thanks for the trade-in!) It has a couple of oddities which someone may be able to cast light on.

The first is the serial number 24797. From my reckoning of the ledgers this would place it's date of manufacture somewhere near the end of 1909, a year before the first octagonal wheatstone duets were reputed to be produced.

The second are the ends. They are thin, relatively coarsely machined metal (and, to be honest, not terribly aesthetically pleasing). Mr Algar thought it possible that the original ends were wooden and had been damaged, with these replacements being added post war. They are not a perfect fit, with some small gaps around the edge which adds credibility to this theory. Interestingly, the tone of the instrument lies somewhere between the 'standard' sounds of a wooden and metal ended wheatstone (although it is certainly in the 'metal' half of the spectrum) and is , to my ear, extremely pleasant. I imagine the light metal has something to do with this?

 

Cheers,

Jon

 

Edited to correct those inevitable post-swaledale typos...

Edited by trickcyclist
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Good choice that man!

 

I may be able to help; I have a set of pukka nickel ends for a 72 key aeola, also from Chris A a few years ago, which you could have at cost (when I remember what that was!) as I'm obviously never going to do anything with them. I had wondered about replacing the dural ends on mine for looks sake (they tend to go black and greasy looking quickly), but...They even have a number on.

 

They're just the ends, bare, so you'll need a bushing board (off yours?) and the wood trim for the edges. Oh and a nice piece of red cloth to keep the sweater fluff out.

 

PM me if you're interested.

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Thanks for the offer, but I'm not sure the ends would fit. This one seems to be a little larger than the standard 72, possibly because it's early. Plus, they are very light :)

I agree with you about 72 being a good choice though. He had an ebony ended, non Aeola 81 button there as well. Fabulous action, but it weighed the same as a small car. Tellingly, it was priced up marginally cheaper than the 72. Mr A knows his market...

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The first is the serial number 24797. From my reckoning of the ledgers this would place it's date of manufacture somewhere near the end of 1909, a year before the first octagonal wheatstone duets were reputed to be produced.

I don't know where you got 1909 from; the dates commonly given are either 1899 or 1902 for the eight sided aeolas, see the quote here for instance.

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The first is the serial number 24797. From my reckoning of the ledgers this would place it's date of manufacture somewhere near the end of 1909, a year before the first octagonal wheatstone duets were reputed to be produced.

I don't know where you got 1909 from; the dates commonly given are either 1899 or 1902 for the eight sided aeolas, see the quote here for instance.

Whilst Wheatstone's would have been prevented from building any duets until 1898, when Maccann's patent would have expired, which must have been particularly galling for them - seeing that Maccann had only extended the range of what was originally a Wheatstone design. No wonder the firm insisted on calling it the Wheatstone duet, not the Maccann duet... :blink:

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