Dating wheatstone concertina

This article is from the Concertina FAQ, by Chris Timson [email protected] with numerous contributions by others.Wes Williams has written an excellent article on this subject which, if you have access to the Internet, can be read at:- article is particularly helpful if you have a non-Wheatstone concertina, and is probably rather more accurate on Lachenals than the information I present below.

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I have been told that when Wheatstone took Lachenal over they burnt all their records - an act of real vandalism when seen from a modern perspective.

However, an attempt has been made to derive formulae (based on known production figures over the life of Lachenal & Co) giving the year of manufacture as follows:- For the English system: (serial number divided by 769) 1850 For the Anglo system: (serial number divided by 4176) 1850 For the Duet system: (serial number divided by 111 ) 1873 These formulae were devised by Geoff Wooff and originally published by the Concertina Magazine (an Australian publication which in its time produced some excellent material) in their Spring 1983 edition.

To a player proficient in one of these systems, a concertina of a different system may be quite unfamiliar.

The English concertina and the Duet concertina bear similarities in history and construction.

Serial no Year Serial no Year 1 - 499 1830/42 23500 - 23999 1904/06 500 - 999 1842/45 24000 - 24499 1906/08 1000 - 1499 1845/48 24500 - 24999 1908/10 1500 - 1999 1848/49 25000 - 25499 1910/12 2000 - 2499 1849/50 25500 - 25999 1912/13 2500 - 3499 1850/51 26000 - 26499 1913/14 3500 - 3999 1851/52 26500 - 26999 1914/16 4000 - 4999 1852/53 27000 - 27499 1916/17 5000 - 6999 1853/54 27500 - 27999 1917/19 7000 - 7999 1854/55 28000 - 28499 1919/20 8000 - 8999 1855/56 28500 - 28999 1920/21 9000 - 9999 1856/57 29000 - 29499 1921/22 10000 - 10999 1857/59 29500 - 29999 1922/24 11000 - 11999 1859/63 30000 - 30499 1924/25 12000 - 12999 1863/65 30500 - 30999 1925/26 13000 - 13999 1865/67 31000 - 31499 1926/27 14000 - 18499 1867/70 31500 - 31999 1927/29 18500 - 18999 1870/73 32000 - 32499 1929/30 19000 - 19499 1873/77 32500 - 32999 1930/33 19500 - 19999 1877/82 33000 - 33499 1933/35 20000 - 20499 1882/86 33500 - 33999 1935/36 20500 - 20999 1886/89 34000 - 34499 1936/37 21000 - 21499 1889/92 34500 - 34999 1937/38 21500 - 21999 1892/95 35000 - 35499 1938/45 22000 - 22499 1895/98 35500 - 35540 1945/51 22500 - 22999 1898/01 35541 - 36400 1951/57 23000 - 23499 1901/04 36401 - 36680 1957 This list was originally prepared by Nigel Pickles and published in Concertina & Squeezebox, and is reproduced by permission of Joel Cowan, editor of Concertina & Squeezebox.

Until recently I believed that Wheatstone concertinas with numbers in the 50,000 range were very late poor quality instruments. Bob Gaskins has done much research in this area, and he summarises his conclusions as follows:- In a nutshell: it seems that between 19 Wheatstone & Co.A major project has been started to try and create some sort of master list of Lachenal dates, by Chris Algar, Bob Gaskins, Randy Merris and Wes Williams. Send Chris Algar of Barleycorn Concertinas (see section 9) a note or an email giving a brief description of your Lachenal concertina and its number.If you still have the original bill of sale or any other way of dating its purchase with certainty so much the better!The German concertinas, developed within Germany itself for its local market and diaspora, tend to be larger than the English or Anglo concertinas.They are generally bisonoric, use a different style of "long plate" reeds, and tend to be square rather than hexagonal.Both systems generally play a chromatic scale, and are unisonoric, with each button producing the same note whether the bellows are being pushed or pulled.

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