See Chapter 4.3.
William Barker Kent of Earl Soham, Wickham Market, Suffolk, was registered as an organ builder and built at least one harmonium with pipes.
John Knight was a piano, harmonium and American organ maker at 36-37 Dean Street, Birmingham.
London Gazette 7/8/1877: In the County Court of Warwickshire, holden at Birmingham. In the Matter of Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors, instituted by John Knight, of 37 Dean Street, Birmingham, in the county of Warwick, Harmonium Maker. Notice is hereby given, that a First General Meeting of the creditors of the above named person has been summoned to be held at the office of Mr. E.B. Rawlings, no.48 Ann Street, Birmingham aforesaid, on the 17th day of August, 1877, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon precisely. Dated this 2nd day of August, 1877. E.B. Rawlings, Solicitor for the said Debtor.
William Henry Knight (b.1856-d.1920) lived at 63 Hamwood, Bishops Hull Without, Taunton in 1891 and had a music shop at 145 East Reach, Taunton. He is registered as an organ and harmonium maker. He was resonsible for work on the organ at Taunton School Chapel during part of its history.
Piano and harmonium maker of Witton Street, Northwich, Cheshire who later moved (or worked at) to 20 Castle Street, Northwich around 1883.
See Chapter 4.4.
Cornelius Layland & Co. Harmonium Manufacturers, London. Addresses include: 75 Edgware Road, London; 268 Oxford Road, Lodon from 1868; 48 Alexander Road, Kilburn, London from 1878; 43 Berthon Street, Deptford, 25/1/1878.
They were advertising harmoniums of 5 octaves without stops for £5-5/-; 3 stops for £6-6/-; 7 stops for £7-15/-; 8 stops with beautiful Voix Celets for £11-10/-; 10 stops for £14-14/-; 12 stops for £18-10/- and 16 stops for £30. Write for Illustrated Catalogue to C. Layland and Company, Harmonium Manufacturers... The Trade supplied. Fittings, etc. This was in Jan'1872
A possible partner in the firm was R.W. Jarrett working c.1878-1885+ and registered at 1 Eleanor Rd, London Fields, Hackney from 1878, see 20.84.
Tony Newnham alerted me to this information from the Database of British Organ Builders after he discovered a small harmonium in a museum.
??, ??, ??, Voix Celestes, Cor Anglais, Sourdine, Tremulant, Forte
We found pictures of another one. The stops are Sourdine, Basson, Clairon, Bordon, Cor Anglais, Grand Jeu, Forte, Expression, Flute, Clarinette, Fifre, Hautbois, Tremolo
The non-speaking and derived stops have blue labels and there is a wind indicator at the RH end of the keyboard. Stops are in brown wood similar to some on Hillier instruments.
Thomas Liddiatt (b.1839) of Stanley Marsh, Leonard Stanley, Gloucester was a joiner and wood carver who went on to make the Gothic and Stanley harmoniums.
By 1881 he had three children with his wife Mary E., they were Charles (b.1865) who became a joiner, Elizabeth (b.1871) and Harry T. (b.1875) who was then six years old. They had moved from Kings Stanley to Leonard Stanley just before Harry was born - hence the name of the harmonium model.
Harry later also became an organ and reed organ builder in his own right. He was in Oak Leigh, Leonard Stanley in 1939 and worked from around 1889-1940.
There is also registered one George Victor Liddiatt registered as an organ and reed organ builder in Leonard Stanley c.1885. There is some doubt about the relationship, but he may in fact be the elder son of Tomas who was called Charles in the 1881 census.
Edward Charles Locke and Son were importers and manufacturers of pianos, American organs and harmoniums at Mendelssohn House, 34-6 Gt. Ducie Street, Manchester.
E.A. Locke of 9 Palatine Buildings, Victoria Street, Manchester was a piano, harmonium and organ tuner and repairer active around 1889-90.
The relationship is clarified by a notice in the London Gazette of 25/3/1887: Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership lately subsisting between us the undersigned, Edward Charles Locke and Edward Augustus Locke, as Pianoforte Manufacturers and Organ and Harmonium Importers, at 34 and 36, Great Ducie Street, in the city of Manchester, under the style of Locke and Son, was, on the 22nd day of December, 1886, dissolved by mutual consent; and that all debts due to or by the said firm will be received and paid by the said Edward Augustus Locke, who will continue to carry on the said business as heretofore, under the style of Locke and Son, on his own account. Dated this 22nd day of March, 1887. Edwd. Chas. Locke. Edwd. Augts. Locke.
This clearly suggests they didn't build their own instruments.
ROS Database entry 676 1M
This harmonium has serial number 28240 and stops: Forte, Sourdine 8', Cor Anglais 8', Expression, Flute 8', Voix Celeste 8' Tremolo and Forte.
Walter Villiers Luck manufactured pianos, harmoniums and reed organs. He was situated at Apollo House, Broadway, Stratford and 21 Stratford Grove, London. Other premises listed are 1-14 Short Street, Finsbury, 75-85 Tabernacle Square, Finsbury (1886-7), 5-11 Wood Street, Finsbury (1886-7), 19 Roseland Terrance, Chobham Road, Stratford Road, London (1879) and Landsdowne Terrace off Romford Road (1880).
Walter sold his Apollo Works business to James Grover of W. & F. Grover in 1885. They were at 150 The Grove, Stratford, London East and built pianos and harmoniums. The London street directory shows that Broadway, Stratford becomes The Grove and Romford Road goes off Broadway. Chobham Road is five streets away and goes off Leytonstone Road, which is a continuation of The Grove. (21 Stratford Grove should read 21 The Grove, Stratford). Like so many men of little means but clear vision during the industrial revolution of the 19th century, Walter Luck made his fortune. (Notes from Robert Ferris on the Piano History site.)
It is possible that Luck was taken over by Avill and Smart who were using the Tabernacle Square address from 1892.
George Luff and Son of 103 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London around 1847-51 and then 7 Caroline Mews, Bedford Square in 1861 exhibited a harmonium and the so called Albert Cottage piano-harmonium at the London Exhibition at Crystal Palace in 1851. Luff was also an agent for Debain, the famous Paris harmonium maker. Labels in earlier instruments (e.g. a guitar) showed him at 92 Great Russell Street. Thanks to Michael McLuhan for some additional information .
His harmonium at the exhibition was no.477 in Class X . It had an unusual mechanical apparatus for playing it in addition to the usual keyboard. This was said to be an advance on the ``barrel organ'' system which had been widely used before this time. Pictures below are from The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue re-produced in MacTaggarts' book.
The so called piano-harmonium was actually just a piano and there had been a mistake in the catalogue's transcript or a contemporary report. Thanks to Bill Kibby for providing documentary evidence to clarify this.
We still have some questions over Luff's ``patent Harmonium'' which may simply have been imported from Debain of Paris. It seems that Luff may have become mixed up in the patent dispute which affected Alexandre and others at that time. If anyone has further information, please let us know.
George Henry Marsh was an American organ and harmonium maker of 29 Temple Street, Bristol.
Mason J. Mathews was a Scottish mechanic who wrote extensively about reed organs in amateur scientific journals.
These extracts from the Edinburgh Gazette of 30/11/1869 were discovered by Mark Jefford. Dissolution of co-partnership. The co-partnership sometime carried on by the Subscribers, Mason Johnstone Matthews, and Robert Brown Scott, under the firm of Matthews and Scott, as Patent Pianoforte and Harmonium Manufacturers, in Glasgow, was dissolved by mutual agreement on the 27th day of March last, 1869, when the Subscriber, Mason Johnstone Matthews, ceased to have any connection with the business since carried on by the Subscriber, the said Robert Brown Scott, as Pianoforte and Harmonium Manufacturer, in Glasgow, and at the Patent Pianoforte and Harmonium Works in Little Street and Coulter's Lane there. Glasgow, November 25, 1869. Mason J. Matthews. Robt. B. Scott.
After moving to the USA in 1870, Matthews patented mechanical devices which he then sold to Mason & Hamlin, George Woods, the Mechanical Orguinette Co. and others.
Piano and harmonium manufacturer of 41 Great Putney Street, Golden Square, London.
F. Mesnage of 85 High Street, Marylebone, London. Harmonium and American organ manufacturer. Successor to Constant Laurent in 1887 and still working until 1891.
Moore and Moore were perhaps best known as piano manufacturers, founded from the cabinet making business of John and Henry Moore c.1838. The firm was taken over by Kemble in 1933. The DBOB entry reveals that Moore and Moore were also reed organ builders, at least from before 1884 until 1921. It appears that they built at least one enharmonic reed organ, as described in Chapter 26. They were also retailers of music and musical instruments.
John H. and Henry Keatley Moore of 104-5 Bishopsgate Within, London
(1878-83) made harmoniums, pianos and American organs. According to
Ian Thompson they had actually been piano makers since 1837. The firm
traded as John and Henry Moore from 1878-83 then and Moore and Moore
from 1884-1921. They also made reed organs, sometimes with 5
treble rows in a remarkably compact case. A very pretty pipe top
15 stop Moore and Moore is currently on e-Bay: *5843. Its case is
identical to that of a Kelly of Worcester, Mass, that I bought a few
weeks back, which has Smiths type rivetless reeds and surprising
power from its 3 rows (16', 8' and 4' all through) plus BC and TC.
As well as the maker's name the stopboard also says ``European Agent,
16 Mortimer St., London W.''
Moore and Moore sometimes used a ``Vox Angelica'' treble stop which had an 8' and a 4' rank beating out of tune.
Did Kelly of Worcester, Mass supply the works to be cased over here in Britain? Did Smith of Boston make their own rivet-less reeds or buy them in from a supplier like Munro?
See also later Chapter 26.
One is listed in the ROS DB.
ROS DB entry 741
This is serial number 16767. It has 61 keys CC-c'''. Some stop faces are missing, but the readable ones are: Forte, ?, ?, ?, Grand Jeu, Expression, Flute, ?, Tremulant, Forte.
Church Hanbourough, Oxon.
Robert Pacey noted an American organ by Moore and Moore of London. It has 3 ranks 8'+8'+4' with an octave coupler.
e-Bay item *7164
A very small suction instrument with no stops ascribed to Moore and Moore came up for sale in Gerrards Cross, Aug'2013.
The seller noted that this was used by the Salvation Army to take church music to the general public. It was used in the early 20th century in the Harlesden area of London. It has two handles, one on each side. He had owned it for 32 years but is now down sizing. It measures 100cm x90 x42cm.
[to add eb*4219]
W.H. Moore of King Street, Wellington, Shropshire was a harmonium maker.
Joseph Morandi was a harmonium maker of 6 Kingsland Road, E.London.
357 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London.
Small harmonium on e-Bay *5350 Sept'2009, probably of French construction. The label notes ``Morton Bros. & Co. London2.
This was [possibly?] George Robert [?] Moutrie, piano and harmonium maker of 22 Werrington Street, Oakley Square, London who later joined with Collard to form Collard and Moutrie and moved to 90 Southampton Road, and later 50-52 Southampton Road. Since 1870 Moutrie pianos were made in China, initially for British ex-patriots; they are still being made there by the Nanjing Moutrie Piano Co. Ltd.
By the 1850s, Shanghai already had Moutrie's piano shop, that sold, repaired and eventually assembled pianos. China's first piano factories were all founded by men who had worked at Moutries, many of whom hailed from Ningbo, which was renowned for the skill of its wood workers. In Oct'1898, the New York Times reported that Mr. Moutrie was called to Beijing to repair the Emperor's piano. According to the article, Moutrie said: the keys were filthy and had various Chinese hieroglyphics stamped on them, while the instrument had not been tuned for years. He tuned it and cleaned off the writing - only to be told by the Emperor that the characters should be immediately replaced (perhaps because they were used as a guide for playing the instrument).
He was advertising in 1866: Harmoniums - Five octaves, in polished cases 5 guineas. Seven stops, 8 guineas. Ten stops 15 guineas. Dealers supplied.
Other adverts featured: THE DRAWING ROOM MODEL HARMONIUM, having a soft pleasing quality of tone, price £8-8s. THE COTTAGE HARMONIUM, in Mahogany case, price £5-5s. THE ORGANIST'S STUDIO HARMONIUM, having Two Octaves of German Pedals and Side Blower, price £8-8s. Price Lists free.
London Gazette 11/5/1875: In the Matter of Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors, instituted by George Moutrie, formerly of no.3, Gloucester Street, Bayham Street, Camden Town, in the county of Middlesex, but now of no.12 Arlington Street, Camden Town, also in the county of Middlesex, Harmonium Maker. Notice is hereby given, that a First General Meeting of the creditors of the above named person has been summoned to be held at the offices of Messrs. Beesley and Gray, no.4, King Street, Cheapside, in the city of London, Public Accountants, on the 19th day of May, 1875 at two o'clock in the afternoon precisely. Dated this 27th day of April, 1875. William Hicks, 123, Globe Road, Mile End, E., Attorney for the said Debtor.
Information on the history of Clemeti and Collard is presented in Chapter 3.
Another harmonium maker of 16 Henry Street, Pentonville, London later advertising as J. and R. Moutrie and producing American organs at 13 Garnault Mews, Clerkenwell until 1894. Any relation to G. Moutrie? They later also made American organs and traded as J. and R. Moutrie.
James Moutrie (b.1818-d.1886) was the son of Robert Johnson Moutrie. The Moutrie family were originally from Scotland and like many Scottish families (including my own) names such as Robert and James were handed down making the family tree hard to follow. To make matters worse they married into the Collard family at some stage.
Tom Huygens told me in Jan'2017: After James Moutrie died in 1886, his sons James and Robert left Pentonville and continued the business in Clerkenwell while the Grahams stayed in Pentonville, see Section 20.65.
Bill Kibby noted: I have several piano firms on file with the name Moutrie, and it seems likely they were related. The famous Collard firm began with a William Frederick Collard and a Frederick William Collard, but the Moutrie family included William Frederick Collard Moutrie! This was another family of harmonium and pianoforte makers descended from James Burton Moutrie.
Marjory Mahoney replied in 2003: I have just started to research my mother's family, Moutrie. According to his marriage certificate, my great great grandfather James Moutrie was a pianoforte maker. His father Robert Moutrie was also a pianoforte maker - so there could quite well be a connection here. My great grandfather, Samuel Campbell Moutrie, married Maria Harrison, whose family were Harrison and Harrison the well known organ builders.
Joseph Nelson of 52 Cumberland Market, Regent's Park, London in 1878-86 moving to 113 Cowley Road, Oxford until 1903 was a harmonium maker.
Dunn and Nicholls were piano and harmonium makers with premises at 482 Hackney Road, E. London, previously 20 Prospect Place off Cambridge Road. The firm was taken over by Edward Nicholls c.1879, see below. The firm of Nicholls continued at 118 Mile End Road later becoming known as Nicholls and Nicholls until at least 1896. They were noted as making ``good cheap'' harmoniums.
The London Gazette of 12/10/1877 notes: Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership, hitherto subsisting between us the undersigned, Charles Dunn and Edward Nicholls, trading under the style or firm of Dunn and Nicholls, as Harmonium Manufacturers and Organ Builders, at no.482, Hackney Road, in the county of Middlesex, was dissolved, by mutual consent, on the 29th day of September, 1877. Dated this 4th day of October, 1877. Charles Dunn. Edward Nicholls.
Information provided by Ian Thompson says that Thomas Oetzmann was a reed organ manufacturer of 27 Baker Street, Portman Square, London W. They advertised as patent piano manufacturers. According to Bill Kibby, Oetzmann and Plumb were established in 1848, and still going at least up to 1877, but at some point this name overlapped with Thomas Oetzmann and Co. The piano keyboard is supported by trusses, which unite the horizontal and vertical surfaces. These were rarely used before the 1880s, but interestingly, one of the very few early examples was Oetzmann's entry in the Great Exhibition, 1851. Frederick Oetzmann and Sons of 151 Regent Street also manufactured pianos in London in the 1880s and supplied to the Royal Family. They were the successor to Oetzmann and Plumb; another branch of the business apparently sold general furniture.
One small harmonium by Oetzmann and Co. of London was advertised on e-Bay, March 2005. Apart from the accompanying photo which was sent to me by the seller, nothing is known about this firm. The instrument, apart from a few minor stylistic differences, is identical to mine by Baynton of London.
The Patriot Excelsior Piano, Organ and Harmonium Co. was managed by Thomas Leadbetter and had premises at High Street, Chesham, Buckinghamshire.
Hiram Abiff Pearson is noted as a cabinet maker and harmonium manufacturer. He was born in Wigton, Cumberland in 1839. His mother was Mary Pearson who was recorded as a widow aged 66 in the 1861 census. Does anyone know more?
John Pell built organs, pianos and harmoniums at Globe Works, 194 Ashstead Row, Birmingham.
A small harmonium appeared on e-Bay 8/12/06 from a seller in Thame. It was described as a ``Harmonium - Penrose of Redruth Exhibition Model'' 5 Octave harmonium in good working order. Lovely tone. Nice to look at. All keys and stops work. Two keys are a little sticky but would free with use. Just over 41'' wide, 36'' tall and 15'' deep. The stops are: ??, Cor Anglais, Expression, Flute, ??.
I have no further information about this maker so help is gratefully accepted.
Victor Penso was a piano and harmonium maker of Hatton Garden and Hatton Yard, London up to 1898 and then 24-6 Duke Street, Brushfield Street, Bishopsgate, London to around 1902.
Harmonium maker of 91 Union Street, Glasgow.
See Chapter 4.5.
James Pickens was a harmonium maker of 172 Hampton Street, Birmingham.
Henry Powell and Son were at 120 Market Place, Cirencester in around 1858-85 and also at 46 Dollar Street in 1862-1903 and Crown House, Stratton Street in 1885. He is recorded as an organ, piano and harmonium manufacturer and dealer who founded the Cirencester Sacred Harmonic Society and was also an organist in Evesham and Bengeworth.
Benjamin Preston was one of the early York harmonium makers.
W. Pridham of 13 Glaskins Mews, Pembury Road, Hackney, London, built harmoniums and American organs. The name on the instrument shown below indicates the firm as W. Pridham and Son, 206 Jubilee Street, Mile End, London. There exists a conveyance in the Hackney Archives Department Ref:M2914 showing transfer of property at 27-35 Amhurst Road, Hackney from Walter Pridham to Charles Sartain, a pawnbroker, with Thomas Oughton, a Gentleman of Chelsea, as mortgagee.
ROS DB entry 1378
One is listed in the ROS DB entry 1378. It has 61 keys CC-c''' and stops: Forte, Tremolo, Sourdine 8', Cor Anglais 8', Expression, Flute 8' Tremolo and Forte.
A small one appeared on e-Bay in Aug'2007 located in Cambridge. It has the same specification Forte, Tremolo, Sourdine, Cor Anglais, Expression, Flute, Tremolo, Forte.
Henry Prosser was an organ and harmonium manufacturer and dealer of 20 Market Place, Frome, Somerset. He had a factory at Bath Road around 1889-1915.
Edward Archibald Ramsden of 12 Park Row, Leeds was principally a retailer. He however held several joint patents for improvements to musical instruments and was influencial on harmonium manufacture. See Chapter 29. He is therefore listed here.
An intriguing snippet of information from the internet concerns a legal dispute in 1879 between William Alfred Waddington and Archibald Ramsden the same who had a "piano saloon" in Coney Street. Archibald Ramsden is said to be a performer and impresario, born in 1835, who returned to his native city of Leeds in 1864 to open a shop selling pianos, harmoniums and sheet music (later also a shop in London). There is a picture of his main showroom in an advert from the 1870s. Unfortunately this building (close to the City Square) has been demolished.
[old photo of shop]
Some pianos were manufactured with the Archibald Ramsden name, but as far as we an tell there is no record of Ramsden's having their own factory. It seems possible that Waddington's were supplying Ramsden with pianos, possibly under the Waddington name or possibly Ramsden's. We do not know the cause of the dispute.
Similarly, many components of Ramsden harmoniums were made in Germany and certainly had Schiedmayer reeds on so called ``oktaveplatten'' or metal plates taking one octave of reeds rather than individual frames. They also seem to have had Schiedmayer actions and cases very similar too.
Ramsden is associated with the name of William Dawes, also of Leeds, see Chapter 20.50, and some of his instruments were fitted with the Dawes Melody Attachment which he promoted widely. Dawes's Patent Melody Organs obtained the only prize medal awarded to English exhibitors at the Exposition Universelle, Paris 1867.
Ramsden was also associated with the production of the Vocalion, see Chapter 7. He promoted it in London with Hermann Smith in 1880. He was named as one of the creditors of the Hamilton Vocalion Company which fell into financial difficulties in 1887. Ord-Hume  notes that Hermann Smith, its inventor, worked for Ramsden for a while.
Brian Styles commented on one of Ramsden's harmoniums: it may be helpful to remark that, in one Ramsden at least, this Schiedmayer action and reed pan is extremely gratifying to play. It's a single manual instrument, with two complete 16' ranks, down to bottom C - well differentiated. Indeed, the differentiation between the voices is particularly good, even amongst rather higher class company. It's a 5 octave (C compass) instrument with the break at tenor A#/B and has William Dawes's patent ``melody actions'' for both treble and bass. The sound is a trifle retiring - it would never fill a church. The 8' Celeste is especially good and works well at that pitch because of the low break.
Ian Thompson added: In the Dawes, all pallets except for those of the Pédale Basse and Mélodie stops are positively opened, in the sense that depressing a key obliges the associated pallets to open. The pallets of the PB and M stops have light springs that tend to open the pallets, but the when a key is not depressed the key tail bears down on the pallet, preventing it from opening. Depress a key in the bass division (in the case of the Ramsden C-A#, 23 notes) and all pallets will open. Holding the same key down, now depress the key below it and a little wooden rocker will close the PB pallet again. These rockers are centre pivoted on a right-left axis, but angled so that depressing a key lifts the front end of the rocker and the back of it bears down on the PB pallet of the note above. Any lower rocker also transmits its motion, via a finely adjustable screw, to the next rocker up, so that if you depress bottom C, all rockers above tip and prevent any higher PB pallet from opening. The Mélodie stop works in exactly the same way, but blocking lower notes. As you approach the extremes of the compass the touch gets progressively heavier. Fine adjustment is essential to keep things as they should be, but at least the mechanism is more reliable than the pneumatic system used in the Casson ``Positive'' pipe organ.
ROS DB entry 389
ROS DB entry 389 is said to have been built in 1876. It has 61 keys CC-c''', treadles, knee swells and stops: Forte, Sourdine Bass, Sourdine Treble, Cor Anglais 8', Expression, Flute 8', Cremona 8', Melodie Cremona and Tremolo.
The stops are probably wrongly listed (some missing), but it is known as reported by Ian Thompson that Ramsden often used a Sourdine in association with a bass Bassoon 8' and a Dolce in association with the treble Cor Anglais 8'. This would explain the Sourdine Bass and Sourdine Treble.
David Pye's harmonium 1M/5:5
David sent me the following information in Nov'2006: I acquired a harmonium at auction in Birmingham some 25 years ago. It was subsequently transported to my present home in Sale, Cheshire.
My reed organ is a single manual instrument cased in figured walnut veneer, bearing the name of Archibald Ramsden and so I was very pleased to discover some information on its origins, which suggest a rather earlier date than I had believed.
It has 16 draw stops, comprising 10 speaking stops (5 for each lower and upper compass of the keyboard) and 6 effects stops: Pedal Bass, Basson, Sourdine Bass, Clairon, Bourdon, Cor Anglais, Forte, Grand Jeu, Expression, Flute, Clarinette, Flageolet, Hautbois, Cremona, Tremulant, Melody Cremona. It is believed that the Melody Cremona is a Dawes patent device sounding the upper note of the chord. [Another example is listed below.] It is possible that the Pedal Bass has the inverse effect. Two knee levers provide variable forte (swell flap) and progressive Grande Jeu (coupling of up to 8 stops). The instrument remains pedal blown and in full sounding order, although there is some leakage from the pressure bellows and other restoration needed to bring it back to pristine state.
The Pedal Bass is a separate half rank of reeds rather than a Dawes melody attachment. This means the instrument has a total of 305 reeds.
This clearly looks very much like harmoniums by Schiedmayer and in fact contains many of their parts. Brian Styles said this is similar to his own instrument. The size is: 49'' wide, 37-1/4'' high and 27-1/2'' deep.
Ramsden 1M/2:3 near Sandringham
Brian Styles sent information about this nice looking instrument. The owner had contacted him to sell it.
Specification is as follows. Pedal Bass, Forte, Sourdine Basse, Bourdon, Cor Anglais, Expression, Flute, Clarinette, Cremona, Melodie Cremona, Tremblant. There are two knee swells.
See Chapter 13.
George Richardson was a Harmonium maker of 44 Stonegate, York.
RFG DB entries 1852 and 5538
Fritz Gellerman's on-line database lists two Harmoniums by Richardson, RFG-1852 (no stops; 4 1/2 octaves CC-f'') and RFG-5538 (8 stops; 5 octaves FFF-f''). Photo A of RFG-1852 shows 43 Stonegate as the address.
David Kershaw wrote to me in Oct'2006 as follows: I now own REF-5538. This similarly shows 43 Stonegate as the address. Note that it is not Stonegate Street. I was a resident in York for many years. The street is known simply as Stonegate, the ``gate'' suffix being (I think) related to the German Gasse (street). York has many such streets: Micklegate, Goodramgate, Walmgate, etc. So simply 43 Stonegate, York.
I recently acquired 5538; it is presently unplayable/ soundless, but all essentials are intact, including all reeds. Oak case, crudely (re?)varnished, handles missing, bellows shot, treadles unattached... The casework is solid and simple, including some hefty dovetailing on the back. The stops are: Forte, Clarinette, Basoon, Grand Jeu, Expression, Flute, [missing], Forte.
Dimensions are: 43'' wide, 34'' high, 17 3/4'' deep. David could find no serial number on the case or a maker's name on the reeds.
The firm was probably founded by Joseph Riley in 1851 and by 1880 was at 20b-c Constitution Hill, Birmingham. They were listed as manufacturers, importers and dealers and also had premises at 25 Constitution Hill and 30 Corporation Street up to around 1906. The ``Manufactory'' was at King's Cross, London. Henry Riley and Sons Ltd. were still listed at 23-25 Constitution Hill in 1921. W. Joseph Riley was also listed at 56-58 Corporation Street and Martineau Street, Birmingham c.1906.
They are known to have sold high quality French instruments by Alexandre.
Student's Model 128C
Photo from R.F. Gellerman database entry 1369.
e-Bay Riley Harmonium *3595
This was made by Joseph Riley. Its specification is Forte, Sourdine, Cor Anglais, Expression, Flute, Tremolo, Forte. It is stamped on the back with serial number 22209. Dimensions are 40"h x40"w x1'8"d.
This instrument did not sell so was re-listed in Oct'2008.
DBOB ref.4955 notes that the firm of William Johnson Robertson, reed organ builder and harmonium manufacturer, was established in 1847. They were at 107 Tottenham Road, Kingsland, London from 1872 or earlier. William Robertson died in 1883 and there were no advertisements after 1885.
Contemporary adverts (c.1872) were for: ORGAN HARMONIUM £ 19 and £21. Fine tone, 2-1/2 rows of reeds, bourdon on full compass, German pedals with coupler to keys, foot and side blower. Manufactured for pedal practice by W.J. Robertson; 20 year's experience in this class of instrument.
There is a 2MP harmonium with the Robertson label in the Barger-Compascuum Harmonium Museum, Drenthe, NL. A photo is on Piet Bron's Flickr stream http://www.flickr.com/photos/pietbron/5064096673/in/set-72157625125473090/. I hope Piet won't mind that I am publicising his photographic archive here.
Further information was added by Ivan Furlanis, see https://sites.google.com/site/ivanfurlanis/home/harmonium/robertson. The rather sparse stop list which confirms the note above is: Pedal Coupler, Bourdon, Cor Anglais, Dulciana, Dulciana, Flute, Hautbois, Fifre, Manual Coupler.
There are 2x 61 note manuals and a 29 note straight pedal board. There is what I assume to be a single blowing pedal, but strangely no Expression stop. It was probably sold as a practice instrument as noted above. This is potentially an early instrument but further details are lacking.
Not much is known about Samuel Rolfe except for the existence of a UK Letters Patent dated 14/9/1870 number 2,479. This relates to a very strange improvement in the construction of harmoniums. It propsed four keyboards, a 5-octave CC-c''' (treble) at the front 2-octave G-g' at the rear, 2-octave C-c' (bass) at the LH end and 2-octave B-b' on the RH end. The idea was intended for the practice of part songs in which four performers would play and also sing their own parts in the range of their own voice.
It is unlikely that such an instrument was ever constructed or indeed that Samuel Rolfe was a maker or in any way related to Wm. Rolfe who earlier built Seraphines. Can anyone prove otherwise?
Rudd is listed as a piano and harmonium maker of 74 Dean Street, Soho Square, London W. He was associated with Debain c.1860-1906 e.g. with premises at Boulevard de Buttes Chaumont, Paris.
Barnett Samuel and Sons were piano makers in London from 1832. They are referred to by Fritz Gellerman as one of the larger British reed organ enterprises . However Ian Thompson notes Barnett Samuel were as far as I know dealers, not makers - at least not on any scale. They put their name on smaller Christophe et Etienne harmoniums and had an agency for the US maker Peloubet, Pelton.
They were however listed as musical instruments makers and wholesalers and gramophone makers, of 31 Houndsditch and 27a Duke Street, and later of 32 Worship Street, Finsbury Square, London, EC2. See also Chapter 29. They were awarded a second prize at Sydney, Australia in 1878. They were awarded a bronze medal in the London Inventions Exhibition of 1885 for harmoniums (catalogue no. 3,529). They are also known to have made convertinas. The story is quite interesting.
DBOB, the Database of British Organ Builders has more information. It notes that the firm was established in 1832 and was most active from 1876-1921. They were based in 31 Houndsditch, London from 1876 (Barnett Samuel) and 32 Worship Street, Finsbury Square from 1878 (Barnett Samuel and Son) with additional premises at 27-1/2 Little Duke Street, Aldgate. In 1900 they were located at 32-38 Worship Street, Finsbury.
Barnett Samuel was born in 1819 in Russia and later was naturalised as a British citizen in 1881. He was clearly a good business man.
The company was established in 1832 by Henry Solomon, Barnett Samuel and Josiah Solomon. The Samuel family and firm were originally at 4 Clifton Gardens in Sheffield; they manufactured tortoise shell doorknobs, knife handles and combs. Barnett, his son Nelson (who joined the firm around 1870) and a nephew Max Samuel (of Prussia) were also dealing in musical instruments. Barnett's wife, Caroline, was Henry Solomon's sister. They also had three daughters: Rosa, Bertha and Minnie, who all played music together.
The family moved to London as the music business started to take off, and took over the warehouses at 31 Houndsditch and 27a Duke Street. The firm became a huge concern selling every kind of musical instrument from harmoniums to zithers.
In 1861, Henry Solomon sold the musical instrument side of his business to Barnett Samuel (who had by then married his sister Caroline).
In 1869 Nelson Samuel (Barnett's third son) entered the business and eventually took a great part in the prosperity of the firm. In 1872 Barnett's eldest son was taken into partnership and the firm became Barnett Samuel and Son.
In 1879 the business moved to 32 Worship Street, and Nelson Samuel became a partner so the firm's name was changed to Barnett, Samuel & Sons. He proved to be a force behind even greater expansion of the their activities. By then they were dealing in every type of musical instrument and musical merchandise - including banjos and zither-banjos made for them by factories in Birmingham and London. In 1878 the firm had opened their first English harmonium factory. Barnett Samuel died in 1882, but Nelson Samuel's guiding hand led the firm from strength to strength.
S. Samuel left the partnership in 1886. In 1889 they noted: Messrs Barnett, Samuel & Sons have entirely recovered from the late fire on their premises in Worship Street and the re-building is proceeding, so that the firm may return to them before the Winter Season. The salvage having been taken by the Insurance Co. all their present stock is entirely new.
The company was incorporated as Barnett Samuel and Sons Ltd. in 1901 By this time they were one of the largest musical instrument wholesalers in the country and, in addition, had established their own piano factory in North London.
Four of the next generation, Nelson's sons Frank and Edgar plus two of their cousins entered the family business in 1904.
By 1911 the subsidiary company John Grey and Sons (an invented name for the business of banjos, guitars and drums) had been formed and used the name as a trademark on its instruments. Earlier instruments just had Grey and Sons Ltd. as the trademark. The company made some of their own instruments and bought in many from the usual ``makers to the trade'' of the time.
By 1914, the four members of the younger generation were in charge; the business was then the largest record wholesalers and dealerships in London. They began manufacturing a portable gramophone called the Dulcephone, which they patented as the first portable gramophone; they sold it under the trade name Decca. This major breakthrough in the technology of recorded sound gave good quality reproduction and the convenience of portability. Many were taken overseas by soldiers in WWI.
As manufacturers and importers of pianofortes and all kinds of musical instruments, gramophones and records they had specialities such as the Pistonola player piano, Chicago cottage organs, Odeon, Jumbo and Fonotipia records and the Dulcephone. At that time they had 200 employees.
Following the end of the War in 1918, Barnett Samuel and Sons established subsidiaries: British Music Strings and Boyd Ltd., see 22.16.
In 1921 they advertised the Deccalian, another portable gramophone. The company was eventually renamed the Decca Gramophone Co. Ltd. and then sold to former stockbroker Edward Lewis in 1929. The British record label ``Decca'' was coined by Wilfred S. Samuel by merging the word ``Mecca'' with the initial D of their logo ``Dulcet'' or their trademark ``Dulcephone''. Wilfred was a linguist, and had chosen Decca as a brand name because it was easy to pronounce in most languages. The name dates back to the ``Decca Dulcephone''. Within a few years, Decca Records Ltd. was the second largest record label in the world, calling itself The Supreme Record Company.
The sales of portable gramophones was enormous and soon dwarfed the sales of all other goods made by the company, although the manufacture of banjos continued to thrive because of the dance band boom. Boyd Ltd. was sold in 1927 to the newly formed Associated Piano Co.
The Decca Gramophone Co which was floated in 1928 as a public company. The musical instrument part of the company was then contained in just 8 shares of John Grey and Sons. The shares in John Grey were then bought by Rose, Morris and Co. in 1932 who made banjos up to and after the second world war. That was history, as they say!
A 3 stop instrument bearing their name was restored by Melanie Fluke in 1988 and photos appear in the ROS Bulletin of February that year.
A small harmonium bearing this name plate appeared on e-Bay 9/4/05. Its other name label is believed to be from the retailer, Johnson and Company, Prince of Wales Rd., Norwich. It measures approx. 42'' x14'' x31''.
A number of other small instruments are registered on Fritz Gellerman's database.
Scholefield was an Harmonium manufacturer of Park Works, Greenhead Road, Huddersfield.
The Sewells were at 8, 10 and 16 Worship Street, Finsbury Square, London EC. There are advertisments for pianos made by Sewell and Sewell. The name plate claims that they were manufacturers of pianos, but they possibly did not make their own harmoniums. The ones we have seen were made by the Hillier Organ Co.
Possibly another of the London makers. A single manual instrument was for sale on the Harmonium and Reed Organ Workshop Web site late 2002 by Tony Pilcher in Sherington, Buckinghamshire. Measurements 39'' x17'' x37'' high.
Edwin Shipman (b.1833), later Shipman and Shipman was a harmonium manufacturer of 88 and 30 Prince of Wales Road, St. Pancras, London NW and a factory at Poynings Road, Junction Road or 8 Anglers Lane. They later also made pianos until around 1930.
Shipman lived with his family at 30 Prince of Wales Road. His wife Caroline was born in 1832 and they had two daughters, Emma and Jane. Grand daughter Ivy Shipman aged 2 years was also living with them in 1891 along with two lodgers, one of whom was an Austrian journalist name Herman Pollatt.
James Simpson was an harmonium maker and piano dealer of 141 Elderslie Street, Glasgow later occupying numbers 559 and 284 Sauchiehall Street, at different times.
Heber Caplin Sims (b.1843) was an organ builder, harmonium manufacturer and tuner of Southampton and Isle of Wight. He had initially been a joiner and cabinet maker and lived at 1 Anderson's Terrace, Chapel, Southampton and then 32 Onslow Road and 39 Ordnance Road. The South of England Organ Works were at Bellevue Terrace, Southampton in 1906, but the firm had previously been run from 32 Onslow Road. The Ryde branch was formed in around 1898. Harmonium production probably ceased before 1906. The firm was known successively as Heber C. Sims, Sims and Co., Heber Caplin Sims and Co., H.C. Sims, Sims and Co. and Sims and Ivimey.
In the 1881 census, Sims is noted as having a wife Catherine, sons William, Frank and Wallace and daughters Bessie and Nellie. All children were less than 14 years of age and still at school at that time.
Edward Slack was a piano and harmonium maker of 12 Packers Row, Chesterfield.
Robert Slater (d.1930) and Son (Sidney) produced small portable harmoniums supplying Morgan and Scott and also the Congregational Church. 484 instruments were built between 1920-9 at Forest Gate Organ Works.
Slater was previously an apprentice to organ builder Henry Speechley and set up his own firm in 1881. It was in Odessa Road, Forest Gate, London. He built a number of pipe organs around that area using low wind pressure in the traditional way. He also built portable harmoniums at the same time. Robert Slater died in 1930 and his son Sidney carried on the business. Later Stanley Harris, an employee, took over the business when Sidney died in 1952 and carried on until he retired in 1980. A number of pipe organs by Slater still exist and, although not particularly inspiring, they are attractive in appearance, compact and well built. One was recently for sale from the Tower Road URC, Hindhead, Surrey following the closure of the church.
A piano and harmonium manufacturer of 56 Manchester Road, Burnley, Lancashire. He may have worked for organ builders Gray and Davidson and may also have been associated with (or become) Smith and Smith (see below).
Hermann Smith and James Baillie Hamilton were co-inventors of the Vocalion, see Chapter 7. Smith worked at 29 Shaftesbury Road, Hammersmith, London and later at 238 Oxford Street. Smith built an instrument called the Oberon and another called the Mechanic's Harmonium which was featured in articles for The English Mechanic on how to build your own harmonium c.1867. He also held a patent, number 7,777 in 1884 for a so called ``mechanism'' with W.H. Riddell.
Herbert Harvey Smith was a harmonium manufacturer and tuner of Church Street, Eckington, Worcestershire.
William Smith was an harmonium maker of 22-1/2 High Petergate, York.
Harmonium, American organ and bellows manufacturer of 1 Chapel Mews, Chapel Street, Somers Town, London.
Harmonium makers of 89 Cookbridge Street, near Leeds Town Hall.
Edward (b.1840) and William (b.1841) Snell made the Albany Organ and were in business from at least 1864 until they finally closed in 1907. Addresses included: 402a Essex Road, Ball's Pond, N. London in 1964; 19 Church Terrace, Kentish Town; King St. North, Camden Town, London 1883; 3 Collonade Buildings, Holloway Road, London in 1884; Ledbury Road, Bayswater in 1887 and others. Established in 1864 and known as Ed. Snell and Co. at 45 Essex Road, Islington in 1898 and later in that year as Snell Bros. at 383 Hornsey Road, London. Also shown at 305 Hornsey Road, Seven Sisters Road in 1900; at Nightingale Works, Hornsey Road in 1902 at Seven Sisters Road, London in 1903 and at 100 Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park in 1904.
It was said that Snell's instruments were all built to order, and a new one finished only when the previous had been sold.
In 1864 they advertised as follows: E. and W. SNELL'S DRAWING-ROOM MODEL. These instruments, for sweetness of tone, rapidity of articulation, and general excellence, are pronounced by the Profession the best yet manufactured. In elegant walnut. Three stops, 5 octaves; 8 guineas.
And in 1872.
E. & W. SNELL'S IMPROVED HARMONIUMS. For tone, touch, articulation, and general excellence, are pronounced by the profession and public the best and cheapest manufactured. Price lists, with full description, free of E. & W. Snell, 37 Kelly-street (re-named), Kentish-town, London, N.W., manufactury at Little King-street-north. Trade supplied. Pedal Harmoniums on Organ Principles.
Among other things, Edward [Robert?] Snell held patents for several improvements to Harmoniums. One of these was for the ``pedal point'' feature in 1861. This was also called ``tirasse tenuto'' and was somewhat similar to the ``prolongement'' of Alexandre and Mustel. It enabled a device to hold down the bottom key of chords in the lower register giving a pedal substitute effect.
Edward and William's father had been Robert Snell who built seraphines from 1825 onwards. He built a 24 note per octave enharmonic seraphine c.1851, see see Chapter 26.
Robert and his family lived at 37 Kelly Street, St. Pancras. His wife was Martha who was by the 1881 census a widow living with her sons and a servant. Both sons were listed as making and tuning harmoniums.
It was noted in Mus.Op. 1937: We are glad again to see the name of Snell mentioned in association with reed organs. We have some remembrance of the two brothers, E. and W. making reed organs, mostly to order, in various places in North London; in fact, they were like Schudi, the harpsichord maker, who is said never to have finished an instrument until the one previously made was sold. They were preceded as makers by their father, who applied the device known as ``tirasse tenuto'' (or holding bass note) to some of his organs before it was adopted by Alexandre and his imiatotrs in the USA.
A drawing of a 2M Snell harmonium is shown in Robert Gellerman's database number 2675.
One with a wallnut case, said to be from around 1867 is in ROS DB number 3605. Stops Sourdine 5, Bassoon 4, Cor Anglais 1, Grand Jeu 9, Expression, Flute 1, Hautbois 4, Sourdine 5.
To complete the story, there was also Harry Todd Snell (b.1853) of 79 Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Town and premises in Upper Holloway and Hackney c.1891-1901. He was a piano and harmonium maker but has no apparent connection with the other Snell family as he is not entered in the census records of either 1871 or 1881. One could speculate that he is the son of Alice and Robert Snell Jnr.
Listed as a piano and harmonium maker of 97 Duncombe Road, Upper Holloway, London in 1895; Alberg Piano Works 76a Andrews Road, Mare Street, Hackney in 1901.
See Chapter 17.
See Chapter 18.
Henry Storey of 22 Eversholt Street, Camden Town, London was registered as a piano and harmonium manufacturer. They ceased production of harmoniums around 1880.
John Strohmenger and Sons were registered as piano and harmonium manufacturers at 169 and 206 Goswell Road, London EC. They were founded in 1835 and acquired by Chappells in 1938.
Temlett of 95 Union Street, Borough Road, London SE was registered as a harmonium manufacturer. Business by 1887 expanded to 93-95 Union Street but they no longer made harmoniums after 1889 attention turing to banjos and other cheap and popular instruments.
Manufacturer of harmoniums and American organs of 2 Kingsland Green, London.
William Travis was an harmonium and piano maker of 109 Manchester Street, Oldham, Lancashire.
Harmonium and accordion maker of 263-4 Whitechapel Road, London.
A maker of portable harmoniums and pianos up to around 1914. Tucker had premises at 95 King's Road, Chelsea and Euston Road, London.
According to Elvin , Lorenzo Valentine established a workshop with his business partner Charles Lloyd in 1859 in Bilbie Street, Nottingham. Lloyd had been a voicer and tuner with Samuel Groves of London, who had a factory in Nottingham, and trained with John Gray before Frederick Davidson became his full partner to form Gray and Davidson, see Chapter 28.
Valentine produced pipe organs, pianos and harmoniums from premises at Market Place and Scalford Road, Melton Mowbray probably from around 1862 onwards when Lloyd decided to join Dudgeon in Union Road, Nottingham to become Lloyd and Dudgeon, organ builders.
Venables and Co. of London were harmonium makers c.1869. They had premises at Lower Road, Islington, London and later at 187-89 Essex Road, London.
ROS DB has entry 1697 which is a small ``Improved Patent'' harmonium, CC-c''' range and stops: Forte, Sourdine, Cor Anglais, Voix Celeste, Tremolo. This was sold at auction in 1993 with the rest of the B. (Cricket) Green Collection of Alabama.
Another photo of a small harmonium by Venables is shown in Gellerman's book  Figure 368, p243.
Charles Virot was a manufacturer of both harmoniums and reeds. His business had premises at 67 Stanhope Street, Euston Road, London moving to 15 Seymour Street, Euston Square. His output included a 2MP harmonium with a retractable pedalboard.
Waddington was possibly another of the Leeds makers. Waddingtons were established at New Station Street in 1838. The firm later moved to 9 Woodhouse Lane and also had premises in 44-46 Stonegate, York. We believe they were in fact established in York in 1838 as piano makers. Note that Geo. Richardson was registered at 43 Stonegate. Among other instruments they produced a combined piano and harmonium in 1882. They also seem to have had a patent for a combined harmonium and cupboard!
The sons later traded as William Alfred and Walter Waddington. They continued until after the 1920s when they became a limited company. At least one reed organ was mentioned by its wonder in 2005. They had a big warehouse so may only have been retailers later on.
Joseph Wallis founded his company in 1848 and was succeeded by his son James and later by H.E.H. Standish and George Wallis as heads of the firm. The firm was established in 1848 at Providence Street, Walworth, and from 1858 was at 6 Union St., Borough SE, moving to No.14 in 1865. The firm moved to 133-35 Euston Road in 1867, where they remained until 1928. They became J. Wallis & Son in 1887.
Wallis is known to have made concertinas for some time. They produced the Wallis Patent Table Organ, harmoniums and American organs at 133-5 Euston Road, London, but were later registered as making only parts and reeds and in 1921 just making pianos and players. Some of the instruments we have seen were probably supplied from other makers, for instance as the ``Improved Parisian Model''. It has also been suggested that their concertinas were actually made by Lachenal or Jones.
Joseph Wallis and Sons were also recorded as piano makers, and their upright models do turn up regularly for sale. Around 1883, the firm's name changed to Joseph Wallis and Son. Around 1889, they became a limited company and seem to have finished around 1930.
In the 1878 Paris exhibition they were exhibiting materials for musical instruments and a selection of flutes.
In the 1885 London Exhibition, they were award a bronze medal for cheap and good cottage harmonium. They also received medals for an electrograph for music, good quality flutes and holdfast violin pegs. They had catalogue nos. 3,555 and 3,569.
Their instruments were exported around the world, there seem to be a number of pianos in South Africa. The Table Organ and also Wallis Folding Organs were being advertised by Chrisp and Son of Gisborne, Poverty Bay, New Zealand in Sep'1898.
Patent Table Organ
One of these instruments was for sale in Feb'2012 by David Shuker, a restorer in West Malling. The asking price was £850 because it had been completely overhauled, fitted with two rows of new reeds and a newly re-made foot pedal from drawings in the patent. It has three stops (front set, rear set, tremulant) and a Forte. This is a rare survivor of a by-gone age.
RFG-4342 piano-cased organ
ROS-3921 is another Wallis harmonium with seven stops. Its name plate shown above claims it to be a ``broad reed organ harmonium''.
This small harmonium in the Woodville Organ Museum was restored in 2013. It has the same name plate as above. Stops are Forte I, Dulciana, Diapason, Expression, Melodia, Vox Humana Forte II.
There is said to be a Joseph Wallis harmonium dating from c.1860 in the Plumley Collection in Arundel, see http://plumleycollection.co.uk.
See Chapter 4.6.
George Wells of 61 Gore Road, South Hackney, London. His label states ``Manufacturer'' on a small harmonium that was for sale in Mar'2013. Nothing more is currently known of this maker.
Wellstead was an organ and harmonium manufacturer of Corn Market and 7 West Street, Wimbourne, Dorset. He was declared bankrupt in 1886 but, as often in those days, payed his debts and carried on the business.
A portable instrument appeared on e-Bay *5073 in Oct'2010. It is said to be manufactured in 1908 by H. Wellstead of Wimbourne and measures 32" x14" x31".
Henry Whitehead was an organ and harmonium maker registered at 51 Coney Street, York.
Maker of portable harmoniums, 244 Caledonian Road, London and also registered at other premises. Milton Yard, Cloudesley Road, Barnsbury (1897) and 123 Parchmore Road, Thornton Heath.
Wheatstone and Co. won a prize medal at the 1851 Exhibition for a novel invention of a Portable Harmonium. This was no.526 in the exhibition catalogue. See Chapter 3. Edward ``Rock'' Chidley, Wheatstone's nephew, exhibited concertinas as item no.544.
In 1856 Messrs. Wheatstone and Co. were advertising a ten guinea harmonium similar to the prize winning instrument. This had five octaves and one stop. The advertisement also noted them as inventors and patentees of the concertina, at 20 Conduit Street, Regent Street, London.
Rock Chidley was also advertising concertinas from a depot at 135 High Holborn, London. He had started in Oxford Street. It was noted that they had factories at Hollingworth Street North and Wellington Street, St. James Road, Holloway.
A small harmonium appeared on e-Bay from a vandor in Skegness in Spring 2007. This is certainly a rare instrument and carries the Rock Chidley name plate of 135 High Holborn.
The history of Wheatstones in relation to concertina manufacture is well known. In relation to harmoniums the following dates are relevant.
1862 - Edward Chidley listed as a maker at 28 Store Street, Bedford
1862 - William Wheatstone dies
1866-8 - Chidley producing concertinas for sale by Wheatstones
1870 - Chidley operating from Wheatstone's Conduit Street premises and advertising as Maker and Importer of Harmoniums, concertinas, etc.
1875 - Charles Wheatstone dies - Rock Chidley continues running the firm
1899 - Edward Chidley Snr. dies - Wheatstone's firm passes to his sons Edward and Percy
1905 - move to 15 West Street, Charing Cross
1906 - Kenneth V. Chidley joins the firm
1924 - K.V. Chidley becomes production manager
1945-6 - manufacture moves to Frederick Close, Stanhope Place with sales remaining at West Street
1948 - Percy Chidley dies
1964 - Ken Chidley dies
A note in the London Gazette of 17/10/1862 suggests that Rock Chidley was then bankrupt: Rock Chidley, of No. 135, High Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, Concertina and Harmonium Manufacturer, and formerly of No. 135, High Holborn aforesaid, and of Wood Green, Tottenham, previously of No. 11, Wellington Street, and of Hollingsworth Street, both in Holloway. And all in the county of Middlesex, Concertina and Harmonium Manufacturer, having been adjudged bankrupt under a Petition, for adjudication of Bankruptcy, filed in Her Majesty's Court of Bankruptcy, in London, on the 8th day of September, 1862, a public sitting, for the said bankrupt to pass his Last Examination, and make application for his Discharge, will be held before Edward Goulburn, Serjeant-at-Law, a Commissioner of the said Court, on the 17th day of November next, at the said Court, at Basinghall-Street, in the city of London, at two in the afternoon precisely, the day last aforesaid being the day limited for the said bankrupt to surrender. Mr. George John Graham, of No. 25, Coleman Street, London, is the Official Assignee, and Mr. H. Pook. of No. 27, Basinghall Street, London, is the Solicitor acting in the bankruptcy.
An order of discharge was granted on 17/11/1862.
One occasionally sees for sale 48 key English concertinas with the Rock Chidley name label, these look very like the ones by Lachenal of the same period. It seems that Tidder may also have been a supplier to Lachenal.
The Horniman museum in London has an extensive collection of instruments by Wheatstone, many collected and donated to them by Neil Wayne.
We don't now very often add a new section, but this manufacturer was unknown to me until Nov'2017. A harmonium (e-Bay *1609) was advertised carrying the label:
Improved Harmonium Manufactured by Charles Wood, Stamford
It has 10 stops and one knee swell and was being stored in church actully near Stamford, Lincolnshire.
Possibly Charles Wood (b.1829-d.1881) Stamford St. Michael, Stamford. But, according to DBOB Charles Wood was an organ builder in Stamford working from 1877-90 and based at 11 St. Martin's, Stamford, Northants. No more is currently known.