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Bob Bolton Melodeons on board ships? (43) RE: Melodeons on board ships? 17 Apr 12

G'day Greg,

The first concerinas sold weren't Wheatstone's complex and precise instruments ... he was still playing around (and recruiting a skilled production toolmaker ... Lachenal ... initially as a screw-cutter ...) when the Klingenthal Germans looked at the basic German accordion and said they could get along without such simple "basses" ... by vamping on the treble keys.

Essentially they said "Cut the right hand side in two and make one square box". This had exactly the same waxed in reeds ... sometimes in corrosion resistant brass ... and they were small, simple, robust and cheap enough to take to sea ... and easily replaced for a few shillings in almost any sea-port in the "civilised world' - post 1834.

The simple, early German concertina (initially referred to as another form of accordion) was the most portable cheap instrument to take to sea - although it is likely that many better players decided to lug the slightly extra size and complexity of simple German accordions to sea as well.



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