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Author Topic: August J. Engelmann, St. Louis, 25-key 8-bass in E/A  (Read 2904 times)

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triskel

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August J. Engelmann, St. Louis, 25-key 8-bass in E/A
« on: June 24, 2014, 01:20:56 PM »

We've had some mention before of obscure St. Louis accordion makers of German origin, but so far they've all been instruments with 21 keys, long-plate reeds and 4 spoon basses mounted on a German-style growl box.

However, I had an 8-bass, 25-key one in E/A delivered, from Dayton, Ohio, this morning, which I bought on eBay because I suspected it was from the same stable - and so it turns out to be. It's rubber-stamped internally "Aug. J. Engelmann, accordion repairing, 4127a Oregon Ave., St. Louis, MO." and has steel reeds on individual brass plates (pinned onto leather), leather-edged bellows and an internal bellows lock worked by the wind key. And it still plays!

I'll post pictures when I get a chance to take some, but I've a concertina to sort out the fingering of first...  :(
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 01:23:27 PM by triskel »
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Owen Woods

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Re: August J. Engelmann, St. Louis, 25-key 8-bass in E/A
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 02:12:38 PM »

Lovely box! Will be superb once it's all fixed up and restored.
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pgroff

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Re: August J. Engelmann, St. Louis, 25-key 8-bass in E/A
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 02:17:48 PM »

Good catch, triskel!

I've seen a couple of Engelmann accordions but I think they were of the more common type you describe.  They may have had his name stamped on the pallet cover IIRC.  I'll be interested if you can bring your expertise to bear on August's biography. 

"Engelmann in St. Louis MO" will always catch my attention, as a botanist.  I think when I first saw one of the accordions I did some cursory research, but didn't find any immediate connection between August, the accordion maker and the family of George Engelmann, famous medical doctor and botanist (who described a very interesting gentian from the Rockies, built the Missouri Botanical Garden, and saved the french wine industry).  But you might find a link yourself.

The German and Austrian musical instrument makers in nineteenth century Missouri are very interesting. The first time I picked up a Schwarzer zither I became curious about it and then found a nice thesis on zither history . . . how many remember that he made 10,000 of these?  Some of the violin makers also made accordions too.

Will be interested to learn more about your new Engelmann box when your time permits.

PG
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 02:19:48 PM by pgroff »
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triskel

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Re: August J. Engelmann, St. Louis, 25-key 8-bass in E/A
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 11:27:16 PM »

"Engelmann in St. Louis MO" will always catch my attention, as a botanist.  I think when I first saw one of the accordions I did some cursory research, but didn't find any immediate connection between August, the accordion maker and the family of George Engelmann, famous medical doctor and botanist (who described a very interesting gentian from the Rockies, built the Missouri Botanical Garden, and saved the french wine industry).  But you might find a link yourself.

Taking a quick peek, over a cup of tea, I find August Jacob Engelmann was actually born in the United States - well Pennsylvania anyway! ;) - in August 1876, his father being from Germany and his mother from Pennsylvania.

However, his father (Henry) was repairing musical instruments in St. Louis by the 1880 Census, but that reveals he came from Prussia - rather than Frankfurt like George Engelmann - and his mother's parents were from Bavaria.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 02:05:34 AM by triskel »
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A.J. Walker

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Re: August J. Engelmann, St. Louis
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 11:10:36 PM »

Hello Stephen, do you have pictures of your Engelmann? The eBay listing is gone.

Here's an Engelmann I found at a local (near St. Louis) auction. Two row Eb/Ab, 3 voice.
In various years of St. Louis city directories, his occupation is listed as music instructor, mus. metre(?), piano tuner (and repairer), and in 1946 as "Lacrordlos". Perhaps a gross misspelling of accordionist?

Front, back, bellows, and inside the cover from underneath the keyboard.
Pics of some of the reeds are in the "Reeds stamped with an 'O' " topic.

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triskel

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Re: August J. Engelmann, St. Louis
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2014, 01:39:00 AM »

Hello Stephen, do you have pictures of your Engelmann? The eBay listing is gone.

I'll have to take some A.J. as the one I opened the thread about is much fancier than the more standard models - it's more like a Vienna model, with 8 basses, contrasting woods and leather bellows - though when I researched him a bit more and found his 1908 Patent I realised that the comb of treble-keyboard springs, in another (more typical) instrument I have, showed it must be by him too.

Edited punctuation
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 07:31:25 AM by triskel »
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triskel

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Re: August J. Engelmann, St. Louis, 25-key 8-bass in E/A
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2014, 04:33:29 AM »





Thats not a stop button on top, but a strap button - and there's another one underneath too.





The bellows are bound with leather.









Steel treble reeds on brass plates.



Chord reeds on brass plates, bass ones on zinc.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 04:36:03 AM by triskel »
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Owen Woods

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Re: August J. Engelmann, St. Louis, 25-key 8-bass in E/A
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 05:16:31 PM »

Yes, but not a lot is my gut on that one!
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pgroff

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