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Author Topic: Is this a melodeon?  (Read 4034 times)

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Itu

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Is this a melodeon?
« on: August 04, 2008, 03:23:52 PM »

I will start off by saying that I know nothing about accordionss, melodeons, etc, so please bear with me. My husband picked up an old instrument at an estate auction yesterday and I have no idea what it is. It needs a couple of minor repairs, but overall is in good shape and plays well from what I can tell. I would really like to know what sort of instrument this is before I seek repairs to make sure it is done properly.

It was made by C.T. Menze in St. Louis, MO. On the melody side there are 2 rows of buttons like a melodeon has. But on the other side there are no buttons. Instead there are levers or valves that produce the chords. I will try to get some pictures of it in the next day or so, but here is a link to a site that shows what the valves look like http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/German_button_accordion.jpg
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BruceHenderson

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Re: Is this a melodeon?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2008, 05:00:37 PM »

  My husband picked up an old instrument at an estate auction yesterday and I have no idea what it is. (snip)

    Short answer, yes, it's a melodeon.  If it looks about like the one in the pictures, then it's probably from the first couple of decades of the twentieth century.  Many of these were built in Germany - my guess is that the Company in St. Louis ordered a lot of them and had the German company put their name on it.  But it's pretty hard to tell.  Can you post a picture of your instrument?
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Itu

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Re: Is this a melodeon?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2008, 07:04:04 PM »

Alright, I've got some pictures. The manufacturer is C.T. Menze. I've only found one obscure reference to him and it was on a zither forum. Apparently he made some zithers, but was more well known for his accordions. Most of his instruments were made around 1898-1890
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 07:08:00 PM by Itu »
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Itu

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Re: Is this a melodeon?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2008, 07:06:16 PM »

Here are some more pics
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BruceHenderson

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Re: Is this a melodeon?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2008, 03:16:06 PM »

Here are some more pics.

   OK, I'm no expert on old instruments but these photos do look like prior to 1900.  If there's not a lot of internal damage or deterioration, this box appears to be in pretty good shape for its age.  But typically an instrument this old will need a lot of work (which translates into $$$$) to be playable and if you play it for more than amusement or interest (i.e. if you use it for practice, playing with a group, or pro gigs regularly), it will likely be unreliable, even if overhauled/rebuilt.

   It looks like a nice instrument, but you wouldn't take a 1909 Ford on a cross-country trip so be careful with it.
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I love one-rows!  Four reeds kick butt!!!!

C age ing

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Re: Is this a melodeon?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2008, 04:03:57 PM »

Quote from: BruceHenderson
   It looks like a nice instrument, but you wouldn't take a 1909 Ford on a cross-country trip so be careful with it.
Strewth Bruce, that's exactly what the Model T was designed to do.
Old Bill.
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My Erika is as old as me. Luckily, it is not as decrepit.

BruceHenderson

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Re: Is this a melodeon?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2008, 06:46:47 PM »

Quote from: BruceHenderson
  It looks like a nice instrument, but you wouldn't take a 1909 Ford on a cross-country trip so be careful with it.
Strewth Bruce, that's exactly what the Model T was designed to do.  Old Bill. 

    Aye oop, but when things get old, they get creaky and touchy and not particularly reliable.   Know what I mean, Bill????
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I love one-rows!  Four reeds kick butt!!!!

C age ing

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Re: Is this a melodeon?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2008, 12:24:36 PM »

Quote from: BruceHenderson
  It looks like a nice instrument, but you wouldn't take a 1909 Ford on a cross-country trip so be careful with it.
Strewth Bruce, that's exactly what the Model T was designed to do.  Old Bill. 

    Aye oop, but when things get old, they get creaky and touchy and not particularly reliable.   Know what I mean, Bill????
Laughed out loud at that one Bruce.

Unfortunately you are now number two on my elephant gun list.
Ol' One Notch, Gun-slingin' Bill.
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My Erika is as old as me. Luckily, it is not as decrepit.
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