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Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: Peter Stines on August 14, 2019, 02:36:00 PM

Title: Wilson: Melodeon makers in Manchester 1830's ?
Post by: Peter Stines on August 14, 2019, 02:36:00 PM
Some of my Wilson ancestors made melodeons in Manchester. I'd like to find out more about them, when they worked, etc. Hugh Wilson was the father. He was a grocer but the sons were the craftsmen. They left the UK and immigrated to America in 1847. (Buffalo New York) It doesn't look like they continued their trade in the US but I'm searching those records anyway.
Title: Re: Wilson: Melodeon makers in Manchester 1830's ?
Post by: penn on August 14, 2019, 07:00:36 PM
Hi Peter.
I can’t help you but I have a feeling that 1830 is very early for what we currently think of as a melodeon.
A member here called triskel would almost certainly know better. And this article on concertina.com
http://www.concertina.com/chambers/michaelstein/index.htm (http://www.concertina.com/chambers/michaelstein/index.htm) lists and dates a number of boxes from his collection.
Sorry that’s not much help, but you may be able to derive some clues.
Best of luck in your search
Gren
Title: Re: Wilson: Melodeon makers in Manchester 1830's ?
Post by: Martin P on August 14, 2019, 10:56:18 PM
I agree with Penn. I think Hohner started making Melodeons about 1860. Perhaps some confusion here over terminology. Do you mean Melodeons as in Button Accordions? The term Melodeon has been used for various other instruments including a type of small organ popular in Victorian days.
Title: Re: Wilson: Melodeon makers in Manchester 1830's ?
Post by: penn on August 15, 2019, 07:43:06 AM
I think it would be worth widening the search terms to include other free reed instruments.
There’s a pretty comprehensive list of reed organ makers here http://tardis.dl.ac.uk/FreeReed/organ_book/node21.html (http://tardis.dl.ac.uk/FreeReed/organ_book/node21.html)
And I can find a mention of Wilson. I might expect that list to cover the American reed organ that shares the “melodeon” name.
In the 1830s concertinas and flutinas (aka accordeon diatonique) were just starting up - I believe flutinas we’re mostly made in Europe, but concertinas were a fair sized industry in Britain and Ireland.
Interesting mystery,  you’ll have to exclude Tony Wilson and Factory records from your Wilson Manchester searches.
Gren
Title: Re: Wilson: Melodeon makers in Manchester 1830's ?
Post by: Theo on August 15, 2019, 08:55:28 AM
I agree with Penn. I think Hohner started making Melodeons about 1860. Perhaps some confusion here over terminology. Do you mean Melodeons as in Button Accordions? The term Melodeon has been used for various other instruments including a type of small organ popular in Victorian days.

Hohner only started making accordions/melodeons in 1904 which they commemorated in 2004 with a book called "History Unfolds".  Prior to that they only made harmonicas.

If it could be documented that there was an accordion maker in Manchester in 1830 that would be a major historical discovery.  The first patent for an "accordion" was in 1829 by Cyrill Demian in Vienna  (https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Accordion/Brief_History_of_the_Accordion)