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Author Topic: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates  (Read 7693 times)

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pgroff

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Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« on: November 05, 2013, 03:00:46 PM »

Hi all,

I'm compiling records of numbers and dates for the F.H.Walters Irish-American accordions. 

For example, three of these boxes known to have been sold in 1948, 1949 and 1950 seem to have been assigned numbers in the 700s (in increasing order).

Some Walters instruments may have no number written, stamped, or scratched.  Some enigmatic numbers stamped may not necessarily indicate the position of that accordion in the chronological sequence of Walters that were sold. Some numbers may refer to the model of the instrument and/or the number of sets of reeds or number of buttons. 

These numbers may sometimes be visible by removing the grille; you may see numbers stamped on the metal soundboard near the pallets.  On some later Walters, I have also seen numbers scratched on the metal soundboard and/or inside of the grille.

Quite a few Walters appear to have a date written or scratched inside, sometimes with the buyer's name, address, or another inscription, or with Walters' address. 

Then you may see a "code" engraved on the metal soundboard of some Walters, perhaps partly covered by wooden pieces that serve to attach the grille.

Anyone who would like to participate by sending me photos or other information about their instrument may choose to list their name as current reference or owner of that instrument (which may help recover it in case of theft), or to keep their personal information confidential.  I'm careful not to release photos or information about any instrument without permission of the owner.

Instruments that can be precisely dated, either by family history or by receipts, will be especially helpful!

I will share the information (as authorized by each participant) with everyone who contributes to the database, and will post some photos as examples to this thread as time goes by.

Many thanks,

Paul Groff
groffco@gmail.com
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 02:39:34 PM by pgroff »
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The Idle Rich

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 03:20:17 PM »

Hi Paul,

Mine is number 435. The 435 is written in numerous places inside as well as on the small piece of celluloid which covers the "made in Italy" (I presume) mark. The company business card inside the original case has address 158 East 84th st. New York 28, NY as well as the buyers name and address written by hand. Rich

« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 03:33:39 PM by The Idle Rich »
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 03:29:39 PM »

Hi Rich,

Many thanks!

I think there are multiple "construction series" of Walters boxes, and multiple sources of origin.  Your Italian-made box is probably numbered in a separate series from boxes like the Tom Gallagher box from 1948, which is stamped "729"  (see below). But having more data points may help us understand these markings and numbers better, when they do occur.

PG
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Owen Woods

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 03:50:47 PM »

Ahhh I love Irish-American boxes (:) I like these threads, lots of pretty boxes to lust over (:)
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Mike Averill

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 08:18:42 PM »

My 19key  DC# LLMM 2 coupler has No 1 scratched on the celluloid covering the (presumed) "Made in Italy".
The action is an interesting affair where the pallets remain parallel to the action board. The stamp on the aluminium guide ways for this action is "BREVETTO N.VERB. 55/141" which as far is a can  tell is a 1955 patent mark.

I'll have a look inside for more numbers at the weekend and take a few pictures.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 08:20:33 PM by Mike Averill »
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Hohner - 1 row 4 stop C and G, pokerwork DG, DoubleRay C#D, Corso CC#, Corona III ADG, CLUB X CF, Elysium II CF
Saltarelle 1 row 4 stop D, Castagnari Giordy DG, Sander DG
Sonola CC#, Walters DC#

sqwzboxstudent

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 09:48:25 PM »

Hi guys, i love these boxes. Is there anywhere online with some sound clips of any of these ?
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pgroff

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sqwzboxstudent

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 10:55:50 PM »

Thanks paul, brilliant. Just put one on my xmas present list !!
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Mike Averill

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2013, 10:15:06 AM »

My 19key  DC# LLMM 2 coupler has No 1 scratched on the celluloid covering the (presumed) "Made in Italy".
The action is an interesting affair where the pallets remain parallel to the action board. The stamp on the aluminium guide ways for this action is "BREVETTO N.VERB. 55/141" which as far is a can  tell is a 1955 patent mark.

I'll have a look inside for more numbers at the weekend and take a few pictures.

No 1 is also stamped in to the metal at the top of the pallet box and inside the case in a few places. Just next to the bass pallets is a stamp from D. Boudini claiming to be both "MANUFACTURERS OF High Grade Accordions" and "New England's Most Reliable Repair Man".

Photos of the interesting bits attached. I'd be interested to know if similar actions were used in other boxes.
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Hohner - 1 row 4 stop C and G, pokerwork DG, DoubleRay C#D, Corso CC#, Corona III ADG, CLUB X CF, Elysium II CF
Saltarelle 1 row 4 stop D, Castagnari Giordy DG, Sander DG
Sonola CC#, Walters DC#

The Idle Rich

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2013, 01:24:15 PM »

My Walters box has a different action but looks to have the same body. Rich



Edit- To post better photo.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 02:41:11 PM by The Idle Rich »
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2013, 01:32:57 PM »

Hi Mike,

Yes, I've seen this action in a Baldoni some time ago.  I will try to get the owner to photograph it for us.

Thanks for all the information and the excellent photos!

The "1" stamp may refer to a batch of accordions made in a particular factory, or to a batch of these sold by Walters. There is also a "1" stamp on the aluminum soundboard of the E. F. Madden Walters that is internally dated Dec 1938 (though that could be a repair date).  Mike, I think your Walters is postwar.  But other Walters sold in the 1948 - 1951 period have numbers in the range of 729 - 763 stamped on their aluminum soundboards, and I have evidence that these numbers in the 700s were considered "serial numbers" at that time by Walters himself.

PG

edited to add:  Sorry Rich, cross-posted.  Thanks for the photo, another great example that we find a variety of different actions in these postwar 4 voice 19 key Walters (and Baldoni-Bartolis, and O'Byrne DeWitt Baldonis), even when they have similar body styles.  In some cases I think the original action has been switched out, but I'm guessing the actions of these two boxes are both original.  BTW, the business card with Rich's accordion lists Walters' later address, which is interesting -- any dates anywhere on the card, in the case, on the box?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 01:56:27 PM by pgroff »
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The Idle Rich

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2013, 03:03:13 PM »

Hi Paul,

I edited the photo of the action I posted earlier with a better one taken today. I couldn't find any dates written inside. No dates on the card inside the case either but was hoping the company address might be a clue to it's age. No evidence that the action was ever switched. Except for the bad wax the inside looked factory fresh when I bought it. Rich
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2013, 04:35:26 PM »

Thanks Rich,

And thanks to the owner of this mighty Walters 1-row box in D for sharing its information.  This one is numbered 763 and resembles 729 (1948) and 751 (1949) in some features.  We don't have a known date for 763, but I'll hazard my best current estimate for its sales date, ca. 1951, give or take a year (and of course subject to revision if we learn more). Walters 763 has six voices, LMMMMH, coupler to remove LH, and tuned around A 444-5 according to the owner.  Once had a nameplate, name unknown, and this one has some shamrocks on the bass side (where the Conroy and Gallagher boxes have only some faint engraved swirls highlighted with a few rhinestones).

PG
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 08:57:40 PM by pgroff »
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komat

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2013, 04:05:22 AM »

What I wouldn't give...
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2013, 08:41:09 AM »

Hi komat,

Great that you appreciate the instruments that Walters was providing his customers!

There were many different types of Walters as we've seen already in this thread.  The old ones do come up for sale, including here on melnet.  Lucky for Walters accordions, people still appreciate them and will restore and play them.  Some other types of fine historic accordions are not so lucky today.

There are also accordions being made today that have many of the features that people like about the Walters boxes (and might possibly be easier to manage). Three of the boxes shown above including the Gallagher box are 4-voice boxes. A good loud 4-voice box with 10 to 23 keys isn't hard to find; even 6-voice boxes seem to be making a comeback for those who want that sound.  Two friends of mine have each built a small 6 voice box within the past year and another friend makes the occasional 5-voice box.  The 6-8 reed boxes in D/C# are the subject of Mike Hirst's thread here:

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,9187

True, few boxes specifically in the D/C# key layout have been made in recent years, but if you want that system one can easily be made, or one of today's excellent box techs could convert an accordion that's in other keys to the D/C# system.


PG
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 09:09:22 AM by pgroff »
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boxcall

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2013, 01:07:27 AM »

I can't believe how similar my Baldoni is to Mike's Walters on the outside the only difference is his has equal length pieces of metal trim
on the grill where mine has a (one long one short) pattern , interesting!
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2013, 01:11:49 AM »

I can't believe how similar my Baldoni is to Mike's Walters on the outside the only difference is his has equal length pieces of metal trim
on the grill where mine has a (one long one short) pattern , interesting!

Hi boxcall,

Thanks for adding that info.  Does your O'Byrne DeWitt Baldoni have a similar lever mechanism to Mike's Walters, also?

PG
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 09:33:43 AM by pgroff »
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boxcall

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2013, 01:43:44 AM »

Hi Paul,
I'll have a look and get back to you.
Michael
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boxcall

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2013, 07:18:22 PM »

looks to be the same , my action is stamped Brevetto No# 490860
here's a picture I hope
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2013, 07:22:51 PM »

Thanks boxcall!

Although the topic of this thread is the Walters boxes, Walters history intertwines with the other retailers of the Irish-American accordions as your OBD Baldoni Brothers box demonstrates.  Of course your Baldoni was labeled (and almost certainly sold by) O'Byrne DeWitt, so it's a Boston box.

I've also seen that same action in a Baldoni-Bartoli NY box if my memory serves. 

PG
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 08:07:51 PM by pgroff »
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