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Author Topic: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates  (Read 7259 times)

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boxcall

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2013, 10:59:25 PM »

Hi Paul,
So is this the only action Walters or Baldoni used at this time? my guess is no.
Interesting how this action lifts pallet parallel to the sound board using a sliding linkage.
Michael
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Hohner 1040 C, Beltuna one row four stop D, O'Byrne Dewitt/ Baldoni bros. D/C#, "pepperpot" one row D

pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2013, 12:43:58 AM »

Great question Michael -- I think you're right that different types of box from different sources were for sale concurrently.  We know at the same time Walters was advertising the more customized boxes he was also selling Globes etc.

PG
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2013, 02:30:48 PM »

By permission of their current owners, I can add photos and information for a couple of nice 15 key Walters today.  First, here's No. 751, dated 1949.  Fifteen round melody keys in D/C# (inside row with smaller buttons), six voices. 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 03:07:51 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2013, 03:01:37 PM »

Here's a somewhat more enigmatic Walters, on which the current owner has not found a stamped number.  However, as with some other Walters, there are inscriptions.  Here the current owner reads these as "NY 48" and "JD 21."  "NY 48" may be intended to indicate that this accordion was made in New York in 1948.  "JD 21" may possibly be an identification code.  Some Walters have an alphanumeric code that seems related to the original owner's name.  [but other inscriptions sometimes seem to refer to the celluloid color or number of buttons, and sometimes entire dates or names are present].  This box has a keyboard plate that covers the whole keyboard (not a rectangular, inset one as in Nos. 729, 751, and 763).  It features 15 "chiclet" keys that occupy a single large opening in the keyboard plate (not separate holes for each key), and is in D/C# with four voices.  The 15 long pallets are in a single rank on the aluminum soundboard, and there are two double-sided melody reedblocks.  The soundboard is drilled with extra holes (blocked on the inside of the box) that would allow this instrument to be  upgraded easily to six voices, by addition of a third reedblock and a switch to longer pallets.  The switch is the type that pivots like a clockhand, rather than a sideways throw type as in No. 751.

Interesting to compare this one with the black Baldoni-Bartoli with 15 chiclet keys, and the large Walters with 19 chiclet keys, that were illustrated during this discussion:

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,3158
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 03:25:22 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2013, 03:58:54 PM »

And with permission of its new and very happy owner, here's a photo of a fine early Walters 1-row box.  This one has six voices with MMLHMM.  I suspect we'll be seeing it and hearing it in concerts and videos before too long.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 09:44:24 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2013, 06:52:54 PM »

A follow-up on the action in Mike Averill's Walters, also found in boxcall's O'Byrne DeWitt Baldoni Brothers box.  Here's another example, probably a Baldoni-Bartoli, in this great video of a young Charlie Harris:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux3eEOPGMxY

And I believe melnet member Lars Hansen described a lever mechanism like this as the original one for his 1-row Baldoni-Bartoli box.

Now back to Walters. Here's a very interesting early Walters with a full 23-button melody keyboard in D/C#. When this box  surfaced a few years ago,  a very grubby and perishing diagram for its extended D/C# layout was affixed to the keyboard, labeled "F. H. WALTERS PATENT 1929."
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 09:20:36 PM by pgroff »
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boxcall

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2013, 10:09:07 PM »

Paul,
great playing of two nice reels by Charlie !!

The Walters looks like it cleaned up ok and going by the label a D /D flat system ;)

so this mechanism would have been used for a while it seems.
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2013, 11:20:34 PM »

Hi boxcall,

I think the mechanism in your OBD Baldoni and in Mike's Walters was a late-40s/early 50s idea, found in some of the Italian-imported ones.

Re: the 23-key Walters, you're absolutely right -- the diagram is written as a D/Db layout.  I only called it D/C# so people would recognize its relationship (subject to enharmonic equivalence) to the D/C# systems with various numbers of buttons on the inside row that developed through the 1930s.

Here's another Walters with a layout glued to the keyboard, in this case a one-row box (the low press note is indeed an F#):
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 11:25:05 PM by pgroff »
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boxcall

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2013, 07:27:38 PM »

Hi Paul,
That is a weird layout if it is correct, having the A between the D and F# and the E and B's on the pull look backwards.
also I don't see why someone would glue this on the box and not just keep a label in the case if needed.
I assume this walters at one time had a celluloid back? and it interesting that the celluloid edge got tucked into a kerf at the bottom of the round
as I thought that this material conformed to the shape that it was applied to, and would not be under pressure to need a kerf.
but maybe it's not what I think it is.
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2013, 07:56:51 PM »

Hi boxcall,

Thanks for those observations!  I was puzzled myself by the layout on the last box above, the first time I saw it.  Once you figure out how to read it, the layout is correct for that accordion, and it's pretty standard for a modern 1-row D box used for Irish music.

What's probably throwing you is that the format is unconventional.  It's meant to show the pairs of notes for each button (press note above the draw note) in a pattern that is related to the pattern of the buttons on the other side of the keyboard.  So the lowest notes in pitch are on the right (like the buttons for the lowest notes are on the right), as I've positioned the photo.  I positioned it that way so the letters wouldn't be upside-down. 

Good eye, to spot the way that a little celluloid was tucked into the saw cut on the curve.  I think that may have been done to help keep that celluloid from popping away from the wood, but it also makes an attractive design detail.  No, I don't believe this -- or many other -- 30s Walters ever had celluloid on the back of the keyboard housing (though some did, such as the Corbett box). Actually there is oral history of Walters drawing his customers' attention to the attractive walnut on the keyboard backs of some of his accordions, to show the wood quality used.  Walters do often have a lot of nice walnut inside, for bellows frames, reedblock soles, etc. 

PG
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 08:02:29 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2013, 03:45:44 PM »

Here's a front view of that Walters with the layout glued to the keyboard back, and an interior photo in which you can barely make out " DEC 38" scratched into the aluminum soundboard. This might be the date of original sale, although it could be a repair date from a time later than the box was first sold.  Even if that's a sale date, it's possible that accordions like this (and other Walters) sold in the 1930s may have been originally built sometime before they were custom-decorated and sold.  As I've written elsewhere, there's evidence that the crash of 1929 and the depression caused some inventory backup in the manufacture and sales of many types of musical instruments and parts.  But going by the inscription, it looks like the E. F. Madden box is celebrating a 75th anniversary of some important event this month.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 03:49:12 PM by pgroff »
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A.J. Culwell

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2013, 04:07:27 PM »

That is a spectacular box!   Thou shalt not covet, he says to himself!
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boxcall

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2013, 10:57:43 PM »

Hi boxcall,
So the lowest notes in pitch are on the right (like the buttons for the lowest notes are on the right), as I've positioned the photo.  I positioned it that way so the letters wouldn't be upside-down. 

Good eye, to spot the way that a little celluloid was tucked into the saw cut on the curve.  I think that may have been done to help keep that celluloid from popping away from the wood, but it also makes an attractive design detail.  No, I don't believe this -- or many other -- 30s Walters ever had celluloid on the back of the keyboard housing (though some did, such as the Corbett box). Actually there is oral history of Walters drawing his customers' attention to the attractive walnut on the keyboard backs of some of his accordions, to show the wood quality used.  Walters do often have a lot of nice walnut inside, for bellows frames, reedblock soles, etc. 

PG

Hi Paul,
I see reading  right to left  how that works.
Also as a carpenter I can certainly understand wanting to show the wood grain or quality off.
And as AJ said beautiful box, I really like the stones they have just the right color to pop without being to strong. on that note do you know of any boxes where people have decorated with high end gem stones? I guess that would be a form of madness :)
Michael
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Kimric Smythe

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2013, 03:58:11 AM »

This one that I restored was from 1935 , I don't have a serial number though.http://www.flickr.com/photos/26639011@N06/5355444537/in/photolist-9af45D-9aidbs
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2013, 06:51:32 PM »

Hi Kimric,

Many thanks for the link to the Ed. Fitgerald Walters.  What a beautiful and interesting box!

Did the 1935 date come from family recollections, or was there a date scratched or written on or inside the accordion or case?  Or even a receipt?

I think you have described this box as " 3-reed, M/M/L."  That would be a minimalistic set-up for Walters as we've seen above! 

Is there a coupler behind the keyboard of the Fitzgerald box and if so is it made like the Corbett box?*  Based on similarities to the "Simon McArdle / M. J. Greaney" Walters, I would predict that the coupler might be that swiveling lever type, rather than a sliding type as with the Madden box shown above. Also, is the back of the keyboard covered in celluloid as in the Corbett box? 

Other similarities of the Fitzgergald box to the Greaney Walters include the green body color, the color and style of trim celluloid, and the style of keyboard decoration, evidently without rhinestones.

The "melodeon style" bass box/keyboard seems to be uncommon among Walters-labeled boxes, although there are a couple of chiclet-key one-row boxes with a somewhat similar bass keyboard (though not identical), and one of those has a Walters label. **

PG

*
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,11281

**
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,3158.0.html
« Last Edit: December 28, 2013, 06:58:19 PM by pgroff »
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Kimric Smythe

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2013, 05:24:08 AM »

Hi Kimric,

Many thanks for the link to the Ed. Fitgerald Walters.  What a beautiful and interesting box!

Did the 1935 date come from family recollections, or was there a date scratched or written on or inside the accordion or case?  Or even a receipt?

I think you have described this box as " 3-reed, M/M/L."  That would be a minimalistic set-up for Walters as we've seen above! 

Is there a coupler behind the keyboard of the Fitzgerald box and if so is it made like the Corbett box?*  Based on similarities to the "Simon McArdle / M. J. Greaney" Walters, I would predict that the coupler might be that swiveling lever type, rather than a sliding type as with the Madden box shown above. Also, is the back of the keyboard covered in celluloid as in the Corbett box? 


I believe the date was written inside the instrument, It was a few years ago, but as I recall it had a shifting lever, of the swivel type.
 One of the major problems it had was the instrument had been stored for years resting on the bass, and this had bowed it in quite
badly.
 The bass handle would not seal and the deck was so warped that the reeds could not sit on it. I stored the bass with about 25lbs on it to get some of the bow out, and reinforced the bass handle to help pull it flat when it was reattached. I also added blocks to the case so it rested on the frame not the bass.
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2014, 11:03:19 AM »

Ted McGraw has been interested in Irish accordions for many many years, and as an archivist as well as a musician he has a great perspective on their history.  I've mentioned his articles here on melnet before, including these:

http://www.nyfolklore.org/pubs/voic36-3-4/accordion.html

http://www.tedmcgraw.com/McNulty_Family.html


Ted also has a very interesting website, www.tedmcgraw.com, and recently added a couple of nice Walters photos to those that he posts publicly:

http://www.tedmcgraw.com/Walters_Pre_50s_files/Ryan.Paddy600bw.jpg

http://www.tedmcgraw.com/Walters_Pre_50s_files/WaltersMcDonough.jpg

The Ryan Walters 1-row box, photographed in 1956 but looking much earlier, seems to have a gold celluloid grille.

The McDonough box, also with a gold grille, seems to me to have originally been a 1-row box but to have had an extra melody key added, probably to offer a C natural.

PG


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triskel

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2014, 02:17:00 PM »

... here's a photo of a fine early Walters 1-row box.  ...  I suspect we'll be seeing it and hearing it in concerts and videos before too long.

Well, in Hennelly's Bar in Gort anyway, so far.  ;)


Note strap over left shoulder...

It's a lovely box, and he knew the original owner.

Edited to add (available-light) photo
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 07:42:28 PM by triskel »
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triskel

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2014, 11:28:13 AM »

And with permission of its new and very happy owner, here's a photo of a fine early Walters 1-row box.  This one has six voices with MMLHMM.  I suspect we'll be seeing it and hearing it in concerts and videos before too long.

I meant to mention that the buttons are most unusual on that one - they're white with a mother of pearl inset, more like those you might see on an old Bandoneon or Chemnitzer.  ???
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pgroff

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Re: Walters Irish-American accordions -- numbers and dates
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2014, 11:43:05 AM »

And with permission of its new and very happy owner, here's a photo of a fine early Walters 1-row box.  This one has six voices with MMLHMM.  I suspect we'll be seeing it and hearing it in concerts and videos before too long.

I meant to mention that the buttons are most unusual on that one - they're white with a mother of pearl inset, more like those you might see on an old Bandoneon or Chemnitzer.  ???

Yes, that box has a number of interesting features.  Note that the pattern of the celluloid trim surrounding the usual location of an owner's nameplate is the same as in the 23-key box that had the  "1929 patent" claim attached. 

It's also similar to the McDonough box (recently made public on Ted's site; see my link just above) and the Madden box also, in size and some features .

PG
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