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Author Topic: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?  (Read 1951 times)

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Harmonicatunes

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2019, 02:13:10 AM »

There are only three Liliputs in our house, all refurbished by Mike Rowbotham. No MADness here.
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Winston Smith

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2019, 08:45:57 AM »

Thanks for your contribution, Mr H. Would you care to throw your three numbers into the mix/chaos? Are you aware of any dates?

Sue, !"£$%^&*()_+ ! But thanks, all the same.

Eshed, I really appreciate your mathematical efforts, but I'd decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs more easily!

JD has probably made the most sensible contribution here, and he/she's probably right in implying that we're (I'm?) wasting our time chasing a mathematical solution with unavailable starting off figures. We could just be playing these nice little things, instead.
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Helena Handcart

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2019, 03:24:11 PM »

There are only three Liliputs in our house, all refurbished by Mike Rowbotham. No MADness here.

Amateur. Must try harder.  I actually just had to check how many we've got. It's more than three, I think we'll leave it there.
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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2019, 06:55:53 PM »

Decided to get my CF Liliput done up as no real interest shown in others taking on the project. Looking forward to it, although I've never actually played one. I know what they sound like on video, but that's a very different thing to holding one. I guess I'll find out soon enough.
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Eshed

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2019, 11:45:32 PM »

Eshed, I really appreciate your mathematical efforts, but I'd decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs more easily!

JD has probably made the most sensible contribution here, and he/she's probably right in implying that we're (I'm?) wasting our time chasing a mathematical solution with unavailable starting off figures. We could just be playing these nice little things, instead.
Fortunately for you, I taught some math to 7th graders (12/13 years old) so we'll fix this in a second, but first let me tackle the latter claim.
While JD is absolutely correct, your interpretation is incorrect. It doesn't matter if it's serial numbers of just liliputs or all melodeons, As long as
1) We're only comparing liliput serial numbers
2) Our assumption that construction rates were mostly constant is true
our calculations shouldn't change at all.

Back to the explanation:

In some moment in time, probably 1935, Hohner started giving serial numbers to liliputs.
That's the leftmost point in our axis.
We assume that each Monday the boxes made during the previous week were sent to the dealers.
Let's assume (the very unfounded assumption) that the number of boxes made each week stays mostly the same, and denote it with W.
So the first delivery, on the first Monday after Hohner started giving serial numbers, contained all boxes with serial numbers between 1 and W.

We have info about two Liliputs, the one in the batch of 04/11/35 and the one in the batch of 18/11/35, we don't know however which boxes were in each of these batches other than the specific serials we have.

Let's mark the first serial in the batch of the 4th with N. Since this batch has W boxes, its last serial should be N+W-1. The batch of the 11th should contain boxes from N+W to N+2W-1 and the batch of the 18th should contain boxes from N+2W to N+3W-1. From now on I will ignore the -1s since they're inconsequential.

Now let's see where our two serials, 145913 and 150177, can be in those batches. The first extreme is that 145913 was the first box in the batch of the 4th and 150177 was the last box in the batch of the 18th:

We get that 3W=150177-145913=4264, we divide by 3 and then get W=1421. This is our first bound - since we picked the extreme case, we know that W cannot be smaller than 1421.

Similarly, we can check the other extreme, where 145913 was the last box in the batch of the 4th and 150177 was the first box in the batch of the 18th:

We get that W=4264. This is our second bound, we know that W cannot be larger than 4264.

Bounds are nice and all, but what we actually want is the most probable value of W.

If we assume that our liliputs were picked at random from the batches, on average the first serial is in the middle of its batch: N+W/2 and similarly the second serial should be on average N+2W+W/2 (I know this is hand waving, but there's real math behind this, from the fact that the sum of means is equal to the mean of the sum).
This gives us 2W=4264 and W=2132.

So let us conclude what we have found out:
Every week Hohner produced between 1421 and 4264 boxes. Our best guess regarding the actual number is 2132.

If anything of the above wasn't clear, feel free to ask.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 01:41:32 AM by Eshed »
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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2019, 12:18:54 AM »

Those are some really nice diagrams, kudos!
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Winston Smith

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2019, 08:37:23 AM »

Dear Eshed, your "going around the houses" explanation certainly made your original posting more understandable to me, thanks. It's essentially what I did on a bit of paper, but adding the +&- calculations at the end to come up with your final estimation.

(My youngest grandson, 6, has just been assessed as being on the "Autistic Spectrum". I was absolutely amazed at the findings and explanations of the assessor regarding the difficulties he is currently experiencing at school. I recognised all of them as applying to my early years......so I wasn't just "thick" after all!)
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JD

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2019, 09:17:18 AM »

At first glance 2000 Liliputs per week seems difficult to believe. Then I read on the Wikipedia page for Hohner (usual Wikipedia caveats apply) that Hohner employed 5000 people in Trossingen in 1939. Then I found this quote in the archive of Box and Fiddle...
Such then is the history of the great Hohner industry which in 1957 turned out something in the region of 20 million harmonicas and 400,000 accordions annually and employed nearly 5,000 workers in their manufacture.
400,000 a year works out to just under 10,000 a week. On the assumption that this is the rate of accordion production each year from 1935 to 1939 we would need to know what proportion were Liliputs. Because they were relatively cheap (and perhaps the German military were ordering them in bulk for distribution to Army and Naval units) 2000 Liliputs a week looks feasible.
Thanks to Eshed for the clear explanation of the maths. I wonder if the assumption about constant production rates for each model is true. For example, I can imagine that in 1936 (the year of the Berlin Olympics) they might have put a large number of workers on to making those Viktoria models with the "Brandenburg Gate" logo at the expense of other models.
I wonder if those serial numbers were stamped into the casework before the box was assembled and tuned or after.
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Eshed

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2019, 09:25:06 AM »

Those are some really nice diagrams, kudos!
Thank you, it used to be my job and probably still is :D

Dear Eshed, your "going around the houses" explanation certainly made your original posting more understandable to me, thanks. It's essentially what I did on a bit of paper, but adding the +&- calculations at the end to come up with your final estimation.
Not going around the houses as much as you'd expect. Since we only have two points, our bounds are much more important than the guess. If we had more dated Liliputs that might change.

In any case, I think we can safely say that unless Hohner's production was very irregular, your Liliput (739773) was built 1939 or so.

I wonder if the assumption about constant production rates for each model is true. For example, I can imagine that in 1936 (the year of the Berlin Olympics) they might have put a large number of workers on to making those Viktoria models with the "Brandenburg Gate" logo at the expense of other models.
I wonder if those serial numbers were stamped into the casework before the box was assembled and tuned or after.
I'm pretty sure that it is false, it's a commercial company, they must have changed priorities according to supply and demand.
I'm just hoping it didn't fluctuate too much, as otherwise we can't do anything really...
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Peadar

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2019, 07:58:47 PM »

Fairly constant production rates are most likely -minimises unit costs. We are also well before the era of "just in time" manufacture. Making "to stock" as opposed to "to order" was a common practice in the 1930's - this would assist in dealing with seasonal fluctuations in demand.

Another thread - somewhere on melnet - says that in the depression of the 1930's Hohner subcontracted the manufacture of batches of boxes to (struggling) smaller manufacturers - often subsequently buying up the firm when it went under. According to my late father, (who trained as an accountant in Chester during the 1930s' ) buying up  and closing down (the factories of) failed competitors was one of the survival strategies of manufacturing businesses during the depression.

Subcontracting batches to other manufacturers would also serve Hohner as it would have relieved them of the costs associated with increasing production to meet short term peaks in demand- which would otherwise need to be met by higher cost strategies like overtime.
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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2019, 09:36:44 PM »

My liliput is numbered 145427 and a the time I bought it I found out from the Hohner site that it was made in 1935. This info was provided free at time but they charged a fee if you required further information such the first customer etc.
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playandteach

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2019, 09:47:24 PM »

Where on the box is the serial number? Can't see one on mine.
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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2019, 10:06:00 PM »

Hi Pete, the one I have with me here is the "Circles" grille one. If I pick it up in the playing position, the number is stamped into the celluloid at the bottom left, immediately below the black line which separates the two celluloid sections. I suppose you could call it the joint.
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playandteach

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Re: Liliput numbering and relevance to production date?
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2019, 10:43:17 PM »

Thanks, got it. 339276.
So does that make it some time in 1937?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 10:49:39 PM by playandteach »
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