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Concertina inventor(s)

Guran 05 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM
treewind 05 Dec 09 - 01:46 PM
Tootler 05 Dec 09 - 02:39 PM
Gurney 05 Dec 09 - 10:44 PM
Rowan 05 Dec 09 - 11:32 PM
Guran 06 Dec 09 - 02:13 AM
treewind 06 Dec 09 - 05:10 AM
IanC 07 Dec 09 - 07:36 AM
TheSnail 07 Dec 09 - 07:52 AM
Guran 07 Dec 09 - 08:19 AM
Guran 07 Dec 09 - 08:37 AM
Crane Driver 07 Dec 09 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 07 Dec 09 - 10:23 AM
Guran 07 Dec 09 - 11:09 AM
IanC 07 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM
Crane Driver 07 Dec 09 - 11:44 AM
Crane Driver 07 Dec 09 - 12:12 PM
Crane Driver 07 Dec 09 - 12:25 PM
Guran 07 Dec 09 - 01:35 PM
Guran 07 Dec 09 - 02:00 PM
Tootler 07 Dec 09 - 03:21 PM
Guran 07 Dec 09 - 05:03 PM
treewind 08 Dec 09 - 02:52 AM
GUEST 08 Dec 09 - 06:48 AM
IanC 08 Dec 09 - 06:49 AM
Guran 08 Dec 09 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band 08 Dec 09 - 11:16 AM
IanC 08 Dec 09 - 12:08 PM
Tootler 08 Dec 09 - 06:13 PM
Guran 08 Dec 09 - 07:21 PM
Tootler 09 Dec 09 - 05:10 PM
Guran 09 Dec 09 - 06:28 PM
Guran 21 Dec 09 - 02:16 PM
Tootler 21 Dec 09 - 02:39 PM
Fidjit 21 Dec 09 - 05:45 PM
Guran 23 Dec 09 - 08:59 AM
Tootler 23 Dec 09 - 10:04 AM
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Subject: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM

Many encyclopedias and other sources say that "Charles Wheatstone invented and patented the concertina". The time for the event may differ a great deal however, for example 1825, 1829 or 1844, and there is also the German Konzertina which usually is linked to Karl Uhlig and having no relation to Charles Wheatstone.
So - what is *the* Concertina/Koncertina actually and WHO "invented" or "patented" what in reality?


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: treewind
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 01:46 PM

I hope you've read what's at concertina.info though the history page there doesn't have the complete background.

There obviously isn't one day before which the concertina didn't exist and after which it did. I think Wheatstone took out several patents on different aspects of the instrument, and the development took place over many years, starting with something that was barely recognisable as a concertina and gradually became more like it.

Wheatstone's serial number 1 was apparently 1830, but I don't know what the instrument looked like.

Someone in Germany (was that Karl Uhlig?) was meanwhile developing the diatonic system that's now used in melodeons and Anglo concertinas (Anglo-German, a hybrid of the English and German inventions)

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 02:39 PM

There seems to have been a lot of parallel development of bellows blown free reed instruments during the 1820's and 30's and most of the instruments we know today (as well as the harmonica) had their origins at about that time.

As to concertinas the diatonic system as used in the Anglo as well as the various German based instruments seems to have been developed by Karl Uhlig in the mid 1830's.

Charles Wheatstone was responsible for what we now know as the English Concertina. His original patent was from 1829 and the the final one for the instrument we know today is from 1844.

I think it is fair to say that the two basic systems were developed in parallel.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Gurney
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 10:44 PM

The 'English' fingering system may have first appeared on a species of mouthorgan. The one that I've seen was a box with a blowhole and the buttons arranged on the sides.

The metal reeds, I believe, are a Chinese invention.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Rowan
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:32 PM

From memory, Gurney, the instrument ypur first sentence describes was known as the Symphonium. The Chinese Sheng apparently made an appearance at a Paris (?) trade fair in 1809.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 02:13 AM

treewind:"Wheatstone's serial number 1 was apparently 1830, but I don't know what the instrument looked like".

RE:Interesting new information,where have you got that from?

Tootler:"As to concertinas the diatonic system as used in the Anglo as well as the various German based instruments seems to have been developed by Karl Uhlig in the mid 1830's".

RE:The common source consists of newspaper advertisements by Karl Uhlig in Chemnitz 1834 but there are no known precise descriptions of the said instrument or who atually was responsible for the *invention*

Tootler:"Charles Wheatstone was responsible for what we now know as the English Concertina. His original patent was from 1829 and the final one for the instrument we know today is from 1844".

RE:This is how it is commonly presented as I said initially but it seems to be a traditionally repeated misunderstanding of the patent contents.The 1829 patent deals with the keyboard note layout (the "Symphonium" and what is primarily claimed is precisely the distribution of the diatonic scale on two rows of keys and alternating between left and right side)and the 1844 one deals with some specified novelties - "improvements" - but for the *instrument* itself - "we know as the English Concertina" - there are in real NO patent claims at all !
Yes - the "two systems" apparently were developed in parallel.

But what is a "Concertina/Konzertina" in real?


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: treewind
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 05:10 AM

Wheatstone and Lachenal Dates of Manufacture
concertina.info/tina.faq/conc-ap1.htm


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: IanC
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 07:36 AM

The symphonium doesn't use the concertinal keyboard note layout. It's much simpler. Tere are some photos somewhere on the web.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 07:52 AM

Here, for insatnce. It is essentially a diatonic English system without the "black notes" of the outer rows.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 08:19 AM

treewind:"Wheatstone and Lachenal Dates of Manufacture"
concertina.info/tina.faq/conc-ap1.htm

RE:If you check the origin of that article you will find that the true serial numbers do not start with "number 1" at all. As a matter of fact the first hundred or so products are quite a bit obscure but some precise information is available too.
You find copies of the original Wheatstone books here:
http://www.horniman.info/WNCMARC/C104A/INDEX.HTM

and you will find that the first (interpreted) entry is 03 May 1834.
Further research can date the earliest "known" instrument (not named a "Concertina" but a "Symphonium with bellows) a couple of years back, but not to 1830 ( from my memory,I can check better later)


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 08:37 AM

IanC:"The symphonium doesn't use the concertinal keyboard note layout. It's much simpler. Tere are some photos somewhere on the web".

RE:Not correct I'm afraid.The patent claims are 1) the "employment of two parallel rows..." ( for the diatonic notes) and 2) "the introduction of two additional rows.." (for the semitones)
In all the complete keyboard we know as the "English". it is noteworthy that the patent figure 25 includes a set up of the complete 4 row keyboard in the key of Eb prooving that the keyboard "design" was NOT ( as is sometimes assumed)based on the idea using the doublings of D#/Eb and G#/Ab to enable mean tone temperament tuning.
Add: there are 4 more patent claims as well...

TheSnail:"It is essentially a diatonic English system without the "black notes" of the outer rows".

RE: Same answer as to IanC...do check the original papers, they are very interesting, as well as the 1844 papers (also commonly misinterpreted)


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Crane Driver
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 09:18 AM

"Charles Wheatstone invented and patented the concertina" is obviously an over-simplication, but that is what "encyclopedias and other sources" tend to do, being of the generalist persuasion. I really don't understand the original question - what does "*the* Concertina/Koncertina" mean? It's a group of similar instruments, derived from earlier concepts with some original features added by different people. There isn't a single instrument from which all the others descend.

As Anahata says "There obviously isn't one day before which the concertina didn't exist and after which it did. I think Wheatstone took out several patents on different aspects of the instrument, and the development took place over many years, starting with something that was barely recognisable as a concertina and gradually became more like it." Uhlig seems to have done the same thing in Germany.

I suspect that the name 'Koncertina' was Uhlig's, and that Wheatstone anglicised it to 'Concertina' when he started to fit bellows to his Symphonium, but I can't prove it. However, inventing the name of something is not the same as inventing the thing itself. Wheatstone certainly marketed himself as the 'Inventor' of the concertina, which I suspect is the source of the common generalisation, but that's not the same thing either.

My answer, insofar as I have one, is that "*the* Concertina/Koncertina" doesn't exist, and never has. There are only concertinas.   My best guess as to 'who invented what' would be:

Metal 'free reeds' ...................................... the ancient Chinese
Use of bellows to sound the reeds ............. probably someone in continental Europe - possibly even Uhlig
The name 'Concertina' .............................. Karl Uhlig
The English fingering system ...................... Charles Wheatstone
The diatonic German system ..................... Karl Uhlig
The hexagonal shape ................................ Charles Wheatstone
Various practical manufacturing details ...... Lachenal, Jeffries, Crabb and many others
Other keyboard layouts ............................ MacCann, Jeffries, Butterworth, Haden and many others

Not forgetting:

An improved ergonomic handle .................. Mr Guran

Personally, I'm just grateful the things evolved at all.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 10:23 AM

Just give thanks that we did not have Mudcat as nothing would have been achieved only long convoluted and involuted discussions.
I am just glad that C W et al did what they did. If you need the answers, there a some who have made a life times study of the key players in this sport.
The earliest C W tinas had Roman Numerals not numbers


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 11:09 AM

Crane Driver: "I really don't understand the original question - what does "*the* Concertina/Koncertina" mean?"

RE:To make it short: Neither do I! :-) I said it just to provoke the question.Never mind about the spelling, I return to that later, just let me say instead: What IS a Concertina? What is it that makes it different from other squeezeboxes? from Accordion or Melodeon? To make it easier to categorize the squeezeboxes - can we agree upon a definition for *concertinas* ?

CD:"I suspect that the name 'Koncertina' was Uhlig's, and that Wheatstone anglicised it to 'Concertina' when he started to fit bellows to his Symphonium..."

RE: Rather the other way around.Uhlig was not associated with the term as it seems.According to the Charles Roylance tutor a quote may be interpreted meaning that the name Concertina appeared in dec 1833. It does for sure appear in a Dublin newspaper in June 1834 in relation to Regondi's tour in Ireland.In Germany Maria Dunkel mentions the Industrie-Ausstellung in München 1869 talking about Concertina-manufacturers but I think there was an earlier event as well (in the late 1850s)

Concerning the "diatonic German system" it depends if we talk about its application on "concertinas" and then Uhlig may(below!) be relevant, otherwise we have to get back to Demian in Vienna 1829 who often is meant to be the initial squeezebox inventor ( or first patentee at least) along with some claims that Buschmann may have come first.

Concerning Uhlig's role some very interesting new stuff has turned up related by Dan Worrall in ICA "Concertina World" No 443.Uhlig's son in law Johann David Wünsch in his biographic notes 1890 said "When in our new acomodation, I still worked for the business of my father-in-law Uhlig...with whom I also invented the concertina..."

The claim can not be completely contradicted as it seems, so maybe some history has to be questioned here as elsewhere.There are no other known documents supporting the importance of Wünsch's claim but of course it would not be very surprising if Uhlig took some credit from his son-in-law.Wünsch did move on anyway to Leipzig and founded an enterprise for instrument manufacture although it seems as if he was occupied more as a musician himself.

Concerning the "improved ergonomic handle" as often is the case it is not much of "invention", possibly some "innovation", but like I have said before some of the principle of it ought to be selfevident and was published already 1861 in a patent application by William Wheatstone...

Concerning the name the spelling Concertina actually was used in Germany too in early years which indicates that it may have got there from England. Whether it came from the Wheatstones despite being likely to me is not prooved.Maria Dunkel mentions that J Alexandre 1839 used the term for a harmonium and Berlioz 1844 talked about "Concertina Anglais" and "Concertina Allemand". So, where the term actually came from is not definitely prooved. It seems not to have until in later decades of the 19th century that the German spelling Konzertina became commonly established, along with Bandonion - which by definition is a *concertina*? or?


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: IanC
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM

Look.

The original patent is on the internet HERE!.

Can you see the bellows on the illustration (last page, after page 9)?

This is a patent for an IMPROVEMENT to a concertina.

OK or not?
:-)


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Crane Driver
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 11:44 AM

I was always given to understand that the fundamental difference between concertinas and other 'squeezeboxes' is that on a concertina the movement of the buttons is in the same direction as the movement of the bellows, whereas on melodeons and accordions the button movement is at right-angles to the direction of bellows movement. By that definition, Chemnitzers and Bandonions are certainly concertinas. Experience suggests that complete agreement on definitions is unlikely, so your mileage may vary.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Crane Driver
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 12:12 PM

And no, sorry Ian, CW's patent does not use the word Concertina. It covers a series of improvements to 'Wind Musical Instruments', especially the aeolina or mouth organ. It does suggest the use of bellows, and includes a very concertina-like sketch, but what CW is claiming as his patent is the arrangement of buttons ('studs') and linking levers that enable reeds to be packed into a smaller and more portable instrument.

Also of interest may be the following quote from here:

'. . . the modern Western free reed is rather different to those used in traditional Asian instruments. How this difference came about is unclear, despite being a point of great importance. The positioning of the reed above the slot, rather than reed and reedplate being cut from one piece of metal and lying in the same plane, is the reason that the Western-style free reed can sound a given pitch without the need for an additional resonator. This is what makes it possible to have a dozen, or even a couple of hundred reeds in a small portable musical instrument - portability being a key factor in the worldwide popularity of the harmonica and accordion. Important as this point is, it is something overlooked by almost all histories of free reed instruments, Russian accordion historian Alfred Mirek being the only exception I have so far found. In his Reference Book on Harmonikas, Mirek has one small paragraph which credits Russian organ builder and associate of Kratzenstein, Franz Kirschnik (Kirsnik) as being the person responsible for this innovation. It remains unclear whether he had merely adapted the earlier type of free reed, or whether he had come up with the idea completely independently. Whichever it was, the new reed was quickly adopted by organ builders in the late 1700s and inspired a whole range of novel instruments in the 1800s.'

Nevertheless, this design of free reed is also claimed in CW's patent of 1829 as his invention. Perhaps he thought of it independently, without knowing of the Russian work.

Interesting. Good thread, Guran. I'm beginning to like it!

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Crane Driver
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 12:25 PM

Sorry - mea culpa. CW does not claim to have invented the 'western' style of free reed as described above, he mentions it as a feature of the aeolina, which he has introduced into an 'improved' version of the Chinese sheng.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 01:35 PM

IanC:"Can you see the bellows on the illustration (last page, after page 9)?This is a patent for an IMPROVEMENT to a concertina..."

RE:Figure 43 illustrates the use of bellows for the "tsching" or "ching" as CW says ( or sheng as we usually spell it)and figure 45 does illustrate theoretically a use of bellows for the Symphonium. This particular feature in the patent papers has been the cause of the common sayings about "patenting the concertina 1829" but like I said before it should NOT be misinterpreted that way.
1) the term *concertina* not being used at all in the papers and maybe/probably not even introduced yet anywhere
2) there are NO claims for this being a prime novelty at all - it is just mentioned that the application of bellows is possible

Patent routine and its legislation is a complicated field particularly in historic views and I am not knowledgable on the praxis in those days in England but one common fundament is that a patent application needs to concern something *new* and the patentee has to specify *which* the claims are for a specific novelty.
Concerning *instruments* it is often demanded that a prototype is provided- a practically working realisation of the novelty that can demonstrate the usefulness of the object but some patent authorities merely register a paper and the values and "rights" associated with the patent have to be tried at court for realisation.
In this case we must find that there are NO claims at all for these "instruments" neither for the Symphonium, nor later in 1844, for the Concertina, and consequently Charles Wheatstone did NOT "patent" the concertina, neither 1829 nor 1844.

BUT - of course it is messier than that! - The "symphonium" CW speaks about in page 3 line 25-35 is NOT the *instrument* but explicitely the arrangement of "studs" = the design of the keyboard !!
You can compare with the term *piano*. Imagine that the keyboard design with 7 white and 5 black keys for the octave were called the *piano* and that this keyboard is used for clavichords,organs, pianos,
synths - all being "pianos" when referring to the keyboard while we also have the *instruments* grand-pianos and upright pianos etc.

With that analogue there was of course a "patent" for the "symphonium" meaning its typical keyboard which also was used for the later "English concertina" in the early years named by Wheatstones "Symphonium with bellows" or actually "Symphonion with bellows" and seemingly some time later on changed back to "Symphonium" when talking about the original mouth-organ and the fairly few that were produced.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 02:00 PM

Crane Drive:"I was always given to understand that the fundamental difference between concertinas and other 'squeezeboxes' is that on a concertina the movement of the buttons is in the same direction as the movement of the bellows, whereas on melodeons and accordions the button movement is at right-angles to the direction of bellows movement"

RE:Such a definition may hold to some part but what is the use of it?
There are typical big squeezeboxes looking like common "accordions" but with the buttons arranged "concertina-wise".
Another suggested definition is based on 'one or more notes/button'
Accordion,Akkordeon,Accordeon...indicates something with *chords* being a basic feature but there are "accordions" with "free bass" that fall out.

To make a definition or classification useful it must better have some universal fundament of organologic separation otherwise we get numerous exceptions or "hybrids".
The best I can come up with classifying "bellows-driven free reed instruments " is the principle for pumping air.We already have got various *blown* free reed instruments like harmonicas with or without keys. For the *pumped* ones I suggest the following

x. bellowsdriven free reed instruments

x.1 Stationary = (resting on ground or table while being played)
x.1.1 organs, harmoniums with pedals
x.1.2 Indian harmonium, pumped with one arm, "keyed" with the other

x.2 Portable = ( carried while being played)= Squeezeboxes
x.2.1 Accordions = (assymmetrical construction)bellows worked with one arm
x.2.2 Concertinas = (symmetrical construction) bellows worked by either arm or both arms


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 03:21 PM

CW makes two fundamental claims in his 1829 patent.

  • Firstly for a layout of buttons for activating the reeds which we now know as the layout used on the English Concertina.

  • Secondly for a method of mechanically affecting the pitch of a sounding reed to adjust it by a semitone.


The first is still with us; the second, not surprisingly, is not. After all it is much easier to fit separate reeds tuned to the appropriate pitches.

Also described but not claimed in his patent is the possibility of using bellows instead of the mouth to sound the reeds.

Hence it is fair to say that even though he did not call it such, all the elements of the instrument we now know as the English Concertina are described in this patent. However, there was clearly further development before the instrument as we know it today finally emerged.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 05:03 PM

Tootler:"Hence it is fair to say that even though he did not call it such, all the elements of the instrument we now know as the English Concertina are described in this patent"

RE:Being "fair" or not in that sense is hardly a relevant act in relation to patent claims or "rights".Like I said, mostly what is in real *patent rights* can only be tried by a court. Nevertheless the claims may have certain impact on interests from potential competitors.
The basic point remains being that "The concertina" as an instrument was not patented. The patent papers however support the opinion that C Whatstone "invented" the Symphonium and the essence of the "English concertina" as it is later known but to be a little bit provocative - are we dead sure that it wasn't his father or brother ( or someone else in the neighbourhood) who came up with the idea...?...:-)


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: treewind
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 02:52 AM

Rather than which way the buttons point, I think the feature that distinguishes concertinas of all systems from other bellows driven instruments is that their symmetry: the fingering system for left and right hands is substantially the same.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 06:48 AM

A chronology

There's some interesting stuff elsewhere on the site as well

Steve


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: IanC
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 06:49 AM

I was looking at figure 45.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 10:50 AM

treewind:"Rather than which way the buttons point, I think the feature that distinguishes concertinas of all systems from other bellows driven instruments is that their symmetry: the fingering system for left and right hands is substantially the same".

RE:I agree symmetry of "concertinas" is a good basic discriminating factor but I would not mention anything about fingering systems being "symmetrical" since they are not so with Anglos, Duets or the Chemnitz, Karlsfeld or Bandonion variants and 3 row button "accordions" with 3 row "free bass" have more "symmetrical" fingering than many concertinas.

IanC:"I was looking at figure 45".

RE: Yes, so was I.. and this figure likely is the root of the misunderstandings regarding the 1829 papers "patenting the concertina"
It definitely may be looked upon as a description of what we may call "the concertina concept" or something alike and like I said it no question presents good historic substance for a claim that CW by this document is the probable "inventor" of the "concertina concept" if we by that mean something different from the "accordion concept" that Demian patented at about the same time.Like CW says himself the application of bellows for a harmonica-like free-reed instrument was NOT new and that seemeingly was the reason for NOT making any claims regarding the "symphonium with bellows".
IF the patent had any real importance for patent rights - and it does seem so in practise since other concertina makers didn't turn up until later on - my guess is that the factual *patenting* of the *keyboard* was the main factor.The 1844 CW patent for instance seems to have had no major importance to stall competition As we know from other examples just saying that there is a patent or an application for a patent may delay competition for a while.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 11:16 AM

In a detailed history of C.W. I have just come across, it records that in 1828 he improved a "German wind instrument known as a MUND HARMONICA" which later was known as the concertina.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: IanC
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 12:08 PM

Mund Harmonica ("Mouth Harmonica") = Mouth Organ.

I don't think Wheatstone was claiming any precedent for attaching a bellows. He was, however, clearly illustrating a bellows with the keyboard arrangement as per his patent in 1829.

Just for further clarity.

Classical Shengs had neither keyboards nor bellows (they are mouth instruments). Nor did they have metal reeds. Some modern Shengs do have brass reeds but this is a 20th Century addition (probably imported from European free-reed instruments).

For a development of the metal free reed in Europe, it would be much more useful to look at the development of a more complex instrument from the Jews Harp in and around Austria circa 1800-1810.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 06:13 PM

IF the patent had any real importance for patent rights - and it does seem so in practise since other concertina makers didn't turn up until later on - my guess is that the factual *patenting* of the *keyboard* was the main factor.

The essence of a patent is in the claims. This is what states exactly what the patent applicant is claiming as his invention. These are normally listed in order of importance, the most important first.

In the case of the Wheatstone patent these start on P8, line 20. There are five claims and the first three all relate to the keyboard, so there is no "guess" about it; the main factor is the keyboard. The other two claims are to an arrangement for modifying the pitch of a reed by a semitone and also for a modified layout of the sheng to permit semitones to be played.

Although not claimed as part of his invention, Wheatstone nevertheless describes the possibility of his symphonium being bellows driven, so that means that all the elements of the instrument we now know as a concertina are described in this patent.

I worked in the UK patent office for a short time and I know it is standard practice to draw up your claims as widely as possible in the first instance and then to narrow them down when possible infringement of existing patents or the existence of overlapping inventions are pointed out. The fact that Wheatstone makes an explicit disclaimer in the sentence before his first claim (p8, line 18 - 20) suggests to me that he could well have drawn up some wider claims in the first instance and then narrowed them down to the aspects of his instrument which he could clearly show to be novel.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 07:21 PM

Tootler,
I have read the CW patents very carefully and there is no major disagrement in our views - ie if, as you say yourself while considering "claims", that since there are no claims for any instrument there should not be any talk about "patents" neither for the instrument "Symphonium" nor for the instrument "Concertina" due to the CW patent papers 1829 and 1844.The cause is simple - as you know from your patent office work - no patent rights can ever be obtained for something not claimed/asked for. Well, there are some exceptional cases in older legislation 'here' I think but I believe they have vanished nowadays.

I probably didn't express myself so well...what I "guessed" was not meant to refer to formal patent contents according to the above but to the practical consequences the papers may have had to protect the invention(s).I haven't read about any judicial acts related to the early concertina production.Several of the early workers seem to have left Wheatstones and started on their own - if that happened entirely "legally" or not might be disputable but again - the only feature to fight about seems to have been the use of the keyboard layouts.If you have any sources in patent law history maybe you might like to investigate the matter?...:-)

One thing that confuses me is the discrepancy between the text contents and the figure material in the 1829 paper and the terribly loose structure of the presentation.Partly intricate and partly near meaningless - framework or a mirror of contemporary 'style' ?


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 05:10 PM

Guran,

Looking back at the thread, it is clear that I have misunderstood what you were trying to say and I apologise for any misunderstanding on my part.

With regard to your second paragraph you do need to bear in mind that patent protection is only for a limited period and at the time of the Wheatstone patents that period was 14 years. That means that by the time of his 1844 patent, his original patent of 1829 will have expired, so it is possible that his later patents, as well as covering developments of his invention were also intended to provide further cover. This is a common technique and you can often get an effective extension of time by this means. However, anyone could have left his employ and set up manufacturing concertinas using his patent after the expiry date and there would be no infringement as the invention would then be in the public domain.

With regard to your last paragraph, all the CW patents predate the establishment of the British Patent Office. Prior to the setting up of the Patent Office an applicant had to take his patent personally to several different legal offices around London. Each would look at the application, approve some aspect of it and charge a fee. Thus the grant of a patent was a tortuous (and expensive) process, so it is maybe not surprising that the document contains inconsistencies as each official who looked at the document would almost certainly want something changed!


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 06:28 PM

Tootler,Yes the possibility of extension of the 1829 patent condition by a new application 1844 has been suggested several times but after all the time turnover does not quite seem to match despite being 'near' (or rather more than..) 14 years and since the factual claims are not obviously related I *guess* that it would not have been a probable success either. It seems obvious anyhow that other makers started to pop up in the first years of 1850s... Scates, Case, Jones...and that means anyway that no 14 years after 1844 had any importance for "concertina rights" in practise and we have not heard of any legal actions have we? Patenting business has always been a nuisance as it seems - often ruining the inventors who may achieve some fame at the best but rarely fortune...

Looking at the technical standard of the 1829 application I have no idea what other ones looked at those days for comparison but the 1844 papers show a much more relevant set of figures anyway and the text is more stringent as well.Maybe 'times had changed' meanwhile or maybe
the applicant had done so too?...


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 02:16 PM

I wish to add a little teaser: Reading the 1844 patent text carefully reveals several confusing miswritings or misunderstandings that makes me wonder if the text is intentionally contradictory in order to confuse possible readers or if CW did not quite understand what he was up to himself??
Anyhow I really doubt if he ever touched - or even more - ever tried to play - his instruments, and if they for his own part firslty were theoretical creations that by accident came out as objects in reality.

Am I talking nonsense? If you are curious do check "improvement" No:s 2, 5 and 7 in the 1844 patent papers...

Well - there is a possible rational explanation... the patent application may have been just a framework but that is contradictory too since it does contain the very sensible Improvement 1,first arrangement which is the "Double" concertina keyboard layout - a very useful 'duet' system idea which sadly enough was not successful.


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 02:39 PM

I had a hunt round for CW's later patents without success. If anyone has a link to the text of these patents could they possibly post it here?

Thanks in advance

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Fidjit
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 05:45 PM

Stephen Chambers owns Wheatstone's symphonium. Also his first English concertina with bellows. I've a photo's of them you want to look.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Guran
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 08:59 AM

Tootler;"I had a hunt round for CW's later patents without success. If anyone has a link to the text of these patents could they possibly post it here?"

Here you are
Goran

http://www.concertina.com/patents/index.htm


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Subject: RE: Concertina inventor(s)
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 10:04 AM

Thanks for the links. Very useful, though it will be a few days before I can get time to study them in detail.


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