Introduction to the project to digitize the ledgers of the C. Wheatstone
& Co. concertina factory at the Horniman Museum, and the goals of this project
in the program of the Musical Instruments department of the Museum.
Historical business records from C. Wheatstone & Co. are held at the
Library of the Horniman Museum in London. The earliest ledgers from the Wayne Archives
contain company sales records from the late 1830s to the 1860s (though with some
large gaps) along with production records from the 1860s to the 1890s and some
early records of wages and other payments. Later ledgers from the Dickinson Archives
contain production records from 1910 to 1974, again with some gaps. All known ledgers
have been digitized (some 2,300 pages in total) and made available free on this website for
by Neil Wayne, Margaret Birley, and Robert Gaskins
A duet concertina (serial no. 35074) with a unique fingering arrangement, made by Wheatstone
in 1938, turns out to be a realization of a design from Wm. Wheatstone's patent of 1861.
The instrument is twelve-sided, a Registered Design feature of Lachenal & Co., and it
turns out to be one of at least sixteen twelve-sided instruments made by Wheatstone between
1934 and 1941. The instrument is now in the collection of the Horniman Museum, London.
As published in The Free-Reed Journal 3 (2001): 3-17.
This HTML version of the article adds a number of additional photographs and
active links to many of the sources cited in the published article.
Updated 15 August 2003: Footnote 11 updated to record that Randall C. Merris has
located instrument serial #33301, another of the set of three twelve-sided 40-key Anglos.
Posted 15 November 2001; last updated 15 August 2003
BBC programme on the history and music of the concertina,
focusing on its inventor Sir Charles Wheatstone as a somewhat belated
recognition of his bicentenary in 2002. In addition to the presenter, Peter Day,
the program features (in order of appearance)
Bob Gaskins, Brian Bowers, Margaret Birley, Stephen Chambers,
Frank James, Douglas Rogers, Sean Minnie, and Steve Dickinson. The program
was produced by Neil Koenig.
BBC World Service programme broadcast 07 September 2004.
The Horniman Museum in London is home to the largest collection of concertinas
(more than 600 instruments) and much related archival research material. A
of concertinas in the collection is available on the site.
The Wheatstone Concertina
Ledgers at the Museum have been digitized and are online
at a separate website.