Item Type: Wheatstone Acoustic Device
Full Description: A remarkable bellows-powered reed-testing device, from Charles
Wheatstone’s own collection at King’s College,
London. A complex set of crank-operated bellows evacuates a
wooden chamber, upon which is inset a sliding wooden block that holds a range
of concertina reeds; there are two pairs of reeds, beneath each end of
the block, which can be brought into operation by the sliding of wooden or
brass covers back to reveal the reeds beneath; and also a central reed
that is fitted with a ‘Gliding Reed’ mechanism (to shorten
or lengthen the reed’s tongue), which works via a long crank
(itself operated via a threaded bar, turned either by a hand-crank, or
by a wooden wheel in turn powered by a chain or belt, now absent) that
is linked to a similar wheel linked to the main bellows crank. It could be
that the four reeds create a chord when the bellows are evacuated, and the
central, gliding reed then adds a range of notes that join in with the chord.
This item was recovered in the 1960s from the remnants of the Wheatstone
Museum at King’s College, London, and is labelled in chalk
“112”, added during one of the early attempts in the 1950s
at listing the Museum’s contents.
Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum: 1.2.11-001
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Created August 2009 by Neil Wayne
Last Modified 07 February 2012 by Neil Wayne, Chris Flint, Wes Williams
This page created Tuesday 14 February 2012.