A photograph of Gifford Chidley displaying mouth organs at the Drumcraft factory, a subsudiary of Boosey & Hawkes, circa 1941. Concertinas and mouth organs were produced in London under the Wheatstone name throughout most of the 20th century. Charles Wheatstone invented the concertina, and the company remained in the ownership of his family until 1940 when it was sold to Besson & Co. (who themselves were bought by Boosey & Hawkes in 1948). Gifford Chidley was the last Wheatstone family relation to be associated with the company. Mouth organs were less significant to the Wheatstone operation than concertinas because German imports dominated the market. When the war disrupted this import trade, the Wheatstone Company stepped up production to meet the demand.
Production Date:
circa 1941
ID no:
Horniman Museum, London

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