English system concertina. Serial number 584. Oval paper label: 'By His Majesty's Letters Patent, C. Wheatstone, Inventor, 20 Conduit St., Regent St., London.' 6 inches flat amboyna ends; pine backing behind fretwork, number on left-hand. 38 ivory buttons, black accidentals, bushed. Later black leather straps, West Street style, i.e. of the period after the company moved to West Street in 1905, with nickel screws. Later five-fold black leather bellows, also West Street style. Square-end nickel reeds. Original hexagonal rosewood case, with a 1 inch extension on the base to take longer bellows.
Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875), best known for his work in the field of physics, patented the English-system concertina in 1844. This instrument had already been in production for some years following his 1829 patent for the symphonium, a free reed mouth organ. A bellows-blown model was shown in an illustration accompanying the 1829 patent. The following information is recorded regarding the purchase of this instrument in the ledgers of the Wheatstone concertina factory (http://www.horniman.info): '31 Jan 1843: Mr Eyre (C1046, p.17) No date: Miss M Fitzhugh (C104a, p.31)'.