As indicated previously, a number of English makers built both harmoniums and American style reed organs. In this case we will provide a brief history of the company in the present chapter and then simply list some of their instruments below. Harmoniums were also referred to by many English builders, especially the early ones, as seraphines. There is a separate chapter on genuine seraphines which have several important differences. It was actually Alexandre Debain in France who invented and introduced the name Harmonium in 1842.

It is considered that Gilbert Bauer was the best English builder of harmoniums. A large one with ten full sets of reeds belonged to organ builder David Frostick (sold 2010). After Bauer, Evans, Kelly and Hillier were of similar good quality, comparable to all except the best French instruments, but not coming close to those of Mustel. All these made instruments for exhibition and special orders and they were involved in improvements to the basic design usually with associated patents. I do not believe that there were any English reed makers, so these were bought in from Paris and made by Estève, Turban or Mainguet. Keyboards however were made in England, by manufacturers who supplied for harmonium, organ and pianoforte makers. Of these H. Brooks and Co. is probably the best known. Many components could be bought in via the famous suppliers J. & J. Goddard who were based in Tottenham Court Road, London, near to many of the factories of the industry.

You will see that many firms were located in north London, particularly around the Euston, Camden Town and Kentish Town areas. Piano manufacture in Britain had started in London's West End but moved first to Tottenham Court Road and then to Camden Town. Famous firms included Collard and Collard, Brinsmead and Challen, This encouraged other less well known firms to set up nearby. An account of the pianoforte manufacturing industry which took hold there is given on this Web site I believe that the harmonium manufacturers were often the same firms and took advantage of the same suppliers, so also frequented this area.

The business relationships between some of the London pianoforte makers who also made Seraphines and early Harmoniums is noted in Chapter 3. The following figure extends this with additional information showing how some of the better Harmonium making firms around London might have worked together.


W. Adams (1851-93)

William Benjamin Thomas Adams of 4 Hockley Hill (1861) and 16-17 Ann Street (1867) and 77 Belgrace Road (1906-9), Birmingham is described as an organ and harmonium builder in the Musical Directory [231]. Declared bankrupt in 1864. Later Adams and Beresford piano dealers and tuners 22 Smith Street, Northampton Square, Clerkenwell.

A. Adamson (c.1892)

Exhibited a harmonium teaching device at the Musical and Ecclesiastical Exhibition of 1892.

W.J. Allen (c.1891-6)

William J. Allen was an harmonium and piano manufacturer and dealer located at 8 Bread Street and from 1895 on 6 Rose Street, Wokingham, Berkshire. He was also organist of St. Paul's, Wokingham in 1895.

A. Allison and Co. (c.1872-1929)


Allison Pianos was founded in 1837 at 29 Berners Street, London. Other premises of the company were at 49 Wardour Street, Soho, London (1839) and 75 Dean Street (1846), also in Soho, premises formerly occupied by Isaac Mott. In 1840 a shop was located at 106 Wardour St., Soho, London, but this was just a retail outlet. In 1851 they opened a shop at 34 Brook Street and in 1856 a new factory was opened at 1a Warrington Street, Somerstown, London. The 110 Wardour Street address is also found on labels. c.1872-4.

James Arthur Allison is c.1880 listed as a piano, harmonium and american organ manufacturer residing at 2 Clarence Chambers, Marylebone Road. From 1879 on, the company was called Arthur Allison and Co. and located at 171 Wardour Street, while the factory on Warrington Street was still in use. Allison was in partnership with Walter Stewart Murdoch with premises at 40 Great Marlborough Street and Apollo Works, Leighton Road, Kentish Town.

In 1907 they moved to Prebend Street in Camden Town. In 1911 the company changed its name to Allison and Allison and two years later opened shops at Leighton Road, Kentish town, 10 Charlton King's Road and Prebend Street. In 1923 they had locations at 56 and 60 Wigmore Street and in 1929 they opened at 56 Chalk Farm Road, Leighton Road, Kentish Town and 60 Wigmore Street. Later that year they were taken over by Chappell. They also sold pianos under the name of Globe.

Another note says: Arthur Allison founded a business in 1872-4 at 110 Wardour Street, Soho from 1872-90 and 10 Charlton King's Road, Kentish Town, London until 1906 to manufacture pianos, harmoniums and American organs. They had a factory known as ``Apollo Works'' in Leighton Road, Kentish Town which is listed as a harmonium factory in the 1882 London directory. They however quickly concentrated on the piano. Nevertheless at this date they carried out extensive advertising as sole London agent for Ramsden's (Dawes' patent) ``Melody Organs'' and Dawes and Ramsden's ``Patent Pedal Substitute Organs''.


London Gazette 13/7/1880: Is the Matter of Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors, instituted by Walter Stewart Murdoch, of Enmore Road, Woodside, South Norwood, in the county of Surrey, and James Arthur Allison, of 2, Clarence Chambers, Marylebone Road, in the county of Middlesex, Pianoforte, Harmonium, and American Organ Manufacturers, and Co-partners, trading under the style or firm of Arthur Allison and Company, at 40, Great Marlborough Street and the Apollo Works, Leighton Road, Kentish Town, both in the county of Middlesex. Notice is hereby given, that a First General Meeting of the creditors of the above named persons has been summoned to be held at the offices of Messrs. Andrews and Mason, situated at Nos. 7 and 8, Ironmonger Lane, in the city of London, on the 4th day of August, 1880, at three o'clock in the afternoon precisely. Dated this 9th day of July, 1880. Chorley, Crawford, and Chester, 34 and 36, Moorgate Street, City, Solicitors for the Debtors.

We found that the former Apollo Works building still exists and is now addressed as Charlton Kings Road. Its actually almost invisible behind the row of houses along Leighton Road, London NW52SB. It is now high class flats known as Apollo Studios.


The harmonium model types advertised varied in price for oak, rosewood to walnut cases and were as follows.

  1. Melody Organ: 3 stops, knee swell, 19-20 guineas
  2. Melody Organ: ``Queen's'' model, 9 stops, 2 knee swells, melody to Cremona and Tremolo, 23-25g
  3. Melody Organ: 9 stops, pedal substitute, 2 knee swells, melody to Cremona and Tremolo, 28-30g
  4. Melody Organ: 11 stops, 2 knee swells, melody to Cremona and Tremolo, 30-32g
  5. Melody Organ: ``Royal'' model as supplied to Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Princess Louise. 11 stops, pedal substitute, 2 knee swells, melody to Cremona and Tremolo, 33-37g
  6. Melody Organ: 14 stops, 2 knee swells, melody to Cremona, Flageolet and Tremolo or Cremona and Tremolo, 35-42g
  7. Melody Organ: 14 stops, pedal substitute, 2 knee swells, melody to Cremona, Flageolet and Tremolo or Cremona and Tremolo, 42-47g
  8. Melody Organ: 16 stops, 2 knee swells, melody to Cremona, Flageolet and Tremolo or Cremona and Tremolo, 46-50g
  9. Melody Organ: 16 stops, pedal substitute, 2 knee swells, melody to Cremona, Flageolet and Tremolo or Cremona and Tremolo, 50-55g
  10. Melody Organ: 20 stops, pedal substitute, percussion action, 2 knee swells, melody to Cremona, Flageolet and Tremolo or Cremona and Tremolo, carved walnut case, 100 guineas
  11. English Harmonium: Cottage harmonium, 7-9g
  12. English Harmonium: School harmonium, 10-12g
  13. English Harmonium: 5 stops, Sourdine, Expression, Tremolo and two Fortes, 13-15g
  14. English Harmonium: 8 stops, Diapason Treble, Diapason Bass, Voix Celeste (for Oboe), Expression, Sourdine, two Fortes and Tremolo, 16-20g
  15. English Harmonium: 10 stops, Diapason Treble, Diapason Bass, Double Diapason, Bourdon, Sourdine, Expression, Full Organ, two Fortes and Tremolo, 21-25g
  16. English Harmonium: 11 stops, Diapason Treble, Diapason Bass, Double Diapason, Bourdon, Voix Celeste (for Principal), Sourdine, Expression, Full Organ, two Fortes, Tremolo and knee pedal, 25-29g
  17. English Harmonium: 12 stops, Diapason Treble, Diapason Bass, Double Diapason, Bourdon, Principal, Clairon, Sourdine, Expression, Full Organ, two Fortes, Tremolo and knee pedal, 28-31g
  18. English Harmonium: 13 stops, Diapason Treble, Diapason Bass, Double Diapason, Bourdon, Principal, Clairon, Voix Celeste, Sourdine, Expression, Full Organ, two Fortes, Tremolo and knee pedal, 31-35g
  19. English Harmonium: ``Boudoir'' model, 16 stops in handsome burwood walnut. Registered keys. Diapason Treble, Diapason Bass, Double Diapason Treble, Double Diapason Bass, Principal, Clairon, Oboe, Bassoon, Tremolo, Sourdine Treble 16', Sourdine Bass 8', Bourdon (octave), two Fortes, Expression, Full Organ, 40g *
  20. English Harmonium: ``Boudoir'' model, 17 stops same as no.19 with the addition of Voix Celeste Treble, 42g
  21. English Harmonium: ``Boudoir'' model, 20 stops same as no.19 with the addition of Voix Celeste Treble and Bass and percussion action, 52g

* A.A. would draw special attention to this instrument. Its great advantages being, smallness of size (19'' from back to front, 34'' high), power and quality equal to an instrument double its size.

1M e-Bay *0093

A 1M instrument was advertised on e-Bay by the vendor in Lincoln and said to be completely original with mahogany case. It seems to have ivory keys with wooden fronts, which as is often the case have changed shape with age, so could be from the early period c.1872.

It carries the Allison label (above) which reads:

        Arthur Allison
110 Wardour Street, London, W.
     The Broad Reed Organ
  manufactured expressley for
         James Dolman
     ..... ..... .....
   Chenies, Rickmansworth.


T. D'Almaine and Co. (c.1850-67)

The d'Almaine company started making pianos c.1785. The firm was known as Goulding and d'Almaine until around 1834. The partnership with George Goulding was formed in 1784. Phipps, Potter and Wood were also early collaborators, Phipps left in 1810 to start his own busines. The company was known as Goulding and D'Almaine after 1823 and later Goulding, D'Almaine & Co. then just D'Almaine & Co. from 1834. Thomas MacKinlay, a nephew, joined the firm in 1840. They were piano manufacturers until at least 1916. In 1850 they were also advertising Royal Harmoniums from 20 Soho Square, London. These had from 1 to 6 rows of reeds and could also be purchased combined with a pianoforte. W.H. Barnes appears to have been a retailer for d'Almaine pianos. Thomas D'Almaine the reed organ builder died in 1877. See also Chapter 24.

They were also music publishers and retailed a variety of musical instruments and music scores from their premises at 104 New Bond Street, London W. There were also possible addresses in London at: 10 Sutton Place, Sutton Street, Soho Square (1852-8), 104 New Bond Street (c.1859), Burwood Mews and Edgeware Road (1861), 9, 167, 169, 218 and 220 Walmer Road (1868-76), 5 Finsbury Pavement (1878), 89-91 Finsbury Pavement (1882-1910), 244 Tottenham Court Road (1914-5), 135 Finsbury Pavement (1916), 76 City Road (1925).

A drawing in the British Museum shows 20 Soho Square in 1854 next to Cross and Blackwells. Note the sign on the building says ``DALMAIN & Co PIANOFORTE MAKERS''.


An advertisement for D'Almaine harmoniums in various forms from small to large is shown by Ord-Hume [144], figure 4, p28. Another advert from June 1893 states that they were having a clearance sale for extension of their premises, selling American Organs ``by all the best makers''.

It is known that d'Almaine was an agent for Alexandre and sold a number of their harmoniums in the 1860s. One has been restored by Louis Huivenaar for an Australian owner and another is in USA.

C.R. Bailey (1882-98)

Claudius Robert Bailey residing at 218 Liverpool Road, Islington and working at 1-3 Chalfont Road, St. James' Road, Holloway, N. London, made Sunday School Union organs possibly later using American made actions and only making his own bellows and cases.

On 21/6/1894 Bailey was in court for bankruptcy. He was noted as a piano manufacturer residing at 218 Liverpool Road, Islington (source London Gazette).

We are seeking more information - the following is based on a Sunday School Union advertisement from 1898.

We are now aware of a number of different instruments sold by the Sunday School Union, see 31. It is believed that some were built by R.F. Stevens, so this section may be re-organised as we gather further evidence.


This one belonged to Mary Ann Tarver in London. She had owned it for quite a long time and played it regularly.


I agreed to buy it as she was moving into a small flat, and eventually took delivery on 4/9/2011. The four octave keyboard is stamped ``Brooks Ltd. 2567'' and the instrument case 13741 but there are no other maker's marks. I subsequently sold this to Rev. Tony Newnham in Bradford. His video of Christmas carols is on YouTube:


After seeing the video, Rosalie Wainwright sent photos of an instrument they have in the Woodville museum. This has labels from English retailers: James Smith & Son, Music Sellers Limited, Liverpool, Southport and Berlin; and Walter F. Furness, Musical Instrument Dealer, Southport.

This is a most unusual instrument as it has five stops below the keyboard, otherwise similar to the above.


Rosalie told me that the stops are as follows: Clarinette, Voix Celeste, Flute 4' [not original label], Sourdine, Tremolo. The first and third are half each breaking between numbers 19 and 20. The rest go right through. She believes it may have been built by R.F. Stevens c.1881.


This next one has the John G. Murdoch & Co. label. It was offered for sale in Dec'2009 by the seller in Beverly Hills, USA.


G.L. Bauer and Co. (1865-97)

See Chapter 5.

J. Baynton and Co. (c.1878-96)

J. Baynton and Co. had various premises at 23 Bayford Street, Mare Street and 2 Well Street, Hackney, E. London (near London Fields Station). They advertised originally as manufacturers of harmoniums and harmonium pans. They also made the New Portable Harmonium advertised in 1880. They are recorded in 1883 as manufacturing reed organs, Jordan's transposing harmonium, portable harmoniums and reed pans. They used brass reeds bought in from Turban, Paris. They were listed as piano makers c.1893.

My Harmonium

I have had this small harmonium with 1-1/2 sets of reeds since 1972. It is a very simple, but pleasing instrument to play with quick responsive action, excellent for practice. Stops are: Forte, Sourdine, Cor Anglais, Expression, Flute, Voix Celeste, Tremulant, Forte.


Colour pictures of my Baynton harmonium show the order of assembly of the major components. These pictures were taken after moving it up a narrow flight of stairs in my house in Oct'2007.

T. Beasant (c.1865-90)

[Sometimes spelled as Besant]

Thomas Beasant was a harmonium maker at 17 Portugal Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London around 1865, moved 11 Kirby Street, Hatton Gardens from 1865, 32 Manchester Street, King's Cross 1879-82, 30a Argyle Street in 1882 and 35 Orchard Street, Ball's Pond in 1900. In 1865-6 they advertised as follows.

              BEASANT'S HARMONIUMS, with Patent 
Vibrators, superior tone, from £3-10s. to £38. Send for a 
    list. 11, Kirby-street, Hatton-garden, London, E.C.


 Beasant's £3-10s portable harmoniums have full sized keys, large
 vibrators, superior tone, hand and foot blowers. Harmoniums with two
 rows of keys and pedals, best quality, prices low. ...
 ...Pedal Harmoniums, with couplers, pounds 12-10/5 Portable
 Harmoniums, £3-10s; all others equally cheap and good. 17,
 Portugal-street, Lincoln's-inn, London. ...
 ...Beasant's Harmoniums, with Patent Vibrators, superior tone, from 3
 to 35 guineas. Send for a list. 11, Kirby-street, Hatton-garden,

In May 1868 it was noted that Beasant's harmonium manufactory was removed to 3 Cowcross Street, Smithfield.

e-Bay item 31/10/2006

A small harmonium by Besant [sic] and from c.1865 was advertised 31/10/06. It has three stops: Expression, Forte, Tremolo.


D. Bedford (c.1878-87)

Dan Bedford was a harmonium maker at 326 Goswell Road, London also making pianos c.1893-97.

J. Bedford (c.1878-92)

Joseph Bedford of 66 Weedington Street (now Weedington Road?), Kentish Town, London NW was another harmonium maker noted as making pianos in 1893.

Another F. Bedford is recorded at 7 Jeffreys Place, London in 1900. It is not known if the Bedfords were related.

Bedwell and Sons (1890-1946)

The firm of George Bedwell and Sons is described in Chapter 24.10.

J. Bell (1847-1898)

Joseph Bell (b.1824-d.9/5/1898) of York was the son of a cabinet maker and became apprenticed to Robert Postill, a well known organ builder of Colliergate, York from 1832 onwards. Bell became an apprentice at the rather late age of 22, but only 4 years later was advertising as ``organ builder and tuner, seraphine, cremonine and concertina manufacturer''. He built or re-built 8 organs so far as is known, one for Skirpenbeck church in 1848 and one for St. Mary, Bishophill in 1851.

Joseph Bell is found in the 1881 Census listed as a 57 year old widower and organ builder. He had three daughters living with him: Adelaide Johnson (b.1857) married to a corn miller, Jane (b.1860) and Sarah J. (b.1866); and four sons: Samuel L. (b.1862), William (b.1863) an organ builder, Thomas D. (b.1867) and Charles (b.1869).

Early on he specialised in seraphines (see Chapter 3) and later harmoniums. An advertisement from 1855 claims York Harmonium Manufacturoy is the only establishment in York where the harmonium is manufactured throughout.

Owing to the demand for these instruments for small churches, school rooms and private houses, Joseph Bell's enterprises were published in The Yorkshire Gazette and directories such as White's Directory of Hull and the City of York (1857). See Laurence Elvin's book Family Enterprise, the Story of some North Country Organ Builders [59].

Joseph Bell liked to try different methods of manufacture using wood, ivory, German silver and other metals for reeds. In 1862 at the London International Exhibition he displayed an harmonium with wood reeds and pedals, two octaves; also an instrument containing bassoon, oboe and clarionet/, in the shape of a violencello with two rows of keys and wood reeds.

A harmonium with 10 stops and wooden reeds and 5-1/2 octave compass was built in 1852 for a customer in Haxby. A similar instrument was commissioned by Lady Frankland Russell for All Saints' Church in Thirkleby. The latter one also had barrel organ mechanism and coupld play 10 tunes on each of 3 barrels. It is believed to have been in use until 1873. A harmonium with 12 stops and wooden reeds was marketed in 1866 and exhibited at the York Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition alongside Anglo-German concertinas.

An unusual instrument that is a kind of harmonium also with some wooden pipes is in the York Castle Museum collection. See It has six stops Clarion, Bassoon, Sourdine (dummy), Clarinette, Diapason, Flute. This may be what Bell referred to as a ``chancel organ'' which could have a 16' free (wooden) reed stop. Further descriptions and detailed photographs are given by Elliott [57]. It certainly is very unusual and probably the only surviving specimen.


The London Gazette 25/3/1859 notes an appearance in York county court (reason not specified): Joseph Bell, late of no.20, Gillygate, previously of Charles Street, Clarence Street, theretofore of no.17, Union Terrace, and formerly of no.59, Gillygate, occupying shops at no.57, Gillygate, all in the city of York, Organ Builder, Harmonium Manufacturer, and Musical Instrument Dealer.

The firm was at first known simply as Joseph Bell, but later J. Bell and Sons and S. Bell York. They operated at Petergate, York in 1847, moved to 57 Gillygate in 1849, then 24 Gillygate in 1861, 22 Feasegate in 1863 and had workshops at 28 Swinegate with additional premises at 17 Union Terrace around 1857. Joseph Bell died in 1898 afer which the firm ceased to exist. Samuel Bell traded from around 1893-97 and was at 14 Stonegate, York. However Ord-Hume [144] referred to Sarah Bell rather than Samuel. It was thought that Sarah was Joseph's wife, but she was actually the wife of S.L. Bell, and she later enhanced the business at Stonegate to sell antiques and sheet music from 1894 to around 1906.

Joseph Bell exhibited at the 1862 London International Exhibition an harmonium with wood reeds and pedals, two octaves; also an instrument containing bassoon, oboe, and clarionet, in the shape of a cioloncello, with two rows of keys and wood reeds.

The London Gazette of 30/11/1886 carried the following entry: Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Samuel Luke Bell and William Bell, carrying on the business of Organ, Harmonium, and Pianoforte Manufacturers, at no.14, Stonegate, in the city of York, under the style or firm of Bell Brothers, has been dissolved, by mutual consent, as from the 17th day of November, 1886, and that the said business will in future be carried on by the said Samuel Luke Bell alone: and that he will receive and pay all accounts due to and from the said partnership. Dated this 17th day of November, 1886. Samuel Luke Bell. William Bell.

Samuel Bell continued as a ``manufacturer of English and American Organs, Pianofortes and Harmoniums'' at 14 Stonegate from 1886 onwards. A small number of instruments have survived, one being stored in the organ loft of York Minster. They were made in house, but later on he mainly did repairs. Samuel's wife was Sarah Elizabeth Bell who diversified into the antique business which offered better profits. They also sold sheet music.

He was declared bankrupt in 1898 and William had moved his business to Northallerton and may also have continued to make harmoniums.

Saltaire Museum - ROS DB entry 371

A portable harmonium by Bell is registered number 371 in the ROS database. It has 54 keys CC-f'' and no stops. This is probably the same instrument that is in the Saltaire Museum. It is dated 1864 on number 1 pallet. The keys were made by H. Brooks and Co. as is stamped on one key. The bellows are under the treadles and air is carried up the hollow sides to the sprung reservoir under the keyboard. The case is made from cherry wood.


This instrument is now in the collection of the East Midlands Cinema Organ Association.

J. Bentley (dates unknown)

Bentley of Small Heath, Birmingham - further details unknown. Of course there is also the Bentley piano making firm, but not the same.

ROS DB entry 287

Another small harmonium with no stops is registered number 287 in the ROS DB. It is Bentley serial number 17338 and has FFF-f'' key range. It is located in the Heisshaus Pump Organ Museum between Hastings and Charlotte, Michigan, USA.


S. Benton (c.1879-92)

Samuel Benton was a harmonium maker at Sheepscar Street, Stanhope Square, Leeds. This is now a main road in Leeds city centre - Stanhope Sqare no longer exists.

There is a possible Samuel Benton (b.31/5/1833-d.1897).

A. Blaker (c.1900-21)

A manufacturer of portable harmoniums working at 9 Whitfield Street off Tottenham Court Road, London in 1900, 20 Whitfield Street in 1914 and 39 Store Street in 1921.

Concertinas are known with a dealers stamp inside ``A. Blaker, portable harmonium manufacturer, pianoforte tuner, etc.''

H.A. Blount (c.1878-9)

Blount of 32 King Street, Derby was for a short period a harmonium manufacturer.

In Apr'1875 he was advertising in the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald: Harmoniums cheaper than ever, from 18s. For sale or hire, at H.A. Blounts, Whitecross Steet.

A. Bock (c.1905-7)

Albert Bock of 41a Southampton Road, Kentish Town, London advertised cheap oak cased harmoniums with 7 stops and 1 set of reeds for £ 7.

Boosey and Sons, and Boosey and Ching (c.1859-90)

See Chapter 4.1.

F. Brooks and Co. (1884-86)

Piano and harmonium manufacturer and dealer of 194 Mare Street, Hackney.

Brown and Sons (c.1878)

Browns received an honorable mention at the Paris Exhibition of 1878 for good value and sweet sounding harmoniums.

C. Cadby (c.1839-85)

Charles Cadby was a piano and harmonium maker operating at 21 Alfred Street, Bedford Street, London in 1839, 33-1/2 Liquorpond Street in 1848, Little Tothill Street, off Gray's Inn Lane in 1867 and Hammersmith Road from 1874. Other addresses have been noted.

Among others, he exhibited at the 1851 and 1862 London International Exhibitions alongside a number of other manufacturers of the time. He is mainly known as a pianoforte maker with several important patents. The instruments were exhibited on stand 471 class X in the 1851 Great Industrial Exhibition. A drawing of Cadby's ``Grand Pianoforte'' is shown in the book by Peter and Ann MacTaggart [194].

The entry for stand 3,375 in the 1862 catalogue reads as follow: Cadby, Charles, 3, 33, 38 and 39 Liquorpond Street - Pianofortes and Harmoniums.
The instruments from these manufactories are well known through the United Kingdom and the Colonies for their valuable qualities. Intending purchasers, either for home use or export trade can make their selections from a large, well seasoned, and varied stock in the show rooms of the exhibitors


Unlike most of the manufacturers we have featured, quite a lot is known about Cadby's premises at Cadby Hall on Hammersmith Road. This is because it was bought by the expanding Lyons catering empire in July 1894. Both the original showroom and former manufacturing buildings remained in use, albeit greatly altered, until the 1980s when the whole site was demolished and re-developed. For photographs and more details, see and

G. Camp (c.1865-87)

George Camp of 106 Euston Road, London, moving to 59 Gloucester Road, Regent's Park in 1879, was a piano and harmonium manufacturer. In 1864-5 he advertised as follows.

 CAMP'S 5 stop Harmonium in polished mahogany case, spiral columns,
 full compass, organ tone. Price seven guineas. Harmoniums from
 £4-4/-.  Dealers supplied. ...

 ...Superior Harmoniums in polished mahogany cases, 5 stops for
 £7-7/-; in walnut, 7 stops for £8-8/-.

He submitted a patent application for improvements to the construction in 1871, at which time he was noted as a harmonium maker of 131 Whitfield Street, Fitzroy Square.

H. Carloss and Co. (c.1886-1903)

Herbert Carloss was a harmonium and American organ manufacturer recorded at 133 Dartmouth Park Hill, Highgate in 1886 and 45 Holloway Road, N. London in 1896. He died in 1898.

London Gazette 19/5/1889 Herbert Carloss, Deceased. All persons having any claims against the estate of Herbert Carloss, of 29 Poynings Road and 133 Dartmouth Park Hill, London, Harmonium and Organ Manufacturer, deceased (who died on the 23rd February, 1889, and whose will was duly proved by George Guy White, the sole executor therein named, on the 16th March, 1889), are hereby required to send in particulars of their claims to the undersigned, on or before 20th May, 1889, after which day the said executor will proceed to distribute the assets of the said deceased among the parties entitled thereto, having regard only to the claims of which notice shall then have been received. Dated 16th April, 1889. Walter Maskell, 7, Great James Street, Bedford Row, London, Solicitor for the said Executor.

Carr (unknown)

Carr's of London advertised superior quality English harmoniums. Was this Thomas Carr? If so there is an instrument in the Piano History Centre (ref. Bill Kibby).

R. Carr [need to check if its the same firm] were concertina makers.

H.T. Cassini (1864-84)

Henry Thomas Cassini was in 1858 listed as a pianoforte maker and tuner of Edgeware Road, Kilburn (bankrupt 1854) and as pianoforte hammer coverer and dealer of 3 Church Terrace, Kentish Town (isolvent 1858). There was also John Cassini in the same trade.

Piano and harmonium maker of 319 Goswell Road, Islington London E and 1 Finsbury Road, Wood Green, London N. in 1864 was known as the cheapest house in the trade. A 3-stop instrument in a walnut case was available for 7 guineas.

A small one with no stops appeared on e-Bay *9367 in Suffolk, Aug'2010. It has a mahogany case and measures 38'' x14'' x29''. It was noted as an ``English Model'' and has a soft sweet tone.

G. Challenger and Co. (c.1892-1900)

George Challenger and Co. piano, harmonium and organ manufacturer of 57 Long Millgate, Manchester and 136-8 Hampstead Road, London. Other addresses include: The Piano Works, George Street, Langham Street, W London (1882); Portland Road, Cavendish Mews and 138 Charlotte Street London until c.1910. There seem to be several other possible members of the Challenger family (James, Joseph and William).

C. Chartier (1878-84)

A harmonium maker of 12 Market Place, Oxford Market, London.

Chiappa and Fersani (c.1880)

Guiseppe Chiappa and Gustavus Fersani of 6 Little Bath Street, Eyre Street Hill, Clerkenwell were makers of piano organ, barrel organ and barrel harmoniums.

Partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on 3/3/1880.

W. and J. Chilvers (1868-82)

William and James Chilvers of Bedford Street, St. Andrews, Norwich were organ and harmonium makers. Also noted at Pitt Street and 6 St. Stephen's Street c.1883. They started as Chilvers Brothers around 1855, became Wm. and Jas. Chilvers in 1875 and then Chilvers and Nephews in 1879. It is known that they sold Debain harmoniums and one Dulcimer is known to have been made by them.

I was pleased to be contact by Julian Chilvers in Oct'2007. He said: William Chilvers was my great great grandfather. He was born in Norwich in 1809 and worked initially as a weaver. In 1841 he moved to Halesworth in Suffolk and in White's 1844 Directory is listed as a musical instrument maker and music teacher. In 1851 he was described as a master tuner. On my great grandfather's marriage certificate in 1855 he is described as a musician and by 1861 as a music master. Sometime between 1861 and 1871 he returned to Norwich and in 1871 was living in Belvoir Street with his nephew James (actually William James the son of his brother James) and both are described as musical instrument makers. Harrod's Norwich and Lowestoft Directory of 1872 lists W. & J. Chilvers, Bedford Street Norwich under Pianoforte and Music Warehouses. William died in 1878 and in 1881 and 1891 his nephew William James was just listed as a music seller living in St. Stephen Street, Norwich. William James Chilvers died in 1896. I believe William's brother James died in 1870 and I wasn't aware that he was directly connected with the business.

More information can be found on the Chilvers Family History Web site:

So it seems that the business started with William (b.2/7/1809-d.18/9/1878) and his brother James (b.26/9/1821-d.1870) c.1855. After James died, William was joined by nephews William James (b.1851-d.) and Horace (b.1857-d.), sons of James.

The Harrods directory for 1868 lists Chilvers Brothers in Bedford Street, Norwich as pianoforte, harmonium and organ makers, tuners and repairers. Soon after several family deaths, James made a will in 1870 to reflect his changed circumstances. He also made arrangements for his older brother to care for both his business and his sons in the event of his own death. His brother William was to be paid 25 shillings a week for the maintenance of himself, his wife and James's two sons. This was quite a reasonable sum at the time. William and James's eldest son William James were to carry on running the business until William's death or until James's youngest son Horace attained the age of 21. In the meantime a sum of 10 shillings a week was to be invested for the benefit of Horace who was to be apprenticed to a professor or teacher of music. Horace attained the age of 21 early in 1878. At this point the business was to be offered at valuation jointly to the two sons, then to them individually and if both declined it was to be sold on the open market. Proceeds were to be divided equally between the two sons, James's brother William and James's daughter Sarah Ann Kemp.

We do not know for certain what happened in 1878 but it appears likely that the business was carried on by the elder son William James. Horace had already become a solicitor's clerk and James's brother William died later that year. There is evidence for this in Kelly's 1888 directory where William James is listed as W.J. Chilvers & Co. pianoforte manufacturers, although the business had already moved from 5 Bedford Street to 10 St. Stephens Street.


W. Clark (1871-87)

William Clark was a harmonium maker from Little Dockray, Penrith, born around 1818. He was registered at 35 Ashdown Road, St. Pancras, London in 1871. With his wife Jane, he brought up his family in St. Pancras; Richard, James, Jane, Eliza, George and Sophia. None of them carried on the reed organ business.

Clarke and Sons (c.1872-95)


Most of the information on this firm was provided by Steve Poulton, who is researching the family history. Originally, Adam Clarke, later Clarke and Sons, were organ and harmonium builders of Kirton-in-Lindsey, Lincolnshire. It is believed that they had a factory on Wormwood Hill, possibly earlier (or a shop) in Market Place. They were listed in Kelly's directory of 1885.

Steve noted that Samuel Clarke (b.1823) appears in census records and street directories as a cabinet maker and-or joiner from 1846. The earliest record found of the firm, ``Clarke & Sons'', is in the 1872 edition of White's History, Gazetteer & Directory of Lincolnshire. It lists Clarke Samuel, harmonium builder (C. & Sons) and joiner and cabinet maker of Market Place, h. Steep Hill. Kirton in Lindsey. Here ``h'' indicates their home address. There are similar listings for Samuel's eldest sons, Joseph and John, so we think the original firm comprised of these three people.

Joseph and John had moved to Yorkshire by 1881 but there were two more sons, Samuel Jnr. and Adam, who stayed in Kirton-in-Lindsey. They were recorded as self employed, joiner, and organ and piano tuner respectively, but seem to have worked for their father as well.

The firm came to an end in 1895 following the deaths of Samuel in 1894 and sons Adam and Samuel Jnr. the following year, all from consumption. Samuel Jnr's obituary, published 2/11/1895, says Mr. Samuel Clarke passed away on Tuesday in his 36th year, and his loss is a matter of general sorrow. He was the last representative of the firm of S. Clarke and Sons, organ builders, his father and brother having died within the previous twelve months. He was a clever workman, and proficient musician, and enjoyed everyone's good word.

The business was advertised for sale in 1896: The late Samuel Clarke and Sons, Kirton Lindsey. This old established business of [building?], cabinet making, harmonium and American organ building is for immediate disposal. Stock and tools at valuation. Apply Mrs. Clarke, Kirton Lindsey; or E. Smith, 46 Pilkington Street, Bolton, Lancashire.

Robert Pacey told me he had the label from a one rank reed organ by Clarke and also an advertisement of theirs. He noted that they built at least one pipe organ too. Laurence Elvin [59] notes they built or installed a small one manual organ in Baumber Church, Lincs. with two octaves of pedals which seems to be the only pipe organ to emanate from their workshops in the Market Place.

All the records found by Steve Poulton have Clarke & Sons listed on Market Place, Kirton-in-Lindsey, but Robert Pacey believes they were on Wormwood Hill until about 1930. He recalls a sign board on the side of a house above an adjoining single storey workshop. The premises on Market Place were probably lost when Samuel and his sons died, so someone may have bought the business and re-started it on Wormwood Hill. This still has to be investigated and confirmed or not.

An advert from c.1892 lists instruments as follows.

                 American Organs
             New Models! New Price!
      No.1. - 5 octaves, 1 knee swell - £4-10s
    No.2. - 3 stops (including Vox Humana) - £5
No.3. - As above, with more elaborate case - £5-10s
     No.6. - 8 stops, 2 complete rows of reeds, 
    Grand Organ at knee, latest improvements - £8
                 Clarke & Sons
                Kirton Lindsey

P.A. Claude (c.1875)

Philip Augustus Claude of Ossulston Street, Euston Road, London was noted as a harmonium manufacturer. He applied for a patent in 1875 or improvements in the construction of harmoniums (London Gazette).

Cobden Pianoforte Co. (c.1882-93)


The Cobden Pianoforte, American Organ and Harmonium Company, G. Linstead (manager), 18-19 Eversholt Street, Camden Town, London (1882-4).

G. Linstead is listed in DBOB as a reed organ builder working 1891-95 and registered at 297 Upper Street (1891), and 2 Oseney Crescent, Camden Road (1893), Islington, London

They were advertising pianos, American organs and harmoniums c.1880 with walnut cases, every instrument warranted to stand any extreme climate, shippers and dealers supplied.

The 1882 London directory listing for Cobden under the harmonium section notes ``Geo. Linstead, man''.

They were advertising in the Freemason's Chronicle 2/5/1886 as follows.

                     PIANOFORTES. £19-10s
                    AMERICAN ORGANS, £9-5s
                     HARMONIUMS, £5-15s
Perfact in Tone and Touch, Elegant Walnut Cases, Every Instrument
             warranted to stand any extreme climate.
Before deciding on purchasing, write for a descriptive Price list and
Testimonials to G. Linstead, Manager.
COBDEN PIANOFORTE COMPANY, 18 & 19 Eversholt Street, Camden Town, London.

A small harmonium bearing the above label appeared on e-Bay, 27/12/2007. It was said to have ivory keys, handles at each end and china castors and measures 55'' wide x 31-1/2'' high x 12-1/2'' deep.


A.W. Coleman (1855-72)

Albert William Coleman, organ builder and harmonium manufacturer to the trade, 211 Whitechapel Road, late of 29 Minories. Coleman was a pipe organ builder, one example of his work in 1866 was at St. Matthew, Pell Street, Princes Square. Another was in the St. John Bethnal Green, a 3MP instrument with 34 stops. He re-build the instrument in St. John, Wapping where he was organist. He began an instrument for St. Philip, Stepney in 1872 but this was never finished.

He was registered at 73 Blackman Street, Borough, London from 1855 and 211 Whitechapel Road from 1862-67. It seems that the organ at St. Luke's was in fact finished by Edward Carder who may have worked for or with Coleman until the latter possibly died in 1872 and Carder continued in business until he in turn died in 1880. Carder's address of 9 Burdett Road, Bow was known as the East London Organ Works.

In 1861 (Musical Times) advertised 5 octave harmoniums by Coleman in walnut cases, with twist columns and mouldings foor £10, with 4 stops for £12, 5 stops £14. Also parts for making including: note-board, levers, palets and springs complete; keys; notes; bellows.

Coleman was for some time in partnership with T.R. Willis, see Chapter 32. There are some small pipe organs noted in NPOR bearing the name of Coleman and Willis, for example

C.A. Coleman (c.1883)

Charles A. Coleman, a piano and harmonium maker of 25 New Road, Rotherhide, London SE.

W. Collinson (c.1883)

William Collinson, a piano and harmonium maker of 1 Herbert Road, Shooter's Hill, Woolwich. Other noted premises are: 2 Herbert Road, Shooter's Hill (1896 to 1919), 221 High Street, Plumstead, SE (1901 to 1919). Became William Coleman and Sons from c.1916.

R. Cook and Co. (c.1883)

Richard Cook, a piano and harmonium maker of 113 Fenchurch Street, London. Also noted at Finsbury Place South, Middlesex (1863) and 133 Fenchurch Street, London EC (1882-4). Became Richard Cook and Sons c.1882.

I. Cool and Sons (c.1878-87)

Isaac Cool of Bristol and Cardiff worked at 46-47 Clarence Place, Newtown, Bristol from 1878 as an organ builder also making harmoniums. H. Cool was noted as a piano dealer in 130 Redfield road, Bristol from c.1903.

J. Cooper and Co. (1855-1906)

cooper_name.jpg cooper_name2.jpg

James Cooper and Co. made the Chorister reed organ. Originally just James Cooper, they worked successively in Peabody Yard, Essex Road, Islington (1883); 70 Shepperton Road (1884-93), Greenman Street and Essex Road (1889). New North Road, Islington is also found on labels.

There was also James Cooper & Co. piano makers at 48 Southampton Row, Russell Square (1841-47), 43 Moorgate Street (1850-8). They had a Manufactory at Lansdown Yard, Guidford Street, Russell Square (1852-58) and 34 Linton Street, Arlington Square N. (c.1862). It is not certain if this is the same company.

There is also possible confustion with James Cooper and Son, piano dealers Berners Street, Oxford Street. There is also record of a William Cooper working in 1893-1899 at 7-10 Peabody Court, Green Man Lane, Islington as reed organ builder.

These instruments seem to be very rare, but Erik-Jan Eradus contacted me from Amsterdam in Mar'2011 to say recently I bought a ``broad reed organ'' made by James Cooper. It is built after 1886, according to the address written on the instrument. It is a pressure harmonium with (broad) reeds made by Turban & Cie. and the serial number is 5639. This is registered as HVN-0450.


Another one was seen recently on e-Bay *0773. This is a later one of rather questionable quality.

Another e-Bay *9715 in May 2020 with stops Sourdine, Cor Anglais, Expression, Flute, Tremulant was said to be restored and fully working.

Wm. R. Crabb (c.1887-86)

William R. Crabb was a harmonium maker at 147 Upper Kennington Lane, London until around 1914. Later Frederick Arthur Crabb was registered as a piano maker at the same address.

H. Crabb was also a well known concertina maker but may be no relation, he descended from John and Charles Crabb.

J.B. Cramer and Co. Ltd. (1861-1921)

See Chapter 6.

Craven and Co. (unknown)

Harmonium makers of London. They may possibly later be the firm of piano makers noted from 1901-19. Possible addresses are in London are: 75 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich (1901-19), 381 White Horse Road, Croydon (c.1901), 500A Brixton Road (1901-19), 4 The Broadway, Norwood Road, West Norwood, SE (1901-4), 600A Brixton Road. (1916-17), 6 The Broadway Norwood Road, West Norwood (1916-19), 17 Church Street, Camberwell (1901-19), 28 The Parade, Upper Tooting Road (1901-19).

T. and R. Croger (c.1842-1910)

Thomas and Richard Croger were makers of harmoniums and other instruments and parts. Thomas's premises were at 17 Devonshire Street, Queen's Square, London in 1859 and 483 Oxford Street in 1862 when he was declared bankrupt.

Thomas was born around 1821, the son of Nathaniel Gowan Croger and his wife Mary. Nathaniel was a mathematical instrument and quadrant maker living in Wapping in the East End of London. Thomas initially continued his father's trade but also combined it with an interest in music.

Thomas married Emma Caroline Mason in Stepney in 1847 and they had four sons and a daughter. At the time of his marriage, he described himself as being a mathematical instrument maker and musician but from 1848, he had become a musical instrument maker.

Thomas applied his skills to making mathematical instruments such as quadrants and became a manufacturer of harmoniums and other instruments. He held patents for improvements to the harmonium in the 1840s. He made some very early portable and normal harmoniums around 1842 and had a warehouse at 184 Whitechapel Road, London.

Thomas may have initially worked in partnership with his younger brother Richard who was also a musical instrument manufacturer. In the late 1840s, Thomas was based at 5 Epping Place, Mile End and Richard operated from those premises through the 1850s. However, while Richard remained in the East End, Thomas moved to the West End. By 1860, he was at 483 Oxford Street.

Thomas Croger was an exhibitor at the London Exhibition of 1862 held at South Kensington. He spent heavily on advertising and other items. However, it was a complete failure and a financial disaster for the family. He also seems to be somehow involved in a petition to the court for sequestration of the estate of Gordon and Co., music sellers in Edinburgh. On 2/7/1862, he was declared bankrupt.

On 16/7/1862, Thomas took his own life, drowning in the Thames. It was believed that he had leapt from the new Westminster Bridge, only weeks after it was opened. The verdict of the coronor's inquest was that he had ``destroyed himself whilst in a state of temporary insanity''. He was only forty one years old. Sadly, this was not the only suicide in the Croger family; two years earlier, Thomas's sister Rebecca had taken her own life.

Emma, Thomas's widow, was left with 5 young children including a 1 year old daughter. Within seven weeks, Emma was advertising her intention to carry on the musical instrument manufacturing business ``for the maintenance of her young family, assisted by efficient workmen''. She continued to do so until 1878. In 1880, eighteen years after the bankruptcy and death of Thomas Croger, his creditors received a dividend of four shillings in the pound. Two of the sons of Thomas and Emma later became musicians and one of them also became a manufacturer of umbrellas.

In 1866 Richard Croger & Co. were advertising Croger's single manual 1 stop harmonium was advertised at £9, a 3 stop one in rosewood at £12.10s and a 10 stop instrument for £27. The Crogers were selling collabsible portable harmoniums with carrying cases in 1860 for 7 guineas and was one of the earliest manufacturers of such instruments. Later, Croger concentrated on selling music and pianos from 140 Mile End Road, closing the Whitechapel premises in 1894. Richard Croger died in the autumn of 1895 and his own son continued the business until around 1910 as F. Croger & Co. at 303 Liverpool Road.

C.F. Cullum and Co. (1859-96)


Charles Frederick Cullum of 76 Euston Road, London NW was a pianoforte, harmonium and musical instrument maker of note; the above label shows the royal arms. His firm was forced to move to 98 Euston Road in 1882 owing to the extension of the Midland Railway. The new showrooms, named the Midland Showrooms, moved to 108 Euston Road in 1886. Cullum held a British patent number 5,043 from 23/4/1885 for a piano combined with American organ. H.J. Cullum, a member of the family, was associated with the Imperial Piano and Organ Co. as described in Chapter 12. See also Cullum and Best in Chapter 29.

e-Bay item *3471

This instrument was advertised in Jan'2012 by a seller in Eastbourne who had owned it for 25 years. It is clearly a rather small but very well made harmonium. The stops are: Forte, Sourdine, Diapason 8', Expression, Diapason 8', Clarinette, Tremolo, Forte. The Clarinette is rather unusual in such a small instrument. It has a figured walnut piano style case with the large maker's label. The keys are ivory. The address on the label makes it pre-1882.


C. Curtis (c.1879-96)

Charles Curtis was a harmonium and American organ manufacturer of 28-29 Baker Street, Portman Square, London. Listed under harmonium in the London directory of 1882, also listed as a piano maker until 1910. We note that Oetzmann and Co. had occupied 27 Baker Street from 1848-c.1880, see 23.27.

Another connection had gone un-noticed until I started trying to understand the relationship between the Oetzmann families and their businesses. Sarah Oetzmann (b.1847) had a daughter out of wedlock and at a very early age. The story goes that she was sent to stay with the Curtis family in High Wycombe who then fostered the baby girl. Eventually they all moved to Glasgow. Of course it may not be the same Curtis family...

e-Bay *8575


There is a very unusual instrument which carries a label having the address of 28 Baker Street. The company name is Anglo-Continental Pianoforte Company Limited. It has been for sale for some time and was located in Peterborough.

Stops are: 0 Forte, S Sourdine, 4 Basson, 3 Clairon, 2 Bourdon, 1 Cor Anglais, E Expression, 1 Flute, 2 Clarinet, 3 Fifre, 4 Hautbois, M Musette, C Voix Celeste, T Tremolo, 0 Forte

anglo-continental1.jpg anglo-continental3.jpg

This instrument may not be by Curtis and may not even be English. We would like more information. It seems that the Anglo-Continental Pianoforte Company were retailing a number of high class instruments, e.g. Steinway pianos from New York. In fact William M. Yandell Maxwell of New York and and Wilhelm Steinway bought the company in 1877 and founded Steinway & Sons, at 15 Lower Seymour (now Wigmore) Street, London. The Anglo-Continental company was struck off the register of joint stock companies and dissolved in Dec'1895.

D. Dale (c.1850-72)

Harmonium maker of 143 Albany Road, London in 1850 moving to 3 Albany Road in 1855 and 368 Albany Road in 1863. Company name became D. Dale and Sons in 1871 and Samuel Dale in 1872. May have earlier made seraphines too.

J. Spencer Dane (c.1855-85)

The full story of the Spencer family is told in Chapter 18.2.

E. Daniels (1879-82)

Edward Daniels of 65 Gooch Street, Birmingham advertised as a harmonium maker.

Wm. Dawes (1864-1884)

dawes-label_small.jpg dawes_melody_label.jpg

William Dawes of 2 Ridge Terrace and 56 Wade Lane, in Leeds city centre also had manufacturing premises at Bagby Mills c.1869. DBOB also gives addresses of Blackman Lane, Leeds c.1867 and 2 Kingson Grove, Leeds and Blenheim Place, Leeds c.1869. Dawes was an engineer and commission agent, and held several patents for improvements to pianos, harmoniums and organs among other things. Details of these are given by Ord-Hume [144]. They refer to him as an organ and harmonium manufacturer, but this may be slightly exaggerated.

There was also a William Dawes piano maker in London c.1878 but there is no connection.

The ``Melody Attachment'' is a device, the operation of which silences all the notes of the chord played on the particular manual or stop to which it is attached, with the exception of the treble one. In its inversion it may be employed to silence all except the bass note of a stop or stops, and thus render possible pedal bass effects from a manual. For instance it might affect ranks 3, 4 and 5 as seen on an Alexandre harmonium.

These photos of early Mustel number 104 with the Dawes attachment are from Brian Styles.

dawes-knob-mustel_small.jpg action-mustel_small.jpg

The melody attachment, as applied to the harmonium, was invented by Dawes, and patented by him under the name of Soprano Coupler in 1864. The reverse effect, the double bass coupler, was patented by Dawes and Ramsden in 1868. Similar contrivances were applied to the harmonium by Howard, and Mason and Hamlin. Rev. Tony Newnham told me that his family actually had one of these rare Dawes harmoniums in their household when he was in his teens.

Archibald Ramsden provided a harmonium with the melody attachment for a command performance to Queen Victoria. Apparently she was so impressed that she bought the instrument immediately afterwards. Where is it now?

For information we know about Ramsden instruments fitted with the Dawes device, see Chapter 23.40.

Debain and Co. (c.1882)

Listed in the 1882 London directory at 41 Rathbone Place, London W.

Derbayne and Co. (c.1883)

Derbayne and Co. were piano and harmonium manufacturers of 41 Rathbone Place, London. [Debain above? spelling?]

Dicks and Co. (1878-80)

Dicks and Co. were piano and harmonium manufacturers of 70 Mortimer Street and Cavendish Square, London.

Wm. Dodson (c.1877-83)

William Dodson of 85 Liverpool Road, Islington was a piano and harmonium manufacturer with works at 22A Bryan Street, Caledonian Road, London. Also known for making dining tables.

W.H. Duffield (1881-c.1920)

William H. Duffield established his business making harmoniums at Gloucester House, 108 Leighton Road, London in 1881. He went on to also make American organs and exported various models to India, South and West Africa and Tasmania. He later supplied the trade with parts.

Charles Duffill (c.1876)

Charles Christian Duffill is mentioned by Elliott [57] as a former employee of Waddingtons in Stonegate, York. He was then employed by organ builder Thomas Hopkins during the 1860s. He was an amateur musician and conductor.

He set up as a manufacturer at Bedern, York, but soon after on 12/4/1876 the premises caught fire and his un-insured stock of timber was destroyed. He set up again at Factory Yard on St. Saviourgate and moved to 21 Stonegate in 1880. Numerous pianos and harmoniums were constructed at these premises.

Mentioned in a newspaper report of Apr'1876 as a harmonium maker from York. He is known only for the ``New Chancel Organ Harmonium''. A recital was given on one of these in York in Nov'1876.

Three instruments were exhibited at the Yorshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition of 1879, two were harmoniums plus one piano. His later instruments were known as the ``new anglo-american organ''.

Duffill and his family moved to South Africa in 1882 on account of ill health where he continued as an organ builder completing or re-building instruments at Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Remaining instruments in York were offered for sale in May 1882 and the factory and contents were sold at auction in June.

A. Eason (c.1871-97)

Alexander Eason was a harmonium maker of 217-9 Kentish Town Road, London. He was awarded a gold medal at the 1871 London International Exhibition. This instrument was reported to be extremely small, being 40 1/2''x 14''x 30''high.

He also had London premises at: Grafton Mews, Prince of Wales Road (c.1884), Angler's Lane, Kentish Town (c.1884)

J.H. Ebblewhite (c.1883)

John Henry Ebblewhite of 4-5 (or 24) High Street, Aldgate, London were at one time concertina makers. We know of a harmoniflute with the Ebblewhite label, but it is probably a French import. We need more information about this firm.

E. Enderby and Son (1867-1909)

Edward Enderby was an organ builder of 11 Church Street, Boston, Lincolnshire. He made some harmoniums in the early part of his career and was trading as Enderby and Son and a dealer in 1909.

W.E. Evans (c.1839-84)

See Chapter 4.2.

S. Farmer (unknown)

A photo of a harmonium by S. Farmer appears in Fritz Gellerman's database number 3787. It is similar in style to the early Stevens harmonium style B.

[Having looked at this more closely I believe it actually is by Stevens and so is included in Chapter 20.]

J. Farmer (1857-61)

There was a John Farmer of 38 Goosegate, Nottingham noted as an organ builder and harmonium maker in 1857-60 when he was in court for debt. He applied for a patent in 1861.

C.E. Fenton (c.1878-84)

Carles Fenton was a piano and harmonium manufacturer of 20 Culmore Road, Asylum Road, Peckham, London SE. From 1884 onwards he ceased production and was only a dealer.

J. Fidler (c.1864-9)

Harmonium maker of 56 Burton Street, London. In July 1864 he advertised as making instruments from £5 ditto with pedals and 16' tone from £8-10s. Ord-Hume notes that this would have meant he was one of the earliest makers of a harmonium with a pedal board. He had premises at 4 Angel Place, High Street, Borough, London in 1868 and 58 Peckham Grove in 1869.

H. and R. Geake (1878-85)

Henry and Richard Geake were organ and harmonium makers of St. Thomas and Westgate Street, Launceston. Also known as H. Geake and Sons it is possible that Henry was Richard's father.

J. Gilmour and Son (c.1864-67)

James Gilmour and Co. of 158 Argyle Street, Glasgow had a patent for harmonium improvements in 1864 and showed two instruments at the Paris Exhibition of 1867. They were advertising patent improved harmoniums in the London Gazette of Oct'1866 and showed them at the Paris exhibition of 1867.

However on 12/7/1870 the London Gazette had the following entry: The estates of George Gilmour, Harmonium Manufacturer and Music Seller, no.58 Jamaica Street, Glasgow, were sequestrated on the 7th day of July, 1870, by the Court of Session. The first deliverance is dated 7th July, 1870. The meeting to elect the Trustee and Commissioners is to be held at twelve o'clock, noon, on Friday, the 15th day of July 1870, within the Faculty Hall, Saint George's Place, Glasgow. A composition may be offered at this meeting; and to entitle creditors to the first dividend, their oaths and grounds of debt must be lodged on or before the 7th day of November, 1870. The Sequestration has been remitted to the Sheriff Court of Lanarkshire, and a Warrant of Protection granted to the Bankrupt. All future advertisements relating to this sequestration will be published in the Edinburgh Gazette alone. G. and H. Cairns, W.S., Agents, 21, St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh.

It is currently not known if George was James's son.

Goodburn and Rooke (c.1881)

I had never heard of this company until Jan'2019. The London Gazette 11/1/1881 contains: Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, George Martin James Goodburn and Charles Rooke, under the firm of Goodburn and Rooke, as Pianoforte and Harmonium Manufacturers, at no.20 Snow's-fields, Bermondsey, and 7 Newcomen-street, Southwark, Surrey, has been dissolved, by mutual consent, as from the 31st day of December, 1880; and that as from that date the said business will be carried on by the said Charles Rooke alone. Dated this 5th day of January 1881. George Martin James Goodburn, Charles Rooke.

Charles Rooke continued alone.

W. Graham and Sons (c.1882-1910)

Walter Graham, later Walter Graham and Sons (after 1908), were established at 24A Risinghill Street, Pentonville, London until 1896 and then Moon Street, off Theberton Street, Islington. Listed in Kelly's Directory of 1891 at Risinghill Street. The firm made harmoniums and American organs and were noted as having a steam works.

They were declared bankrupt in 1909.

Tom Huygens sent me some additional information in Jan'2017: You mention the Moutrie family and their connection to the Collard family. Also the Graham brothers can be added to the relations.

William, Walter and Frederick Graham were pianoforte makers, organ builders and harmonium builders. Their father, William Henry, and a younger brother, Alfred, were carpenters. William Henry had married in 1852 and possibly then moved to London, possibly from Glasgow. They had a shop in Pentonville, where James Moutrie had his as well.

On 9/7/1876, William Graham (son, b.1854-d.1933) married Ann Jane Moutrie (b.16/7/1854-d.1925) from St. Pancras, James Moutrie's daughter. They had 7 children: Edith (1886-), Ann Jane (1877-1965), William Moutrie (1880-1977), James Walter John (1882-1948), May (1885-1886), Sidney James (1887-1961) and Dorothy Ivy (1894-1984). In 1904, they moved to Timiskaming, Ontario, Canada, first to Nipissing then Haileybury where Ann died. Nothing is currently known of any related business in Canada.

I have no clue where to start looking for evidence, but my guess is that the three Graham brothers were apprentices or employees at the Moutrie workshop, before starting their own business. After James Moutrie died in 1886, his sons James and Robert left Pentonville and continued the business in Clerkenwell whilst the Grahams stayed in Pentonville.

Sons Walter and Frederick continued the business possibly until the 1920s but there is little evidence of their activities. Walter died in 1940.

Little Cawthorpe Church


Instruments by Walter Graham seem to be rather rare. A nice one in excellent working condition was found by Mark Jefford at St. Helen's Church in Little Cawthorpe near Louth. Looked after by The Churches Conservation Trust, the sound fills the small brick church when empty.

Mark did not find any serial numbers and didn't see any facts relating to the harmonium but the stops are Forte, Sourdine, Bourdon, Cor Anglais, Expression, Flute, Clarionet, Tremolo, Forte. Note the angled stop knobs reflecting the American style.

graham_cawthorpe_small.jpg cawthorpe_church_small.jpg

D.C. Green (c.1900-9)

A maker of portable harmoniums at 81 Haggerston Road, London.

H. Green (c.1891)

Herbert Green (b.1852) was listed in the 1881 Census as being head of the household with his wife Mary Ann and 4 children. He was said to be a Harmonium maker and living at 17 Werrington Street, St. Pancras. By 1891 they had moved to 99 Great College Street, London, had 6 children and he is now listed as an employed organ case maker.

Green (c.1880)

This instrument, said to be by Green of Kent, and serial number 256 of c.1880, is in the database of the Netherlands Harmonium Vereniging, number 350. It has an expression stop only.


J. Gregory (1878-96)


John Gregory was a harmonium and accordion maker of 27 Lister Gate, Nottingham. One small instrument appeared on e-Bay in June 2005 for sale by a dealer in Merseyside. It was suggested that this might have been built around 1880 possibly by Walter Earthy of Camden Town (1880-1). We do not have a separate entry in any of the catalogues for Earthy so are listing this instrument here until further information is obtained. The vendor however also has no evidence for this statement. The name plate clearly states that J. Gregory had works in Camden Town.

The instrument has a solid walnut case and no stops.

gregory_1m_front.jpg More Pictures

E.C. Griffin (1885-92)

Griffin of 171 Great College Street, London was awarded a bronze medal in the International Inventions Exhibition of 1885, catalogue no.3,543 for his harmoniums and was noted for his double sound board for reed organs.

T. Grimes and Co. (1878-85)

A piano and harmonium maker of Cheap Street, Sherborne until 1883 when T. Grimes died. Mrs. Grimes continued the business until 1885. Also noted earlier at Middle Street, Yeovil c.1850.

J. Grover (1830 (43?)-1904)

We note that the following text, especially regarding the occupation and ownership of Apollo Works, is not completely confirmed. If anyone has further information or corrections please let me know.

James Grover of 26 St. Peter Street, Hackney Road, London and then at 112 Kingsland Road was an organ builder around 1843-78. He also made harmoniums. He moved to 157-9 Kingsland Road, London c.1867 and then premises at Shepherd's Bush (1875), 82 Norfolk Terrace, Bayswater (1877) and Hackney Road (1884). Grover and Grover made pianos and harmoniums until around 1871 at 157-9 Kingsland Road.

Previous piano works at Islington Place, Park Road, Islington burned down on 23/6/1848 with considerable loss but fortunately was insured.

The firm was successively known as J. Grover (1855-70), Grover and Sons (1871), Grover & Grover (1871-78), and Grover & Grover Ltd. (c.1904).

Apollo works in Finsbury in the 1870s was a group of addresses. Avill and Smart were there until 1871, see Chapter 24.5. Avill and Smart were dissolved in 1871 by Elizabeth Avill and Charles Smart, presumably after the death of her husband (also William?). Debts were settled by William Avill and Charles Isaac Smart. For some time the firm was controlled by Walter Villiers Luck, but the business was again continued by the Smarts and around 1888, and became a limited company.

We believe that Walter Luck sold his Apollo Works business to James Grover of W. & F. Grover in 1885 perhaps to settle debts with Avill & Smart, see Chapter 23.11.

This area of London has been extensively re-developed. It seems that 76 Tabernacle Street still exists, but the other premises may have been demolished.

W. and F. Grover of 150 The Grove, Stratford, London E. were again making pianos and harmoniums in 1887. The firm were also recorded at Ronald's Way, London N. in 1904. Under the guidance of Douglas Grover (third generation) they became the Bentley Piano Co. in 1906. Walter's son Douglas had been born in 1879 in the attached house at Apollo Works. He spent 75 years in the industry.

They were advertising in the Freemason's Chronicle 2/5/1886 as follows.

                     GROVER AND GROVER.
                 From 15s to £3-3s per quarter.
    The Advantage of a Trial, with the Convenience of the
Three Years' System at Cash Price, by Paying about a Quarter
    of the value down, the Balance by Easy Payments from
                        15s per quarter.
                       ESTABLISHED 1830

Grover's piano works at New Southgate was completely destroyed by fire on 29/3/1909. This was probably the end of the firm.

Grover and Wood (1885-95)

There was also a Grover and Wood of 62 Glengall Road, Old Kent Road, London c.1885-95. It is not clear if this was a related businesses. This was James Wood and [unidentified] Grover listed as harmonium and American manufacturers and sewing machine cabinet makers (Kelly's Post Office London Directory, 1891).

H.C. Gouverneur (c.1875)

Hyacinthe Gabriel Gouverneur, Stebbington Street, Middx. applied for patents on 6/2/1875 nos. 452 and 453 for improvements in reeds for harmoniums and other similar free reed instruments.

It is not known is this was a possible manufacturer or a keen amateur.

C. Hardy (1845-1906)

Charles Hardy was an organ builder and harmonium maker of Lancashire Hill, Stockport who also had works at Penny Lane, Stockport and Old Road, Heaton Norris c. 1845. It is said that he built the organ for New Mills Weslyan Church in 1879. Charles died in 1888 and firm was continued by his son James who was born in 1859 and made organs until around 1906. He still had the premises at Lancashire Hill and also 141 Wellington Road North, Heaton Norris. James and his wife Charlotte I. has a son James Fred who continued the organ building tradition until around 1939. They also had a daughter Elsie W. recorded in 1891 as being 1 year old (Fred was only 4).

A.J. Harland (1879-c.1926)

Alfred Joseph Harland began in 1879 as a piano maker at 76 East Road, off City Road, London and 106 Wenlock Street, New North Road, Hoxton, London at least until 1921. They were also noted at 2-3 Forston Street (1891-5).

He produced a very lightweight portable harmonium c.1904, at 18lbs probably the lightest made. It was designed for use overseas so was fitted with rivetted keys and treated leather bellows to avoid shock and insect damage. The only one that we have seen photos of was a 3-octave instrument in derlict condition.

W.P. Hattersley and Co. (1856-83)

See Chapter 8.

S. Hay (c.1877-1920)

Samuel Hay was a piano, harmonium and organ builder initially at 21 Bridge Street, Glasgow. He moved to various buildings around 91-3 and 99 Renfield Street from 1882 onwards and had possible showrooms or storage at 60 Bath Street (1885) and 94 Sauchiehall Street (1908-20). He possibly ceased building reed organs in 1884 but probably continued to import high quality American built instruments.

The London Gazette of 19/11/1878 notes: The estates of Samuel Hay, Pianoforte, Harmonium, and Organ Maker and Tuner, Watch and Chronometer Maker, 21 Bridge Street, Glasgow, were sequestrated on the 13th day of November, 1878, by the Sheriff of Lanarkshire. The first deliverance is dated the 13th day of November, 1878. The meeting to elect the Trustee and Commissioners is to be held at twelve o'clock, noon, on Monday, the 25th day of November, 1878, within the Faculty Hall, Saint George's Place, Glasgow. A composition may be offered at this meeting; and to entitle creditors to the first dividend, their oaths and grounds of debt must be lodged on or before the 13th day of March, 1879. A Warrant of Protection has been granted to the bankrupt till the meeting for election of Trustee. All future advertisements relating to this sequestration will be published in the Edinburgh Gazette alone. D. and J. Hill, Writers, 73, Renfield Street, Glasgow, Agents.

There were also organ builders named James Hay and William Hay who were active in Bridge Street and other parts of Glasgow at the same time. It is not known if they were all related or in fact may have been branches of the same firm.

R. and E. Heath (1880-1906)

R. and E. Heath of 14 Crockherbtown, Cardiff, Wales were piano and harmonium makers until around 1906.

T. Higham (1878-83)

Thomas Higham was a harmonium maker and musical instrument dealer of 76 Bridge Street, Deansgate, Manchester registered in 1878.

See also Higham and Curran, reed organ builders in Chapter 24.

Joseph Higham of 127 Strangeways, Manchester had a factory to manufacture brass band instruments, established in 1842. See The site notes: I received a message from Klaus Langer, a restorer of organs and harmoniums, regarding Highams. He pointed out that he had, ``...finished restoration work on a pressure reed organ some time ago. On the back of its wind chest it is engraved 'Thos. Higham, 73 Bridge Street, Manchester'. This eye catching instrument of good craftmenship and sound may be built around 1880...''


J. Hillier(1855-1906)

See Chapter 9.

Holdernesse and Holdernesse (1851-1906)


Piano and harmonium makers of 105 New Oxford Street, London. One of the brothers was Charles Holdernesse who had several employees. The other was probably George William or possibly Robert L. Holdernesse who were in business as a piano makers at 12 Bath Place, New Road c.1852 and taken on as a partner in 1856. Their pianos were exhibited in London in 1851 (a Cottage Grand) and 1862 and advertised widely, in particular their ``extreme climate'' version for the Colonies.

Their father was John Francis Holdernesse (b.1816-d.1845) born in St. Pancras. He married Sarah Steinman on 4/4/1815 and they had seven children: John Francis, George William, Robert Leonard (b.16/7/1819-), Sarah, Margaret, Charles William (b.23/5/1828-) and Louisa Octavia.

Recorded addresses of the firm in London are: 444 New Oxford Street, Bloomsbury (1850-82), 6 Lawrence Street, Bloomsbury (1882-95), Black Horse Yard, Rathbone Place (1882-91), 7-8 Maynard Street (1891-5), 105 New Oxford Street (1884-1915).

They became just C. Holdernesse & Co. from 1899 to c.1920. Presumably Robert L. (or William?) had died?

We note that Henry and John Brinsmead also had works in Black Horse Yard around the same time.


One harmonium with 61 reeds and no stops was mentioned in a blog in 2016. It was located in South Africa and required restoration. It can be found on the ROS DB no.5848.


Michael Smith's harmonium

This one is mentioned on Michael Smiths Web site c.2002


W. Hopley (c.1879-1906)

William Hopley was a piano and harmonium manufacturer of 58-60 Brunswick Road, Liverpool.

J. Hoyland (1878-1906)

John Hoyland was a harmonium manufacturer and piano dealer (for Chappell Pianos) of Sheffield who made American organs from 1885 and later also made accordians and concertinas. He had premises referred to as Pianoforte and Harmonium Warehouse at 23-5 Bow Street until 1891 and 114 Barker's Pool, Sheffield 1896-1906, also West Bank Lane and 21 Exchange Street. Adverts from c.1881 also claim ``harmonium and American organ manufacturer''.

J. Humphreys (1867-1935)

Humphreys of London were best known as builders of reed organs (suction instruments). Their work is described in Chapter 11.

H.A. Ivory and Co. (1868-80)

Henry Allsop Ivory had a firm of piano makers at York Road, Euston Road and 223 Holborn Viaduct (warehouse and showroom), London. He possibly lived at 25 Victoria Park Road c.1881. A combined piano and harmonium made by them was illustrated in Pictorial World on 24/5/1879. They exhibited in London in 1872 and Paris in 1878. Other addresses in London include: Mayes Road, Wood Green (c.1874), a factory at Wood Green (c.1878), see below, Peele Grove, Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green (1882-4) Peele Grove, Cambridge Heath Road (1891-3).

More information about the Wood Green factory can be found from Harringay local historian Hugh:

Henry's father was John Ivory who was c.1847-66 a piano maker in Drummond Street. He had married Sophia Alsop; Henry was born in 1825 and baptised on 20/2/1825. There is an old connection between Laurent, Brooks and Ivory families. Henry married Eliza in 1848 or 1849. By 1851, he was living with his wife, his sister and two daughters at 52 College Place in Camden.

Henry initially partnered in a piano making business with Charles Jackson and Nathaniel Paine known as Jackson, Ivory and Paine at 13 Store Street, Bedford Square, but they became bankrupt and the business was dissolved by mutual consent on 12/10/1858. He moved to 275 Euston Road three years later and became partner in a business with William Prangley, a former music teacher. Ivory and Prangley traded as ``piccolo'' piano makers c.1862-7, for which they held Royal Letters patents dated 1858, 1859 and 1861, employing 14 men and 3 boys. They showed instruments at the London International Exhibition in 1862.

This business ceased trading in 1868, the London Gazette of 17/7/1868 states: Take notice, that we the undersigned, Henry Allsop Ivory and William Prangley, formerly carrying on business as Pianoforte Manufacturers, at no.275 Euston-Road in the county of Middlesex, under the style or firm of Ivory and Prangley, have dissolved partnership, as and from the 9th day of August 1867. All debts due to and owing by the late firm of Ivory and Prangley will be received and paid by the said Hennry Allsop Ivory, by whom the business will in future be carried on. Dated this 7th day of July, 1868. Henry Allsop Ivory. Wm. Prangley.

Henry carried on the business which then moved to Wood Green and the family were recorded as living in a terraced house in Mayes Road. The family now consised of Henry, his wife Eliza, three daughters, three sons and his brother. The youngest boy was 7 and the eldest daughter 22.

The factory was just behind the house and he traded as H.A. Ivory & Co. He had taken up patents from Collard and Collard and showed three pianos at the Vienna Universal Exhibition in 1873. The following advert is from The British Mail, 2/7/1877.


Fritz Gellerman noted that Ivorys also made Robinson's patent harmonium attachment for pianos, for which they received a First Award in the Sydney (Australia) Exhibition of 1879.

Business however ceased in 1880 and the factory was sold to Barratt's confectioners. Four years later the family were living in Fasset Square, Dalston where Henry died at the age of 59.

JAS, London (1985-current)

JAS Musicals Ltd. in Southall, London still make their own reed frames with riveted steel reeds for their own Indian style harmoniums. According to Louis Huivenaar, they sound perfect, but it took them seven years and a lot of machinery to do it. They now have been in business over 35 years. See

JAS was founded in 1985 by Harjit Shah and Jasmeet. Jasmeet was born, brought up and studied in Oxford, Harjit graduated from Delhi and post graduated from London Guildhall. Whereas Jasmeet is famous for looking after the customers with her caring nature, Harjit is known for his technical expertise and sharing his knowledge and experiences of instrument making techniques with his customers.

They manufacture complete instruments in the Indian style but also continuing the tradition of folding harmoniums, so called ``paddle harmoniums''. The following has 4 octaves and 4 sets of reeds.


They also do repairs and replacement reeds for European style instruments.

Jeffreys and Wiltshire (unknown)


I only have one photograph of a manufacturer's label of Jeffreys and Wiltshire of 88 Lower Rosomon Street, Clerkenwell, London. Does anyone know more about this firm?

F. Jones (1881-1900)

F. Jones of 145 York Street, Battersea, London was a harmonium maker and instrument dealer. He apparently traded around 1881-1900. It is not known if he was any relation to G. Jones below.

Geo. Jones and Sons (1850-1909)


George Jones (b.29/2/1832-d.1919) worked at 350 and 481 Commercial Road, London E. initially doing out-sourcing work for Charles Wheatstone's concertina business from 3 Crombies Road and 2 Lucas Place, both off the Commercial Road. He then became well known in the same business on his own account.

george-jones-portrait-sq-1885-W200H294.jpg jones-commercial-road-W200H275.jpg c.1860

Jones reed organs were sold by Emanuel Myers, 27 Walworth Road, London, Musical Instrument Warehouse. Myers ran the company between 1869 and 1884, with the majority of the organs for sale being made by George Jones.

From 1857 Jones developed and built portable harmoniums which became very popular. Unfortunately Jones had no patent and his idea was copied by other firms. It is possible that they include Busson of Paris as he is known to have sold their instruments.

More of the history is here: including. In 1853 I commenced to make harmonium reeds. 1867 to make harmoniums. Made the first portable instrument for Mr.Turner, then of Cheapside, who I worked for for many years. Finding I could not keep up the demand for the portable, one was sent to France to a firm who improved on mine and had a very large sale...

My last effort was an improvement on the portable harmonium 1895. Owing to the many hinges being required for folding them there was a great leakage of wind. I therefore inserted a flexible tube each side to convey the wind from the feeders direct to the reservoir.

Sons Arthur George and Harry Sidney Jones took over the business in 1899, following their father's retirement. George Jones and Sons, as they became known, was however un-successful - one of the two sons even sold his share and emigrated. When the business failed completely in 1909 it was left to the original George to pay the debts.

1M folder e-Bay *6060

One of these very rare small harmoniums was offered for sale in Northampton Feb'2015. It has 3-1/2 octaves from FF-c'' and what look like Forte stops. Bellows are underneath the treadles and connected to the wind chest by rubber hoses.


Jones and Co. (1858-1898)

Jones and Co. of Bristol are described in Chapter 24. There is evidence that they supplied instruments to the Salvation Army. Some of these were harmoniums. One was advertised on e-Bay *2035 in mid-2009 and was said to carry a label with the following details.

        Jones & Company
        10 Park Street
Honorable Mention 1865 Bristol

This one was for sale in 2017.


Rob Allan