The Wheatstone Factory Archives are in nine notebooks, and the contents of each book is as follows :
The final two books (Item nos C1055/56), are simple ledgers of weekly payments to employees, suppliers and other tradesmen who performed works and services for the Wheatstone workshops. A wealth of detail about costs of brass, rosewood, ebony, ivory, leather, french polishing, and of the wages paid to Messrs Lachenal, Dove, the Chidley brothers, the Nickolds brothers, (all of whom later left to set up their own concertina workshops) and other employees. Entries were made each week from 28 January 1845 to 1 August 1846, and from 1 January 1848 to 30 June 1849
These 'Wages Books' give much information on the personnel at Conduit Street in the 1840s, their wages and the many other outgoings and services paid for by the shop managers: The rise of Lachenal as a highly paid employee, the regular payments to 'Mr C.W.', and the wages of the many staff who later become independent makers are all in these books. Much information on the trade of concertina-making and how it was organised is contained in the ledgers, and below is a small selection of entries to show the range of the craftsmen and raw materials accounted for in these small ledgers :
Feb 1 'Rosewood Head-Stock 2 pounds.9 shillings and.6 pence'. For a woodwind instrument.
Feb 15 'Mr Browning for Boxes 1 pound 14 shillings and 6 pence'
Feb 15 'Mr Taylor, Fret cutter 10 pounds 6 shillings'. A large payment to the out-worker who cut the concertina end-fretwork.
Feb 22 'Amboyna, Rosewood & Paper 18s.7d'. Important raw materials for woodwork and bellows.
Mar 22 'Mr Ranger for Studds 1 pound 4 shillings'
Mar 22 'Barens for Accordion 2 pounds 8 shillings and 9 pence'
Mar 22 'Wood 1 pound 3 shillings and 6 pence'
Mar 22 'Podmore for Brass 1 pound and 4 pence'
Apr 12 'Chidley for repair of Repairs Old English Guitar 1 pound'. Seem to have been a sideline.
Apr 26 'Nickold, for Chronoscope stand 15s.0d' Work on one of Charles Wheatstone's inventions.
Nov 18 'Mr Law for Wh's Dital Harp 3 pounds'
Nov 29 'Mr Peckler to pay for Organ pipes 12s.0d'
Apr 22 'Mr Taylor, fret cutter 9 pounds'
Apr 29 '2 gross 4 dozen Studds, Dyed 2s.4d' For the red and black keys.
June 10 'Mr Lachenal for ivory for studds 2 pounds 6 shillings'
June 17 '4 Mouth pieces 1 pound'. Probably William Wheatstone's patent flute embouchure.
Sept 9 '2 Music Easels 8s.0d'. Part of the shop's musical merchandise.
Sept 27 'Mr W Senr for Mouth pieces 1 pound'. More Wheatstone embouchures.
Index Previous Chapter Next Chapter