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Det Svenska dragspelet – The Swedish Accordion 1 - 1829-1945
The book constitutes the first part of a series of volumes that will give an account of the accordion, when it began to be found in Sweden and how it later on began to be manufactured at a number of factories. The first book will describe the period of 1829-1945. In an upcoming, second part there will be an account of the time beginning with 1945 and up until the latests trials with accordion manufacturing during the late 1980's.

In the gallery you will find a few typical accordions of this period.

Accordion in Sweden 1829-1945
The earliest known accordion in Sweden is dated to the late 1820's, that is from the same time as the instrument craftsman Cyrill Demian, Vienna got his first patent for his accordion (the sound of this early Swedish accordion can be heard on the CD). The instrument is only mentioned in a few sources up until the time around 1860, when it seems to have been known in Swedish cities and in the countryside.

Sweden's earliest known accordion maker is supposed to have been Johan Petter Nyström (1839-1900), Väse-Karlstad, who according to information began manufacturing “accordeons” during the time around 1860, and who a short time thereafter switched over to manufacturing harmoniums (reed organs). The next following accordion maker in Sweden was Carl Fridberg (1848-1935), Gusselby, Lindesberg, who for certain was active during the beginning of the 1890's, but who according to unconfirmed sources had been making instruments as early as the beginning of the 1870's.

A contemporary accordion maker of Fridberg's was Carl Johan Malmling (1862-1947), Källbäcken, Hedemora who manufactured his instruments starting from 1883 into a part of the 1900's (sound examples of Fridberg’s and Malmling’s instruments can be heard on the CD).

Sweden's first two accordion factories with a more substantial manufacturing was active from around the time of 1920 – AB William Farre, Sundbyberg (close to Stockholm) 1919-1923 and AB Svenska Dragspelsfabriken, Arbrå, 1920-1922. Also the importer and wholesaler Nordiska Musikaffären, Gothenburg, introduced during the years 1919-1920 two accordion designs manufactured by themselves.

During the 1930's a number of Swedish accordion manufacturers began their businesses – AB Albin Hagström, Älvdalen 1932 (founder Albin Hagström 1905-1952), Gunnar Orre & C:o Dragspelsfabrik, Älvdalen 1930-1932 (founder Gunnar Orre 1907-1990) and Ragnar Sundquist Dragspels-Central, Stockholm 1936 (founder famous accordionist Ragnar Sundquist, 1892-1951) who manufactured accordions under the Raggie Special brand. A short lived business was run during 1938 by Musikaffären Accordeon, Stockholm, who the same year was merged with AB Albin Hagström and after that manufactured accordions under the Accordia brand.

During the year of 1941 two further accordion manufacturers began their businesses – Dragspelsfabriken Skandia, Gothenburg (founder Victor Dise 1893-1971) and Firma Dragspelstjänst, Stockholm (founder Algot Bengtsson 1915-2007). The latter company manufactured accordions under the brand of Bengts.

To be continued




The Swedish Accordion ...

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