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User Guide to the
Wheatstone Concertina Ledgers

The Wheatstone Concertina Ledgers at the Horniman Museum have been digitized and made available for research. All known records are included. If more records should be discovered in the future, information about their availability will be announced on the Horniman Museum website.

You may be reading this User Guide online at the Horniman Museum website, or on a CD-ROM sold by the Museum. The content of a CD is exactly the same as the website at the time the CD was made. The information looks exactly the same over the web or from a CD, but if your internet connection is over a slow modem you will find that a CD inserted in your computer will be much faster, comparable to a broadband internet connection. If you are using a CD, you should check periodically at the Museum's website to see whether further materials or corrections are available on a newer CD. Information about how to buy CDs is given at the bottom of this page.

What Has Been Done

The entire project has been completed (as of April 2005). There are twelve ledgers known as the "Wayne Archives" ledgers because they came from the Concertina Museum collection formed by Neil Wayne. These contain information for the years 1834–1891, with substantial gaps. For the early years there are sales ledgers and some cash payment records, for the later years there are production ledgers, with a brief overlap where both kinds of records exist. There are five ledgers known as the "Dickinson Archives" ledgers because they came to Steve Dickinson when he bought C. Wheatstone & Co. in 1975. These contain information for the years 1910–1974, again with major gaps. Only production ledgers exist for the twentieth century, plus a daybook for the final years kept by Sid Watkins, the last surviving craftsman whose experience went back to the period before World War II.

For each of the ledgers, there is a picture of every page, from the front of the front cover to the back of the back cover; you can go directly to any page, or go from any page to the "next" or "previous" pages. The index for every volume indicates which serial numbers or dates are found on each page, so you can locate the entry for a specific concertina quickly. Each page is represented by two pictures. One (the "small" picture) is about the size of the screen, and is almost always readable enough to find what you are looking for; the other (the "large" picture) is much larger, allowing detail to be examined about twice actual size. All the pages are photographed in full color, which can be a help in deciphering light pencil marks on grubby paper—these are working documents used for many years in a production shop, not manuscripts from a medieval library.

How to Go from Page to Page

You can use full web browser navigation: go back to the page you were viewing before (or the ones before that), open several browser windows showing different pages at the same time, save browser bookmarks to pages of interest, print or save individual pages of interest, or save the pictures (large or small) to use in other documents. Everything works exactly like any other webpage on any website.

In addition to the navigation buttons on screen which are clicked with the mouse, on most web browsers you will also be able also to go from page to page in the documents using the keyboard:

next page:

cursor-right arrow,
or "n" or "N" (next),
or "f" or "F" (forward)

previous page:

cursor-left arrow,
or "p" or "P" (previous),
or "b" or "B" (back)

ledger index:

cursor-up arrow,
or "i" or "I" (index),
or "u" or "U" (up)

other size:

cursor-down arrow,
or "s" or "S" (smaller),
or "l" or "L" (larger)

Some browsers do not allow the cursor arrow keys to be used in this way, but do allow the letter keys or just the uppercase letter keys; so if the cursor keys do not work in your browser, be sure to try the letters and the uppercase letters. Some older browsers do not implement any of the keyboard navigation; if this makes a difference to you, you should upgrade to a newer browser program. The keyboard navigation is not required, and everything can be done using only point and click navigation.

How to Print a Page

To print a page, just use the "Print" command in your browser. Printing to black-and-white printers is fine, and a color printer will print the pictures in full color. In recent browsers, the printed result will contain a full-page picture with a small identifying label below—the page will not contain all the navigation buttons used on-screen. "Print Preview" will accurately show you what is to be printed. (Note that the printed header and footer are set by your browser, not by the webpage, so you can make the headers and footers as you like.) It is possible to print the entire site page by page, but there is no automatic way to print all pages. If your (older) browser prints the navigation buttons, with only a tiny picture or only part of a giant picture, then upgrade to a newer browser program for easy printing.

Alternatively, the scanned image on the page may be saved (using the right mouse click, and "Save Picture As...") and then printed separately using any application; it is best to save the larger pictures for this purpose, which are up to 1000 pixels by 1500 pixels each and take between 300KB and 500KB of space per picture.

Special Instructions for the CD

Because the CD contains exactly the content from the website, it is navigated in the same way, using your web browser as the application to view the CD contents. It can be used with a suitable browser on Windows or Macintosh computers.

When you insert the CD into a CD drive on your computer, it should start automatically, opening your preferred browser on the computer. If it does not autorun, you can double-click the file INDEX.HTM in the root directory of the CD to open it, or else just open your web browser, choose "Open..." on the "File" menu, and navigate to open the file named INDEX.HTM in the root directory of the CD.

The website on CD works just like any other website, whether or not you are connected to the internet while using the CD, except that links to external websites on the internet will only work while you are connected. If your computer is connected to the internet while you use the CD, you can browse back and forth between the CD and the live internet seamlessly.

How to Buy Copies of the CD

You can buy copies of the CD at US $30.00 each, plus shipping anywhere in the world, over the internet. Go to the online CD store

Go to the Online CD Store

and follow the instructions to purchase online with your credit card. Copies of the CD are also available to visitors at the Horniman Museum shop in London.

CD Label

Special Instructions for Copying to a Hard Drive

You can copy the entire CD to any hard drive and then view the site from the hard drive. This requires permanent space on your computer's disk, but means that the content is always available without having to find the CD and put it into the drive. Performance is usually faster from a hard disk but on recent computers performance straight from the CD is excellent. There is no way to have part of the content on hard disk and the rest on the CD. You can copy the CD onto the disk of a laptop computer for carrying with you, or you can even copy the CD onto a thumb-sized USB flash drive to carry in your pocket and plug it into a USB port on any computer.

If you copy the CD to a hard drive (internal, external, or USB flash drive), when you open the file INDEX.HTM in the root directory to open the website you may see an informative message warning you that "... this file has been restricted from showing active content that could access your computer". This means that the file on your hard drive contains commands that usually are met with only on websites or CDs. You should click on the option to "Allow Blocked Content", which may present you with another "security warning" saying that "Allowing active content such as script and ActiveX controls can be useful, but active content might also harm your computer. Are you sure you want to let this file run active content?" You should click on "Yes". After this interaction, you can browse the entire website on disk without any further messages.

If you would rather not have those two warning messages every time you start up the website from your hard drive, you can change your browser settings to allow it. In Internet Explorer, choose the menu item "Tools", then "Internet Options", and on the "Advanced" tab, under the "Security" heading, find the item "Allow active content to run in files on My Computer" and click on the box in front of the item to check it. Then click on "OK". After this, websites on your hard drive will open without messages.

In the same set of options, there is another related item "Allow active content from CDs to run on My Computer". Usually, this item is checked by default, while the other is not. If you get a similar warning message when opening the website from the CD, you may need to be sure that this second item is checked.

Please Tell Us About Errors

Please report any errors noted (no matter how small—everything from a typographic error to a missing picture or defective links) to one of the email addresses below. Errors reported will be corrected promptly on the website and in subsequent editions of the CD.

Copyright and Reproduction

The copyright in the digitised images of the Wheatstone ledgers resides with the Horniman Museum, London, and is subject to such protection under the law. The images may used for private research purposes only and are not to be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder. Please credit "The Horniman Museum London". Application forms for permission to reproduce images in different media are available from the Museum at the addresses below.

For more information:

Horniman Museum
100 London Road
Forest Hill
SE23 3PQ
United Kingdom

National: 020 8699 1872
International: +44 20 8699 1872



Margaret Birley
Keeper of Musical
Horniman Museum


David Allen
Horniman Museum


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