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this page is still under construction. I am busy translating new found information. Please check this page the forthcoming weeks.

Maison Fourneaux

Fourneaux Medaillon

Text on this medaillon derived from:
Michel Dieterlen: l'Harmonium,
These doctorat University Reims, 1996 Presses Universitaire de Septentrion
59654 Villeneuve d'Ascq ( out of print ! )

MAISON FOURNEAUX
fondée en 1835

16
BREVETS DIVERS
S.GAR du GOURVERNt
OBTENUS
de 1834 à 1838
 
7
GR. MEDAILLES
Or, Argent, Platine
& Bronze
Remportées de
1839 à 1855

à Paris
MAGASINS DE VENTE & AUDITION
Rue de Chabrol, 54
Manufacture & Ateliers de construction
Avenue de St. Cloud, 31
INSTRUMENTS D’AMATEURS                                             INSTRUMENTS DE FANTAISIE
CHANTIERS A GRENELLE

On the edge of the medaillon a listing of instruments built/sold by Fourneax: seen as clockwise starting at bottom:

HARMONIUMS - PIANOS ARCHETS - PIANOS ORGUES - ORGUES - VIOLICLAVE - SYRINGELLE - MINIMORGUE
SYMPHONION - ORGANOTABLE - GUIDE ACCOMPAGNATEUR DU LUTRIN - ORGANO BUREAU - ORCHESTRION
MELODINA - SAVISSON - ORGANO PUPITRE - PIANOS - ORGANOCORDES - PIANOS MECANISES

Company Information

(derived from Gellerman's International Reed Organ Atlas)

Jean Baptiste Napoléon Fourneaux. (In Gellerman referred to as J.B. Napoléon). Paris. Maker of free reed instruments, established in 1835. Had a patent for a two manual orgue expressif with reeds in vertical position in 1840.
Made the Orchestrion in 1844, an orgue expressif with a cylinderplayer and also a keyboard.
Fourneaux is the successor to Chameroy, 1838; Fourneaux is succeeded by his son Jean Louis Victor Fourneaux (in Gellerman mentions as J.L. Napoléon Fourneaux) in 1846.
J.L. Napoléon is the author of "Petite Traité de l'orgue expressif" a book dealing with this instrument and also dealing with tuning.
In 1860 J.L. had 60 workers.
In 1866 the firm is listed as Jean Nestor Fourneaux.

The firm was at 64 & 70 Galerie Vivienne in 1844; at 33 Avenue de Saint-Cloud in 1851 and at 89 Boulevard St. Michel in 1883. In 1855 there was a showroom at Rue de Chabrol 54.

Alphonse Mustel about Fourneaux

Mustel about Fourneaux

A patent for a two manual instrument

As mentioned in Gellerman and Dieterlen, Fourneaux acquired a number of patents ( brevets). One of them is about a 2 manual instrument where the reeds are placed vertical. Drawing of the patent letter and a picture of the reed block are below. From the literature references it shows this instrument had one row of 16' at the lower manual, one row of 8' on the upper manual. There is also a manual coupler, working downwards.

From the Brevet: OBJET: Pour un nouveau système d'organisation de l'orgue expressif.

 

Brevet drawings   reed block

 

 

The verical reed cells were also used in the "Orchestrion" patented in 1844 (brevet 16410). Here we see four vertical reed cells and two ranks in horizontal position.

 

The question by Simon Buser from Germany

A member of the mailinglist "reedorgans" posted a message, quoted here in full:

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
From:Simon Buser
Sent: woensdag 4 maart 2009 23:34
To: reedorgans@xxxx.org
Topic: [Reedorgans] Who knows about Fourneaux-Physharmonicas?


I am hobby-collectionneur of harmoniums.

For the rekonstruction of the expression-like mechanism of 2 very old instrument by Napoléon Fourneaux from Paris I am looking for similer instruments with this original action in, for to know how exactly it was built. Or descripions, fotos.

The one instrument is in the form of a square-piano and contains 2 keyboards. The mechanism was commanded between the knees.

The other is in form of a secretaire. The mecanisme was commanded by a sort of knobs with the heels.

This mecanism communicated with the upper board of the magazin-bellow. Of this mecanism is nothig left but some holes of wires and traces of fixations.

If you know about any comparable instrument, or if you have an idee, what museum, collection, person could know more details about theese early Fourneaux-harmoniums, I would be very happy for your help!

Simon Buser, Marburg, Germany

He provided me with a picture of the Physharmonica he was talking about:

To me it seems I have to eat my hat, if this picture is NOT about the above shown brevet.

Organo-secretaire by Fourneaux

Simon also sent a picture of an Organo secretaire ( I made up this name !!)

  As a writing desk
Opened to be played
 
Opened as a writing desk

 

 

 

Organo-table by Fourneaux

Fourneaux built a small one and a half rank instrument in disguise as a writing table. The two feeder bellows are operated by the knees, lifting the feeders.

Patent drawing Organo table    
 
 
picture by Piet Bron Sr.
Organo table
picture by Joop Rodenburg
 
Organo-table Fourneaux. Picture by Klaas van Boggelen

The stops of this instrument don't have names. The owner, collectioneur Wim Olthof, compared the sounds to other harmoniums and came up with a stoplist:

(1) Cor Anglais, (S) Sourdine, (1) Flûte, (3) Fifre, (T) Trémolo

In the garden

 

 

Naar boven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vox Humana Jrg 20 nr. 1