February 6, 1849 (Tuesday)

Cloudy today—and walking very bad owing to the snow.  Some sleighs running.

Accompanied Uncle N. who came from Norristown to-day, to purchase an accordeon, but not finding a suitable one, looked at some melodeons, and finally purchased one.

Uncle N. is likely Nathan Stern, perhaps Nathan Beekley’s grand-uncle (that is, his mother’s uncle).

The melodeon Uncle N. purchased was presumably a diatonic button accordion (and not a reed organ which resembled a harpsichord or small organ).  The melody-side keyboard on a diatonic button accordion is comprised of buttons which can only sound tones in the diatonic scale and in a small number of musical keys, sometimes just a single key. It is a simpler, entry-level accordion. The melodeon was invented in Germany and first patented in the US in 1829.

An advertisement for one of the many Philadelphia music shops:

Musical Instruments

from the Philadelphia Inquirer, January 6, 1849, page 4.

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