Maelzel History and Beethovens Metronome - Click Here
Antique Metronome Manufacturer Information.

Brief: Maelzel

Johann Nepomuk Maelzel ( 1772-1838 ) registered the metronome patent in 1815 after devising the musical scale for a device largely constructed and invented by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel a year earlier. Maelzel started production of the metronome in Paris 1816, gaining praise and publicity from none other than Beethoven himself and who he was later to fall out with, over rights issues for "The Battle of Vitoria". Maelzel was widely travelled, promoting and selling numerous musical inventions and automated wind and cog driven devices, ranging from ear trumpets, chess players, pan harmonicons, rope-dancers and speaking dolls, twice visiting the West Indies, Munich, Vienna, Paris, London and the United States. Although greatly respected and successful in his own right, Maelzel also had an ability to seize on the ideas and works of others and use them to his benefit.  There are two reports of how he died in 1838, neither of which I have been able to confirm. The first that he died from alcoholism on a ship in the harbour of La Guaira, Venezuela, the second was that he died while sailing on a brig, "the Otis" travelling from Havana to Philadelphia, but not before establishing a highly successful musical accessory business.

 THE INFORMATION SHOWN ON THIS PAGE AND WEBSITE IS COPYRIGHTED AND IS NOT TO BE COPIED, DISTRIBUTED OR SHARED WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT. Individuals who ignore this request will face legal action. For a detailed insight into the earliest Victorian production London and Paris manufactured metronome's and the first and earliest Maelzel examples made between 1814 - 1820, please use the 'Beethoven' link posted above.


Paquet Metronomes ( France )


Philippe-Nicolas Paquet was born on the 8th Oct 1823. His father was a watch maker and Phillipe followed the family tradition entering the time-keeping industry. He settled in Paris, working for the Maelzel Metronome company and after the death of Johann Nepomuk Mäelzel in 1838 eventually took over the running of the factory, in 1846. Paquet went on to establish a new small machine tools plant and metronome producing plant in Beaumont Sur Oise in 1867 winning many awards at International exhibitions. The factory in Beaumont remained in production until 1983. The two dates shown on the majority of Paquet - Maelzel metronone trade labels are 1815-1846, the former being the year the patent was first approved by Maelzel and 1846 being the year that Paquet took over the helm.
 The picture's below show the majority of known door emblem plaque's used by some of the larger companies, manufacturing metronomes for the period 1850-1950. Paquet is by far the most common maker of antique metronome, they produced large numbers of metronomes and licensed to many distributors. I have also made a habit of logging all Paquet metronomes that came to me marked with a date of some sort, this has enabled me to compile a dating chart by serial number. Please note, this list is estimated production and a work in progress. See the graph below.

Robert Cocks Metronomes ( London )

Robert Cocks.

Robert Cocks founded his music publishing firm in 1823 and went on to become one of the largest musical publishing and accessory manufacturing companies of the era. He operated in Hanover Square, London for about 21 years before moving to 6 New Burlington Street. In 1868 Robert Cocks took his two sons, Arthur Lincoln Cocks and Stroud Lincoln Cocks into partnership with him.
  The company ceased metronome production in 1898 and merged with Augener in 1904 under the name Augener Ltd. At this point R.Cocks ceased to exist.  Metronomes from both London firms are scarce due to the early manufacture and due to the similarity of the materials, construction methods and general appearance of metronomes from both Cocks and Cramer, it is safe to assume that they either sourced their parts from the same supplier or more likely colluded in metronome production, adding their own name designation to suit. It would appear that the Cocks firm used two distinct door emblems on their metronomes, the earlier badge seems to have been used prior to 1868 and reads "Robert Cocks & Co 6 New Burlington St London - Metronome De Maelzel" . Post 1868 and up until 1898 and after incorporating his sons into the business, the firm appears to have updated their plaque to read "Best English Make London - Metronome De Maelzel". This information is based on a very very small selection of dated metronomes that have passed through our hands so is subject to change.

Note: Apologies to previous customers who have purchased Cocks metronomes through us, it would appear in some cases I was greatly under-estimating the date of some of these units. Please check your door emblems.

Cramer, Beale, Wood, Chappel & Co Metronomes ( London )


The Cramer company was founded in 1824 by Johann Baptist Cramer and used the Cramer name alongside various partners until 1968 when it was taken over by the piano manufacturer Kemble and Co. However metronome production from the company would appear to have ceased shortly after the turn of the century around 1910. Both Cramer and the previous London metronome manufacturer Robert Cocks used very similar emblems or cartouche with both opting for a Generic change around 1870 which simply read " Best English Make London - Metronome De Maelzel ". Prior to this date Cramer metronomes can be found with numerous dedications to the outer edge of the front door cartouche depending on the production date and the list shown below.
 Metronomes from both Victorian London firms will be constructed to a very high standard, featuring the best quality fittings and the most desirable wood panelling available on collectible metronomes today.
 The production order for the Cramer company to the best of my knowledge is shown here and it is therefore possible to determine relatively accurately based on the name designation, the period for which each metronome was assembled.

Cramer, Addison & Beale: 1824-1844
Cramer, Beale & Co: 1844-1847
Cramer, Beale & Chappell: 1847-1861
Cramer, Beale & Wood: 1861-1864
Cramer, Wood & Co: 1864-?

Wittner Metronomes ( Germany )


Established in 1885 by Gustav Wittner ( another watchmaker ), the Wittner company has flourished to become today's largest manufacturer of the modern day metronome. The design, shape and appearance of the pyramid style metronome has changed little over three generations although new modern patterns and designs, such as the Taktell model proved to be hugely successful. In 1921, after earning an engineering education with Maybach, Rudolf Wittner at the age of 22 took over his fathers still relatively small hand to mouth metronome production business and raised the bar significantly moving the business closer to the Black forest and the source of the wood used in production.  In 1952 and with an ever increasing demand for their musical accessories, Rudolf again moved production to larger premises in Isny Allgau and where Wittner production is still based today under the leadership of Rudolf's son Horst. ( 1975 )

Seth Thomas Metronomes ( United States )

Seth Thomas.

 Seth Thomas (1785-1859) founded the company in 1813. Starting his early career as a woodworker he went into partnership with Eli Terry and Silas Hoadley in 1807 constructing and manufacturing clocks, selling his share of the business in 1812 and starting out on his own in Plymouth Hollow. Over the next 45 years Seth Thomas built an empire and pioneered mass production of primarily clocks from his factory as well as running a cotton mill and a wire-making firm. He died in 1859, succeeded by his sons, (Seth Jnr, Edward and Aaron) and was rewarded with the town of Plymouth Hollow being renamed in his honour - Thomaston.  The Seth Thomas company, already hugely successful in the manufacture of clocks incorporated metronomes into their catalogue, initially purchasing units from Paquet and re-branding with the Seth Thomas name and logo. The firm went on to manufacture their own in house metronome in 1887 which continued until 1984.
 Seth Thomas Jnr Jnr ran the business from 1919-1932 before his death. The firm was then incorporated with Westclox and later Talley Industries, and more recently in 2001 operating under license to the Colibri Organisation. 2009 - Colibri goes into receivership.

Barnett Samuel Metronomes ( United Kingdom )

Barnett Samuel.

 Musical instruments makers and wholesalers, gramophone makers, of 31 Houndsditch and 27a Duke Street, and later of 32 Worship Street, Finsbury Square, London, EC2
1819 Barnett Samuel was born in Russia and later was naturalised as a British citizen.
1832 Company established [1] by Henry Solomon, Barnett Samuel and Josiah Solomon.
The family and firm were in Sheffield; they manufactured tortoise-shell doorknobs, knife handles and combs. Barnett, his son Nelson (who joined the firm around 1870) and a nephew Max Samuel (of Prussia) were dealing in musical instruments. Barnett's wife, Caroline, was Henry Solomon's sister. They also had three daughters - Rosa, Bertha and Minnie - who played music together.
They all moved to London as the music business started to take off and took over the warehouses at 31 Houndsditch and 27a Duke Street. The firm became a huge musical concern selling every kind of instrument including harmoniums and zithers.
1861 Henry Solomon sold the musical instrument side of his business to Barnett Samuel, who had married his sister Caroline.
1869 Nelson Samuel (Barnett's third son) entered the business and eventually took a great part in the prosperity of the firm.
1872 Barnett's eldest son was taken into partnership and the title of the firm became Barnett Samuel and Son.
1878 The firm moved to 32 Worship Street, and Nelson Samuel was given a partnership. He proved to be a force behind even greater expansion of the firm's activities. By then they were dealing in every type of musical instrument and musical merchandise - including banjos and zither-banjos made for them by Birmingham and London factories. In 1878 the firm opened the first English harmonium factory.
1882 Barnett Samuel died, but Nelson Samuel's guiding hand led the firm from strength to strength.
1886 S. Samuel left the partnership
1901 The company was incorporated as Barnett Samuel and Sons Ltd. By this time the firm was one of the largest musical instrument wholesalers in the country and, in addition, had established their own piano factory in North London.
1904 Two of Nelson's sons, Frank and Edgar, and two of their cousins, entered the family business.
By 1911 the subsidiary company John Grey and Sons had been formed and used the name as a trademark on its instruments. Earlier instruments just had Grey and Sons Ltd as the trademark. The company made some of their own instruments and had many made by the usual 'makers to the trade' of the time.
By 1914, the 4 members of the younger generation were in charge; the business was the largest record wholesalers and dealerships in London
1914 Manufacturers and importers of pianofortes and all kinds of musical instruments, gramophones and records. Specialities: the Pistonola player piano, Chicago cottage organs, Odeon, Jumbo and Fonotipia records and the Dulcephone, an improved type of gramophone. Employees 200
1918 Barnett Samuel and Sons established subsidiaries: British Music Strings and Boyd Ltd.
1922 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of "Deccalian" Gramophones; "Decca" and "Rally" Portable Gramophones; Record Carriers; Flutes; Stringed, Percussion and othe Instruments. Instrument Case Makers. (Stand No. B.28) [5]
1927 Boyd Ltd was sold to the newly formed Associated Piano Co[6].
By 1928 Barnett Samuel's gramophone interests had been renamed the Decca Gramophone Co which was floated in 1928 as a public company [1]. The musical instrument part of the company was contained in just 8 shares of John Grey and Sons.
1932 The shares in John Grey were bought by Rose, Morris and Co who made banjos up to and after the second world war.

Cottage Metronome Makers and Distributors ( Numerous )


 The following list of antique metronome manufacturers are smaller firms that in most cases utilised the Maelzel™ or Paquet products and re-branded them to corner a niche market, many of these firms also applied small patented improvements to the mechanisms, design or mechanics in order to ply their wares as a unique brand. The quality of some of these smaller manufacturers metronomes is often superior to the larger mass produced pieces in an effort to secure a portion of the market trade. Others are simply distributors, purchasing units from larger manufacturers and adding their own label and brand.

E.Paillard & Cie (Switzerland)  E.Paillard & Cie (Switzerland)   E.Paillard & Cie (Switzerland)  

Barnett Samuel (London UK)  Barnett Samuel (London UK)   Friedrich Gretsch (United States)  

Theodor Presser (United States)  Jaccard (Switzerland)   SX (Germany)  

Jerome Thibouville Lamy (France)  John Church Co (United States)   Junghans (Germany)  

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