The firm of H. B. Horton & Company was an active maker of organs and melodeons during the pre-Civil War era. H. B. Horton & Company was established in Akron, Ohio in 1849 and quickly because very successful. Their most famous innovation was a melodeon they sold as the 'Melo-Pean'. The Melo-Pean was actually a large melodeon in a cabinet very similar to a small square grand piano, and it contained patented improvements to make the instrument more expressive like a piano and even a violin. It was marketed to try to convince buyers that it was some sort of successful combination of a melodeon crossed with a piano. Theoretically, the Melo-Pean was likely the most advanced melodeon ever produced. The Melo-Pean, however, was a reed-driven melodeon and not really a piano at all! In 1856, the firm was sold to Ira Rose who continued to build melodeons in Akron, Ohio under the Melo-Pean name until sometime just before the Civil War.
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
Can you find your instrument listed in these antique catalogs?