Horton, H. B. & Company
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.
Horton’s 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. The firm appears to have dissolved just before the Civil War.
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19th Century Advertisement For The “Melo-Pean” Melodeon, Built By H. B. Horton & Company