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British Industrial History

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Clutsam Action Co

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George H. Clutsam was born in Sydney, New South Wales on September 26, 1866. He toured the world as a concert pianist before coming to London where he was first an accompanist and later a composer of operas. Around 1915 he invented a new piano action which produced a curved keyboard and demonstrated this from his premises in South Molton Street, London with concerts. He was the music critic of 'The Observer' from 1908-18.

  • 1907 Clutsam Curved Keyboard. Patented by the Australian, George H. Clutsam, in 1907, the Curved Keyboard was shaped so that all notes of the keyboard were equidistant from the player
  • 1915 The Clutsam Cradle Keyboard Co of 24 South Molton Street, London W. is listed under 'Pianoforte Key Maker' [1]
  • 1915 A new piano keyboard announced. The Clutsam Cradle Keyboard by Mr Clutsam of South Molton Street. [2]
  • 1919 The CLUTSAM ACTION COMPANY Limited. NOTICE is hereby given, pursuant to section 183 of the Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908, that a Meeting of the creditors of the Clutsam Action Company Limited will be held at 19A, Coleman Street, London, E.G., on (Monday, the 28th day of July, 1919, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, for the purposes provided for in the said section. Dated the 17th day of July, 1919. J. ARNOLD HILL, Liquidator. [3]
  • 1920 Clutsam Cradle Keyboard Company Limited. 'Notice is hereby given, pursuant to Section 242-(3) of 8 Edw. 1, ch. 69 (Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908), that, at the expiration of three months from the date hereof, the names of the undermentioned Companies will, unless cause is shown to the contrary, be struck off the Register, and the Companies will be dissolved' [4]
  • 1951 Obituary of George Clutsam (age 86), concert pianist and composer of operas. [5]

From Wikipedia [6]

Clutsam was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Clutsam's career began as a pianist, at which he had little formal training. After establishing himself in Australia and neighbouring countries he moved to London in 1889, where he continued as an accompanist to various artists including his fellow Australian Nellie Melba in 1893. From 1895 he increasingly moved to arrangement and composition of orchestral works and light opera.

In 1908, Clutsam married Minnie Fischer, a successful singer, also Australian. Between 1908 and 1918 he wrote music criticism for The Observer, while continuing to compose and arrange.

In 1912, he wrote a biography of Franz Schubert. As well as the many stage works, he wrote numerous songs, including the charming, popular (but now politically incorrect) Ma Curly-Headed Babby.

Later he became Vice-Chairman of the Performing Right Society. He also wrote music for the silent cinema, and subsequently also composed for the "talkies".

Clutsam published under a number of pseudonyms, namely Paul Aubry, Robert Harrington, H.S. Iseledon, Georges Latour and Ch.G. Mustal.

He died in London in 1951 at the age of 85

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1915 Post Office London Directory p1797
  2. The Times, Friday, Mar 12, 1915
  5. The Times, Tuesday, Nov 20, 1951
  6. Wikipedia [1]