Monday, 4 January 2010

Rushworth`s Request for information

Dear Sirs,

I am a direct descendant of William Rushworth who founded the family organ building business in Liverpool in 1828. A few years later the business expanded into retail musical instruments. The business developed over the years and was very much part of the cultural and artisic life of Liverpool for many years. My brothers ran the business as the fifth generation, but sadly it closed a few years ago.

It has an interesting history and I am collecting as much material as I can find, with a view to writing a book about the family company and those who ran it. I have a reasonable amount of material but am making inquiries to see if I can find more. Do you have any material which might be relevant or ideas where I might find historical papers or other information about the business in Liverpool?

Any ideas you have which might help me in my search would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Rushworth



    Rushworth &, Dreaper Ltd., the Liverpool firm of musical instrument manufactures and dealers established in 1828 and they introduced a line of zither-banjos in 1910 using the brand name of "Apollo." The instruments were not made by them but were constructed to their specifications (probably by Windsor or Matthews of Birmingham In the early 1920s, the dance band boom induced them to launch their "Ardetone"(R-D-tone) plectrum-banjos and tenor-banjos which were styled on the American "Paramount" instruments. With only slight modifications they are very good copies of the instruments from across the Atlantic.

  2. kathy Donaldson said...

    There are records for this Company at Liverpool Record Office 4th Floor William Brown Street. You may also be interested to know that a relative of this family entered Liverpool's Oldest family competition to celebrate Liverpool's 800th Birthday

  3. Jonathan
    I have just obtained a large package of letters (personal and business) relating to the Rushworths.
    Key names: Edwin Rushworth, Rev W A Rushworth, Alice Rushworth/Mrs Strutt & Rushworth and Dreaper - including a business valuation and stock transfers. Would be happy to pass them to you if they are of use.
    If you would like them, leave me a comment as to how I can get in touch and forward them to you. Best wishes, Joy Barrett

  4. Joy,
    could you please let me know your email address so Jonathon can contact you

    Liverpool History Society

  5. Hello Rob. I have now emailed you with my contact details. Joy.

  6. Jonathan, No doubt you know already, but the Rushworth and Dreapers Apollo reed organ was one of the best reed organs series ever made and are still incredibly popular to this day in reed organ circles. Typing in Rushworth Apollo organ will bring up a great multitude of sites, the "tardis" http address one has a great deal of information about these instruments such as copies of original advertisements and specifications.
    Hope its of some interest to you :)
    You might be interested to know Im doing extensive restoration work on one of your familys Apollo organs, some fool left it out in the rain for what must have been a long time... to contact me if you ever are interested


    1. Hi Tom,
      yes that's my Web site. I've been fortunate enough to have been given information by many Apollo owners. I'm always keen to find out more and help if I can. David Wilde who is in the ex. organ works I believe has one still in stock and I know of one for sale in Devon. I am based in Warrington, so not far from Liverpool. We always try to save these wonderful instruments if we can.
      Best wishes - Rob

  7. Michelle requests.....
    My grandfather Frederick Salmon of Liverpool worked for Rushworth and Dreapers as an organ builder in the 1940's and I was hoping someone would be able to pass on ANY photos or information about him as I am researching his life. My father, Frederick's son, immigrated to Australia in the late 1960's and therefore ANY information would be appreciated as all of his family in Australia would like to have some information/photos to pass onto to our future generations.

    Thanking you in anticipation,

    Best regards,
    Michelle E