Bassoon in C

Maker: John Meacham (American, Enfield, Connecticut 1785–1844 Albany, New York)

Date: ca. 1811

Geography: Albany, New York, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Wood, brass

Dimensions: Length 121.8 cm

Classification: Aerophone-Reed Vibrated-double reed

Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889

Accession Number: 89.4.884


This bassoon is built in the typical four sections: bell, long or bass, butt, and wing. The instrument has four brass keys (one of which is missing), mounted in brass saddles, and four brass rings and a brass crook. This instrument is one of the earliest bassoons made in North America known to survive.

John Meacham was one of the earliest musical instrument makers native to the United States, having been born in Enfield, Connecticut, in 1785. He began manufacturing instruments in about 1810 in Albany, New York. His brother Horace joined him in 1813. The Meachams also sold hardware and military goods. The company became Meacham and Pond in 1828 when the brothers partnered with Sylvanus Pond.